No triviality too banal.

What Has Your Congress Been Doing? H.R. 353


H.R. 353, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, is pretty long statute and a little too dense for me since NOAA authorization statutes aren’t exactly my job or anything.  It’s difficult to see whether there’s some story behind the story going on here.  The point of the new law appears to be to authorize or continue the authorization of programs devoted to research and information-sharing in the area of weather prediction.  This is a good thing.  Weather prediction should be based on science, not on whether Uncle So-and-so’s lumbago is acting up or whether the cows are standing up or lying down.  Continue Reading →

Speaking of May Day……

Salsa aside, May Day is International Workers’ Day, which you probably think was invented by European Marxists in the 1920s, but was actually begun in Chicago in 1886 as a multi-day labor protest that culminated in the Haymarket Affair (someone threw a bomb that killed seven police officers), and THAT culminated in the prosecution and kangaroo-court conviction of eight usual suspect types–four of whom were executed and one other who killed himself before the state could do it for him–with the state not able to prove that any of them had any connection to the bomb, although they did hold inconvenient political beliefs.

The four went to the gallows singing La Marseillaise, which was the anthem of the international labor movement until it was replaced a few years later by L’internationale.

Dans le français d’origine:

And in the English translation–an old-timey chorale-style version, not the crappy modern chav folk version:

I am perfectly aware of the irony of snobby ole me using the word “chav” under these circumstances. I don’t care.

What Has Your Congress Been Doing? Undoing stuff

Most laws are, um, imperfect.  They contain vague bits, or ambiguous bits, etc.  Many statutes don’t really contain the information they need to be of any use to the public.  An example is Federal employee pay.  Congress does not sit down and decide how many dollars Laura gets in pay year 2017.  Congress authorizes OPM to make that decision.  Congress may require that new employees are paid the bare minimum, but Congress also says:  “However, under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management which provide for such considerations as the existing pay or unusually high or unique qualifications of the candidate, or a special need of the Government for his services, the head of an agency may appoint, with the approval of the Office in each specific case, an individual to a position at such a rate above the minimum rate of the appropriate grade as the Office may authorize for this purpose.”   So when you hear morons muttering about the unfettered power of unelected bureaucrats issuing burdensome regulations, you need to stop to consider that the unelected bureaucrats are doing exactly what Congress told them to do when it enacted a holey statute and told bureaucrats to issue regulations to fill in the blanks.

The power is not unfettered, either.  First, there’s a process, of course.  More importantly,  Congress has given itself the authority to issue Joint Resolutions “disapproving” of the very regulations it directed the bureaucrats to issue.   These disapprovals prevent regulations form taking effect or overrule them, so to speak, after they take effect.  In other words, Here.  You finish it.  Not like that.

So what has your Congress been doing?  It has been “disapproving” of a whole pile of regulations that were issued in late 2016.

H.J. Res. 57 undoing regulations implementing the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1963.

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My inbox this morning

It’s National Salsa Month!  Salsa is a very personal thing.  I like mine with only a trace of onion, no cilantro, not too watery, and not tasting like canned tomatoes.

Actually, the list of industry-created National _____ Months and National _____ Days, not to mention National _____ Weeks may well blow your mind.  I’m cynical and it blew mine.  Everything is a marketing opportunity.

I wouldn’t even know about National Salsa Month but for an email from a favorite merchant of mine exhorting me to celebrate National Salsa Month by………

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Looca Lunedi


I just found this in my Draft queue.  I don’t know what was going on March 16, 2016 that kept me from finishing and posting.  Looooca is retired now, but this is how I remember him:  on his ass on the floor, moaning about getting fouled, with the alleged perp in a heap next to him, possibly unconscious or (if conscious) waiting for the medical staff to produce the smelling salts.

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What Has Your Congress Been Doing? H.R. 609 and S. 305

Congress has been naming VA medical facilities after esteemed WWII veterans and “includ[ing] National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29, among those days on which the flag should especially be displayed.

All this is well and good, especially naming the new medical facility, because it actually does something, as opposed to the flag one, which merely recommends something.  I wish, however, that someone, somewhere was working towards solving some of our enormous problems.  When the ship is going down, maybe a little less focus on naming the next employee of the month.



A Chance for Bug-eyed Redemption

When Dirtbunny was a kitten of 5 years old, she was traumatized by a horror movie she saw on TV.  That movie was “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” starring Don Knotts.   Ever since, she has been the object of ridicule in her family.  You were afraid of Mr. Chicken.  Hahaha.  My family is cruel (where do you think I learned it) and they were completely unimpressed by my extenuating circumstances, i.e., I was five and I was sick.  You were afraid of Mr. Chicken.  Hahahaha.  It always comes back to that.  After I grew up and got married, even my husband got in on it.  You were afraid of Mr. Chicken Har har har.  Oh how I have suffered.


Well, guess what?  “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is going to be on TV (on the east coast) on Thursday.  Ima record it, ima watch it, and ima put this behind me once and for all.  I will be redeemed.

Except this is my life, so it isn’t that simple.  I went to program the DVR and, oh dear.  Encore (or Starz of whatever it is) is not part of my subscription.  Used to be included in the package.  Not any more.


So I will not be watching “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.”  Was little Dirtbunny a sad little wimp for being afraid of Mr. Chicken?  Now we’ll never know.

What Has Your Congress Been Doing? H.R. 321, with a tangent on How Things Work in Government and Things in High School That Sucked

What Has Your Congress Been Doing?

The INSPIRE Women Act!  Apparently meant to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers.  A goal I wholeheartedly support, probably more than most of the people who voted for this thing, and certainly more than POTUS.  After all, a fuckable woman is wasted in STEM careers in those ugly lab coats and safety goggles.  A STEM girl, like a B-cup (or smaller) girl, can never be a 10, which is what girls should really aspire to be in Trump’s America.




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Calendario, Mercato, the Euros, Quinto Scudetto, Loooca, and whatever else happens to pop into my disorganized brain


The footy calendar was finally released this week and my life is beginning to have meaning again.  It’s not final, of course, because some of the matches will be on Saturdays, and some on Sundays, and the midweek matches get shuffled round too.  Plus, until UEFA conducts the draws for the European matches and nails down the match dates, the Italian teams involved in that can expect some additional shuffling.  Or it could snow, or more likely, flood.  But this provides the general contours of the season.

Some things jump out at me right away.  There will not be a match on my birthday, there might be a match during my brother’s wedding but it’s only Lazio so who cares, there’s an international break over the Columbus Day weekend so WHATEVER WILL I DO WITH MYSELF?, the last month of matches–Atalanta, Roma, and Bologna away, Crotone at home, and the derby at the J stadium–ought not to be too much of a challenge, aside from Roma.  I’d love to give props to the Toros, but you know what?  They ditched coach Ventura, who made them better than they actually are; they pissed off their good strikers by loaning in new strikers so the good Continue Reading →


I don’t have a lot to say about this.  I’m sure enough a leftie and I’m used to having opinions like mine ridiculed.  I don’t like Mr. Trump.  Never have.  I don’t like what he says.  I don’t like what happens at his events.  I don’t like his many many lies, which have been well-documented by other people and won’t be repeated here.


It is not enough to say that I don’t like what I imagine what the US would be like under a hypothetical President Trump.  I’m worried.  I’m frightened.

I don’t like to compare things to the Nazis.  I get excited sometimes and say stupid things, but I always regret it later.  And I certainly don’t claim to know very much about Weimar Germany and the rise of Hitler.  But if I remember correctly, it all started with talk about jobs and making Germany great again, with people willing to overlook the bad bigoted stuff because they liked the rah-rah rhetoric and the promise of prosperity.  Then, all of a sudden, the world was at war, dissenters of every flavor were rounded up and taken away, and the Holocaust was in full flower and people wondered how it all happened.

I hope I’m wrong, but I see the Trump phenomenon leading us in the same direction.  It has to stop before it gets truly out of control.

Make America great again.  Stop Trump.