Drew’s Collection of More Things to Read on the Interwebs

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Here are some links to read when you want to appear as though you’re working really hard, but you’re really just screwing around online:

  • Holy Mother of God, the Vatican is running its largest government deficit in years. I guess buying all of those fancy hats and paying off all of those little boys really adds up.
  • My parents didn’t pay attention to me and my sister and the only excuse they had were drugs and alcohol. Imagine if they had smartphones back then like these “Parent of the Year” nominees.
  • The EPA’s chief administrator comes across like an arrogant, condescending jackass by assuming most Americans can’t read above a fifth-grade level.
  • Former drug consumer Barack Obama will (reportedly) finally grow a pair and “take steps to draw down the nation’s decades-long war on drugs if he wins a second term.”
  • A married couple who happen to (for now, anyway) work as a Chicago public schools principal and assistant principal — with a combined income of more than $230,000 – lied about their income so that their kids could get on the federal free lunch program.
  • Georgia voters find themselves screwed either way in a ballot measure that would increase sales taxes for roads if they vote “yes” and spike local property taxes if they vote “no.”
  • The Navy is rolling out several new carriers that won’t have urinals – but will have about 30 guys peeing off the back of the boat at any given time.
  • Finally, what happens when you take one of the most awesomely cheesy songs of the 80’s (with one of the catchiest choruses in modern music history) and add a music video featuring a sarcophagus, a fez, an x-ray, what appears to be a priests’ collar, a mummy hailing a cab, a paper shredder, a pirates’ sword, and a racquetball game played with with badminton rackets? You get this Howard Jones YouTube classic.

H/T to Ben Cunningham and Grant Starrett for several of these stories.

Twitter me up: @Drews_Views

Drew Johnson

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38 Responses to “Drew’s Collection of More Things to Read on the Interwebs”

  1. #1 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!’ and took an extra hit,” Maraniss writes.

    Oh well, that’s all in Obama’s past now. So it’s just a funny story he tells the other ex-stoner liberals who work in government. You know those good PC liberals that are sticking it to people who are doing the same shit they used to do. But, as always, they want this to be a “humanitarian” war. So where would Obama be if he had been “intercepted” by a narc? Well, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be sitting in the oval office.

    These people are deluded fucking hypocrites and this nonsense about Obama “drawing down” the drug war is just a cynical political ploy by Democratic Party propagandists. They are saying, “yeah let’s keep the stoners and the cancer patients on our side until November and then we can forget about all this drug shit.” This is another symptom of the sickness that is politics and the state.

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Former drug consumer Barack Obama will (reportedly) finally grow a pair and “take steps to draw down the nation’s decades-long war on drugs if he wins a second term.”

    So what’s he going to do? Single-handedly strike down possession laws
    for pot/cocaine/heroin? Order an exodus of drug offenders from the jails?
    I don’t believe he has the power to make these changes. DEA is a big scary lawless monster that even El Presidente doesn’t mess with…

  3. #3 |  Ryan P | 

    When I was studying journalism in high school and college, I was frequently told that we were supposed to write toward a fifth-grade reading level – that that was the standard in the industry.

    Perhaps someone who had studied journalism (or if she had) told her the same thing, so when crafting an imaginary newspaper headline, she remembered that and corrected herself accordingly (though certainly not in the elegant way).

  4. #4 |  kant | 

    RE: obama drawing down the drug war in second term

    BWAHAHAHA…I as ridiculous as that idea is, i know some people will fall for it hook, line and sinker.

    but onto a more serious note…

    …President’s drug policy has already been innovative, public health-oriented, and cost-effective.

    wtf has kevin sabet been smoking? seriously, not even a urinal cake made of pcp could push someone this far out of touch with reality.

    Another would be to meaningfully invest in law enforcement innovations that use the threat of short jail stays to enforce treatment and abstinence.

    Ahhh yes. The tried and true response finally comes…Arrest more people…and then force them into treatment. So the police will need bigger budgets; the prisons housing (temporarily of course ;) ) will need more contracts; and of course those treatment advisers will need big fat juicy salaries.

    we might as well resurrect straight inc. and rename it straight-edge inc.

  5. #5 |  hilzoy fangirl | 

    “The EPA’s chief administrator comes across like an arrogant, condescending jackass by assuming most Americans can’t read above a fifth-grade level.”

    By making that comment, you come across like an arrogant, condescending jackass who can’t read above a fifth-grade level, because that’s not even remotely what she said.

    Go team red! (Or was it blue? Why don’t we have team white? Libertarians should be team white. That’ll go over well.)

  6. #6 |  David | 

    Waiting for the first time another brain dead, Viagara-popping American male idiot doesn’t indulge the mainstream media’s “Catholic = Child Molestation” pavlovian programming. It’s almost as bad as “German = Nazi”.

    But as you are now, you impotent nothings are more programmed than Raymond Shaw when he sees the queen of diamonds.

    Accusation (with millions of dollars in civil suits) = guilt. At this site. Awesome.

    (Speaking of flagrant child molestors….anybody here curious why the Syracuse basketball coach Bernie Fine, who UNQUESTIONABLY molested boys and whose wife is on audio hoping her husband finds a “nice gay boy”, never got either arrested or a huge media storm around him? I don’t.)

  7. #7 |  appletony | 

    … and here’s a big “F-U” to the righteous busybodies who automatically think that a parent on a smartphone is neglecting their kids. I’m in a job requiring a very high level of customer service (result otherwise = loss of business that I need to support my family). Back in the old days, I was chained to my desk. Now I can intermittently check my blackberry and be there.

  8. #8 |  pru | 

    15-25% of American adults read at a 5th grade level (there have been a lot of different studies over recent years). Others say that 30% or more can’t understand a newspaper article.

    The article you link to doesn’t come close to backing up your assertion that Lisa Jackson thinks “most” Americans can’t read above a 5th grade level, but she is right to keep in mind the sizable chunk who don’t.

    I do find your kneejerk name calling and predictably mean-spirited misreading tiresome.

  9. #9 |  el coronado | 

    No, what happened was that former drug consumer Obama SAYS he will (finally) grow a pair and draw down the nation’s (hopelessly failed) War on Drugs, (but only if he gets re-elected.) There’s a big difference.

    Every word out of that asshole’s mouth has been a lie since long before he was elected. Hell, it’s been pretty much proven he not only didn’t write *his own autobiography*, he also packed it full of ‘make Barry look good’ whoppers, to boot.

    Why would you fall for that horseshit? Why would you even report it? When the car dealers run ads proclaiming they’re “selling at below invoice!”, even 10-year-olds know they’re lying their asses off. The only difference between Obama & a car salesman is that the salesman works longer hours, and takes (a LOT) fewer vacations.

  10. #10 |  Stephen | 

    Msg from me to Obama about the drug war… BULLSHIT!!!

    If you wanted a second term, you should have done something the first time around.

  11. #11 |  Stephen | 

    I was in the navy and the urinal thing doesn’t bother me as long as there are enough toilets. I can piss in a toilet just as easily as a urinal or on the floor or on whatever makes me mad.

  12. #12 |  derfel cadarn | 

    All Ms Jackson position proves is that she is an ignorant slut. It shows the incompetence of of her agency’s sister organization the Dept of Education and the Fed/Gov contempt of the American People.

  13. #13 |  H. Rearden | 

    RE: Parents on Smartphones

    I agree with is sentiment of the poster. However, because the pictures were taken at a Children’s Museum, I can only assume that the poster was there with his/her children (otherwise the poster has an odd obsession with his photography subject). So what we have is some high-minded smartphone photographer ignoring his/her children so that he/she can take photos of parents ignoring their children while staring into their smartphone. The irony! Apparently some sacrifices are acceptable in the pursuit of art and social commentary.

  14. #14 |  MB | 

    Ryan P is right, the fifth-grade remark was an attempt at a joke. US government publications intended for a general audience are supposed to be written to a fifth-grade reading level.

  15. #15 |  generalgarbage | 

    So, Georgia’s voters are “screwed” because they’re going to have to pay for the services that they use?!?!?!? This story is really an example of anti-tax idiocy taken to the nth degree. The roads aren’t going to pay for themselves.

    I like how they propose that this could have been handled through an increase in the gas tax instead. Does anyone think that this same article wouldn’t have been written if that had been done?

  16. #16 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “The EPA’s chief administrator comes across like an arrogant, condescending jackass”

    Which is, after all, pretty much the job description.

  17. #17 |  plutosdad | 

    Urinals clog more than toilets? What the hell are they drinking on those ships?

    And no, americans are stupid, by every single measure available. Most americans railing against the EPA don’t realize natural gas has dropped to less than half the price of coal per energy unit generated. Ok maybe that’s “ignorance” not “stupidity”. We wanted fracking and more natural gas and we got it. Yay for us. So what’s the problem.

    Since when did this blog become just a bunch of whiners? When it was Balko only focused on crime it was good most of the time. Now it’s people upset at silly things and losing privilege.

  18. #18 |  Jamie | 

    Yeah, Plutosdad, they do on ships. Naval vessels use salt water for flushing (since we have to make all our own fresh water), so there’s a certain amount of buildup, especially if someone in Supply isn’t paying attention and orders urinal cakes that aren’t specifically for salt water. In our head, the urinals were actually turned off because they were such a maintenance hassle that the guys who had to fix ’em convinced the Chief Engineer order the urinals secured.

  19. #19 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ generalgarbage,

    No, the people against the T-SPLOST are opposed to it because the money to upgrade infrastructure already exists. The powers that be just don’t how to prioritize between necessities and pet projects. That, and half the projects listed aren’t going to effectively alleviate traffic or aren’t cost effective means of transportation. This isn’t about getting a free lunch. It’s about not feeding corruption anymore.

    The article may not convey that message effectively, but that is the basis for the T-SPLOST opposition.

  20. #20 |  Miranda | 

    The comments on the story about the Navy are awesome. Apparently, nothing can save America now that men must pee into toilets instead of urinals.

  21. #21 |  generalgarbage | 

    Re: urinal maintenance- many years ago, when I lived in the dorms on the banks of the old Raritan, one of my neighbors loved to drop a deuce in the urinal.

    Think about the “maintenance” for that.

  22. #22 |  Mattocracy | 

    I have mixed feelings about the notions of what grade level most Americans read at. If all you do is read the news, written at a 5th-8th grade level, I would suspect that would indeed lower your reading abilities. Especially if you never exercised your reading skills beyond that. It seems self perpetuating.

  23. #23 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Re; the grade Americans read at.

    There is writing for a fifth grade level, and then there is writing pap. The pulp magazines of the 1930’s were, in large part, written for a lowbrow audience. While there are honorable exceptions (Hammett and Chandler come to mind) checking out a single Doc Savage story will demonstrate what I mean. Not that the stories weren’t one hell of a lot of fun.

    The problem with the politicians, journalists, and assorted asshats who use the “fifth grade level” as an excuse is that they conflate ignorance with stupidity. And in doing so they talk and write in a manner that could be expected to insult a mildly concussed infant.

  24. #24 |  Fremdfirma | 

    Umm, kant ?

    They never did quite kill straight inc, they just renamed it, again.
    Synanon-> The Seed-> Straight -> Drug Free America Foundation.
    I guess cause it sounds less like an evil cult when they say it that way, but it’s still the same old game, still run by Mel and Betty Sembler, and still every bit as fulla crap as it always was.

    And of course, Mel is really good buddies with Romney, used to be his money man till wind of where the money CAME FROM got around and Romney had to get him and Lichfield out of the spotlight in a hurry.

    Not that I am any fan of Obama by a longshot, but if the War on (some) Drugs is gonna be a factor, know who you’re getting into bed with when it comes to Romney.

  25. #25 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

    This enthusiasm for commodes over urinals usually lasts until the ladies discover that there are men in the world who don’t sit and don’t lift the seat either.

  26. #26 |  CyniCAl | 

    •Former drug consumer Barack Obama will (reportedly) finally grow a pair and “take steps to draw down the nation’s decades-long war on drugs if he wins a second term.”

    omg, for reals? I am totally going to register to vote now!

    On second thought, no I won’t.

  27. #27 |  ClubMedSux | 

    “Have you ever checked your email or surfed the web when you should be playing with your children?” Yes, because I don’t hover over my children 24-7. Somehow I have managed to raise three kids with enough independence and common sense that they can survive ten seconds without my immediate and constant attention while playing in such death traps as a children’s museum or my friend’s back yard.

  28. #28 |  Jack Dempsey | 

    For as offensive as that comment from the EPA head was (and it was pretty offensive), I am far more offended by the blathering drivel that “Obama might draw down the drug war, if we give him another 4 years to bust the balls of all cannabis users” is far FAR more offensive. That guy used the drug he is busting people for, after he said he wouldn’t do it, and THEN he says “Give me another four years and I’ll stop doing it for real.” Really? Raise your hand if you believe this crap!

  29. #29 |  Leah | 

    Seriously. Media panic about helicopter parenting plus other people in public judging parents for NOT overparenting? Good to know it’s impossible to do it right. I’ll just keep doing it how I’m doing it.

  30. #30 |  a leap at the wheel | 

    Dear Judgmental Helicopter parent: Thanks for letting me sit on the bench at the park every time I take my kids there. Its about the only service you dumbasses provide to this culture.

    If any of those kids can’t entertain themselves at the park, the beach, a party, or what looks like either a museum or library, their parents are doing it wrong anyway.

  31. #31 |  Lefty | 

    the vatican could save a lot of money just by not being assholes. Here’s an article about how they spend oodles lobbying not to extend statute of limitation laws.


  32. #32 |  Goober | 

    I thought the link to the “parents of the year” thing was going to be of parents who’s kids were in danger while they were f-ing around on the phone. All I saw is parents whos kids were laying safely and in no danger at all who were reading an article or responding to a text message while their kids played.

    Are you seriously suggesting that children should have their parent’s undivided attention, 100% of the day, with no distractions whatsoever?

    Would you have posted those pictures with that snark about “parents of the year” if the dad in the lawn chair had been reading a book instead of reading something on his phone? Why is a Dad reading a book in a lawnchair while his kids play okay, but as soon as he gets his phone out he’s “Dad of the year”?

    Anyone who looked at those photos and thought “wow, what crappy, unattentive parents” is not a parent. Any parent who looked at those felt a twinge of fear that the next time they get their phone out to answer a text from their wife about what time dinner is going to be, that they’ll have their pic snapped and be branded “parent of the year” on some snarky website full of assholes that have never raised a child.

    For the life of me, i can’t figure out how taking a picture of your kid playing in the sand at the beach makes you “parent of the year”. WTF?

  33. #33 |  Goober | 

    “playing” safely in sentence #2. Sorry

  34. #34 |  Goober | 

    You know, fuck it. Throw me in the list of “parents of the year” too. i answered a text message from my wife the other day while my daughter was playing in the back yard and I was sitting on the back patio watching daughter play. My wife wanted to know if she needed to pick up anything for the dinner I was making that night (tacos, very good)*. So I responded to my wife’s text instead of ignoring her and letting her drive home without picking up the beans that I needed.

    So I am an unattentive parent. For 10 seconds, my daughter had to play in the yard by herself without me, while I sat on the patio and texted her mother that we needed a can of black beans. I can forward the pic if you’d like to add me to that page.

    Shoot, now that I think of it, I was in the grocery store with her the other day and answered a text message, too. Mother-effer, I am just a horrible father.

    *Holy shit, i just realized that instead of giving dear daughter my undivided, undistracted attention for the entire day, I had the gall to step away from her for nearly 20 minutes in order to make her dinner. Jesus H. Christ on a rubber crutch, someone call CPS and save her from me…

  35. #35 |  treefroggy | 

    “but will have about 30 guys peeing off the back of the boat at any given time.”

    Only if they are headed into the wind.

  36. #36 |  roadgeek | 

    I deal with the American public via email and telephone. Every day of the week. She’s right. Many of them can’t read at or above a 5th Grade level. Wishing it were otherwise won’t make it true. The suggested standard of discourse with the public at my employer is 8th grade, and even that is too much for many of the people we deal with.

  37. #37 |  edmund dantes | 

    Love the PC strikes again comments on the urinal thing.

    Here’s a decision that saves money, improves expediencies, allows for greater flexibility of crew assignments, et al

    and people are pissed because apparently all those positives and very valid reasons for doing it are outweighed by the idea that in their head this was done to satisfy some PC or liberal agenda.


  38. #38 |  Joe Bar | 

    Hmmm. I spent some time on a Navy cruiser (USS Monterrey, IIRC). Don’t remember any urinals. Perhaps they are a luxury allowed only on larger vessels, like CVNs.