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September 17, 2021

Oyster Roundup!

~Thick and fast they came at last, and more and more and more!

Thanks, Don

Think of it like a unicorn sighting, or a total solar eclipse, or a rainbow in a hail storm during a full moon on the solstice. It’s one of those moments where a hush falls over Alaska, and citizens catch their breath in wonder.

I agree with Don Young. And he voted the right way.

He was one of the 26 Republicans who voted against the extension of certain provisions of the Patriot Act like allowing the government to engage in roving wiretaps, checking out what you read in the library and the disturbing  FBI court-approved access to “any tangible thing” relevant to a terrorism investigation.

The House on Tuesday failed to extend the life of three surveillance tools that are key to the nation’s post-Sept. 11 anti-terror law, a slip-up for the new Republican leadership that miscalculated the level of opposition.

The House voted 277-148 to keep the three provisions of the USA Patriot Act on the books until Dec. 8. But Republicans brought up the bill under a special expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority, and the vote was seven short of reaching that level.
Thanks, Don.

Shortest Sex Scandal Ever

In the shortest sex scandal in recent memory, New York Republican Congressman Christopher Lee has stepped down. The married politician apparently became magically transformed into a “divorced lobbyist” on Craigslist. He also shared topless photos of himself flexing into the mirror.

Certainly not the most lascivious sex scandal in recent memory, but odd nevertheless. Because his diabolical scheming to hook up with random women on Craigslist hinged on the fact that none of them would actually recognize that he was a sitting congressman and that they were his constituent.  I suppose it’s not unreasonable to rely on the ignorance of the masses and their disengagement from the political process, but it brought to mind a scenario.

I can hold my head high when I say that if Don Young were to pose topless on Craigslist and call himself a “divorced lobbyist” he’d get away with it for about five seconds. OK, yes. He’s been our only congressman for 40 years now, but it’s something.  And as soon as I started feeling a little good about that, an actual mental image of Don Young topless flashed in my mind. I might forgive  soon-to-be-ex-Congressman Lee for his indiscretion, but I will never forgive him for that.

But his salvation could be facilitated by the wonders of modern telecommunication devices…

Forgive me iPhone, for I have sinned…

Yes, the humble iPhone now has a speed dial to a higher power.

“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” has the blessing of the church in America, thought to be a first among religious applications. Those purchasing the $1.99 app from Little iApps of South Bend, Ind., have access to a program that not only invites users to examine their lives and actions, it keeps track of their sins.

Your latest mobile device can now act as a do it yourself confessional, complete with a shopping-list-style of sins you can keep track of.

“Confession” and “Mea Culpa” work this way: users create a profile that includes name, gender, occupation, etc. After logging into “Confession,” for example, the user has the choice of “Examination,” “Confession” and “Prayers.”

“Examination” brings up lists of sins under two categories: “Responsibilities to God” and “Responsibilities to Others.” A tap to the screen might bring up a list, including “Have I not asked the Holy Spirit to help me do what is right?”

If the user feels they are lacking in any area, the program can save these choices for future contemplation.

Walrus: Take a number

Alaska, on the front lines of climate change, has another animal endangered by the melting of sea ice in the Arctic.  The walrus, they say, is deserving of protection, but won’t get it. The walrus will have to wait in line.

The Pacific walrus, hampered by vanishing sea ice in Arctic waters, deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act but must wait in line behind more imperiled animals, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman said on Tuesday.

The decision dashed environmentalists’ hopes that the lumbering, long-tusked marine mammal would soon join the polar bear as a federally protected icon of global warming.

But it also drew criticism from Alaska’s Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski, who sided with the oil industry and other commercial interests in opposing new safeguards for either animal.

I mean, yeah. We love our wildlife and everything, but we DO have our priorities. Walruses aren’t getting anyone reelected. Neither are polar bears (listed as threatened in 2008), or the two species of seals that are ahead of the walrus in line for protection. Oil companies? That’s a different story.

Murkowski issued a statement on Tuesday criticizing the walrus decision as opening the door to premature protection of a species without adequate science to back up the judgment.

But environmental groups were expected to challenge the Interior Department agency decision as not going far enough.

O’Reilly’s Top 8 Science Fails

And speaking of conveniently ignoring science for nefarious and self-serving political purposes, click the link for an amusing compilation of Bill O’Reilly’s Top 8 Science Fails. OK, I admit to having a very small soft spot for Bill O’Reilly as one of the very few Fox News conservatives who has publicly embarrassed Sarah Palin by asking her… a question, and then following it up with… another question. But his appeal does not extend beyond that limited capacity.

Everyone’s favorite insane Fox news pundit, Bill O’Reilly, is waging a war against science and, unfortunately for him, losing horribly. It’s pretty embarrassing for all parties involved. From disputing irrefutable facts such as why the tides go in and out, to even going as far as calling teaching science in schools “fascism,” here are the 8 craziest Bill O’Reilly quotes that show that he really hates (by which we mean doesn’t understand) science.

Here is an amusing video of O’Reilly talking with the “President of American Atheists” about how the mysterious tides cannot be explained by science.



67 Responses to “Oyster Roundup!”
  1. Dagian says:

    “On another domestic matter, close observers outside the the Food and Drug Administration expect the agency to receive a $100 million request to enact the new food safety legislation. That amount is far lower than the $300 million that budget analysts originally estimated was needed to pay for new inspectors and other programs authorized by the law.

    The budget could also bring disappointment for some of the government’s medical researchers, according to sources who were not authorized to speak on the record. The National Institutes of Health has seen very modest budget increases in recent years. But if the budget continues to be essentially flat-lined–or is rolled back to 2008 spending levels, as some House members want–then recent increases, undertaken to reflect the importance of biomedical research as a public good and potential contributor to the economy, will be further undone.”


    There are more PEOPLE than EVER who depend upon fewer people to ensure the safety of their food, water, air.

    And let’s not forget that any research that is done directly by the NIH, or by people using a grant given by NIH, is IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN and therefore belongs to us ALL. They can’t patent (and profit) by any huge breakthroughs if We, the People, paid for it!

    Fvcktards! They’re all such absolute fvcktards!

  2. overthemoon says:

    Whoo Boy. This story just won’t go away. Wonder how that woman will respond.

    • Carol says:

      Up until now, I’ve felt that this story should just go away, it should be a nonstory. However, the author makes valid points as to why is should not go away. A friend of mine was against Sarah Palin (said she was a bad mother) from the time of Trig’s birth for exactly the same reasons; what woman in labor with a preemie and knowing it was an at risk fetus would fly back to Alaska, bypass a NICU hospital to get to the Palmer hospital? My friend thinks that Palins wanted the fetus/Trigg to die. Maybe the explanation that Trigg was born in Palmer and therefore Sarah must be there and put on the show (but I just can’t see medical professionals going along with it – more later on this), anyway this explanation is getting more and more viable in my mind.
      I can’t see medical professionals going along with this farce because insurance fraud if it’s discovered they billed for services not rendered or rendered to someone other than the claimed patient. Maybe they didn’t bill, maybe the Palins just paid.

  3. karen marie says:

    Hey! Where’s the video?

    I’m not sure I really need to see it — that picture is very funny and much easier on the nerves, but you promised video.

  4. Marnie says:

    What makes Billo’s tides ignorance even sillier is the presumption that just because a non geologist or oceanographer, or scientist can’t explain something geologic or oceanographic or scientific, that the answer must be God did it not, that is something I am just too uninformed about to understand.

    Of course Billo’s ego may explain that problem

    • For Orally the answer is a simple poem(this from another Western paperback written by Jonas Ward) “Mary Fitzsimmons from Boston,Mass., went wading in water up to her ankles.” Well that doesn’t rhyme and then you say” wait ’til the tide comes in”

  5. ks sunflower says:

    Eeew – that’s a depressing thought. Out in the beautiful sunshine and nature all around – to pollute one’s mind, eeew, That said, I think I know what you mean that the publisher is gearing for that kind of sale. Most people don’t take serious books to the beach — but this proposed book would probably be more appropriate for use in the Johnny-on-spots when the toilet paper is out. Just my opinion, mind you. 🙂

  6. ks sunflower says:

    Well, although most of us are probably glued to the news channels watching what’s happening in Egypt, here’s a tidbit that, although not an officially endorsed “oyster,” is interesting enough to qualify as a barnacle attached to an oyster. 🙂

    Apparently, we have not seen the last of the rumor about Bristol writing her memoir. Seems that one source (oh, say, Harper Collins – from which William Morrow Co. is an imprint – er, affiliate) had a schedule online today that the book is going to published earlier rather than later. We can only speculate that was the reason for its removal from earlier this week.

    From an article on HuffPo:

    “NEW YORK — The rumored Bristol Palin memoir has popped up again on the Internet.

    “An online spreadsheet for publisher HarperCollins viewed by The Associated Press on Thursday lists an “Untitled Bristol Palin Memoir” and shows that a planned release date of Aug. 16 has been moved up to June 21.

    “The book, included among “Adult S11 (Summer 2011) Changes,” would be published by HarperCollins imprint William Morrow.

    “A similar listing was spotted earlier this week on but has since been pulled. Spokesman Seale Ballenger of Morrow has declined comment.”

    • Julie Brown says:

      Beach reading?

      • BeeJay says:

        Indeed, it will be an instant sleep inducer for the beach. By summer’s end there will be enough unsold stock they’ll have to pulp it for use as toilet paper.

    • Honestly, what does she have to write about? She hasn’t done anything interesting with her young life, except to survive bad parenting. Well, sort of. So is she going to write about how she sneaked around and got pregnant, and teen parties, and not finishing high school with her class? Wow, that’s exciting stuff and such a good role model for little girls and impressionably young teens. I can’t imagine any adults who would want to read it.

      We all survived being teeanagers, one way or another. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t want to go back and revisit those years, and certainly not through the eyes of someone who wasted a lot of good opportunities. If she had used her time to do something for the environment or for the people who needed help with food and shelter, the book might be worthwhile. Given that she was the governor’s daughter, she could have had a platform for some civic action.

      What a waste – of a life and of the paper for a book about her. I doubt that she is any more capable of actually writing the book herself than her mother is.

  7. ks sunflower says:

    Here’s a look at that iPhone app for Catholic confession and guidance.

  8. Moose Pucky says:

    Oysters are so delicious. As least the kind served up here.

  9. Millie says:

    I found it interesting how quickly Lee resigned his office yesterday. Makes me question why the same thing wasn’t done by the Congressman from NV? He was caught cheating, securing employment for the woman’s husband, proof of money being paid (copies of checks were published), the Congressman (cannot remember his name for the life of me!) referred clients to the husband, etc. He is still participating and has voting power. Makes me absolutely sick to my stomach!. What happened to the investigation of him by the Ethics Committee? Another coverup?

  10. A Fan From Chicago says:

    Excellent choices for the Roundup. As that General who came in to take control of New Orleans after the fiasco said “Some people are stuck on stupid!” Don’t think we’ve heard the last of Mr. Lee’s story. By a long shot

    I’m a little concerned that the “I Sinned” ap is from South Bend because that’s where Notre Dame is, but Iike the direct nature of it. I have seven brothers and sisters and when confession was on the agenda as a kid I pretty much defaulted to “I had a fight with my brother/sister.” It was worth a couple of Our Fathers or Hail Mary’s but it was the easiest way out of the box.

    Not part of the Roundup, but it seems like the World of Sarah Palin has been in a serious, steady decline for a couple of weeks. Time for all hands on deck.

  11. Off topic- I read that it cost at least 109,000 dollars for jet fuel for the four jets to fly once over the Super Bowl on Sunday. They had to fly to Texas from Virginia for some reason. One reporter estimated the actual cost was over 400,000 dollars. The stadium roof was closed and I don’t really think we need to waste that much money for a game. Maybe its just me.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Great point, mike. Adding up the costs of empty gestures such as that can make a huge difference. We really do have to get our priorities straight.

      Think about how many police officers, firefighters, paramedics, teachers could have kept their jobs for that much money. Think about how many homeless families could have been provided with food and shelter for that much money. Think about how many children could have received medical and dental care for that much money. The possibilities are numerous. Our imaginations and priorities are what need to be jump-started.

      I am so tired of the House GOP cutting social programs, but not seeing any need to dispense with silly things such as this. Not that they could have stopped this, but you know what I mean. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of things such as this that could be rethought and the money budgeted for them directed elsewhere. We need to suspend as many ceremonial or frivolous spectacle as we can until our people have jobs and affordable access to health care.

      If we don’t re-prioritize more thoughtfully, we embarrass ourselves – valuing style over substance.

    • biglake says:

      I wish Bernie Sanders had a bigger megaphone.
      Here’s what he has to say about priorities:

      “We should also be aware that since 1997, we have almost tripled funding for the military. So if we are serious about reducing the deficit, those are things we need to look at—not at Social Security, not programs everyday Americans need.”

      The link to the rest of this at commondreams or In These Times -

      • leenie17 says:

        What I find so frustrating is that the big cheeses at the Pentagon have been yelling about waste for years, pleading for the country to stop producing obsolete weapons and planes that they can no longer use. But those obsolete weapons and planes are made in districts that powerful legislators represent so they keep getting made.

        Can’t they figure out something else to make in those factories that we might actually be able to use? Maybe like solar panels or wind turbines?

        • Yes – this is a big problem. Even the Pentagon wants to cut their funding if I understood some of the news stories correctly a few weeks back.

        • Dagian says:

          Rant follows!

          WTH is WRONG with the crap ships the Navy has? They founder in high seas! They are not efficient!

          Review the amazing capacities of the Missouri class battleships (littoral warfare, check! Get through the Panama Canal, check! Refueled OTHER ships, check! Capable in high seas and bad weather, check!), go find the specs for the Wyoming class, tweak them, BUILD them and get rid of the crappy ships!

          *puts away soap box–for now*

          • Zyxomma says:

            Don’t put away that soapbox, Dagian!! Until we bring troops home from all over the WORLD (we still have military installations everywhere we’ve ever fought a war), and stop building obsolete weapons, transport, and matierel for the military, we’ll NEVER get a handle on a decent budget. Alan Grayson started a website (I think it was the war is making you poor) to that effect. We have to stay on that soapbox, collectively, and not just leave it to Bernie Sanders to speak truth to power.

    • fishingmamma says:


      Once again, I think you are right on target.

      I think about that every year when we have the “air show” at Elmendorf. Those planes fly back and forth, rattling windows and roaring around till my nerves are frayed, and all I can think about is how much that must cost. But mentioning that thought out loud is likely to get me tarred and feathered. I think the men and women in the military have a serious job to do, and entertainment is not part of that job.

      • beth says:

        …recruiting. And ‘name’ recognition. Both are, seriously, serious… (Been there, done that.) beth.

        • benlomond2 says:

          flight time for all pilots is considered training, regardless if it flying in circles doing touch and go’s,low level passes over stadiums or performing acrobatics at airshows… they all have an ultimate purpose of honing a pilot’s skill with the aircraft for when they are in harm’s way. They have a relatively short time to become very very good at what they do, in comparision to our learning driving skills with an automobile – reflexes and that personality edge to push the aircraft to it’s limits in order to defeat their opponent are subject to time… there are no OLD pilots in a fighter…

          • fishingmamma says:

            I know about the ‘touch and go’s’ and that is not the problem. Training missions have my full support. No issue there at all.

            Paying millions for pilots to travel around the country and headline at air shows, to do flyovers at football games, to entertain us — that is my beef. The Blue angels are not training for combat. The Blue angels are strictly entertainment.

            If this country cannot afford to fund education, health care, or infrastrucure repair, why do we pay so much money for military entertainment?

            What are our real priorities?

    • slipstream says:

      Yeah, what is the point of doing a flyover when the stadium has a roof?

      • benlomond2 says:

        chortle … to entertain the people who paid $200 to watch the Super Bowl in the parking lot, of course !!!
        The majority of the manuevors (sp!) performed are all used in combat -the Blue Angels are very good at them,,and have the skill to to perform them at very low levels . The next time you watch “Top Gun”, consider how many of those manuveors you’ve seen at an airshow.
        The entertainment value IS for recruitment, name recognition for the Navy, and as a morale booster for both the public and for those who are selected to be part of the Blue Angel team. Pride in the unit, pride in demostrating those skills and abilities to those at home are all important factors to those in the military. It’s an honor to be chosen by your branch of the service to demonstrate to the public what you are capable of doing…. and you can be sure that in wartime, every single one of those pilots would rather be flying missions defending our country rather than being on an acrobatic team.
        GAWD – I sound like some sort of rabid conservative defending the military budget! I’d rather see our DOD and politicians reduce the # of military bases overseas – a much larger reduction of $$ – than short the overall training aspects that provide such a high degree of skill.
        As a Navy Brat, and one who served – I’ve seen both the good and the bad at times of the service, ( too many airshows to get excited about them!) but there IS a sense of pride in watching your service branch demonstration team perform ( Sorry Thunderbirds – when you guys can do carrier landings, you just might get to be a close second to the BA’s).

        • I had a perfectly brilliant plan for local Iowa schools to save a bundle of money on required Driver’s Training classes every year. Not only does it save money,but it uses a right wing idea so conservatives are sure to jump on board. I proposed what I call “Abstinence Only Driver’s Training”. Its completely brilliant and works as well as the other abstinence only thingy Rethugs like so well. Just tell the kids not to drive and that is it. No insurance bills,no gas costs,no liability for the schools and you don’t have costs incurred because teachers are free to do golf or whatever they do in the off-Season.( Don’t get mad,I know there is no off-season for teachers). You want to sell a program you have to be willing to fight for it. So far the board of Education appears to be totally underwhelmed with my idea.

  12. physicsmom says:

    Let’s talk about walruses and polar bears. I’d like some feedback on a crazy idea I had a while ago. As I understand it, the sea animals need floating ice to rest on in between bouts of fishing; as the ice dwindles, they have to swim longer and can die from exhaustion. Wouldn’t it be possible for very clever scientists to invent a kind of artificial ice or some other floating platform that could be deployed in the arctic to provide resting places for these kinds of animals? Not that we shouldn’t keep fighting against global climate change, but could we save some species in the meantime? I don’t think such a device would have to be very expensive, it would have to be weighted to keep it from floating away too far, but is it totally crazy?

    • Doodlebug says:

      Don’t oil drilling companies build floating “islands” to support some drill rigs? Seems I heard something about that.

    • Walrus need fairly shallow water to find clams in so the artificial ice would have to be strategically located in shallow water.Polar bears can catch and eat walrus so that would solve one problem.

    • bubbles says:

      i had the same exact idea. only i dreamed about it. great minds are at work here. it can and should be done.

    • ks sunflower says:

      This is an idea worth exploring. This is what gives me hope that creative people can conceive and develop alternatives to all sorts of problems!

      physicsmom, have you sent your idea to the organizations that are fighting to save the walrus and polar bears? Gosh, I wish we could get this idea in front of as many people as possible.

    • Moose Pucky says:

      It gets a little more complicated. They have to catch seals and stuff too–which also need the ice.

      • slipstream says:

        Yeah, and one of the hunting methods used by polar bears is to lurk next to a seal’s breathing hole. This works if the ocean is covered by ice for miles around and the seal has to come to one of the few breathing holes. It wouldn’t work with a small “ice” raft in a large section of ocean.

        But keep thinking of new ideas. The polar bears need help.

  13. Paula says:

    Diapers, bonets and pacifiers, maybe?
    Or whips, chains and a ball gag.
    Any combo would be fun.

  14. ks sunflower says:

    I may confused here, but from what I understand that vote against those three provision of the Patriot Act may not stick, that for some it was a gesture. All that has to be done, or so I heard, is approach in a different procedural manner and then it will go through.

    If anyone can enlighten me on this (I am way too tired right now to research it on my own, sorry), I would appreciate it.

    I hope what I heard is incorrect because I would love for that rejection to stand.

    Still, it was nice to see how bumbling Speaker Boehner. In contrast, when Pelosi was Speaker, she rarely brought anything to the floor for a vote unless she knew she had the votes to get it passed.

    • Sarafina says:

      The Patriot provisions will be back. The Rs tried to pass it under a procedure that requires a two-thirds majority, which backfired, so they will re-introduce it so it will only require a simple majority. One reason they tried the 2/3 thing is that process does not allow amendments. The simple 51 vote process does allow discussion and amendments, which the Dems may take advantage of.

  15. tallimat says:

    I’m still pissed off at Yon Dung for voting against Mothers Day back in 07.
    The creep.

  16. leenie17 says:

    I’m one of those lucky Chris Lee constituents (woo hoo!), and this scandal bothers me for a whole plethora of reasons.

    First off, I have a real problem with someone representing me who’s as unethical as Lee appears to be. Once again, the party of family values shows that they’re only interested in determining the values for other people’s families, but their own nasty little pecadillos are not up for scrutiny. He has a history of supporting legislation that decides what is appropriate in your private bedroom…or uterus. (Not to mention that I disagree with him on just about every issue there is)

    Secondly, I don’t want anyone representing me in the US Congress who’s stupid enough to use his real name, an email account that can easily be traced back to him, and a fake occupation that’s millimeters away from his real job (which incidentally comes with his very own website and a whole bunch of media exposure…and ya didn’t think anyone would recognize you??)!).

    Considering the speed at which he resigned over something that’s a joke compared to what some other Repubs have done, and still remained in office, I suspect that there’s a whole lot more to this story than what we’ve heard so far. I read last night that this is not the first time he’s been caught raiding the adultery cookie jar and, despite his spokesperson’s claim that his account was hacked, the wording of his official statement does not sound like someone who’s had a crime committed against them. It definitely sounds like someone with a REALLY guilty conscience. I think we’ve only seen the tip of this particular scandalous iceberg, and he resigned to give people less incentive to dig further.

    I would love to think that this would open up the opportunity for Dems to win that seat, but it will never happen in this red part of the state.

    • vyccan says:

      ‘he resigned to give people less incentive to dig further’

      And THAT, Leenie, was MY first reaction! Of course I’ve been arguing with myself that I shouldn’t be so cynical, but I’m not convincing myself. The speed of his response is so different from anything we’ve seen from the Republicans,just for that picture that was shown and a few lies – lies that are almost acceptable within the history of his party? Time will tell, I guess.

    • slipstream says:

      But . . . I thought he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail!

    • Zyxomma says:

      Is he Catholic? Perhaps he can download the iPhone app …

  17. Baker's Dozen says:

    I love the iphone app!

    Now, I have to confess, that Mr. Dozen and I have a running joke along the lines of “Of course I prayed for peace in the Middle East several times today. I ht F7 on the computer at least 5 times.” We also have included the dog in this (we don’t actually have a dog) saying we left the computer for him, covered with gravy so he’d lick it and hit the prayer button. Hey. Saves time.

    But this app way way more sophisticated that programming F7 to do my praying for me! I’m gonna have to look into it! 🙂

  18. London Bridges says:

    There has to be more to this Christopher Lee story that what has been revealed to date.

    • John says:

      He got caught doing something stupid. Rather than insult our intelligence by trying to say he wasn’t looking for sex, and he did embarase his wife further by making her stand next to him in a news conference while asking for forgiveness. Given that he was cheating on his wife, it is hard to say anything positive, but I’m glad that he at least learned something from those who have fallen before him.

      • Jen in SF says:

        It’s sad that I find myself over admiring C. Lee for owning up to his behavior, simply because of his peers.

        As for the repentance app, is anyone else thinking of the confession scene in “THX1138”?

      • Dagian says:

        I’d be so much more impressed (less cynical) if he stood up under the klieg lights and said what he had to say ALL BY HIMSELF.

        I don’t see how it benefits his WIFE to be dragged out to look stunned by his side.

        Scene we will never see? A powerful political/financial figure and wife, caught in a major sexual peccadillo, admitting to “mistakes” and “hurting my family” while her husband stands there looking horrified.

        I’m betting he would have the dignity and self-respect to let her twist in the wind. I have sympathy for the wives who go through with it, but I do not understand WHY they do it. Why would you want to parade your misery and heart-sick feeling just to bolster his ego and/or job?

        Just call me heartless. I think it diminishes both of them (but mostly the philanderer, the person who is cheated upon only gets diminished like…1%. Hmm, unless the adulterer shows up with a black eye and a fat lip!).

    • Laurie says:

      I thought the same thing when I first heard the story. I wondered what else he might have been doing on Craigs List.

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