“revised conclusions to mask”


Such changes are at the heart of an expanding internal Pentagon investigation of Centcom, as Central Command is known, where analysts say that supervisors revised conclusions to mask some of the American military’s failures in training Iraqi troops and beating back the Islamic State. The analysts say supervisors were particularly eager to paint a more optimistic picture of America’s role in the conflict than was warranted.

Source: Pentagon Expands Inquiry Into Intelligence on ISIS Surge – The New York Times

“revised conclusions to mask” = lied.

watcher on the wall


I agree with Matt Bruenig number one partisan argument for the democratic party’s nominee is to keep the opposing party’s compatriots from implementing disastrous policies for the next 10 years and enabling a far right supreme court to uphold these actions for a generation.

Number two argument is to rebuild the 50 state strategy to actually enable state leaders above all…

would this make you a happy worker?


Yahoo! 2014:

In an elaborate photo shoot that took place at an offsite at the Cavallo Point Lodge in Marin County, north of San Francisco, she cast all the top staffers as characters from “The Wizard of Oz” and made them pose for a poster in full costume, since it was to be the theme of the upcoming employee holiday party.


The effort cost $70,000, according to many sources, and caused some level of consternation among staffers. “It was very embarrassing, but Marissa thought that it was the way to make employees in Silicon Valley happy,” said one person there. “We really could not argue.”

source: Marissa Mayer’s Convoluted Yahoo Strategy | Re/code

the outrage caucus says all media is liberal media


Republican candidates are spending a lot of time attacking the not at all liberal rags the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Politico.

Ben Carson’s campaign manager tried to pour more cold water on Politico Monday afternoon but ended up incorrectly accusing the news outlet of retracting its report on the Republican presidential frontrunner’s murky history with West Point.

Source: Politico Hits Back At Carson Camp: No, We Didn’t Retract The Story
Most media outlets are responding to these protests against their campaign coverage instead of pointing out the Republican candidates disqualifying policy positions. This is a strategy that benefits every Republican candidate during the primary season and the likely Republican voter (the base) loves the “conservative patriot & voters versus the lying awful evil liberal media” framing.

“Thousands of Philly students still without permanent teachers” by @newskag


The private contractor hired to find subs at minimum wage has failed. (h/t Atrios)

Seven weeks into the school year, thousands of Philadelphia school children have yet to be assigned permanent teachers.On top of a substitute-teaching predicament that leaves hundreds of jobs unfilled every day, the Philadelphia School District – with 190 vacancies – has created a crisis, “either through neglect or incompetence,” union president Jerry Jordan said Monday.

Source: Thousands of Philly students still without permanent teachers

Undervalued in Hollywood


[Piedomont Media Research’s Josh] Lynn: I would say that from all the movies that we’ve looked at, the one actor that comes to mind is Denzel Washington. Every movie that we’ve run with his name in it has increased the score of that film as a concept by anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent. Didn’t matter what it was.

Source: Podcast: The Guy Who Predicts Whether A Movie Will Bomb, Months Before It’s Made

heard on Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor All Time Period Podcast

Militarized Center City doesn’t spur business

The military took Rittenhouse Square First

The military took Rittenhouse Square First (Courtesy J. Val)

One big misconception about the Papal Visit and World Families Week was that it would be like Made in America festival or Live 8, a bunch of celebrants descending upon a city with disposable income to see their favorite artist or to be part of a pop culture spectacle. That’s not this. This was people with kids, grand parents and friends who believe the Pope is their heavenly ordained religious leader.

That means Churches organized a lot of this. One thing that Churches do is host modestly and that means people get fed and sent off with some water and/or food if the parishioners can help it and make sure there are places for people to rest if they need it. Catholic parishes staged and hosted volunteers and visitors. To start their days they would walk towards the papal militarized zone (PMZ) (the “box” constantly surrounded by metal fences, National Guardsmen, TSA, Secret Service, Police and other law enforcement agents for 4 days). They streamed past pop-up street vendors with bootleg Pope memorabilia and water bottles. The hottest items were official items from Sunday’s mass and official passes to get into the PMZ.

Restaurateurs like Stephen Starr  were extremely upset with the negative revenue impact of the weekend, but the family of five coming to see Pope Francis probably didn’t put his upscale eateries on their list of things to do. People weren’t streaming out of the house drunk to head to the parkway, they are heading out of churches, guest houses and friends extra bedrooms and given some water and snacks to take with them and a time for dinner or late evening meal.

Most of us non-catholic foodies, fantasy football owners, drinkers, revelers and par-tiers stayed on our sides of the PMZ  which meant rooftop parties, watching the game at local bars, catching up on fall cleaning, or even you know. Rittenhouse Square was dead by Wednesday.

Once Aramark got involved and began monopolizing supply for the event there was even less opportunity for the fine restaurants occupied by federal, state and local law enforcement. The best move was just to take the loss this weekend and close their doors and take it up with their city council representative or congress person.

flight pattern coordination sounds like a problem for


The “pre-departure clearance” computer software designed to automate the filing and amending of flight plans and the delivery of departure clearances isn’t capable of flagging or identifying multiple plans that have been filed for the same flight, the letters said. This can result in a controller clearing a flight for departure based on an outdated plan, and the pilots flying a route not anticipated or planned for by the controller.To try to catch the problem, controllers have to go through the time-consuming process of reviewing flights plans, calling pilots and searching through paper strips that are passed among controllers and marked to track a plane’s progress from taxing to takeoff. Then they compare the information on the paper strips to data displayed on computers.

Source: Whistleblowers Expose Problem That Could Cause Plane Collisions

Sounds like this is an application needed for this “Silicon Valley* for Government” startup that Obama has built 140 deep and wants to grow to 500. I hope they have a whistle blower’s queue: here’s what’s wrong or repetitive busy work in my agency, please fix it.

*note: silicon valley growth was pushed along by government investment.

talk bots


Out of 70,572 hosts, 70,529 were female and only 43 were male. So we can say for sure that roughly zero percent of bots on Ashley Madison are male. The bots also tended to have ashleymadison.com email addresses, though other popular addresses included things like passthecake@hotmail.com, kimmakesprofiles@hotmail.com, and digital-romeo@hotmail.com. And finally, tens of thousands of the bots had IP addresses that suggested the accounts had been made by people working at the Ashley Madison office.

Source: Ashley Madison Code Shows More Women, and More Bots

Her is real.

“fear of new immigrants”


TPM’s KELLI MARSHALL lays out the brief history of the pledge of allegiance:

In his book To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance, Richard J. Ellis digs further into the nation’s “patriotic” school program of 1892. Ellis writes that the creation of the Pledge actually reflected “two widespread anxieties among native-born Americans” at the time: the fear of new immigrants (especially in the Northeast), and the complacency of post-Civil War Americans oblivious to the dangers facing the country.

Source: The Strange History Behind The Pledge Of Allegiance

Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders’ correct and overly apologetic summary of the founding of our nation puts this in better perspective.


lead and structured settlements


Over the past two decades, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress have passed measures to protect vulnerable people selling structured settlements. In 2000, Maryland inked the Structured Settlement Protection Act, which enumerated a series of requirements. First, a seller must seek the counsel of an independent professional adviser. Then the proposed deal must go before a county judge, who decides whether that agreement reflects the seller’s best interests. But today, critics say, that measure is failing

Source: How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks – The Washington Post

Privatized NJ Lottery: Record Revenue, Worst Returns in 4 decades


DUSTIN RACIOPPI in NorthJersey.com (via Atrios)

In the past, record sales most often translated to record dollars back to the state for school nutrition programs, education scholarships and housing for disabled veterans, money required to be funneled to the budget by the law that created the lottery itself.

But New Jersey isn’t expecting those record sales to translate to the state budget for fiscal 2015, which ended in June, the first full year since the lottery’s sales and marketing was outsourced to a group that spent heavily on lobbying firms led by Governor Christie’s closest allies.

Source: Record N.J. lottery sales are no windfall; worst returns in 40 years fuel vendor criticism

Lies all around us


“Lies my Teacher Told Me” is a good book to start folks down the path of doubting the myths, fairy tales and fiction fed to us as history. James W. Loewen, the author of that book, reminds us of the lies in the Washington Post….

For example, South Carolina’s monument at Gettysburg, dedicated in 1963, claims to explain why the state seceded: “Abiding faith in the sacredness of states rights provided their creed here.” This tells us nothing about 1863, when abiding opposition to states’ rights provided the Palmetto State’s creed.

Source: Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. – The Washington Post via Hunter at DailyKos