Wednesday Open Thread

Denver is finally about to get snow and a blast of arctic weather:

Snow is expected to fall in Denver by mid-morning Thursday, and temperatures will plunge to levels not seen so far this winter.

Temperatures will drop from the 50's to zero. Which means I have to get to a lot of places today. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    So what happened to Cream City? (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 06:47:32 PM EST
    Haven't seen her around here for a long time.

    excellent question (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sj on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 12:29:43 AM EST
    Bill Richardson is asking, should he (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 11:59:28 AM EST
    pardon Billy the Kid?  LAT

    Talk about "the politics of crime"!

    A book by a friend of mine (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:05:27 PM EST
    Your friend sounds like an interesting (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:10:44 PM EST
    person from his bio.

    Now lives in Kauai (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:13:48 PM EST
    He's a character.  Did a reading at Warwick's in La Jolla last year and said moving to Hawaii resulted in his not writing a word in anger since.

    Sure Bill... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:07:41 PM EST
    pardon Billy, in the name of our outlaw tradition...but lets not forget the living...ya know, somebody still breathing, in a cage, who need not be.

    For anyone who skis (none / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:03:46 PM EST
    This is terrifying.  It's the one thing going through my head everytime I'm on a lift.  This is particularly terrifying, as I have been skiing once so far this year, and it was at.... Sugarloaf!

    Ironically enough, while we were there they were having "issues" with one of the lifts.  Not this one though, a completely different one.  Might be time to check out some other mountains.

    A few yrs. ago we went to Keystone (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:12:18 PM EST
    in CO for night "tubing."  The ski patrol were standing under the lift we were on to determine if it was too windy.  We got in one run, then the resort closed the lifts--except to get us back to the base.  Kind of scary.

    The Early Daze, Part 19 (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:22:07 PM EST
    Interesting TL sidebar re (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:42:51 PM EST
    job statistics:  Steve Benen

    The trend will continue next year (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:58:54 PM EST
    when states run out of stimulus money that was funding public sector jobs, like teachers.

    It will be interesting when the Republicans in the House start looking for things to cut, which by definition means more job losses.


    weather (none / 0) (#9)
    by jharp on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 12:58:16 PM EST
    Please keep your 0 degree temps in CO.

    We're getting the first thaw since early December (Indianapolis) and we'd like to enjoy it for a few days.

    snow chaos (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:04:35 PM EST
    NY seems to be having some trouble getting their snow cleared.  Apparently they still haven't gotten a lot of roads open, and people have died due to lack of ambulance service.  At least they aren't Europe, which effectively shut down after only a few inches of snow (what we would call a "dusting").  Say what you will about NY, but 20" is a heck of a lot of snow and they had their airports more or less open in a day.

    Here is Boston, no problems.  Snow is something we handle quite well.  Just don't steal anyone's parking space :)

    We usually do too... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:21:16 PM EST
    but not this time...it was a bad storm, no doubt, but we usually do better...and finally the standard practice of the rich and connected getting priority is getting some attention....you can see pavement on the Mayor's block, on the Santitation Dept. bigwig's block in Staten Island...while some of the non-connected still haven't seen a plow.  It's bullsh*t, but the way of the world I guess.

    It's almost like a repeat of the '69 blizzard, when then Mayor Lindsey was run out of Queens by angry snowball throwing citizens after getting the second class citizen treatment.  My moms was talking about 1969 last night...pops couldn't get to work for a week, no buses running, and moms was buying milk off the back of a stuck delivery truck to feed my big bro.


    Having 400 fewer sanitation workers (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by caseyOR on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 05:19:39 PM EST
    is a big part of the problem for NYC. Maybe all the layoffs weren't such a good idea after all.

    New York may not be Boston, but it certainly gets its share of major snow storms. The city managed to get through last year's big storm in pretty decent shape. Of course, it had those 400 more workers available to clear the snow.

    I sometimes feel like I have had this statement on continuous loop for the last 30 years, but let me just reiterate, "You cannot successfully run government like you run a business. They are two very different entities with very different responsibilities."


    You're onto something casey... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 10:13:06 AM EST
    breaking today, it was possibly a coordinated "slowdown" protest...and if true, I can't say I blame NY's Strongest...bust your arse for a city that only values brokers & bankers? Though I maybe woulda coordinated it better so working class 'hoods got served better, and protest on the Upper East.

    Well, one way to look at it is... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:32:59 PM EST
    how are things supposed to function if the people who direct the work - or some who do the work - can't get there to do it?  Gotta make sure they're all plowed out!

    That's a semi-tongue-in-cheek question, considering that, with all the advance warning of snow, those who needed to be on the job could have (1) stayed at work, (2) booked a hotel room, or (3) bunked in with friends/co-workers who lived closer-in.

    We here on the western shore of the Chesapeake could only thank the snow gods for passing us by, and thus allowing the holiday weekend to be free of heart-attack inducing snow-shoveling.  I think a lot of people had sort of counted on not having to go to work on Monday - bummer for them - but I was scheduled to be off, so it didn't matter to me!

    Fingers crossed we avoid the multiple blizzards we had last winter - although one would be good just to break up the routine and give us a "free" day off - mid-February is usually about the time that happens.


    I think the bigger problem in Ny (none / 0) (#16)
    by CST on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:47:18 PM EST
    right now is all the people who couldn't wait to start driving, getting stuck in snow, blocking the plows.

    Honestly, for Boston, this barely qualified as a blizzard.  There was a lot of snow (18"), but it fell over a long period of time, and the only time it was officially a "blizzard" (sustained winds over 35 mph or something like that) was between 12 and 4 am on sunday.  They had plows out on the roads long before it got too deep to drive.  Under what I consider "real" blizzard conditions, you can drive right behind a snow plow and still be going through 2 inches of snow that fell in 30 seconds.  Although those storms don't normally last as long.

    This time, it fell slowly, but it just kept falling.  But I was out walking in it on sunday evening and monday morning before it stopped.  I would not be out walking in what I would consider a "real" blizzard.  Don't know what it was like in NY.  But you don't have to wait for it to stop snowing to start plowing :)


    In the past, they haven't (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 04:02:15 PM EST
    But you don't have to wait for it to stop snowing to start plowing :)

    Bloomberg has been through enough storms just fine. I'll be interested to see what really happened this time. Def not the norm, ime


    We've lived in both Boston (none / 0) (#19)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 03:04:55 PM EST
    and Salt Lake City, and I have close relatives in Chicago and have spent a lot of time there.  All three cities are much more prepared to deal with this amount (and more) of snow.  Perhaps Bloomberg should call his counterparts in snowier cities and find out what works there.  Of course, this also presupposes that New York drivers themselves learn how to deal with snow, and that the citizens are willing to pay more in taxes to receive the level of service they obviously expect.

    An old Denver memory (none / 0) (#17)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:57:17 PM EST
    'Back in the day (the later 70s) Denver's Mayor McNichols was done in by snow. The ol' pol outmaneuvered lots of things, but the inability to clean the streets during one large snowstorm here got him. That is how Federico Pena was born...politically speaking, that is.

    Anyway, in a strange way, my neighbors & I are kind of looking forward to snow in Denver. The long dry spell in the city is strange enough. (Cheers for the mountain snows this year--good for the skiing now and for the runoff later.) Husband, dog, & I just got back last night (on the driest winter road in memory) from a good week in Santa Fe.  Great food and good music and an all-around feast for eyes and ears.

    'Sat across from the outgoing Gov. Richardson during Christmas Mass at St. Francis Basilica. Hey, maybe thats where he got the notion for the rumored latter day pardon!?!


    Brett Farve (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 02:21:48 PM EST
    Fined $50,000 by the NFL for refusing to cooperate in "sexting" scandal.

    NEW YORK -- Brett Favre will be fined $50,000 but not suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after the league's investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos to a former New York Jets game hostess, The Associated Press has learned.

    A person familiar with the decision says the league plans to announce its decision within the next 48 hours. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the NFL had not yet released its decision.

    The person did not specify what the league found in its investigation.

    The punishment was first reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.

    I feel I need to put this up in response (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 07:15:58 PM EST
    to ppj many days ago questioning abuse in military prison facilities.  I wasn't that aware of it until Kevin Benderman.  Since then I have asked a lot more questions, and even my husband will tell you that from what he knows...he never ever ever wants to be in a military prison facility over a civilian facility. Kevin Benderman applied for Conscientious Objector status before his second deployment to Iraq and was refused, so he refused to deploy on schedule.  He had been there once and he wasn't going back, things had been done around him and in front of him that he could not square with his soul his first go around there.  Of course there were no WMDs and Kevin Benderman was one of the first soldiers to tell George Bush and friends "NO!" so he would be made an example of.  His courage so impressed me, because I knew he was going to jail and he would be dishonorably discharged and the whole nine yards. I felt compelled to at least contact his spouse so I did.  They are very kind straight up honest people IMO.

    Later on Kevin Benderman was part of a whole group of soldiers who exposed extreme abuse done to imprisoned objectors at Fort Lewis.  This abuse included stripping male prisoners naked in front of female guards in order to humiliate them (I guess this sort of treatment wasn't just going to be applied to Iraqis only) and also being chained to something they called a "stress chair" for long hours.  Once Fort Lewis began to be exposed though they moved quickly to make reforms.  You just can't treat people this way who have a conscience and mouth and who will be released in 15 months and can tell on you.

    Here is one write up about it though.

    These people/prisoners were mostly just people though who applied for and were denied conscientious objector status and then refused to deploy.

    Here is another write up (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 07:42:22 PM EST
    by Dahr Jamail about abuse of imprisoned soldiers.  It is from last year.  I think the only reason why any of this abuse is getting any play right now is because the abused inmates became inmates being AWOL resisting deployment.  Because the left in general doesn't instinctively have much sympathy for soldiers and the right is fine with all "bad" soldiers not doing their duty being horse whipped at the very least, abuse in military prisons is not addressed.

    New Years in here... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 10:29:21 AM EST
    and you know what that means...drawing blood from citizens who have the audacity to invoke their 4th amendment rights, on the side of the road.  Linkage

    some interesting news (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 10:43:24 AM EST
    in the environmental arena.

    The EPA is seriously flexing it's muscles in Texas.

    "EPA took the unprecedented step this month of announcing it will directly issue greenhouse gas permits to Texas industries beginning in January after the state openly refused to comply with new federal regulations."

    There are a bunch of other states out of compliance as well, but they are all working with the EPA.  Texas basically told the EPA to shove it.  Instead of wilting away, the EPA is actually fighting back.  And for the ppj's of TL, this isn't just about CO2.  For example:

    "The EPA accuses Texas' flexible permits of allowing Shell's Deer Park refinery to emit nearly double the amount of sulfur dioxide than would be permissible if it had a federally acceptable permit. ExxonMobil in Baytown emits double the levels of volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, than a federal permit would allow, according to the EPA."


    Meanwhile, in this neck of the woods, MA unveiled an initiative to lower greenhouse gas emissions to levels that are 25 percent below those from 1990, by 2020.

    "This is the only state that's really going to be on track to meet the 2050 reductions the scientific community tells us we need to achieve...

    The state projects that the plan will create 42,000 to 48,000 jobs, including work weatherizing homes and positions in manufacturing and research...

    the state's limit shows that renewable energy and efficiency can be good for the economy"

    The TSA has some nerve.. (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 12:30:47 PM EST
    accusing anybody of indecency in this day and age.

    More TSA Cowbell... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 12:45:05 PM EST
    looks like their carrying out personal vendettas against non-sheep...how else can you explain a flight ban over an "unusual contour" of the buttocks?

    Power Trippin' Judge... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 12:38:30 PM EST
    needs to be disrobed stat...giving out one year cage time for a simple f-bomb?  What did he expect the defendant to say, thank you?

    The appeals court, on a less potent batch of power-acid I assume, reduced it to 6 months cage time.  Still lunacy. Linkage