Saturday Night Open Thread

Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead before going to bed. You may lose an hour of sleep, but you'll gain an hour of sunlight starting tomorrow.

Update: Too funny. Verizon i-Phones apparently are falling back an hour instead of springing forward. The fix (and again it's only Verizon iPhones): "Restart your device to fix the issue and get the clock back to normal."

Here's another open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Groan (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 10:13:59 PM EST
    At least it's the weekend.

    Yeah, but there's nothing quite like (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 12:35:59 PM EST
    having to roll out of bed at what used to be 5:00 am, because the clock now says "6:00."

    Sunday nights are typically, for me, the night I have the hardest time going to sleep, so the first Monday after we start DST is a killer...


    Radiation levels (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 09:30:37 AM EST
    The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it would retest every full-body X-ray scanner that emits ionizing radiation -- 247 machines at 38 airports -- after maintenance records on some of the devices showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected.
    The TSA says that the records reflect math mistakes and that all the machines are safe. Indeed, even the highest readings listed on some of the records -- the numbers that the TSA says were mistakes -- appear to be many times less than what the agency says a person absorbs through one day of natural background radiation.
    The TSA "has repeatedly assured me that the machines that emit radiation do not pose a health risk," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a written statement Friday. "Nonetheless, if TSA contractors reporting on the radiation levels have done such a poor job, how can airline passengers and crew have confidence in the data used by the TSA to reassure the public?"

    She said the records released Friday "included gross errors about radiation emissions. That is completely unacceptable when it comes to monitoring radiation." link

    IIRC the public was told the air quality around ground zero was safe days after 9/11.

    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by sj on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:04:20 PM EST
    The TSA "has repeatedly assured me that the machines that emit radiation do not pose a health risk," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a written statement Friday.

    Because the TSA is just who I would go to if I had questions about health and safety.  How do these people keep getting re-elected?


    And some scoffed ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 06:06:08 PM EST
    when I suggested TSA officers needed dosimeters.  

    Obviously, they need them.  And, obviously, concern over radiation levels is a good reason to opt-out of full body scans.


    Well, at least Collins appears to be (none / 0) (#4)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 12:39:26 PM EST
    asking the same questions the rest of us have - the biggest one, of course, being, "how can we trust you anything the TSA says?"

    And on a side note that is also important, we're paying how much for this equipment?


    Friends in high places means that (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 01:54:01 PM EST
    money is no object or no deficit is too high when padding the pockets of political cronies.

    Michael Chertoff, Former Department of Homeland Security, is the head of the Chertoff Group, the lead cheerleader for what is being called the Full Body Scanner Lobby, reports the Washington Post and the Washington Examiner.
    A few days later the Washington Post revealed that Chertoff represents Rapiscan - a maker of full body scanners drawing criticism of groups who oppose full body scanners
    But the fully body scanner lobby is also littered with a number of companies vying for the $300 million dollars the government has set aside for this type of technology for airports. link

    Well now, that didn't take long... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 01:36:53 PM EST
    From CNN:

    P.J. Crowley abruptly resigned Sunday as State Department spokesman over controversial comments he made about the Bradley Manning case.

    Sources close to the matter the resignation, first reported by CNN, came under pressure from the White House, where officials were furious about his suggestion that the Obama administration is mistreating Manning, the Army private who is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia, under suspicion that he leaked highly classified State Department cables to the website Wikileaks.

    "Abruptly resigned" sounds a lot like "fired" to me...


    "The unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a serious crime under U.S. law," Crowley said in a statement Sunday. "My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership.

    "The exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values," Crowley said. "Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation."

    Crowley has told friends that he is deeply concerned that mistreatment of Manning could undermine the legitimate prosecution of the young private. Crowley has also made clear he has the Obama administration's best interests at heart because he thinks any mistreatment of Manning could be damaging around the world to President Obama, who has tried to end the perception that the U.S. tortures prisoners.

    Nevertheless, Crowley's political fate was sealed on Friday when Obama was asked at a White House news conference about his comments regarding Manning.

    Lord knows we can't mess with the perception that we don't torture...

    Jesus (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Rojas on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 01:53:12 PM EST
    Without so much as a beer summit to discuss their "legitimate differences of opinion".  

    No real surprise there (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 01:57:59 PM EST
    Can't have anyone even hinting that the U.S., with the consent of the president, is torturing the people they chose to torture.

    Reports (none / 0) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:19:03 PM EST
    are that Hillary was getting ready to replace him and Crowley managed to speed up the process.

    From Politico:

    "Crowley, a respected NSC spokesman under President Clinton, has never clicked with Secretary Clinton: He doesn't travel with the Secretary, which is crippling and unusual for someone in his post. His doom was sealed early this year when Mike Hammer, who had been the NSC spokesman, was reassigned to State. Technically, Hammer is Crowley's deputy. But everyone knows he is his likely replacement."


    No real suprise here either (none / 0) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:59:43 PM EST
    It is all Clinton's fault. :-(

    I would call it (none / 0) (#20)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 03:17:54 PM EST
    Crowley's fault, and obviously a longstanding issue that came to a head.

    Yep, speaking up for humane treatment (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 04:11:59 PM EST
    of prisoners is so unamerican. What was Crowley thinking? This is a Christian nation and everyone knows that Christ advocated for torturing thine neighbors and stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

    As (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 05:28:42 PM EST
    an agnostic secular humanist I would take offense with calling it a christian nation. I also don't see 23 hours a day of solitary as torture, but accept that many could reasonably believe and argue otherwise depending on the inmate.

    I do however agree with you that we are all free to speak up, and should anytime we believe someone is being wronged, but also know we should own the consequences from our actions just as PJ Crowley did when he blamed no one but himself for his demise at State.


    I would think that you are aware of the (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 06:12:23 PM EST
    fact that being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day is not the only issue. If for some reason you are in fact unaware of all aspects of his treatment, this excerpt from Glenn Greenwald provides some of the other issues.

    Let's review Manning's detention over the last nine straight months:  23-hour/day solitary confinement; barred even from exercising in his cell; one hour total outside his cell per day where he's allowed to walk around in circles in a room alone while shackled, and is returned to his cell the minute he stops walking; forced to respond to guards' inquiries literally every 5 minutes, all day, everyday; and awakened at night each time he is curled up in the corner of his bed or otherwise outside the guards' full view.  Is there anyone who doubts that these measures -- and especially this prolonged forced nudity -- are punitive and designed to further erode his mental health, physical health and will?  As The Guardian reported last year, forced nudity is almost certainly a breach of the Geneva Conventions; the Conventions do not technically apply to Manning, as he is not a prisoner of war, but they certainly establish the minimal protections to which all detainees -- let alone citizens convicted of nothing -- are entitled.

    The treatment of Manning is now so repulsive that it even lies beyond what at least some of the most devoted Obama admirers are willing to defend.  For instance, UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman -- who last year hailed Barack Obama as, and I quote, "the greatest moral leader of our lifetime" -- wrote last night:

       The United States Army is so concerned about Bradley Manning's health that it is subjecting him to a regime designed to drive him insane. . . . This is a total disgrace. It shouldn't be happening in this country. You can't be unaware of this, Mr. President. Silence gives consent.

    Well, examples have to be made (none / 0) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 03:13:51 PM EST
    of all that have been involved in, or even, indirectly, seem to support the kicking of the hornet's nest.  The State Department is no doubt still reeling from the size of the phone bills to embassies around the world caused by  the Wikileaks releases,  including the embarrassing, if not illegal, approval Secretary Clinton is reported to have given for spying on top  UN diplomats, including the UN Secretary General.  And, we have to protect the intelligence gained that helps so much in decision-making in critical places such as Libya, where our diplomatic cables have indicated that Qaddafi's Ukrainian nurse and companion is a blond bombshell.

    Well, that was expected (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by sj on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:12:47 PM EST
    But still, add that to the already huge disheartening list.

    We can't risk Obama being exposed to pointed and embarrassing questions. Especially when he's all focused on his WTF campaign.


    I think WTF is a good acronym for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 03:03:13 PM EST
    I know I've spent much of the last two years going WTF in reaction to much of his rhetoric and most of his policies.

    Imagine (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:29:01 PM EST
    my surprise.  Not really.

    heh (none / 0) (#17)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 03:02:49 PM EST
    no way

    oh wait - he "resigned" - right


    You wouldn't know it from mainstream media (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Towanda on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 04:23:17 PM EST
    with their usual attention deficit disorder, but the Wisconsin story still is going -- and growing.  Yesterday's rally in Madison (in addition to protests still all across the state) topped 100,000, the largest yet, including most of the Wisconsin 14 as well as celebs Sarandon and Shalhoub aka Monk, a Green Bay native.  Find his speech; he was great, especially in introducing his "thug" union-member sister, a Wisconsin teacher.

    And the recall movement there is historic in its reach that could remake the state legislature by this summer, retaking it from the Republicans; see analyses at madison.com and jsonline.com.  One of the recalls targeting a powerful Republican state senator already has more than a third of the signatures needed, after only a few days.

    Also, of interest to some on this blog may be court cases coming this week about challenges to the legality of a lot of what Republican legislators did last week in passing part of Walker's plan.

    Thanks for the Wisconsin update. (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 05:06:08 PM EST
    I scour the toobz every day for news from the Dairy State because, as usual, our famously free press is useless to me unless I am searching for Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan updates.

    Cream City, I imagine, is in the thick of all this. I wish we could get her take on what is happening in Wisconsin. If you are still reading TL, CC, please know I'm thinking about you and pulling for you and all the others in Wisconsin.


    Wow (none / 0) (#28)
    by sj on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 06:46:17 PM EST
    I haven't had a chance for the last few days to "take the temperature" of what is happening in Wisconsin but I just spent the last hour in awe.

    The bar for recall is pretty high.  What is your take on the possible level of success.

    I'm not too worried about a successful recall of the 14 Democratic senators who left the state.  Should I be?  I feel like it's the crazies just thumping their chests, but I'm not there.

    Thanks for all your efforts keeping this alive and well in this corner of the universe.


    Good...'glad to see your update. (none / 0) (#29)
    by christinep on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 07:01:37 PM EST
    I've been waiting for your comments on the weekend, towanda.  As for coverage, I almost choked on my coffee this morning while reading several pages inside the front section of the Denver Post about the estimated 85,000 to 100,000 protesters in Madison. But, it was at the top center of the right page--easy to see & easy to read in the Denver Post.

    If you have the time, look at the Denver Post's columnist, Mike Littwin, on the editorial page today. A great column that proudly proclaims why this is a victory for the unions not only in Wisconsin but all across the country.  Strong column...he is a member of the editorial board & a top columnist for the Denver Post.  (Side note: Unlike most of the Post staff--my observation & opinion--the Post's publisher Dean Singleton is aggressively anti-union who demanded a front page editorial a few years back against then-Governor Ritter's executive order providing for collective bargaining for public employees and the same Singleton several weeks back fired a similar shot across the bow to the new Governor Hickenlooper pushing him to rescind the order.  Well...for now, the Post has fallen a bit silent in its editorials about the matter, after the handwriting was on the wall about what people think.)

    'Loved the welcome given to the Fab 14 Dem Senators.  


    Sorry, that's a pretty dumb column (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Towanda on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 10:27:55 PM EST
    Moral victories don't pay mortgages and put food on the table; Walker won his hit of as much as 12 percent in take-home pay for state workers and a lot if lesser cuts coming in pay of other public employees, a total estimated at 10 percent of the families in Wisconsin.  He needs to read the local papers about the demoralization of the workers Mondays through Fridays, before they march on Madison on Saturdays.

    And worst of all, he credits the state's Democratic Party for the massive protests -- because he thinks that the unions and the Dems are the same anymore.  He misses that pride in individuals in the Wisconsin 14 coexists with disgust with both parties.  The state Democratic Party has been missing in action; the protests have politicized more nonvoters who will be Independents, per the polls.  

    I don't see signs of research on his part, just reaction.  Typical of too many in media.  They think that research is harrrd worrrk -- when even I can find so much solid evidence out there in an amazing network, linked by social media.  But most of the mainstream media have no idea how to find those; they can't even define those.


    I'm not sure (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by sj on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 11:57:59 PM EST
    what you saw, but I read typical pundit-ese.  He trivializes the sacrifices that thousands of individuals are making and will continue to make.  He wrote a typical, bated breath horse-race piece and ticked off a check mark in the "Dem" column.  Along with the requisite barely veiled insult, of course.

    The wild comedy that took place this last week in Wisconsin
    I doubt this is the start of some reborn union movement, although if you want to break out Joan Baez's "Joe Hill," it's OK by me.
    If you see Democrats suddenly growing bold, maybe even taking a large risk on entitlement reform, you'll know that what happened in Wisconsin really mattered. Now that would be really strange.

    Oh, and at the outset, a gratuitous Gringrich smirk about something "that didn't actually happen in Wisconsin but it was too weird to leave out"

    I'm offended and I only spent a couple of hours reading about what is happening in Wisconsin.

    If I read the wrong column I apologize, but if this is the one you meant I sure don't see what you see.


    I read it, too, and have to agree (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 07:12:20 AM EST
    with both you and Towanda - that was not, in my opinion, anything to get all excited about - there was too much gratuitous snark, and it wasn't even good snark - he was trying too hard.

    Not at all impressed; it seemed comparable to the traffic reports I hear every morning, where it seems easier to just say that traffic is jammed between two points because that's what tends to happen, than it is to report on actual conditions.  I guess the theory is that most people aren't going to notice or care, so what's the point of working harder than one has to?

    Except I'm guessing that a lot of Democrats did notice and do care, and we're getting a little peeved about it.


    thanks christinep (none / 0) (#35)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:19:05 PM EST
    for the pointer to the Littwin column

    i take this as the money quote:

    Every poll I saw showed people in Wisconsin and, for that matter, people across America taking the unions' side -- and by significant margins. What must worry Republicans is that the big gain for unions comes from so-called Reagan Democrats, from Obama's bitter clingers. If Republicans are to win back the White House in 2012, they have to win the Midwestern industrial states, like, yes, Wisconsin. They can't do it without these voters. . . . Why the sudden support for unions that, in the private sector, now represent something like 7 percent of the workers? Why the support when union-bashing seems like a safe thing to do? There are many theories, but among them is the notion that laying the blame on middle-class workers, who are trying to get by like everyone else, who are maybe not parasites, seems unfair, in sort of the way that child labor seemed unfair all those years ago.

    another takeaway is that Walker's overreach gives cover to Obama & the rest of the pro-Wall Street Dems in 2012 b/c it so flagrantly (& accurately of course) "brands" the GOP as anti-worker

    as for the tone of the column - meh - sounded like faux Gail Collins but i didn't mind it


    The reason I liked Littwin's column (none / 0) (#36)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:17:53 PM EST
    Littwin is known in these parts for being sharp, sometimes snide/sarcastic, occasionally flip (and skewering)...and very practical. To me, he makes an important point about Wisconsin Walker's overreach: That is a gift for many in the long run because it exposes where Walker/his followers/his political group are coming from. That exposure raises the likelihood that the travesty in Wisconsin may signal the nadir of this latest round of union-busting. (Littwin, BTW, holds nothing sacrosant in his columns; that is why a number of people out here read him and--when he does a bit of the skewer--take him seriously. He has an effect. You might also be interested to know that the last time I saw Littwin was at the Colorado AFL-CIO union hall in north Denver; he remains in good graces with them in so far as I know.)

    Forgive me if I jumped too quickly to the political implications aspect of Wisconsin. As a person, whose household and relatives' households were directly effected by the desperation that can come with a lockout or the desperation, dogged determination of a strike, I do fully appreciate how the immediate loss might feel.

    Looking down the road...as Littwin did...this may be shaping up as the classic "win the battle, lose the war" for Walker (&, ergo, Repubs.) The polls in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana are more than strongly suggesting that. And, as for polls: Note that union families in Wisconsin have now gone from 44% approval ante to about 30% approval post Wisconsin. It seems to me that, for those of you who have advocated that the issues be joined in so many area head on...that is exactly what this is. That is exactly what Mike Littwin said in his sly, humorous way. It is not beltway...it is out here in the western "hinterlands."


    Clarification (none / 0) (#37)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:23:34 PM EST
    The approval numbers in last paragraph refer to the diminishing number of union families approving of Walker. If it stays in that neighborhood (see also Kasich' new numbers in Ohio) it means a much more Democratic-friendly turnout in 2012. Whter you want that to happen or not isn't the point. The real point is that with such a situation should produce not just Democratic victories but also reduce the Koch bros/union bashing/anti-teachers actions.

    all good outcomes (none / 0) (#38)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 03:34:23 PM EST
    it means a much more Democratic-friendly turnout in 2012. . . . should produce not just Democratic victories but also reduce the Koch bros/union bashing/anti-teachers actions

    as far as i am concerned


    No, not all good outcomes (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Towanda on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:37:02 PM EST
    in Wisconsin, where families are being devastated.

    How nice for the national Democrats, though.  Maybe they all could put on their "comfortable shoes," as their leader promised, to come to Wisconsin one of these days and do something to earn those votes.

    Reports from the rallies I've read that, other than the fighting Dems in the legislature, other local Dem pols who finally began to show up in the last week or so for their races in a few weeks are getting the dismissal they deserve.

    If not by now, Dems, then when?

    If not in Wisconsin, Dems, then where?

    Pffft.  The party is useless in the long term.


    The only way to alter (none / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:51:20 PM EST
    what Governor Walker and his bunch have done is via plain old political change at this point. The devastation to the public employees is real, extensive--my husband & sister were state public employees, many of my cousins were/are public employees in different states (teachers, e.g.), and I spent 30 years in the federal employ-- and, that is why I feel so strongly that the people deserve redress. That redress is most practically had (in my estimation) by pursuing recalls, working to re-elect individuals who support the public employee unions, etc. In my life, I honestly see no other way to obtain that practical ASAP redress, including the restoration of union collective bargaining, than to elect other people. And--from a non-theoretical standpoint, the way to alleviate the loss & to restore their positions is to elect the party that opposes the Republicans. That would suggest that the choice would be: Democrats.

    Sorry towands for my somewhat sarcastic tone here. Please realize that I and others do comprehend, we do feel and we will support the political means to get that change.


    what you are describing (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 07:01:01 PM EST
    is realpolitik


    politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives

    the same practical & material factors that figure so largely in the lives of public employees & other union members as well as to other working people who don't have the luxury of spending their days splitting split-ends of hairs on comment boards


    A quick addition (none / 0) (#41)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:58:39 PM EST
    AFL-CIO leader R. Trumka, I believe, is forcefully fupporting the real political efforts that must be pursued. He has also spoken on the various Sunday shows, e.g., about the strategic approach of allowing the homegrowth movement to grow without interference from the national political players. To do otherwise would have wrongfully diminished the role of the workers and misplaced the attention. Judging how people are reacting in polls and in general, the refusal to take the Republican bait was smart for the union and workers and the party...because now there is a real chance of overturning Walker with public support.

    Overturning at the next election? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Towanda on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 09:51:05 PM EST
    Or even waiting the year required for a recall?

    Sure.  That will happen.  But it will be too late to recover for the working class for at least a decade.  Look, I really have to ask:  Are you reading at all what has gone down in Wisconsin -- and soon elsewhere?  Do you understand that public employee unions, the majority of union members in the state, have been destroyed?  That is not hyperbole.  Have you read what the new law requires of unions?  

    I'm glad that a couple of people here are concerned, but there really cannot be constructive discussion unless there is understanding of the destructiveness of the new law in Wisconsin -- and soon elsewhere.

    And the intent now has been stated as destroying the major source of national Democratic Party funding: unions.  So to talk of how this is going to help the Dems, when unions cannot collect even their dues anymore to donate to campaigns, well . . . I've tried, I've failed here.  

    And this is one of the most thoughtful blogs.  So this does not bode well.  To have fighting Dems, you have to have thinking Dems, so you have to have Dems who follow closely and understand the result of Citizens United -- the disuniting of the unions, the donors in the major Dem states for 2012.


    Yes, I am quite well aware (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 10:52:55 PM EST
    I read several Wisconsin papers on line, including the Milwaukee Sentinel. I've read the legislation, listened to local & national commentary.  In Colorado: I've spoken at length with teachers here who are quite active in their union...including an old friend who has represented Colo PERA in the past at the negotiation table. I have also been in contact with union officials over the years; and, spoke about this issue less than two weeks ago with the outgoing Colorado Democratic Chair and with the incoming the new State Chair (whose whole family hails from a union background.) In sum: My interest has been longstanding, real, and borne of actual experience. (Heck, I forgot to mention the year or so my husband & I spent in the 70s after he was denied tenure as a college professor along with some others there who were instrumental in establishing a union.)

    As for the immediate concerns: My question concerns whether there is an established fund for those who might lose positions? Also: Does the state public employees union have a funding device to help its members through a hard time? How to contribute?  I'm guessing there are some intermediate needs that people would be happy to help out with in Wisconsin & beyond.

    Now, to repeat: The recall effort and later mobilization is the most practical way to restore what has been lost. Near as I can tell (unless the court challenge works.) That recall effort must succeed.


    In case I sound harsh, towanda (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 11:14:20 PM EST
    Understand that I empathize. Understand that I am more aware than you may think about the central role of unions in our society. Understand that I appreciate what families go through in hard times (to restate: my background in solid blue-collar union, and originally descend from UMW.) What my comments to you have been about is: Work hard on the next practical step...recall of the 8 Republican legislators...change that quorum count. As I understand it, that whole process can occur within the next several months. That is soon.

    in the long term we are all useless (none / 0) (#43)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 07:27:30 PM EST
    as for the short term in which we actually live & in which families in Wisconsin & elsewhere are being devastated, comment #40 says it best imo

    Please see #44 (none / 0) (#45)
    by Towanda on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 09:52:16 PM EST
    as #40 applies to politics as usual, politics as you have seen politics played before.

    That's not how politics will be played now.


    How--practically & actual step by step? (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 11:15:43 PM EST
    If you have a crystal ball (none / 0) (#49)
    by Towanda on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 09:43:53 AM EST
    among your many nifty tools to tell us all about politics, tell us.

    Heard the phrase "uncharted waters"?


    I'm back again (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by christinep on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:15:11 PM EST
    to ask what you would do--specifically--both to provide relief to the Wisconsin public employees and to bring about the recall first of the eligible Republican state senators who took the final action that led to the current state?

    Yes, I'm pushy. And, yes, you are being a bit snide (in my read) by baiting with phrases like "nifty tools." We both share the same concerns...let us respect each other for that. Respect that we can talk about what steps we can and must take...and, the logistics of how to do that.  I think that is fair to ask from either of us?


    Let's talk Track and Field. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 07:32:18 PM EST
    College basketball gets all the love in March, but the big story in my world is the Oregon Ducks women's track and field team. These athletes just won their second consecutive NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship.

    A nod goes to Jordan Hasay who won both the mile and the 3,000 meters runs.

    Go, Ducks!

    I'm patiently waiting (none / 0) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 10:33:34 AM EST
    for the Penn Relays and the Prefontaine Classic

    These are some strange times (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 01:12:43 PM EST
    we be livin in.  Anonymous anounces A99 Operation Empire State Rebellion, and they say this is their first communication.  I can't say that I disagree with anything that Anonymous asserts in this video, but I don't know what to make of this.  No matter how I feel about what the oligarchy has done to the world economy, I will only be a spectator.....I can barely run a smart phone.  It is fascinating though to me.  Exactly how much force will Anonymous be able to exert on the ripoff artists who run everything right now?  I really like this retool of campaign finance and lobbying they are shooting for.  Can Anonymous get done what none of the rest of us can and are only lied to about every campaign season?

    From the "send 'em your cash" file (none / 0) (#7)
    by Rojas on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 01:40:01 PM EST
    As the Adam Walsh Act is in line to become a victim of Norquist in the state with second-largest sex offender database in the nation one would suppose that "liberal Democrats" would be on board with a Do Not Resuscitate order.
    Paging Dr. Sheila Jackson-Lee:

    "What is more important and more precious than our children?" Jackson Lee asked.

    "The cost for Texas is considerable, but the impact on saving the lives of children warrants that kind of investment," Jackson Lee said.

    Of course, if you've been around for a while, "doing it for the children" was the mantra in the call for federal funds flowing into the states that directly led us to statistics like this.

    In a related Grits post Blast from the Past
    He relates to the Ann Richards-era push for "the greatest expansion of prison beds in the history of the free world"

    When Gov. Ann Richards was elected in 1990, Texas operated fewer than 50,000 prison beds; today we're at 154,000, with most of the expansion authorized during her tenure.

    Lest anyone submit that this is a personal obsession about them, don't flatter yourself. It's the narrative that I reject. The notion that DLC was just a school uniform head fake is not the position of an honest broker when the human wreckage is all around us.

    Actually (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 02:31:18 PM EST
    I don't have a problem with the sex offender data base so much as I have a problem with how they classify someone as a sex offender. The sex offender data base should be only for true pedophiles not people who have sex with teenagers.

    Frank Rich explains his departure for (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 06:09:54 PM EST
    New York Magazine.  See NYT.  And, gives a very general apology for NYT's failure in advance of U.S. invasion of Iraq.  

    Also, guess why I-10 West intersection from I-5 South was closed down yesterday afternoon?  Big marijuana bust.  Grow lights, etc.  Adjacent to I-10.