Monday Night Open Thread

Is anyone else feverishly trying to get their financial documents together for their accountant to meet the Oct. 17 tax filing deadline? I'm completely exhausted from the process. I delivered everything at 5pm but it looks like a tornado ravaged my home office. I'm off to begin cleaning up the mess.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    possible showdown tonight (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by CST on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 10:14:17 PM EST
    at Occupy Boston.  So far the police presence has been very limited, and they have mostly just been standing around watching.  You even see signs at occupy Boston thanking the police department and the mayor for being supportive.

    Tonight they are saying: "if they do not leave the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Dewey Square areas that authorities would move them out."

    "The mayor's office, however, has said the city will make no effort to clear the original Dewey Square tent city tonight, but police have said that if protesters do not leave the Greenway, the authorities would clear both the Greenway and Dewey Square."

    Basically the protest got too big for it's original staging area, and they don't want them disturbing the newly planted Greenway.

    Meanwhile:  "Police also seem to be conflicted about what to do with the Greenway gathering. "I hope we don't do anything," said one officer."

    All the cops I've seen so far have been very supportive of the protesters.  Will be interesting to see what happens tonight and I'll update people in the morning.  As of now, the crowd just keeps growing.  At least Mayor Menino hasn't been talking out of his @ss like Bloomberg.

    Second link that's not the globe and goes more in depth.

    Wow...more showing up already? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:32:44 AM EST
    I feel so proud of the part of America that is Boston right now.

    Oops...this was last night (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:37:10 AM EST
    Well I hope more start showing up this morning.

    Apparently there (none / 0) (#43)
    by sj on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:59:46 AM EST
    a contretemps of some kind.  I had to leave for work before hearing details.  Do you know anything about it?

    Mayor Menino's previous (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CST on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 10:20:32 PM EST
    position on the protests has been fairly positive.

    here's a fox news attempt at a hit piece for his support.

    "the city is not requiring the group to get any permits even though that's what is supposed to happen when groups protest in the city.

    The state owns the Greenway land where the protesters are camped out, and electricity is actually being provided to the demonstrators staying there."

    Statement from Menino:
    ""Why are they allowed to be in the city without a permit?" Beaudet asked.

    "Well because freedom of expression, and I think that's the important part here," Menino said."

    "I'm not encouraging them, but this is a national movement. I think we have to make that decision what's wrong and what isn't wrong. And look what happened in New York. Over 700 folks were arrested. I think we have to have this conversation going back and forth between the demonstrators and the police department."

    Happy Tuesday! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by observed on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 11:49:24 PM EST
    I have an opportunity to go the sports stadium which looks like a giant spaceship tonight, to see Kazakhstan play soccer. Unfortunately, the game starts at 10, and I am not much of a football fan either, so I will not go.

    I have discovered that Kazakhs know how to eat bacon. First of all, I like their bacon better than American because it is not oversmoked.
    Second, they don't fry it to a crisp.
    Finally, they don't drain the bacon.
    The first time you see this greasy pile of meat on your plate, you want to schedule a visit with a cardiologist. Then you start eating, and you can't stop. It's fantastic.

    My spouse's current commander (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 03:30:20 AM EST
    says that the best meal he has ever had he had there.

    I'm not surprised. The food in the (none / 0) (#19)
    by observed on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 03:48:25 AM EST
    school cafeteria is almost always very tasty---possibly the best cafeteria food I've eaten.

    Addendum (none / 0) (#7)
    by observed on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 11:56:27 PM EST
    Good thing I didn't buy the humidifier.
    The apartments have air conditioners with humidity controls---mine simply hasn't been installed yet.

    Now you can buy that black leather (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:01:49 AM EST

    My Russian is coming along. (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:14:28 AM EST
    I think it's reasonable to expect that within a month or two I can have some conversations.
    I'm remembering more from my course (25 years ago) and studying vocabulary.

    By the way, Astana seems rather safe---that's what I observe, and what I am told.
    However, it is advised not to travel by train across the country, for example.


    What is wrong with the train? (none / 0) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:33:59 AM EST
    Is the train an old, decrepit train? Or does it pass through country controlled by bandits? Or what? Is Astana the only safe place in the country?

    Good news about the humidifier. As oculus said, go buy that leather jacket.


    You might be attacked. (none / 0) (#13)
    by observed on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 02:22:34 AM EST
    Attacked by other passengers? (none / 0) (#14)
    by caseyOR on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 02:35:23 AM EST
    What I don't understand is where the threat comes from. Does it come from people from outside the train who will attack the train or from people on the train who attack other passengers or from people who will attack you at the stations or from all of the above?

    And is it just cross-country trains that are dangerous or all trains even ones just going to the next town?


    Well, my sense of adventure does not (none / 0) (#15)
    by observed on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 02:42:28 AM EST
    extend to doing field research on this subject. I'm taking the advice not to travel and leaving it at that.

    Okay. I was just wondering. (none / 0) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 02:43:54 AM EST
    And I think it wise to refrain from potentially dangerous field work.

    I can feel my arteries clogging as I read (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:37:17 AM EST
    your bacon comment. Is Kazakh bacon made with pork belly? Is it not smoked at all or is it simply not as smoked as American bacon?

    I love bacon, but not draining the grease? I don't know. Still, it would be impolite of you not to partake. When in Rome, and all.


    I'm not an expert on pig. (none / 0) (#12)
    by observed on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 02:21:55 AM EST
    This bacon seems more like English bacon, if that helps.

    That's what I was thinking (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by cymro on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 04:37:12 AM EST
    My personal conclusion about bacon is not that certain other countries cook tastier bacon, but rather that the US seems to have gotten the wrong recipe. The first time I was served bacon in the US, I politely refrained from complaining about it being cooked to a crisp, and almost inedible. I later discovered that this was normal here.

    Are you Welsh? (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 06:10:42 AM EST
    If so, you might be interested to know that 6 people here are in a study group to learn Scottish-Gaelic (!).
    There are several language groups, actually, but that one will probably prove the most useful---unless, of course, they have a Welsh course!

    How did you guess?! (none / 0) (#52)
    by cymro on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 02:09:28 PM EST
    I spoke Welsh fluently until age 13. Since then it has gradually atrophied. But I can still understand most spoken everyday Welsh. Sometiimes I have to fill in some adult vocabulary based on the context, but I usually comprehend without translating. So I'm almost bilingual (as an adult) and completely so if I just have to talk to neices and nephews!

    One of my sisters has spoken (none / 0) (#53)
    by observed on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 09:33:36 PM EST
    Welsh fluently from the age of 19 on, and has three children for whom Welsh is their first language(!).

    Interesting. I'm curious why ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by cymro on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 03:06:52 PM EST
    ... she became a Welsh speaker at the relatively late age of 19.  Did she move to a Welsh-speaking area in North Wales, or marry a Welsh speaker?

    She moved to Wales specifically (none / 0) (#55)
    by observed on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:39:32 PM EST
    to learn Welsh, moving from Seattle, WA to Wales.
    She had learned about Welsh from discovering the Mabinogion.

    100 people arrested (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by CST on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:15:19 AM EST
    last night at about 2am from the second site.  They did not remove the original site.

    I regret to inform the TL crowd that I only made it till 1am, because I had to work today and am coming down with something.  They originally said they were gonna kick them out at midnight.  But were probably banking on the fact that some people (like me) would bail eventually and go to sleep.

    Last night was great though, lots of college students out.  The group veterans for peace were marching and waving flags around the outside of the encampment, and they were the first ones arrested.  Students stood arms linked around the campsite until it went down.  The BPD threw all the tents and personal possesions into the garbage.  And probably trampled their precious plants in the process.

    Here are some photos I took from the scene last night.  I love the sign thanking Menino for the "bike racks".

    Just watching some videos of it (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:30:32 AM EST
    and reading some of the diaries.  Really impressive protest and standing up to police force.  I hope this causes more people in the Boston area to show up today, and something tells me hope isn't just the thing with feathers today but the thing with more troops arriving.

    Enough is enough, things are bad for so many people.  We are fortunate to not be one of them right now, but we are all connected in ways...and our economic health has always been one of those ways.  If the middle fails we all fail, I don't care who they try to sell the new normal to...it is crap voodoo economics.

    It hurts my heart to watch the police use violence and force at all these protests because at this point they are only protecting the 1% when they do those things. And the suffering of the middle has only just begun because we aren't recovering and things are getting worse.  There are no green shoots, just bullshit about how it isn't really that bad and it really is THAT BAD.


    Great pictures, thanks! (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:40:46 AM EST
    I like that they added 'Mayor' in the 'bike racks' sign afterwards. How polite!

    Never about the shrubs... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:49:32 AM EST
    always about breaking the people's will.  Any privately owned, publicly accessible parks in Beantown? That appears to be the people's loophole.

    NYC contingent having a "Millionaire's March" today, trekking from Zuccotti to the Upper East Side.  No permits, sticking to the sidewalk in front of the residences of the rich and criminal.  


    they let them keep (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:58:32 AM EST
    the original encampment so they are all still there.

    Yesterday there was a march that recruited a lot of new people, so they set up the second site which is the one that was taken down.

    Menino is walking a fine line here.  He has been giving a lot of lip service to the protesters, and before last night he and the BPD were playing along nicely.  Even today in the papers he is sweet talking the protesters while defending his decision to close the second site.

    The ironic thing about the greenway is that it is a privately funded public park.  And the organization that funds the park has indicated they were ok with the protesters.


    Like Central Park... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:21:00 AM EST
    public with mucho private funding...cuz it's near the Upper East Side:)

    I thought of CP's Great Lawn as a perfect spot to occupy, the old Hoover-ville, but Bloomberg would have the billy clubs on 'em like white on rice if anybody tried...Central Park is his baby.  


    The Greenway (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:32:28 AM EST
    is the site of the former highway that got put underground with the big dig.

    It's a very nice park today, but less than 10 years ago it was a piece of cr@p eyesore that was dividing the city.  Central Park is very different.  We haven't quite figured out our relationship to the greenway yet.  Most of the buildings around it were designed to face the other way, and while the neighborhood is definitely improving, it's not exactly the upper east side.

    The private funding in this case is based more on a desire to transform it into an important part of the city than to keep their own neighborhood nice.


    Did they have any legal standing for what (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:50:38 AM EST
    they did then?  Seems to me that that is very questionable now in that light.

    here is (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by CST on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:12:43 PM EST
    the note that BPD sent the protesters before the arrests

    I imagine we will be finding out shortly how legal that was or not.  But I believe the justification used was trespassing.

    I just got back from lunch.  The scene today is awesome.  The farmer's market is set up right outside the camp, and they have a string quartet camp set on the border between the two.  I saw more suits/professionals walking through there today than I have any other day so far.


    link to string quartet (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by CST on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:28:11 PM EST
    didn't work, here is a new one.

    Terrific. (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 12:29:11 PM EST
    What does it mean exacty (none / 0) (#50)
    by sj on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:45:12 PM EST
    To be a privately funded public park?  And could it be used to challenge the "lawful control" of the BPD notice?

    R.I.P. Frank... (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 09:59:31 AM EST
    my friends bro with brain cancer I mentioned in the medical mj threads passed away last night.

    It is for the best, his pain and suffering is over, now may his family also find peace and comfort.  

    And may those in Washington & Albany who made the easing of his pain a controversy and a hassle, a giant f*ck you too.

    Oh, kdog - I'm so sorry to hear this. (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:45:58 AM EST
    Even when we know that the person we care about has been released from such suffering, it still leaves a big hole in people's hearts and lives.

    I share your - and their - anger on the insanity of how much more difficult the government made Frank's last months; I swear there are more and more things that just make no sense to me, and which hurt people in very tangible ways.

    Peace to you - and to Frank.


    Thanks for the kind words... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:06:34 AM EST
    I hardly knew the guy, but his sister and I are close friends...what can ya say, way too young to lose a brother.  It sucks.

    Sorry to hear this kdog (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:19:24 PM EST
    Never easy to lose a friend or a love one even when you know in your head that their suffering is over.

    I second your wish that his family and friends find peace and comfort.  


    Oh no (none / 0) (#51)
    by sj on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:53:47 PM EST
    I'm so sorry to hear this.  It's so hard to see a close friend suffer.  

    I was going to launch into my close friend story, but you know what?  I'll stick to "I really do know how hard it is to see a close friend suffer".

    Peace to you both.


    So, no surprise that the Jobs Act (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:34:25 AM EST
    will be filibustered by Republicans, so now these great minds steering the ship are thinking about breaking it up, but not without adding some things designed to attract those much sought-after GOP votes.

    Too bad that, as usual, attracting Republican votes means policy likely to result in the loss of more jobs (my bold)...

    For instance, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been quietly courting some Senate Republicans and Democrats to see whether there is any appetite for merging a GOP-backed idea -- a tax holiday for corporations to bring home their overseas profits -- with a Democratic-supported plan of creating a national infrastructure bank. At the same time, Democrats are weighing whether to push ahead with other individual pieces of the president's jobs plan, like its extension of the payroll tax cut.

    On the floor this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also plans to schedule votes with significant GOP support but tepid backing among Hill Democrats: free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. And on Tuesday, the Senate is expected to give final passage to a bipartisan bill cracking down on Chinese currency policies, a populist proposal with broad support in the Senate but opposed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

    David Dayen:

    As Bernie Sanders alludes to later in this piece, this is like exchanging a fire extinguisher for a match and some kindling. The so-called free trade agreements will cost roughly 200,000 jobs over 10 years and commit the United States to placidly doing business with the most dangerous place for trade unionists, Colombia, in the world. The repatriation tax holiday is a horrible idea that didn't create jobs the first time it was attempted in 2004, that solves a non-existent problem of capital inflows which are already at a decent enough level, and that teaches multinational corporations how to avoid taxes by stashing more of their profits overseas.

    The payroll tax cut, while criticized by some, acts as a wage increase for wage earners who have seen their take-home pay fall. And the Chinese currency bill is just smart policy. But because they have the likelihood of being effective, the Republican House will resist any efforts to pass them. And ideas like a sustained 5- to 7-year infrastructure spending program are really pie in the sky, however necessary.

    What a train wreck.

    what's the point (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by CST on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:44:29 AM EST
    it's only going to fail in the house anyway.

    Republicans in congress continue to find new ways to disgust me.

    As my aunt said (and yea, she probably stole this from someone) "keeping millions of people out of work to put one man out of a job"

    or like you said "But because they have the likelihood of being effective, the Republican House will resist any efforts to pass them."


    Great quote from your aunt. (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:20:52 PM EST
    I for one hadn't heard that before.

    Chuckie Schumer... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:47:29 AM EST
    better stay away from OWS...I know he never met a bank of cameras he didn't like, but them citizens down there are informed, the D after his name ain't foolin' nobody.

    That's (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 11:17:05 AM EST
    the same thing they say about Joe Biden. The most dangerous place in Washington is between Joe Biden and a camera. LOL

    New proposals that have the (none / 0) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 01:26:35 PM EST
    president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness approval are

    It calls on Congress to reauthorize surface transportation legislation instead of simply approving temporary extensions. It proposes additional ways of leveraging private sector investment in public works projects, including a national infrastructure bank that would be seeded with public money to attract private money -- a proposal that has bipartisan support.
    To speed up projects, the council has recommended a streamlined approval process that prevents delays over environmental reviews or other permits.

    As a start, the Obama administration on Monday announced 14 major public works projects across the country that will receive accelerated environmental and permit reviews. The projects include replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in New York to a wind generation project in California's San Bernardino National Forest.

    Other recommendations:

    --Reduce regulations and providing incentives for private firms and start-ups to go public. The council said tightened regulations in the aftermath of the speculative bubble in Internet firms in the late 1990s have created unintended consequences, causing a drop in the number of initial public offerings.

    --Eliminate capital gains taxes on investments of $25 million or less in a privately held company so long as that investment is held for at least five years.

    --Encourage new graduates to take entrepreneurial risks by creating a student loan repayment plan based on income. link

    No wonder (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 09:07:17 PM EST
    plutocrats don't want to pay more taxes. It's a security issue for them now. If they made a mess out of their flawless designer pads they'd have to hire more cleaning staff who might refuse to clean up after them without taking them to the cleaners these days. ;-)

    Happily, sort of, other parts of my county (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 09:07:59 PM EST
    had extensive flood damage last month, so we're officially in a "disaster zone" -- which extends our deadline to October 31!!  If you aren't sure if your area qualifies, the links to IRS news on the subject are all here.

    These people need more power.. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 10:23:29 PM EST
    Really looks like Obama (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 03:34:35 AM EST
    is working toward winding down Afghanistan.  Spoke to someone getting ready to deploy, the strategy is where we would go if we were beginning to head our major forces out of country and home.

    Great to hear that (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 08:17:35 AM EST
    My co-worker just left for his 2 month or so pre-deployment training. With any luck at all he will never make it overseas.

    Deployments going to 9 months (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 05:19:59 AM EST
    instead of 12 months after the 4th ID deploys at the end of this year.  As things stand right now, their deployment will mark the last 12 month deployment to U.S. combat zones.

    News out of Denver (none / 0) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:10:32 AM EST
    Tim Tebow to be named the new starting quarterback for the last place 1-4 Broncos.

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 11, 2011 at 10:37:23 AM EST