Sunday Evening Open Thread

BTD is preparing for a hearing tomorrow and I'm running around doing various things but looking forward to the season finale tonight's two hour episode of Brothers and Sisters tonight.

What's going on elsewhere? All topics welcome.

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    Krugman has a wonkish (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:02:56 PM EST
    but important post on the economics of the current budget/stimulus/economics debate:

    I haven't been able to dig up the quote, but somewhere along the line Ed Prescott declared that his students wondered who Keynes was, because he was never mentioned in their courses.

    And those trained according to this dogma were and are utterly ignorant of what Keynes, or modern Keynesians, have to say. They know that Keynesianism is stupid nonsense, because that's what they remember having been told. But they don't actually know why they're supposed to believe that; the serious debates the profession had in the 70s about the microfoundations of inflation and unemployment theory are lost in the mist.

    And as a result we have the spectacle of well-known economists offering what they think are profound arguments, but are actually long-refuted fallacies. Most important is the "Treasury view" that government spending can't affect demand.

    [. . .]

    And the sad thing is that all of this matters. Our ability as a nation to respond to the current economic crisis is being seriously hampered by the gratuitous ignorance of many of our economists. [Emphasis mine.]

    Meanwhile, big snow in the way here in NYC.

    Go out and play in the snow! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Shainzona on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:48:45 PM EST
    We moved from the east to Arizona and the closest we get to snow now is up on the mountain tops.

    But the sunshine.....glorious!


    We had something snowish a few times today (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:29:17 PM EST
    It was fabulous.  Woke up to it drifting down thickly but it didn't last once it hit the ground.  It is supposed to get down to 28 degrees tonight so I covered our new peach tree we just put in last week.  Might be a tad too nippy for such a newbie.

    For once, you're (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:50:45 PM EST
    going to be getting it much worse there than we are in Vermont.  Enjoy yourselves.  I'm bloody sick of it!

    I can understand the public not having a clue about Keynesian ideas, but how is it possible for a degreed economist to be clueless?

    Greta Van Susteren on Fox keeps wailing about how Obama shouldn't be traveling around in Air Force One because it's so expensive and he should be setting an example for all the Americans who should be watching their pennies in order to help the ecnomy.

    She actually has her undergraduate degree in economics from Univ. of Wisc., though she freely admits she doesn't remember a word of it.  But how can you get even an undergraduate degree in economics without spending some time studying the Depression and all the spending the government did to keep people employed and at least grasp the concept of stimulus spending?  Never mind the basic idea that it's lack of spending that causes a recession.  It's just mind-bloggling.

    I don't get how it's possible to be so oblivious to what a recession is to the point of going around yapping about how everybody should be "watching their pennies."


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 10:04:02 PM EST
    I'm sure we all remember how Jimmy Carter was universally hailed for doing the right thing and putting on that sweater.

    Don't forget Gore (none / 0) (#60)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:11:58 AM EST
    "How Green is Gore?" was a constant theme - almost always coming from people who have no interest in going Green themselves.

    It's just an excuse to ignore messages they don't like.


    The Governor of New York is a huge offender (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 10:05:24 PM EST
    He gave some radio interview yesterday where he said that it was a really good idea for the states to cut back on services. He's one of Krugman's little Hoovers.

    The content of my required undergraduate (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:27:39 AM EST
    course in economics here in NY was instructive -- lots of simplistic free market baloney; had to listen to Prof go on and on about how rent control by itself was screwing up the housing market, no theory, no opposing point of view and no mention of any social purpose etc. Text was Samuelson. At the end of the semester, students were asked to write up a critique of the course, indicating what could make it better, and we were given suggested types of comments, such as more audio-visual aids, etc. Young and impertinent back then, I told the prof that all the audio-visual aids in the world would not substitute for our reading the classics in economic theory and learning to approach economics analytically. The response was stunned. What I was proposing was the equivalent of how required History, English and Philosophy courses were being taught at the time.
    And we wonder why current day economists don't have a broader view? I imagine that college economics courses took an even more narrow focus beginning with Reagan. For us to have a chance of making it through the current crisis successfully, we need the best minds trained in the broadest approaches.  Problem with a lot of "the best and the brightest" is some have a narrow focus, but think they know it all.  

    That's just astonishing (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:23:02 AM EST
    What a concept, approaching it analytically, just like any other field of study.

    The "free market uber alles" people ought to be required upon pain of death to at least be open about the human consequences of following such a policy.  Free markets, sure, are self-correcting, but the human carnage that follows in the wake of letting them operate unrestrained is unacceptable to a civilized society.


    Grad-level econ does even less (none / 0) (#69)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:00:27 AM EST
    of learning from history, according to a family member with three degrees in econ, through the Ph.D.  He's been in the field for decades now, already a dean -- and still asking me for help as he tries to learn economic history.  Amazing.

    That said, there is so much specialization in so many fields that some of us fear for students in history not reading the classics in our field, either.  We had to put together a course for grad students to make sure that they read the greats, and I have put in some in every undergrad course, too.  How can students understand why we argue with Turner even today, if they never have read Turner?


    There is so much specialization (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by tigercourse on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:34:45 AM EST
    even within a particular field that one (me) can walk out with a degree and still lack a true foundation in the field.

    Yep, grad studies taught me (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:05:39 PM EST
    how much I had missed.  I caught up a lot then, but not completely.  I kept a list of books that my best profs mentioned, from as far back as the best 19th-century historians.  As soon as I graduated with all my advanced degrees, I started at the beginning again, getting those dusty classics from the back shelves of libraries and bookstores. . . .

    In another couple of decades, I just might be educated. :-)


    Kudos to you (none / 0) (#78)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:05:58 AM EST
    for being ever on the alert with concern and effective solutions

    I am no where near being an (none / 0) (#84)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:50:38 PM EST
    economist, but having read a lot I do know who is Samuelson, the right leaning Time columnist.  Thank heavens they featured a different point of view on alternative months, although unfortunately not on the same topic. Students who take political science, and that should be everyone,  should at least know their government history from the first world war on, and it should include the economic impacts as well.

    It costs $78,00 per hour to fly Airforce One. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by rennies on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:15:13 PM EST
    That includes the C-47 that goes along with the President's automobile etc. Obama's first trip on Airforce One was to the Dem House retreat in Newport -- 147 miles away. He could have gone straight from the WH to Newport on Marine One and arrived at the same time at a tenth of the cost.

    Then he flew to Denver to SIGN the Stimulus Bill (why not in the WH?) This trip, with the side trip to Phoenix cost approximately 780,000 -- just the flying.

    Green White House? Thrifty White House


    Unfortunately, because stimulus spending (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:36:44 PM EST
    won't appear to do anything glamorous anytime soon, there will be much more baloney talking to be sure.  The best we can hope for at this time is to stabilize our situation but how many yapping heads understand this?

    Also (none / 0) (#87)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    Krugman has a link in that post to an earlier post, A dark age of macroeconomics, that should be read as a companion.

    Good stuff, but a little frightening considering that so much of the profession is way out to lunch.


    Cutest thing (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by NJDem on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:13:05 PM EST
    Pretty darn close! (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:29:39 PM EST
    those are some nice looking tabby/tiger kittens. Nice strong markings. Yes, I'm a sucker for those lil' heads!

    So sweet that the mom is willing to take on the pups. She may regret it in a couple weeks, lol!~ Thanks for posting this!!


    Yesh, maybe I exaggerated, (none / 0) (#14)
    by NJDem on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:09:44 PM EST
    but definitely the cutest thing I've seen today!

    I was thinking how fascinating it would be to follow this new family and see how they get along--see if the cats and dogs start taking on each others' traits.  I think my cat and dog did a little, and they weren't raised together.    


    Not exaggerated! (none / 0) (#38)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:25:51 PM EST
    But I always leave room for more. They are darn cute. The pups look so young.

    I would like to see them follow it also. I've seen litter additions before, but not a cat one with pups. I can just imagine adopting a pup schooled by a feline, lol!~


    A litter trained, (none / 0) (#88)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:00:53 PM EST
    fastidious dog. Interesting.

    90% (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jtaylorr on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:23:52 PM EST
    of weapons used by Mexican drug cartels come from dealers in the U.S.

    So said 60 minutes tonight (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:26:03 PM EST
    But nooooooo we can't regulate guns at all.

    More gun regulations won't help.... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:56:59 AM EST
    the problem there is drug prohibition....the best thing that ever happened to the Mexican cartels...a license to get filthy stinkin' rich.

    Raw ground mice (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:25:41 PM EST
    ok, so I raw feed my pets and have hung out on pet/pet nutrition list for awhile now. I have a pretty good crew and they all eat "whatever" they're offered {and steal meats I'm thawing for me when I'm not looking}. It's be an ongoing joke/discussion on the forums about tossing mice in blenders for cats as they are pretty well suited in balance as a meal. Soooooo, when the meat/bone/organ source I use started offering raw ground whole mice, I thought "COOL!" and ordered some for the Feline Five here. Heh, said Feline Five have turned their collective noses up at the offering and are looking (and vocalizing!) to me to serve up "something else, NOW!" WTF?! Now, we all know if there was a mouse in the house it would be toast and swallowed up! Two of the cats are former ferals ta boot! {sigh} I'll be mixing in some seafood to see if that will entice them. If not, I can count on the Cleanup Committee of One (aka the Dalmatian) to polish off the meal. Luckily, 5 feline rations equal one of hers, lol!~

    {my food contribution for today ;) }

    Oh boy, you coulda gone all year (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by oldpro on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:52:40 PM EST
    without sharing that.



    lol!~ Yuck is the general reaction (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:06:03 PM EST
    to ground mice, but the big joke is . . . it looks better than many ground meats people feed their kids. May be the lower fat content and the fact it was put through the grinder a few times. I was actually afraid of what it would look like. I try and do my best feeding my beasties, but I do have a squeamish streak!!!

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 10:48:00 PM EST
    In high school we had lab rats, and did live experiments on them all before lunch. The ham salad used to make me a bit ill because it was the exact same color as the rat pups.

    King Rat - the 60s movie (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:03:52 AM EST
    with George Segal, Tom Courtney, others...should be right up your alley, if you haven't seen it.

    How strange! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:57:58 PM EST
    I've wondered myself, particular when one or another cat is on a temporary food strike, whether mouse-based commercial cat food would ever be possible.

    I wonder if it's the wrong kind of mice?  (Grasping at straws here)

    Mine are also great mousers and to my disgust, just love to eat up large portions of the ones they catch, which they seem to do with absolute ecstasy, so I'm really surprised to read of your experience.

    Maybe it's just that it's out of context?  They expect to catch it, not find it in a bowl like other stuff?  I'm sure it's a whole lot smellier and zestier when it's wild mouse and freshly expired.

    Do you heat it up a little for them?  A freshly caught mouse is nice and warm. (more grasping at straws)


    Even though they are "captive" mice (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:18:14 PM EST
    I'm thinking they may be gamier than their usual raw meats. That's why I'll try mixing it with seafood, and if that goes well, go to a less strong meat like poultry. They were all over rabbit when I intro'd it. Go figure.

    I do find it amusing. I've had more than my fair share of mouse "gifts" in the past. When I lived in CA, one used to leave the heads for me. The "brothers" used to bring the babies to my bed as "gifts". The ones I have now are good hunters of those creepy water bugs and I've had problems trying to save "blizzard birds" knowing I have hunters.

    Silly me for trying to "serve" prey up on a platter, lol!~

    Oh and the mice were at room temp. I should try a bit warmer. They are ground enough that bones wouldn't be a prob if heated a tad.


    Do report back (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:38:03 AM EST
    on how it goes with this, will you?  I'm really curious about it.

    What's a "blizzard bird"?

    One thing about rodents-- I have gradually come to realize there are three different types of mousies around here that the cats catch-- pretty little tan and white deer mice, your standard black meadow vole (microtus) and short-tailed shrews, which look almost identical to voles except they're a bit smaller and have narrower snouts.

    The shrews have the distinction, though, of possessing a horrible intense mousey stink.  When one of my cats comes in after catching, eating and/or rolling happily on the remains of one of these guys, their fur smells so bad I have to push them away from me until after they've given themselves a few good baths.

    Sometimes my cats will chew on the rodents they catch, sometimes not.  In the interests of Science, I suppose I should try to look more carefully and see if I can tell from the remains left around whether they're more likely to eat those smelly shrews or whether it makes no difference.

    I actually wish they'd leave the shrews alone because shrews don't, apparently, have any interest in the potatoes and other stuff in the garden, but rather dine mostly on the grubs and other destructive bug-like objects.

    As for the "gifts"-- sigh.  I've actually come to believe that maybe it's less of a gift and more of an invitation to play.  I never wake up in the morning without finding two or three favorite kitty toys left on my bed.  THink of the joy of a cat whose caretaker is willing to toss mousie parts for them to chase and play with!


    Our Vet (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by cal1942 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 02:22:30 PM EST
    said that when a cat offers one of its people a catch (bird, mouse, whatever) it is a tribute, an honor.

    Shrews (none / 0) (#83)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:37:57 PM EST
    Shrews are the most vicious animal by weight on the planet. Their high metabolic rate demands it.

    The smallest mammal in North America lives in northern Minnesota. The pygmy shrew (Sorex hoyi) weighs only 1Ú10 ounce (about as much as a penny) and measures just over 3 inches long, including its tail.

    This little ball of fur is one of the world's biggest eaters. Every day the pygmy shrew eats its own body weight in worms, insects, and even mice. To keep its speedy system running, it needs to eat every few hours. Without food, the pygmy shrew would starve in less than a day.

    The pygmy shrew's larger and more common cousin, the short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) is one of the few venomous mammals in the world. When this shrew bites, its poisonous saliva can kill a mouse its own size or bigger.
    If a human were to be bitten by a shrew, the spot would swell up like an insect bite. The chance of anyone getting bitten by a shrew is very small.



    Working at home (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by vrenejuste on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:28:35 PM EST
    Hello all,

    I have followed this blog since the election but this is the first time I am posting.

    How is everyone doing. I am just working at home.

    Hi vrenejuste. I'm glad you decided to (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:15:04 PM EST
    start posting. I've been watching basketball all day and now I am sick at my stomach thinking about that boat missing in Florida. I'm so scared for those guys.

    All topics? Well then, Happy Birthday.... (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Shainzona on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 07:44:57 PM EST
    ...to my twin brother.

    And, of course, (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:03:27 PM EST
    to you !!

    Thank you!! (none / 0) (#40)
    by Shainzona on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:51:28 PM EST
    Congrats (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:00:24 PM EST
    to the 2009 Big Ten Champion Michigan State Spartans.

    Just Started Snowing (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:06:34 PM EST
    The great March blizzard.

    We got a light dusting here (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by kenosharick on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:02:15 PM EST
    in West Georgia (only on the grass) and they are announcing dozens of closings for Monday. I'm from Wisconsin,and this would barely merit a mention there.

    heh (none / 0) (#37)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:19:12 PM EST
    NE of Atlanta (none / 0) (#92)
    by Amiss on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:51:46 PM EST
    my brother in law reported a foot and a half drift on his car windshield.

    Cold even here (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:39:40 PM EST
    Spouse built a very large hardwood fire before hitting the hay and I was sitting in the livingroom when one of the panes in our fireplace doors shattered.  Sometimes I miss being a renter.  It is a 20 year old fireplace, probably needs new doors all the way around after 20 years of fire heat challenge.  Now to find doors that fit.

    In a house I used to live in (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:53:00 PM EST
    the fireplaces had a retractable metal mesh that we always closed when the fire got going. Somehow it's hard to imagine glass in that position.

    I think fireplaces are comforting and beautiful, but archaic and frankly somewhat dangerous. It amazes me that we don't hear more stories about CO poisoning. I doubt if most people even know how to check the flue anymore.


    Check salvage, auctions and (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:53:34 PM EST
    yard/tag sales. If you google, you may even be able to find direct sources for the piece you need. I found all kinds of off the wall sources for things I needed when 'refreshing" my apt after I moved in (years ago, prob more common now). One of my toy sculptures was redoing an old home several years back and I lent him one of my original ceiling fixtures so he could make a mold and cast some for his place. There may be some glass folks that could help you out.

    That would have scared the crap outta me. Sitting in front f a fire and have the glass blow. My 4 legged crew would take a few days to trust again.

    Hopefully, nobody was hurt. Flying glass?


    I'm on my way up Squeaky. Watch for me! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:12:31 PM EST
    I'm so mad...you all know how I love snow. Some parts of TN got over a foot and we got not one flake in Knoxville on the mountain side of the state.

    I'm 350-400 miles from that side of TN so I thought I'd just some visit you guys. :)


    Yeah (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:14:44 PM EST
    No snow this winter to speak of. The blizzard is starting off sorta slow, but we'll see. Not optimistic about 2 feet.

    They aren't saying blizzard are they? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:21:32 PM EST
    obviously I haven't seen a weather report lately :P

    Just walked the Dot a bit ago and noticed some sticking to cars. I guess next walk could be different?


    Not Really (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:26:40 PM EST
    But a March blizzard would be nice.

    From the national weather service (none / 0) (#23)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:31:02 PM EST
    Thanks! (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:43:45 PM EST
    looks like the Dot and I may have some late night/early AM play time  :)

    The snow plowers usually get a kick out of our 3AM mid-street romps  {grin} Luckily I live across the street from a Public School. They are out there the minute it starts sticking, so we have a cleared area to walk while the rest of the 'hood gets their act together :)


    Downgrade (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:55:14 PM EST
    From the 10-14 inches they were predicting earlier.

    Temp is 33 now. not much action.


    When you add up tonight and in the (none / 0) (#32)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:59:13 PM EST
    morning, it's pretty big. I hope it's a pretty one for you.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:01:43 PM EST
    That's if it happens. Nothing sticking at this point. It has been snowing for over an hour.

    28 and gathering up here (none / 0) (#50)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:43:56 PM EST
    and for reasons I could never figure out, the Dot seems to know. Felines may also, but they just get mellow. They bounce off the walls with great fall or spring weather. The Dot bounces with those weather patterns and snow. Funny how indoor animals can react to weather . . . .

    I'm not buying it yet (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:35:54 PM EST
    Looks like light rain outside of my window.

    Temp is dropping (none / 0) (#26)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:47:57 PM EST
    I think it dropped enough last night to take the warmth out of the pavement. It's started dropping again in the past hour. Humidity is way up (for winter) though.

    I hope it does give us some inches. I can run my dog for a shorter period of time to wear her out :) I'm on a tight deadline and could use the help, lol!~


    Are you old enough to remember the (none / 0) (#18)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:17:30 PM EST
    blizzard we had in 1993? I had 26 inches in my yard. I was in heaven because I lucked out and didn't lose my power like so many others. That was March 13 so I'm not giving up hope yet! I hope you get a bunch.

    Ummmm 1993 (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:24:43 PM EST
    wasn't THAT freakin' long ago!!!  {grin}

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:26:00 PM EST
    I have been through a few blizzards. They are great. NYC just shuts down. No cars, people on skis. Really quiet, like lemonade for the ears, the sound totally changes.

    This one is starting off kinda slow, it may be another dud.


    Great day to go to the movies (none / 0) (#65)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:32:24 AM EST
    here in NYC; uncrowded and open.

    Afghan civilian death toll (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 09:42:47 PM EST
    rising fast -- and more fatalities from U.S. soldiers than from the Taliban, AP reports.

    With the buildup, the 2008 death toll of Afghan civilians is 60 killed by the Taliban -- but 100 killed by the U.S.

    So we can imagine that the U.S. death toll there is rising, too.  One from my state this week. . . .

    Farming the Sun (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:00:32 PM EST
    In a mountainous region famed for Munster-Gerome cheeses and good quality white wines, Westphal is working on a grand scale.

    His built-in panels form one of the largest integrated installations of photovoltaic systems -- which generate electricity direct from solar power -- yet built.

    The 20 million euro ($26 million) investment means constructing five enormous sheds covered by 36,000 square meters of solar panels with a capacity to generate 4.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power 4,000 homes.


    $220/month per home pays for the project in two years.

    I am pleased to read Gov. Sibelius is (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:13:27 PM EST
    a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose, although the Kansas U.S. Senators disagree w/her.

    No . . we DON"T live here! (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:16:11 AM EST
    My poor Dot decided she was done playing in the snow and wanted to go in. I had to explain we didn't live there. Crappy cell phone pics, but I was amused as she's never gone "home" to the wrong building. Glad she was done playing though. Fingers were getting cold!

    No, the pics are (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:53:42 AM EST
    adorable!  What a nice looking doggy, and I appreciate that you put on a jacket on her(?).
    I don't know why some owners think big dogs don't need them--my theory is if we need one, so do they :)

    Meanwhile, a surprising snow day for me!  (something the school could have posted last night before I went to bed, but I'll take it!)


    Yeah (none / 0) (#75)
    by sj on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:52:46 AM EST
    I was thinking it may be time to get a coat for my Old Man.  Bad weather is starting to take it out of him.  I'm used to him dancing to go outside in the snow.  His "maturity" is starting to catch up with him.

    I watch him really closely these days.  I want him to have everything he enjoys.


    50-vote tactic (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:55:40 AM EST
    Obama may use 50-vote tactic on energy and healthcare bills.

    President Obama's budget director said the White House would consider using a Senate procedural tactic so that only 50 votes would be rquired to pass major healthcare and energy reforms.

    Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the administration would prefer not to use the budget reconciliation process to push through its package.
    But he added: "We have to keep everything on the table. We want to get these.... important things done this year." Orszag called healthcare in particular "the key to our fiscal future."

    Orszag made the comments on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

    Because they can not be filibustered, budget reconciliations only require 50 votes to pass the Senate. Democrats hold strong majorities in Congress, but still come up short of the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to end debate, which makes it easier for Republicans to block legislation. House rules in comparison make it harder for the minority party to stop bills.

    Still, using budget reconciliation to pass policy proposals is controversial, even among some Democrats who believe doing so strains Senate rules and tradition.

    The Obama blueprint calls for major changes in both energy and healthcare policies that is likely to engender significant opposition from Republicans and business lobbies. The reforms are expect to win widespread support from Democrats and more left-leaning constituencies.

    Really good news (none / 0) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:53:19 AM EST
    Thanks for posting that.  Bobby Byrd will be upset, but he'll get the 50.  He can get 50 for pretty much anything he wants to do.

    Woke up this morning (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by CST on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:58:45 AM EST
    To the long list of school closings on the radio.

    Then I had the sad realization - not in school anymore.  Had to get up and go to work.

    Almost wiped out at least 4 times on the way to the train.  Note to shovelers - it's nice that you shovel the sidewalk (you have to by law) - but it would be extra nice if you shoveled a path to the crosswalk if you live on a corner so I don't have to climb over the 4 feet left by the snowplow..

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (none / 0) (#28)
    by SOS on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 08:51:29 PM EST
     -- February 27, 2009 -- Marron Foods, a Durand, WI. company is voluntarily recalling approximately 140 cases of Non Fat Dry Milk  that may contain a piece of metal that came off the packaging equipment which was discovered as part of regular maintenance.

    Swallowing fragments of metal may constitute a choking hazard.

    our local news says (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:07:25 PM EST
    NY should get a foot or more by morning. It was  nice here, 60 in Denver and 50 in the mountains. We're going to have record highs the next few days (it was 70 most of last week until Friday.)

    I wonder if we're all talking about the weather because the economic news is so bad. I can't even stand to read it anymore.

    It was 61 on Friday here (none / 0) (#53)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 11:59:44 PM EST
    Sat/Sun morn at 3AM, spitting ice at me while walking the dog. I can't decide if I want your warm weather to come this way or not. I always worry about an early warming because we could still get slammed with a long period of cold. I don't want ANYTHING to mess with the spring blooms on the trees :)

    I'd love to see some pics of your area, it must be beautiful there {hint, hint!}. Next year at this time, I'll be living in the CA mountains. I have a feeling I'm going to like the view a bit more ;)


    Spring's a'comin' (none / 0) (#55)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:09:58 AM EST
    Daylight Saving Time starts next weekend. How can it be time for that already? Not that I'm complaining; spring is great, but this seems early.

    OY! thanks for the reminder! (none / 0) (#57)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 03:10:13 AM EST
    I have a mtg on Sat and conference on Sun.

    Way too early for a time change!! Isn't this the first year of the new schedule, or am I just brain dead? I will say though, I'm loving the longer days. Dusk is around 6PM currently.


    Which mountains would they be? (none / 0) (#85)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:58:37 PM EST
    Any opera lovers still awake? (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 12:00:29 AM EST
    Stream KUSC FM live:  Tosca with an unbelievable cast (second act in progress:

    Floria Tosca - Zinka Milanov
    Mario Cavaradossi - Jussi Bjorling
    Scarpia - Leonard Warren
    Cesare Angelotti - Leonardo Monreale
    Sacristan - Fernando Corena
    Spoletta - Mario Carlin
    Sciarrone - Nestore Catalani
    Jailer - Vincenzo Preziosa

    Rome Opera House Orchestra
    Erich Leinsdorf, cond.
    RCA 63305

    Ohhhhh! (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:50:14 AM EST
    This is a GREAT recording!  Bjorling, Warren and Milanov!!

    I once sang in performances of Tosca with Sherill Milnes, Shirley Verrett and a tenor I can't remember (perfectly OK, but would have to be sensational to even be noticed in that company) with the BSO and Ozawa, and it's one of the highlights of my musical life.  Ozawa, Milnes and Verrett did the big scene between Scarpia and Tosca in a way that wasn't just evil and threatening but deeply erotic, as well, as Puccini really wrote it, and it was just breath-stopping.  Milnes did a Scarpia that was a great, big, virile, imposing sexual threat, not just a disgusting creep.  Warren did it very much the same way.

    That can be a great opera when it's done right.  Ozawa was just brilliant at bringing out all the lines and themes and changes of direction and tempo in the orchestration.  Really a revelatory performance.

    The Milanov/Warren/Bjorling/Leinsdorf recording is the only one I've been happy listening to since that experience.


    The only singer I've ever witnessed (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:33:30 AM EST
    make Scarpia believable was James Morris.  

    Then you never saw (none / 0) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 01:48:00 PM EST
    Milnes in his prime!

    Tried to figue out if I ever actually (none / 0) (#91)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:04:54 PM EST
    heard him sing live.  

    P.S.  He is still "under management."  


    Woah (none / 0) (#62)
    by kayla on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:46:32 AM EST
    I'm in Northern VA and I wake up to SNOW.  I never pay attention to the weather reports so I'm shocked.  It's March and this is the biggest pile up (and only the seconds snow day) all winter!

    Not for the faint of heart.... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:37:21 AM EST
    the video of a 15 year old girl getting beat down by a goon with a badge.

    Turns your stomach and boils your blood....when will we have had enough?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#70)
    by daring grace on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:00:53 AM EST
    Inspector Gadget posted about this with a still photo on a Friday Open Thread and Oculus was able to clarify for me the difference between 'police misconduct' and 'criminal misconduct' that the local DA was referring to.

    Glad to see they seem to be looking at punishing this guy for this.


    We shall see... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:12:10 AM EST
    these things typically are swept under the rug once the initial outrage dies down...I sure hope this guy never wears a badge again...I don't care what the girl said or did, there is no justification for that kind of child abuse.

    Actually, Seattle news (none / 0) (#77)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:58:25 AM EST
    gets pretty excited when anything about the area gets to the National stage. They won't let this go. Truly, the strangest dynamic in broadcast news is in Seattle.

    It is child abuse of the highest level, IMHO, but the officer who was the brute is only facing a potential of 1 year in prison for it, and will probably do the time in the KC jail (not a horrible facility) if he gets convicted.


    Question re: Franken-Coleman contest (none / 0) (#79)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:07:48 AM EST
    Anyone (Steve M perhaps) care to venture an analysis/opinion of where Franken stands and what might happen?  I read news of latest court events/decisions but don't know what prognosis might be.  Thanks.