PSA: Don’t Use Explorer


I get email:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that all users temporarily discontinue the use of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) due to a critical security flaw.

More here.

If y’all already knew all about this, what can I say?  I’m old and slow.

Image:  John Webber, Portrait of Captain James Cook c. 1780


Open Thread

This is going to throw longtime readers for a loop, and no, I am not on acid, but I just wanted to say that I love you all.

The last couple OF years I have gone through shit after shit, from my shoulder surgery to the anxiety attacks to my dad’s heart attack to my dad losing a peg to a wood chipper and Tunch being killed to my other personal issues and so many other things, and most recently my friend Holly, and every time I post about one of these episodes, I feel like I have an extended family here. And every time I post something like that, you all respond with advice and kind words and good vibes and common experiences, and it just makes everything easier to deal with.

I really appreciate it, and I like the way you all take care of each other. This is a rare and good thing, and I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it on the front page. We’re not a major blog, and we don’t break big news, but we have solid people, solid readers, and I think we just have a good thing going.

So, in a rare moment, allow me to say something nice to you all.

Read more

Quick Holly Update


Thanks for all the questions about her status. I just spoke with my friend Kim, and got a lot of details on what happened. Up until a little bit ago, every conversation was basically focused on how is she right now, and I never had the backstory.

Apparently, she woke up before breakfast, told her boyfriend/fiance (I’m unsure of their status because I basically don’t give a shit what other people are doing in their relationships and my eyes glaze over. I mean, if someone is married, I get it, but I just don’t even try to figure out the nuances in other relationships. Not happening in my bedroom, so I don’t give a fuck) she had the worst headache in the world, stood up, fell over, and started convulsing. Her significant other rushed her to the hospital.

According to Kim, she had a basal aneurysm near the base of her skull (and if that is redundant, I apologize), and this morning they attempted to do what is called a coiling procedure, but that was unsuccessful. The good news is that she was healthy enough to undergo the procedure and her lungs and heart are fine, and the bad news is it failed and they will have to do a more invasive clipping procedure tomorrow.

The biggest silver lining in all of this is that this happened while she was in NYC with her SO, and not here in Bethany, because she is now in the center of the universe when it comes to excellent health care. If you are going to have an aneurysm, do it while being white and insured in NYC or in the lobby of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Tomorrow, a surgeon who is a renowned expert in the clipping procedure (I forget her name) will be performing the riskier procedure on Holly, so she really is in the best hands in the world.

The other bright spot is that Holly was alert and communicative, able to write notes and capable of understanding what was going on around her and recognizing speech and responding to people, so that is just great news. It’s funny the things you think about, though. I was talking to Kim and one of the first thoughts I had was “I wonder if she paid her water, gas and electric. Should we try to pay that for her?” “Should I go tell the Postmistress tomorrow to hold her mail?”

Long Read Watch: A Scholarly Discussion of Our New Aristocracy

Via Professor Krugman’s blog, a footnote to my last post.

“We” should probably have a Book Chat about Picketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, but I’m hoping a less innumerate front-pager will volunteer.

I love the smell of resignation in the evening

Smells like victory:

Obamacare has won. And that’s why Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius can resign.

Calls for Sebelius’s resignation were almost constant after Obamacare’s catastrophic launch. The problem wasn’t just that Sebelius had presided over the construction of a fantastically expensive web site that flatly didn’t work. It was that she didn’t know was going to instantly, systemically fail. And so the White House didn’t know that was going to instantly, systemically fail. The demands that Sebelius to step down — or be fired — were as deafening inside the building as outside of it.

But President Obama refused. As National Journal’s Major Garrett reported, Obama believes that “scaring people with a ceremonial firing deepens fear, turns allies against one another, makes them risk-averse, and saps productivity.” Moreover, there was too much to be done to fire one of the few people who knew how to finish the job. Sebelius would stay. The White House wouldn’t panic in ways that made it harder to save the law.