Calendar page date circled.

It’s Friday!

My train of thought derailed. There were no survivors.

This is the story of my week, when all of the news seemed to run the gamut from bad to awful to horrendous. Blown up Malaysia airplanes, bombed Gaza hospitals, botched Arizona executions, and then yesterday a 166-page secret government rulebook for labeling you a terrorist (proof not necessary).

The ‘March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,’ a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire ‘categories’ of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists.

I was feeling overloaded, and decided maybe you all are too. Here are a few interesting conversation starters, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and join in.

Thanks to Bill Moyers for pointing us to this nifty thing:

A self-taught 16-year-old coder from Seattle, Washington, has created a web browser plug-in that won’t let you forget the pervasive and corrupting influence of money in politics.

Called ‘Greenhouse,’ the plug-in picks out the names of any members of Congress on a given web page. Users can then mouse-over those members of Congress to see their top donors, and what percentage of their funding came from small-dollar donations.

Get it HERE.

Chattanooga, TN is about to stick it to Comcast and AT&T. Cue the howling!

Like a publicly traded corporation, the utility [EPB] issued bonds to raise resources to invest in the new broadband project. Similarly, just as many private corporations ended up receiving federal stimulus dollars, so did EPB, which put those monies into its new network.

The result is a system that now provides the nation’s fastest broadband speeds at prices often cheaper than the private competition. As the Chattanooga Times Free Press noted a few years back, ‘EPB offers faster Internet speeds for the money, and shows equal pep in both uploading and downloading content, with Comcast and AT&T trailing on quickness.’

This one is sorta funny. Another government website that doesn’t work.
Error: You Have No Payments from Pharma

Doctors checking a soon-to-be-unveiled federal website that will publicly list drug company payments are encountering error messages if they have not accepted industry money.

The error message: “There are no results that match the specified search criteria.”

OK, that’s all I’ve got. Come share kitteh stories and weather reports and family news. Maybe Starbuck will come by with more wonderful pictures and nonquixote will give us a crop (or Scott Walker) report. Ruth should be back with more from her travels. There might be a Christie sighting. Maybe some lurkers will delurk and put in their two cents. Let’s make it a cheery Friday despite the gloomy headlines! They’ll still be there tomorrow.

UPDATE: Aaaaand we DO have a Christie sighting!
Rob Astorino: Chris Christie should consider stepping down as RGA chairman if he can’t support me

Christie said the RGA doesn’t ‘pay for landslides and we don’t invest in lost causes…’

Is it too early in the morning for popcorn?