Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Tuesday 7 July 2009

Andrew Sullivan has taken a moment out of his day to compile a list of 32 of Sarah Palin's most egregious lies:

A couple of months ago, I asked an intern to re-fact-check all of them to make sure new details hadn't emerged that might debunk some. And I also asked to get any subsequent statements by Palin that acknowledged that she had erred in any of these statements that are easily rebuttable by facts in the public record and apologized and corrected. She has not. Since this was a vast project over the last ten months, it's possible there are some nuances or errors that need fixing....

After you have read these, ask yourself: what wouldn't Sarah Palin lie about if she felt she had to?

Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.

Et cetera ad ridiculam.

Seriously, though: it's quite an accomplishment for only 10 months of national exposure.

Tuesday 7 July 2009 13:52:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#

ESPN moved the start of last night's Cubs game back to 6pm so they could sneak in a second game after it, which gave me the unusual twin opportunies to (a) see the Cubs beat Atlanta and (b) get home before 9:30.

Otherwise, not much to report about the team, except—oh, right, I almost forgot—the Tribune sold them yesterday:

Tribune Co. has finalized a deal to sell the Chicago Cubs to a bidding group led by bond salesman Thomas Ricketts.

Documents describing the fully financed deal were sent to Major League Baseball over the weekend, a source familiar with the negotiations said Monday. The value of the deal is between $850 million and $900 million, the source said.

The agreement reached over the weekend still needs approval from 75% of MLB team owners, as well as creditors and the Delaware judge overseeing Tribune’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

I hear Ricketts is a die-hard Cubs fan, who met his wife in the bleachers, according to NPR.

Tuesday 7 July 2009 10:58:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs#
Monday 6 July 2009

It's time for the semi-annual update of the Chicago sunrise chart. (You can get one for your own location at http://www.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)

(Chart after the jump.)

Monday 6 July 2009 11:19:17 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Astronomy#

Ribfest Chicago, with its 10 (mostly-)local vendors, its dog-friendliness, and its proximity, is one of my favorite Chicago street festivals of the year.

Then there's Naperville's Ribfest, which, in the tradition of suburbs everywhere, dwarfs Chicago's festival in every way except accessibility. Chicago's takes over a city block; Naperville's, a huge park. Chicago has booths and people crammed in at maximum density; Naperville has a huge park. Chicago has 10 rib vendors, 8 of which are local restaurants; Naperville has 17, most of them just festival vendors (they travel the U.S. going to outdoor events everywhere).

(More after the jump.)

Monday 6 July 2009 10:49:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink#
Saturday 4 July 2009

Happy 233rd birthday, country:

Saturday 4 July 2009 09:28:33 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Friday 3 July 2009

Sarah Palin announced on the second-biggest "take out the trash day" of the year that she's resigning her office on the 25th. No one seems to know why:

Palin announced that she will transfer power to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. Parnell will be sworn in during the upcoming governor's picnic in Fairbanks on July 25. An emotionally choked-up Parnell said he plans to keep all state commissioners and continue to pursue a natural gas pipeline.

Palin did not field questions and would not give any indications as to her future plans.

A burst of Patriotic Spirit on this holiday weekend? Or just another delusional escapade? Does she even know? Seriously—given her history of behavior lying somewhere between narcissistic personality disorder and worse, does anyone this side of the loony right fringe think she's not insane at this point?

Take a look:

Friday 3 July 2009 16:01:38 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#

I sometimes shop at the Book Depository, a British online bookseller, because I'm a nerd. (Also because they have British editions and free shipping to the U.S.)

Today, I discovered their cool Google Maps mash-up, showing who is buying what on their site.

Did I mention I'm a nerd?

Friday 3 July 2009 10:27:31 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cool links#

The FDIC closed seven banks yesterday, the highest number in one week since 1998. But back then, during the S&L crisis, things were much worse, believe it or not:

So far there have been 52 FDIC bank failures in 2009.

It appears the pace has picked up lately (12 bank closings over the last two weeks).

There were 28 weeks during the S&L crisis when regulators closed 10 or more banks, and the peak was April 20, 1998 with 60 bank closures (there were 7 separate weeks with more than 30 closures in the late '80s and early '90s).

(Emphasis in original.)

Still, if you have money on depsoit in the John Warner Bank, Clinton, Ill.; First State Bank of Winchester, Ill.; Rock River Bank, Oregon, Ill.; Millennium State Bank of Texas, Dallas; Elizabeth State Bank, Ill.; First National Bank of Danville, Ill.; or Founders Bank, Worth, Ill.; you may want to swing on by Monday and meet the new owners.

By the way, this doesn't mean that Illinois is a particularly bad place for banks. It's far more likely that the cluster of bank failures downstate has more to do with the logistics of getting FDIC personnel to so many at once. NPR has a good explanation of how it works.

And anyway, my deposits are at Citi, so I'm not at all worried about my bank's soundness.

Not one tiny bit.

Nope.

Perfectly safe bank, Citi.

Friday 3 July 2009 10:16:21 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Thursday 2 July 2009

you're resigning:

(Via Talking Points Memo.)

Thursday 2 July 2009 14:48:57 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Wednesday 1 July 2009

Just kidding, though it seems like this could be from Stonewall. No, this is from last week—on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall raid, no less—and does not reflect favorably on the good people of Central Texas:

The short version is this: About 1 a.m. Sunday, two Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents and six [Fort Worth] cops showed up at the [Rainbow Lounge, a gay] club for an inspection.

More after the jump.

Wednesday 1 July 2009 15:25:03 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#

I can't imagine United doing this:

Or this.

Air New Zealand.

Wednesday 1 July 2009 09:23:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Cool links#
Tuesday 30 June 2009

NPR is reporting that Norm Coleman has conceded, ending one of the longest U.S. Senate contests in history.

Tuesday 30 June 2009 15:56:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled (just like every other court before it) that Al Franken won election to the U.S. Senate back in November:

"Affirmed," wrote the Supreme Court, unanimously rejecting Republican Norm Coleman's claims that inconsistent practices by local elections officials and wrong decisions by a lower court had denied him victory.

"Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled [under Minnesota law] to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota," the court wrote.

But the court did not grant Franken's bid to make its ruling effective immediately, possibly leaving a window for an appeal by Coleman before Gov. Tim Pawlenty is required to issue an election certificate.

Yeah, so, it's not over yet. As Eric Kleefeld points out:

Will Coleman concede, or will he take another path -- as national GOP leaders like Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) have urged -- and take this to federal courts, where he might try to get an injunction against Franken receiving a certificate of election? And if Franken does get his certificate, will the Senate GOP attempt to filibuster its acceptance?

Regardless, Coleman has exhausted his appeals under Minnesota law, so I think it's fair to call Franken "Senator-Elect" at this point.

Tuesday 30 June 2009 14:01:50 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Monday 29 June 2009

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman on climate-change deniers:

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

Temperature increases on the scale predicted by the M.I.T. researchers and others would create huge disruptions in our lives and our economy. As a recent authoritative U.S. government report points out, by the end of this century New Hampshire may well have the climate of North Carolina today, Illinois may have the climate of East Texas, and across the country extreme, deadly heat waves — the kind that traditionally occur only once in a generation — may become annual or biannual events.

In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?

The science may be uncertain about how much climate change we're causing, but when you're driving a car into a brick wall, an extra meter or two per second hardly matters.

Monday 29 June 2009 10:47:48 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | Weather#
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Chicago sunrises and sunsets, 2009-2010
The other Ribfest
When, in the course of human events...
Palin resigns; Lower 48 wait for other shoe to drop
Cool mash-up
Worst day for small banks in 11 years
Because love means never having to say...
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Air New Zealand: Nothing to hide
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David Braverman is the Chief Technology Officer of Holden International in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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