Monday Night Open Thread

Newt Gingrich is running for President. Does anyone care? I don't. He's got so much baggage he doesn't have a prayer.

Republicans today blocked the nomination of James Cole as #2 at the Justice Department. The vote is here.

President Obama will stand at the U.S. Mexican border tomorrow, and according to the Washington Post, take credit for "cracking down on illegal immigration."

The president is expected to reel off what his aides say is evidence of an unprecedented focus on border security: hundreds of millions of dollars spent since he took office on high-tech fencing, aerial drones and a doubling of the border patrol since 2004. The result, aides say, has been a steep decline in illegal incursions and plummeting crime rates in U.S. border communities from Texas to California.

How depressing. All of it. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Bin Laden is Dead & We're Mad as H*ll (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:17:13 AM EST
    Not Safe for Work

    YouTube Link

    Good one! (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ruffian on Tue May 10, 2011 at 07:53:25 AM EST
    Put it on my facebook :) (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:45:58 AM EST
    Put it on dKos ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Edger on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:21:26 PM EST
    Hah! That was great... (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by desertswine on Tue May 10, 2011 at 08:44:31 PM EST
    "Everything's a conspiracy when you don't know what the hell's goin' on!"

    Cortege train: perfect. (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:22:51 AM EST
    Find out new things all the time (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 10, 2011 at 07:19:44 AM EST
    University City, MO just passed a Domestic Partnership Ordinance.

    University City became the first city in St. Louis County to pass an ordinance protecting domestic partnerships Monday night.  Council members approved the creation of a domestic partnership registry, meaning partners who live together, same sex or not, will be given the same rights as husbands and wives.
    The bill creates a domestic partnership registry, meaning people who are in a partnership can register at city hall to ensure they get the same rights as others:  visitation at health care facilities or jails, the right to make decisions regarding medical treatments or funerals, and the declaration that they are family, or "next of kin", in an emergency. link

    I wasn't aware of this but Saint Louis City, Kansas City, Columbia and Jackson County already have domestic partner registries. Individual areas finding ways around the stupidity of our state voting to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

    Kudos to whoever (none / 0) (#121)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:58:39 PM EST
    thought of this idea.  I wonder what your lege is going to do to forbid it?

    More depressing comin' at ya... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 08:34:09 AM EST
    Bedwetter Schumer (D) wants to make the no-fly list a "no-ride list", no planes, no trains, don't know about buses.

    Hey Chuckie, how are all the people on the no-fly in error supposed to get a ride?  Not to mention you need not be convicted of any crime to get on the stupid thing...talk about un-american.

    Would it be disrespectful to (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:08:16 AM EST
    call to Senator Schumer's attention that you really do not have to board the train to sabotage it or the tracks it runs on?

    No disrespect... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:18:58 AM EST
    but likely a pointless excercise...Chuckie probably has his heart set on scoring more federal anti-terror funds, whether we are safer for it or merely needlessly hassled makes no difference.

    I can't wait till the "no shopping mall" list comes out.


    Why would Schumer worry (none / 0) (#32)
    by Rojas on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:49:58 AM EST
    about objective analisys?
    You're talking about a guy who was pitching the need for more deregulation of WS right up to the time the flood waters sunk the boat.
    The Rs will call him a socialist and the Ds will say he's all for the common man, a giant who stands up to the Rs and fights for core Democratic principles.
    The VSP will harp to this theme. The reactionaries will dance to it.

    Train to and from L.A. Sunday--no (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:28:10 AM EST
    changes perceptible.  Still have to sign the ticket purchased on line.  But no request to show ID.  

    LA Times (none / 0) (#51)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:39:13 AM EST
    did an article, the trains and light rail service managed to take 'security precautions' without a "No-ride list".

    Existing rail security measures... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:40:40 AM EST
    aka "see something say something" got 4 young urban explorers pinched here back east.

    Not that I would ever dream of dropping a dime, but others do:)


    Roman candles? Legal in NY? (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:47:04 AM EST
    Wonder if aQ has thought of this.

    This is NY... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:01:13 PM EST
    nothing is legal:)

    There will be thousands of roman candles, bottle rockets, jumping jacks, etc. seized/stolen between now and the 4th of July...and the rightful owners placed in chains.


    Exactly. Is he also proposing (none / 0) (#47)
    by ruffian on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:29:40 AM EST
    a 'No approaching within 100 yards of railroad tracks' list?

    This might be the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time, and that is saying something.


    GM to invest 2B, hire 4K people (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Politalkix on Tue May 10, 2011 at 09:58:43 AM EST
    We can do with some good news

    Good, if... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:23:02 AM EST
    ...they are union gigs, and if anyone has the money to buy cars by the time they are built.

    And I would dispute Dionne's quite broad conclusion that the era of anti-government extremism is over.  In fact, I suggest Dionne is a complete idiot for saying so.  Wall Street is still destroying the nation, day by day, thanks to a government that still believes it is better to throw trillions at financial masters than it is to throw crumbs to the people.  And we're now in three wars with no end in sight -- which are humongous giveaways of national wealth to private defense contractors.

    I'd say the era of extreme corporate-controlled government is yet to even come close to reaching its peak.  


    More good news..... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:15:47 AM EST
    Today's genius, Governore John Kasich, turned down Federal stimulus money for Ohio. Estimates were that 16,000  good paying jobs would've been needed for transportation projects ready to go.

    Are these Republican Governors simply insane, or just purely sadistic? How can you turn down 16,000 jobs in this economy?

    And these are the people Obama wants to meet half way to get their input?

    I don't know who's sicker.


    They don't care that 16,000 people (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Anne on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:25:33 AM EST
    would be put to work, and thus be able to spend money in the local economy and increase demand that leads to the creation of more jobs; their one and only focus is that we can't do this because it's government money and as we all know - because they keep perpetuating the lie - that the government has no money.  We're broke.

    These kinds of programs are a perfect example of how government can spend to reverse a downward economic spiral, but there's no accounting for stupid - it's everywhere.

    My governor, Martin O'Malley took part of the money rejected by Florida; good decision.


    Well many of the Republican Governors (none / 0) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:43:18 AM EST
    use the budget as an excuse, then use whatever savings come from gutting domestic services to reduce corporate taxes (see Florida).

    David Dayen has a post up about (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Anne on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:45:43 AM EST
    John Boehner's debt limit demands , part of a speech he gave to a roomful of Wall Street execs.

    his  [Boehner's] list of demands for increasing the debt limit includes:

    • Spending cuts of a greater value than the increase in the debt limit. Right now the White House wants a $2 trillion increase, so that translates to $2 trillion in cuts. No time horizon for those cuts was specified, just that they could be over a longer time than it would take to reach the new debt limit.

    • Those cuts can come from anywhere but tax hikes, which are "off the table."

    • Deficit caps or targets are not enough, though "program reforms" should be included.

    • "That includes honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare."

    The speech actually started by criticizing Dodd-Frank, but let's focus on the debt limit parts, because that's the near-term issue. This is a pretty hard line. You're talking about a budget deal that slices trillions within 2-3 months, without any tax hikes (cuts of tax expenditures may be allowable - that's even in the Ryan budget - but Boehner didn't really say). This is about as maximal a demand as you can get, after Republicans last week appeared to back off and recognize that their Medicare phase-out plan wouldn't fly. My sense is that Boehner, reacting to the iron law of institutions, is desperately trying to maintain his stature in the GOP, amid rumblings from the Tea Party that he's a terrible negotiator.

    If only Obama cared as much about what Democrats - the liberal/progressive/old/poor kind - wanted; we'll end up with something "not as bad" as what Boehner wants, but it won't come even close to resembling what we want or - more importantly - what is best for the most people and most likely to prevent more downward movement in the economy.


    Words fail (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:08:58 PM EST
     Just when you think that the R's might have caught a little "religion," what with the blow-back from their Medicare experiment, and some republicans starting to visibly perspire at the nascent realization by the public that the Republicans really are nuts, along comes Boehner with this bright idea.

    During the past few months I've contented myself by reading your, and other like minded posters, critiquing Obama's pathetic negotiating capitulations as I'm pretty well spent out personally, and find I'm just repeating myself over and over. But if Obama doesn't take Boehner's demand and publicly stick it up his  you know what,  then the guy is hopeless.

    After what Obama's did last week in Pakistan, to be bitch-slapped by that pathetic excuse for an American should be the final straw. Boehner tossed him fat one, right over the center of the plate; Obama should slam it out of the park.

    To even acknowledge it would already be a loser. Let's see if he's learned anything.


    How's O'Malley? (none / 0) (#123)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:05:20 PM EST
    I saw him on TV a couple times and he came across really well.  Is he as good as he seems?

    There's a lot I do like about him, but (none / 0) (#142)
    by Anne on Tue May 10, 2011 at 08:51:29 PM EST
    I think he could be stronger on a number of issues, but what Democrat couldn't, right?

    He's managed - with the help of the legislature - to minimize the fallout from the recession, although we're getting a new alcohol tax (I think it's the first increase in something like 30 years); he comes from a solidly Democratic background - his wife is a judge and also comes from a long line of Dems - her dad, Joe Curran, was MD Attorney General for a number of years.


    E.J. Dionne on the auto bailout (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilburro on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:08:48 AM EST
    Philly Inquirer.

    +1 Obama.


    The latest entrant (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:15:31 PM EST
    to the race against Scott Brown is Newton Mayor Setti Warren.  On paper, he seems great.  Solid liberal, worked for Clinton, Kerry, now running small city/large suburb.

    Few problems though.  For one, he just got elected as mayor, Newton residents seem rather peeved that he is moving on so soon.  P*ssing off Newton residents doesn't seem like a great start.  Second problem, who the hell is Setti Warren.  I've never heard of him before this.  Finally, I think Scott Brown is gonna be tough to beat even by someone with name recognition.

    Other than that, he's the only Democratic candidate I've even heard from so far, and he's started by coming after Scott Brown pretty hard, so I like that.  Plus, something about him just screams viable politician.  So maybe he will turn into something after all.  But a big part of me still feels like we've got to do better than this.

    The best (none / 0) (#109)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:59:27 PM EST
    bet for that seat might to be Brown getting a TP candidate running against him in the primary if there even is much of a tea party presence in MA.

    no way, no how (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:14:21 PM EST
    Brown will not get a primary challenger.  He's the best thing to happen to the GOP in this state in a long time.

    And even if he did get a Tea-Party challenger, that would only make him more likely to win, since he would crush said Tea-Partier in the primary, and then it would make him seem even more moderate.

    The GOP here is not like the GOP in Georgia. There is no hard-right waiting in the wings to purify the party.  Out here it's moderate, or die.  Even outside the city.  Just as an example, even the republican leaning districts often vote for Democratic candidates.


    Even (none / 0) (#116)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:22:17 PM EST
    here in GA there isn't enough of a tea party presence even in the primaries. The GA GOP split right down the middle during the gubernatorial primaries. That's one of the reasons I think that it's a fantasy that the GOP is going to nominate a TP candidate to run against Obama.

    although I bet (none / 0) (#117)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:31:45 PM EST
    the non-tea partier was still to the right of Scott Brown/Charlie Baker, etc...

    Sometimes it's hard for me to judge the state of the GOP nationally because the GOP as seen on tv doesn't really exist here.

    The one thing I'll say about the presidential primary is they could get in trouble by having a "split the baby" type of election.  Everyone gets 20% of the vote - and then what?  Even if they do nominate a "moderate" - will that be enough to bring out the base in the general?  It wasn't in '08.  But the Obama-hate is much higher now, so we will see.


    It was (none / 0) (#118)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:39:18 PM EST
    Nathan Deal who was the non tea partier. I'm sure he probably is to the right of Brown but exactly how far I'm not sure. Right now there is a big fight about the immigration legislation with the business wing screaming at the tea partiers who want it passed.

    I doubt that everyone is going to get 20% simply because a lot of them are going to start to drop out some even before the voting begins.


    nothing quite so much fun (none / 0) (#119)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:43:13 PM EST
    as watching GOP infighting.

    Let me guess - tea partiers want to "kick em all out" and the business wing likes their cheap labor - aka do nothing.

    No worries, they will quickly join hands as soon as some liberal starts proposing we give them actual rights.


    The business (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:27:02 PM EST
    wing is saying the requirements are too "burdensome". It's a law where employers have to do some sort of automatic check on social security numbers. The system that they are supposed to use has a name but it escapes me right now. The businesses will NEVER say that they like the cheap labor. They always say something else and it seems everything is "burdensome" to them. I don't think I've ever seen such a class of pampered and entitled people in my entire life.  

    Mr & Mrs Terminator: Hasta La Vista Baby (none / 0) (#2)
    by thereyougo on Mon May 09, 2011 at 11:14:21 PM EST
    the famed actor politician and his wife are calling it quits after 25 years.
    I'm not sure his run as Calif. governor was worth it. He left us a huge deficit and a bad taste for his brand.
    He says he will return to movies at age 63. The terminator returns!

    I wish them both well (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 09, 2011 at 11:19:35 PM EST
    25 years is a long run. If their lives and interests have diverged, they shouldn't be faulted for acknowledging it and moving on.

    will the real repub. nominee (none / 0) (#3)
    by loveed on Mon May 09, 2011 at 11:17:54 PM EST
    please stand up.
     It's seem to me the repub. are letting all the crazy,and the no way you can win group,run them selves out of the procees).Waitng in the wing the serious candidates (mitch danial,jon huntsman)these guy are quietly raising money,giving comencement address,forming pac's. And both have great resumes.
     While the media spends so much time on the crazy,the polls show the members of repub. party and the leadership are not interested in any of these canidates. they've pick none of above.

    My friend, who is from El Paso, wouldn't (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon May 09, 2011 at 11:22:58 PM EST
    stand on the TX/Mexico border there now, although she, her family, and friends used to walk across the border and have lots of fun.  

    No question (none / 0) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon May 09, 2011 at 11:35:37 PM EST
    But I'm not sure what the U.S. is supposed to do about drug cartel violence in Mexico.  There's a great deal of constant hoo-hah on Fox about Mexican drug cartel violence spilling over the border, but so far, the examples seem few and far between.

    Are we supposed to go into Mexico and clean up their drug cartels for them, assuming we even could?  Sounds like a worse deal than trying to combat Iraqi and Afghan tribal violence, no?


    I thought we were doing drones in (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:09:06 AM EST
    Mexico now.  No solution coming from moi, as it seems pretty obvious the profit is high and risk is low and demand holding up very well.  

    Spiritual father. (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:22:19 AM EST
    Al Capone, with whom our government is expressing an increased affinity, said, "All I do is supply a demand."

    Every time I see or read about these raids, I remember images of the Feds bursting into a warehouse during prohibition and shooting people brewing beer.


    One thing that (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Zorba on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:02:07 AM EST
    the U.S. can do about Mexican drug cartel violence is legalize drugs.  Legalize, regulate, and tax.  That pretty much got rid of the violence surrounding bootlegged and smuggled booze after Prohibition was repealed.  (Of course, we're not going to legalize any drugs, with the possible exception of marijuana, and even that is going to take a long, long time.)

    Check. (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:17:56 AM EST
    Your reply is perfect.

    It is rather obvious that the government isn't interested in stopping violence.

    Possibly the government and the cartel are all making too much money with things as they are. They may actually be one and the same - with the "war" between them as phony as a game between the Globetrotters and the Atlantic City Seagulls.


    You don't know the half of it (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:56:19 PM EST
    Due to circumstances not under my control, I have to watch a fair amount of Fox.  They don't even make a pretense anymore of being anything other than GOPTV, even in their supposed "news" programs.

    Last night, I was subjected to a 20-minute interview with Donald Trump.  I mean, honestly, who gives a flying ** what he has to say about anything anymore except Fox?


    well... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Lil on Tue May 10, 2011 at 08:13:30 AM EST
    didn't ya hear,Newt is now a born again Catholic and his new wife is supposed to help with his image?
    On the border thing, it's an interesting juxtaposition for Obama as he is supposedly going to push for immigration reform at the same time that he's cracking down on illegal immigration.

    What's with the (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:56:53 AM EST
    very, very platinum blond political wives?  Cindy McCain, Callista Gingrich.  They begin to look alike.  Very obvious plastic surgery- ladies, you're not fooling anyone (except maybe your husbands- at least, you hope).

    Gingrich's latest spouse is supposed (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:25:51 AM EST
    to be his greatest asset re this campaign.  How can that be.  Won't her presence remind every sentient human of the details of his ditching wife #1?

    No offense to political spouses (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by ruffian on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:38:27 AM EST
    but if your spouse is your biggest asset as a pol, it is time to hang it up.

    Well, it reminds me, all right. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Zorba on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:44:29 AM EST
    But then, Gingrich's personal life (while not to my taste, or approval) is not why I would never vote for him.  He's an opportunistic little weasel.  I'm old enough to remember the days when a potential candidate's fooling around (or even just a divorce, without evidence of pre-divorce adultery) would torpedo his candidacy.  And yes, yes, I know many of them fooled around "back in the day."  We just didn't know about it.  Personal lives are personal- it really shouldn't necessarily affect their political life.  The only time it really gets to me, though, is when rampant hypocrisy is involved.  Such as when a politician is campaigning on "family values" when his own history includes scr*wing around while married.  Like Newt.  

    He's not exactly (5.00 / 4) (#106)
    by Zorba on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:47:05 PM EST
    a mensch, is he?  He's what we used to call a "real piece of work."  "Mr. Family Values" himself.  I hate hypocrites, and he's one of the biggest.    

    No - it would be (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    About him ditching wife #2.  Current Gingrich wife is #3.  Newt and Calista had a 6 year affair when she was a Congressional aide and that's who he dumped wife #2 for.

    Not to mention (none / 0) (#74)
    by Zorba on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:46:44 PM EST
    the fact that he went to the hospital when his first wife was recovering from surgery for uterine cancer, to haggle over the terms of their divorce.  Nice timing, Newt- Mr. Nice Guy.  Not.

    Not to mention how (none / 0) (#122)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:00:23 PM EST
    he was diddling this very wife #3 in his car in the parking lot during impeachment while he was still married to #2.  I cannot look at them sitting piously side by side without that picture coming into my mind unbidden.  Yech.

    I wonder if this is how ... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Yman on Tue May 10, 2011 at 08:28:41 PM EST
    ... they ended up choosing the title for their "documentary" - ""Rediscovering God in America":

    In this new documentary film, Newt and Callista Gingrich take us on an inspiring walking tour of our nation's important buildings, monuments and memorials in Washington D.C. and show the very important role that religion played in the minds of the founders of this country who created our government. It makes clear that the founders of the USA believed that you could not have a free society unless it was founded upon a belief in God as the source of a value system and moral code that required a personal responsibility that supported free and open institutions.

    Maybe they mean the "institution" of free and open marriage?

    You can't make this stuff up ...


    And he was (none / 0) (#135)
    by Zorba on Tue May 10, 2011 at 06:09:55 PM EST
    carrying on his extra-marital affair with Callista while going after Clinton for the Lewinsky affair.  In a way (but a very small way), I almost feel sorry for Callista.  She has got to be worried about Newt ditching her for yet another, younger, woman, given his past record.  No wonder she is trying so desperately to appear younger.  She always has that "deer in the headlights" look, although I suppose that could be the result of too much cosmetic surgery.

    I don't know... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 08:57:30 AM EST
    securing borders always seems to lead to leaving people insecure in their persons, papers, and effects...it ain't worth the stain.

    I say count our blessings we share land borders with two friendly nations, big oceans between us and any unfriendly nations...and chill out with the drones, sensors, and caging undocumented human beings.  

    Full disclosure... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:44:33 PM EST
    I'm an open borders guy...if you wanna do spot checks or a brief entrance/exit interview, fine, but let people move around and pursue their happiness regardless of where the birth lottery dropped 'em.

    Granted, this would require international cooperation and loosening of all nations immigration laws/requirements...won't work otherwise.


    And countries not caring about their citizens (none / 0) (#82)
    by nyjets on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:18:10 PM EST
    And countries not caring about all of their citizens losing there jobs to non-citizens. The best way to kill off an economy is to allow for open borders.

    Gimme a break... (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:26:38 PM EST
    you think our war on the undocumented is out of love for our documented citizens?  

    Where was this love for our documented when our manufacturing sector was boxed up and shipped to Asia so the shareholders could make a few extra bucks?  "Caring about our citizens"...you slay me!


    You are correct (none / 0) (#111)
    by nyjets on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:04:55 PM EST
    The govenment should also being doing something to stop outsourcing. I agree absolutly. However, it does not change the fact that the government needs to drastically reduce the number of people coming into the country as well.

    The economy did that already... (none / 0) (#112)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:07:46 PM EST
    no jackboots required.

    Actually that isnot true (none / 0) (#115)
    by nyjets on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:18:59 PM EST
    A lot of non-citizens are remaining in this country. And an argument can be made that even if they leave now, it is to late.

    That was then, this is now (none / 0) (#110)
    by nyjets on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:03:37 PM EST
    That is nonsense. MOst of the jobs would be done by American citizens, however they are being given to non-citizens.
    Also, a lot of high-skill jobs are going to non-citizens as well. Our economy is imploding and the last thing we need is to let more people come to this country sucking up more jobs that should be going to American citizens.

    For the record (none / 0) (#137)
    by nyjets on Tue May 10, 2011 at 06:30:57 PM EST
    What I was calling nonsense was the statement that said that there are jobs that Americans will not do. I was calling no-one stupid. I have never insulted anyone in my posts. If my phrase was interpreted as insulting, I am sorry. It was directed  at that statement only.

    Furthermore, to be clear, I want to see immigration reduced across the board from all countries, not just 'colored people.' There are simply not enough jobs for American citizens and non-citizens that come here.


    As a Texan I Always Love... (none / 0) (#143)
    by ScottW714 on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:47:08 PM EST
    ... Love people furthest from the border making absurd claims about the border and immigration.

    I'm with kdog.
    Donald, if what you say is true, then why do you need to secure the border ?

    When I moved here just over 12 years ago, the immigration issue was back plate stuff.  Then out of no where, it became this pitiful discussion about security, and now it's ventured over to economics.  All of it, republican talking points, Al Qaeda coming across, they're costing us billions in education and medical care, they're bringing crime to the US, they're taking our jobs, and on and on.  All of it, republican speak, liberals just don't make those arguments.

    What I see and don't see.  There is no such thing as a white landscaper, because NYJets, whether you like it or not, Mexicans are biologically designed to work outside in 100+ Houston heat, from dawn to dust.  This is true of most construction jobs as well.  I have yet to see a white day labor, not one in 10+ years, so save the shtick about taking our jobs.  I let you now when I see a non-Mexican roofing a house, or digging up a street, or whatever other job you are claiming they are taking.  Nearly every person working outside in Houston in the summer is Hispanic, period.  That's biology, and try as you might, you can't change that.

    I grew up on a farm and I know what work is, and no way could I or most other people could do what they do physically day in, day out for wages that I assume they don't make.  Which brings me to another point, they are not lazy, and why would America not want hard working people as citizens ?  We're happy to sign them up for Iraq and Afghanistan, but they aren't good enough for 'good' jobs ?

    Next talking point.  They get free heath care and education.  Here's the rub, yes they aren't turned away at the emergency rooms and yes, we will education all children.  But free ?  Every American enjoys the benefits of cheap labor, from fruit, to housing, to meat, to any field that employees undocumented workers, back busting low paying.  That addition savings we all experience would not exist if they were citizens making a regulated wage, and paying taxes.  I don't know, and I have never seen a study, but I would image the subsidized pricing we get more than makes up for these 'free' services undocumented people receive.

    No one has ever made a convincing argument about immigration that can be backed up with facts, from crime reports to median wage, to whatever the shtick dejour is of the day that proves we need to get undocumented immigrants out.  What I do have is 300 million people who nearly all descendants of immigrants that prove the opposite.  You and I are proof that a Nation of all sorts can become a world power, the top world power.

    So NYJets, save the BS for someone buying it, and I will leave you this, whatever argument you feel like you can make, has probably been made against your family, your ancestors, your tribe no matter where your place of origin is.  And fortunately for all of us, those people didn't get their way, and you and I should be thankful that this country accepted them with open arms and we should show some appreciation by treating people they way our ancestors were treated.  Not by pissing on them with some made-up hocus-pocus about somehow, someway, it's different today.

    The fact is this all the creation of the republican party to distract and unify their base.  Their own leaders, including the Grand Messiah, Reagan, used to believe in immigrants and citizenship, now the very same clowns wanna spend money we don't have, on a fence that won't work, to keep the very people they once thought deserved citizenship, out.  Just another pile of C from the republican party to secure votes from the their frightened base.

    Obama's indifference to the job situation has done more to keep immigration low than any fence or drone or National Guard has ever done.


    That may be true in the Southwest (none / 0) (#144)
    by vicndabx on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:10:02 AM EST
    save the shtick about taking our jobs

    .....up here in the Northeast it's a different story.  Tell that to my contractor uncle who can't compete w/companies that hire day laborers who'll work for a pittance.  It's not quite as hot up here.

    Also, your statement basically saying white people can't work out in the heat seems odd - they've been doing just that for hundreds of years.  We should just write those jobs off because Central-Americans are engineered better to work in the heat?  Really?  Do you actually believe that?  Seems odd if you do and then berate posters for being racist and xenophobic.

    What about black construction workers who are citizens?  Shouldn't they get preferential treatment since "biological design" would seem to be in their favor also?

    Fact is this is the 21st century and not some long ago time when immigration was nothing but a boon to this country.  We need a real discussion on immigration based on facts, not one based on romanticized fiction.


    What an absolute load of Horse$hit (none / 0) (#145)
    by Rojas on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:56:02 AM EST
    Riddle me this.... assuming you ever get your a$$ out of your cubicle at Big Oil in Houston, why do you think there is so much ethnic diversity in those oilfield crews?
    The lack of diversity you speak of is directly related to wages driven down from illegal immigration.

    Dude, Keeping Crib Notes ? (none / 0) (#148)
    by ScottW714 on Wed May 11, 2011 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    It's alarming how many times you bring this up.  Have I wronged you, offended you, what gives ?

    I assume you're making some sort of dig at me, so you outed me with my own words, I work in an office at ~BigOil.  The shame of it all...

    But since you asked, I get out, but since we build the rigs, and not man them, I have no idea.  I do property tax walk-throughs so I get to see how it's all put together.  But most of that is in climate controlled facilities manned by all sorts of people, including women, something the not seen on rigs.

    Unless you are on a rig, or are privy to rig HR departments data, neither do you.  It's not like they are attractions to visit, they are buried off the beaten path on private land.  And unlike offshore rigs, the man power is minimal once the well is drilled.  A lot of them aren't even manned.

    But those are coveted, skilled, and unionized jobs that are above the board, meaning they aren't jobs undocumented workers can fill.

    I have no idea what point you are trying to make, but you missed my point, which was disproving the claim that Americans are losing jobs to undocumented Mexicans.  It's a claim never backed by anything but good old intuition.

    Which is important, the person above mentioned his uncle.  No offense, but how does he know they are undocumented and not just US citizens working for low wages ?  He doesn't, not unless he asked and they were truthful which seems absurd on like 10 levels.  He sees Hispanics and like most, assumes they are undocumented.  To him I would ask where exactly are the ~35% of Hispanic US citizens working ?

    Rojas, you are here in Texas I think, doesn't it seem odd to you the people who settled these lands are the very same people everyone assumes are undocumented just because they are Hispanic.  Everyone speaks of losing jobs to undocumented workers, but unless they ask, they can't know.  It's the flaw of the argument, the assumption that Hispanics working unskilled jobs are undocumented.  The only thing they are basing their claims on is appearance.

    No one can produce a study or any other documented proof that their claim has any merit.  And watch, none of these people will produce anything but sound bites and gut instinct.

    And this isn't directed an anyone, but generally the 'The Mexicans are Stealing Our Jobs Crowd' is the same people who love cheap Chinese goods and speak highly of free markets, never stepping back to realize how completely conflicting these views are.  They are happy to get the Mexicans out, but also happy buying goods made by cheap labor outside the US.  So either they are full of S, or it's really about the Mexicans themselves, not the jobs.  Which is where I would put my cash.

    I will never forget about 5 years ago I was in Wisconsin and my parents were having a party and one of my mothers friends said something to the effect that she was ticked off that she had to learn Spanish to get through the menus on the phone and how unfair it was.  So in front of a bunch of my parents friends I asked her to say something in Spanish.  She couldn't.  And I got my A chewed out for embarrassing her friend, who IMO embarrassed herself.

    It's white as far as the eye can see up there, and yet this woman was mad that she has to here those 2 or 3 words of Spanish.  Her hated was of the culture, not anyone taking anything away from her.  Ditto with lots of people who aren't affected at all with undocumented workers, yet they still find them offensive and go as far as bashing them at cocktail parties.

    IMO you could remove every undocumented worker in the US and people would still whine & B about Mexicans, even here, a state we stole from Mexico, they are still demonized and if the certain people got there way, would be deported to a country they may have never been in because of the way they look.

    I will say this, with Obama focusing on immigration, it's sure to get screwed up beyond belief.


    So much of your underlying comments, ScottW714 (none / 0) (#149)
    by christinep on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:05:42 PM EST
    I agree with. Please note: I strongly disagree with your conclusion about the eventual outcome of President Obama's movement on this one. Ya see, as one who has had her share of encounter with the same kind of naysayers you describe (except my experience involves people who live in my state & call themselves Coloradans) I find myself as perplexed & upset about the reactions you have found.

    Heck, I lost a friend with whom I had been rather close for 30 years over the subject of "legality."  Pointing out that most of us derived from easier admittance requirements at Ellis made no difference; and, I still remember that day of anger on her part. The fear engendered by xenophobia reappears from time to time. I firmly believe that President Obama may be able to make an incursion against the status quo complacency in this area. Why? Because he is the first one in years, at that level, to use both purpose (starting with the Dream Act) & pragmatism (looking at numbers in very relevant 2012 electoral vote-significant states) to move this issue forward.


    Read the polls (none / 0) (#146)
    by Yman on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:29:52 AM EST
    All of it, republican talking points, Al Qaeda coming across, they're costing us billions in education and medical care, they're bringing crime to the US, they're taking our jobs, and on and on.  All of it, republican speak, liberals just don't make those arguments.

    It's not just "Republican talking points".  Many Democrats are also concerned about the burden/cost of illegal immigration on government services, as well as its effect on jobs and wages.


    and rewriting of tax and benefits code.,.. (none / 0) (#83)
    by ruffian on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:23:02 PM EST
    property law, etc....gotta figure out who gets the goodies, ya know.

    Interesting tidbit on what is making (none / 0) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 10, 2011 at 09:05:42 AM EST
    Daniels hesitant to run for president.

    "I think he would like to do it," the Daniels adviser told The Huffington Post by phone. "I actually think he'd have a decent chance of getting the nomination."
    The confirmation that the Daniels' marriage is the last hurdle in front of a bid for the White House highlights the delicate situation in which the Governor finds himself.

    In 1993, Cheri Daniels left her husband with their four daughters and married another man in California. She returned a few years later, reconciled with Daniels, and the two were remarried in 1997. That is, in a nutshell, the story. The national press first picked up on it last year when it was buried at the bottom of an 8,600-word Weekly Standard profile.

    But much is unknown. Why did she leave Daniels? Why did she come back? That she would be reluctant to publicly answer such delicate questions in front of the nation seems only natural.  link

    According to the article there is fear as to what type of "whisper" campaign could be launched against Daniels by his opponents during the campaign.

    That's kind of sad (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 09:49:05 AM EST
    I don't really want him to run, but to a certain extent, I think personal lives should be personal - I also require politicians to believe the same about other people's personal lives.

    Obviously that would never happen with a president these days though.


    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by jbindc on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:43:29 AM EST
    This is scandalous these days? Isn't the message that while they had difficulties, they found their way back to each other and reunited a family?

    I'm no apologist for Mitch Daniels, but after all the tawdry sex scandals the Republicans have had, this would be considered bad?

    But then again, good for him, if he decides not to run and put his family through unwarranted and unwanted grief over something that is no one's business.


    I think (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:58:22 AM EST
    they just don't want people digging and asking questions.

    My guess is she had her reasons for leaving and they don't feel like airing their personal laundry for the whole world to see.

    It's about privacy, not scandal.


    If I read the ariticle correctly, (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:47:08 AM EST
    his family was afraid of a "scandal being created where none exists" that would be spread via a whisper campaign. Think McCain's adopted daughter and the whisper campaign that was used against him.

    Whenever I look at Mitch Daniels ... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Robot Porter on Tue May 10, 2011 at 07:30:20 PM EST
    I always have the feeling he's just about to morph into a cobra.

    we all (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:20:22 AM EST
    should start taking bets on how long Gingrich lasts. I'm thinking December of this year he'll pull out due to lack of fundraising.

    Even here in GA Newt is largely seen as a has been.

    "Newt, Inc." (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:55:40 AM EST
    seems to be doing well, taking in $32 million for 2009-2011.  Running for president, in and of itself, can provide a great salary and a travel and expense account befitting a king. Newt's "networks of advocacy" enabled him to funnel $150,000 to the campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who supported  same-sex marriage.  And, of course, he is running as a family man and newly minted Catholic with Callista at his side.  Won't work, but, as with former Governor Palin, it can be a good gig.

    Trouble on the cubicle front... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:26:55 AM EST
    my boss is trying to mandate direct deposit by July 1.  It's just me and one of the warehouse guys holding the line getting checks.

    They can fire me, I ain't consenting to that mess...thats one sacrifice to my code I will not make.  

    Poked around the NY Labor Law website...they can't do it without my consent, I think.  Something about if you make over 900 bucks a week they can, but the website did not specify net or gross.  Net I'm safe, gross I'm not.  

    We shall see...hopefully he's just in one of his moods and he'll forget all about it.

    Why such a strong objection? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Yman on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:42:15 AM EST
    Being willing to get fired over it seems a bit extreme - particularly in this job market.

    I don't do banking... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 10:51:47 AM EST
    I refuse to get a checking account...I know it's eccentric but I feel that strongly about it, I will not fuel this banking system anymore than I already am....or help us along to a dystopian cashless society anymore than I already am.

    Maybe there is a job worth selling out that piece of me for, but this sure as hell ain't it:)  


    Look for a bank that (none / 0) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:05:22 AM EST
    offers free checking, no minimum balance.  After direct deposit has been effected, withdraw as much of the balance as you like.  Banksters will not put you on their most valued customer list, but you will feel a little better and have a job, to boot.

    Better yet, (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:19:17 AM EST
    a Credit Union.

    My friend had such a bank.... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:25:58 AM EST
    then it got bought out by a bigger bank and he's been nickeled and dimed ever since.  I think he's ready to leave the dark side and join me on the cash and carry train...were it not for his unemployment benefits being, you guessed it, direct deposited.

    I could get a prepaid debit card and have it direct deposited there too...but I'd much rather not play their games, I like how I roll...never using an ATM, never having to balance a checkbook or reconcile, never subject to asset freezing by bank or government error.  I consider it a small slice of economic sovereignty I'd like to keep.

    But so as not to come off as inflexible, I will offer to accept cash in lieu of check, or be paid bi-weekly or monthly instead of weekly...if the payroll processor fees are their issue.  Or give the office manager a signature stamp if coming in to sign the checks is the issue.  I'm eccentric, but not unreasonable:)  

    After coming up on ten years of service at this outfit, never written up, never made a big money loss mistake, working through lunch on occassion, leaving sick days behind every year...I feel my little eccentricity here should be accomodated as a valued employee.  To not be accomodated would be a slap in the face I don't think I could stomach, coupled with being forced into bed with a bankster...too much, too much.


    Well (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:06:23 AM EST
    you're not really helping the banks out much with a checking account as many of them see that as a "losing proposition".

    But banking is helping us move towards a "cashless" society.


    You could try the credit union; generally (none / 0) (#41)
    by Anne on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:19:18 AM EST
    much, much smaller, usually in good financial shape, interested in the community, etc.

    With my credit union, you only need to keep $10 in the account to keep it open, and we pay no fees for the account.

    I would think you've been susidizing check-cashing services for some time now, especially since most banks no longer let you cash checks drawn on one of their accounts if you don't also have an account.  Given what these services charge to cash checks, I don't know that they are any less predatory than the banks because their business model is based on you needing them nore than they need you.  Add up what it's cost you in a year, and maybe having to keep a $10 balance in a credit union account won't seem like such a bad thing.


    True... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:30:31 AM EST
    the check-cashing guy does very well by me...but at least he is a local small business and that money stays local...what the banks leech leaves my 'hood forever.

    If and when there is only direct deposit in a cashless society, the credit union will be where I reluctantly go, if they are even still around...but I ain't helping that sh*t along, I'm guilty enough of the crime of doing d*ck while Rome burns.  


    Credit unions will (none / 0) (#59)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:52:33 AM EST
    Credit unions would also be local.

    Mine has always been great.  Better interest rates than I can get anywhere else.  Free checking. I call up and speak to a personable human being out of Olympia, WA. (I belong to the state employees credit union, even though I stopped being a state employee years ago.)

    I also have a rebate credit card through them.  No hassles, no minimum amount that you have to buy, no need to deliberately cash out the rebate (like you do with Discover and Amex).  They just subtract 1% of my purchases every month from my bill (and I am a deadbeat that pays the full balance every month, so they don't get interest from me).

    I'm with you.  I don't ever want to do business with a bank again.  I told my husband that we will not ever buy another house if it requires a bank loan.  But credit union for money transfer?  Definitely.


    Re credit union. Just refinanced, again (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:39:55 PM EST
    with county employees credit union, which always, in the past, has hung onto the loan.  Very simple.  This time, loan transferred by credit union to Fannie Mae.  And credit union is using a mortgage payment processing outsource located in Houghton MI, which messes up second payment and sends me a letter saying check didn't clear and $30 late fee assessed.  But, I am paying by direct w/d from checking account, affirmed in writing.  Cleared up by t/c.  But definitely not promising.  

    It really is our ability to refuse their (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    services that is the last check on the unchecked banking industry.  I'm a player, but I respect the right of anyone who doesn't want to play to be able to do that.  I may want to not play anymore too at any time.

    Are military personnel... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:03:39 PM EST
    forced to accept direct deposit?

    It appears the government is the main offender employer at mandating direct deposit....little wonder, as our government works for the banks:)


    We are (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:12:09 PM EST
    But you can get in trouble with your command too if you don't pay your bills.  We sort of signed up for free cavity searches at will.  But we signed up for that, or at least one half of our household did.  There have been some challenges to how they did things in the past, like withholding your child support payments or payment for bills from your pay, that have set new boundaries on what they can and can't do with your pay without your permission. Nobody likes their commander knowing that they aren't paying things or doing things that all "honest decent citizens do" though :) Being in the military is one thing, civilians have to have much more latitude IMO in just about everything than we do or this isn't much of a democracy :)

    You'll love this one... (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:39:15 PM EST
    guy gets locked up for years on death row for a crime he did not commit, state is holding up his wrongful imprisonment settlement due to some paperwork error by the DA, but they aren't holding up the back child support he is getting walloped with....18 years worth.  Other general harassment too.

    The state needs to pay the child support since they prevenetd the man from making a living for all the years he was wrongly imprisoned...and cut that 7 figure check!  If this dude gets his money, I hope he don't put it in the bank!

    Texas, of course.


    More from TX. Exonerated (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:59:43 PM EST
    former inmate collects statutory compensation from state of Texas.  Lawyer bills him for lobbying fees to get the statutory amount raised for all wrongfully convicted persons.  NYT

    "Lawyers, Guns, & Money... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    the sh*t has hit the fan."

    - Warren Zevon


    Hey, guy. I just checked the sched. (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:07:59 PM EST
    for Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.  Free performances at 8 p.m. on July 5 of Shakespeare's "All's Well That Ends Well."  2 tickets/per person in line.  Distribution begins at 1 p.m.  I'm game to wait in line, as it is a weekday and this isn't one of Shakespeare's more popular plays--seldom performed.  Interested?  

    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#84)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:23:53 PM EST
    sounds pretty good, keep the holiday weekend rolling...I'm down.

    It looks like any spring/summer trip is on hold...between energy costs and food and the annual summer concert series, even with a strict self-imposed hermitude, I'd be spread too thin.  So I'll be in the market for cool sh*t to do.

    Shall shoot for the fall for some travels, and hopefully get the special lady up here this summer...if its for the 4th we will meet you on line! :)


    Now that I'd enjoy. (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:27:20 PM EST
    You're telling me... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:36:06 PM EST
    I'll add a third travel window...4th of July & Shakespeare, Gathering of the Vibes July 22 weekend, or the McArab Family Reunion in August.

    Though she tells me its much harder for her with visas and what not than it is for me to head south...and with her having a real profession and patients and all, and me a simple gig.


    A citizen of Mexico who holds a valid (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:15:22 PM EST
    Mexican passport must apply for a U.S. visa to come to U.S. for a short visit?  Absurd.  

    Unless something... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:28:10 PM EST
    has been lost in translation, which is quite possible, that is correct.

    Answer: yes--need a visitor visa: (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:29:49 PM EST
    U.S. State Dept.

    Wonder if Mexico has considered requiring U.S. visitors to obtain visas?  Or just charge the same fee as U.S. charges for Visa for Mexican visitors.  That's what Chile started doing about 10 yrs. ago.


    I think Mexico... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:44:19 PM EST
    likes our tourist dollar too much to do that.

    And please don't give them any ideas...getting a passport, security theater, customs shakedowns, etc. is enough hassle thank you...no mas!


    "It's the principle of the thing." (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:34:51 AM EST
    No segue:  Just heard NPR piece on fight over debit card fees--regulation of same.  Lots of lobbying $$.  

    Another family that we are friends with (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    just had an American Express payment that was two days late and now they must pay 50% interest on all new charges for a period of time as a penalty.  They travel like we do for the lengthening of the rods that control their daughter's scoliosis and my husband outranks hers by a lot.  I don't know how they will handle the credit card charges happening now.  Someone replied to her post too that they had paid late on their different charge card and their punishment was 30% interest on all new purchases.  For our military friends though, I see that they will have a problem traveling for their daughter's surgeries now.  The military reimburses you but it takes about 60 days.

    That just makes my blood boil - 50%? (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Anne on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:28:58 PM EST
    That used to be known as usury, and we had laws against it; now, I guess, whenever the so-called regulators close one door, these companies find some open windows through which they can come in and take money out of your wallet.  And you can't even call the cops.

    I get the whole borrowing money thing, and no one expects to use credit for free, but 50%?

    Unconscionable - but then, a "conscience" is one thing these companies don't have.



    Brings me back to the Democratic primary (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:28:09 PM EST
    debates (Jan 2008, Las Vega), when the late Tim Russert asked then Senator Obama about his no vote on the 2005 bankruptcy bill that would freeze credit card interest at not higher than 30 percent.  The populist confection of a response was confusing and had many an eye rolling in disbelief.  Something to the effect that he voted against it because the credit card companies wanted it to pass, and, therefore, it was better to have no limits.

    Pretty straight forward really (none / 0) (#90)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:47:48 PM EST
    his response was that he thought the limit was too high.  As in, it should be lower than 30%.

    I disagree and think he should have voted for it.  But it's the same principal that had everyone opposing things like a public option that didn't go far enough, or the ARRA that didn't spend enough, or Russ Feingold voting against the recent financial regulations because he didn't think they were effective enough.


    Yes, that was his story. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:09:56 PM EST
    And, Russert, as I recall, followed up  with a request for clarification: you mean it is it better to have no limit than to have a 30 percent limit. He said it was better to have no limit.  Guess he was not a compromiser when a senator. But, his nay vote did not go unnoticed by the credit card industry, as Mother Jones and Harpers reported at the time, was the second highest campaign contributor.  Mike Williams of the Bond Market Association was pleasantly surprised thinking incorrectly, that the senator would not vote against consumer advocates.

    I think (none / 0) (#96)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:22:12 PM EST
    He absolutely should have voted for it.

    For the same reasons I supported the health care bill.


    We don't need no legislation... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:12:05 PM EST
    that just gives you legalized usury and leechery.

    All we need scissors to cut up the cards...the minute we stop borrowing/swiping like drunken sailors is the minute the terms start shifting in the borrowers favor.


    Hell, back in 1986, I worked a summer... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    ...at K-Mart.  And you know how they paid everyone back then?


    You'd have loved it, Dog.  Seriously, you went to the back on payday, and there was a steel door with a narrow slot in it.  You peered into the slot and a pair of eyes would  look back at you and ask for your employee number.  Then through the narrow slot an envelope full of cash and usually jangling with coins was passed to you.

    The big drawback?  Without a doubt, every lowlife thief within miles of the place knew that every Friday night, K-Mart employees were walking out of the store into the dark parking lot with their pockets full of cash.

    I walked to my car with a pocket knife out every payday night I worked late.

    Too many K-Mart stories for this post, really odd place to work.


    My dream job! (none / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:29:14 PM EST
    I will forever take my chances with the mugger in the alley over the Brooks Brothers thug sitting behing mahogany...no brainer.

    Yep, I just worried for the older ladies (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:48:23 PM EST
    And the management were such pricks, they'd never let us park closer.  Employees had to park at the back the gigantic lot, literally a few tenths of a mile from your car.

    Aside from having to hear Musak all day, which was only interrupted by Jacklyn Smith's voice repeating the same pitch for her clothing line over and over, the worst thing was, as a lowly stock boy, I was supposed to help go after shoplifters when they leave the store.  You'd hear "Open line, Shoe Department" over the intercom, and that was the code for someone was stealing shoes.  One time, it was some poor shoeless dude who walked in and headed right for the dept, then took off running out the door with a new pair of sneakers on.  I chased him for about twenty yards and thought, what the hell am I doing?  I was making three something an hour, I wasn't taking a knife over a pair of five dollar shoes made in some sweatshop.


    I'd never make it then... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:02:39 PM EST
    I'd be like "take some sandals too, Shoeless Joe Jackson!"

    The best of the best wage payment terms I ever found were in the trades...cash paid daily...nothin' beats it as you are never broke for more than a weekend.


    When my daughter worked at K-Mart, (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:35:58 PM EST
    all the employees were locked in at closing time until someboday somewhere decided they could actually leave.  

    Here's what I remember about closing time (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 12:57:19 PM EST
    I remember walking past the clueless assistant manager, then watching as three or four other employees walked past him, employees whom I knew were exiting with a lot of merchandise hidden on them.  This was before security tags on stuff.  Can't imagine how much they lost to employee theft.  

    Worst manager I ever worked for, though, was a K-Mart.  His name, honest to god, was Mr. Pronto.  

    My favorite was the famous Blue Light Special. Don't even know if they do it anymore, but back then, there was only one blue light, and it was about nine feet up on a stand, which was on wheels, and it had to be moved to whatever department was having that hour's special.  

    I loved being the peon who got to push the Blue Light to that department.  You know why?

    Because the minute those K-Mart shoppers saw an employee grab that blue light and start wheeling it somewhere, they knew a great bargain was soon to be had.  But, until I had reached my destination, they had no idea in which department the sale would be.

    I would lead them like a mother duck.  

    First I'd tease them and head to Women's Wear, where I'd pause.

    No, no, no, I'd say, not here, and I'd keep pushing to, say, the notions department.  Another pause.  

    Sorry, no yarn or knitting needles on sale, just taking a break.

    I'd head to automotive, sporting goods, cosmetics, no no no, sorry, a line of ten or fifteen people following me like ducklings.

    Finally I'd stop in my real destination and, no matter what it was, socks, licorice, toilet paper, they were on it like a wild horde.


    Sadistic ba****d! ;-) (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by ruffian on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:26:49 PM EST
    Great story.

    TY (none / 0) (#97)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:24:50 PM EST
    Ah youth...

    Liked the 'F*g King'... (none / 0) (#108)
    by kdog on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:55:24 PM EST
    piece by the way...I could see it as a great satirical comedy film, make it a screenplay dude! Might find a buyer with the death of Osama and the Arab Spring in the news.

    Thanks for the props (none / 0) (#124)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:06:24 PM EST
    I was thinking about a movie the other day.  I want to get the story published first, tho.  Gotta see some sh*t in print before the medium dies for good.  Probably won't, but still, spent so much time in the screen/tv game, making a few bucks, optioning some screenplays, beating my head against a wall, with only a bad TV credit to my produced name.  Ready for some lit-tra-ture, ahem, snooty snoot.  Just kidding, but not about print.  

    I understand completely (none / 0) (#103)
    by jbindc on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:41:23 PM EST
    First job out of college, I was a Kmart assistant manager.  That's when I first realized what a sheltered life I'd led to that point - the stuff people would pull to steal merchandise and scam money out of the store.  Not to mention the various places I saw and heard about people having sex.



    I was only K-1 (none / 0) (#107)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 02:52:56 PM EST
    Asst. Manager, you were like, what K-50.  I think I recall K-100 being the manager.  

    I once carted a mop around the entire store, TWICE, following the trail of leaking Icee that finally led to an obscenely large and ugly man looking through ladies hosiery.

    We need a support group. ;-)


    I dunno (none / 0) (#125)
    by jbindc on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:07:00 PM EST
    I had a master's degree and came out making $27,000 / year (in 1993).  That was for 48 hours per week, but of course, I usually worked 60 or so (unless it was the holidays, in which I usually clocked 80-100 [on my feet] - for the same $27,000).  My hourly rate was something like $2.17 / hour and my lowest paid employee got $6.50 / hour and had to leave after 40.

    Add to that I had the most abusive boss - she was so bad, she used to brag that the company had sent her to Dale Carneige classes - twice. I heard about how horrible she was  - 2 years before I met her.

    I must say one of the most interesting things I saw was a video of an older Hispanic woman wearing a broom skirt.  She was with a young white guy, and they looked like an interesting pair to begin with. They went to the electronics department, where she proceeded to grab a VCR, place it under her skirt, and walk the length of the store (a Super-K, no less) with a VCR squeezed between her thighs. Security couldn't legally stop her until she crossed the threshhold of the store, so they waited until she did.  At that point in the video, I told our Secuirty Manager, I thought the lady earned that VCR and he just laughed.

    I also witnessed via video a young woman, um, orally pleasing her boyfriend on a busy Saturday afternoon while people were shopping in the aisles around them, and,on a different day, I saw a guy doing what I thought was jingling change in his shorts pocket (he wasn't - figured that out after he put his hand up under his shorts).

    And yes - we definitely need a support group. Retail takes very special people to work in it for more than a couple of years.  :)


    No lie (none / 0) (#129)
    by Dadler on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:29:11 PM EST
    We had a guy who, for a few weeks before he was caught, go into the men's room, jam the door locked behind him, clog the men's room floor drain, the sink drains, the toilets, then turn them all on and overflow them, and as the floor flooded he'd make sure, of course, to take a nice big dumper, and then walk away out the door.  After a few minutes, the sh*t, while not hitting any fans, would be seeping out into the store.  I, lowly K-1, was sent in to clean it out the first time, but not until I demanded fishing boots from sporting goods, and a two disposable jumpsuits from the paint dept.

    We could go forever.

    Just sick.


    how did i miss out on (none / 0) (#113)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 03:07:53 PM EST
    the exciting career of retail.  You guys make working at Bruegger's Bagel's sound downright boring (it was).

    The craziest job I ever had was definitely waiting tables.  But that's a story/rant for another day/blog.  Honestly sometimes I feel like I suffer ptsd from that place.


    You probably do (none / 0) (#126)
    by jbindc on Tue May 10, 2011 at 04:08:37 PM EST
    I felt that way after I left Kmart - like I left an abusive relationship.

    To this day, when I walk in a department store (especially at the holidays), I have a moment of flashbacks.


    abusive relationship (none / 0) (#131)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:05:45 PM EST
    sounds about right.

    Considering the fact that my last day on the job I fell down a flight of stairs - slid down the railing on my stomach, hit the post at the end and toppled over the edge.  I pretty much walked out after that, but I was already 9/10 of the way out the door.

    I will say that seeing so many people make so many bad decisions probably helped keep me off some hard drugs.


    I worked (none / 0) (#133)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:16:38 PM EST
    retail too and the store I worked for was massively abusive--always assuming that you were stealing and threatening to fire you and reminding you that SC was a right to work state where they could fire you at will. Abusive is certainly an apt name for that relationship though I did work for another retailer Macy's that actually treated you decently.

    I hated working retail (none / 0) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:13:10 PM EST
    when I was in high school, mostly cuz my boss was such a pervert.  If only I had understood what lawyers were for then :)  But I loved waiting tables and bartending in my college years, and I made bank, and life was always so much fun back then.  I was a happy terror.

    recipe for disaster (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by CST on Tue May 10, 2011 at 05:30:03 PM EST
    clutziness and waitressing don't mix.  Neither do 22 year olds and business management.  Neither do dating and power.  Neither do live music 7 nights a week and homework.

    Strippers and blow on the other hand...

    Let's just say I don't think this was your average waitressing experience.  Starting with the fact that I was dating the owner (before he was the owner) who was a 22 year old I went to college with who decided it would be a great idea to start a bar while still in school, raised some money through friends, and actually followed through.  To the 19 year old me this was seriously cool - so I thought why not help him out as staff, etc...  The first of many bad decisions.

    It really was an abusive relationship.  If not in the physical sense, certainly the emotional sense.

    I guess this is a rant for today after all :)


    Those were my days of run away bride (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 10, 2011 at 07:51:16 PM EST
    I think I was engaged with rings 4 different times :)  Only one dress and invitations though that I laid black marks on :)  I would date someone hard for about a year, and then what do you do?  Honorable women get married, I tried to think about it.

    That's what we're here for, honey (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by jbindc on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:16:26 AM EST
    We're cheaper than therapy and you don't need insurance to come here.



    mittens to give heath care speech (none / 0) (#78)
    by Politalkix on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    Don't put your dirty mittens on  health care

    Juan Cole re Pakistan's PM speech (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Tue May 10, 2011 at 01:34:06 PM EST
    and long time deal U.S. had to encroach upon Pakistan's sovereignty in certain instances:  Informed Comment

    Very cool ending (none / 0) (#136)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue May 10, 2011 at 06:23:29 PM EST