Thursday Afternoon Open Thread


Open Thread.

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    25,000 people in Madison; a few (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 06:22:40 PM EST
    special interests. A handful of tea party loudmouths at a town hall meeting? The voice of all Americans.

    The "citizen filbuster" hearings (none / 0) (#8)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:18:56 PM EST
    that went on all night and the next day in front of Dem legislaturs taking turns, after the Repubs cut off the official hearing, is being rerun sometimes on this link a friend sent.  I watched some it live, riveting testimony.  And the link is running other live and videos of the protest from four or five days now.

    Rachel Maddow is (none / 0) (#33)
    by brodie on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:11:02 PM EST
    getting to the heart of the issue right now:  it's not just about busting unions but about politics.  Take out the unions and you take out an important funding and GOTV source for the Dem Party.

    Good for her for speaking the plain truth.


    Just saw that and (none / 0) (#37)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:14:38 PM EST
    that's what Schultz has been saying all week, too:  That this is the 2012 election to be won or lost, depending upon whether the national Dems step up to stop this first battle in Wisconsin before the war goes forward elsewhere.  So that O'Donnell and Maddow picked up the story tonight, too, may make a major difference to get the national Dems noticing this.  We will see if she echoes O'Donnell echoing Schultz:  Where is Harry Reid on this?  Pelosi?

    Schultz did it: Pelosi just sent (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:36:13 PM EST
    a message of strong support to Wisconsin workers.

    At last.  Now:  Next?


    I've missed Ed lately (none / 0) (#42)
    by brodie on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:19:47 PM EST
    but will be checking back in tonight for sure.  Ed is your go-to union guy, just about alone in teevee these days.

    And the national Dem response has been curiously quiet -- sort of wtf and par for the course for this tepid crop of contemporary Dems.


    And Obama also better fix (none / 0) (#51)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:15:24 PM EST
    his waffling on the Wisconsin situation, if he wants votes there again in 2012.  

    Of course, if he really wants to win Wisconsin again, he would fly in to Madison again -- this time, the crowd already is there and waiting.


    You'd think ... (none / 0) (#55)
    by brodie on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:27:18 PM EST
    this is after all a must-win Dem state and it's about a meat-n-potatoes Dem issue about workers' right to organize.

    But then, after two years of this guy, I'm not surprised by his moderate kinda pro-union fence straddling.  

    I think he has waffling and avoiding conflict and making nice with the other side deeply ingrained in his personal being -- maybe more than he or most realize.


    But you'd think that a Chicago Dem (none / 0) (#56)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:31:46 PM EST
    would know that this huge Repub attack on unions is almost an engraved invitation to show what Dems used to be about, anyway.

    I guess I keep forgetting that these union folks in the Heartland are just clinging to their guns and God and Bibles.  Doesn't he know that their most beloved passage in the Bible is the chapter and verse about collective bargaining rights?


    Bravissimo! Wonderful! (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by christinep on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 06:32:32 PM EST
    For the zest, determination, and pizzazz of the teachers, public employees, and all their supporters in Wisconsin. 'Love ya Wisconsin Democratic representatives...enjoy your stay in Illinois (or wherever else you may travel.) The long-run here will only enhance the workers, and diminish this joke of a vengeful governor.

    While Rockford... (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 06:53:58 PM EST
    ...is perfectly serviceable, on whole I'd rather be in Dubuque.

    Vive le revolution fromage!


    The whole thing is pretty cool... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:10:02 PM EST
    Yeah, extremely cool. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:34:24 PM EST
    I love that they bussed themselves out. The People's limo!

    That explains why they are staying at (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:01:08 PM EST
    The Clock Tower Inn. it has long been a local Greyhound stop. I used to catch the bus to college there.

    State senator "in hiding" now (none / 0) (#7)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:11:19 PM EST
    on MSNBC -- "from an undisclosed location," etc.  She's great.

    But yes, Rockford?  Why not Chicago?  Plus, the road from Madison to Chicago has all those great outlets, cheese shops, and -- ahem -- "adult stores."


    Well... (none / 0) (#15)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:52:43 PM EST
    ...my college g/f was from Rockford.  I know it all too well...

    She got wise and moved to the Left Coast.

    Dubuque is the oldest city in Iowa, has better beer and wine, excellent German food, gambling and is situated on the mighty Mississippi.  For Iowa, its a pretty nice little town.


    Um hawk eye? Are you my college boyfriend? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:54:24 PM EST
    Could well be. (none / 0) (#24)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:03:08 PM EST
    Did you work at the Iowa City Village Inn and have to wear a gawd awful brown polyester uniform?

    Ha ha- nope! (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:06:58 PM EST
    Howard Johnson's in turquoise cotton! But we are all the same girl!

    Mmmmmm. (none / 0) (#39)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:16:44 PM EST
    HoJo's fried clams.  The only way I can stomach those things...

    I still get cravings! (none / 0) (#43)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:20:26 PM EST
    Dubuque is fascinating (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:07:57 PM EST
    not just for Iowa but for anywhere.  The scenery, that incredible bluff, the Mines of Spain where the founder of Dubuque landed from Quebec and married into the local tribe, and then the story of the reclaiming of the story of "Madame Potosa Dubuque" after centuries of denying that history -- I really liked a trip there and some time around the town.

    But I missed the gambling, so I guess I'll have to go back. :-)  


    Yes, I loved it too many years ago (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:13:54 PM EST
    So nice to see those bluffs and hills while living in the flatlands.  Well worth a visit.

    Hey hey hey now (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:53:23 PM EST
    The Clock Tower Inn in Rockford is a fine establishment, about 10 minutes away from my childhood home. I'm sure they are enjoying the conference facilities and indoor pool! Of course they can always move up the road to The Sweden House for a real taste of The Rock.

    Rockford has the advantage of being a straight shot down the interstate from Madison. I'm sure that's why it was chosen, and not for the museum of ruffian potential.


    And speaking of Rockford, (none / 0) (#35)
    by brodie on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:12:48 PM EST
    let's not forget to mention The Rockford Files -- an outstanding, entertaining show from the 1970s starring James Garner.

    Not to mention John B Anderson (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:16:25 PM EST
    1980 independent candidate for president! He really had a chance against Reagan.

    I did not know that -- (none / 0) (#45)
    by brodie on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:30:18 PM EST
    he is still my only non-Dem vote for prez.

    I hope the Dems are able to successfully hold out there -- now that we've used up so much time and bandwidth talking about Rockford.

    Though may I say for the record that it would have been even more fitting and appropriate, given the historic nature of this protest, had the Dems chosen a town located in the Little Egypt section of that state ...


    Don't forget the great Jane Addams (none / 0) (#53)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:18:54 PM EST
    either, who grew up near there and went to Rockford College before heading to England, encountering the settlement-house movement, and returning to Illinois to found the settlement movement in this country, in Chicago.  Her Hull-House still is there, part museum now but also still providing services to immigrants for well more than a century.

    I never knew she went to Rockford College (none / 0) (#58)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:37:37 PM EST
    I only associate her with Chicago. thanks!

    I read a good new bio (none / 0) (#59)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:58:27 PM EST
    of Addams recently, so I remembered that -- because I have fond memories of tours of Hull-House that made her one of my heroes, as she was to millions in her time.

    They remade a pilot (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 09:36:58 AM EST
    And are trying to shop it around.
    Can anyone replace James Garner?

    I've often thought (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 01:41:13 PM EST
    'Justified' reminds me a little of The Rockford files.

    I do love me some Raylan! (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 03:53:42 PM EST
    and I forgot Cheap Trick! (none / 0) (#63)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 01:42:58 PM EST
    until Molly at atrios's place reminded me. Local Rockford band!

    When I lived there it was simply (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:58:37 PM EST
    The Rockford Airport. It was right down the road from the Howard Johnson's where my mom worked. I drove guests to the airport from time to time, but I don't believe there were even commercial flights at the time. All private planes and charters serving the local industries.

    Will Melo be a Knick, Net, Laker or (none / 0) (#4)
    by magster on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 06:54:09 PM EST
    stay a Nugget?

    Survivor was as good last night as its ever been.

    At this point... (none / 0) (#5)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:04:48 PM EST
    ...I don't care--I just want it over.  I really don't want to see Chauncey leave though.

    The whole self-involved, greedy... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:06:54 PM EST
    prima donna who couldn't play defense to save his life holds local fans hostage melodrama.

    Please do.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:20:07 PM EST
    just not for Chandler, Gallo, and my man Ray Felton...too steep.

    Starting disc 1 of 13 of "The Girl with the (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:31:02 PM EST
    Dragon Tattoo."  Six month wait to reach #1 in the "queue" at libs.  

    Only seen the movie (none / 0) (#11)
    by Raskolnikov on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:34:35 PM EST
    Great piece of cinema.  Interestingly my brother bought me the book two years prior to my seeing the movie and it just sat on the shelf.  Still haven't picked it up as I'm chugging through Vonnegut again.  Let us know what you think.

    These are Vonnegut times (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:53:56 PM EST
    I have a stack of new books that I'm trying to read,  I have a membership and a carefully selected queue and a new one shows up every month :) But most of them don't fit how I wake up feeling every morning at all.  Vonnegut makes perfect sense right now.

    But I remember the first time I read him in high school and I'm thinking to myself "Who is this crazy lunatic?  This book really made it into print?  Someone found it meaningful?"


    He made perfect sense to me... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:01:32 PM EST
    ...back then, but then I'm a crazy lunatic as well.  

    It was meaningful to me--and it saved me from reading Ayn Rand!


    Ayn Rand made perfect sense (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:44:07 PM EST
    A beautiful intelligent young woman with perky breasts impeccably dressed in houndstooth, holding an aspirin between her knees in order to focus on a long hard day's work in bringing a new metal to the world and the global markets :)

    Wisconsin... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:15:42 PM EST
    the first thing I thought of was Kurt.

    WE ARE America's Great Lakes people, her freshwater people, not an oceanic but a continental people. Whenever I swim in an ocean, I feel as though I am swimming in chicken soup.

    It's a great speech, check it out.


    I listened to the series too (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:05:26 PM EST
    rather than reading. It's fun to hear the pronunciations.

    Now that you are reading it I will have to find the link to a brief Nora Ephron parody. I will make sure it has no spoilers first.

    I downloaded my 43 hours of Shantaram the other night. Have not started yet.


    Dang, too many spoilers in the Ephron piece (none / 0) (#34)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:11:05 PM EST
    The spoilers reach all the way into the second book. When you are ready, google Nora Ephron Stieg Larson and click the New Yorker article. Really funny.

    Just finished the film trilogy (none / 0) (#31)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:10:25 PM EST
    and really liked the last one a lot, something about the editing or production values improved -- especially taking out even more of the subplots that are fine in print but not so good for film.

    But I liked all three, although it helped a lot to have read the books. We finally switched from Neflix by mail and the long waits to accessing via computer to the teevee.  No waits.  Nice!


    Colin Powell, in an interview with (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:01:54 PM EST
    "The Guardian" was asked about the Iraqi source, "Curveball", who admitted that he made up his stories about WMD because he wanted to see an end to Saddam. Powell responded "that the question should be put to the CIA and the Pentagon as to why this wasn't known before the false information was put in the National Intelligence Estimate, sent to Congress, the presidents SOTU, and my presentation to the UN."  

    When Powell spoke to the UN in 2003 he said his claims of WMD were "backed up by sources, solid sources...These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence."  All this was said with CIA Director George Tenet seated behind him in full camera-view, while Powell flashed a vial of white powder, which was talc.

     Col Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff, stated tonight on MSNBC that he and the Secretary were lied to and manipulated, maybe by Cheney. In fact, Wilkerson wondered at the time why the UN Ambassador was not asked to deliver this speech as Adlai Stevenson was asked to do at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, concluding that the Administration wanted Powell's credibility, such as it was.

    Powell is just as responsible for spreading (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:36:25 PM EST
    those lies as anyone else in that administration. I do not for minute believe that Powell did not know that everything he said to the UN that day was a lie.

    And of course the administration wanted Powell's credibility, which should have made Powell wary and more careful about what he was saying. At that point in time, Colin Powell was quite possibly the one person in this country who could have stopped that disgraceful rush to war. That he chose Bush and Cheney over the country's welfare and his own honor is a decision that hopefully will haunt him until the day he dies.

    I don't know why anyone would believe anything Colin Powell says after that.


    He had to know (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:51:39 PM EST
    Add another one to the list from yesterday.

    Something going on with the Euro (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 06:51:31 AM EST
    yesterday and today.  Many people are reading it that some financial entity is going under.  Debate about if this will be the domino that will collapse the insolvent Euro financial systems.  Nobody knows if the Central banks can control a panic.  They will try though.