Friday, December 5, 2008

Cheap Blogging Crutch 12.5

The recount is (almost) complete; Franken camp claims four-vote lead
As the Minnesota recount crawls mercifully to a close and primes for the circus sideshow that is the challenge process, Al Franken is claiming a 4 vote lead. No one else is though, soooo yeah. The key metric Franken is using is that he is counting all the challenged ballots by their ruling recounters made before the ballot was challenged and is assuming that those will be upheld by the canvassing board. Norm Coleman on the other hand, picked a random number out of a hat a claimed he lead by that number. Good news for Nate Silver, it doesn't look like Franken will win by 27 and I won't have to burn him as a witch. Matt Taibbi has a nice little article on the recount as well.

Analyst: Use Lasers on Pirates (and Everyone Else)
James Jay Carafano, PhD and homeland security analyst has a solution for the pirate problem: shoot the shit out of them with lasers. If shooting lasers at pirates (which was probably the childhood fantasy of 75% of boys) doesn't put the juice in your shorts he also wants to shoot lasers at Russia and Hezbollah. And sharks and bigfoots and sharkfoots. Shoot lasers at everything. Laser based defense. We need to listen to this man, we need to develop the necessary technology, and then we need to use it to shoot pirates.

Obama: "I Can't Grow Facial Hair"
Any hopes you had of P-E Obama growing some sort of Castro-esque beard, or perhaps going for a sartorial scholar look like Cornell West, or perhaps the hipster-indie follicles of Kyp Malone are going to see those hopes dashed on the rocks of despair. See, Obama says he can't grow a beard, not even a saucy mustache. Unless he changes this policy, Benjamin Harrison in 1888 will have been the last US President with a ballin' chin warmer. No bearded man has run since 1916, no mustacioed man since 1948.

Robbers in drag steal $100M in jewel heist
Four robbers, fully armed with weapons yet also disguised as women, jacked Harry Winston for €80 million (U.S. $101 million) in under 15 minutes. You had the fully automatic weapons and you still went with cross dressing for a 15 minute heist? Doesn't really sound like the cross dressing was too integral to the heist. There were no barons to be charmed, critical information need to be gleaned from a randy guard, and no sexytime shenanigans, it was a simple smash and grab. Someone just wanted to dress like a pretty lady.

Mexico Under Siege: The drug war at our doorstep.
Probably the biggest story you haven't heard about. If you want to read up on the massive Mexican drug war, the LA Times has a phenomenal series covering it. Essentially the President declared war on the cartels, the cartels declared war back, and it's like the heist scene from Heat 24/7. Bodies dumped at schools, gun battles, kidnapping, brutal killing and torture, gun fights in hospitals, pretty much open street warfare between rival gangs and battles with the cops and Feds. Nearly 7,000 drug-war related deaths since last year, and it's all taking place in Baja California and Chihuahua, sometimes spilling over the border. Both completely horrifying and worth your time.

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