Final notice for GOP

News Headline: “What default? Republicans downplay impact of U.S. debt limit.”
Kids, go get grandpa and ask him what it was like when Republicans talked about meeting responsibilities instead of how to get away with being a deadbeat.

News Headline: “Ted Cruz dominates Republican straw poll.”
Or as Cruz put it in his recent 21-hour Senate speech, presented here in QT Digest Form:
” I. . . can’t. . . believe. . . Americans. . . are. . . buying. . .
this. . . .”
Again, this is in digest form.
But we have the gist.

News Headline: “Topeka library wrestles with concealed-carry law.”
Time is being wasted.
We need the concealed carry.
How else to deal with the national epidemic of library violence?

News Item: “. . . Quebec schools. . .  ordered to hire spiritual animators. . .  to  run anti-bullying campaigns. . .  focus on young people’s search for meaning. . . .”
When did guidance counselors become spiritual animators, and when can we have guidance counselors back?

News Headline: “Dennis Rodman returning to North Korea.”
News Headline: “Bjorn Borg might drop underwear over North Korea.”
Just how much more can North Korea take?

News Headline: “Veterans angry over Tea Party takeover of march on memorials.”
Let’s try to be fair.
Sarah Palin and her associates fought the urge to exploit the march.
But war veterans make such good props. . . .

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind =
A bank robber in Syracuse, N.Y., returned to the bank he had robbed to complain that the teller didn’t give him as much money as he had demanded.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . date back to the signing of the
Magna Carta. . . .”
J.J., a Denver reader, writes:
“If it isn’t time for your semiannual reminder that there is no ‘the’ in front of Magna Carta, it should be.”
Not to mention never a “the” in front of hoi polloi.
And who is the QT to disagree?

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

As the ticking time bomb rides a tiger toward the cliff

News Headline: “World bankers warn of dire consequences if U.S. defaults.”
In other news, House Republicans introduced a bill changing the motto of the United States from “In God We Trust” to
“Hold My Beer, and Watch This.”

News Headline: “Dead star eats water-rich asteroid.”
You don’t want to be in the neighborhood when the Intelligent Designer becomes bored.

News Headline: “GOP rep compares default on the debt to the American Revolution.”
Exactly.
Makes a patriot think back to the day the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

News Headline: “No, print isn’t dead.”
And if any of your friends doubt it, show them this story you found on the Internet.

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
Wells Fargo, whose CEO received a $5 million raise last year, has laid off 5,500 workers since July to cut costs.

News Item: “The International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to observe how people and communities are reducing their risk from disasters and raising awareness. . .”
. . . just as a typhoon hit the Philippines and earthquakes hit Venezuela and Crete.
This isn’t to mention Asteroid 2013 TL127, which was discovered during the weekend  three days after it crossed our moon’s orbit.
But we seem to have enough to worry about.
Which is why QT won’t  mention it.

Beware the ides of National Women’s Small Business Month.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Robert Crystal, a Rochester, N.Y., reader, regarding QT’s mention that the inventor of GIFs pronounces it JIF, writes:
“Wait. Then is gigabyte GIGGA- or JIGGA-byte?”
JIGGA, according to the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.
But you will probably find a billion people who disagree.

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Shoes and ships and ceiling wacks

QT Digest of Debate Over Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling (for Your Convenience):
“. . . extortion. . . irresponsible. . . ignorant. . . .criminal. . . sadistic. . . tyranny. . . insane. . . travesty. . . sabotage. . .  dictatorial. . . . gutless. . . .reckless. . . progress. . . useful. . . keep talking. . . . ”
Wait a minute.
We’re not almost on the verge of being calm and reasonable, even for a moment, are we?

News Headline: “James Woods calls Obama a ‘true abomination.’ ”
News Headline: “Ted Nugent: Obama is a ‘monster in the White House.’ ”
News Headline: “Liberals on Twitter call for death of  actor James Woods, Tea Party.”
There. That’s better.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
The President’s Council on Fitness has ordered  the Postal Service to put a hold its new stamp series on physical fitness because it depicts activities that include doing a headstand without a helmet.

News Headline: “Fracking wastewater contaminated–and likely radioactive.”
News Headline: “Industrial fishing scrapes the sea floor smooth.”
News Headline: “New study calculates year climate change will hit your city.”
News Headline: “Kentucky distilleries rapidly expand.”
And can’t expand rapidly enough.

The Case for Zero Tolerance of Modern School Administrators:
P.B., a Bethesda, Md., reader, wants you to know that Charlotte Elementary School in Nashua, N.H.,  has banned tag on its playground because, although tag “seems innocent enough,” it involves “contact” among the children.

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind +
A man in Port Charlotte, Fla., who owned an illegal gun called police to report it had been stolen.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Tom Hedeen, a Chicago reader, writes:
“Why do people pronounce digital photographs, called GIFs, as JIFs? GIF stands for ‘Graphics Interchange Format,’ so shouldn’t it be said with a hard ‘G’?”
QT tends to agree.
But the inventor says it is pronounced JIFs.
And as far as sources jo, that’s as jood as it jets.
By Giminy.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In the valley of the shadow of debt

News Headline: “Bachmann’s ‘good news’: End of the world is near.”
Talk about shutdowns.

News Headline: “Where does dizziness come from? Researchers pinpoint a key area in the brain.”
And don’t think for a moment it was easy getting Michele Bachmann to hold still.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has directed that competing teams no longer shake hands after games, citing an increased risk of fighting among young athletes who show sportsmanship.

News Headline: “Can Big Business wrest control of the GOP back from the Tea Party?”
Human sacrifice. . .  dogs and cats living together. . . mass hysteria. . .  reasons suddenly existing to cheer for  Big Business. . . .

J.Z., an Evanston, Ill., reader, writes:
“The Republicans are right. We shouldn’t have to obey rules and stuff if we don’t like them. Signed, Johnny Smith, age 9.”
Or as President Obama should say to Capitol Hill Republicans:
“Don’t you make me come up there!”

News Headline: “Documentary: For years, NFL ignored concussion evidence.”
In other news, with CXV days to go until Super Bowl XLVII, this season’s NFL players have suffered XXXVI concussions.
Give or take I or II.

News Headline: “State lawmaker calls Obama ‘De Fuhrer.’ ”
News Headline: “Study claims U.S. adults dumber than rest of the world.”
Not all.
Just some.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
H.J., a Chicago reader, writes:
“I recall you had something to say months ago about the pronunciation of ‘gerrymander.’ I hear it a lot on TV these days, and no one seems to have it right–assuming you had it right.”
You are right that QT is right:
The news readers don’t have it right.
The word is taken from the name of Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who in the early 1800s showed unusual ways to redraw state senate districts.
He pronounced his name GARY, not JERRY.
So the word should be GARY-mander, not JERRY-mander.
We can always save the “J” sound for “gigabyte.”
Which should be JIG-uh-bite.
As long as we’re at it.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

What, Fox News worry?

Sean Hannity lightly dismissing reports of hardship for millions because of the Republican government shutdown:
“This doesn’t impact me mentally.”
As the search goes on for anything that ever has.

News Headline: “Fox News host says ‘sob stories’ from veterans will prompt Republicans to cave on the shutdown.”
And Fox News wants you to know it  has heard just about enough of this crybaby nonsense about our war veterans.
Especially the ones hanging around in wheelchairs.

The Case for Zero Tolerance of Modern School Administrators:
Springdale High School in Pennsylvania turned away a girl on crutches because the crutches could be used as a weapon.

News Headline: “Yellowstone National Park registers 130 earthquakes in less than a week.”
Some might try to make something out of reports that earthquakes have increased by nearly 800 percent in two months at the Yellowstone Caldera, the eruptions of which can be violent enough to send a layer of ash six feet deep as far away as Chicago and which erupts every 600,000 or so years and last erupted 640,000 years ago.
But not QT.

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind =
A man fleeing police in Waterford, Mich., chose a paddle boat as his getaway vehicle.

B.D., a New York City reader, writes:
“I turned on the cable TV news after word of shots being fired on Capitol Hill. The news reader was saying her early reports might be based on ‘information that does not stand the test time.’ So why was she reporting it?”
Wait a minute.
You’re not one of those people who are always demanding that their news be accurate as well as hysterical, are you?

News Headline: “Is Voyager 1 inside an interstellar flux transfer event?”
Didn’t you see this one coming?

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
+ Jim Kehoe, a Sydney, Australia, reader, writes:
“Is ‘ert’ the opposite of ‘inert’?”
Only in the Southern Hemisphere.
+ J.C., a Tucson, Ariz., reader, is wondering meanwhile about mattress-inflation instructions that tell him to “press” and then “depress” a button.
In other news, House Speaker John Boehner–
No. Enough news about him.
Too inert and depressing.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

An open-and-shutdown case

News Headline: “Congressmen drinking while voting on government shutdown?”
Republicans are already on the hook for political hostage-taking, fraud, wanton disregard. . .
. . . and now conniving under the influence.
News Headline: “Sarah Palin won’t let ‘death panels’ die.”
But all this could go away with a plea of mental impairment.

News Headline: “Countdown to showdown: The Ted Cruz Show comes to a close.”
Witnesses said the suspect fled on foot.

News Headline: “Michele Bachmann excited about shutdown, likens subsidized health care to crack cocaine.”
In other news, Pope Francis continued to push the crystal meth of ending world hunger.

News Headline: “Government shutdown won’t shut down NSA spying.”
Or don’t you consider Big Brother essential personnel?

News Headline: “Sean Hannity’s shutdown advice for Republicans: ‘Hold the line.’ ”
Has it been 1,624 days since Sean Hannity promised he would undergo waterboarding to prove it isn’t torture?
Not that anyone is counting.

QT News Presented Without Comment:
Fox News site is referring to the shutdown as a “slimdown.”

News Headline: “George Clooney hopes shutdown ends soon.”
Experienced political analysts will wait to hear what Brad Pitt has to say.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
B.S., an Evanston, Ill., reader, regarding the “precipice” the U.S. government was on until it went over it,  writes:
“Are we now in a postcipice situation?”
Yes.
Which is what can happen whenever our politicians have a fit of peak.
A “scarp” is the same as an “escarpment,” by the way.
Looked it up in Cliff’s Notes.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Or is it a bluff?

News Headline: “America ‘on precipice’ of government shutdown.”
K.R., a Baltimore reader, writes:
“Couldn’t we just be on the brink like ordinary people?”
We do sometimes put on airs.

News Headline: “Cruz’s filibuster strategy ‘the height of hypocrisy.’ ”
News Headline: “The GOP’s stunning hypocrisy.”
Or think of it this way:
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

QT NFL CXXV days to go until Super Bowl XLVII Update:
NFL players have suffered XXVII concussions as of the IIIrd week of the season.
Give or take I or II.

News Headline: “Miley Cyrus says Justin Bieber has the mentality of a 12-year-old.”
Your day may not be going well, but at least your maturity hasn’t been questioned by Miley Cyrus.

News Headline: “Glenn Beck on Obama U.N. address: ‘Blood shoots out of my eyes’ every time I hear him talk.”
Could a problem with our national conversation be that we keep listening to people whose eyes shoot blood?

Rush Limbaugh regarding fashion statements:
“For the longest time, I didn’t wear blue jeans. I didn’t wear T-shirts. I didn’t wear my hair long. I did not want to be associated with–”
Warning!
Do not try to visualize this.
Too late?
Sorry.

QT Modern Corporate Gibberish of the Week:
Actelion has acquire Ceptaris.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Bill McCormick, a Chicago reader, regarding another reader’s mention that “ravel” and “unravel” can mean the same thing, which is not to mention the same thing about “loose” and “unloose,” writes:
“I am whelmed.”
QT is whelmed by anyone who knows that “whelmed” is the same as “overwhelmed.”
And a quick reminder that “inflammable” is more flammable that “flammable.”
As long as we’re at it.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Somethingest Show on Earth

News Item: “. . . annual debt-ceiling circus. . . .”
News Item: “. . . high-wire fiscal strategy. . . .”
News Item: “. . . the president found himself juggling. . . .”
Are we having more fun than we thought?

News Headline: “Ted Cruz vows to speak against Obamacare until unable to stand.”
News Headline: “Cruz likens skeptics of defund-or-shutdown  plan to Nazi appeasers.”
Cruz also offered words on individualism from Ayn Rand, a recipient of Medicare.
But what’s a circus without a good clown act?

The Case for Zero Tolerance of Modern School Administrators:
A girl who accidentally brought two small antique knives to middle school in McDonough, Ga., immediately gave them to a teacher, after which she spent two days in juvenile detention and was then expelled under the school’s zero-tolerance weapons policy.

News Item: “. . . a generation where wristwatches have become obsolete with the use of cell phones. . . .”
QT Rules of Etiquette for Guys and Dolls:
Note to all generations:
It isn’t correct to use either at a formal event.
And while we’re at it, wing collar with white tie, turn-down collar with black tie.
Now we can move along.

John Davis, a Chicago reader, writes:
“Isn’t it obvious that the ongoing story of the Russian man’s shooting another man with rubber bullets during an argument about Immanuel Kant in a grocery store is a clear example of shopping cartesian duelism?”
QT will let this pass.
All of us should pay more attention to the philosophers.
It never hurts to put Descartes before the hordes.

News Headline: “Burger King launches low-fat french fries.”
And shouldn’t anything that  healthful be super-sized?

News Headline (2011): “Dog steps on gun, shoots Utah hunter in buttocks.”
News Headline (2012): “Dog shoots man in French hunting accident.”
News Headline (2013): “Dog triggers shotgun, shoots hunter in Cass County.”
Once again, and think carefully:
How well do you know your dog?
How well, really?

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
From the recent novel Canada:
“He was a man unable not to believe that if things were going well and smoothly, they wouldn’t go well and smoothly forever.”
S.W., a Kendall, Wis., reader, writes:
“What?”
Or look at this way:
Even best-sellers sometimes fail to avoid not including sentences that readers  almost never aren’t unable to find their way out of.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Or maybe in an alternate universe

News Headline: “Obama vows to continue gun-law push.”
We may want to ask quantum physicists to determine how something can continue that has never been observed to exist.

News Item: “. . . teams from Missoula and Flathead counties have searched. . .  along with dog-sniffing crews. . . .”
And why any crew would be assigned to sniff dogs, we may never know.

QT Yellowstone Caldera (the eruptions of which can be violent enough to send a layer of ash six feet deep as far away as Chicago and which erupts every 600,000 or so years and last erupted 640,000 years ago) Update:
Geophysicist Robert Smith, who had never seen two simultaneous earthquake swarms in 53 years, regarding three simultaneous swarms this month:
“It’s very remarkable.”
QT misplaced its dictionary.
“Remarkable” is a good thing, isn’t it?

News Headline: “Gov’t shutdown looms as House GOP aims at health care law.”
News Headline: “Vandals strike again: Uncle Sam statue’s head missing.”
The stories seemed to go together, for some reason.

W.S., a Chicago reader, regarding a Russian man’s shooting another man with rubber bullets during an argument about Immanuel Kant in a grocery store, writes:
“It seems one of the men tried to take over the other’s shopping cart, also, in violation of the cartegorical imperative.”
Stop it.
Stop it now.

News Headline: “AIG CEO Robert Benmosche: ‘Too big to fail has been solved.’ ”
As we start the 23rd day of National Humor in Business Month.

News Headline: “Tiny snake on Qantas plane grounds 370 passengers.”
Single Tiny Snake on a Plane?
The sequester continues to take its toll.

News Headline: “Book deal for Paul Ryan.”
Ryan’s earlier Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders slipped this week from 511,365th to 521,876th on the Amazon Best-Seller List, for those keeping track.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
J.E., a San Francisco reader, writes:
“Why, when you use ellipses to end items, do you seem to use a set of four rather than three?”
Ellipses, known technically as dots, come in batches of three to represent missing words. . . and four at the end of a sentence, with the ellipses followed by a period. . . .
And so on. . . . . .

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

This just in. . . .

News Headline: “Man climbs street sign, removes pants.”
As reasonable a response as any to the news of the day.

NASCAR chairman Brian France explaining  the current race-fixing scandal:
“Circumstances happen that are unhelpful in the credibility category.”
Exactly.
People who lie and cheat should be called out for what they are:
A bunch of no-good credibility category hinderers.

News Headline: “Crime, but no punishment, for Wall Street CEOs.”
News Headline: “Disgraced Wall Street CEOs are living large.”
Speaking of bunches of no-good credibility category
hinderers. . . .

News Headline: “Kerry says Syria action would be ‘incredibly small.’ ”
News Headline: Al-Qaida leader calls for  ‘small-scale’ attacks.”
An encouraging development.
Or put it this way:
Doesn’t it sometimes seem hard to find a human activity that isn’t improved by doing less of it?

News Headline: “Researchers find fecal matter in most holy water.”
The next study will involve homilies.

News Headline: “Serial airline groper gets 9 months in prison.”
Rich Rzadzki, a Chicago reader, would as soon not know how one goes about groping a Boeing 747.

News Item: “Six Flags reopened the Texas Giant roller coaster Saturday. . . cautioned park-goers that the Texas Giant might not accommodate ‘guests with unique body shapes or sizes’. . . . ”
All right. Who wants to be the first Six Flags attendant to inform a guest that he or she has a unique body shape?

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . sitting upright on a chaise lounge. . . .”
M.S., a Des Moines, Iowa, reader, worries for the safety of  anyone who tries to sit on something that doesn’t exist.
So move the person quickly to a chaise longue.
Or maybe just find a couch.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.