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    The liberty seeking people... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:04:38 PM EST
    of Iran have a much tougher road to travel...their tyrants are bringing out the jackboots and hard.  

    My heart goes out to them facing such long hard odds.

    And in Syria, a young woman sentenced to 5 years for blogging on trumped up espionage charges...my heart is with the people of Syria as well in their segment of the eternal struggle.

    I spect some people are going to die kdog (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:11:01 PM EST
    Big time... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    and no one is more aware than those brave souls on the street.

    CBS's Lara Logan (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:33:20 PM EST
    was sexually assaulted in Eqypt, during the celebration the day Mubarak resigned, rescued by a group of women and soldiers.

    I do plenty of press critique but it really odes take plenty of guts to cover a volatile situation first hand. My heart and respect go out to her and I hope she makes a complete physical and mental recovery.

    That's terrible (none / 0) (#36)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:55:11 PM EST
    and a terrible price for bravery.  My thoughts are with her.

    this is pretty cool (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:38:00 PM EST
    I didnt see this last night and just saw he won.

    The theme to Civilization IV made history last night by becoming the first song written specifically for a video game to win a Grammy award. Composer Christopher Tin accepted the award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists for the song "Baba Yetu" {wiki}. The lyrics are the Lord's Prayer in Swahili. Vocals are by the Soweto Gospel Choir. This video is for those who love the song and for those not familiar with it.

    this is sort of interesting (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 01:42:25 PM EST
    Shucks (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 01:58:48 PM EST

    Well, I'm not so sure (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:57:18 PM EST
    that I'm all that unhappy if there is not a government shut-down Tracy, since that might mean that Mr. Zorba will not get his paycheck or, even more importantly, money to run his lab.  And if there is no money to run his lab, his cell lines might die and his research on trying to do something about HIV-AIDS and other awful retroviruses will take a huge hit.  Which will set back research that could save lives.  

    Thanks for the reminder Z... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:01:37 PM EST
    sometimes my imagination gets the better of me, regarding what a government shutdown entails (No more DEA?  Sign me up!:).  

    The man still does a few things besides chaining and caging and the general spread of misery.


    There is that, kdog (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:16:22 PM EST
    Mr. Z is committed to science that saves lives.  He could have worked for a bio-tech company and made a whole he!! of a lot more money (as some of the people who were grad students and post-doctoral fellows with him did).  But he thought that the research he was doing was more important than research that would simply make some company more money.

    No good deed goes unpunished... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:38:05 PM EST
    or something like that.

    But the man did hit the soulmate lottery...so he's got that going for him:) As well as the all important looking in the mirror thing.


    See my reply to (none / 0) (#44)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:24:57 PM EST
    Capt Howdy. (#43)  We're not perfect, kdog, and we certainly have our fights and disagreements (hey, what can I say, I'm Greek/Cretan and he's Scottish- two more stubborn peoples you probably could not find!).  But when it comes to the big things, we are definitely both on the same page.  Help the helpless, the disabled, the poor, and the sick.  Preserve personal freedoms.  Expect that those who "have" to help those who "have not."  We get along.   ;-)

    you married well (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:41:54 PM EST
    Well, I certainly (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:17:28 PM EST
    like to think I did, thanks.  Mr. Z. and I are pretty much on the same page.  I don't mind the endless hours he puts in at work, nor does he mind all the volunteerism and activism I do.  We both think that what each of us does is important.  For the world, for the country, for the community.   ;-)

    There is always a flipside (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:04:21 PM EST
    Or positioning (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:56:26 PM EST
    With President Obama preempting now with a veto threat if the Repubs cut as much as they threaten, they all flirt with government shutdown...and the bad memories it holds for the GOP. Obama's official veto threat today ups the ante for Ryan & his group.

    Ah, I can see the headline now...... (none / 0) (#59)
    by NYShooter on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:44:36 PM EST
    "GOP budget will condemn another 24 million middle class citizens into a life of poverty, but Obama threatens veto!!!"

    "I will never agree to throwing 24 million more citizens into a life of poverty. When I said 22 million I meant 22 million!"

    "And not a single one more!!!"

    (I just love it when he gets mad and throws it back at the R's.)


    More Amanda Knox (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 01:57:23 PM EST
    Funny (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:07:08 PM EST
    Did you see this film? (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:37:46 PM EST
    Into Great Silence

    The Carthusian monks, who observe their vows of silence, ski one afternoon at their monastery.  My friend said, very loudly, finally they get to have some fun!


    An interesting write up (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:10:01 PM EST
    about Egypt's political realities on the ground and perhaps some decent background on what helped set it all off.

    It isn't as exciting as drooling on myself about the Muslim Brotherhood or flipping out about a horseman of the apocalypse spotted on top of the Great Sphinx though.

    Some good press coming Obama's way. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:21:04 PM EST

    NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller said, "We are grateful to the Obama Administration for recognizing the importance of public radio to the life of communities across the nation."

    Yoy get what you pay for.

    And yours reach the level of (2.00 / 0) (#62)
    by Rojas on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 08:25:23 PM EST
    cheese puff.

    Fundamentally equivalent.


    At least they're coming right out and (none / 0) (#10)
    by sj on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:39:00 PM EST
    saying it

    Administration Calls for Cutting Aid to Home Buyers

    But administration officials said they had concluded the country could no longer afford to sustain its commitment to minting homeowners. Better to help some people rent

    H/T to The Confluence who has their own take on this topic.

    you would think (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:42:34 PM EST
    there would be a position some place between encouraging people with no bank account to buy a house and not helping anyone.

    no offense Kdog.


    No kidding (none / 0) (#13)
    by sj on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:50:35 PM EST
    And I love this:  "better to help some people rent".  Ruefully LOL.  As if.  How are they going to "help" people rent?  By not providing assistance in home ownership.  

    Not all assistance is bad.  My first mortgage was made using funds designated for first time buyers.  I got a slightly lower interest rate, and a slightly smaller down payment.  But a 30 year FHA fixed mortgage came out the other end.  And I became a home"owner" and not a renter.  

    I wonder what the big slumlords have been been promised?


    so was mine (none / 0) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:52:07 PM EST
    it was in 2001.  never needed to own a house before then.

    None taken... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:56:17 PM EST
    no homebuying assistance for moi...if I ever buy it'll be in cash after the big score...so I'll be squatting before I'll be buying:)

    Not sure how I even feel about the concept of land and home ownership anyway...if you really think about, we're all just renting space.

    And who needs to lie down with dogs for the pleasure of owning 30 years of debt?  Especially when you'd need to suffer the humiliation of Uncie Sams "help" we've discussed today.

    No thanks, you guys can play that game.


    You called it this morning kdog (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:40:37 PM EST
    Only investors are buying houses right now - they will rent them out to the rest of us.

    see new plan (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:42:41 PM EST
    to promote renting

    It's official... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:57:25 PM EST
    my sweet old old-school landlady is not allowed to ever sell or die...where else will I find a handshake lease where I can smoke and have a dog and never be bothered in the slightest?  My joint might be one of the last of its kind in the United States.

    I predict great changes in your future! (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:39:55 PM EST
    Get ready to kiss your mortgage interest deduction (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:39:01 PM EST
    good-bye. I'm sure that is on the table as part of 'tax reform'.

    Hey... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:49:17 PM EST
    there's a new deduction available for breastfeeding equipment...I sh*t you not.  Just trade the house for a baby and you're all set tax-wise ruff!

    The deduction game is another one that is getting old.  I mean we've got yuppies raising alpacas for gods sake, just because of the deduction game...if thats not a sign of an issue with how we tax I don't know what is.  



    LOL I will gladly pay more taxes (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:54:54 PM EST
    rather than have a baby at this stage of the game.

    I do have an ex-coworker raising alpacas!


    There was talk... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:00:08 PM EST
    of closing the alpaca raising dedcution loophole too recently...its really comical.

    My friend, who was born in Canada, (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:42:09 PM EST
    says there was never a mortgage interest deduction in Canada.

    P.S.  Ruffin, any thoughts on where and when to get together w/kdog on Feb. 26?  He suggests we head for Theater District after first play and find a spot to quaff there before 7 pm "Earnest."

    In which case, he needs to call BAM and get a place on the BAM bus!


    More (none / 0) (#52)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:14:55 PM EST
    of that "shared" sacrifice.

    For $700K mortgages & higher, I believe (none / 0) (#56)
    by christinep on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:58:59 PM EST
    The budget (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 02:43:38 PM EST
    David Dayen, in a post looking at the education portion of the budget, wraps up that post with how it's emblematic of what's wrong with the entire thing:

    The money thrown around in the Race to the Top grant is paltry compared to what is needed to stave off mass layoffs of teachers and administrative personnel throughout the country. After all, federal dollars are less than 10 percent of education spending. But it's the emphasis here, on challenges and competitions, and the conceit of "investing" in schools at a time when they're hemorrhaging jobs, that rankles. The investment is simply not big enough to fit the crisis; and the focus on pitting schools against one another seeks to solve a nonexistent problem.

    This is the problem with the entire budget. It's having a different conversation than people and policymakers are having across the country. It talks about investment when the investment is too low to make a difference. It talks about austerity when the austerity is misplaced (and focused on far too narrow a slice of the budget, magnifying the austerity in those areas). It talks about challenges and competitive grants when the real problems go basically unaddressed. It seeks a middle course on virtually everything and ends up satisfying no one. And by accepting the argument that cuts are necessary even during a jobs crisis, it makes it nearly impossible that the worst cuts can be stopped.

    Middle Man strikes again!

    The Left thinks Obama is to the Right, the Right thinks Obama is to the Left. Each side keeps trying to grab the steering wheel to pull us in their direction and we keep heading down the same straight path.

    Economically, Obama is a Republican (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:31:08 PM EST
    His actions speak LOUDLY.  As does his economic team of Wall Street cronies and welfare kings.



    And no one wins (none / 0) (#31)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:49:31 PM EST
    Pick a bold course of action and go with it already.

    the hellwhack shiznit that happens... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:47:42 PM EST
    ruh roh (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:48:19 PM EST
    Nervous U.S. Navy Eyes on Bahrain

    Bahrain, an island tucked between Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the gulf's western shore with fewer than 1 million residents. The home of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet -- and a recently-launched $580 million U.S. expansion effort slated to double the U.S. Navy's acreage there -- could be in jeopardy if Bahrain's monarchy falls.

    that the U.S has ever (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:55:11 PM EST
    been interested in spreading freedom and democracy on principal is laughable. The people who still belive that are the same people who believe Ronald Regan was an able executive.

    We've only been intersted in democracy when in coincided with an investor-friendly climate.


    We would treat it like Guantanamo (none / 0) (#33)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:51:45 PM EST
    I have no doubt about it (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:57:18 PM EST
    will they use this as an excuse to bomb? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:49:48 PM EST
    oops (none / 0) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:52:10 PM EST
    A judge in Italy has ordered Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial in April on charges that he paid an underage girl for sex, and then abused his office by interfering in a police arrest of the young woman. The trial will be heard by a panel of three judges -- all women.

    Good ol' Curveball, who helped send us into Iraq (none / 0) (#41)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:13:30 PM EST
    admits he was lying.

    "Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

    There are no words...

    John Boehner doesn't care about unemployment (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:16:50 PM EST
    The GOP (none / 0) (#54)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:21:50 PM EST
    doesn't care about job losses period.  Full employment means demands for higher wages.

    Sadly (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 09:53:04 AM EST
    High unemployment numbers only help the GOP in 2012.

    But Boehner's lack of concern (none / 0) (#57)
    by christinep on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:00:40 PM EST
    ...that's not news. Only that he said it so openly.

    he probably thought (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:41:51 PM EST
    no one would notice.


    Rummy does Bart (none / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:18:55 PM EST
    I didnt do it

    What went wrong in Iraq? According to Donald Rumsfeld's memoir, U.S. difficulties stemmed not from the Pentagon's failure to plan for the war's aftermath - or Rumsfeld's unwillingness as defense secretary to provide enough troops to secure Iraqis after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.

    Bremer was a total idiot (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:16:18 PM EST
    And he brought a bunch of kids with him to work key positions that were like 22 years old, tried to be a king, fired the Iraqi Army, and DeBaathified.  Rummy could have said something though back then.  The military flipped out when CPA started doing what they did.  Why didn't Rummy support them and their freaking out back then, why didn't he say something or do something?  He had authority and he had the President's ear.  He could have done the noble thing.  He told the military to zip their concerns up and get to work doing Army stuff, he was having a hard time back then because he had to go to war with the Army he had and not the Army that he wished that he had.  Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Wolfie, Bremer, Condi...it was a full line up of idiots and they all did it.  Colin Powell too but at least he has the courage and common sense to be ashamed of himself for his part in it.

    If the Green Bay owns the Packers, are (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:13:48 PM EST
    the staff and players city employees.  Or are the investors just residents of the city?

    Conviction Forde Brisenia & Raul Flores (none / 0) (#63)
    by Scarabus on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 09:11:03 PM EST
    To me it seems relevant to the larger discussion, if not the individual trials, to know the legal and immigration status of the Flores family. My understanding is that Brisenia was born in the U.S. and is thus a U.S. citizen. I couldn't readily discover the immigration and citizenship status of her mom and dad, though.

    OK. I'll stipulate that I'm a lousy researcher. I'll stipulate that in this particular instance what matters most is that the Flores family were decent, law abiding folks. I'll stipulate that in an "ordinary" (sic!!) case of home invasion, robbery with violence, and murder the citizenship of the victims should be irrelevant.

    But there's nothing ordinary about this case. That's because of the location (uh ... Arizona?), the associations of the now convicted murderer and her associates (Minutemen), and the Latino culture of the victims. So why aren't citizenship and/immigration status mentioned by either side?

    Listening to Greenwald's interview (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:39:55 PM EST
    with Ratigan right now about HBGary....crazy