Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

Like Jeralyn, today is a travel day for me. Unlike Jeralyn, I am leaving warm Florida and traveling north to New York.

In tonight's college football action, I like the Ducks (-9.5) in the Civil War.

This is an Open Thread.

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    Nice day in NY, actually (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:43:17 PM EST
    You'd almost forget it's December. The rest of the week looks bleh, though.

    weather is out of control today (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CST on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:49:40 PM EST
    we had colder days in july.  In fact, most of July was probably colder than today.

    I am intent on walking to tonight's (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:37:12 PM EST
    play sans heavy coat.

    Are you here? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:50:07 PM EST
    Yes tip sun (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:51:49 PM EST
    Love it  got tics for. I

    It seems we pass through all ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:02:11 PM EST
    four seasons in matter of days or weeks.  I've taken to calling that "the mini-year".

    Well, this is just mind-boggling: (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:21:50 PM EST
    Politico is reporting that Snowe, Lincoln, and Landrieu have submitted an amendment that would effectively eliminate all state regulations concerning what insurance companies must cover:

    SA 2859 Snowe/Landrieu/Lincoln - nationwide plans: deletes state opt out language, adds rating requirements to plan requirements

    If you live in a state with strong minimum benefit insurance regulations (California, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont come to mind), you will lose your current health insurance, and your insurance coverage will get worse.

    What are nationwide plans? As I explained in an earlier post, they are an idea strongly championed by the health insurance lobby. The Senate bill would effectively nullify current state regulations on what insurance plans must cover by allowing insurance companies to sell "nationwide plans" in any state. These nationwide plans would only be required to meet the minimum coverage benefits mandated by the federal government and the state in which they are based. (Think of the deregulation of the credit card industry.) These nationwide plans could sell in other states, and would be exempt from those states' insurance regulations. In effect, this completely guts state insurance regulation of minimum coverage. Utah, for instance, has very lax regulation, so expect all insurance companies to be based there by 2016.

    Currently, the bill has an opt-out to allow states to stop these state-law-violating nationwide plans from being sold in their state. Snowe, Lincoln, and Landrieu want to take away this power from states and force them to allow these national insurance plans to be sold. These three Senators want to take away states' rights to regulate health insurance, and gut many states' insurance regulations. This is a very bad amendment that will make health insurance worse for millions and millions of Americans.


    Bright spot in NY senate (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:35:55 PM EST
    Folks probably know that the marriage equality bill failed in the NY senate.  But amid the gloom of that vote, this funny, earthy floor speech by the irrepressible Diane Savino representing Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn may be the best I've ever heard on the absurdity of the "sanctity of marriage" argument.

    As a side benefit, it could almost have come right out of "My Cousin Vinny."

    SS Marriage speech was superb, even without ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:13:12 PM EST
    ... the Tomei-like comparisons of muscle car chassis. Savino didn't disappoint, though. (Fortunately, there were no mentions of trannies to confuse the gathering.)

    High points: Pedi-cab man, Bachelor/ette and Littlest Groom references.


    As a S.I. resident (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by themomcat on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:56:19 PM EST
    I was very proud of Diane. Even though I don't live in her district anymore, I have supported her fund raising and campaigns.

    I was blown away by her (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:13:15 PM EST
    and even more when I went to Google and read up on her.  Wow.

    Think she has any ambitions for statewide, or better yet, congressional office?  She strikes me as maybe the kind of person who'd rather stay in the trenches locally, but I have such fantasies of seeing her go toe to toe with a few folks in the House right now.


    Ms Savino (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by themomcat on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:53:26 AM EST
    and NYC Councilwoman-elect, Debi Rose are up and coming Democratic Progressives. Ms. Rose handily defeated a conservative backed Democrat in the primary who then ran against her as a 3rd party candidate on the Conservative ticket in November. I mo longer live it wither of their s=districts but I proudly support their good work and campaigns. My hope is that they both go even further in either NYS or National politics.

    LOL` (none / 0) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:16:19 PM EST
    If I weren't, as my friends say, hoplessly heterosexual, I'd have the same instinct.  She's just an incredibly attractive human being.

    We need some good music in here (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:19:14 PM EST
    Hear hear! Everyone loves this rendition/vid (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:41:31 PM EST
    Gerard Darmon performing with the house band at the [Clams] Casino. Fine wines and some guys just improve with age.

    And to crank the smile meter higher, check out the best Brit ads of the "noughties". Some very funny stuff amid the jaw-dropping creative use of landmark digital AV and old school wizardry too.  


    and one more for the road (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:23:47 PM EST
    Retial sales were lower this month. Bad (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by tigercourse on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:14:24 PM EST
    news for job recovery. You don't need to hire people to man your stores if the public isn't buying.

    Obama: don't look to me for jobs (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:19:49 PM EST
    Fiddle fiddle, burn burn.

    Hoover Hoover.

    Would have more money for jobs (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:28:50 PM EST
    program if they would not make the Bush current estate tax cut permanent. Congressional reports say it will cost roughly $234 billion over the next 10 years and btw, the tax break still isn't paid for.

    Funny how Congress can fund endless wars, welfare programs for Wall St. and tax cuts for the wealthy but can't afford a good program to create jobs.


    Apparently, (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:54:12 PM EST
    according to Bernanke, the answer is to make cuts to "entitlement programs" (Social Security and Medicare).  He was mum when asked about increasing taxes on the wealthy, however.  Wars, low taxes for the wealthy, low-interest "loans" (and I want to see how much of this is actually paid back) to Wall Street firms=Good.  Any kind of help for the poor, the middle class, the sick, the jobless, the elderly=Bad.  My head nearly exploded when I read Bernanke's statements about cutting entitlements.  Then I thought: You know how it was said that "Only Nixon could go to China"?  Maybe only a Democrat could cut Social Security and Medicare, because Bush sure wanted to gut them, and was unsuccessful.  (Oh, and, by the way, economists are saying that another 100,000 jobs were shed in November.)

    Here is a link (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:40:58 PM EST
    on Bernanke's testimony today. He cited bank robber Willie Sutton's remark that he robbed banks because "that's where the money is," and suggested that SS payments and Medicare benefits must be cut to deal with the deficit.

    Bernanke informed Congress that it can repeal SS and Medicare anytime it wants.

    No other ideas on deficit reduction from the Fed chair. He did say that another stimulus package aimed at jobs was not needed.

    Why are Bernie Sanders and,of all people, Jim Bunning, the only senators actively opposing Bernanke's reappointment? And what does it say about Obama's plans for all of us peasants?

    Huffington Post link. Sorry it's HuffPo, but, shockingly the NY Times story has no mention of Bernanke's views on entitlements and employment.


    That's funny (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:43:18 PM EST
    Why not just cancel the Navy, then?

    Really p*ssed about Bernanke's remarks (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:05:23 PM EST
    I am infuriated by the above referenced remarks made by Ben Bernanke at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Comm. today. Those comments alone should disqualify him, IMO.

    Please call your senators and tell them to vote against Bernanke's reappointment. If one of your senators is on the Banking Com., please contact that senator immediately. We cannot afford to leave our economic policy in the hands of people whose overriding concern is protecting and enriching Wall Street, particularly those people,( I'm talking to you Ben, Tim and Larry), who are happy to sacrifice Main Street and the middle class on the altar of Wall Street.

    of Banking Committee members


    Better link for Banking Comm. members (none / 0) (#55)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:09:11 PM EST
    Try this link. Please call your senators

    Don't need to (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:32:38 PM EST
    Mine is Bernie Sanders. :-)


    Seriously, though, I was a little ambivalent about Bernie's hold on Bernanke, who I do think did well in pulling things back from the precipice last year, but with these unbelievable comments about "entitlements," I'm 100 percent behind Bernie.

    Thanks, Ben, for the good work, and don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out.


    How about some links (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:28:50 PM EST
    showing us how Bush wanted to cut Medicare and Social security.

    I can give plenty of links (none / 0) (#47)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:35:00 PM EST
    showing how a large percentage of his unhinged supporters think they're both part of a "socialist" conspiracy.

    And Bush played to 'em continually. And you know it.

    Quit playing dumb.


    OK (none / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:49:24 PM EST
    You can't.

    Google isn't always friendly. (none / 0) (#82)
    by EL seattle on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:21:04 AM EST
    When I googled "George Bush cut social security" the number one hit was this link.  

    Most of the other links from the Google search that had anything to deal with GWB and social security dealt with the privatization fiasco.  This was in all likelihood part of an overall agenda to eliminate social security, but if you're looking for an objective on-line analysis of George Bush's palans to "cut social security", Google isn't the most helpful tool I can imagine.


    Parsing, parsing, who has the parse?? (none / 0) (#92)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:36:33 PM EST
    Bush came forth with a plan that would let people, if they wanted to, take up to 5% of their, and their employers contribution, FICA tax and invest that into a government approved investment vehicle.

    If you want to argue that the right to invest your own money is cutting social security please do so.

    It's a dreary day and I could use some grins.

    Of course the flip of that is that you would have had your social security increased.

    As to what actually would have happened no one knows because the first investors are not to the take out point.

    And if you want to talk about cuts in programs, there is no increase in Social Security this year.... but the Democratic controlled Congress voted themselves raises...


    Which no Republicans voted for (none / 0) (#93)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:40:36 PM EST
    because they always put God, Country and teabagging first.

    How about three (none / 0) (#81)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:47:56 AM EST
    Bernanke on SS and Medicare (none / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:12:59 PM EST
    In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee today, where he's seeking re-appointment as the Fed's chairman, Bernanke called for cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security even as unemployment rises and the middle class is endangered.

    Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

    "It's only mandatory until Congress says it's not mandatory. And we have no option but to address those costs at some point or else we will have an unsustainable situation," said Bernanke [...] link

    Big day tomorrow--WC 2010 Draw. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by steviez314 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:44:26 PM EST
    Will the US get Spain, Portugal and Ivory Coast (ugh), or South Africa, Algeria and Slovenia (yay)?

    Domestic violence murders in Portland (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:33:08 PM EST
    Yeah, we're all talking about the Civil War game today, but the even bigger story concerns the six murder-suicides that have occurred in the Portland area over the last four weeks. These have all been, as is almost always the case, men murdering their spouses/girlfriends and any children that are around and then killing themselves. A couple of these crimes took place at the woman's workplace, and coworkers were wounded.

    The victims included women who still lived with their murderer and women who had left. All those who had left their abuser had either already obtained or had applied for restraining orders. Guns, no surprise here, were the weapons of choice.

    All the news outlets are running stories that explain what an abusive relationship is and where women can go to find help. Domestic violence is a problem of epidemic proportions in our country. All the shelters in Portland are full; they are always full. And, while the experts say the economy is not the reason for the latest crimes, the economy is a major reason that many women in abusive relationships are staying. There is no place for them to go, and no money for them to leave with. And many times leaving the abuser makes the situation worse, and escalates to murder.

    My family was lucky. When we finally left my abusive father he followed us and continued to beat the cr@p out of my mother and me, but he didn't kill us. Back in those days (1960s) there were no domestic violence shelters. The phrase "domestic violence" hadn't been coined yet. My mother was counseled by the f*cking priest to stay in her marriage and refrain from doing anything that would upset my father. Things are horrible now, but at the same time better.

    If you know a woman in an abusive relationship, please don't pressure her to leave, but do support her in any way you can, even if all you can do is listen and not judge.

    We need more shelters (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:33:59 PM EST
    I think there is only one shelter here to service all of Dothan and all the outlying areas.  I don't know how it does that.

    A few years back (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:39:01 PM EST
    our beloved office manager was murdered by her abusive husband.  She told him she was leaving him and he strangled her to death.

    She came from a pretty rough neighborhood where she was one of the few success stories.  It was so sad to go to that funeral and witness the heartbreak of the community.

    It is very, very hard not to pressure someone to leave.  And as much as I've come to accept over the years that you often have to let people make their own decisions for better or worse, you come to feel a real fear for those who don't leave.  Woe unto anyone who treats my daughter badly, that much is for sure.


    Sometimes leaving is more dangerous (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:34:54 PM EST
    than staying. Leaving can be what turns abuse into murder. And threatening to leave is the worst. A woman who decides to leave an abuser needs to leave quickly, with no warning, and never look back. Do not ever go back to an abuser, no matter how "sorry" he is, no matter how well he did in anger management class. Do. Not. Go. Back.

    So sad about your office manager. As for Audrey. Well, Katie Couric did a report tonight on abusive relationships in high school. That's right- there is a major uptick in boys who are physically and/or emotionally abusing their girlfriends. These girls don't know that abuse is not how things are supposed to be. They don't know that they don't have to take it. And texting and social networking sites have expanded the opportunities for abuse. So, teach Audrey what a good relationship looks like. Teach her to respect herself and to insist that others respect her. And keep close tabs on those boyfriends and how they treat her. And teach her to be very cautious about the personal info she puts on the internet.


    You break my heart, Casey (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:38:48 PM EST
    I have a friend who as a child and teenager shared a bedroom with her mother because her father used to come in and beat the c**p out of both of them with a rubber truncheon for no particular reason from time to time in the middle of the night.  An immigrant family, the mother was very old-school and spoke almost no English.  My friend and her sister got out by marrying, and their mother took it about another 10 years and then got up the courage to up and leave abruptly at age 65.

    Amazingly, these women were all able to reconcile and genuinely forgive the guy when he was on his deathbed a few years later.

    I can't even imagine what you've gone through.


    A life line for those (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:35:45 PM EST
    that won't leave. Your house key. I have found they will accept a key, even if they aren't ready/willing to get out. Also, a known group of 2-4 people that will help the person move out on a moments notice. They do need to make their own decisions, but more options really help.

    Oh Man (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:44:30 PM EST
    I just watched 'A Letter to Zachary'.  It is a documentary.  And your comment along with that causes me to open a beer now and find something light and funny on the tube before I go to sleep.

    I always get the title of everything wrong (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:05:18 PM EST
    It's 'Dear Zachary', what a documentary though that some guy made in memory of his best friend.  

    Please -- not so re restraining orders (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:49:23 PM EST
    per this report in Portland media, detailing the incidents.  Most did not have restraining orders on file.

    I had to make this decision -- not in a domestic violence case but to deter a student stalker.  I was worried about it, owing to such incorrect work of mouth about tro's.  I talked with a judge who assured me that they work in many cases (see the link here for discussion of need to determine when to proceed with a tro -- and only as part of a larger plan).  

    So I went forward with it and finally found some peace after awful years.  Not that I ever could recoup the damage to my children, my career, etc., and it raised my radar considerably in the classroom, irrevocably altering my teaching and advising.  Still, I have only an inkling of the impact on you, and I am sorry for the experience you endured.

    But on a blog for lawyers, I have to speak up for the stats that tell us that tro's usually do help -- as they can wake up cops to take us seriously.


    I did not mean to imply TRO are not (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:06:12 PM EST
    effective or not a good thing to have in every escape plan. They are not a guarantee of safety, though. According to the story you linked to, four of the six women had talked to police about getting a TRO, or had and then dropped a TRO (don't ever return to an abuser!), or just applied for one.

    Getting a TRO is important. And they can help, but they are not a guarantee of safety. And I wonder how much effect one would have on a man who has made the decision that murder/suicide is the way to go. Which is not to say that a woman leaving a man she fears will kill her should not secure a TRO. Always get one.

    There is so much more support now than there was for my family. When my mother tried to get a restraining order the state's attorney, who had known my father for years, refused to believe her account of things. Refused to believe that my oh so charming father could possibly be the man my mother described. We have come such a long way from that kind of attitude on the part of law enforcement.

    All of that said, your information on their TRO status was more accurate than mine. Thanks for the correction.


    Of course, nothing is a guarantee (none / 0) (#89)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:24:47 AM EST
    in such situations.  But doing nothing at all is a guarantee of the worst outcome.  

    In many situations, the man is attacking those whom he thinks are vulnerable because they are alone and ashamed, so will not have anyone to whom to turn.  Putting a man on notice that the woman is not alone but has the force of the courts and cops with her can work in those cases.


    WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!! (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CDN Ctzn on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:37:08 PM EST
    In his coloumn this morning, Glen Greenwald reports that in a Pew Pole today. "just over half of Americans say that the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can either often (19%) or sometimes (35%) be justified."
    He then goes on to point out that, "With these new numbers, it's virtually impossible to find a country with as high a percentage of torture supporters as the U.S. has."
    We're number one, we're number one... Yikes!

    Ducks win 37-33! (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:20:59 PM EST
    And it's on to Pasadena.

    Senate casts first vote on HCR (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:31:47 PM EST
    WASHINGTON -- The Senate cast its first votes on remaking the nation's health care system Thursday, approving an amendment to safeguard coverage of mammograms and preventive screening tests for women under a revamped system.

    The 61-39 vote on a provision by Democrat Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine was the first substantive ballot in an acrimonious debate that promises to go on for weeks, the legislative equivalent of trench warfare.

    The vote came after three days of angry debate in which Democrats accused Republicans of stalling to try to kill the bill, and Republicans protested that they were only exercising their right to give the complex legislation full scrutiny.

    The first vote was held under a special agreement requiring 60 votes to prevail. The outcome underscored the fragility of the coalition Democrats are counting on to move President Barack Obama's signature issue.

    Votes on Medicare were scheduled for Thursday afternoon.


    Scary how close it was.

    House votes to make estate tax permanent (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:33:39 PM EST

    The House approved Thursday a measure making the current estate tax rate permanent, overcoming the objections of an unusual coalition of liberal and conservative critics.

    The bill passed, 225 to 200, with 26 Democrats joining all Republicans present to vote no. It would make permanent the current estate tax rate of 45 percent, with an exemption of $3.5 million per individual. If Congress does not act, the estate tax would disappear altogether in 2010, then return in 2011 under the higher rates -- 55 percent and a $1 million exemption -- that existed before President George W. Bush took office.

    The Senate faces a Dec. 31 deadline to address the issue, but it's not clear when that chamber will find the time to do so in the midst of its marathon health-care debate. It's also unclear whether the House's approach on the estate tax could garner the 60 votes necessary to move forward in the Senate.

    BTW, the House has deemed (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:17:45 PM EST
    that unlike health care or other domestic programs that does not need to be deficit neutral. Programs that benefit the rich are fine and dandy if they add to the deficit.

    There are those whose aren't rich (none / 0) (#60)
    by coast on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:14:54 PM EST
    who will benefit from this.

    $3.5 million tax free per person (none / 0) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:38:24 PM EST
    sounds rich to me.

    As expected, a very simplistic view. (none / 0) (#83)
    by coast on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:32:39 AM EST
    The people to whom I'm referring to don't have that in liquid assets.  The value is either in stock or a partnership interest in a company they spent years to build or in land value that has been in their family for years.  

    People who are living on unemployment, (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:57:44 AM EST
    the long term unemployed, children in distressed areas being having class sizes of 30 or 40 pupils per class and people actually going hungry are hearing the president and Congress saying that domestic spending will be cut. People who have paid into Social Security and Medicare for decades are hearing the President,Bernake and Congress saying that we cannot to deliver what was paid for. So the poorest and most vulnerable of our society will be paying the price for that tax cut. Somehow I don't buy into the premise that the people who you are talking about are poor dirt farmers.

    Not poor dirt farmers but middle and (none / 0) (#91)
    by coast on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:41:27 AM EST
    upper middle class who make well below the administration's mythical 250K definition of wealthy.  Many of these individuals are the ones who either have or will employ those same unemployed you speak of.

    No pick... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 02:35:45 PM EST
    for the NFL matchup?  I like the under and if there is a prop bet line on total turnovers I like the over there blind:)

    "It's evolutionary, not revolutionary." (none / 0) (#6)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:13:52 PM EST
    Has anyone else gotten sick of this observation?  I keep seeing/hearing it used in a variety of contexts.

    Look at these Google search results for pages and pages of uses of this sentence.

    Let's hope it's given a rest in 2010.

    Activists versus pundits (none / 0) (#8)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:30:50 PM EST
    Further to the question of activists, I was dazed and amazed to get an email solicitation from Mike Lux of OpenLeft beginning this way:

    "I am surprised, delighted, but mostly humbled to report that I am currently 3rd in Air America's contest to go on a progressive organizing cruise with Rachel Maddow and many others."

    The email goes on to urge recipients to hurry over and vote for Mike in the contest.

    Wowee-zowee!  An activist's nirvana, a cruise with Rachel Maddow!!!!

    We are truly doomed.

    Progressively organize who? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:35:03 PM EST
    The fish?  I'd imagine everybody on board the cruise is already...umm, on board, no?

    We may be doomed...but I hear there is hope and it rests amongst the proles:)


    I have no idea who'll ... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:03:42 PM EST
    they'll be organizing, but I bet there will be all you can eat shrimp buffet.

    Americans embracing isolationism (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 03:56:52 PM EST
    Isolationist views at 40 year high in the U.S.

    And this surprises who?

    With technology the way it is, however, American isolationsim in 2009 would not be what either side of the argument thinks it would be. That might be the real rub.

    The rise of technology... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:00:41 PM EST
    might also be a factor in any rise in isolationist sentiment...the more the world is brought together, global economy and all that, the less control people feel they have over their own lives and communities...could lead to a desire to be left alone and leave alone.

    that was the question asked (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:10:41 PM EST
    basically should we just leave other countries alone more to work out their own problems.

    we can throw money at misbegotten wars, more than enough to solve so many problems at home, and we wonder why the natives are restless.

    burn burn, fiddle fiddle.

    lye fizz shore it.


    I hear ya... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 04:59:56 PM EST
    maybe noninterventionism is a better term, isolationism kinda paints a picture of severing diplomatic ties and trying to live in a bubble...hermit nation or something.  I don't think anybody wants that...otoh some noninterventionism get thy own house in order sounds pretty damn good to me...right down the town/village/hamlet level.  

    I was justa kinda buggin' on the role technology itself plays in the sentiment...is there a "the more we are connected, the less we want to do with each other" phenomenon going down?


    Quite a tall order (none / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:43:14 PM EST
    to keep the overseas "investor friendly" status quo that "our economy" (it's too big to fail), relies on to such a large extent without the ongoing threat of military intervention; either directly by the U.S, or through the auspices of of some proxy tinpot dictator of the week.

    Revoloutions are made down the barrel of a gun and the "vital interests" of the ruling class and their throw-away workers are protected the same way.


    What does everyone think (none / 0) (#43)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:59:41 PM EST
    those seven hundred plus military bases scattered across the globe are for, just to keep down the unemployment numbers?

    'Velvet' Václav Havel would disagree (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:58:48 PM EST
    And he, and (the former) Czechoslovakia know better than you.

    Now there's someone who deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.


    Trying that link again (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ellie on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:05:25 PM EST
    I think our little kids are Twilighting (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:09:13 PM EST
    A few weeks back there was some big fiasco at Josh's school that led to recess being all adult supervised activities.  I just found out today that the problem was the girls and boys chasing each other and then biting each other :)  I think its pretty funny......but OMG am I so glad I wasn't this principal when this went down because that is just going to totally freak some people out.  I would rather that other kids did not bite Joshua, but if they do I would probably resort to having a long talk about imagination and real life and real life teeth.  I'm not likely to freak though unless there's bloodshed.

    You're old school kid... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:23:29 PM EST
    you should see these emails my bro-in-law gets as coach of his daughters soccer team, unintentional comedy galore from the modern parent...I can't imagine what that poor principal is going through.

    Send Josh off with some garlic...thats still allowed right?


    I thinkJosh is okay with girls (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:26:52 PM EST
    he thinks are cute biting him.  His hands were so dirty the other day and I didn't notice until he was eating a sandwich with them.  I ran for a washcloth and he just laughed and said something that reminded me of you about all the germaphobes in the world.

    I told ya... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:39:52 PM EST
    he was one of my heros.  Smart kid too.

    And if thats the case with the vampires I hope the girls eat him alive...if its ok with moms of course:)


    That mom and other girls (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:21:52 PM EST
    thing....that is several diaries at least :)  

    That's funny (none / 0) (#27)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:14:50 PM EST
    when we were younger, we used to chase each other around like dinosaurs, inspired by Jurassic Park.  :P  It was awesome.  No biting though!  

    With kids, this is what scares me.


    Ugh...I know (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:20:58 PM EST
    That lives at our house along with a couple of other sort of automatic versions of nerf guns.  And my husband and Joshua buy those huge ammo packs all the time and I find them all over the house.  I used to herd them all up but I got tired of it.  I throw them in the trash and pray they run out and nerf stops making them.

    Dog Dangers (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Molly Pitcher on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:11:20 PM EST
    BTW, recently read that paint balls are poisonous to dogs.  Glad the kids are grown, cause my pup would gulp them down.

    I'll go nerf (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:41:29 PM EST
    But nobody's going paintball around here.  1st reason....these people I live with do not clean up after themselves.  They think I was a maid in my earlier life.  2nd, the first time you shoot each other in the forehead that's going to be ugly and the first time you do that to me there is nothing that will happen after that that won't be painful for you.

    CU Boulder... (none / 0) (#85)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:34:34 AM EST
    ...just banned Nerf guns on campus.  The poor kids have to play their Humans v. Zombie games with balled up socks now.  

    Sure wish we would have had Nerf guns when I was a kid.  All we had were Nerf basketball sets and footballs.  


    Did somebody get hurt? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:41:42 AM EST
    Not that I'm aware of... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:09:35 AM EST
    Apprently, people (including Campus Police) can't tell the difference between a real gun and a Nerf one.  Too much time/money spent investigating the reports of weapons.  

    It's a (not so) Brave New World.


    10 yr. old tased in Pueblo, CO (none / 0) (#24)
    by magster on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:11:37 PM EST
    Angry Foster kid (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 05:23:42 PM EST
    How terrible....the last thing he needed to happen to him as the only entity that cares about him is the system and now the system has tased him.

    As we have learned, it is ok to tase kids. (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 06:40:14 PM EST
    No clebration (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:34:26 PM EST
    for Obama's Date Certain??

    Okay.....hoooray! (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:37:48 PM EST
    Yippeeee!  Goodie goodie gumdrops!  I tend to think it is a very good idea.  It's at least 1000% smarter than "stay the course" and beg to free fall off of the cliff of total denial.

    I won't celebrate... (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:58:28 AM EST
    till the date arrives and the word is kept...

    I don't plan on celebrating...when the date arrives we'll have "unforseen circumstances" or "unfavorable conditions"...you watch.


    How many "unforseen circumstances" (none / 0) (#56)
    by Angel on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:10:38 PM EST
    do you think Ms. Uchitel received?