Administration Quote of the Day

“History will not judge this kindly.” John Ashcroft

It doesn’t get any worse than this.

the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved… “enhanced interrogation techniques” (that) were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

ABCNews, via Atrios. Who were they? Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Tenet and Ashcroft.

Awesome?

(O)ur inexorable path toward robot domination becomes ever more clear. LG has announced a series of smart appliances that will be “controlled” by your Smart Phone and can do things like… even suggest recipes based on what is in the fridge.

Now that is awesome! What’s for dinner? Let’s ask the fridge. I love you LG.

Big Cactus News in Berkeley

Evelyn Ave.

Opuntia ficus-indica. A giant and edible prickly pear. Scrape the spines off the pads and saute and you have a delicious fried green vegetable. On the other hand, the fruit are sweet and tasty and make for a great desert topping or a jam.

But the big news today is in the financial sector where Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy while holding

$613 billion of debt

That is an amazing amount of debt. Outstanding. Holy crap.

Anyway, here’s another shot of the prickly pear. Read More…

Bigfoot Quote of the Day

The hoax was discovered after an “expedited melting process,” Kulls wrote. “A break appeared up near the feet area … as the team and I began examining this area near the feet, I observed the foot which looked unnatural, reached in and confirmed it was a rubber foot.”

D’oh!

Blog Quote of the Day

It’s Sunday so I can post stupid things if I want to.

Here we have the confluence of politics and science fiction (and no, I’m not talking about Dick Cheney) in one concise, even pithy, blog entry from Atrios.

Battlestar Galactica Spoiler

Laura Roslin’s mother is Barbara Bush.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo

We noticed that too. I said, and I quote, “Her mother is Barbara Bush”.

Cactus Campaign Quote of the Day

Who knew when I started posting political quotes that I would be able to post a political quote about cactus! Certainly I never imagined such a thing was possible. But here it is, a quote comparing a presidential candidate to a cactus:

The stately saguaro cactus is a fitting symbol of the southwestern desert state of Arizona, found on license plates and front lawns and state flora registries, cutting a pitchfork profile both defiant of and shaped by the elements around it. It is also a good symbol for the Arizona senator who hopes to lead the nation, Republican presidential candidate John McCain. He, too, is sometimes considered prickly…

I guess it makes sense since McCain is from Arizona and all.

Campaign Photo of the Day

From Reuters

US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008

My apologies. This photo is not indicative of anything, doesn’t represent my personal opinions or the opinions of anyone else on this blog, and certainly has no relevance to the election at hand. But it’s hilarious! That McCain is such a scamp.

Campaign Suspension Quote of the Day

From my Senator:

Now, how about a cactus?

Here’s a good one from Joshua Tree National Park:

Suszan Standing Next to the Cholla Cactus
A cholla cactus stuck to my elbow while I was taking pictures. Removing it from my skin was a painful process because each thorn consists of microscopic, jagged edges that tore my flesh.

That’s an Opuntia bigelovii, aka Teddy Bear Cholla, or Jumping Cholla. Photo borrowed from Joshua at fotohorizon.com.

Campaign Video Quote of the Day

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Clipped Quote of the Day

…the student-run nursery offers water-smart succulents, propagated by the kids themselves…

Shall I explain? Shall I tell you it is in Santa Rosa and the sale was last week? Shall I go further and provide a photo?

NO! I shall not.

But I will tell you how smart those kids are, propagating water-smart succulents.

Congressional Quote of the Day

From my parents’ congressman (at least my Mom votes for him):

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): “[Obama] says we only have one president at a time. I’m afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He’s got to remedy that situation.”

Constitutional Quote of the Day

I heard once that the Nuremberg Trials proved that just because your government told you to do something was no defense. At least that’s what the Americans said when they convicted the Germans. Apparently we have a new standard in the United States.

When the Government tells you to do something, I think you all recognize, uh, that that is something that you need to do.

That was Senator Kit Bond this morning on NPR. Good to know – All power to the State and it’s representatives in government and especially to the police, I mean the state, I mean the police… the state… the police… state….

Darwinmania! Quote of the Day

Olivia Judson in the New York Times alerts us to this wonderful quote from the head of the Linnean Society the same year that Darwin first spoke of Natural Selection before the Linnean Society.

“The year which has passed has not, indeed, been marked by any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionize, so to speak, the department of science on which they bear.”

Such is life. The next year The Origin of Species was published and he must have been slightly embarrassed at his mistake.

On the other hand, that was the same year as the discovery of cactus in the new world, so it was embarrassing all around. (Of course, I may be wrong about the date a little bit, and I may end up being a little embarrassed about that myself. Only time will tell.)

Democratic Senator Quote of the Day

…There is only one issue here. Only one: the law issue.

Does the president serve the law, or does the law serve the president? Each insult to our Constitution comes from the same source; each springs from the same mindset; and if we attack this contempt for the law at any point, we will wound it at all points.

That is why I’m here today: Retroactive immunity is on the table today; but also at issue is the entire ideology that justifies it, the same ideology that defends torture and executive lawlessness. Immunity is a disgrace in itself, but it is far worse in what it represents. It tells us that some believe in the courts only so long as their verdict goes their way. That some only believe in the rule of law, so long as exceptions are made at their desire. It puts secrecy above sunshine and fiat above law.

Did the telecoms break the law? That, I don’t know.

But pass immunity…and we will never know. A handful of favored corporations will remain unchallenged. Their arguments will never be heard in a court of law. The truth behind this unprecedented domestic spying will never see light. And the cases will be closed forever.

“Law” is a word we barely hear from the supporters of immunity. They offer neither a deliberation about America’s difficult choices in the age of terrorism, nor a shared attempt to set for our times the excruciating balance between security and liberty. They merely promise a false debate on a false choice: security or liberty, but never, ever both….

Chris Dodd (D, CT) full video and text here.

Financial Meltdown Quote of the Day

This is the best short explanation of the financial crisis that I’ve seen yet.

Banks made a bunch of stupid loans which aren’t being repaid. A bunch of people made highly leveraged investments in securities backed by those loans. A bunch of other people sold insurance on those securities and related debt. (Atrios)

Financial Meltdown Quote of the Day

I try to use these quotes as a way to add a little politics to the site without writing political posts. So now should be the time for presidential candidate quotes. But events overtake, and I really like the way this is phrased. It’s not really a quote, more like a subordinate clause:

…Wall Street’s blind faith in its own ability to transubstantiate subprime mortgages into AAA-rated, investment-grade paper…

Now that’s an image to hold onto. (Billmon)

And here’s an image for your patience:

It’s a closeup of an Opuntia subulata c.v. monstrose. A wonderful example of how a small virus can take a giant tree cholla and turn it into a densely packed apartment-block of branches no taller than 3ft.

Former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Quote of the Day

The man from Massachusetts in <span style="font-style: italic;">this</span> year’s presidential race said:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">“You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the <span style="font-weight: bold;">Patriots win the World Series</span>, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there…&quot;</span><br /></div><br /><a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1716&amp;entry_id=1518" title="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/12/20/politics/fromtheroad/entry3636089.shtml" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/12/20/politics/fromtheroad/entry3636089.shtml’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Mitt Romney on CBS.</a><br /><br />

Heat in the East Bay Precipitates Blog Ramble

A little extra watering wouldn’t hurt now that we’re coming into the hottest and driest part of the Northern California year.

Drink lot’s of water yourself, close the blinds and open the windows rather than turning on air conditioners, and an afternoon nap sounds good too. I’m tired, but Obama is coming on in a few minutes and the C-Span feed doesn’t have any of those ridiculous talking heads that are on all the other channels. I saw David Brooks immediately following Al Gore’s speech and nearly gouged my eyes out. Oh the pain is strong in that one. That should be my quote of the day.

I tried a new drink this evening. I don’t know the name, but it was Gin, Lillet and Bitters, shaken not stirred. Very delicious. It must be the heat.

Tomorrow we get a new Zebra label printer to replace the new one that is deeply broken, but Zebra wanted me to ship them the brand new broken printer for them to repair and send back in a month or two instead. Hah! I demanded my money back so instead they are overnighting another new one to arrive tomorrow. If it doesn’t arrive tomorrow, I think I will be done with them.

And don’t get me started on our new POS system.

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