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Michele Bachman has 28 kids (and only one L in her name)

I’ve been consumed with work and other matters but I suspect one of the major networks must have raised this issue…


Canadian Elections and Twitter

Bin Laden and our own economic woes are overshadowing this — but no is talking about the trouncing the conservative party dished out in the recent Canadian election.

My [Canadian] friend Taryn:

Do you want to know how crazy this is??  Toronto did not even re-elect its NHL legend Ken Dryden.  Toronto!!  The most hockey-crazy city ever!!!

At the same time Elections Canada is facing a dilemma that no one everyone could have predicted after social media users on Monday night disregarded an old law that bans the transmission of election results before all polls close.

From the Toronto Star:

The agency, tasked with upholding an archaic provision in the Canada Elections Act dating back to 1938, now faces the bizarre conundrum of knowing about widespread online dissemination of election results through Twitter and Facebook, but being powerless to do anything about it.

Unless someone complains, Elections Canada can’t open an investigation into any alleged transgressions. So far the agency refuses to confirm or deny that any complaints have been lodged.

When did Canada turn into the United States circa 2002?

Congratulations Randy; woe is @Septa.

Congraulations to my former classmate and SJU writing alum, Randy LoBasso on winning the best “Business or Consumer Story” in the 2011 Keystone Press Awards for Septa, the Token Jestersand to my former home, Philadelphia Weekly for cleaning up with 15 awards.

I have long suffered through explaining to anyone not from Philadelphia just how frustrating mass transit can be in that city.  There’s the regional rail that partially masquerades as a subway and an actual subway that is still using tokens.

Here is Randy’s award wining piece on Septa’s current state of affairs:

After years of foot-dragging and extending contract deadlines, SEPTA announced last week it would finally take a much-needed step toward the 21st century. The authority says it’s time to fund new payment technologies, including “Smart Cards”: SEPTA-issued, wallet-sized plastic that can be filled and refilled with cash, instead of buying tokens or a monthly/weekly pass. These new technologies, says SEPTA, would “modernize fare-collection methods” by employing digital-age gadgets not seen in Philly, well, ever.

“We’re hoping to jump two-to-three generations in technology,” says SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney. “Tokens go back to the 19th century. I believe SEPTA is the only major transit system in the U.S.—perhaps the world—that is still using tokens.”

There’s one problem.

SEPTA, which relies primarily on state funds for its operations, has a habit of saying one thing, doing another and making promises it can’t keep. A look at the authority’s never-ending delays in plan funding and contracts and how it spends what little money it has, gives us no indication that this shift into modernity is coming any time soon. And though the authority’s decisions are often clouded in secrecy, it’s probably a lot further away than SEPTA cares to admit.

Read the whole story here.

The near government shutdown as an episode of House

You know, seemingly deadly disease and description of disease, in this case debt that isn’t actually pushing up our borrowing costs. (Commercial/Tweet from Matt Yglesias). We think we know what to do but we will have to try lots of things that won’t work like defunding HeadStart and Americorps, to find the thing that does work. (Commercial/Tweet from Ezra Klein).  It’s a miracle!  We figured out we could fund government whether or not the DC office of planned parenthood talked about condoms!  (Role credits/Meet the Press).

And remember, it is never sarcoidosis.

Addendum: Actually, just scanned the list of symptoms of sarcoidosis and, not only do I have it but the federal budget has it!  Check it out, “extreme sensitivity to environmental factors”.  The EPA was defunded, coincidence, I think not!

Michelle Bachmann has 28 children? Cray-Cray. #justsaying

Hold Up-heyyyyyy! (this picture makes me want to say that in Nate Dogg voice)

She married Marcus Bachmann in 1978.[13] They have five children (Lucas, Harrison, Elisa, Caroline, and Sophia), and have also provided foster care for 23 other children.[14][15]

Now, does that mean Bachmann has had 23 foster children come and go through her household [admirable]. Or does that mean she has 23 foster children [crazy]?

If Ted Kennedy had 23 foster children Bachmann would have said he was trying to indoctrinate impressionable parentless children into the left wing liberal agenda.  Just saying…

Sanitation and Regulation: The Case For Food Trucks

I always forget that Chicago food trucks are banned from actually preparing food except when I am in Chicago or someone starts talking about the greatest basketball-playing Croatian (and former Chicago Bull), Toni Kukoč.  Last weekend I was in Chicago.

The Chicago food truck situation is hilarious and sad for two reasons.  First, Chicago is a progressive really great place to eat. Second, the damned economic free market school of thought is named after Chicago!

Like all most regulations, the idea is supposed to be to keep the customer safe and happy.

Which food is more likely going to be prepared properly?

1) food made fresh in front of your face .

2) food made somewhere (anywhere) else, where you have no idea what the conditions look like.

It is in a truck’s interest to be hygienic, the customers can see right inside! And, if they make you sick, you’re not going to go back there, the same as you would not go back to a restaurant that made you ill.  It is in a food truck’s interest not to kill you (or at least kill you quickly; they might do it over time with lots of butter-mmm)!

There has been no rash of food truck related deaths in all the cities that currently allow them. So, food trucks = safe.

The city says the rules are for health and sanitary reasons. So, why does the law also prohibit food trucks from parking within 200 feet of a restaurant?  As a wise man said, “Just step up your game. McDonald’s doesn’t ask Burger King if they can open up across the street.”

If people like a specific restaurant they will travel. The odds that they will become distracted by a food truck after traveling to their restaurant of choice is slim.  In fact, the customer might actually be turned off by a big food truck parked in front of their favorite restaurant.

What if the restaurant is overflowing with customers and the food truck starts poaching exasperated customers?  Well, that would be in the consumer’s interest.  It is also the market telling the restaurateur that  the kitchen’s efficiency needs improvement, another restaurant should be opened nearby, or, duh, a take out window should be added! And if the food is just that damn good then people will just wait.  See Hot Doug’s (full disclosure, I have no idea where Hot Doug’s stands on this, but, yes, I would wait for my next hot dog there).

Inefficiency and waiting make people unhappy.  Food trucks increase efficiency. So, food trucks = happy people.

A lot of brick and mortar restaurants are opposed to the regulation because of fear and inertia.  And they’re idiots. Is there a better way to get out and reach new customers than with your own mobile truck?

Food trucks will also help drive existing demand. The more vendors in an area, the more that area gets known and frequented. The will also trucks function as a safety net. A person is more likely to visit a distant restaurant if they know that if it is closed or too crowded they will have a variety of back up options.

To fix the current situation there are new proposed rules whereby trucks can cook food on board as long they are affiliated with a licensed commercial kitchen.  This is a bad idea.  What does operating a kitchen somewhere else have to do with a food truck?  Joe could run an immaculate kitchen on one side of the city and run a food truck on the other where his employees spit in the food.

And if restaurants were to, whore lease their kitchens out, isn’t that just going to further line the pockets of food chains like McDonald’s?  Proposal from the future: you can not lease fast food kitchens.

Wait, wasn’t this all for sanitary reasons? Why does the new proposal say that food trucks would still need to keep 200 feet away from a restaurant that “offers a similar service” and 100 feet away from all other food establishments?

MayorEmanuel would know how to fix this! Not so sure about Rahm Emanuel

Is everyone in the US drunk? GE doesn’t pay taxes?

I know this is not breaking news but I just do not understand why people are not losing their minds over this.

General Electric, the largest corporation in the United States, paid ZERO taxes last year.  In fact, they got a tax credit.


‘The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.’

My dad is an accountant, and as an accountant, he would probably tip his cap to the accounting squad at G.E. that regularly pulls this off.  They’re only working with the laws/loopholes given to them.  So, why are the loopholes such?

What am I missing here?  Why isn’t everyone losing their minds over this?

Addendum: It appears MoveOn.org must be following me these days as I just got this email talking about this very issue.  Go ahead, check out the time stamp.

In response to Justin in the comments: Charlie is probably drunk, yep.

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