Monday Open Thread

I've got lots of work before another snow storm hits later today. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Extraterrestrial fiction by Dadler (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:26:21 AM EST
    Homeless Alien Kept a Diary. (LINK)

    A week to go before I play in the WPT Jacksonville.  Practice tournament tomorrow.  Starting to get a little anxious.

    Peace, y'all.

    Remember... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:00:30 PM EST
    at the heart it ain't no different than nickel-dime poker around the kitchen table.  Remember in "Hoosiers" when Coach Dale makes the boys measure the dimensions of the big city gym before the State Championship?  Still just 52 cards and chips man.  

    Decided I need to smoke something before properly diving into your latest piece of fiction...Monday morning harsh cube reality is not the time nor the place, judging by the first few paragraphs.


    "Monday morning ]arsh cube reality." (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:36:25 PM EST
    good one.  Probably a song about that.

    Rough day yesterday... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:45:45 PM EST
    spent all afternoon in the emergency room with a fallen football comrade...good news is they don't think he tore his ACL, maybe the MCL...onto the orthropedic for an MRI.  

    Poor guy, and he can't afford to miss any work.  At least the ER doc came through with some percs for him.


    That took the sheen off your winnings. (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:49:14 PM EST
    Wonder why the horse is named "Drosselmeyer."  Very cool.  

    His momma's name... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:19:29 PM EST
    is Golden Ballet, that might be the reason.

    It is a cool name, but 31.60 ten times is even cooler:)


    Don't play the money... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:05:34 PM EST
    don't even really play the cards... play the game. the chips don't mean anything. it's the finish that counts.

    heck, it's all kabuki until the money anyway. Breathe in, breathe out. Take your time. I like what Jesus does... the same amount of time for every hand, if he folds, raises, or checks.

    it's more than playing the others, having a specific strategy.

    you are a leaf floating on the river. Let it take you, don't try to change the river.

    Remember, the oxen are slow, but the earth is patient.


    How do you know WWJD re poker? (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:15:08 PM EST
    "I am a leaf..." (none / 0) (#44)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:36:55 PM EST
    You just made my day.  

    Been a floater my entire life.

    I won't know sh*t until I know where I'm sitting, with whom, and where the button is.  After that, if I stay true to myself, it will all make sense.

    BTW, I pray to the good lord I don't believe in that I can do that "same time whatever the play" thing that Ferguson does.  I'll let you know how it feels, and goes, tomorrow.



    You can always go with... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:57:09 PM EST
    It's down to the Werbe Method... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:29:03 PM EST
    ...or the Rhythm Method.  By that I mean, I'm thinking of playing while disguised as a pregnant woman.  Who wants to bust out a mother-to-be?

    Seriously, I have no clue.  And I like it that way.

    I think.



    If you haven't already... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:45:36 PM EST
    peep that movie, "The Grand"...funny sh*t.

    Have a good practice (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:00:48 PM EST
    The  difference between Internet tournament hand odds and physical tournament hand odds is this.

    In Internet play they do not burn a card. So as they deal the river card there are more cards left in the deck. That's why you see more straights and flushes in Internet play.

    The second difference is that you are playing in an environment you  cannot control. But you can control yourself.

    The third difference is that the people you play will be watching what you for tells. Think about how you play and the image you want to send.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#70)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:24:53 PM EST
    I had NO idea they didn't burn a card online.  Very enlightening.  

    And we'll see if I can manage to locate an image.  Mostly I'll be the perspiring guy with the shaky hands, no matter what cards or hand I have.  Good luck reading that.  And I'm only partially joking.


    Also, a few FAQ's for you (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:31:21 PM EST
    So I go in to the place, buy a ticket from the cashier, do I just get my tournament rack of chips from him right there?  Do you get a table and seat number assigned to you?  This is the stupid basic crap I'm more worried about than actually playing.  (Looking like I can't find my way to the bathroom is number two.)    

    You buy-in.... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:52:33 PM EST
    get your receipt card with table number and seat number...chips will be waiting for you at the table.

    You are not allowed to leave the table with chips.  When you make it to the end of day 1...tourney staff will count and bag 'em up to begin again Day 2.

    Map out the nearest john beforehand in case you need to go and can't wait for a break.


    And turn your cell phone off (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:08:36 PM EST
    or put it on vibe. You can't use it at the table.

    And if it goes off everyone around you will be p.o'ed. You might even be given a set out penalty, depending on the rules.

    Also, don't discuss your hand and don't say anything that would make the floor man think you are soft playing someone else.


    Many thanks (none / 0) (#108)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:36:19 PM EST
    All info is good.

    Along with SUO's very good advice (none / 0) (#126)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:47:46 PM EST
    Get there at least the day before. Find someone who runs tournaments for the club and ask them for a written copy of the rules. Learn them. It isn't a home game and they will enforce them.

    Also, get your body clock on EST. Eat your regular diet and no alcohol.

    Good luck!


    Just got a call from the WPT actually (none / 0) (#129)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 06:01:34 PM EST
    Their rep, whom I am almost certain is the daughter of a bigtime player, gave me all the info, will be my cruise director there it seems like.  Get to go to a party, some racing event at the dog track (not my thing at all, but...), and they even have to interview me.  Don't think this event is televised, tho.  Final table is livestreamed online, I think.

    Whatever, just hearing a human voice from them was a big relief.  Now that I have a number to call THEM back with, it's all on for real.  Whew.


    Thank you, sir (none / 0) (#107)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:33:20 PM EST
    This bowl's on me...when you get to the bay area one day.

    Get there as early as you can. Scope out (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:56:12 PM EST
    the whole joint. Be as familiar with it as you can.

    Scoped it out last week (none / 0) (#106)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:31:32 PM EST
    Like a smaller version of the Bicycle Club.  With a heavy Filipino pop.  

    And the room in Florida... (none / 0) (#109)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:37:24 PM EST
    ...I'm really hoping to play the second Day One, so I can scope out the place on the first.  

    And here's the REALLY f'd up thing (none / 0) (#45)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:40:55 PM EST
    I start to get depressed about poker because I feel like I should be off writing the great American whatever, or finishing off the book, or something creative.  We'll see how this translates at the table.  I'll have my ubiquitous little notebook in my pocket, hell I may even use a pen as a card cover, so at the least I can scribble if I need to.

    I have suggested jeff write a Mamet-esque (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:46:08 PM EST
    play.  May you could.

    I wrote SO much bad Mamet... (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:21:24 PM EST
    Good read. Apropos of nothing, (none / 0) (#133)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:36:28 PM EST
    I am listening to William Hurt read Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises.  Someone else states the name of the book and the author, producer, etc.  William Hurt's first words are "Chapter One."  But, of course, he doesn't just say that.  He says, chapterrr . . . one.

    I live (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Amiss on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 10:25:16 PM EST
    just N. of Jax, havent been lately, will have to ask hubby when and where. Best of Luck.

    Anonymous(?) calls for shutdown of Iowa Caucuses (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:58:13 AM EST
    This communication is protected by Anonymous.

    The Democratic Party has failed us

    The Republican Party has failed us

    Both parties are desecrating the american democracy and committing crimes against humanity on behalf of american people.

    Both parties are funded by the same mega corporations.

    The same corporations that fund political campaigns

    The same corporations that buy lobbyist

    the same corporations that operate the united states government

    The Primarys and Caucasus put on by these parties are part of an elaborate scam the deceives the public into voting for candidates that serve the private interests of the mega corporations.

    these parties have deliberately driven tens of millions of people into poverty

    Voting for these parties is unethical, they have destroyed the american democracy

    We are calling upon you to occupy the campaign offices of presidential headquarters in Des Moines Iowa on December 27th, and peacefully shut down the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses on January 3rd.

    -- youtube video

    Can't argue with any o' that... (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:01:37 PM EST
    Long Live Anonymous.

    Now that's putting your money where your (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:25:40 PM EST
    mouth is.  As Jeralyn has attested, Iowa in January is damn cold.  

    Concur! (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:24:27 PM EST
    and what a nice brthday present that would be for moi!

    Happy Birthday young lady... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:37:19 PM EST
    all ruffian wants for her birthday is some representation to go with her taxation:)

    Since that ain't happening, hope you'll settle for beverages on your next visit!


    Jan 3rd is my birthday (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:21:52 PM EST
    aka the day Hillary lost the Iowa caucus...a disruption of that caucus would go a long way to erasing that memory!

    That's my sister's birthday, too. (none / 0) (#100)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:23:05 PM EST
    Now I ill be sure to remember yours, ruffian. :-)

    uh-oh, Cubs fan, lives in Oregon (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:26:23 PM EST
    Are you my brother?

    Since I am female, not male, I could not (none / 0) (#104)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:29:28 PM EST
    be your brother. :-) I could definitely be your long-lost older sister. You know, we both grew up in Illinois.

    So, to recap: Cubs fan, lives in Oregon, born and raised in Illinois. I'm sure we are related somehow.


    I Kinda Like My Right to Vote... (none / 0) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:30:09 PM EST
     ...even if my choices are dumb and dumber.

    Plus does Anonymous even understand the caucus process.  To me it's the last pure form of freedom expression we have.  I wished I lived in state where I could politically hash it out with my neighbors.

    I agree with his message, but not his means.


    I like the right too... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    even if it is a waste of time in the 2-party framework.

    The most important thing right now is dismantling the 2-party framework.

    As for hashing it out with the neighbors, thats what the public square is for...they're hashing it out at the Occupy sites everyday.


    In 2008, I do not see how the rights (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by observed on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:14:07 PM EST
    of the participants were protected. Caucuses are absurd, compared to a primary, in gauging voter support.

    I had always viewed it as a situation (none / 0) (#60)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:06:46 PM EST
    where history could be made by those who show up (to paraphrase Disraeli).  And I thought that was a good thing.  I still do to a certain extent.  I never expecting the bullying and strongarm tactics that were so common in the last election.  Having seen how they can be so very easily corrupted, I think, on balance, they should be eliminated for candidates for federal office and replaced with primaries that are sponsored by the state and not by the parties.

    I still love caucuses for dealing with party platform issues.  Although the way that Occupy does is it a beautiful thing.  I think it could scale, too, with little or no adjustment.


    That is, if all can get in the door -- but (1.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:56:10 PM EST
    even if caucuses in Iowa were cleaned up, after the debacle last time, that still would not solve problems from holding them in some small towns in people's basements and such places.

    Did you read about the disabled who could not get to the door, much less in the door?

    That's not democracy in action.  That's discrimination.


    I thought that the (none / 0) (#155)
    by sj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:45:09 AM EST
    ADA compliance was a Party directive.  I recall hearing about human obstructions, but I don't remember that about still holding them in private homes.  

    caucuses and primaries are party procedures (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:24:23 PM EST
    We can have elections without them. I don't see it as a disruption of democracy.

    As anonymous points out, the parties use them to pretend we have a say. They can override the results at the drop of a hat. See also: superdelegates.


    My stepmother tells me if, on initial vote, (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:38:20 PM EST
    your candidate doesn't get a designated minimum no. of votes, you can either leave or go to another candidate.  She thought if Edwards didn't have enough votes last time she would go to Clinton.  But she didn't.  Caucus vote went to Obama.  Got to think on your feet I gather.  

    I've run caucuses and (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:56:35 PM EST
    I always felt the way that you did.  Sort of.  Although, traditionally, caucuses in Coloroado (which also has primaries) happen after the candidate has pretty much already been decided.  Until last time I didn't know how the process could be coopted.  It's all about access.  Who has access to the voter rolls (and therefore monitors who attends) and to the paperwork for each precinct.

    Turns out it can get pretty ugly.


    Organization (none / 0) (#62)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:07:42 PM EST
    The typical caucus rewards the best organization. In Colorado: I remember two examples of out-hustling & methodical, longtime organizing...the Senate race in 1974 was quite contested on the Dem side, and the eventual winner Gary Hart was a fairly newcomer, but won with superior organization in the caucuses (given the fallout from Watergate favoring Dems that year, Hart's caucus know-how, which he gained earlier as a McGovern organizer in Iowa, paid off; and--tho my husband & I can't instantly recall the details of the 1976 caucuses--the then candidate Jimmy Carter also surprised, beating expectations, in caucus states.

    The 2008 situation in Colorado, OTOH, was like none that I had ever experienced before. Going into the caucus location that housed several precincts grouped in different school meeting areas, we knew it would be different. My husband & I were tasked with being district-point people for Hillary Clinton...and, tho we did ok comparatively (other areas of the city, etc., considered), we were swamped. Unlike most caucuses where, as you know, 15 to 30 people would be a nice turnout for a precinct, that night saw well over 100 people (and, that was average only in size.) From the proceedings, it was clear that both candidates people turned out...tho, the strong momentum swept in many more individuals in a movement in one direction for President Obama.

    To this day, I'm not quite sure about caucuses. The theory is good--i.e., the down-to-earth, town hall in a living room kind of thing where democracy comes to life; the reality, sometimes, succumbs to apathy or its opposite.


    1974 was before my time (none / 0) (#89)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:01:53 PM EST
    I started when the caucus system was pretty much in decline.  The Bush years really energized the Dems.

    I think the problem with the swarms that was so prevalent in 2008 would not have been so successful if caucuses were held as orginally intended:  hosted by a neighbor for neighbors, precinct by precinct.  The problem was when ADA regulations came into play and many of the traditional hosts for caucus (if not most) were not wheelchair accessible.  That was managed by moving caucuses to schools that hosted more than one precinct -- all or most of district, in fact.  The use of schools was the cheapest way to be ADA compliant.  And once rent was required rather than having a volunteer host, it was inevitable that precincts would share locations.

    I was no longer running caucuses by 2008 -- I had already moved East -- but you would not believe the number of calls and emails I got from contacts I'd made over the years.  And I hear CO wasn't as bad as some other caucus states -- whatever that means.

    I, too, have mixed feelings about them.  I deeply appreciate the concept.  But it's no longer neighbor to neighbor and that's the problem.


    I agree completely with your comments (none / 0) (#124)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:38:57 PM EST
    on the inherent difficulties confronting caucuses at the more impersonal institutional sites. (Tho, as I pointed out to the district captain a few caucuses back, there were other ADA-compliant avenues in places like Denver...for example, the senior highrise down the street and other apartment houses & condominiums were actually more accessible than the longer distance required of physically disabled and others to attend large combined caucuses. IMO, another problem has been that the county organization may have been too remiss/lackadaisacal about ensuring precinct committeepeople for each precinct.)

    Ah well...how can re reinvent DeToqueville!


    I hear you (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:50:36 PM EST
    That's what I would have liked also.  I remember one year a couple of precincts (not in my district) wanted to do exactly that.  They had selected a venue that met all legal criteria, was of sufficient size, etc.  The word at the central committee was essentially "that's great!  We'll have to see how that works out."  They just let the enthusiasm die, because, naturally, it did not work out at all (I forget the excuse) but really it was because caucus is labor intensive and it was just too much trouble to distribute and collect the paperwork from a non-central location.

    It's kind of like why American women have babies laying down -- it's easier for the doctor.


    the wealth gap (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:43:14 PM EST
    between young people and old people is the widest it has ever been in history.  Link

    "The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.

    While people typically accumulate assets as they age, this wealth gap is now more than double what it was in 2005 and nearly five times the 10-to-1 disparity a quarter-century ago, after adjusting for inflation."

    Now, the article takes this premise and starts attacking social security saying the old have gotten too much cushion.  Personally, I don't see why it has to be an either/or situation.  If anything it means we have to work harder to shore up these programs for our future - because we will need it then.

    Basically it comes down to two things - the cost of education and the cost of housing.  The youth of America is broke and getting broker.

    Article that disputes Pew assumptions (5.00 / 0) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:29:42 AM EST
    Pew Report on Young-Old Wealth Gap is Misleading and Divisive; Could Fuel Intergenerational Class War

    I agree that this should not be an either or situation where we pit one generation against the other. This is being done to allow "the powers that be" to move more money from the poor and the middle class of all ages into the pockets of the top 1%. Funds from dismantling domestic and safety net programs will go into tax breaks for corporations and the mega rich and not into providing affordable higher education or good jobs for the younger generation. They may wave a few cheap shiny objects in front of the younger generation as teasers but when push comes to shove, they have only one objective and it is not to help the young.    


    personally (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by CST on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 10:33:08 AM EST
    I think talk of a generational war is completely overblown here.

    To be clear - I agree that's what the article is attempting, but I just don't think it will work.

    Those are our parents.  We are not a rebelious generation.  I don't see young people taking the streets complaining about medicare and social security.


    Anything to take our minds (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:15:02 PM EST
    off the class war that the top 10 percent have been winning for the past 30 years.

    About 97% of that top 10% (none / 0) (#170)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:44:25 PM EST

    were well below the top 10% during much of that 30 year stretch.  For example my uncle was in it that top 10% year he sold the farm but never before that and never after that.

    that might be true (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by CST on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 01:26:41 PM EST
    for the top 10%.  $80,000 puts you in that group according to wiki.  While that's very comfortable it's not really "the problem".  The problem is the 1%ers who don't want to pay higher taxes.  You don't get there by accident, certainly not right now.  And if you are there right now because you sold the farm - you must have a nice farm.  One that you can afford to pay higher taxes on for one year.

    You don't need much (none / 0) (#172)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 01:51:32 PM EST

    of a farm to clear $80,000.  The top 1% requires only $388,806.  The idea that the those small proceeds of a life's work to retire on should be taxed like a billionaire's year in and year out income reflects a level governmental greed that is astonishing.

    only $388,806 (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by CST on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 02:10:29 PM EST
    cry me a freaking river.

    Also, you don't pay regular income taxes if you sell your house, at least not the first $250,000 of it.  So your premise is completely false to begin with.


    First of all, there is an exemption that can (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 03:16:21 PM EST
    be taken against the gain on the sale of one's principal residence, so after one adjusts the basis for improvements over the years, it is only the net gain after the exemption is taken into account that is taxed, and it is taxed at capital gains rates - not as ordinary income.

    From that point, it isn't the proceeds that are taxed, it is the income earned on those proceeds.  Someone who clears $80,000, even at a generous 6% return on investment, is only going to have income on that $80K of less than $5,000.

    You need a better grasp of income taxation than you are getting from whatever sources you are relying on.


    sigh. No they were not. (none / 0) (#184)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:45:12 PM EST
    The top 10 percent in wealth have remained remarkably unchanged for more than 100 years. Wealth, not income.

    i would hope that your farmer relative used income-averaging to lower the crunch from taxes. If not, then it was a foolish move.

    Taxes are too low on the top earners. however, taxes on inherited wealth are much too low.


    What utter BS (none / 0) (#191)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:21:14 AM EST

    The top 10 percent in wealth have remained remarkably unchanged for more than 100 years.

    What nonsense.  For that to be true the top 10% today would have to be populated largely by people that are 100+ years old.

    BTW, the IRS can give fairly reliable stats on income.  The IRS stats can tell you where the cutoff is to be in the top 10% of income earners.

    Wealth is another matter and is in large part based on guesstimates of the value of illiquid assets.  Not only that but there is no mechanism like the IRS for collecting wealth data.  How much is your car worth, your lawn mower, grandpa's old watch, etc?  Heck, most people are unsure of the value of their home.


    Not nonsense (none / 0) (#192)
    by sj on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:41:08 PM EST
    Just vague enough to give you a way to reject.  While the individuals attached to the wealth may have changed, the wealth itself has remained largely unchanged.  For example Rockefellers are still attached to Rockefeller wealth.  Gettys are still attached to Getty wealth (and no J. Paul wasn't the first wealthy Getty).

    You should be able to grasp that.  

    Gotta love how you hang on to the belief that wealth [because] is just "guesstimated" it's not valid to use as a data element.

    It's painful really to see how hard people must. hold. on. to. preconception.


    Here is a link to the Forbes wealthies (none / 0) (#194)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Nov 10, 2011 at 11:03:27 AM EST
    The top 24 are below.  You may notice that most of that wealth was not around 50 years ago, muchless a 100 years ago.  You got any facts to back your assertions?


    Rank    Name    Net Worth ($mil)    Source
    1    Bill Gates      50,000    Microsoft
    2    Warren Buffett  40,000    Berkshire Hathaway
    3    Larry Ellison   27,000    Oracle
    4    C. Walton famil 21,500    Wal-Mart
    5    Jim C. Walton   19,600    Wal-Mart
    6    Alice Walton    19,300    Wal-Mart
    7    S. R. Walton    19,000    Wal-Mart
    8    M. Bloomberg    17,500    Bloomberg
    9    Charles Koch    16,000    mfg, energy
    9    David Koch      16,000    mfg, energy
    11    Sergey Brin     15,300    Google
    11    Larry Page      15,300    Google
    13    Michael Dell    14,500    Dell
    14    Steven Ballmer  13,300    Microsoft
    15    George Soros    13,000    hedge funds
    16    Donald Bren     12,000    real estate
    17    Paul Allen      11,500    Microsoft
    17    Abigail Johnson 11,500    Fidelity
    19    Forrest Mars    11,000    candy, pet food
    19    Jacqueline Mars 11,000    candy, pet food
    19    John Mars       11,000    candy, pet food
    22    Carl Icahn      10,500    leveraged buyouts
    23    Ronald Perelman 10,000    leveraged buyouts
    24    George Kaiser   9,500    oil & banking
    24    Philip Knight   9,500    Nike


    Finished with you. (none / 0) (#193)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:07:41 PM EST
    Just letting you know. I do not admire the way you keep twisting everything to fit your specific preconceived notions.

    First, you are incorrect. Second, you are rude. Third, you are willfully ignorant.



    the wealth gap (2.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:50:55 PM EST

    And that gap is going to continue to widen.  Medicare and Social Security are both programs that transfer wealth from a demographic that is relatively younger, poorer, and darker to one that is older, wealthier, and whiter.  Boy, you might even think that the party of Jim Crow thought this up.



    or maybe (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    instead of saying old people have too much of a cushion because they can retire without being destitute - and we should start looking at why young people are so broke.

    Medicare and social security were around in 2005 - and the gap was half the size it is today.


    No surprise (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:15:43 PM EST

    More of the front edge of the (generally wealthier) baby boomers are turning 65.  In addition there are now more folks 65+ that are still earning (accumulating wealth).  

    BTW that a trend that has been going on for more than a century and continues from 2005 to 2011 does not say a whole terrible lot about those six years.



    or maybe (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:18:31 PM EST
    people under 35 have more debt than ever and no jobs.

    It's been trending for a century but it doubled in the last 6 years.  That says plenty.


    Would be interesting to find out what (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:42:06 PM EST
    % of people over 65 ever had a student loan.

    We are not (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:48:39 PM EST
    over 65, but I'm 63 and Mr. Zorba is 64, so we're close.  We both went to the same, top-25-ranked, private university.  Tuition when he started was $1400, when I started, $1500 ($1700 by the time I graduated).  This year, tuition at the same school is almost $40,000.  We both had full scholarships- he had a university scholarship, I had a National Merit Scholarship (the scholarships didn't increase as the tuition did, but the tuition didn't rise that much over four years).  Neither of us had to take out loans.  We were both able to pay for books, fees, lunches, and gas for our cars (we both commuted from home) with summer jobs and occasional part-time jobs during the school year (each of our families was not terribly well-off; although they both certainly contributed hugely by the fact that we each lived at home and ate there, they did not have to contribute anything toward tuition and fees).  None of our friends had student loans.  My impression is that scholarships have not risen to reflect the rising costs of tuition at most schools.  I don't know how families do it now, given the much huger costs.

    Husband had one for around 30 days-- (none / 0) (#38)
    by the capstan on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:16:35 PM EST
    long enough to get us to California for his first job.  The loan, I think, was for around $50 , enough to buy gas, lodging, and food for 2 adults, a baby, and a toddler for the cross-country trip in 1961.  JPL advanced us enough to pay back the loan the day he went to work.

    Sorry--not $50, but (none / 0) (#39)
    by the capstan on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:17:56 PM EST

    ugh (none / 0) (#41)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:30:25 PM EST
    that's less than my monthly payment.  And I'm one of the lucky ones.

    I persuade U of M to loan me (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:20:14 PM EST
    $600 to buy car to commute to Detroit for a church music job.  Initial response:  we don't do car loans.  

    Oy (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:26:38 PM EST
    What a bunch of delusional hooey.

    In addition there are now more folks 65+ that are still earning (accumulating wealth).

    Very few of the 65+ are working to "accumulate wealth" so much as to "keep head above water".


    Your stereotype of the 65+ (none / 0) (#156)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 06:38:57 AM EST

    seems a bit out of date.

    I would say (none / 0) (#166)
    by sj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:56:22 AM EST
    that YOU are the one working with a stereotype.  I'm referencing family members.

    When did earning get (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:18:27 PM EST
    classified as "accumulating wealth?" Gee, I've been out of sociology for 5 months, and all of the definitions change?

    Wages are income...and income is disposed of.

    Wealth is the totality, stocks, bonds, land, gold, jewels, that one owns for a long period of time, such as more than a year... how much are these terrible old-timers saving? Dammit, they need to be spending it or giving it to meeeeeeee!


    family members (none / 0) (#169)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:37:03 PM EST

    are a pretty narrow subset for characterizing the rest of the 65+ population.

    You don't know my family. (none / 0) (#177)
    by sj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 03:38:05 PM EST
    It's practically a third of a city when you start adding in the comadre/compadre level of relationship.  :)

    But your point is taken. And truthfully, I rely on more than that.  

    But I know that citations don't really mean anything to you so why look them up?  Especially when you start referring to earning wages as "accumulating wealth".  You're bringing in your sociological fixed views into the conversation and no amount of fact providing is going to change that argument.  

    And today I don't feel like banging my head against the wall.  I'm saving that effort for when I go vote later.


    also from the article (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:32:10 PM EST
    "In all, 37 percent of younger-age households have a net worth of zero or less, nearly double the share in 1984. But among households headed by a person 65 or older, the percentage in that category has been largely unchanged at 8 percent."

    Not surprisingly, some old people have also gotten a lot richer.  But there are still broke old people.  It's mostly that there are a lot more broke young people.


    I think that article is very misleading. And (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:57:55 PM EST
    a blatant attempt to fire up a war between the generations. The sad and infuriating fact is that most of us, regardless of age, are getting screwed.

    The median income of someone on SS is around $20,000/year. Thas't not a champagne retirement. Most of this wealth is the current market value of the homes ones by seniors. As the article notes, most seniors have paid off the mortgage, and most over 65s bought well before the insane run on real estate of the past several years. So, even though their homes have lost value, just like everyone else, they don't owe on the house, so are not upside down. It's not like seniors have these dollars burning a hole in their pockets. They are living in these homes and would have to sell to get the money.

    It is criminal, IMO, that we have created a system of financing education that terms graduates into, basically, indentured servants for the financial industry, burdened by thousands in loan debt.  In a better world, one where Wall Street did not rule, more money would go to grants and scholarships and loans would NOT be issued by for-profit banks, etc. Interest would be minimal, no more than 3-4%. Just enough to service the loans and build back some capital for future loans.

    Regular people are getting squeezed at both ends of their adult life. Maybe we need to unite, form a young/old coalition, and fight those bustards.


    yea it does (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:51:07 PM EST
    say all that.

    But the other thing is, it's true.  The fact is, while everyone has been on a medicare and social security watch - the younger generation has already been screwed.

    Now the writers of the article seem to think the answer to this is to screw over old people so we're all in the race to the bottom together.  Personally I do not come to that conclusion.  But I do think it's important to highlight the fact that young people are totally f*cked already.  And maybe we need to do something about it.

    The problem isn't student loan interest.  Interest on student loans is historically very low, and I can tell you right now that it's low by even those standards.  The problem is the total amount of debt owed is in the 10s of thousands - on average.  That kind of debt can be a huge anchor to anyone trying to start out, whether you want to own a home, start a business, or buy a car even so you can get to that job wherever it is.

    People (not here, but still) make fun of the occupiers for wanting to forgive student loan debt as if it were some pie in the sky ideal.  But we talk online all day about writing down debt on houses that have lost value - HAMP vs HOLC.  I think we seriously need to start thinking about a program that does the same with student debt.  Not to mention, something so that public universities start holding the line on tuition increases.  There is no way anyone should graduate from a public university with that kind of debt.

    Housing was not the only bubble that got us into this mess.


    You won't find me defending the current (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:04:32 PM EST
    way we fiancé higher education. As I said, it turns students/graduates into indentured servants struggling to pay off egregiously high loan balances.

    There are a number of steps I think we should take to address student loans.

    1. Forgive loan principal(or is it principle?). For those "no free lunch" zealots, we could tie this to some kind of service. Not just a profession like forgiving debt for so many years of teaching in a poor school. If we need people to somehow earn this forgiveness (not necessarily my position) let them volunteer in their communities.

    2. Like I said in my other comment, increase, majorly increase, the $$ amount and number of grants and scholarships.

    3. Change the bankruptcy laws so that student loan debt is classified just like other consumer debt and allow it to be discharged in bankruptcy.

    4. In this current crisis, do as you suggest and write down the principal. The federal government guarantees the majority of these loans. So, the federal government can forgive the loan. Heck, Congress just passed a law that essentially gives federal contractors a pass on paying their taxes. Surely, we can do something for the current generation of students/graduates.

    I could come up with more ideas, but you get my drift.

    high college costs (none / 0) (#157)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 06:56:06 AM EST

    High college costs are a symptom of the easy credit policy.  You need to address the cause, not just the symptom.

    Your point 3. is a good one.  However, this needs to be coupled with removing the taxpayer as the sucker that pays for someone else's decisions.

    Make colleges that accept student loan money guarantee that debt rather than the government.


    You have the wrong candidate in 1980. (1.00 / 1) (#51)
    by me only on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:54:30 PM EST
    Carter spoke in Tuscumbia, AL, national headquarters of the KKK.

    Even Bill Gates couldn't afford to buy you a clue.


    Donald does not have the wrong (none / 0) (#56)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:00:45 PM EST
    candidate. Reagan did kick off his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, MS. And he did make those lightly coded remarks.

    Perhaps you are the one in need of a clue?


    Ronald Reagan (none / 0) (#59)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:04:05 PM EST
    President Ronald Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign with a Labor Day speech at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.

    You can watch his speech here.


    in my fair home state of NJ.

    Stop! You're both right (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:38:33 PM EST
    The official story is that the official start of the campaign was 9/1/1980 in New Jersey.  So SUO could be considered correct.  That's the sanitized version.

    However, his first post-convention speech was at the Neshoba county fair (IOW Philadephia).  Where he did speak as casey and Donald have said.

    The convention ended on July 17, 1980, he spoke in Philly on August 3, 1980 and the NJ speech was September 1.  So if you believe that nothing he did between 7/17/1980 and 9/1/1980 was to further his candidacy, then I suppose you could say the a straight face that his campaign was launched in NJ.

    The "official" record surely says so.  A subtle way of kinda sorta placing less emphasis on what he really was saying.


    It appears you, DfHI and Casey are correct. My apologies to all. Looks like he also gave a speech in NY before the NJ event...

    Wow (none / 0) (#79)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:40:52 PM EST
    A campaign "kick-off" in September of election year (Instead of 18 months ahead of the election).

    Ah...the good old days....


    Don't kid yourself (none / 0) (#81)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:45:29 PM EST
    That was the start of the campaign against the Democrats.  They didn't dispense with the primaries and crown him Republican candidate with no campaigning.

    It may have been a little shorter -- I can't say for sure.  But definitely isn't what you're thinking.


    This was the start of the General Election. (none / 0) (#83)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:48:15 PM EST
    The kick-off of the GE still begins after the convention, so sometime between mid-July and Labor Day of election year.  

    The primaries, however, are another story. That is the never-ending show to which we are currently being subjected. In the old days, the primaries did not really begin until the beginning of the year in which the election was held. In those days, of course, we did not have as many primaries as we now have, and the primaries played a much smaller role in the nominating process (see: men, smoke-filled rooms).


    Oh I know (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:53:01 PM EST
    But I can guarantee we didn't have 18 month - 2 year coverage of elections. Reagan announced his candidacy on November 13, 1979 - less than a year from Election Day.

    His first 1980 post-convention speech was (none / 0) (#61)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:07:19 PM EST
    given in Neshoba County, MS, the county that includes the town of Philadelphia.

    Reagan's visit
    Main article: Ronald Reagan's speech at the Neshoba County Fair
    On August 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave his first post-convention speech at the Neshoba County Fair after being officially chosen as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. He said, "I believe in states' rights ... I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment." He went on to promise to "restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them".[5] Analysts believed that his use of the phrase was seen by many as a tacit appeal to Southern white voters and a continuation of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy, while some argued it reflected Reagan's libertarian economic beliefs. The speech drew attention for his use of the phrase "states' rights" at a place just a few miles from a town associated with the 1964 murders of civil rights workers.

    Thanks. It appears we're in agreement. (none / 0) (#64)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:11:24 PM EST
    ie, (none / 0) (#66)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:19:13 PM EST
    he did NOT "formally kick off his 1980 presidential campaign by invoking the cause of "states' rights" in Philadelphia MS."

    He formally kicked off his 1980 campaign in NJ.


    Yes, I agree, as I said comment #87... (none / 0) (#113)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    Oh, never mind, you saw the comment... (none / 0) (#114)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:51:55 PM EST
    No. He kicked off his 1984 re-elect (none / 0) (#76)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:38:39 PM EST
    campaign in Hoboken, at the invite of Sinatra (who had changed registration from fdem to Rep by then).

    Uh, we're talking about 1980... (none / 0) (#80)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:40:55 PM EST
    Unless Congress and the Pres. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:47:29 PM EST
    succeed in gutting Social Security and Medicare, some of these under-35s may inherit a nice nest egg.  

    maybe (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:55:43 PM EST
    but the fact that old people have more $$ than young people is not what this study is saying.  That's always been true.

    It's the difference between them that is so striking.

    Also, as a young person, I am not sitting around waiting for my parents to die before I start my future.  Hopefully it will be a very long time before that happens.


    What the old people are clinging to (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:32:55 PM EST
    that keeps the wolf from eating them alive isn't what is broken.  Our defense of middle class wages and organizing labor is what is broken.  Too many deadbeats are protected by their unions and it is giving unions a horrible rep, and because of the few who get over we threw the baby out with the bath water.  Labor must organize!  Our children will be reunioning up.

    "deadbeats?" (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:23:38 PM EST
    I almost didn't say anything about the "deadbeats" contention--because, MT, you get the benefit of the doubt in my read of your often thoughtful & passionate comments. But, the sentence with the word "deadbeats" hit me a bit wrong...as the type of generalization made by others in places like Walker's Wisconsin & Kasich's Ohio where the goal is to undermine unions with repeated memes that union members are slough offs, work less hard than average, etc. If the union process is to work, said unions must represent (as best they can) their membership. Like any organization, it will not be perfect.

    Yep, that sounded just like Walker talk (none / 0) (#152)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:01:08 AM EST
    so I also am shocked to see it here, and I appreciate your comment, Christine.

    This deadbeat word (none / 0) (#158)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:01:16 AM EST
    comes from my exposure to the representation that GS employees get via their "union" here on post.  There is a list of people as long as my arm that hundreds and hundreds of other people here on post would agree that need to gone.  If they were working in the private sector they'd have been fired a long long time ago, but the GS system fights for them whenever they get in trouble.  How many times does a person have to have complaints filed against them by numerous people before they are sent down the road?  Whether you like it or not there are deadbeats out there that take advantage of the protection and allow their freaky personality disorders to cause harm and chaos to many many others simply because they are protected enough that they can.

    My father was a Union worker.  I know most people out there would never do some of the things I have seen a few do.  We need to remove the overly protective nature when it exists though because it destroys too much and allows for the abuse of others to occur over and over again unchecked.


    Here's an example (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:15:56 AM EST
    That stands a better chance of being understood by maybe a few liberals :)  One of these folks works in a Federal Prison type facility.  She is not supposed to be using her smart phone during work hours for what I'm sure many would understand to be all sorts of obvious reasons.  What if you have a guard allowing prisoners the use of their phones or their phone is stolen?  What if a guard violates a prisoner's right to privacy somehow via their smart phone?

    She constantly breaks this rule though and is always emailing and texting on her phone while on duty.  The only time she ever works also is right before an inspection and then she is so far behind she must work two or three weeks with no breaks and working late just to catch up and look good enough to pass.  She is hardly the worst case, she is only half a case IMO but one in a job where most of you would go WTF is going on here?  How can this keep happening?


    Every organization, every profession, (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    every group, & every discipline have the "few bad apples."

    As a former GS employee for many years, I can tell you that numberous GS employees work every bit as hard as people in the private sector. In fact, I would assert that the private sector & the so-called privatization that comes with it has its own long list of failures (way beyond Wall Street.) Perhaps, we could agree that there are some things GS employees do historically well & there are many things as well that private employees do well.

    My real concern here is the generalizing that can be so harmful to the important & meaningful & beneficial aspects of unions...e.g., the fact that you or your family may witness some who do not do their fair share is really just that: that some people will do less or substandard work. The fact that a union represents them doesn't change that. The fact that a union represents an employee group does, however, build in protection is terms of due process that we should all seek.


    I'm not saying that GS employees are bad (none / 0) (#174)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 02:20:35 PM EST
    And you know that.  I'm not saying that at all, but there is a system in place that protects some workers out there that are very very damaging to others and who actually impede the job that needs done as well.  The tax payers are paying for this, they deserve their money's worth and they deserve people who work instead of abuse the system.  The abusers would never make it doing what they do in the private sector and they would have been gone a long long time ago.

    I'm not making generalizations at all, I am saying there are currently sadly protected deadbeats out there. Everyone ought to be looking for constructive ways that deal with that problem instead of denying that it exists.

    There is one employee on post who uses the phrase "what the mission is" to constantly avoid actually doing her job.  She will tell her other coworkers that doing a certain thing is not what the mission is.  Her coworkers either end up doing her job and their job as well or pulling their hair out.  I'm certain she will make this "mission" argument too if she is called on it.  And then she will have to be "counseled" and "mentored" in order to overcome what it is that keeps her from achieving her success.


    You are judging (5.00 / 0) (#178)
    by sj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 03:54:49 PM EST
    unions based on a single employee.  You're "not saying all GS employees are bad", you're just assuming the union is responsible for those "deadbeats".  They are supporting that "deadbeat" the same way that the ACLU supports the first amendment rights of the KKK.  

    In the world where hard choices must be made, I prefer that a bad apple occasionally benefit rather than taking the Obama attitude of we can't help the 100 people who might "deserve" help because of those bad apples.

    And yes, I pulled those numbers out of the air, but the point is the same.


    I have only given a few examples of people (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 07:26:47 PM EST
    that I know and that others who are close to my family are trying to survive. Even myself, I have had some of these people impact my life drastically.  The EFMP civilian that worked here was horrid.  She got a job higher up though (OMG really?) and an officer in uniform was given her position and finally things are being done as they always should have been but do you have any idea of the mess he had to clean up?  Do you know the affect she had on my life and my family's life with her total failure?  And she didn't care, and obviously you don't either.  I'm not judging one person, there are many many people I am familiar with here that DO NOT DO THEIR JOBS TO ANY SORT OF BASIC SATISFACTION and they are making premium middle class wages.  It's wrong.  It stinks of oligarchy to me and it shouldn't.

    It doesn't stink of oligarchy to me (none / 0) (#182)
    by sj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 08:23:22 PM EST
    It stinks of humanity, maybe.

    If anything, it stinks of bureacracy, (none / 0) (#183)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 08:28:14 PM EST
    Peter Principle, and federal civil service requirements.  

    Well, yes (none / 0) (#187)
    by sj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:52:40 PM EST
    to 1 and 2, but not 3.  Or at least not limited to 3.  In every organization there are bad apples that are protected for one reason or another.  I can tell you that for sure.  

    And size doesn't matter a bit.  Even small privately-owned organizations have that problem.  It might be because of nepotism or just plain favoritism, or maybe there's a broader purpose (unions protecting the worst so that they can protect all).  Maybe it's just bad judgement.  But it's a universal complaint.  And just because it personally affects a body, it doesn't make it "stink of oligarchy".  

    It's part of the human condition when we make human constructs.


    As a former member of a "bargaining (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:19:28 AM EST
    unit," I must point out we would have been toast re compensation, benefits, conditions of employment, w/o this representation.

    No segue:  interesting but not particularly reassuring.  LAT re drone targets


    I am not saying such organizing should not (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 02:23:39 PM EST
    exist.  I have never said such a thing.  I am saying that pretending that we don't have abusers will likely not stand and allows for serious arguments to be made that the system needs to go.  And the abusers end up being inflicted on everyone...and I mean everyone.

    Part of what you are saying--that a few (5.00 / 0) (#179)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 04:29:01 PM EST
    workers abuse their work situation--I understand and also am in agreement. If that is the core message here, no problem. But if your concerns about what you have witness where your family's work is extend to something broader about the process afforded employees represented by unions, my guard goes way up.

    In what I have witnessed, it isn't the process of union representation--even in a federal GS setting--that prevents addressing poor performance. Often it is the federal supervisor and/or management staff who opted not to follow through the necessary procedural steps. I say this as one who served in a management capacity with GS employees... and, as one, who earlier helped initiate a federal AFGE union in that same workplace (prior to my management days.)

    Admittedly, it can be frustrating. But, more frustrating would be the lack of procedures where a wish for dealing with something quickly could be misguided/incorrect or unfair in terms of lack of process.  BTW, we all know private institutions where substandard employees or inappropriate behavior appears to have been condoned for years. (I'm stretching here: See the national restaurant association & one H. Cain.)


    Best Climate Change quote I've seen yet... (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 08:07:03 PM EST
    "What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?"


    Bwahaha! (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 08:09:01 PM EST
    Great cartoon, Edgar!

    Probaby overheat (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 08:17:49 PM EST
    more than a few small minds, eh? ;-)

    My life. (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:32:42 PM EST
    Why do you do this to me Iggles?  At least now I can endure these moments an hour after they happen, as I am CST now (happily, I found a new job in the past two weeks and moved out to Austin, Texas!  Less one for the unemployment tally, hopefully for a good long time to come).

    Sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:33:47 PM EST
    I am aware that those under EST are not suddenly time-travelling.  What I meant to say is that I can go to bed mad at 11:30 instead of 12:30 ;)

    Hey! (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by CST on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 10:27:10 AM EST
    "as I am CST now"

    Heh! (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:59:09 PM EST
    No worries about stolen identity...if I become half as eloquent as you are about science and/or our generation's financial cluster(bleep!), then you should worry...

    Congrats on the new job. That is great news. (4.00 / 1) (#154)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:39:50 AM EST
    As to the football game, well, all I can say is GO, BEARS!

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#185)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:54:45 PM EST
    I appreciate it.  Had to give you only a 4 though, considering what you said about the Bears :P

    I read a few jokes (none / 0) (#17)
    by Makarov on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:52:48 PM EST
    when the Cain sexual harassment story first broke about when Gloria Alred would be having a press conference.

    That press conference is taking place right now.

    Great statement (none / 0) (#23)
    by Makarov on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:06:02 PM EST
    by the victim. Cain is done, not that he had a chance in hell of winning the nomination anyway.

    If you believe her and the others, (2.00 / 0) (#47)
    by coast on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:46:48 PM EST
    then he is toast.  But I find it odd that for someone who is basically being painted as a habitual sexual harasser only has complaints while at one organization that he worked at for 3 years out of a career spanning 30+ years.  If he committed four instances in 3 years, there should be many more out there and from different periods in his career.  I don't think its typical for someone to be able to turn that type of behavior on and off as it seems like this is being made out to be.  I'll hold out my judgement, but likely won't vote him for the simple reason of experience in government.

    You're right, the behavior (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:05:16 PM EST
    is essentially compulsive.  But formally filing compaints about it isn't, and companies do all kinds of things to hush it up when it does happen so that there's no official record of it.  And of course, they cannot comment on private personnel issues.

    We had one of these guys in a company I worked for.  He was basically eased out quietly-- shuffled off to the next unfortunate employer to continue his odious behavior.  Meet your new department head.  Surprise!!

    There may well be, probably are, large numbers of women out there who've had a charming experience with Cain, but not very many are going to want to come forward into the glare of not just the public eye but a heated campaign season and be branded a liar and have their past exhaustively researched by media, etc.


    The behavior may be compulsive (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by kmblue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:26:29 PM EST
    but the cover-ups aren't.  

    Oh, sure they are! (none / 0) (#188)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:06:21 AM EST
    Figuring out ways of concealing/covering up/denying is part of the whole syndrome.  You can't keep up feeding your addiction if you're caught out, so plausible excuses/explanations/coverups/denials are part and parcel of it.

    Oh, you find it "odd", do you? (5.00 / 6) (#95)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:17:24 PM EST
    Try this out for size:

    I was sexually harassed by one of my teachers at music school. I fended off his creepiness (successfully, I thought) and so, did not feel the need to report him to the administration. Guess what? After I left school to return home, I received my grades and, lo and behold, I did not get the "A" grade I clearly deserved, based on my "A" grades from my exams and my final project in his class. That's when I realized he had retaliated against me for not sleeping with him. After returning home, I was dealing with an accident injury, hospitilization, surgery, and financial hardship, and did not pursue the matter with an administration office on the other side of the country, at a school I was not going to be returning to. I had other pressing matters to deal with.

    It turns out that this same instructor had been harassing other female students before I ever came along, had already been reported to the dean, but was able to keep his job and continue to harrass. In other words, the school did not really care. He finally lost his job, many years after he had first been reported. A second harassing instructor lost his job a year later -- this big name music school had realized that sexual harrassment is not to be swept under the rug, and that open court cases against these teachers could bring the school to its knees. After all, they wouldn't want to lose all that money and all those accolades from famous graduates.

    Open up your eyes and face reality. Harassment by one person in a position of power can go on and on for years without punishment, for any number of reasons.

    The woman who came forward today to tell her story about Herman Cain is very brave, IMO. I know of so many similar stories it would make your head spin.

    But, I don't know. Maybe it all just sounds "odd" to you. I guess all the pieces are supposed to fit neatly into place. Even though they rarely do, in real life.


    brava shoephone (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by kmblue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:22:57 PM EST
    you beat me to it.  

    I believe you are making my point. (2.00 / 1) (#110)
    by coast on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:43:42 PM EST
    The teacher did it for years.  In other words it wasn't for just a short period of time when you happened to be there.  That is what I would expect here as well, but so far it does not seem to be the case.  Hopefully, if there are others, they will be brave enough to come forward as well.

    It doesn't matter if he harassed women for (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:15:40 PM EST
    two months, two years, or two decades. He's a harasser.

    i would agree. (none / 0) (#128)
    by coast on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:51:43 PM EST
    One instance is one instance too many.  But its not typical for there to be only one instance or just a concentration of instance because these crimes typically don't get reported.

    Why on earth would you say (none / 0) (#189)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:10:06 AM EST
    "It doesn't seem to be the case"?  You've just had it explained why women, even post-Anita Hill, don't fiole complaints or come forward, especially into a public spotlight as we have here.  There are already now five women, and there will be more before this is over.  It will still be only a fraction of the women who've had this experience with him because most of them will much prefer not to.

    I do believe her and here's why (5.00 / 6) (#97)
    by kmblue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:20:48 PM EST
    I don't know a woman who hasn't been subject to sexual harassment, and all the ones I know kept silent because they wanted to keep their jobs and pay their living expenses.

    They also knew (especially if the man was higher up in the company) they would not be believed. More than that, they would branded sluts and troublemakers, and kill their chances of finding another job.

    Yeah right, women make unfounded accusations for the sheer pleasure of it.


    Yes, kmblue (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:55:38 PM EST
    I have been sexually harassed (I was very young, and needed the job to help pay for college), but I didn't come forward.  Turns out later, I found out that pretty much half the women who worked there were also harassed by the same guy (who was the son of the owner of the company).  Nobody who hasn't gone through this understands this.  

    me too and more than once (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by kmblue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 06:07:50 PM EST
    Did I speak up?  No.  It was a matter of my survival, plus the absolute conviction that I would not be believed.

    I didn't either because it was (none / 0) (#190)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:13:07 AM EST
    a bit ambiguous (bad taste, awkward socially inept attempt by a new hire to make friends, etc) But when I overheard two women he supervised sharing horror stories, I went straight to my boss.

    So all the women who accused (2.00 / 0) (#117)
    by coast on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:54:55 PM EST
    Clinton of everything from harassment to rape were telling the truth?  Did you vote for him?

    That's a giant leap (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by sj on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:01:32 PM EST
    Did you hurt yourself when you fell?

    Based on the story of the "fourth woman" (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:48:06 PM EST
    it does not sound like the complaint  against Herman Cain is not sexual harassment as much as it is  sexual assault.   (although sexual harassment would be a part of the complaint given the job threat accusation).

    I'm shocked. (none / 0) (#24)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:09:11 PM EST
    and not a fan of-- not so much attention-seeking Gloria, but CNN-seeking Gloria.

    There was a time when Rev. Al Sharpton was on the news constantly. Then he backed off, and became much more erudite. I like watching him now. I couldn't say the same 15 years ago.


    If you need Gloria, (2.00 / 2) (#105)
    by loveed on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:29:56 PM EST
    It all about getting paid. A shaky foundation from the beginning.
     Every black man that is charged,accused,suspected
     of anything Gloria is always lurking in the background waiting to get paid.
     Needless to say I can't stand her.
      At least this one,won't have to get a makeover (Amber Fry,Paula Jones).

    Quit making stuff up (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:17:30 PM EST
    The woman who came forward today is not filing any law suit or trying to get money out of Cain. That was made clear more than once during the news conference.

    Who paying Gloria? (2.00 / 1) (#141)
    by loveed on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 10:30:11 PM EST
    You tell me (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 10:48:34 PM EST
    Appalling. (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 12:04:41 AM EST
    Do you think the alleged victim of (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:44:34 PM EST
    the former IMF chief would have fared better if represented by Allred?

    let me just point out (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by kmblue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:23:24 PM EST
    that if Gloria was a man, she would be branded aggressive, not abrasive.

    Probably about the same (none / 0) (#34)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:09:01 PM EST
    no lawyer I've heard of could unring the bell of the DSK accuser's misrepns to the police.  Not even Spence, I'd bet, and he got a defendant off a murder rap where the person seated next to the dead guy had a camera and took a picture of the defendant holding a smoking gun.

    Just sayin'.


    Conrad Murray jury verdict to be read (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:47:00 PM EST
    @ 1 p.m. PST.  

    Per LAT: (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:58:32 PM EST
    Myra Julliette, 32, traveled from Copenhagen, Denmark, to monitor the trial.

    "This is not entertainment, not a circus, not a spectacle," she said. "This is real life. Michael was a real person."

    Julliette said she believes Murray is "slam-dunk guilty" and if the jury doesn't reach the same conclusion, "it will be a huge injustice."

    "I still hurt that Michael is not here and it's going to hurt me for the rest of my life that Michael is not here," she said.

    Conrad Murray found guilty. n/t (none / 0) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:21:32 PM EST
    And remanded (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:40:47 PM EST
    No bail pending appeal?  Who knows.  

    But, right now, they're going to keep him off the streets.  I suspect it's as much for his own safety as anything.


    From another LA Times blurb (none / 0) (#93)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:12:48 PM EST
    Judge Michael Pastor ordered Murray held without bail, citing the seriousness of the crime.

    "Dr. Murray's reckless conduct" poses a threat to public safety, he said.

    "This is not a crime involving a mistake of judgment," Pastor said. "This is a crime where the end result was the death of a human being. That factor demonstrates rather dramatically that the public should be protected."

    (sorry - no link)


    In a nutshell (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:28:39 PM EST
    From the LA Times:

    Witnesses testified to many egregious medical missteps -- giving propofol in an unmonitored setting, fumbling at basic resuscitation, keeping no records -- failures that experts said directly led to Jackson's overdose death.

    As his famed patient stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest under the influence of propofol, jurors were told, the doctor chatted on the phone and sent and received email and text messages. And in the crucial moments after he discovered the singer had stopped breathing, he delayed calling for help and lied to paramedics and emergency doctors, witnesses said.

    Central to the government's case were the doctor's own words from a police interview two days after Jackson's death. In the 2-1/2-hour tape, Murray admitted to giving the singer the propofol -- caving after Jackson repeatedly begged for it, he said -- as well as two other drugs earlier in the day.

    Admissions in the interview were enough evidence enough of the doctor's guilt, witnesses said. But the prosecution's star witness also said levels of the drug found during an autopsy showed Murray lied about how much propofol he administered. Dr. Steven Shafer, a renowned anesthesiologist and propofol expert, said the only plausible scenario was that Murray left a large drip of of the anesthetic running into Jackson's blood after he was dead.
    The doctor's defense presented to jurors an alternate theory pointing the blame at Jackson himself. Under mounting pressure to perform and addicted to a painkiller that rendered him completely unable to sleep, the pop star swallowed a sedative and injected himself with propofol -- a mixture that killed him instantly, they contended.

    No defense witness, however, addressed head-on a point the prosecution's medical experts repeatedly drove home: that even if Jackson died by his own hand, Murray was equally liable for leaving Jackson alone.

    Giants 24, NE 20. (none / 0) (#49)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:49:01 PM EST

    troll (none / 0) (#50)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:50:50 PM EST
    Ya. My Boston brother, who had sent me (none / 0) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:55:56 PM EST
    trash-talking emails all last week, some complete with pictures and "funny" captions, seems to have lost his ability to type since last night...

    In that case (none / 0) (#74)
    by CST on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:31:34 PM EST
    I blame your bother.

    My goodness, if I've learned anything since 2007 it is DO NOT TEMPT THE FOOTBALL GODS WITH THAT BULL$HIT.  Especially against the Giants.  Geez.


    Thank you G-Men... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:10:46 PM EST
    boy was I wrong about your boys at the beginning of the season!

    Nice start to the brutal stretch of your schedule.  Appreciate the AFC East help.


    Still a few QB mistakes in the 4Q that I'd rather didn't happen, but hey, they got it done.

    And then there's Ravens 23, Steelers 20 (none / 0) (#69)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:22:33 PM EST
    Nothing more satisfying than beating a rival in their house, especially when almost no one was picking the Ravens to win.

    Now, we have to go out to Seattle and try not to lay an egg, then we've still got 2 games each with Bengals and Browns - those divisional games are looming large.

    Meantime, I'm enjoying the glow of a Ravens sweep of the hated Steelers.


    That was a great game too. (none / 0) (#115)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:52:46 PM EST
    Cain went to my alma mater (none / 0) (#116)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:53:46 PM EST
    A black guy from my school is leading the polls of a presidential race and I can't even be proud of it.

    Unfortunately, (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:11:47 PM EST
    I can't be proud of the guy the guy you can't be proud of would be running against.

    Now That's On You (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 05:44:28 PM EST
    Couldn't be more proud of that guy.

    As someone who is part of the Wall St. (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:04:38 PM EST
    crowd I can definitely see why you would be proud of Obama.

    The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data.

    Wall Street firms -- independent companies and the securities-trading arms of banks -- are doing even better. They earned more in the first 2 1/2 years of the Obama administration than they did during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, industry data show. link

    Of course Obama is also profiting from his policies:

    The president, however, has not shunned Wall Street. He has courted financial executives for campaign donations, including inviting them to a campaign gathering at the White House. He has attracted more money for his campaign and for the Democratic National Committee from financial firm employees than all of the GOP candidates combined -- a total of $15.6 million. link

    You should also be proud of (5.00 / 4) (#138)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:32:36 PM EST
    Obama's major government welfare programs.

    A new Citizens for Tax Justice report detailing how little corporations pay in federal corporate income tax also noted that financial firms receive the highest percentage of federal tax subsidies, collecting nearly 17 percent of the tax largesse that the government hands out. The largest single recipient of federal tax subsidies over the last three years was mega-bank Wells Fargo. link

    Good thing that he cut programs like WIC so that he could continue to pay for these government "hand outs" to his savvy business friends. Cutting domestic programs to give the top 1% more of the pie is the way to go. Can't you just see all that trickling down reflected in these numbers?

    US poverty at new high: 16 percent, or 49.1M

    By HOPE YEN, Associated Press - 13 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A record number of Americans -- 49.1 million -- are poor, based on a new census measure that for the first time takes into account rising medical costs and other expenses.

    Not one to sit on his current achievements, he is well on his way to helping government contractors continue to avoid paying taxes and as part of his grand bargain, Obama wants to lower the corporate and top income marginal rates by another 10 - 12% to be paid for by additional cuts to domestic and safety net programs. Why stop at a 16% poverty rate. Bet he can get it up another 10 or 15% before he is through.  


    MO Blue, I agree, (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:53:30 PM EST
    but unfortunately, you're whistling in the wind, trying to change ABG's mind.   ;-)

    No need for ABG to change his mind (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:55:24 PM EST
    since Obama's policies are designed specifically for Obama's savvy friends like ABG. He and his Wall St. buddies are doing fantastic in this environment.  

    My intent is more to counter ABG's  cheer leading and point out the extent in which Obama, despite any rhetoric to the contrary, is structuring legislation for the benefit of the 1% and how much the 99% will need to sacrifice so that Obama can accumulate his $1 billion campaign chest.    


    Clarification needed: (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:13:50 PM EST
    Are you saying that if not for the sexual harassment allegations you would be proud to call Cain a fellow alumnus?

    Morehouse? (none / 0) (#147)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:29:56 PM EST
    I am guessing they don't know what to think either.  Probably notable that I had to do some Googling to see where he went to school, I don't recall the Republican Party ever being particularly supportive of all-black or all-female higher learning institutions.

    Meanwhile, back on earth, Lindsay Lohan (none / 0) (#143)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:05:56 PM EST
    served almost five hours of her most recent thirty day sentence, whereupon she was released, again rehabilitated, for sure, for sure...

    Smokin Joe Frazier (none / 0) (#144)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:12:22 PM EST
    died tonight.

    Great fighter. (none / 0) (#146)
    by desertswine on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 11:25:17 PM EST
    An Irishman explains anger at Wall St. (none / 0) (#180)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 05:09:51 PM EST
    I just watched this video over at Shakesville. It is a man-in-the-street interview with a gentleman in Limerick, Ireland. "Twas a delight to listen to Mr. Rian explain things to the reporter from the financial news.

    Warning: Mr. Rian's language is... ummm... colorful. So, this may be NSFW. LINK