Friday Afternoon Open Thread

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    I know that there are many needy food shelfs (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by DFLer on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:32:04 PM EST
    throughout the country. Nonetheless, the Land O' Lakes (butter) corporation, along with a local TV station, is donating a dollar per click to the MN food shelf programs.

    Could it hurt you to go here and click? Look for the click bar above the cow's head. (ya, that's my peeps!)

    Thanks and HapHols

    done. HH (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:51:03 PM EST
    Incredibly Quick and Simple (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:25:46 PM EST
    really, it was over in less than a second...

    Is it petty of me to love this? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:20:14 PM EST
    Sen. Al shuts Lieberman up. Bonus: shuts McCain up too.

    No. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:10:39 PM EST
    I thought it was incredibly cool.  Franken didn't make a big fuss about it, he just said, Nuh-uh, don't want to.

    Awesome (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CST on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:46:46 PM EST
    The "funniest" part of this:

    "The incident sparked a sharp rebuke from Sen. John McCain, who declared, "This is the first time I have ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks."

    Though the liberal Web site Thinkprogress reports McCain himself refused to grant senators additional time to speak in 2002 when the chamber was debating the Iraq War authorization."

    Emphasis mine


    Sen Begich did the same to Sen Corny (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by DFLer on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:08:31 PM EST

    So when Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked Sen. Mark Begich. D-Alaska, for additional time to keep talking about health care Thursday afternoon, it wasn't the kind of request usually denied in the polite Senate, where long-windedness is generally tolerated.

    But Begich's response was unusual: "In my capacity as the senator from Alaska, I object."

    Same language, same rule sent out by Reid. Of course Al will be a juicier target for those who disagree.


    McCain is a putz (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:22:16 PM EST
    Aww (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    Advice: everything is different now. Don't be so hard on her about going out, etc. She'll just resent it (if she's anything like other people I know).

    You feel old? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by NYShooter on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 08:17:33 PM EST
    I know that listening to advice from your peers really sucks, but who cares; I'm gonna give you some anyway:

    Having raised two generations of stroke-inducers I found the old "K.I.S.S." acronym to be the shining principal of parenting. Reasons being: A. Kids are so much smarter, and intellectually receptive, from the moment of birth on up, they make, by definition, most parents look stupid, and B. They're gonna do what they want to do regardless of what you say anyway.

    Therefore, "k.i.s.s."  I told my kids that I wouldn't insult their intelligence with a laundry list of do's & don'ts which, as the bejillion kids that went before (including me) would absolutely ignore, and 99.9% of the "don'ts turn out to be pretty harmless for most people most of the time anyway.

    "BUT (and this I said just as soon as they could comprehend, around 2-3 yrs. of age), there are a couple of things which are absolutely, positively, and unequivocally forbidden. I said earlier that 99.9% of "adult" rules are understandably forgettable, that leaves .01% that I would kill to enforce; rules, that when violated even once, have a tremendous probability of changing your life forever, or ending it altogether. So when I tell you what I'm talking about it's not a father-son/daughter chat, it's an adult-adult chat."

    "Now, what "things?" 1. Don't ever, not even once, get into a car with a drunk driver. 2. Don't ever, not even once, engage in unprotected sex. 3. Don't ever, not even once, ingest something into your body that you don't know exactly what it is. And 4. Probably the hardest of them all; never disrespect another human being. Regardless of who they are, where they came from, or what opinions they hold, they were born just as free, just as unique, and just as entitled as you were to be heard. For, if you want to grow up having people listen to you, truly listen to you, starting your conversation with a slur, or any sign of disrespect, guarantees that anything you say afterwards; "they will see your lips moving, but they won't hear a thing."

    Epilogue: Thanks to the great economy, I'm not enjoying the "sunshine years," drinking margaritas on a beach in Malibu. Instead, I'm working full-time for a real ba*l-buster boss, my son, Joe. He keeps taunting me that it's a good thing I drilled rule #4 into his head while growing up otherwise he'd tell me what he really thinks of my work performance............lol.


    John Cole (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:38:47 PM EST
    This notion that if "Obama used his bully pulpit" or "got out in front of the bill more" is just silly. The bill progressives want is not being held hostage by Obama, it is being held hostage by Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.


    It's amazing that we have a pretty sh*tty bill and there is not one thing, not one thing Obama could have done differently in this process.  He was obvi perfect at occupying his apparent figurehead position.

    Reconciliation (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:44:03 PM EST
    n John's defense, he actually has not really engaged the substance or the process on this issue so it is not surprising that he shouts out Conventional Village Blog Wisdom.

    Of course, the funny thing is what he is saying is that all of this stuff that he abhors is sort of beside the point - go talk to Ben Nelson if you want this bill. not anyone else.

    He's mad that everyone else is not ready to have a parade for it.


    I think the quoted Booman (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:55:46 PM EST
    reading is wrong too.  Booman is basically saying a primary threat and attack ads against Lincoln are worthless.  I don't think that's true.

    And it's up to progressives to persuade centrists?  I can think of ONE PERSON whose job is to persuade centrists...I remember his name because I hired him last year....

    As far as John Cole goes he comments on a lot of sh*t he has no idea about.  Ex. gay rights.


    Booman? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:57:51 PM EST
    Look, he is a nice guy but he really doesn't even know the basic procedure of reconciliation.

    I hear him say this (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:08:13 PM EST
    the other night and found it outrageous and odious.

    HOWEVER, don't tag Matthews with love of tea baggers.  He thinks they're completely nuts and has even less use for them than he does us DFHs.  The entire MSM/Village is horrified by the tea baggers and contemptuous of them, with the sole exception of the Fox people and a couple nutjobs at CNBC.

    Thanks, I will take your word for it (none / 0) (#33)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:41:52 PM EST
    I don't watch much news except for Sunday mornings, and the tea-partiers were always talked about as such a force by the talking heads. But that might not be a representative sample.

    Talking about them (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:20:36 PM EST
    as a force is one thing, but lauding them as "real Americans" is another thing entirely.  Matthews has actually spent very little time talking about or to them, except to ridicule them once in a while. For better or worse, he's more interested in the dilemmas of poor old Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson <yawn>.

    Matthews is a big pain in the *, but he's not really categorizable in terms of his views.  He's really very good on some things, totally buried in Village thinking in others, off in cloud cuckoo-land on a few others.


    Heh (none / 0) (#81)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:58:06 AM EST
    "Enemy camp" Matthews speaks.

    For the brain dead (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:58:19 PM EST
    Tiger according to a friend is in seclusion watching cartoons and eating cereal.

    For the intellectual type . .

    An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that, even using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were due to medical reasons. Most medical debtors were well educated, were homeowners and had good jobs. Three quarters among them had health insurance. In spite of that, in 92% of cases high medical bills contributed to their bankruptcy.

    Fantasy divorce: (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:37:46 PM EST
    Obama's Copehagen speech ... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:41:31 PM EST
    was odd.  Too strident for America's history on the issue.  The audience reaction was muted to say the least.  Something akin to what Susan Alexander Kane received in Citizen Kane.

    From the Manchester Guardian: (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jackson on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:39:12 PM EST
    "We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we will do what we say," Obama said.

    But in the absence of any evidence of that commitment the words rang hollow and there was a palpable sense of disappointment in the audience.

    The Green groups are slamming him.  They apparently have less tolerance for being played for suckers than those of us who have been working for meaningful healthcare reform, drug importation, card check, ending don't-ask-don't-tell, etc. etc. etc.  Who will he disappoint next?


    For those who... (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:42:26 PM EST
    ...um...want interesting food ideas to take to your holiday parties...

    The 9 Fattiest Christmas creations

    Welp . . . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:58:40 PM EST
    I guess there's a reason I'm skinny, lol!~

    residents of alabama are (none / 0) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:49:46 PM EST
    among the top 10 in happiness according to a yahoo poll.

    I think contentedness, or acceptance might be better terms, but folks here aren't terribly unhappy.

    I thinks it (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:30:55 PM EST
    must be because they get to look at those live oaks in the twilight.

    And someone down there finally perfected the mint julep.


    That's KY and mint julep (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:01:40 PM EST
    That poll is f@ck!ng rigged! (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:50:16 PM EST
    Perhaps a temporary euphoria due to (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:56:12 PM EST
    recent developments in college football?

    You are so much smarter than I am (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:05:00 PM EST
    You are positively correct.  These folks around here may not have anything in the bank or the fridge but they can live on football and Wednesday night spaghetti night at church for a whole year!

    Weird? Until you have had (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:29:20 PM EST
    lightly beer-battered perch (or cod, your call, or the assortment of whitefish and bluefish and more) with lobster sauce, plus potato pancakes on the side with their own sides of applesauce and sour cream, well, you haven't lived, you islander.  Oh, and don't miss the marbled rye bread and slaw.

    We are heading out to our favorite fry site soon.

    I remember church spaghetti nights, too.  At least the cuisine is colorful.  Try a Minnesota church supper, where every dish to pass is white food, from lutefisk (mmmm, that marinade of lye) to pasta with cream of mushroom soup sauce to . . . well, you get the picture.  It makes for a fairly blinding table, like an endless vista of snow.


    In my part of the midwest, (none / 0) (#54)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:41:43 PM EST
    which is central Illinois, the fried fish of choice is catfish. The sides are baked potato and the ubiquitous coleslaw.

    If you are not inclined to eat your catfish in a church, you can usually find an American Legion post or an Elks serving up this Friday night tradition.

    Just let me say, I love the marbled rye.


    Oh, yeh. Catfish po'boys (none / 0) (#64)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:23:16 PM EST
    are among my favorites here, any day of the week.  Put the slaw right in the sammich, thankyoumuchly.

    And same here with fish fry options at Legion posts or Elks clubs or lots of other places with liquor.  Every tavern has a fish fry here, too.  And with a tavern on almost every corner -- well, there's still enough business to go around 'em all, and churches, too, every Friday night here.

    Except in a big storm, of course.  One of my children was the manager of the biggest fish fry in town -- in a microbrewery, with more than 2,000 plates served on average Friday nights, and the Lenten counts can be twice that -- but once a season or so, only a few hundred folks make it through a blizzard.  Then a lot of that food ends up going to local shelters on Monday . . . and a few servers get laid off.  Child of mine is out of that business, thank heavens.  Restaurants, tourism, etc., are too much of a roller coaster ride in this economy.


    What about jello and chocolate cake (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:58:53 PM EST
    /w chocolate frosting, and also fried chicken?

    The redneck margarita (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:17:08 PM EST
    3 Pabst Blue Ribbons mixed with a small can of frozen limeade in a discolored old plastic pitcher

    Oh, how fancy you Suthrinners are (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:24:51 PM EST
    what with using a pitcher and all.  Pour from the limeade can into the beer can.  Otherwise, you do not get the satisfaction of crunching the can when done and tossing it on my lawn.

    John Chait (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:18:56 PM EST

    KO's special comments (none / 0) (#16)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:48:09 PM EST
    never made my leg tingle. Now, after almost 6 months without television, even less.

    happy she's home, (none / 0) (#17)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:49:40 PM EST
    but sorry for you she's grown up. Sigh, why can't they stay our children and small forever?

    Why cant we all stay (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:56:12 PM EST
    small children? Another thing Im pissed at God about.

    there are (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:55:49 PM EST
    advantages to having adult children too.

    I think my parents, once they got over the empty nest factor, enjoy talking to us as adults in ways that weren't possible before.

    That, and now they come over and have us cook THEM dinner.

    Although they do keep clamoring for grandkids...


    wise decision (none / 0) (#36)
    by CST on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:50:09 PM EST
    in fairness to my parents, we are all older, out of the house, done with college, and employed.

    To be honest, I'm ready for some neices and nephews myself.  Kids of my own, not so much.


    As I tell my progeny, I am ready (none / 0) (#48)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:19:01 PM EST
    to be a grandmother, but they are not ready to be parents.  Given that, I can wait.

    <and while waiting, I can use the time to continue to drive the future grandpa nuts as he has to stop again and again at every display I see of adorably cute baby clothes and toys and decor and more>


    We can swap out kay? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:27:28 PM EST
    I'll send you my daughter.  Can you send me someone who wants to tour Europe for a few years and find themselves?  I wanted to do that but it was not to be my fate.  I didn't get a parent like me.  I thought maybe I could pay for someone else to do it and live vicariously but she wants to have a REAL life or something like that.  I'm a grandmother twice now.

    I'll go; I'll go! (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:00:37 PM EST
    Ditto!!!!! :D (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:13:41 PM EST
    What you need is a 65 yr old daughter (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:58:06 PM EST
    to send to Europe. I volunteer. I'm only doing this to help you out, but I am willing to make the sacrifice.  

    MT, tough as you are (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:40:34 PM EST
    I have to warn you that you may not be able to survive a week with my daughter.  She would LOVE to tour Europe for a few years, if it involves repeated trips to Florence to buy every scrap of fashion there -- and I do mean teeny tiny scraps that are considered clothing -- and did I mention a stop at every spa on the way?  

    All toward her trousseau, of course, which she picked out along with her wedding dress a few decades ago.  At 3, she got her first issue of Bride magazine from her grandma, and then got a subscription.  She put together a massive binder of her wedding plans eons ago, everything planned, and all she needs is the tux size of the groom -- or as we refer to him, the unknown victim.  Any wonder that no man yet has been willing to play that bit part?!

    However, I have learned from watching how her grandmother -- on her dad's side, need I say? -- has undermined so much I tried to convey, such as, oh, feminism.  I took my daughter to meet Gloria Steinem, so grandma gave her more Barbies.  Grandma eventually gave her 100 Barbies!  From that, I have learned that my role as a grandmother will be to undermine parental authority.  I can hardly wait -- as my Barbie-lovin' daughter will have to deal with her opposite, if I have my way.  Hahahahahaha.


    Our kids are 10 & 8 (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:00:43 PM EST
    and we are still their best friends. Heck, they're our best friends. If only it could stay that way forever...

    Ah, yes. They will be back (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:09:02 PM EST
    if you handle the next several years well.

    (And you will want them back in your lives, if they handle the next several years sufficiently well to not drive you totally crazy.)


    Mine were talking back much earlier! (none / 0) (#50)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:20:39 PM EST
    So you must have more mellow Hawaiian genes that were passed on to such good children.

    Mine had a lot of time-outs. :-)


    Yep, it has begun. (none / 0) (#55)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:50:51 PM EST
    I'm  ok with it though when they think it through and make good points. I try to teach them that reasonable discourse instead of stubborn refusal or slamming doors or something really does get them what they want more often.

    My younger son, though, was a scrapper from the second he popped out of his mom (though when he's not in a battling mood he's indefatigably sunny and hangs the moon for us). I really try to choose my battles with him...


    I bet (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:08:34 PM EST
    She's going to be too warm for a little while until her blood thins out again in the tropical weather!

    But now she knows about wind chill (none / 0) (#51)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:24:15 PM EST
    so consider how much you have contributed to her familiarity with the body of knowledge in atmospheric science.  She will get so much more out of watching the Weather Channel now.  Isn't an education in the Northland wonderful?

    (Btw, glad she got home before the massive storm hitting the East.  Me, I'm having to plan extra shopping trips to make up for all the presents I ordered that now will be stranded in the East. . . .)


    She may have gotten her taste of (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:18:20 PM EST
    winter storms with our last one. That sucker was particularly nasty upstate. Tomorrow's will be a "reverse" storm where we get slammed down state and they might see a couple " upstate and in the Hudson Valley.

    All my chocolate and supplies arrived today. I will be making my candy presents all weekend and the storm delay should be gone in time for them to get to the west :) If not, my family shouldn't be too upset, after all, it's chocolate!


    Yeh, that storm this weekend (none / 0) (#66)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:27:54 PM EST
    out there is slowing down my deliveries.  But chocolate will get through.  So when is my box of homemade, hand-crafted chocolate candy coming?!  Do you do all the cool different swirl or dot designs on top of each one to indicate the innards?  I find that centuries-old practice in candy-making just marvelous.

    When I went to Japan about 10 years ago, (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:31:20 PM EST
    we took gifts boxes of See's Candy (mixed chocolates).  The Japanese people we visited pinched the chocolates on top and went no further if that wasn't their favorite.  Kind of surprised me as they are sooooo polite.

    I grew up on See's (none / 0) (#69)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:47:06 PM EST
    That is interesting about your hosts. perhaps it's politer than spitting them out?!

    I planned different shapes (none / 0) (#71)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:12:06 PM EST
    and some will only be half dips. I may do something on the tops if I get a good flow going, but for starting out, I'm playing it a bit safe (for me anyway!)I did order some molds that are baby themed, so I thought I would do some of those for my niece since she's going to be entering month 9 :) I can't wait to experiment. I have some dried raspberry powder I'm going to add in with the chocolate ganache because dark chocolate and raspberries make me real happy {grin} Rum raisin for Mom, some brittles for Pop, peppermint patties for all along with chocolate salted caramel, butterscotch, burbon and perhaps coffee/kahlua truffles. May play with some Baily's also. Have to be careful on the liqueur ones though as the whole family can't have them. Oh and classic pecan turtles, fam fav, and something with almonds. Oh! and the Mallomars I learned in class with the Thomas Keller chocolate cookie base :) D*mn those were good and my Mom got all excited when I told her I learned to make them. I can make the patties and mallowmars any shape I want, so I'm tempted to use my cutters that I use for little dog treats, lol!~ my Mom would prob get a kick out of little bone shaped "treats". We understand each others humor even if the others don't. My sister didn't get the "rubber duckie" robes one year, but I thought it was funny as all heck. So did the UPS guy :P . . . . .   ;)

    I just put on five pounds (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:42:16 PM EST
    from just reading that.  But I enjoyed every sentence!

    Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:31:05 PM EST
    of the NYC premiere of Gone With the Wind.

    Victor Fleming (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:38:07 PM EST
    had quite a year that year, didnt he? And to think, a big part of it was because Clark Gable couldnt stand the original director George Cukor.

    One of the most egregious (none / 0) (#74)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:52:13 PM EST
    cases of star power overriding the good casting instincts of film makers -- right up there with Heston cast as the Mexican detective in Touch of Evil -- was when Gable was chosen to play Fletcher Christian opposite Charles Laughton in Mutiny on the Bounty. You'd think someone would've said "Hey, wait a minute, wouldnt it be better to get Leslie Howard for this?". Never mind that Gable didnt even attempt to try to use an English accent and the film's typical Hollywood-hatchet-job on history, Gable the actor was so out of his depth playing scenes with Laughton, that his sustained, dissonant-note performance almost single-handedly wrecks what might've been a great film.

    Im pretty sure Bounty was directed by Carol Reed, and if that's the case, then they wasted a great actor AND a great director. But Gable was box office: the X-factor that still has the last word.

    Flynn is the only one from that era that I can tolerate and that's only because I have a soft spot for rogues who dont try to pretend they're anything else.



    It's kinda great theater (none / 0) (#32)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:41:03 PM EST
    watching the 'bot blogs, formerly known as the netroots, now known as ungovernable pajama-wearers, eat their own.  Ah, such is life in the fast and seedy lane of politics.  Eh Kos, Arianna, Aravosis (and all the front page kos frickers!)?  Who's your DADDY now?  

    And for the lovers of numbers (none / 0) (#39)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:01:04 PM EST

    15 Health Insurance Stocks to Watch Post-Public Option

    August 17, 2009

    In an astute political move, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius on Sunday said that providing citizens with the option of government-run insurance is not essential to the Obama administration's overhaul of U.S. health care. Evidently, the administration has caved on this very important issue, leaving the door open for private health insurance companies to move forward with creative products and profits for shareholders. Of course the devil will be in the details, but at fist glance Team Obama will expand health using cooperatives similar to the public/private scheme in the domestic utility industry.

    Here are potential winners for investors to explore.

    and lastly the believers and schemers

    EDINBURGH -- The expenses racked up by U.S. lawmakers traveling here for a conference last month included one for the "control room."

    Besides rooms for sleeping, the 12 members of the House of Representatives rented their hotel's fireplace-equipped presidential suite and two adjacent rooms. The hotel cleared out the beds and in their place set up a bar, a snack room and office space. The three extra rooms -- stocked with liquor, Coors beer, chips and salsa, sandwiches, Mrs. Fields cookies and York Peppermint Patties -- cost a total of about $1,500 a night. They were rented for five nights.

    While in Scotland, the House members toured historic buildings. Some shopped for Scotch whisky and visited the hotel spa. They capped the trip with a dinner at one of the region's finest restaurants, paid for by the legislators, who got $118 daily stipends for meals and incidentals.

    Eleven of the 12 legislators then left the five-day conference two days early.

    And I am . . . . . (none / 0) (#40)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:02:45 PM EST
    out of here!!!  Band!!!

    Josh and I went to dinner at Mellow Mushroom (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:10:37 PM EST
    Came home and started to read at Orange.  I never did get into the Obama photo diaries.  I am very visual too and I like pretty pictures, but where politics is concerned I want results.  It seems like a big photo diarist is leaving and I did find that interesting.  It interests me when the net changes focus.  I was pretty floored though by the previous diary that caused the stir yesterday.  The diary about Liberal racism and how it isn't even hidden anymore.........whew.  We've all been called racist this past year when any of us held Obama accountable for something, but that diary was surreal to me and I live in the racist South.  I live in the racist South and at my son's Christmas party this afternoon two boys got in a fight, same two boys who always fight in this class.  Then the boy with less melanin told the boy with more melanin that he didn't care what a dark chocolate person thinks and three girls joined in and started kicking the boy with less melanin.  What a mess.  Teacher and boys and girls in the principal's office for an hour.  I was the only parent left in the room after the party so I babysat.  The boys came back, both had obviously been crying....their teacher was so mad at both of them she couldn't look at either one of them.  That was pretty surreal, but that diary was even more surreal.

    Be interesting to hear your son's read (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:19:52 PM EST
    on this incident.

    He shrugged it off (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 07:15:51 AM EST
    outside of that the two boys just can't seem to get along with each other ever.  He was disappointed in them that even during a Christmas party they can't even fake it.  And I guess the kicking from the girls caused a skinned knee that bled a little, that seemed to upset the part of the class that wasn't involved too.  

    I just realized that this was the classroom (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:10:14 AM EST
    response.  This was not Joshua's response at dinner though and I realize that I completely left out his actual personal observations.  I like both boys.  They have both endeared themselves to me.  One was in Joshua's class last year and he was such a funny child.  He is very very athletically gifted too but is always so wonderful to my son who really can't even play with him on the playground doing most things he does.  I have noticed a change in this child this year though.  He has hardened edges, and some of that could be the maturing process.  But Joshua told me that his dad has been at war too much for too long and Josh is probably more correct than I am on this.  And I don't know what is up with the boy's dad, but he has been deployed more than what is required and that signals to me that he is volunteering.  I have known soldiers to do this when they are having maritial problems so they can avoid dealing with all that, worried about being the most manliest man (Sheesh, if you stayed in during all this you are all manly men so can we just get over that), or the third and worst.....a combat environment feels normal to him and he is having problems functioning stateside so he returns to where he feels normal.  I love the other boy too, he cracks me up...wants the girls to talk to him but draws war paint symbols on his face with marker when he's bored at school.  The girls in the class have told me that he really needs to quit doing that :)  Joshua says that his older sister is very very abusive to him, does horrible things to him all the time that have hurt him.

    Sad. (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 11:08:22 AM EST
    The "What's Wrong with Kansas" (none / 0) (#83)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 09:59:38 AM EST
    I think on-target -- critique of the mainstream "left" is that while both parties have, in regard to economic policy sold out the American working class, the right wing has hi-jacked populism through cynical but fairly effective appeals to the unfocused, simmering resentment of the great outsourced and downsized with well orchestrated, emotional hot-button stirring campaigns to rally the people around issues like "attacks on family values", immigration, "Washington elites", "out of control government" etc

    Of course, no real in-depth analysis of the root causes of these problems is offered as it would implicate both parties, and in many ways the republicans even more than the "liberal elites", but by tapping into and manipulating the unfocused resentment -- do I hear Germany in the thirties? -- those who've been working to stir up the teabaggers at least offer them the (mostly illusory), sense that SOMEONE is listening to and cares about them.