Great Reads

Found some really good reads today:

1.) Chris Mooney at Mother Jones discusses the radical success of the British Columbia carbon tax, and all the side benefits to the populace.

2.) Great, and I mean great, writing on the sociopath Don Rumsfeld in the NY Times. This is part one of a four part series. A teaser:

When I first met Donald Rumsfeld in his offices in Washington, D.C., one of the things I said to him was that if we could provide an answer to the American public about why we went to war in Iraq, we would be rendering an important service. He agreed. Unfortunately, after having spent 33 hours over the course of a year interviewing Mr. Rumsfeld, I fear I know less about the origins of the Iraq war than when I started. A question presents itself: How could that be? How could I know less rather than more? Was he hiding something? Or was there really little more than met the eye?

Many people associate the phrases the known known, the known unknown and the unknown unknown with Rumsfeld, but few people are aware of how he first presented these ideas to the public. It was at a Pentagon news conference on Feb. 12, 2002. Reporters filed in to the Pentagon Briefing Room — five months after 9/11 and a year before the invasion of Iraq. The verbal exchanges that followed provide an excursion into a world no less irrational, no less absurd, than the worlds Lewis Carroll created in Alice in Wonderland.

Part two is here. Worth your time.

3.) A radical new medical breakthrough (if I am overstating this Tim F. can write a post telling me I am a moron) looks to redefine dead.

4.) Another good one from Mother Jones- the impact of our sustained bombing campaign on Laos during the Viet Nam era when we dumped 2.5 million tons of bombs and the problems our unexploded ordnance are continuing to cause.

5.) There was a number five but I can’t remember what it is.

Shawn and I apparently have come down with a cold, and I feel like death.

*** Update ***

I remember number five. I just wanted to say that it has been fun watching LGM grow and it is really one of my first reads every day. Good stuff. And this comes from the guy who normally is just linking people to flame them, so, umm, I guess I really mean it.

70 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    I heard some story on some NPR program about the origins of how we define what “dead” is. Apparently it has changed over time. Looks like it might change again.

  2. 2
    Yatsuno says:

    Chicken soup. Veg it up all you want, just boil the snot out of a chicken until the meat is flavourless then scarf it. And yes I’m being Jewish mom. Get over it.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    just boil the snot out of a chicken until the meat is flavourless


  4. 4
    Baud says:

    5.) There was a number five but I can’t remember what it is.

    Still doing better then Rick Perry. Be proud.

  5. 5
    smintheus says:

    Typo: Ordnance

  6. 6
    Keith G says:

    The technique was first demonstrated in pigs in 2002 by Hasan Alam at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, and his colleagues. The animals were sedated and a massive haemorrhage induced, to mimic the effect of multiple gunshot wounds. Their blood was drained and replaced by either a cold potassium or saline solution, rapidly cooling the body to around 10 °C. After the injuries were treated, the animals were gradually warmed up as the solution was replaced with blood.

    It’s one thing to kill a highly sentient animal outright, quickly, due to need. This seem to be hovering around the boundaries of acceptable. IMHO. I figure now they will be asked about this. Good.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    How long before Rummy compares Morris to a trained ape?

  8. 8
    gbear says:

    Starting in 15 minutes, ‘Growing up Duggar’, written for by the Duggar’s oldest daughters is going to be a ‘daily deal’ on Amazon. Some of the reviews are pretty entertaining.

  9. 9
    Roger Moore says:

    @Keith G:
    Animal experimentation is quite tightly regulated, even for animals like mice that most people are perfectly happy to poison as vermin. I’m sure those experiments had to be run by a whole bunch of ethics committees before they were allowed to do anything. The relevant authorities already know and have approved.

  10. 10
    goblue72 says:

    I can’t decide if the Cole & Shawn thing is a budding bromance, or if its going to turn into a middle-aged version of Jack & Larry from Three’s Company.

  11. 11
    Ash Can says:

    @Yatsuno: You’re missing a couple of steps in there.

    1) Roast whole chicken
    2) Feast and collect bones
    3) Boil the snot out of the bones
    4) Strain (let cool and skim fat off top for lower-fat/cal version)
    5) Chicken stock! Add veggies, dumplings, pasta, rice, chopped-up leftover chicken meat, etc. as desired.
    6) Feast again

  12. 12
    The Dangerman says:

    …sociopath Don Rumsfeld….

    I’ll see your Rumsfeld and raise you a John Bolton; FOX had him on after Obama’s speech and the Dude is out of his fucking mind….

  13. 13

    I recommend ginger tea for the cold, it works wonders on your sinuses.
    Bonus Kitteh

  14. 14
    Mike E says:

    I need to get back into reading actual books and not just web content but I just watched a fascinating Nature about the “animal” behavior exhibited by plants. Enlightening.

  15. 15
    The Dangerman says:

    Since we’re posting soup ideas for colds…

    …hot and sour soup. The hotter and sourer the better. If you aren’t sweating buckets, it’s isn’t h/s enough.

  16. 16
    Hawes says:

    Just replace yours and Shawn’s blood with chilled saline and call us in the morning.

  17. 17
    hilts says:

    10,853 out of 10,855 scientists agree: Global warming is happening, and humans are to blame

    and h/t

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    Via Kevin Drum, there’s a new polling update from the Kaiser Foundation tracking attitudes towards Obamacare in somewhat more depth than typical. In particular, look at the table Drum reproduces at the bottom of his post, which is people explaining in their own words why they don’t like Obamacare. Out of the three categories, the second and third are clearly right-wing views. One guess as to what fraction of respondents fell into those categories.


    27%, on the dot.

    At this point, I firmly believe we are being trolled by the polling companies.

  19. 19
    kindness says:

    You had me about to Rick Perry you John.

    Have you test driven the 3.6 Subaru Outback?

  20. 20
    LT says:

    I’m more worried about a corporation dumping millions of bombs on me than the government.

  21. 21
    dollared says:

    JC, did you see that college athletes get to unionize? Whaddaya think?

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    @The Dangerman: Yes. Or this, if available in WeVa:

    Bun bo originated in Hue, a former capital of Vietnam. Outside the city of Hue and some parts of Central Vietnam, it is called bún bò Huế to denote its origin. Within Huế and surrounding cities, it is known simply as bún bò. The broth is prepared by simmering beef bones and beef shank with lemongrass and then seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce and sugar for taste. Very spicy chili oil is added later during the cooking process.

    Bun bo usually includes thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank, chunks of oxtail, and pig’s knuckles. It can also include cubes of congealed pig blood, which has a color between dark brown and maroon, and a texture resembling firm tofu.[5]

    Bun bo is commonly served with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, diced green onions, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, thinly sliced banana blossom, red cabbage, mint, basil, perilla, persicaria odorata or Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), saw tooth herb and sometimes mung bean sprouts. Thinly sliced purple cabbage is acceptable substitute when banana blossoms are not available. Purple cabbage most resembles banana blossom in texture, though not in taste. Fish sauce and shrimp sauce is added to the soup according to taste.

  23. 23
    cckids says:


    Chicken soup

    Make it a Mexican-flavored soup, add chilis & chili powder + cumin & oregano, peppers & corn. The combo of the chicken broth & the spiciness opens up the sinuses. Plus you can actually taste it, since it isn’t as bland as most chicken soup.

  24. 24
    ruemara says:

    @The Dangerman: Seconded. That was my meal of choice when sick, before I had to stop eating take out chinese. Stupid hypertension.

    I can’t decide if I should work on the gallery pages of my website, since the home, resume and contact pages are finished. But I am tired. But I’d like to get the galleries up. oooo decisions.

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    From conversations with active duty friends from the time Rummy was at the Pentagon, if you went into a meeting with him and failed to agree 100% with the bastard, you wouldn’t be invited back.

  26. 26
    RuhRow_Gyro says:

    The spices also kill bacteria.

  27. 27
    khead says:

    BJ, LGM and Roy’s place pretty much every morning. I need snark with my coffee.

  28. 28
    Shana says:

    I saw the latest ETrade ad tonight, which is supposed to be the last one with the baby. The producers of the ad bring in a cat to work with him as his sidekick. Obviously there’s lots of CGI in these ads, but it looks to me like that cat has thumbs. Not as full-furred as the magnificent Steve, but definitely more toes than the average. Anyone else seen this one yet?

  29. 29
    raven says:

    @p.a.: choi duk!

  30. 30
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Shana: I hate that stupid fucking baby. It’s like Baby Vince Vaughn, just a horny, smug fraternity douche in animated baby form.

  31. 31
    Gravenstone says:

    @Shana: Definitely a polydactyl. But yes, the real question is natural, or CGI?

  32. 32
    Heliopause says:

    5.) There was a number five but I can’t remember what it is.

    No poofters!

  33. 33
    trollhattan says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Bolton has some combination of preening self-satisfaction and sociopathy that makes him my least favorite Bushie. Okay, tied with Cheney, but Cheney at least came with some sort of record, while Bolton just came from Mordor or wherever the hell he plopped down from.

  34. 34
    Pogonip says:

    The suspended animation reminded me somewhat of the girl who survived rabies; her doctors kept her encomaed until the virus ran its course and the seizures stopped. The last I read of her, she was fine. The technique was tried a few other times with, sadly, no results.

  35. 35
    Bill Arnold says:


    Bolton has some combination of preening self-satisfaction and sociopathy that makes him my least favorite Bushie.

    I do not forgive GW Bush for (recess) appointing him as U.N “Ambassador”.

  36. 36
    Tommy says:

    @dollared: The best ever as a former DI scholarship student in a sport that makes no money for the school (golf). I was, insert all the verbiage the NCAA says about college student athletes, I was one of them. I was not playing on the weekend at a major college in front of 87.000 folks on national TV. Nobody cared. I hit golf balls. I was going to college not to be a pro golfer, but to play for college.

    I quit after the first year to get a scholarship in, you know me going to class and getting A’s.

    But those folks that fuel all that money ought to get paid. Today well that got closer to happening. And actually mark my words, as many have said, really close. Today huge walls were broken down in one judgement.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: Bolton was a protege of Jesse Helms.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack says:

    Errol Morris, who wrote the piece on Rumsfeld, will be on The Colbert Report tonight.

  39. 39
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:


  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Bolton was a protege of Jesse Helms.

    Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.

  41. 41
    the Conster says:

    Unionizing private college football players is fucking huge. That was a big deal today. Football as we’ve come to know it at the college and pro level is going to change for the good – fewer and fewer parents are going to let their boys play football, ultimately making it a seller’s market for those with real skills. Now they’ve got some real leverage. It’s going to force the NFL and the NCAA to share in the riches, because there’s a football beast to feed. The balance of power has ratcheted back a notch towards labor.

  42. 42
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I wonder if Bolton and Rumsfeld and leaded gasoline are related.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m sure the 16,000 people who died in Bhopal thanks to Union Carbide’s negligence had a last thought of, Thank god I was killed by a corporation and not the government, because otherwise my death would be bad.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: Leaded gasoline resents the comparison.

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @the Conster:

    I don’t give a flying fuck about sports, but tons and tons of people in this country worship them, and the people who play them.

    If their heroes start unionizing, I would assume that means more good publicity for the concept of unions. Something they’ve been in horrifically dire need of for ages.

    Good, innit?

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:


    West Fertilizer Company plant explosion

    2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion

    Remind me, how many people have been bombed by the US government inside the US? I forget. But, yes, you should totally be more afraid of being bombed by the US government than of an explosion happening due to a corporation’s negligence. Completely rational thinking there.

  47. 47
    Baud says:


    They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our metadata.

  48. 48
    Jane2 says:

    The article on carbon taxes was produced from one study. One. Reminds me of the reporting on the latest nutrition study, which no doubt contradicts the study reported on the week before.

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I did not know this, but if I think of Bolton speaking with Helms’ accent it’s a natural fit.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:


    “The Division 1 Wal-Mart Scab Bowl, brought to you by McDonalds!”

    I kanna wait.

  51. 51
    the Conster says:


    It just makes sense to people and appeals to their instinct for justice when you tell them that winning teams earn college coaches several millions of dollars a year, and millions more for the college through media deals and endowments that go to the cronies at the top of the pyramid. The players get concussions and blown up knees and a phony education. This ruling gives the athletes some leverage – probably not monetary compensation, but other workplace guarantees that workers are entitled to.

  52. 52
    chopper says:


    pho is best for being sick, hands down. add enough sriracha to make it hot and you’re in sick-guy heaven.

  53. 53
    chopper says:


    I can’t get to BJ at work

    I’m sure all the dudes there are heartbroken.

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    Yes, chicken soup has a Wikipedia page.

  55. 55
    mcd410x says:

    Ten, ten, ten, ten for everything, everything, everything, everything.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Heliopause: Rule 6: There is no Rule 6!

  57. 57
    🍀 Martin says:

    3.) A radical new medical breakthrough (if I am overstating this Tim F. can write a post telling me I am a moron) looks to redefine dead.

    Yeah, this will spur the zombie apocalypse.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

  58. 58
    TG Chicago says:

    I really don’t like defending Rumsfeld, but was his “known unknown” thing that hard to understand? It makes perfect sense.

    If you want to make fun of him A) please do and B) use quotes like “You go to war with the army you have” or “Stuff happens”. Those are the sociopathic quotes.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TG Chicago: Two things. 1. From someone who usually made sense, it would be worth parsing. 2. When John Kerry got pilloried for his “for it before he was against it” comment which was as defensible as Rumsfeld’s comments, I don’t feel particularly likely to be nice about things. YMMV.

  60. 60
    cckids says:

    @TG Chicago: It makes sense, but it was a complete evasion of what he was being asked, about the factual evidence of WMDs in Iraq.

  61. 61
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Thanks for wasting 15 minutes of my life on that stupid Rumsfeld shit.

  62. 62
    TG Chicago says:

    @cckids: Yeah, I posted that before reading the article. You’re right — it was a total BS answer that anybody could give to anything.

  63. 63
    Dexter's new approach says:

    Rummy’s framing of the complexities of any endeavor with the “Unknowns-knows” bit was mildly compelling. He basically explained why we all have, forever, lost sleep worrying about would, could happen.

    It was not a novel concept, but if that is what he was known for–if he was deliberate and thoughtful in a complex world, that would be a fine quote. But he actually acted against the idea of the quote. As the unknowns became knowns against his premise, and the knowns turned to be wrong, he pushed forward anyway, no reset.

    And he seems to sleep like a baby not worrying about his actual malevolence. Shit happens. To other people.

    He’s wealthy, self-satisfied, and still a hero and patriot to many. His brand of sociopathy sells; it soothes the dark hearts.

    I think I might punch him I the face if I ever came upon him.

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    @Mike in NC:

    From conversations with active duty friends from the time Rummy was at the Pentagon, if you went into a meeting with him and failed to agree 100% with the bastard, you wouldn’t be invited back.

    Note to self: If ever introduced to Rumsfeld, disagree with him at first opportunity.

  65. 65
    Montarvillois says:

    I sort of forgot about LGM so thanks for the reminder and it’s now bookmarked.

  66. 66
    Johannes says:

    Rumsfeld always seems to me like an evil version of FDR–same patrician mannerisms, ability to work the press and charm, but, as Richard Burton says in Exorcist II, “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-vil!”

  67. 67
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    One phrase that sums Rumsfeld up; his description of looting as “freedom is messy”

    But come on, the reason why Rumsfeld can’t explain himself is the man is basically a tool. You got to ask Cheny what Iraq was really about.

  68. 68
    Paul in KY says:

    Why would the criminal Rumsfeld admit to his criminality? He’s not stupid enough to tell you the real (criminal) reasons we went into Iraq.

  69. 69
    Paul in KY says:

    @the Conster: They (the NCAA & universities) will fight that tooth & nail. The reason is that right now all profits at college level are untaxed, due to it being classified as ‘educational’ (student athletes & all that). If they are classified as employees, all those profits become taxable, as it is no longer ‘educational’.

  70. 70
    JAFD says:

    As my grandfather advised for colds:
    “Hot tea with lemon and honey and a shot of Scotch. You may not kill the germs, but at least you’ll show them a good time.”

    My two first-things-to-hit-on the-Net-in-the-morning are Balloon Juice and LGM. IMAO, what isn’t discussed on one or the other isn’t improtant.

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