Monthly Archives: May 2011

House torpedoes unconditional hike to $14.3 trillion debt ceiling

Good news indeed: The House tonight overwhelmingly voted down an unconditional hike to $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

The vote was 318-97, with 82 Democrats joining every Republican in rejecting legislation that would have authorized $2.4 trillion in additional borrowing by the federal government. Seven Democrats voted present on the legislation.

Now comes the business of tying the increase in the debt ceiling to some real spending reduction.

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A Southern California high school has banned frog dissections in biology classrooms, using software instead

A Southern California high school has banned frog dissections in biology classrooms, switching to software instead.

Next, virtual surgeries on humans: you just make believe the doctor operates on you. It is certainly more humane than forcing someone to actually use a scalpel on a real body!

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Vote on “clean” debt ceiling increase set for tonight

The next budget battle begins: A vote on a “clean” debt ceiling increase has been set for tonight by the House Republican leadership.

More than 100 House Democrats recently signed a letter demanding that Speaker John Boehner bring forward a vote for an increase in federal debt levels without any conditions for cuts or future spending curbs. Imagine their surprise when Boehner agreed and will serve up a bill that would provide enough borrowing to cover all of president Obama’s spending requests for next year without any preconditions.

It is expected that the legislation will be defeated soundly in a very bipartisan vote. To quote the article again:

The political reality is that increasing the nation’s swollen $14.3 trillion debt is a political loser. Voters hate it and lawmakers don’t even get anything new to give away since the money is going to cover existing obligations.

If the bill is defeated as predicted, it will be very good news, as that defeat will bolster the efforts of those who want big cuts in spending to go with any debt ceiling increase.

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New York Metropolitan Opera stars, fearing radiation, skip Japan tour

Cowards: Two New York Metropolitan Opera stars, fearing radiation, have backed out of a Japanese tour in the cities of Tokyo and Nagoya. This, despite the documented lack of radiation:

Tokyo briefly registered nominally higher radiation levels in its air and water, but they have subsided to pre-tsunami levels. There was never any scientific concern of a radiation impact on Nagoya, which is much farther away.

Meanwhile, the efforts to stabilize the reactors in Fukushima are proceeding.

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USDA ‘Rabbit Police’ Stalking Magicians

More government stupidity: The USDA is now going after magicians for using rabbits in their shows.

Finally, it was time for the inspection at the Hahne’s home. Marty [the magician] decided to ask some questions.

“My friend has a snake,” he said. The [USDA] inspector quickly told him they don’t regulate snakes.

“No,” Marty said, “I mean he feeds his snake rabbits. He breaks their necks and drops them in the cage for the snake’s food. Does he have to have a permit for that?” Again, she told him there’s no regulation for that.

“So I could break my rabbit’s neck and feed him to my friend’s snake and I wouldn’t need a license?” Marty asked.

“Correct,” she said, “But you need a license to use him in your magic show.”

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Robot exploration in the Great Pyramid at Giza

Robot exploration in the Great Pyramid at Giza.

The robot explorer that took the images is named Djedi, after the magician whom Pharaoh Khufu consulted when planning the layout of the Great Pyramid. It was designed and built by engineers at the University of Leeds, in collaboration with Scoutek UK and Dassault Systemes, France.

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