Friday Open Thread

An exhausting week at work. I'm so glad it's Friday. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Harry Reid is retiring.... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:37:47 AM EST
    Now THERE is the perfect job for Elizabeth Warren - Senate Minority Leader.

    Make it so.

    Hell yeah! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:44:10 AM EST
    Corporate Dems lining up (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:34:09 PM EST
    behind Chuck Schumer.

    Harry Reid Quickly Passes Torch To Chuck Schumer For Democratic Leader

    Dick Durbin Endorses Chuck Schumer For Senate Democratic Leader

    There will be a serious leadership struggle in which a resurgent bloc of conservative Democrats -- who will be called "centrist" no matter what they actually believe and what they're actually willing to do -- will face off against those senators whose nominal leader is Senator Professor Warren. This is perilous at a time in which there is a serious threat to entitlement programs coming from the monkeyhouse on the other side of the Capitol, and at a time in which Evan Bayh, god help us, may consider a return to the Senate. The notion that Chuck Schumer is the odds-on favorite to succeed Reid should chill the bones of anyone in favor of lessening the death grip that the financial services has on our national economy. Charlie Pierce

    Ugh. Just what we don't need. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 05:20:09 PM EST
    I'm sure Wall Street and the banks are thrilled at the possibility...



    Her lack of seniority (none / 0) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:52:17 AM EST
    makes her chances about 1 in a million

    That's true. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:27:36 PM EST
    'Tis far better that both she and her Democratic colleagues instead defer to the wisdom and leadership of Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin.



    Probably true, but there is precdent (none / 0) (#94)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 07:26:06 PM EST
    Namely LBJ elected to the senate in 48, seated in 49 and elected minority leader in 53.  Of course, it was not a powerful position then.

    The position of leader, is that of chief nose counter. I am not sure that is Elizabeth Warren's forte.


    I worked in it at the state level for years. In addition to rounding up and counting votes, leadership will ultimately determine the caucus agenda, specifically the measures and policies to be supported and pursued.

    (Remember, it's the legislative branch that actually sets public policy, not the executive branch, which can only propose policies or amendments to legislators.)

    If one is majority leader, he or she will also have control over the scheduling of procedural and final votes by the entire body, the referrals of legislation to various standing committees, the appointments of members to those committees, rules regarding the introduction of amendments, and the parameters of floor debates.

    (As the chief legislative analyst to the Speaker of the State House, it was my job to draft bills that were to be part of the Majority's agenda, and to provide support and advice to those committees whose job was to schedule those bills for public hearing, including drafts of proposed amendments. Further, it was my job to schedule bills for Third and Final Reading, so I was the one who literally needed to "count to 26," which was the majority threshold in our 51-member House. If we couldn't rely upon at least 26 members to support its passage, I wouldn't schedule it for a floor vote until we could.)

    Congressional and state legislative caucus leaders are very important individuals in the legislative process. This is especially true with regards to the budget, which is arguably the most important legislation that Congress or a state legislature will pass in any given year, because its contents will frankly determine one's level of commitment to a stated policy.

    If that budget process breaks down for whatever reason, it's up to leadership to find a way to fix it, because they will invariably be blamed for any of its failures.



    Warren says no (none / 0) (#79)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:39:49 PM EST
    Moments after Reid's announcement, liberal activist groups Democracy For America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee began boosting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to succeed him as Democratic leader. But Warren's office told TPM she wasn't interested and "will not" run.

    She must (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by sj on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:06:03 PM EST
    be exhausted, and possibly annoyed, at all the "draft Warren" efforts.

    Mariel Hemmingway on Woody Allen (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:04:09 AM EST
    Speaks for itself. On a personal note, my own father was a visiting college professor when he knocked up my still teenage mother, who was playing the lead in ST. JOAN which my father was brought in to direct. And his current wife is even younger, 25+ years younger, I believe. So it's not like I'm a rookie to this issue personally. (link)

    Hope y'all are doing well. I'm currently hiding from the world, as I am prone to do when I feel creatively dead. Used to lock myself in a closet for hours when I was a kid to escape the madness at home. Installed the lock on the inside of the door myself. Peace.

    Big up yourself... (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:17:16 AM EST
    don't hide too long my friend, the world is darker when you hide from it.  Or at the very least, the world of Talkleft.

    I've always found the Jamaica sound to be an excellent alleviant of the doldrums.  The bush doctor prescribes a night of Ketchy Shuby with the Mrs.!


    Thanks, my friend (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:21:43 AM EST
    You're a good man. Just the way it is in my screwy head sometimes. At least I'm not in a literal closet as I type this. ;-)  

    I miss you. (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:41:54 AM EST
    The figurative ones... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:41:56 AM EST
    can be just as stifling.  

    One more musical pick me up, tis Friday after all.

    When you can't find the light,
    That guides you on the cloudy days,
    When the stars ain't shinin' bright,
    You feel like you've lost you're way,
    When those candle lights of home,
    Burn so very far away,
    Well you got to let your soul shine,
    Just like my daddy used to say.

    He used to say soulshine,
    It's better than sunshine,
    It's better than moonshine,
    Damn sure better than rain.
    Hey now people don't mind,
    We all get this way sometime,
    Got to let your soul shine, shine till the break of day.

    My grandmother married my grandfather (none / 0) (#37)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:53:47 AM EST
    At the age of 16, 90 years ago in North Texas, he was 10 years older, and her mother was a widow.

    Some nice rhetoric... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:49:53 AM EST
    from NYPD commish Bill Bratton...let's hope he's serious.

    Predicting 1,000,000 fewer interactions between cop and citizen in 2015...music to many a NYer's ear!

    Yea really good (none / 0) (#1)
    by denis012 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:27:48 AM EST
    Good friday mate :)
    צילום אירועים

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:48:24 AM EST
    O.M.G! (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:42:57 PM EST
    Israeli spam! Is there no level of malicious pettiness to which Bibi Netanyahu won't sink?

    Maybe (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:56:18 AM EST
    City living ISN'T what many people want after all

    During the housing bubble, Americans moved in droves to the exurbs, to newly paved subdivisions on what was once rural land. Far-out suburbs had some of the fastest population growth in the country in the early 2000s, fueled by cheap housing and easy mortgages. And these places helped redefine how we think about metropolitan areas like Washington, pushing their edges farther and farther from the traditional downtown.

    In the wake of the housing crash, these same places took the biggest hit. Population growth in the exurbs stalled. They produced a new American phenomenon: the ghost subdivision of developments abandoned during the housing collapse before anyone got around to finishing the roads or sidewalks.

    These scenes and demographic trends left the impression that maybe Americans had changed their minds about exurban living. New Census data, though, suggests that eight years after the housing crash, Americans are starting to move back there again.

    The fledgling trend, captured in data through 2014, raises questions about whether American preferences for where and how to live truly changed much during the housing bust, or if we simply put our exurban aspirations on hold. At the same time, the shift calls into question a parallel and popular narrative: that Americans who once preferred the suburbs would now rather move into the city.

    Demographic data over the last three years have tentatively supported this argument, with implications for the type of housing Americans want (smaller homes over large McMansions), the type of communities they prefer ("walkable" over car-dependent ones), and where developers should plan to build. The evidence: From 2011 until 2013, dense counties at the center of large metropolitan areas in the U.S. saw faster population growth than the exurbs, a fact cheered by city-lovers as a sign that urban living was on the rise again.

    The updated Census county population estimates released Thursday, though, show that the exurbs are now again growing faster than more urban places, according to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey.

    gas is cheap right now (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:51:45 AM EST
    Housing is cheaper the further you are outside the city.

    People still don't have a lot of money.

    But I kind of reject the notion that we should plan our built environment based solely on where people choose to live under the conditions that exist today.  If housing was cheaper and more plentiful in urban areas would people be moving there instead?  These aren't the same conditions that caused white flight.  Urban areas are expensive now.

    In a world with 7+ billion people and growing, we can't all live in McMansions in the exurbs, even if we wanted to.


    Speaking of "white flight"... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:10:45 AM EST
    I see the opposite here, let's call it "broke flight".  Low income people fleeing the high cost of gentrification, moving to the less expensive ghetto suburbs.  While the offspring of the "white flight" generation flock back to the gentrified city.

    exactly this (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:12:11 AM EST
    Which is why I disagree with the argument that people are leaving the city because they want to.

    They can't afford it.


    I agree... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:37:44 AM EST
    that is the majority reason...but I'm sure a minority leave for the old reasons (big house, more space, a lawn), as well fleeing all the god damn hipsters! ;)

    Yes (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:23:26 PM EST
    at least here I blieve the county with the most diverse populations is not the city. It's Gwinett County which used to be the ultimate white flight county 20 years or more ago. The county I live in is 25% hispanic and it would be considered the exurbs. Look at the changing demographics of another county Cobb which used to be white flight.

    White flight appears to be a thing of the past these days. People are buying what they can afford as close to work as they can get.


    We all can't (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:54:54 AM EST
    And don't want, to be crammed into tight cities with millions of people either.

    Given an Actual Choice... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:54:37 PM EST
    ...rather than a financial need, people would live in the country or in the city.  The burbs is where affordable housing meets the big city wages.

    No one in their right mind would commute the distances they currency do in most suburbs.  Nor would they all choose to live in nearly identical homes as their neighbors.

    The burps would dry up and die if everyone had the means to get what they wanted.  It's a choice as much as driving an Ultima is a choice given all the cars available, they make financial sense, but in reality, they are dream killers.

    I am currently there, if you count Sugar Land as a suburb of Houston, and I find it to be the worse kind of hell.  From 'Lawn of the Month' to 50 versions of Chili's all with people actually waiting to eat there, to d1ckhead neighbors striving to keep up with the other d1ckhead neighbors, to mindless naming of streets that all by chance are more of the less the same name, with maybe 5 different styles of houses for miles and miles.

    I grew up in the country and have always lived in the city, both are infinitely better than the burbs IMO.

    My commute incidentally is the same as it was when I lived downtown.  20 mins, which would be about 5 if I didn't have to deal with the suburbanites living 50 miles from where they work and clogging the freeways for hours.

    That being said, the most recent urban sprawl is basically bringing the suburban theme into the city, which means tearing down everything and putting up rows and rows of town homes on what used to be character filled neighborhoods.  And instead of chilli's it's fushion themed franchises and cookie shops.  IOW, the yuppies are managing to recreate the suburbs in the city. Which mean isolating themselves as much as humanely possible form the very city that supports their lifestyle.


    I grew up in the 'burbs, but have (none / 0) (#77)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:33:26 PM EST
    lived on 5 acres in the country since 1983, and cannot imagine having to live asses-to-elbows with people: we like our privacy.  No one peering over at you on your deck chatting you up when you just want to be left alone.  No one to care if I go get the paper off the driveway in my bathrobe.  I work in the city, I get enough of people and traffic, and all I want when i get home is peace and quiet.

    I have neighbors (none / 0) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:33:11 PM EST
    that commute 1 1/2 hours to work. Of course if you mention getting light rail they have a meltdown.

    You're right about the suburbs/exurbs. All of my neighbors are all trying to "be somebody" but in reality they're "nobody" just like millions of others. In their desperation they are rude and nobody knows their neighbors. I've never lived in a neighborhood like the one I have now and I hate it. It is full of cliques trying to best other cliques. Ugh.


    we may not want to (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:04:50 AM EST
    but most of us could.

    Except for those of us (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:32:26 PM EST
    who live out in the country, on working farms.
    We produce the food you eat.  If it weren't for the farmers, if most of us moved to the cities, then there wouldn't be food for people.
    And we have 60+ acres, but we live in a small, 75-year-old farmhouse.  Our barn is a whole lot bigger than our house, but it's filled with hay and farm equipment.
    Not the kind of lifestyle that most people want, but somebody has to produce the food.

    absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:37:01 PM EST
    I'm in no way talking about farms or even small towns.  Or rural areas in general.  Small towns are often very sustainable.

    And it's also why I said most.

    I just mean that we really can't all afford big houses in the suburbs that take up a lot of space, don't produce anything, and are a large strain on resources.


    The thing that bothers many of us (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:43:54 PM EST
    out in the country is when a near-by farm is sold to a developer, who then proceeds to build a bunch of McMansions, whose residents then start to complain about the surrounding working farms.  The smells, the noise of the animals and the farm equipment, the fertilizers being put on the the fields (usually manure, which adds to any smells), the slow tractors driving down "their" roads while the farmer is going from one field to another, etc.
    It annoys the heck out of us.  What did these people expect when they moved out to "the country" next to farms?  That we would maintain these farms as some kind of bucolic parks that they could feast their eyes on?
    Enough nuisance lawsuits occurred against the farmers, that the county passed a "right to farm" bill.

    Longtime... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:48:16 PM EST
    city neighborhood people have similar gripes...the gentrifiers come, and then bitch about the sounds and smells of the neighborhood they chose to move to.  

    Until all the longtime neighborhood people are totally priced out, that is.


    One thing that helps out here is that (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:52:39 PM EST
    the county does not base our property taxes on the value of the fancy houses nearby.
    Working farms get a property tax break.  If we didn't, many farmers would not be able to afford their property taxes.

    Let's hope that doesn't change... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:05:38 PM EST
    and the county doesn't get visions of more McMansions and more tax revenue dancing in it's head.

    Here (none / 0) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:15:45 PM EST
    they have found out that subdivisions are a net tax loss. The bring more children into the school system and drive up road costs but what they pay in taxes doesn't nearly cover the costs they incur.

    The thing now is these live and work neighborhoods.


    Opposite here... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:20:17 PM EST
    the property tax rates are ridiculous in the ritzier McMansion burbs...it's like a 2nd mortgage just to pay the damn taxes.

    My ghetto burb has some of the lowest property taxes around, and they're still 6 grand a year.  My sister's ritzier burb are like 15 grand...insane!


    Boston and NY are very similar (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:32:27 PM EST
    The rich established burbs will remain rich and established.  But you need more money than god to live there.  Same with the rich parts of the city.  Just a matter of preference.

    For the rest of us - it's a tough balance between where we want to live and where we can afford to live.

    The best thing I got going for me right now is a great neighborhood with a bad reputation, and a landlord who hasn't raised my rent in years.  But people are definitely starting to catch on.


    Similar boat... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:42:39 PM EST
    I can't remember when the sweetest little old landlady you'll ever meet last raised our rent...and I like my quiet ghetto burb, even though it's got a bad reputation.

    And thank goodness for that bad rap...it keeps the white people (and white people prices/taxes) away;)  In the 4 square blocks around me there are only 3 cracker households, including mine.

    And since we're an hour train outta NYC proper, I think we'll be safe for long awhile.  In fact I see alotta "for sale" signs lately...I think the main reason is the brutal winter we just had is scaring off some of the Central American immigrants that make up the majority of my neighborhood.


    I'm in the city proper (none / 0) (#68)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:02:59 PM EST
    It's the Boston equivalent of Queens.  Too close to be safe for long.  It's going the way of Queens and Brooklyn.

    Not too many for sale signs, even after this winter.  If I could buy now I would in a heartbeat though.


    Yep... (none / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:15:12 PM EST
    you're f*cked for certain pal, it's only a matter of time. :(

    Queens is the new Brooklyn...I was down in Long Island City recently, hardly recognized the place.  Used to hang in LIC a lot back in the 90's, my friend rented studio space there with his band...no broked*ck musicians renting studio space there no more, replaced by luxury condos.

    But the biggest cultural loss in that area was "The Institute of Higher Burnin'" aka 5 Pointz.


    I read an article (none / 0) (#72)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:35:00 PM EST
    A few years ago - that once starbucks comes to your neighborhood it's too late.  The tide has turned.  At the time there were zero starbucks in Dorchester.  We now have one.

    The NYT informs me part of the Bronx is (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:43:28 PM EST
    gentrifying. Who'd a thunk that would happen.

    Not really surprising. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 05:14:58 PM EST
    Land is at an extreme premium in New York City, so as more people want to live there, parts of the city that were previously not as "desirable" become gentrified.

    Yep (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:14:07 PM EST
    exact same thing here. Neighbors whine and moan about the smell from the farmers fertilizing with chicken stuff. It's not pleasant but like you say you move next to farm you deal with the consequences.

    I live in one of those neighborhoods that was built on a farm. I did not want to move out here. My husband dragged me kicking and screaming. I'm an Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody kind of gal though that's not where we lived before but were a lot closer.

    I talked to one county council person who said a lot of people in the area are mad about the farms being turned into subdivisions and thought they should stay farms and the county council person said do you know a farmer that has 5 million dollars to buy a farm?


    No, No, that's where I draw the line. (none / 0) (#73)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:35:01 PM EST
    Cow plops, horse droppings, fine. Pig turds, mule dung, no problem. Sheep offerings, even Alpaca gifts, tolerable.

    But.....Chicken $hit?....NO WAY!!

    Have you ever wandered into a packed, healthy, "working" chicken coop? The lenses in your glasses will melt right out of their frames, man!

    Come on people, farm smells come with the territory. I get that. But, the Good Lord must've been really P.O'd at somebody the day he proclaimed, " let there be chickens, and let them donate their abdominal dreck onto those who deny me, and my holy perfectness."

    "Cluck, cluck," my azz. Gonna vomit just thinking about it.


    The really bad smells (none / 0) (#75)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:26:58 PM EST
    come from the "factory farmed" chickens where a whole lot of them are stuffed into small cages.  Ugh!  And the poor chickens!
    We never had chickens.  And if you only have a few, for some eggs, it's really not smelly.  But get a bunch of them, and it's bad.
    Our beef cattle were basically free-range, we didn't crowd them into small spaces.  The manure smell really wasn't bad at all, since we would move them from pasture to pasture.

    Like 5 miles outside the City... (none / 0) (#81)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:59:01 PM EST
    ...I went to college in was a place in which the smell of boiled/steamed chickens(to remove their feathers) was almost vomit inducing.

    It never went into he city, but it was always at the edge so whenever you left town or returned, that was the first thing that caught your attention.

    I grew up on a farm, and we had a couple chickens when I was maybe 4.  I remember that smell, there is nothing more disgusting.  And if I had to guess, the very I absolutely hate chicken.

    It smelled so bad, just talking about it makes me sick to my stomach.


    Aw, Scott (none / 0) (#89)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 05:16:05 PM EST
    Don't be such a weenie.   ;-)

    You know, Zorba, that's exactly ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 03:32:29 PM EST
    ... what happened to my paternal grandparents' community in northeastern Illinois, only it was the farmers who eventually split the scene, abandoning their fields to the McMansionites and corporateers.

    Back in the days of their youth, it was known as Wheeling Township, a hardy German-American rural farm community of perhaps 5,000 souls, spread across thousands of acres of rich black soil in northwest Cook County. Today, where they once lived and farmed is best known as the "Village of Northbrook," a very posh Chicago suburb of 35,000 well-heeled residents who will politely demand that you explain what you're doing in their neighborhood, before they call the police.

    But I'll have you know that my family held out and never sold to a McMansion developer. No, ma'am, they had high standards to uphold. And that's why today, what was once the site of the family farm is now the corporate HQ and grounds of Allstate Insurance.

    Because for my grandparents, who were both in their mid-50s at the time they sold to Allstate in 1971, and who had raised a family of six boys on what they earned through truck farming, the multi-million dollar cash offer that was tendered for their acres was probably more money than they could've ever possibly imagined seeing in their lifetimes. Naturally, they took it and ran.

    (Actually, they didn't run. Rather, they moved to a then-small rural town to the northwest called Lake Zurich, located in Lake County, IL -- a region which, thanks to the widened highways and a commuter rail line, has since undergone its own suburban transformation into a metropolitan Chicago dependency. And they sold those acres to McMansionmakers.)

    Meanwhile, Allstate subsequently subdivided their newly acquired Northbrook property into two very large parcels, kept one of them to build their HQ, and sold the other in 1976 to Household Finance (HFC), who proceeded to build THEIR corporate HQ next door.

    And further, the little township airport that was started on a portion of my great-grandparents' farm and was once known as Palwaukee Field (because it was located at the corners of Palatine Rd. and Milwaukee Ave.), has grown and expanded into Chicago Executive Airport, where all the cool kids who live and work in the area today prefer to keep their private jets.

    It's said that nearly everyone has their price, and my father's family was no different. And were my grandparents and their siblings still around, it's quite likely that none of them would recognize what's become of their former home turf.

    My mother sure didn't, when she went back there to visit her former brothers-in-law in 2009.  What was once a narrow two-lane rural road named after my grandmother's family is now a very busy six-lane thoroughfare that's lined with corporate HQs and large hotels on either side, and yet it still retains its now-quaint original name, Sanders Road. Progress, and all that.



    What tends to happen out (none / 0) (#86)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:59:10 PM EST
    in the country is, when the farmers die, many of the kids have no interest in farming, so they sell the place.
    Fortunately, on our road, we are zoned agricultural and we're all on wells.  They can't get a perk (in order to put in a septic tank) on less than 5-10 acres, so they would have a real problem putting in a bunch of houses, even if they could get the agricultural zoning changed (which does happen all the time).  They'd still have to figure out where to get all the water, since we're all on wells, too, and the wells have to be well away from the septic fields.
    But what really, really helps is that across the road from us, the land is zoned preservation, because it backs up onto the Appalachian Trail.  So that severely limits how many houses can be built there, anyway.
    It's much worse down the road, lower down the mountain and in the valley, where the usage isn't as restricted.

    More than food, Zorba, (none / 0) (#93)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 06:49:23 PM EST
    We are net producers of oxygen.

    For the the privilege of doing so, local governments ding us with higher property taxes.


    Part of that (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 06:50:45 AM EST
    is availability of land. There is land in the exurbs but not in the city.

    And part of it is the shortage of houses and the availability of houses in the exurbs. At least here in metro Atlanta.

    My observation has been that younger couples prefer to live closer in to the city, older people and retirees don't mind the exurbs as much but the commute from the exurbs in Metro Atlanta is absolute h*ll.


    I think there's also (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 07:03:37 AM EST
    Younger people want things like the nightlife a city offers, whereas, once people start raising families and getting into middle age they want more housing for their dollar, better schools, more quiet, less crowding, more shopping choices, etc.  

    Shopping (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 07:16:45 AM EST
    choices are abysmal in the exurbs. And some of the best schools in Atlanta metro are inside the perimeter. No, I'm mostly talking about young families that like the amenities living in the city or on the edge of the city offers like parks etc. I'm not just talking about young single people. Young single people have always liked the city but it's just that more of them are staying there these days it seems than moving to the exurbs. The main thing about the exurbs is housing costs are lower but there also are no jobs in the exurbs.

    Exurb vs Suburb (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:53:09 AM EST
    Schools are generally better in suburbs vs. cities.  So are shopping choices - especially for things like groceries and household, although you can order that stuff online now. The point us, all the young city dweller bloggers and writers for places like The Atlantic got all starry-eyed about telling us how the a burbs were dying and that cities were the focus and where people wanted to move to.  Turns out - not so much.

    Many people in exurbs / suburbs, if not now, but in the coming years, won't need to worry about "no jobs" being there as telecommuting options are ever expanding.  I mean - who is moving to these suburbs / exurbs that are far out with more land and bigger housing choices? Hint:  it isn't people with minimum wage or entry-level jobs.


    Well (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    I have to tell you they aren't doing all that well here. Housing prices still are not up to par and people are still upside down in their houses. We're still having foreclosures in my area. Perhaps in some areas of the country it is different.

    Nope, grocery shopping is way worse in the exurbs. You basically get Kroger and Publix, Wal-mart and Target. Anything else you need to drive 20 miles to get. You live in Buckhead and you have all the grocery stores within a few blocks of you--including Trader Joe's and others. Nothing close to that in the exurbs.

    I hate to tell you but there are a lot of low income people out here because they can't afford to drive to jobs that pay better and all the jobs that exist in the exurbs are low paying jobs.


    not just Atlanta (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:52:50 PM EST
    The suburbs are getting poorer across the country.



    Breaking on CNN (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 07:04:24 AM EST
    Harry Reid will not run for re-election in 2016.

    Somebody else in DC (none / 0) (#34)
    by Uncle Chip on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:44:28 AM EST
    who should also be considering retirement:

    Congresswoman demonstrates worst parking job ever


    Republicans - Religion vs Constitution (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 07:35:59 AM EST
    This year: Mandatory church attendance.

    An Arizona state senator thinks it is a good idea for the American people.

    State Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, brought it up during a committee meeting Tuesday while lawmakers were debating a gun bill, not religion.

    Allen explained that without a "moral rebirth" in the country, more people may feel the need to carry a weapon. Link

    I do believe a shortened version of her name would be appropriate.

    This woman is (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 07:55:57 AM EST
    dumber than a box of rocks.  (Which doesn't say much about the voters who elected her.)
    Let's call her the Christian Taliban.

    Then (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:02:39 AM EST
    you also have the theocrats in places like here in GA and IN pushing discrimination to gays. It's all just so ugly.

    And I guess that lady forgot my grandmother's saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.


    There was a demonstration in Dothan (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:59:12 AM EST
    In support of gay marriage, a really progressive event for around here.  Of course some terrible Christians showed up to do their part.  We all knew they would.  But some Christians showed up to support gay marriage and we're shunned by the support gay marriage group.  Not a lot of trust out there.  The against basic civil rights Christians have out meaned and out nastied evolved Christlike Christians and now it's just scar tissue.

    Georgia Religious Liberty Bill in the news (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:56:24 AM EST
    How To Kill A Discriminatory `Religious Liberty' Bill: Call The Bluff

    Georgia lawmakers have been quickly advancing their own version of a "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA), a bill similar to the pro-discrimination legislation that just became law in Indiana. SB 129 has already passed the Georgia Senate -- having advanced through votes while Democrats were in the bathroom -- but it came to a screeching halt in a House committee on Thursday.

    As in Indiana, proponents of Georgia's bill have tried to argue that it has nothing to do with discrimination. Rep. Mike Jacobs, an LGBT-friendly Republican, decided to test this theory by introducing an amendment that would not allow claims of religious liberty to be used to circumvent state and local nondiscrimination protections. Supporters of the bill, like Rep. Barry Fleming (R), countered that the amendment "will gut the bill." Nevertheless, the House Judiciary Committee approved the amendment with a 9-8 vote, three Republicans joining the Democrats in supporting it.

    Fleming moved to table the amended bill, a motion that passed with 16 votes, making it doubtful the bill will proceed before the legislative session ends. With an exception for nondiscrimination protections, the "religious liberty" bill is likely dead.

    Among the opponents of (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:10:37 PM EST
    the  proposed GA Religious Freedom Restoration Act, (aka "Death-rattle Act,")  was Rabbi Joshua Heller, senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in Georgia, located in Sandy Springs, a close-in suburb of Atlanta.  Rabbi Heller is also chair of a subcommittee of the Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Law.  

    In a masterful guest column in the Atlanta paper (see reporting), the rabbi wrote that he must speak out because "I see a wrong being contemplated in our state in the name of God and of people of faith, and I cannot be silent while that wrong comes to pass."

      "... I know some come with no malice.  Unfortunately, they have been sold not a bill of rights, but a bill of goods."   "Faith sometimes demands being different from the world around us.  My own observance sets me apart in what I eat and how I spend every Sabbath, but I have never protested that the Georgia Bulldogs handle a pig skin on the Sabbath."   "People of faith must reject this law."

    It would provide cover for hatred and discrimination under a false flag of faith.  All are at risk: gay and straight, Christian and Jew."

    The rabbi also pointed out the legislative "shenanigans" surrounding the bill's consideration.  In addition to its passage out of the Senate during a bathroom break, he expressed his concern that when he and others who registered to testify against the bill in the House committee last Tuesday, they were directed to the wrong door, and then denied entry to the woefully undersized hearing room. Some did not get to testify. The rabbi asks, " Can people who act deceptively in the name of faith really call themselves "religious"?  


    Yes (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 02:17:04 PM EST
    even though many religious leaders were against this bill, Rabbi Heller is the one who took the legislature by suprise. A breakaway Baptist group, a memeber of the Young Repbulicans and many others were against it.

    The stuff going on in GA is a window into the problems the GOP has nationwide. You cannot continue to only cater to the far right and expect to continue to exist as a political party.


    Some comedian (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:28:10 PM EST
    could do a whole show or heck a whole serious of shows from the Gold Dome here in Ga.

    Jacobs I have read comes from Brookhaven which is a gay friendly area of Atlanta.


    As Mahatma Gandhi (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:35:06 PM EST
    Once said, when asked what he thought about Christianity:

    "I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."


    That's really (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:48:55 AM EST
    unfortunate and not helpful because that is what has been pushing a lot of people into the evangelicals.

    Not all churches are behind anti gay movement (none / 0) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:50:44 AM EST
    In Indianapolis, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) sent a letter to Pence on Wednesday threatening to cancel its 2017 convention in Indy if he signs the measure into law.

    "Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry," Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star.

    Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is "hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees."

    The Disciples of Christ has held its annual convention in Indianapolis three times since 1989. Adams expected about 8,000 to attend in 2017. VisitIndy estimated the economic impact at $5.9 million. link

    Also, 7 Entities That May Boycott Indiana Over New LGBT Discrimination Law

    The entities are Yelp, Salesforce, The City of San Francisco, NCAA, Eli Lilly and Company (voiced disapproval), Disciples of Christ and Gen Con.


    I think (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:25:12 PM EST
    Tracy was making the statement that the Christians who do support gay marriage were shunned by the pro gay marriage people.

    Yes, I understood Tracy's statement (none / 0) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:32:11 PM EST
    It was unfortunate. Turning down legitimate support for your cause is not wise IMO.

    I agree (none / 0) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:41:59 PM EST
    and very sad.

    This doesn't make any sense, what's missing? (none / 0) (#49)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:38:55 PM EST
    "Tracy was making the statement that the Christians who do support gay marriage were shunned by the pro gay marriage people."

    Why would people who support gay marriage be shunned by gay marriage people?


    It sounded (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:42:31 PM EST
    like they couldn't get over the fact that they were Christians.

    Because... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:43:49 PM EST
    nobody has a monopoly on bigotry and prejudice?

    It is very possible that some members (none / 0) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:57:16 PM EST
    Of the group demonstrating for gay marriage have endured various forms of demonization and suffering from from ant-gay Christians.

    In Dothan?? Wow (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 06:05:26 PM EST
    I know there have been a lot of short term marriages but never a gay one in Circle City.

    Which shortened version though? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:09:52 AM EST
    Snow from the Hunger Games or self explanatory Flake :)

    I was dropping Snow from her name (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:01:41 AM EST
    The alternative didn't occur to me. Individually, I view her as more stupid than powerful.

    Although as a group, they seem to be more active in trying to establish a religious state throughout the country.

    Some days I'm glad that I am old. I shudder to think about the possible direction of this country.


    You do realize (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:56:52 AM EST
    her name is Allen? She represents a district that includes Snowflake, AZ.

    Whoops (none / 0) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:36:17 AM EST
    No, I did not realize that. I completely misread the article and all I saw was Sen. Snowflake. and thought how appropriate.  

    That's why I was confused! (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:57:30 AM EST
    Snowflake is jet district, not her name!

    My mistake (none / 0) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:37:20 AM EST
    Although, I still think she should be named Flake.

    Airizona already has a US Senator Flake (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:18:03 PM EST
    I guess there is an opening for a State Senator Flake

    IMO there are a whole lot of openings for (none / 0) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:27:07 PM EST
    politicians to be named Flake.

    The competition would be hard to judge with so many qualified contestants.


    Bergdahl's possible defense (none / 0) (#43)
    by ragebot on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 12:27:23 PM EST
    link here

    First time I have seen this.  Not following the chain of command is seldom a good idea.  Not sure how well it will fly.

    So very pleased and relieved to see (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:51:32 PM EST
    (in the article linked by Ragebot) that Eugene Fidell is representing Bergdahl. Gene is just a terrific military lawyer, very smart, and a good person, too. The toughest cases should have the best lawyers, just like at the ongoing trial in Boston.

    Our hostess... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 01:11:40 PM EST
    might appreciate this one...looks like a buncha Indonesian police could be executed or imprisoned for decades after mass distributing 3.3 tons of reefer and getting all of West Jakarta high as f*ck.

    Jodorosky's Dune (none / 0) (#84)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 04:42:15 PM EST
    i can't remember who told me to see this but thank you.  Wow. Amazing.  I had some forgotten that he made El Topo which is in my top ten best ever.  
    If only.....
    I would have paid to see that.

    Fun to think what some films could have been.   That awful Dinosaur movie me and hundreds of others spent years of or life on was, many years before Disney got hold of it, going to be made by Paul Verhoeven and Phil Tippett.  Consider that for a moment compared to the silly saccharine thing Disney produced.

    It looks like (none / 0) (#87)
    by sj on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 05:04:00 PM EST
    the original script could now be made into a trilogy. Or quadrilogy. That wouldn't have happened in the 70's though.

    I hated David Lynch's version, although I could have gone either way. The tipping point for me, though, was the treatment of the child-Reverend Mother Alia. She was a fascinating character in the book. Not the caricature she was in the movie.


    If you love the source material (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 06:26:51 PM EST
    you owe it to your self to see this documentary.

    It is equally awe inspiring and heartbreaking to think of a Dune with Salvador Dali, Orson Wells, Mick Jagger, the music of Pink Floyd and Magma and concepts by Moebius and Geiger.


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:33:01 PM EST
    David Lynch's Dune was, at best, an inglorious and cringe-worthy cinematic mess. At worst, it was an almost criminal waste of perfectly good celluloid. And for the tons of money that was spent bringing the Frank Herbert novel to the big screen, I thought that the film's special effects were often surprisingly cheap-looking. Everyone who was associated with this project should rightfully be embarrassed by it.

    Glad you liked it (none / 0) (#96)
    by McBain on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:59:58 PM EST
    I loved seeing the passion he had for his vision.  Dune fans probably wouldn't have approved how he changed several things.... especially the ending... but it would have been a sight to behold.

    I've got El Topo in my netflix queue.


    Amanda Knox ACQUITTED (none / 0) (#95)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 08:12:06 PM EST
    by Italy's highest court of appeals. I believe this is the end of the road.

    I'm glad they both had their convictions (none / 0) (#97)
    by McBain on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:04:42 PM EST
    overturned.  Is this it, or can the crazy Italian courts try again?

    This is it. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 10:46:45 PM EST
    With this latest ruling, prosecutors can no longer re-indict Knox and her former boyfriend for the crime. They're free to get on with their lives.

    And please don't call other countries' judicial systems "crazy" simply because you don't understand how they work. In many places, such systems pre-date our own existence as a country. And quite frankly, given that some states in our union -- such as Wisconsin and Texas -- allow for the popular election of its judiciary, we really have no business putting on airs.