Tueday Morning Open Thread

Your turn.

This is an Open Thread.

< Citi's Rosy View | Mondale: Right to Counsel Is in Jeopardy >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Nancy Reagan praises (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:19:17 AM EST
    Obama re overturning Bush's restrictions on stem cell research:  Nancy Reagan

    That ought a' sting (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:23:33 AM EST
    some Republican Butts

    The MSM (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:20:33 AM EST
    Anyone else notice how it's basically just become a colossal tool for mind control?

    I could name a few major web sites that have gotten pretty strange also recently. But I won't.

    Two things that Mr. MT said last night (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:23:38 AM EST
    that had me rolling on the floor and he said neither of them in the spirit of comedy.  First one, "Wow, I thought North Korean news was propaganda."  The second one, "I like that Rachael Maddow, she's like an intelligent Keith Olberman."

    They all (none / 0) (#7)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:27:08 AM EST
    seem like game show hosts to me.

    Become? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:50:34 AM EST
    Twas always so, and always so will be.

    When I REALLY Noticed (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by daring grace on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:58:55 AM EST
    was during the run up to the impeachment of President Clinton. Maybe because that period seems to have coincided with the ascension of 24 hour cable 'news' stations to their mouthiest most.

    All day long it was blah blah blah Clinton did THIS! Blah, blah, blah, Clinton did THAT! And then time out for one of the (then) new blonde Republican gals to come on and bloviate about the horrors of this immoral man as president.

    And then they'd announce WJC's latest poll numbers. And you could see...it...in...their faces...The shock! The disbelief!

    Every day for months and months they were faithfully beating the Bill Must Go drum. And every day, the numbers chided them: The people loved the president more and more no matter what they drilled into our tv sets.

    It was like bad test preparation for the big exam. The MSM TRIED to help us memorize the right answers and we, the viewing public were just too darned dense to absorb it!

    And I was kind of a lukewarm supporter of Clinton's before they got started. Their odious nonsense day after day after day had me cheering for him as much because I loved watching their heads explode as they reported his soaring approval ratings.


    It was funny (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:07:26 PM EST
    and it continued right through until the Senate voted not to convict.  The bloviators were utterly certain each new whatever-it-was would finally turn American public opinion against him.  They never figured it out.

    I remember particularly when that just awful video of his deposition to Ken Starr's goons was broadcast, and they were all certain he was a goner.  And then his approval rating actually went up.

    I've always kept a soft spot for crazy Geraldo Rivera because he had a talk show during that period every night and he kept saying, "No way, no how are they going to convict a president with a 60 percent approval."  He was right.


    The fact that (none / 0) (#83)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08:43:28 PM EST
    he was even put in that "Clock World Orange" position was revolting.

    And his fellow Democrats? "Nauseating" doesn't begin to describe them.


    Im partial to all 'em (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:30:32 AM EST
    commercials featurin' young fellers blowin' things up and drivin' pickup trucks through burnin' buildins' and stuff.

    Whew doggies!


    So Why Watch? (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:51:54 AM EST
    Get rid of your teevees. You won't miss them.

    How would I watch the NCAA tournament (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:05:23 PM EST
    without TV?

    You want me to say something? (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:21:29 AM EST
    Fine.....that damned CRAP bankruptcy reform helped a lot of this $h*t situation along too.  Suddenly lenders couldn't fathom a "bad" loan because everybody was going to owe until they died.  Lenders saw very little risk for themselves completely ignoring the fact that nobody has ever been able to get blood from turnips, and they ground everyone into the dirt with their new found Godlikeness.

    Ha. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:24:29 AM EST
    Opening the floodgates and in rushes MT!

    MT's on fire today. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:32:26 AM EST
    I like it.

    MT... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:32:52 AM EST
    How's your little boy doing lately?

    He is doing so swell now (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:40:42 AM EST
    In school again and his reading skills have begun to equal his math skills this half of the year.  You know what seemed to help him tons when he was really down?  We decided to allow him to go online with his 360 game system, so he was stuck at home on the couch in casts but he was conversing and playing with kids and even some adults in other countries where they were out of school or off work.  He got such a kick out of that, totally perked him up.  The people that he liked and who liked him sign up as each others friends and they can find each other and play with each other when online.  If you can believe this, two of his faves are both boys slightly older than he is but they are Muslim.  They play games together where they are on the same team killing "bad guys" and fail to realize that their cultures each often considers the other a bad guy.  Do we dare to hope?

    Great to hear he's doing better. (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:44:21 AM EST
    I can't stand kids suffering.

    I think we can dare to hope for kids; not so sure about adults.


    Remember that song? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:09:12 PM EST
    "You've got to be carefully taught" from "South Pacific?

    It's true.  Kids don't care.  It's their parents who  screw with their heads.


    MT, food for you (none / 0) (#75)
    by caseyOR on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:19:18 PM EST
    I was looking for a simple, inexpensive and relatively healthy dish for a late winter dinner tonight. I thought of you, MT, because you sometimes put out an SOS for recipes. This dish is a big favorite around here, even with children who have never heard of bulgur before.

                                    Lemon Chicken with Bulgur

    • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
    • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
    -2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 TBLS. olive oil
    • 1 1/2 C bulgur
    • 1/2 tsp. each of ground cardamom, ground coriander, ground cumin
    -grated rind and juice of one lemon
    • 3 C boiling chicken broth
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

    1. Heat oil in large skillet
    2. Salt and pepper chicken. Add chicken to skillet and brown on all sides.
    3. Put browned chicken in a large casserole (I use a 10x10 Corning Ware w/ a lid).
    4. Add onions and garlic to skillet, stirring until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes
    5. Add bulgur to skillet, stirring to coat and mix w/onions and garlic
    6. Add the cardomom, coriander, cumin, grated lemon and lemon juice, stirring to mix well with bulgur
    7. Spoon bulgur mixture over chicken in casserole.
    8. Pour boiling chicken broth over chicken and bulgur.
    9. Cover casserole and cook in oven for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender.

    I usually serve this with steamed broccoli over which I grate a little more lemon zest.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:28:26 PM EST
    Oh Good, A chicken breast!  I buy them by the bag and hope to find things to put on top of them that taste good!

    Tax protest movement... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:36:08 AM EST
    anybody see it taking off in any meaningful way?

    Caught a clip on the news this morning about a guy who wrote the IRS a letter stating he'll pay, just not now, when he's good and ready...and he wants a no interest/no penalty deal like Geithner....my hero of the day.  

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:29:03 AM EST
    I have a law school friend who represents the IRS in Tax Court.  He basically chews up tax protestors with the same old arguments all day long.  I know they think they're striking a blow or making a point or whatever, but at the end of the day all they're doing is not paying their taxes.  I can make up a million noble-sounding excuses for not meeting my obligations either.

    Anyway my bottom line is that I don't think we'll see any more or less of this than we always have, nor do I think it will make a difference.  Taxation with representation is here to stay.


    Plus, the possiblity of (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:31:10 AM EST
    a federal criminal conviction.  Not pretty.

    It's a temporary roof over the head (none / 0) (#35)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:32:16 PM EST
    with the way things are going, we may see people doing this just to have food and shelter.

    Tent city in Sacramento now. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:08:35 PM EST
    300 tents.  

    People have done this for a while now (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:01:29 PM EST
    It's very sad.

    A couple of years ago, Larry Lawson lost his job as an automotive designer and lost his home. He tried to rob a bank, because he figured jail was better than living on the streets.


    A Noble Tax Protest... (none / 0) (#23)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:36:23 AM EST
    one of my college friend's husband decided to protest the Viet Nam War by not earning enough money to be subject to tax return filing requirements.  

    Not good prospects, even for (none / 0) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:35:35 PM EST
    a bishop. In 1982, Raymond Hunthasen, Archbishop of Seattle, withheld half of his income tax in protest of nuclear arms stockpiling, and, especially, the Trident missiles based in Pugent Sound.  A bishop known for his work with the poor and efforts for peace and justice did not fare well in his efforts.  The tax protest did not go unnoticed by the Reagan administration and, soon, the tax owed by the bishop was paid for him, and an investigation was started by Cardinal Ratzinger on theological matters, including accusations that he did not accept teachings of the Magisterium concerning the intrinsic evil of homosexuality.  The archbishop's control of his diocese was taken away with "visiting" and co-administrators.  A final report was supportive of him, but he retired ahead of mandatory age requirements in the early 1990's

    That's a sad story both for the... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:07:26 PM EST
    Archbishop and the Catholic Church.

    True, but (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:36:45 PM EST
    some of the players in this sad story moved ahead in the Church: Donald Wuerl, the co-administrator of the story,, is now Archbishop of Washington, DC and Cardinal Ratzinger, well, he moved ahead too.

    The behavior of then Cardinal Ratzinger was... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:44:20 PM EST
    what was sad.

    I'm sure your friend does.... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:50:06 AM EST
    they ate Karl Hess for breakfast.

    I'll never forget his recollection of the customary post-election audit after Goldwater's failed presidential bid.  He asked the IRS agent if a deduction he made was right, and the IRS agent replied "It doesn't matter if it is right or wrong, only if it is legal."  That was all Karl needed to hear to know what the score really is.

    I can make up a million noble-sounding excuses for not meeting my obligations either.

    You, my friend, should run for office:)


    Protest concerns non-representation... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Samuel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:39:19 PM EST
    in the form of borrowing or the hidden taxation of printing money.  Surely children that have yet to be born are not represented in the government.

    It's true (none / 0) (#72)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:09:19 PM EST
    and they didn't ratify the Constitution either.  One of the ongoing philosophical debates since the Founding (and before, of course) involves the extent to which it is beneficial for society to be ruled by the so-called dead hand.

    Not the same as incurring debts... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Samuel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:19:49 PM EST
    There's a distinction between a set of laws which can be changed by vote and national debt that cannot be voted away.  

    A plea to support women's athletics (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:50:31 AM EST
    I have a niece who plays basketball for the Montana Grizzlies, a team that just may get an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs (they have already gone many times).  

    The niece was my segway into watching women's collegiate sports, however, I've now been bitten by the bug so that I search ESPN for games and spend more time than I care to admit watching women's basketball.  These women (in all women's sports, I'm sure) play their hearts and souls out and make some incredible plays.  They are inspirational, very worth watching.  

    The NCAA Division 1 conference championships are going on right now so some especially good games are being played on ESPN, etc.  Next week the NCAA playoffs start, so games will be even better.

    The sad thing about watching is seeing the empty stands. Women's sport just aren't valued as much and men's, even though the competitions are equally as fierce and nail-biting.

    So please watch women's sports on TV.  Or if you're local to a college hosting a championship, go get tickets for some of the championship games.  The tickets are surprisingly cheap and might make for a fun family outing.  But please support the women. They deserve your support.

    Thanks for listening.

    I am a fan (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:33:09 AM EST
    I'm always saying that my little girl is going to be tall like me and a b-ball player someday.  (I'm not all that tall for a guy, but I'd be plenty tall for a woman!)  My alma mater has a player who is 6'9" - wow!

    I have to give a lot of credit to David Stern and the NBA for doing so much to promote the WNBA all these years even though I think it's a money loser for them.  When Chauncey Billups played for the Pistons, he used to do commercials with his daughters about taking them to WNBA games and they were really cute.

    I don't especially care if my daughter ends up as a famous athlete (it would be nice, of course) but it fits in with the "you can be whatever you want to be" theme that I think it's everyone's responsibility to teach their daughters.  I don't want her to ever go around thinking "oh, that profession is a guy thing."


    Women's hoops... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:02:47 AM EST
    I just can't get into it for some reason, I've tried because my niece is into it now.  I don't know if its the lack of above the rim play or the slower pace or what.  My niece's b-ball games are fun to watch, but that's just personal uncle pride...she's a beast on the boards with sick handle, and using a women's size regulation ball on the neighbor's ten foot rim and stroking it...in first grade!  

    Tennis otoh, I much rather watch a women's match than a men's....too many aces in the mens games, more volleys in the women's.


    I suggest you try (none / 0) (#28)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:59:17 AM EST
    some of the playoff games that are going on right now.

    My husband doesn't like women's basketball, but he had to DVR a game we were watching last night so he could find out how it ended.

    It's different in playoffs.  Really fast play, lots of big action.


    I don't doubt it... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:00:03 PM EST
    and I'm sure I will whether I like it or not, thanks to my niece.

    She's become a hockey nut too...her birthday was in Jan. and I bought her a hockey stick.  She gives me a funny look and goes "girls don't play hockey."  5 minutes later after showing her some youtube clips of women's ice hockey her eyes were as wide as hell and she asked mom for skates...it was so cool.


    On another note (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:35:16 AM EST
    For those who want to laugh (because you can't cry), I present to you, the ongoing saga of Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit, who recently got out of jail.  Maybe it will take your mind off the economy, or give you something to do for a couple of hours.

    Newly released text messages show inside the scandal

    The actual text messages - warning - some messages may be graphic

    Kwame demanded $100 million from SkyTel for turning over text messages

    Kwame juggles at least 5 other women besides his wife and mistress

    so...has the market bottomed, (none / 0) (#17)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:53:56 AM EST
    or is today a blip?

    If it wasn't for my sainted mother (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:59:42 AM EST
    I wouldn't care about the markets.

    Unfortunately, her job is at an investment firm.  Not a big place, just a business caught between a lot of unhappy clients and the worst market conditions in decades.  Currently, they are operating quarter to quarter.  No one knows what this coming quarter's numbers will look like - good, bad or unemployment.

    She had fantasies of being able to retire while she was still healthy.  Now she's just hoping to keep the bills paid.


    Sorry to hear this (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:49:49 PM EST
    There are thousands of honest, caring people in the small independent businesses that are there with the intent to make future retirement comfortable for their clients. The casualties of this wave are staggering.

    I think we need to start a "War on Greed". At least that is an addiction we know has thousands of victims for every one crook and deserves to be knocked out in our lifetime.

    I sincerely hope your mom's firm comes out the other side still able to help people get back on their feet.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#58)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:45:59 PM EST
    I have no idea if any investment firm is doing well now.  The good news is that my mother is being the IT person, so she has a universal set of skills.

    Yeh, turns out the only one with a job (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:30:22 PM EST
    to do yesterday, when the largest mortgage company in my state suddenly closed its doors -- without warning even to the state, it's pretty scary -- the IT person still was needed.  The local paper kept reporting (in online updates) that the company still was advertising on its website that it still was accepting mortgage requests . . . until the one person called back was the IT person, to fix the website with the notice of the company closing.

    Turns out that the CEOs and such really are worthless.  They rob the company blind -- as apparently happened here, with feds investigating -- but can't even learn basic hacker skills.

    So your mom still will be needed, or at least last to go.  Let's hope, for my family members already unemployed, too, that there's a turnaround soon. . . .


    Nobody knows (none / 0) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:12:34 PM EST
    My guess, just a blip, but it's the first nice blip we've had in quite a while.

    So, did Ben Bernanke find his (none / 0) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:36:42 AM EST
    glasses or something?

    Bernanke Says Financial Rules Need an Overhaul

    The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, on Tuesday called for a broad reworking of how the government regulates the financial system to prevent future financial meltdowns.

    In a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, Mr. Bernanke said the financial system needed to be regulated "as a whole, in a holistic way" and that stricter oversight of banks would not be enough to guard against future crises.

    "Strong and effective regulation and supervision of banking institutions, although necessary for reducing systemic risk, are not sufficient by themselves to achieve this aim," Mr. Bernanke said.

    He said that the failures of government oversight systems and private risk management helped to precipitate the economic crisis by not ensuring that a flood of foreign money into the United States was prudently invested. Credit markets seized up and global economies began contracting in what Mr. Bernanke called the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

    Even as the Fed and other central banks scramble to rebuild confidence in the financial system and free up credit, Mr. Bernanke said that policymakers needed to look ahead to long-term changes in the financial system.

    Mr. Bernanke said that policy makers also needed to examine the problem of institutions deemed "too big to fail" because of the role they played in the broader system. Huge institutions like Citigroup and the insurer American International Group have received billions in bailout aid as the government sought to ward off a collapse in the financial system.

    "In the present crisis, the too-big-to-fail issue has emerged as an enormous problem," Mr. Bernanke said.

    Specifically, he called for "especially close" oversight of firms whose collapse would pose a systemic threat to the broader economy, and said that regulators need to zealously monitor the risk-taking and financial stability of major financial institutions, and that they must be held to high standards of liquidity.

    He called for a review of the accounting rules that govern how companies value assets -- a crucial issue as banks struggle under the weight of mortgage-related debts whose underlying values have fallen as housing prices crumbled. Mr. Bernanke said accounting rules and other financial regulations should not amplify the natural ups and downs in market cycles.

    "Further review of accounting standards governing valuation and loss provisioning would be useful, and might result in modifications to the accounting rules that reduce their pro-cyclical effects without compromising the goals of disclosure and transparency," he said.

    In a question-and-answer session after the speech, Mr. Bernanke said he did not favor a suspension of the mark-to-market accounting standards, but said that the weakness in current rules should be identified and corrected.

    Mr. Bernanke also called for the creation of an authority to monitor and oversee broad, systemic risks, and said that policy makers need to add muscle to the rules governing payment and trading so that the financial markets perform better under stress.

    He said the United States could take a "macroprudential" approach -- surveying the breadth of markets and financial institutions for signs of bubbles, growing risks like the subprime mortgage market, or risks shared by interconnected markets. Congress could empower a government agency like the Fed to take on that task.

    "The policy actions I've discussed would inhibit the buildup of risks within the financial system and improve the resilience of the financial system to adverse shocks," Mr. Bernanke said.

    Emphasis is mine.

    Love it (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:30:51 PM EST
    Ben Bernanke (Republican):

    In the present crisis, the too-big-to-fail issue has emerged as an enormous problem

    Bernie Sanders (Socialist):

    Too big to fail is too big to exist

    New, more up-to-date, anti-trust laws are needed.

    Bust 'em up.


    Not sure what your point is (none / 0) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:13:33 PM EST
    My understanding is he's been in favor of moving in this direction all along.  He's not Alan Greenspan, y'know.

    Even Alan Greenspan isn't... (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:08:48 PM EST
    Alan Greenspan anymore.

    I wonder if Greenspan (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:20:58 PM EST
    is muttering in his sleep a lot these days.  He sure has had the legs cut out from underneath the stuff he's taken as an article of faith his entire adult life.  I give him credit for realizing it.  For how long it took him, not so much.

    I'm just starting to read Jamie Galbraith's book "The Predator State," and his scathing evisceration of Reaganism and conservative economics from a purely economic point of view is so good and so strong, I'm repeatedly tempted to jump to my feet and cheer.

    He does lack his daddy's devastatingly sly wit, but JK would still be proud as heck.


    Greenspan (none / 0) (#50)
    by Samuel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:57:50 PM EST
    New exactly what he was doing.  He spent his life as a free market guy, goes to the Fed and breaks every tenet of the free market.  It was a wealth redistribution racket.  Nothing to do with the free market.  He knew that the entire time - as evidenced by the theories he endorsed before he was chosen along with Friedman to go down as free market straw men.  

    Meanwhile, Paul Krugman in reality is an inflationist just like Greenspan but everyone views them as opposites despite an astounding amount of evidence to the contrary.

    Anyway the point of all that was that Greenspan does not consider the current economic situation an accident except for perhaps the total lack of control the Fed and shadow banking system (which is the unnumbered accounts at I-banks)have on suppressing and maintaining market prices.  He may feel guilty he took part in the plan, but the current crisis is simply an illustration of the free market theories he endorsed before he joined the ranks of inflationists at the Fed.  Psychopaths do become economists and economists become psychopaths more frequently than people realize.  That's why outright lying is so pervasive in the field.


    ...knew... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Samuel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:58:14 PM EST

    In 20 Years... (none / 0) (#54)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:23:48 PM EST
    Republicans will be calling him St. Alan and will claim that Obama caused all of the problems.  He probably sleeps just fine.

    He sleeps fine. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Samuel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:53:19 PM EST
    If society remains ignorant - he'll go down as an example of "the free market failing".  If it gets a clue it will realize that both Greenspan and Obama are inflationists.  Same with Krugman. He/Reagan/Bush2 would go down as the culprits more than anyone else. Obama's policies may vault him into that list - when this plan doesn't work the record deficits will look pretty bad.

    You're smart - can you tell me what you think makes these three men different (other than Krugman is a full blown proponent of socialism while Obama may just kinda/sorta think socialism is the answer)?  

    It seems to me that when faced with disinflationary forces all advocate aggressive reinflation...Greenspan just had to lower the interest rate to make this happen...Obama and Krugman are busy thinking of ways to get around the fact that banks realize the game is up and can no longer find 'eligible' borrowers.  Ofcourse the biggest difference is Greenspan's background...but I'm more of an actions man myself.


    Wasn't aware of that - (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:16:06 PM EST
    have no real recollection of Bernanke sounding the alarm bells - this sounded a lot like closing the barn door after the horse bolted.

    Ben Bernanke Didn't Become... (none / 0) (#53)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:19:46 PM EST
    Fed Chairman until 2006 or late 2005 - by then the cows had left, the horses were gone and the chickens were coming home to roost.

    How about a currency revolt? (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:05:51 PM EST
    Why don't we make up our own currency free of the crooked fed and the crooked banks...kinda like what this guy is doing, but it need not be liberty dollars, it could be shells, wampum, anything.  

    Quite a Name (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:22:36 PM EST
    [Bernard] Von NotHaus's company sells the coins over the Internet. A 1-ounce silver coin stamped with "$20" costs $18.26 at bulk rates. The firm says buyers can make out by spending Liberty Dollars and getting real money back.
    Ultimately, the company wins. Silver is trading now at around $13 an ounce.

    And quite a profit.


    That turned me off.... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:37:33 PM EST
    that's why I threw the wampum idea in there, something purely symbolic like the dollar bill.

    Yes (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:50:28 PM EST
    I like wampum too.

    But then again my favorite is the stone money of Yap

     Mackerel trade in US prisons is also pretty interesting.


    Mackerel eh? (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:02:09 PM EST
    I was wondering what would replace cigarettes....I still can't believe some prisons are non-smoking...that's so cruel.  

    Where's Dadler?  I think he would dig the imagination regarding currency.


    I'm here and digging it all (none / 0) (#59)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:50:05 PM EST
    We need a competing domestic currency.  One not held up by the wealth paradigm, but by the social stability and full employment paradigm.  

    Let those who want to pursue wild wealth do so, let the dollar keep going as it will or won't, but let others of us elect to invest in a new currency, held up by a confidence of OUR choosing, not that of the confidence game's choosing.

    Even if it has to start with a recruiting pool of n'er do wells, the downtrodden, bohemians, punkers, laborers, artists, thinkers, sleepers, the enviropeeps, the marginal, and on and on...there's tens of millions of "freaks" to sign up and start.


    Now you're talking... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08:38:40 PM EST
    old friend...a new way for civilized people to conduct the business of a fulfilling life without so much scheming and leechery.

    We kinda do it already on a limited basis within our communities...we don't charge our neighbors interest when they borrow a cup of sugar do we?  All we ask is that they hook us up when we need a cup of milk.  And it works most of the time, or at least I think it does.

    Better than the variable interest rate mother's maiden name sign your life away game we got goin' on now anyway.  


    Gold, I tell you. It's got to be gold. (none / 0) (#47)
    by wurman on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:42:23 PM EST
    Pieces of 8. Eagles. Doubloons.  Pandas.

    Take note: the world's never been the same since Tricky Dick Nixon took us off the gold standard, imposed wage-price controls, & let the Arab princes nationalize our Middle East oil.

    Kruggerands.  Maple Leafs.  Buffalos.

    My collection of $2.5 Indians.  Just go for the gold (so I can recoup my 2008 gains, OK, please).


    Did the new payroll deductions... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:27:30 PM EST
    take effect already?  I thought it wasn't till April, but there's an extra 10 bucks in my paycheck I just received...I'll have to compare stubs when I get home and figure out if I need to thank my boss or thank Obama.

    Obama and education (none / 0) (#62)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:03:30 PM EST
    He said today he supports merit pay for teachers, which I can't believe he's going to start pitching.  Whatever, par for the course.  I'd love to hear him try to explain logically how, in a system so skewed against those with less, you are going to rate merit among teachers who teach wildly divergent groups of students?  Are you going to give merit pay to every teacher in every good school in the good neighborhoods?  And the ghetto teacher who struggles with kids who come to school undernourished in every possible way, both pysically and emotionally, they're going to be rated in the same manner?

    Please.  How about this?  We stimulate our economy by engaging in an uprecedented building of modern and equipped schools in every neighborhood that needs one, in every small town and big city, from sea to shining sea, and then when we build them we are going to staff them with the best and the brightest.


    I have to agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:10:07 PM EST
    How does one weight the PE teacher, or Choir instructor against the Calculus teacher? The Drama teacher may be the very best in the school, but contributes nothing to the academic achievement results of the students.

    He also wants to expand the Charter school program.

    Our public school system will suffer tremendously by having to share funding with Charter schools. I fear this is going to also open a door to federal funds going into the parochial schools.


    Thank Bill Ayers (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:34:13 PM EST
    as this is how he raised Obama, with their work together on a couple (not just the one always written about) of foundations in Chicago to fix, fix, fix the schools, meaning the bad, bad, bad teachers.  That's what education profs of Ayers' ilk do.  Their job as education profs is to teach the teachers better, but they keep grabbing huge grants to study the teachers and end up with results that say teachers are the problem.

    Hmmm, maybe it's the teachers -- the education profs -- of those teachers who need fixing?

    Btw, if you're into these issues, you better google around as I did to see what else those Ayers/Obama foundation boards loved to fund, such as vouchers.  And just about anything anti-teachers union.  It's not a nice record.


    "raised Obama"???? (5.00 / 0) (#68)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:36:29 PM EST
    That strikes me as a little patronizing, CC.

    Read up on it, and you'll see (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:04:06 PM EST
    that Obama was new to schools issues then, but those are an education prof's forte.  Hardly patronizing to note that Obama is a fast learner.

    Btw, he came out today for charter schools, too.  Those can be a costly mess, as we have seen in my city, thanks to Ayers' foundation pushing them here.  The map here is littered with storefront schools that, after the Ayers seed money, took millions in city and state funds per student to buy the school "founders" fancy cars, while the classrooms didn't have books and the teachers were not paid.  Not just that they didn't get merit pay.  They didn't get paid.  Period.

    And then, midyear when charters may get pulled, these unprepared students are put back into public schools for those teachers to be blamed.

    Such ideas and schools only work with serious accountability built into enabling legislation -- which was lacking here, with the massive Ayers seed money for ideas that snowed people -- and politicians.  This legislation needs to be watched closely, before other cities' schools are screwed up by big ideas and little accountability.


    The Goal (none / 0) (#64)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:13:38 PM EST
    Is to standardize teaching.

    Obama's call for states to adopt uniform academic achievement standards is likely to anger many Republicans, who generally favor giving local school systems the ability to design curriculum and set testing standards. To make his point, Obama said, "Today's system of 50 different sets of benchmarks for academic success means fourth-grade readers in Mississippi are scoring nearly 70 points lower than students in Wyoming -- and getting the same grade."


    Kids are like sponges and need good teachers. The system as it is today, appears to favor creating a underclass of cheap laborers.

    I support putting more money into education and in particular focusing on the younger students. As far as I am concerned too much of our talent is wasted though neglect.


    Horrible Idea (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:01:38 PM EST
    Some people seem to think that if we just ran schools like businesses, we'd be fine. I would point out the mess our corporations are in, but that would be too obvious.

    I will point out, however, that unlike corporations, schools are labor intensive (if you have no teachers, you have no school), and the raw material that comes in the door is 100% defective, since you are dealing with human beings (as opposed to, say, manufacturing companies, who only accept 1 or 2% defective raw material).

    If teaching is standardized, then why not just give the kids books and have them self-learn.  What would be the point of having a teacher?

    It would really be nice if people making decisions about education policy in this country (including the Secretary of Education) had actually spent time, you know, teaching. Instead we get a bunch of blowhards who think they know best "for the children".


    I think education should be (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:11:50 PM EST
    standardized as soon as children are - standardized, that is.

    The schools my kids went to benefited by the county's commitment to school-based management; it allowed schools to tailor their methods and adopt programs and resources that best met the needs of the student population, on a school-by-school basis.  It prevented the pencil-pushers at the Board of Ed from dictating things that made no sense in some communities, and forcing a lock-step approach to teaching.

    Sure, there were still standardized tests - more and more, it seems, as people became obsessed with thinking that everything could be measured by a test; the frustration of so much testing being imposed, and essentially forcing the dreaded "teaching to the test" is still there, and little has been done to reduce it.

    I hate the idea of vouchers, and I'm not sold on charter schools - and I really, really hate that Obama is headed in that direction.


    So You Are With THe GOP (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:09:39 PM EST
    Criticism of Obama's education plan?

    Obama's call for states to adopt uniform academic achievement standards is likely to anger many Republicans, who generally favor giving local school systems the ability to design curriculum and set testing standards.

    No - can't you read? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:53:59 AM EST
    I discused school-based management, not school-based curriculum; the requirement that high school seniors, for example, pass a state-wide assessment test in three subjects in order to graduate results in conformity in the curriculum even if each county is not doing exactly the same thing at the same time.

    I think we have become obsessed with tests, and what that means in the classroom is that teachers no longer have the freedom to spend more time on one thing or another because they have to cram so much into the curriculum in order to prepare the kids for one test or the other.

    I'd really, really like to see the schools spend more time developing childrens' ability to think and reason and process and write about what they're learning and less time on learning by rote for the express purpose of filling in the bubbles on the standardized tests; I think the testing is killing education, not furthering its efforts.

    And I don't care whether you want to find some way to make all of that a Republican talking point.


    And, you are right, Anne (none / 0) (#91)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:00:37 AM EST
    The standardized test in WA State (WASL) is finally being replaced after years of complaints that the schools were teaching to the test because it was so difficult for the students to pass just to graduate. The test was poorly designed.

    The high IQ, the creative, and the children of lesser financial means are being neglected by the school system. Under the current system, our children are being setup for mediocre.

    Parents are holding their breath while their children go through these years in hopes they haven't lost all their dreams and self-confidence before they reach a place where they are free to bloom.

    Our schools are in desperate need for major reform, but not the kind being proposed by Obama.


    I See (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:50:47 PM EST
    So you are with Obama's charter school idea, where the school manages it self with a particular agenda?

    Every comment you have written here is in the service of pointing out some failure of Obama, so I was not surprised to see you agreeing with GOP criticism of Obama.


    So No Problem? (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:10:39 PM EST
    Schools are fine, Mississippi should provide us with a cheap underclass of laborers?

    If teaching is standardized, then why not just give the kids books and have them self-learn.  What would be the point of having a teacher?

    I do not see your logical jump as anything but empty rhetoric, par for the course.

    I applaud Obama for looking at our youngest as our most valuable commodity. Any step in leveling out the playing field by delivering quality education to poor kids is great in my book.


    Because (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:31:37 PM EST
    You obviously don't understand teaching or the educational system.  Kids are not fungible and teachers are not fungible. And of course, you know very well that I don't mean Mississippi should provide us with a cheap underclass of laborers, but as usual in your delusions, you imagine things that are not written. No wonder you don't see the logic.

    Standardized testing and merit pay (and thereby standardized teaching in public schools) is a Republican talking point, of which you yourself love to accuse others of (See No Child Left Behind).

    Delivering quality education will start with improving teacher pay - to compensate them for the professionals they are, reducing class size, getting rid of NCLB, and not tying teachers' and administrators' hands when it comes to curriculum and discipline (and before you go off on one of your crazy rants again, no, I don't mean corporal punishment). Charter schools have not really shown any difference in test scores than public schools, and in many cases, their scores were worse than their comparable public schools.

    Again - Obama should consult people who actually know what they are talking about on this subject and not just spewing lofty, good-on-paper ideas.


    There needs to be a panel of parents on (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 07:26:43 PM EST
    any team he consults.

    Again - Obama should consult people who actually know what they are talking about on this subject and not just spewing lofty, good-on-paper ideas.

    Many of the current discipline methods used in our schools today blow out the bright lights of our more creative students, and all too often administrators take the easy way out by sending the active minds to alternative schools where they are more likely than not to drop out. Our rate of drop outs and GEDs is shocking in this modern society.

    No one who hasn't been deeply involved in a child's trek through school in this country should be allowed to make decisions for future generations.

    One thing I learned watching my kids and their friends go through what is considered one of the best school districts in western Washington is that the teachers and administrators often make big mistakes in the category of discipline.

    jdindc, you are very right that students and teachers are not fungible and teachers deserve a raise. I'd like to see their union go away unless the students can have one that is every bit as powerful, though. Some teachers are in the wrong jobs.


    GOP Talking Point? (none / 0) (#78)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:49:57 PM EST
    Standardized testing and merit pay (and thereby standardized teaching in public schools) is a Republican talking point, of which you yourself love to accuse others of (See No Child Left Behind).

    No child left behind was a cynical program meant to disinfranchise the poor. And according to WaPo GOPers hate Obama's plan, so I doubt that it is a GOP talking point as you claim but feel free to back up your claim with links.

    Obama's call for states to adopt uniform academic achievement standards is likely to anger many Republicans, who generally favor giving local school systems the ability to design curriculum and set testing standards.

    As far as improving teachers pay, that seems to be part of the plan, also reducing school size is a great idea too.


    2nd stimulus (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:27:23 PM EST
    is it just me or is this administration struggling with going for a second stimulus now because it would seem as if they made a mistake in the first go?  Unemployment has already surpassed their anticipated % and the new number for job creation/saving is 2.5 million.  

    That won't even cover the job loss through this year.  The jobs "saved" is such a wildly contingent and subjective number and can be padded with little difficulty.  

    The biggest mistakes are always the ones that are precipitated by not owning the first mistake.

    This May Be the Price The US... (none / 0) (#80)
    by santarita on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 07:07:07 PM EST
    has to pay to get Europe and Asian governments to provide their own stimuluses (stimuli?).

    Moderate Views (none / 0) (#69)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:53:29 PM EST
    Regarding Israel and Palestine need not apply. IOW anything but lockstep support of Right wing Israeli policies will be forced out.

    Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman's decision with regret.

    think progress

    Women's History Month (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:18:52 PM EST
    President Obama will sign an executive order tomorrow to establish a White House Council on Women and Girls, according to an administration official familiar with the move.

    The Council will be chaired by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser and personal friend to the president, and the day-to-day operations will be run Tina Tchen, who is currently director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and was a major fundraiser for Obama during the campaign.

    "The mission of the Council will be to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families," reads a memo describing the move and obtained by The Fix.


    heh . . . . (none / 0) (#84)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08:58:46 PM EST
    Obama and his team know that if he can maintain his 2008 margin among women in his reelection race in three years time, he will be sitting pretty. Expect then more symbolic moves like the establishment of the Council to demonstrate Obama's commitment to women and women's issues.

    You are such a sceptic. (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:07:40 PM EST
    buuuuut . . . (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:17:06 PM EST
    he makes it soooo easy!  {grin}

    Another nomination down the drain (none / 0) (#79)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 06:01:08 PM EST

    Charles Freeman, the Obama administration's choice for National Intelligence Council chief, has withdrawn following controversy over his nomination.

    The former Pentagon official and diplomat had faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee over his lack of intelligence experience, and some prior headline-grabbing remarks, particularly with regard to Israel. He also drew controversy over a statement that he believed the Chinese government did not crack down quickly enough on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananment Square in 1989.

    Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair defended Freeman today on Capitol Hill, telling Sen. Joe Lieberman at a Senate hearing that Freeman's comments had been taken out of context. He also said he felt he would do a better job if he were "getting strong analytical viewpoints" like Freeman's to "sort out and pass on" to Congress and the president.

    State Secrets Italian Style (none / 0) (#93)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:28:20 PM EST
    ROME (AP) -- Italy's Constitutional Court has thrown out the charges against 26 Americans accused of involvement in the alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect in Milan in 2003.
    The ruling by the country's highest court sides with the government in saying prosecutors used classified information to build the case and threw out some key evidence on which the indictments were based.
    State lawyer Massimo Giannuzzi says the ruling Wednesday means the prosecution will have to seek new indictments based on the remaining evidence or reopen the investigation.

    link via Laura Rozen