Tuesday Night Open Thread

I haven't been following Goldman Sachs or today's financial hearings. If you have, feel free to weigh in.

It's American Idol with Shania Twain tonight (Crystal and Lee are locks in my view), DWTS (will Jake go home?) Biggest Loser and the Good Wife tonight. I haven't even watched "24" from last night or Pacific, Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters from Sunday yet.

Boycott Arizona!

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Emotional Issue For Some (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 08:15:30 PM EST
    But it makes soooo much sense, but then again, I believe that once you are dead, it is over. Any use someone could make of my body after I am gone, would be great.
    A New York assemblyman whose daughter is alive because of two kidney transplants wants his state to become the first in the nation to pass laws that would presume people want to donate their organs unless they specifically say otherwise.

    Assemblyman Richard Brodsky believes the "presumed consent" measures would help combat a rising demand for healthy organs by patients forced to wait a year or more for transplants. Twenty-four European countries already have such laws in place, he said.

    If he succeeds, distraught families would no longer be able to override their loved ones' decisions to donate upon their death. And eventually, hospitals would be able to assume the deceased consented to have his or her organs harvested, unless the person refused in writing.


    As someone who believes strongly (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 10:30:08 PM EST
    in the value of organ donation, and whose driver's license specifically indicates that, I would like to know that my wishes would be honored (much as I would like my desire to be cremated to be honored, but funeral homes - at least here in MD - will not do so if the family objects).  I think I would prefer to see a bigger push to get people to indicate their wishes this way, or via an advance directive, as opposed to passing a law that makes an assumption that may be counter to the individuals' own preference.

    Sure, I can see a conscious patient being asked upon hospital admission if he or she wishes to be an organ donor - much the same way one is asked if one has an advance medical directive - and if someone states a desire to be an organ donor, I think their wishes should be honored, regardless of whether a family member objects, but how many people arrive at the hospital unable to state a preference?  Accident victims, especially, who may come into the hospital unconscious, are often the people most likely to have viable and otherwise healthy organs, but in such traumatic and often unexpected circumstances, I think it's unfair and even unkind to subject families to the further trauma of legislatively-mandated organ donation they may believe their loved one would not agree to if he or she were able.

    No question that organ donation could help countless numbers of people, but I'm not sure a unilateral assumption is the way to go.


    Unilateral assumption (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 01:40:42 AM EST
    would violate so many belief systems that I cant support it. No problem with my own organs. But to assume that organs are community property?

    No, thank you. I respect the beliefs of others, and their families. It's called organ donation, not organ harvest.

    Soylent Green was a movie.


    I'm totally fine with that, (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 09:53:31 PM EST
    but I understand that there's a huge underlying value judgement: organs are worthless to dead people and their families.

    totallhy agree with you (none / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:46:44 AM EST
    it probably a good thing I dont run things cause if I did policy would stop being made by superstition and who was the most "emotional" and whined the loudest.

    that would be among the other reasons its a good thing I dont run things.


    Levin was terrific (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 11:03:36 PM EST
    He repeated the phrase from the email, "sxxtty deal," over and over and over again.  Heheheheh.

    I didn't see more than clips of the hearing, but the Goldman people have infuriated even GOPers with their arrogance and general snottiness.

    How do we boycot arizona without affecting (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 01:36:24 AM EST
    the nations?

    I can't believe it, but I forgot, as did posters here. The White Mountain and San Carlos Apache, the Navajo, the Salt River and the Tonoho O'dam... these folks didn't ask for these stupid laws, and they are IN Arizona, but aren't GOVERNED BY Arizona.

    In other words, there are places to go within the state where this odious law is not in effect.

    The reservations (Well, Salt River has a casino) are not rich.

    how close are they to (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jen M on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 06:28:38 AM EST
    borders of Arizona?

    One could stay in a hotel outside AZ and drive in to the casinos or whatever place that these nations would profit from.


    The Phoenix area (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:27:40 AM EST
    has at least 3, maybe 4. Casino Arizona has the best games.

    To my knowledge, none of them have hotels or RV parks.


    I've been wondering about that. (none / 0) (#21)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:30:14 AM EST
    The Rockies are moving their Spring Training facilities to one of the Nation's next year.  So, if I get the urge to catch some early baseball, I guess I can do so without too much guilt?

    Yavapai Nation in Fountain Hills/N of Phoenix (none / 0) (#59)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 11:45:55 AM EST
    has a casino and a very new Ramada Inn on the reservation. Salt River also has an abundance of businesses on their land in addition to their casinos and hotels.

    The reservations in AZ are all over the state.

    I just don't get how punishing the entire state without having walked in their shoes is a logical solution to their problems.


    You may live longer (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 08:06:09 AM EST
    due to medicine or whatever, but the years after 65 are still pretty rocky.  

    Just because life expectancy is longer, it doesn't mean quality of health expectancy is longer.  It just means better medicine extends our pain (LOL).  Our cancer is cured, so we live on to deteriorate from something else.

    So no, longer life doesn't mean not collecting retirement until age 72 is okay.

    That is a pretty grim outlook! (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:45:06 AM EST
    Agreed, I didn't include Medicare in that question (none / 0) (#60)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 02:29:11 PM EST
    for that reason.  Medical care and income are two different considerations.  I wouldn't want Medicare touched for the life of me, medical care after 60 will remain expensive regardless of how long we live; indeed advances in medical care contribute greatly to our increased life expectancy.

    Missed your point a bit (none / 0) (#61)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 02:31:52 PM EST
    Sorry 'bout that, too quick on the reply.  I didn't fully consider the need to scale back how much you work (and have the difference made up slightly by SS payments) later in life, because alas I am an able-bodied baby in this world.  I defer to your more experienced judgment and experience. :)

    Tim James (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:31:18 AM EST
    Republican candidate for governor of Alabama displaying what a friend on another blog yesterday called "common sense racism".

    does anyone else see a trend?

    note (none / 0) (#54)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:48:34 AM EST
    disabled comments



    while republicans rationalize racism (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 11:08:12 AM EST
    democrats are voting on statehood for Puerto Rico.

    you know, it warms my heart that the Heritage Foundation is so worried about the rights of Puerto Ricans:

    The fact of the matter is that Puerto Ricans have rejected statehood numerous times and this bill seems to have been written in a way to fast track statehood without a majority of Puerto Ricans favoring the idea.

    Short question for those concerned about SS (none / 0) (#8)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 05:26:14 AM EST
    reform...not specifically aimed, generally curious if you consider raising the retirement age "gutting" social security?  I only bring this up because its something the Economist and I'm sure the right has been hammering on for years, but probably makes sense for a younger person like myself.  With life expectancy a fair bit higher than it was when levels were originally set it would make sense for a 25 year-old not to receive benefits until 72 say, rather than 65 or 67.

    If it was increased a little (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:25:21 AM EST
    in a phased in way as they did the adjustments in the 80's, I would not call it 'gutting'IMO.

    agreed (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:41:31 AM EST
    72 seems a bit extreme if not phased in over many years but they could probably make small changes, like eliminating the 62 option, that might save billions.

    and I am saying that as someone (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:43:18 AM EST
    who will be at the magic 62 mark in just a couple of years.  I cant imagine retiring right now.  or even in a couple of years.  

    maybe instead of raising the age there should be a effort to get people into jobs they like so they are not in such a hurry to retire.


    Desk jobs (none / 0) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:53:30 AM EST
    There's a major problem with this for physical laborers, whose bodies, even if they weren't worn down from decades of hard work, simply cannot keep going that long.  Even 65 is too long for many.

    and unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:57:17 AM EST
    it always seems like the desk jobs get to retire early.

    Yes, something like the current SS disability (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:20:30 AM EST
    category may have to be created for laborers who physically cannot work longer and can't get other jobs.

    But then you have to (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 03:05:37 PM EST
    add a whole 'nother layer of bureaucracy to screen and certify people.  And I'm not sure it's such a great idea to slap the label "disabled" on strong working men (and some women, but it's mostly men) who've simply reached the natural end of their working capabilities, or force them to go find some menial job that's less physically stressful and for which they likely have few skills.

    I don't have a solution to this, but forcing folks like some of my neighbor farmers who've worked blisteringly hard 7-day weeks their entire lives since childhood to wait even longer for SS doesn't seem right.


    'Gutting' may be a little like (none / 0) (#43)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:22:16 AM EST
    porn - I can't tell you what my line in the sane might be, but I'll know it when I see it.

    I can't say... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 06:25:35 AM EST
    I find the lack of a prosecution surprising at all Mak...different rules, different fools and all.  The way it is, was, and will be.  A little SEC violation slap on the wrist is the best we can hope for.

    The clips I saw were surreal all right...in their cold little heart of hearts they just don't see how their business model itself is criminal.  For a buncha supposedly smart cats they sure are dim.

    And whats with these "product" names...Are these covert CIA operations or sham investments or what? "Timberwolf"...lol.  And doesn't "product" imply some kind of production along the line somewhere?  I see no production here...only leechery.

    They're not dim, Dog (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 08:07:13 AM EST
    They managed to convince themselves that their business model wasn't illegal because they believe they're the "Masters of the Universe," after all, and anything that gets them what they want (money, power) is just fine.

    I will help you whip them and their dog (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 08:36:32 AM EST
    but let's not act like this started yesterday.

    "Too Big To Fail" actually didn't start in 2008, but years and years before with bailouts for their investments in Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Thailand, etc., etc. Come to find out the Masters of the Universe weren't masters of anything. The game was as fixed as a card mechanic setting up the mark for the big take down.

    And the recurring names in the Bush, Clinton and Obama administration will blow you away.

    Plus, the $50 Billion the Demos want as a bailout bill is just more of the same. And the great enablers of all this current, and worst, drunken spree by Wall Street, aka Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't being touched.

    How stupid they must think we are.


    You mean the 50 billion liquidation fund? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:27:52 AM EST
    How is that a bailout? It is for the purpose of killing the company gracefully rather than letting it take down everyone else with it. It is still going down.

    McCaskll calls it (none / 0) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:49:57 AM EST
    "funeral expenses."

    Calling it a "bail-out" is one of the bigger, more shameless GOP lies so far, which is saying a lot.


    Straight from Luntz-McConnell axis (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:15:27 AM EST
    to ppj.

    McCaskill had some fun (none / 0) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:43:39 AM EST
    with the "s" word yesterday too.
    that was really funny.  suddenly the senators became the South Park kids with a perfect excuse to swear in school.

    Looks to me like (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:51:56 AM EST
    it's a bailout of all the fat cats who has money invested in whatever sh*ty scheme whatever Master of the Universe has cooked up.

    You have the FDIC to take care of the small guy in the banks.

    This is just welfare for the rich.


    The FDIC does not take care of the little (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:14:08 AM EST
    guy with assets in investment banks. Or even not so little guys that are cheated. It's a brave new world not envisioned by the FDIC. Time we catch up with the times.

    You are correct (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 03:52:35 PM EST
    The instruments of the big boys are for the rich.

    And they are being bailed out.


    No doubt... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 08:41:39 AM EST
    never meant to imply this is new...it's a very old confidence scam they run down on Wall.

    What I want to hear is Demos (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:23:24 AM EST
    demanding that Freddie and Fannie be completely over hauled. As it stands, they can continue to buy subprime and other toxic loans just like they did in the past. And a couple of years down the road we have the same thing all over again.

    I want everyone who can afford a home to have one. But providing the basis for people flipping, reselling in under 6 months, etc., isn't the answer.


    Sounds good to me... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:27:42 AM EST
    we need to shine a light on all the shady...private and public.  

    Realtor recommendations re (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:23:32 AM EST
    Manhattan (midtown or upper West side)?   woman can dream, no??  Small, small, small studio with "some" light?  

    kdog: I need some help here. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:43:06 AM EST
    Absolutely must find 1 ticket for Part III of "Orphan's Home Cycle," by Horton Foote, at Signature Theatre for 8 pm May 1.  Sold out.  Nothing on Craig's List or eBay.  Any ideas.  Other than getting on theatre's wait list 1 hr. before performance?  THat's how I got in to Part II.  

    Surely there is... (none / 0) (#27)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:47:11 AM EST
    ...some sort of ticket broker you can check? Like TicketMaster or something?  

    I checked. Nada. Closes May 8. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:49:35 AM EST
    Very small theatre.

    Ya got me... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:14:55 AM EST
    what I would do at a rock-n-roll equivalent is get there early and hold one finger in the air near the entrance.

    My ticket connections wouldn't carry something like that...sorry pal:)


    Put your finger in the air... (none / 0) (#46)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:30:08 AM EST
    ...and wave it like you just don't care!  

    Tee-hee.  Hard to picture oculus mixed up in the rough and tumble world of ticket scalpers.


    I never really understood... (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:59:33 AM EST
    or cared to understand whats legal and what ain't when it comes to scalping...but I'm sure our buddy Oc is well versed in any legality/illegality and will obey all applicable laws and statutes:)

    Ha. Got box office ticket and also (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 04:52:56 PM EST
    box office ticket for Creditors at BAM.  Yeah.  My friends were certain I would get that first ticket as 20 yrs. ago I managed bo buy a ticket from a Spanish-speaking scalper to a sold out "Otello" with Placido Domingo sining his signature role in Madred.  The seller had to sell it at face price because box office called police.  But he would not give me a break for first act, which I didn't get in to hear.  Oh well.  

    hmmmm (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:45:32 AM EST
    why do I suspect this has as much to do with politics as dog safety?

    AUSTIN, Texas -- Pistol-packing Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a message for wily coyotes out there: Don't mess with my dog.

    Perry told The Associated Press on Tuesday he needed just one shot from the laser-sighted pistol he sometimes carries while jogging to take down a coyote that menaced his puppy during a February run near Austin.

    Perry said he will carry his .380 Ruger - loaded with hollow-point bullets - when jogging on trails because he is afraid of snakes. He'd also seen coyotes in the undeveloped area.

    Perry, a Republican running for a third full term against Democrat Bill White, is living in a private house in a hilly area southwest of downtown Austin while the Governor's Mansion is being repaired after a 2008 fire. A concealed handgun permit holder, Perry carries the pistol in a belt.

    Next campaign season the photo op (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:48:46 AM EST
    may not be "hunting."  Substitute Starbucks.

    OT:  Capt., I thought of you as I looked at a marvelous Garuda at the Asia Society in NY.  Standing upright on a Naga.  Anthropolocial Garuda--had wings and talons but a human head.


    if its been there a while (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:51:13 AM EST
    I may have seen that one.

    Special exhibit (wonderful) on (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 09:57:54 AM EST
    pilgrimages by Buddhists.  India, Japan, China, Malyasia, etc.

    Website: (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:06:34 AM EST
    awsum (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:24:35 AM EST
    sometimes I wish I was back in a city.
    then I take a walk outside.

    Central Park is beautiful now. (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 04:50:02 PM EST
    central park is nice (none / 0) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 05:26:34 PM EST
    but I prefer my back yard and the lake just beyond it.

    Well (none / 0) (#58)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 11:21:27 AM EST
    if he cant Texacute someone this week, the least he kin do is shoot somethin'. Should be good fer a few more votes.

    I absolutely hate that word. (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 04:53:31 PM EST
    John Hiatt tonight! (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:17:21 AM EST
    thank god the tiki bar is open!

    listening to Little Head (none / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:18:52 AM EST
    on the way home last night.

    I'm just so easily led when the little head  does the thinkin'

    That's you - (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:32:41 AM EST
    Dirty as a manhole cover!

    Me -

    I've been taking off and landing, but this airport's closed
    How much thicker this fog is gonna get, god only knows
    Just when you think that you got a grip reality sneaks off and gives you the slip
    As if you ever knew what it was taking you down the line


    Have one for me... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:28:04 AM EST
    pal!  Sh*t...have two!

    I'd say have a good time, but that is all but assured:)


    I will do that kdog! (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:41:38 AM EST
    I am soooo ready!

    Rock-n-Roll.... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:57:21 AM EST
    has a way of making everything better...to paraphrase Bono, it might not change the world but it can change the world in me.

    Burn Baby, Burn (none / 0) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:36:42 AM EST
    The fail safe device,known as as a blowout preventer, to stop oil flow at the wellhead in an emergency has failed.  This being the only short-term solution for capping the well, experts are now considering a "controlled burn" as the spill is entering a dire phase. There are a few drawbacks to a burn, according to Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, such as a "black plume" that will put soot and other particulates into the air, which can be dangerous to life.  Moreover, a burn does not get rid of the oil entirely, especially the tarry variety pouring into the sea.  It leaves a waxy residue that skinks to the bottom, if not skimmed off the top.  The advantage of a burn, said the Admiral, was that the burn would take place offshore where no one on land could see it. In other news, the WH was sticking with its drilling plan since its proposal was based on careful (as opposed, apparently, to careless) examination of the risks and spill response capabilities.  However, Homeland Security will conduct an investigation, and, perhaps, issue a stern letter to BP and the Swiss owner of the rig.  On the business front, BP posts big gains for the first quarter; profit rose to $6 B from $2.56 B in the first quarter of last year.  (culled from NYT and AP, April 28).

    `Epistemic Closure' (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 10:41:02 AM EST
    leave it to right wingers to come up with such a respectable and stilted sounding name for Stalinism:

    The phrase is being used as shorthand by some prominent conservatives for a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement, a development they see as debasing modern conservatism's proud intellectual history. First used in this context by Julian Sanchez of the libertarian Cato Institute, the phrase "epistemic closure" has been ricocheting among conservative publications and blogs as a high-toned abbreviation for ideological intolerance and misinformation.