"“The president recognizes that citizens may be uneasy about this operation, and that’s why he will use tonight’s speech to comfort the American public by reminding them that they have been through armed engagements without clear end dates or even concrete objectives plenty of times before, and that this case is no different,” said senior White House advisor Daniel Pfeiffer, adding that the president will assuage viewers’ concerns by laying out precisely how the U.S. will mire itself in the same old quagmire that citizens have grown accustomed to over the years."

National Geographic’s Photo of the Day is this picture of Mount Hood, Oregon, shot by Paul C. Glasser. A beautiful image of something actually quite terrible, as Glasser himself describes:

The hills were bathed in smoke from the many fires burning across Oregon. It’s only after it has died and shed its needles that the stark beauty and grace of the whitebark pine’s sinuous, twisting limbs is revealed.

(via The horrible beauty of Mount Hood, Oregon)

National Geographic’s Photo of the Day is this picture of Mount Hood, Oregon, shot by Paul C. Glasser. A beautiful image of something actually quite terrible, as Glasser himself describes:

The hills were bathed in smoke from the many fires burning across Oregon. It’s only after it has died and shed its needles that the stark beauty and grace of the whitebark pine’s sinuous, twisting limbs is revealed.

(via The horrible beauty of Mount Hood, Oregon)

nomosshere

Greta Van Susteren Drops Benghazi BOMBSHELL on the White House

madworldnews:

Greta Van Susteren Drops Benghazi BOMBSHELL on the White House

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This past Friday, on the Fox News show “On the Record,” Greta Van Susteren revealed that the Obama administration contacted her to ask her to have reporter Jennifer Griffin drop running a report on Obama giving the order “to stand down” the tragic night the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

“The Obama…

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She brings this up now?! Did the hush money run out?

"Why is this disturbing? After all, who doesn’t want to pay less out of their own wallets for anything, whether it’s health care or groceries or cable TV? Because these sorts of developments muffle or completely destroy the connection between costs and benefits by de-linking prices and services. If you can buy a dollar’s worth of goods or services for just 54 cents, you’re more likely to buy more of something whether you really need it or not. This is "Groupon Government" on steroids."

Of course, we want people to have healthcare when they need it. The real issue, though, is that when the real cost of healthcare is masked, we fail to make choices that would obviate or minimize the need for some kinds of care, heart disease and type 2 diabetes being easy examples.

squashed

TD Bank and overdraft fees

squashed:

Apparently TD Bank decided it’s okay to hit customers with overdraft fees without regard to whether there is an actual overdraft.1 Or whether the account balance ever goes close to zero.

It’s no surprise that a bank would reorder transactions to reap extra fees—but this one is a new one. Here’s how it seems to work.

  1. Your account has $800 in it to begin with.
  2. You deposit a check for $2,000. This triggers an automatic hold for all but the first $100.
  3. TD structures this hold as a $2,000 deposit and a (presumably temporary) $1,900 debit.
  4. TD orders these transactions so the debit goes first. So for a moment your account is $1,100 overdrawn.
  5. You are then charged a $35 overdraft fee because your account dipped below zero.2

On the upside, if you don’t mind waiting on hold for a while TD has lovely customer service reps available at all hours. The representative was, of course, unable to determine why the fee had been assessed. I was told the fee would be reversed as a “one time courtesy.” Then I was given advice on how to avoid “overdrawing my account in the future.” I was not amused.

How many people wouldn’t have challenged the bogus fee? Is this negligence or something more deliberate?


  1. When making appropriately tagged posts about large companies on the Internet, I assume there’s likely a social media intern or something who reads it. If TD Bank tells me that I’ve gotten something wrong, I will promptly update this post here. Or retract it or something if I got it really wrong. But I did my diligence on this one. 

  2. Edit: I’m sort of a stickler for accuracy if I’m going to go making accusations of potentially criminal behavior—so I wanted to update this post because I think something (very) slightly different happens. It looks like all check-related deposits are processed simultaneously. See, e.g.. But they are reordered. So if you’d written three checks for $25 in addition to making your deposit, you could be assessed with three overdraft fees for each of the three checks, which could somehow be processed between the $1,900 hold and the $2,000 deposit. But you would not be charged a fee on the $1,900 hold. 

Wow, thanks, TD Ameritrade! [Makes a note to: 1) Check account balance, and; 2) research other firms].