- Last week Mother Jones (not the magazine) was on the move again. When the AFL-CIO headquarters in Frankfort, KY sold their building, the union moved the Mary Harris ("Mother") Jones monument that had stood outside of the old building to it's new digs in Paducah. The seven-ton stone work went through rain and sleet and flat tires and pig farms on its journey to its new home, and honestly, you would think it was Mother Jones herself pushing them on, giving them strength, whipping their butts to get the job done. Yay, they did it! And they're claiming not a single cuss-word was uttered. (Not sure Mother Jones would have approved of that.)
- Speaking of things porcine (Not Mother Jones. Oh, God, no!), the Department of Natural Resources and Environment says there are 3,000 to 5,000 feral pigs scattered across 65 of Michigan's 83 counties, and they've declared them an invasive species. The headline read: Michigan Declares War on Pesky Feral Pigs. I declare. I've been in almost every one of Michigan's counties at one time or another, and I've never, ever, ever heard tell of a feral pig being spotted in any of them.
Owners of hunting preserves — at least 65 swine hunting sites are in Michigan — said their security measures are adequate and the threat of wild pigs is overstated. But the DNRE, farmers and some hunters say the bristly boars are wreaking havoc. The pigs, considered to be omnivores, eat practically anything, including endangered wild plants, the eggs of game birds, young deer or lambs, reptiles and farm crops. "They will really rip up a farmer's fields," DNRE spokeswoman Mary Detloff said. "Overnight, they can destroy acres of corn and wheat. They dig wallows 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide, which are a real danger to farming equipment." The pigs, which can maintain a running speed of 15 mph and are capable of bursts of 30 mph, are generally viewed by state officials as big cockroaches with tusks. The DNRE has essentially OK'd shooting the pigs on sight. "Basically, our policy is shoot first and ask questions later," Detloff said
- Michelle Bachmann spoke at CPAC this year and got that crowd going! They especially liked the part at the end about Free Drinks for Everybody. Yep, Bachmann offered to pick up the bar tab for all 11,000 attendees. Limit of one, of course. Tim Pawlenty says he's going to do it, too, today. Oh, those Republican hi-jinxers! Are they special, or what?
- So you probably heard that Arianna Huffington sold HuffPo to AOL this week? Did this shock you, too? No? You always were smarter than me:
There are also some indications that she has sold out in the ideological sense and committed the Huffington Post to joining the mainstream media - the evil "MSM" of "HuffPo" blogger ire. Announcing the deal, she and her new boss went out of their way to say that the new Huffington Post would emphasize things other than the liberal politics on which the brand was built. AOL Chairman Tim Armstrong said he thinks "Arianna has the same interest we do, which is serving consumers' needs and going beyond the just straight political needs of people." Huffington agreed, boasting that only 15 percent of her eponymous site's traffic is for politics (that's down from 50 percent a couple of years ago), and she emphasized that politics is just one of two dozen "sections," including a new one devoted to covering divorces. "It's time for all of us in journalism to move beyond left and right," Huffington said Monday on PBS's "NewsHour." "Truly, it is an obsolete way of looking at the problems America is facing."
I used to think I knew Arianna (strictly in the sideline sense. I really don't know anybody), the Arianna of "Pigs at the Trough", "Fanatics and Fools" and "Third World America". But now. . .Arianna, I hardly knew ye. girl. Granted, I don't understand a word you say when you speak, but I thought I was reading you loud and clear in your books. Just goes to show. . .fool me once, shame on me, fool me thrice, shame on. . .yeah.
- There is no question that Arianna has cojones, but does she have Baals? No, that would be silly. It's Fort Wayne, Indiana, that has the Baals. Or, had. I was sorry to hear there will be no Harry Baals building in Fort Wayne, Indiana any time soon. We could have kept that hoary joke going for years.
- But speaking of. . . I guess you heard about Alan Simpson's Green Weenie comment? Rachel Maddow takes it on in Debunktion Junction and adds some other great Simpson doozies. (You just have to get through the Jeb Bush stuff but it's worth it) Candy Crowley's reaction? Priceless.
- So, okay, we're going from the ridiculous to the sublime--or at least somewhere in between. President Obama went to Marquette, Michigan on Thursday to talk up his plan to make wireless available to 98% of the U.S. He chose Marquette, not because it's the most beautiful "city" in the entire Upper Peninsula, bar none, but because the entire town and the surrounding area up to 40 miles beyond is wired and nobody has to pay a penny for it. (Promo spot: If you ever get a chance to go to Marquette, you would be a fool not to do it, it's that great. And while you're up there you could go up the road to Ishpeming and visit Da Yooper Tourist Trap and Museum, where you'll find Big Gus, the world's largest running chain saw, and you could buy a poster of the best Upper Peninsula outhouses.)
- But besides Obama's visit to the U.P, Michigan was in the news big time earlier in the week, on Super Bowl Sunday. You who don't know and love Detroit may not be able to understand it, but the Eminem/Chrysler homage to our city caused a whole bunch of us to get really, really teary. I wrote my own homage to Detroit in November, 2009 (it still gets more hits than any other post on my blog), and there have been many others, but nothing could make as much of an impact as that two-minute sizzler of an advertisement:
- And here is my cartoon of the week. It's by Mike Thompson for the Detroit Free Press: