From the LA Times:
“The Mexican distributors in Pennsylvania were trying to cut costs by hiring immigrant truckers to haul drugs from Southern California. And U.S. agents were keeping a close watch on traffickers in the historic towns of Lancaster County, Pa., a distribution hub.”
And apparently, drugs fly in thru local airports in York and Carlisle. Awesome! Knew they had to get distributed from somewhere, and always assumed the closest hub was NY. But guess there’s one closer. I wonder if any of those Amish driving around electric buggies got a piece of the pie… also, Latinos rollin round Intercourse, PA sporting pompadours and shiny pants must really stand out. In Philly, I haven’t seen anybody do the Sinaloan style yet, though some people get halfway there with the cowboy and neon gear.
Yep, he had one too.
While still at the LA Times, saw this about too much airbrushing. That Julia Roberts really needs airbrushing, eh? Deceptive advertising, I guess. If you can’t find anybody with clear skin, or your product can’t make anybody have clear skin, you have no business selling clear-your-skin type products.
Slate mentions how Thomas the Tank Engine is imperialist propaganda. I watched that show!
After August 2 will be payments prioritization, which means soldiers and postal workers will probably be first to not get paid. By necessity, the bondholders get paid first. The only practical thing to do is to raise the debt ceiling and then figure out the rest later. Yes, costs should be slimmed and revenues should be increased (so halfies on the Dems or Repubs) and I don’t think raising the debt ceiling is really a great thing to do… but we all know what happens when your credit rating slides. With US banks being so nosy into international finance, I can’t imagine anyone is in a rush to bring their money stateside; with all these additional scarification factors, investors and account holders are really going to be looking hard to stash and grow their money elsewhere. We’re just lucky Greece happened, or those London bankers would really be seeing some coin moving up the Thames. There’s also the stupid worst case scenario, in which the Republicans totally block any sort of compromise and force the US to pass the Aug 2 date without a raise in the debt ceiling, and then try and impeach the Prez when he pulls a “validity of the national debt” action, re the 14th Amendment, to forcibly raise it. I guess the US is too used to the idea of just filing bankruptcy and wiping the slate clean. However, this doesn’t work in the rest of the world. You took the debt on, you owe it, regardless of your ability to pay. And if you can’t pay, the lender can take your assets, or break your arms. Obviously, the US can say “go screw yourself” and use the Armed Forces to prevent any action on that front… but who will want to lend to the US after that? You can’t argue that everyone will have to because it’s the only practical choice; if you back people to the wall, they’d rather go without the interest earnings then lend it to someone who can refuse to pay at any moment.
CIA responsible for fake vaccination sting that fooled Osama bin Laden? Congratulations, you fooled someone who thought he was smart, proving you were smarter. But by doing so, you proved to the world that the US is full of assholes who take advantage of kids with polio to make the CIA feel better about itself – as it ALREADY knew OBL was in the compound and just wanted a double-check. Those kids didn’t get any treatment, got no vaccine (and even if they did get a real shot instead of water or saline or whatever, they would require 3 rounds and just got one meaning it was completely pointless) and may believe that they did, and any future health workers attempting vaccines or help to sick civilians or combatants are not going to be given the benefit of the doubt and possibly attacked first, questioned later. There goes another “convention of war” that will be completely ignored by both sides. Terrorists are considered terrorists because they stoop to the lowest of the low and do not adhere to items like the Geneva Convention, which are designed to make war civilized. If the US ignores these rules, why should the terrorists do so? And by breaking those rules, aren’t we dropping to their level? War is dirty, and you can’t win unless you play dirty… but you have to have some level of human decency or you are no better than the worst of the worst. You can reel the comparison out one step further, say, to the Nazis. You can say, whatever, the US didn’t kill anybody on that sort of scale, and without any of their genocidal intentions. But I say that everything that gets you one step closer to accepting scorched earth as a method of war (as in, anything and everything will be used in the war effort, and nothing is sacrosanct) is being in that same mindset. I disapprove. At the very least, keep your dirty acts secret. If the public gets to hear about it, HOW IS YOUR SECRET AGENCY KEEPING ANYTHING SECRET?
The CIA goes quack!
And finally, lawsuit against the NFL for covering up dangers of concussions. Like smoking, everyone knows football is shit on the human body. You play long enough, you’re gonna get head injuries and you’re going to get Alzheimer’s and dementia SO much sooner than everyone else. You even get kids dying from football-related injuries. Should the NFL pay? Gregg Easterbrook, it is noted, pointed out that the NFL did not want to tell players to improve their helmets as requiring better helmets may open them up to liability. Which is probably true, unfortunately. Yes, the NFL should pay, as they are like Big Tobacco. Are they big and bad? Yes, but only as big and bad as the American public and the media. Like with tobacco, media helped propel football into the national pastime of choice (over baseball) by emphasizing its importance and televising the subject as much as possible – including idol worship of such sporting events as the Rose Bowl and Super Bowl, which are now a national tradition beyond watching the World Series or Stanley Cup games. In response, the American public accept football as so cool that they need to buy expensive tickets to games and football jerseys, plus line up for hours to get hastily scrawled signatures, thus wasting a lot of their salaries on the industry. Consequently, the amount of money in the industry has pushed salaries for star athletes up (and made the team owners rich), made football into the only life goal of many a ghetto resident (which is quite a failure in imagination, as the % of people making it is, for good reason, abysmally low) and encouraged players to take deadly risks because of the potential payout. I’m quite fine with leaving current players to it, as they know the risks and it’s their choice (and I do enjoy a good football game once in a while) – but for all those parents who force their kids into it or encourage them in their ambitions WITHOUT informing them of the risks beforehand, that’s pretty unacceptable. The NFL itself – which, seen as the spokesperson for all the pro teams and thus the organization with the largest influence on young fans – should be pretty clear about the risks and how it’s trying to protect their players and growing ingénues who may join up one day, and the only way to get the NFL to do that is to bring the kind of lawsuit against them that made Big Tobacco inform the public (in explicit manner) what abuse of the product could do to them.
Can’t help it. One more quote:
Members of Congress aren’t answerable to all their constituents. They are answerable to hard-liners in their party primaries, and these hardliners see any attempt to compromise as “caving in.” Stanford University political scientist David Brady, who runs a fellowship program I’ve attended, once found that the more members of Congress vote with their parties, the less likely they are to be re-elected. – Shankar Vedantam