Tour de France Open Thread

Tomorrow is Stage 12 of the Tour de France with a mountaintop finish on the HC Luz-Ardiden right after going over the HC Col de Tourmalet (with a little Cat 1 climb just before that.) It has a chance to be epic as the Tour heads to the Pyrenees. See this preview and this one at Podium Cafe.

Got to get up early to watch it. The riders will be hitting the foot of the Col de Tourmalet around 9:30 EST. I'm finishing some work tonight because I'll be watching tomorrow morning.

Oh BTW, for those of you following the Women's World Cup - Abby Wambach? A Gator. Just sayin'

Open thread.

< Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Accuser's Incarcerated Fiance Identified | Obama, Dems Fumbling Away Debt Ceiling Win? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Anthony Bourdain went to Havana this week (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:45:57 PM EST
    for No Reservations. Really good episode. Worth watching.

    My husband and I are hooked on (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:53:28 PM EST
    Bourdain, but haven't watched the new episode yet; it's on the DVR.

    His narration, which he writes himself, adds so much to the show - some of his asides just crack us up.

    Might be the best show of its genre.

    Tonight...the new - and last - season of Damages; John Goodman is the featured actor, and from the previews it looks like we're going to get into some timely subjects.

    Should be good.


    Unfortunately, he paid attention only (none / 0) (#112)
    by Peter G on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:08:05 PM EST
    to gourmet food for tourists and the upper (political) class, and none to what ordinary Cubans eat, where they get it, or how they prepare it.  He never got out of old Havana. If this show helps in the process of ending the embargo, that's all to the good.  And I agree that what he did cover was very interesting, but still, I thought it was sadly lacking in cultural context.

    Peter, did you get my email? (none / 0) (#114)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:16:26 PM EST
    I don't know if any of those sound reasonable or even possible... but hey, he's here!

    He gave a big disclaimer (none / 0) (#129)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:32:56 PM EST
    about what the show was and what it wasn't meant to be.

    More defensive and pointlessly apologetic (none / 0) (#133)
    by Peter G on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:34:32 PM EST
    than a disclaimer, I thought.

    Well honestly, he gets an hour a week (none / 0) (#134)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:03:27 PM EST
    He shows a pretty good picture of what he gets to see in the time he has.

    In my next life (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:05:50 PM EST
    I hope to be an internet news headline writer so I can come up with gems like this one that can be found today on the MSNBC website:

    "Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy"

    Leon Panetta, on his maiden voyage (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:25:10 PM EST
    to Iraq as Secretary of Defense, said to US troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad: "the reason you guys are here is because the US got attacked.  And, 3000 Americans--3000 not just Americans, 3000 human beings, innocent human beings, got killed because of al Qaeda.  And, we have been fighting as a result of that."

    After being questioned about his statement's seeming connection to Iraq, he tried to clarify by saying that he was not going into justification for Iraq.  It was more the fact that we really had to deal with al Qaeda here, they developed a presence here, and that tied in.   However, the clarification did not clarify that that development occurred after and because we were there.

    Now, I understand that it must have been difficult for poor Panetta to come up with a good reason for troops, who put their lives and limbs on the line, to still be in Iraq, but couldn't he come up with something other than Cheney redux?  Perhaps, he could have updated it with we are there for  blood bath prevention.

    Oy (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Zorba on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:31:52 PM EST
    vey.  That's all I have to say.  I think I'll go and pour myself a drink.  A big one.  (It's either that or pound my head against the keyboard until the little squares are permanently imprinted on my forehead.)

    His failure to edit was attributed to his (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:46:30 PM EST
    Italian/American heritage, as was his including "profanities" in his statements in Iraq.  I'm thinking he has confused his role as Secretary of Defense with that of Secretary of State.

    The key word there is (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:38:12 AM EST
    "confused".    But then, he does seem to join several of the cabinet secretaries when on their maiden voyage into the spotlight: Sec Napolitano (underwear bomber, the "system worked"), Sec. Vilsack ( Shirley Sherrod  fired based on Breitbart's charges), Sec. Salazar  ( Gulf blow and his initial response with  BP's Tony Hayward), .

    Pols. (none / 0) (#45)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:42:59 AM EST
    Frikkin' pols. I would have hoped for a filter, but geez, they love the sound of their own voices, don't they?

    I notice that all four of these pols had been elected at one time or other. Don't they remember vetting their words?


    And to think, (none / 0) (#10)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:06:50 PM EST
    he was once my congressman...and I used to respect him.

    Wow, giant fricken stupid (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:23:18 AM EST
    Like fence post stupid.  He's going to have to get a whole lot more up to speed and savvy.  It can't be easy being a civilian and immediately trying to bridge the social gaps that exist between Democrats and the use of military power.  I know he had a very brief military career and maybe that is going to handicap him a little until he comes to terms with the new job and the realities that that encompasses.  It was too short to really have to deal with the realities on an emotional/intellectual honesty level.

    Some more Dem great ideas to (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:50:14 PM EST
    make sure that there is no clean debt bill.

    Senate Democratic leaders are exploring ways to modify the McConnell plan to make it easier for wavering colleagues to support it, according to a senior Democratic aide.

    One option is to attach a package of spending cuts to the legislation so that Congress would not give debt-limit authority to the president without insisting on savings up front.

    Another idea is to establish a special bipartisan committee to craft a deficit-reduction package that would later come straight to the floor for a vote. link


    Seems that they might want another chance for Cat Food Commission implementation.

    hmmm . . . (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:04:19 PM EST
    White House officials on Wednesday pushed instead for a far-reaching compromise that would reduce the deficit by $3 trillion to $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

     "Bigger is better," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at his daily briefing. "It's an opportunity for a game-changer."

    of course they said that (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:53:31 AM EST
    they can say what ever they want.  if they offered to end SS medicare and reverse roe v wade the rebublicans couldnt do it if it involved closing one tax loophole.

    they are twisting the knife.


    I am wondering (none / 0) (#52)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:38:53 AM EST
    if this is all an elaborate game, or if the Senate Dems are actually afraid of taking these show votes to raise the debt ceiling.

    One thing I still cannot get over is Kent Conrad's incredibly late budget proposal.  That man is comically useless and ridiculous.


    IMO the elaborate game is the one (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:14:31 AM EST
    where the idea that Obama wants a clean vote on the debt ceiling without cuts on is being promoted.  

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is working with McConnell on this approach. Aides said the two are discussing a strategy that would pair McConnell's debt-limit proposal with at least $1.5 trillion in spending cuts identified through bipartisan talks that Vice President Biden has led in recent weeks.

    The deal also could create a committee of 12 lawmakers who would be assigned with identifying trillions of dollars in additional savings. The panel's recommendations would be fast-tracked to votes in the House and the Senate and would not be subject to amendment, a process similar to the one Congress uses for closing military bases. link

    So instead of McConnell's plan, which just increases the debt limit, Harry Reid is trying to add the Obama spending cuts to that plan, and a Catfood Commission II to deal with tax and/or entitlement reforms, with binding recommendations that get an up-or-down vote. link

    I think there is (none / 0) (#64)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:23:06 AM EST
    a legitimate question of whether or not Democrats feel compelled to make a trillion (or more) in cuts for the hell of it.

    Well, there would be a modicum (none / 0) (#78)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:08:56 AM EST
    of governmental efficiency in re-creating a Cat Food Commission.  Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles(if not made Tim Geithner's successor) are surely ready, once again, to charge on and Peterson is no doubt, once again,  willing to fund and staff it.  Never-the-less, let's hope that they have as much success at establishing a congressional Cat Food Commission as they did last time.  And, failing that,  the Cat Food Commission they do form is as successful as the stacked, yet failed Commission appointed by President Obama.  

    Dems can never leave well enough (none / 0) (#87)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:52:03 AM EST
    alone. and Haarry Reid - who I suspect is the president's stalking horse on this, because it's the only thing that makes sense - is proposing to modify the McConnell proposal.

    David Dayen [my emphasis]:

    And then along comes Harry Reid, I suspect at the behest of President Obama, to attach to this clean debt limit increase $1.5 trillion in binding spending cuts, with no tax revenues, and a catfood commission II schema that would offer recommendations on tax and entitlement reforms (there may be two separate commissions).

    This is a terrible "compromise." I was perfectly willing to trade the political win for Republicans with the policy win of a clean debt limit increase, especially because I don't think the political win is that much of a win. But as Jared Bernstein, who is more worried on the political side, writes, if you're going to do this, you don't give them the policy victory too.

    I say: don't go there.

    If we must have McConnell, it should be "clean McConnell." To attach spending cuts with no revenues probably loses Democrat votes and gets you right back in the turgid soup were in already. Not to mention it's imbalanced, lacking the revenue contribution needed to offset deep spending cuts that have the potential to do a lot more harm than good.

    Bernstein's only false note is that he claims this is being done to get House Republicans on the deal. I disagree. It's to get the President, now totally invested in a deficit reduction package on political and even policy grounds, on the deal.

    Keep in mind that the deal Republicans backed away from in the Biden talks was a 6:1 ratio of spending to revenue. The "grand bargain" Obama offered, with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, was actually a 3:1 ratio. This deal being proposed has an infinity:1 ratio. There would be no net revenues in it. It's possible that there would be a short-term payroll tax cut in exchange for some tax expenditures, but on a dollar-for-dollar basis, this would be a collapse of the bargaining position of no deal without revenues, along with the aggravation of having to take multiple votes on the debt limit.

    This is a compromise? Hardly.

    And I would not be overly confident that the social safety net will be, well, safe, because of the part about a new commission, which would once again provide for recommendations to get an up-or-down, no-amendment, no-debate vote in the Congress.

    It worries me that Obama keeps saying things like, "if we're making tough choices, we might as well just do it now," which tells me he is determined to get at these programs.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#91)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:06:56 PM EST
    I don't know what Reid is doing.  You're going to hand the GOP spending cuts, now?

    digby and Klein (none / 0) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:18:48 PM EST
    I don't think anyone considers Ezra Klein unconnected or hostile to the White House. So when he writes something like this, I assume they want it out there:

    In my Bloomberg column today, I argue that the Obama administration is much more intent on reaching a deficit deal, and much less intent on making revenues a major part of it, than is commonly assumed. That's led them to offer Republicans a deal that is not only much farther to the right than anyone had predicted, but also much farther to the right than most realize. In addition to the rise in the Medicare eligibility age and the cuts to Social Security and the minimal amount of revenues, it'd cut discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion, which is an absolutely massive attack on that category of spending.
    To put all this slightly differently, White House officials believe a big deficit reduction deal would do them enough good, both politically and economically, that it's worth making very significant compromises on the details of that deal. If you thought getting to $4 trillion in deficit reduction was a Republican goal, you're wrong. It's the White House's goal, and the only reason it might not happen is Republicans won't let them do it.

    ...By passing a budget deal, Obama will have made it harder for the GOP to use the budget and deficit as that issue. They may still try, but now Obama can take credit for cutting spending and the debt, all the while noting that many in the GOP sided with him.

    That's a lot of hope there. And a lot of pain for real people on the off chance that the GOP attacks will be blunted.
    I can't cheer this even if the economy turns around and unemployment is way down by the time of the election. The level and type of spending cuts that the White House has already proposed is a betrayal of liberal ideology and economic reality to such a degree that I'm rooting for the McConnell proposal, which is just bizarre. But it's the most sane plan on the table.

    (See this to understand just how deeply he is proposing to cut into vital services. This rationale just doesn't measure up in any way to the pain that this will cause and the danger we will all be living with in our daily lives as a result.)digby

    Yes, we know President Obama (none / 0) (#98)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:28:47 PM EST
    wants his grand bargain, so much so that when he reportedly took off on Cantor he threatened to take it to the American people.  That is probably as angry as Obama gets.  This was, after he warned Cantor "not to call his bluff", which is curious wording.  

    We, meaning you, me and others, know (none / 0) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:40:48 PM EST
    that Obama wants his grand bargain. There are many who not only do not know that Obama wants his grand bargain, they think his tenacity in pursuing it with all of the cuts to the safety net programs is just a clever ploy to get a clean bill.  

    True, but if President Obama (none / 0) (#118)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:29:23 PM EST
    wanted a clean bill, he would have seized the gift offered up to him by McConnell.  The dire financial consequences of not raising the debt ceiling have been made by Geithner, Bernake, most economists---and promulgated by the president himself along with ominous warnings for an inability to meet critical disbursements and other obligations.

    As president, achievement of a decent bill at this point would seem be his primary responsibility, with concerns for Republicans blaming him later for raising the ceiling, at best secondary.  In any event, the Republicans will blame him for anything he does, after all they can be mean, and after all, they are the opposition party.   But, that may be a good time for the president to go to the American people; moreover, that is what campaigns are about--he can explain and tout his record over his opposition's.  


    Why wouldn't everyone be following (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:45:49 PM EST
    the Women's World Cup? It's certainly been way more fun to watch than any other sport on the tube this month-including dudes peddling bikes. ;)

    Obama cut bad deals early (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Dadler on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:58:47 PM EST
    And said he did because to wait would make people suffer.  Now here it is, engaged in a complete farce that will help no one but those who will never need help, and apparently ensuring people don't suffer needlessly is no matter anymore.  If he truly care about Americans in trouble, he NEVER would've started down this road of cementing right wing paradigms as the defacto starting point for any financial negotiation.

    Congress legally trades on inside info (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:18:10 AM EST
    Granted the article is a month old, but if anyone didn't know this before, know it now -- corruption RUNS our country. (LINK)

    HINT: Dem's stock portfolios in the Senate outperform the market by 9 points, Repubs a measly 2.  For the Senate, however,  "their portfolios show some of the highest excess returns ever recorded over a long period of time, significantly outperforming even hedge fund managers,"

    I did not know this (none / 0) (#21)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:34:32 AM EST
    and I think it deserves to receive a huge amount of publicizing.

    i am shocked at all (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by observed on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:53:24 AM EST
    The crowing over Obama's supposed victory . There is no deal yet. Verify, and do not trust. We have yet to see how we are screwed, IMO.

    As I've mentioned before... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ek hornbeck on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:12:18 AM EST
    Le Tour on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

    We're there every day.

    Happy Bastille Day, everyone! (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:15:57 AM EST
    I hope the president celebrates by pardoning some folks like Leonard Peltier, all federal nonviolent drug offenders, and even some violent ones, if weapons possession was the only 'violence,' Bradley Manning Don Sigelman, and even a lot of folks I don't like but don't think they warrant prosecution.

    Storming the prison day... why not freeing the unjustly accused and convicted day?

    That's some serious hopium... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:28:57 AM EST
    my brother, but I like how you think.

    The arseholes we elect would never do it for no other reason as it would reflect poorly on the umemployment numbers.  Morality is not a consideration...how could it be?


    Wow! Never been accused of Hopium before. (none / 0) (#51)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:34:53 AM EST
    If it feels this good, bring on some more. Or xanax... they are interchangeable almost ;-)

    Cheerleading... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:49:08 AM EST
    for the discovery of a moral compass does feel good...but ya still need $2.50 to ride the subway.

    Once again, actually doing any storming of any gates will surely lead to martyrdom, absent the numbers.


    popcorn... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CST on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:05:29 AM EST
    if half of this article is true, I have to say, I'm kind of impressed.

    I would have loved to be a fly on that wall.

    ""And he said to me, 'Eric, don't call my bluff.' He said 'I'm going to the American people with this,'" Cantor quoted Obama as saying.

    "I was somewhat taken aback," Cantor said. When he continued to press the issue, Cantor said, Obama "shoved back from the table, said 'I'll see you tomorrow' and walked out.""

    "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Thursday that "Cantor has shown he shouldn't even be at the table, and Republicans agree he shouldn't be at the table.""

    Essentially, Cantor, et. all now want a short term deal on only the debt ceiling.  Obama is insisting on one long term deal that will raise the debt ceiling.  And he might actually win.

    Boehner (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:14:07 AM EST
    has been dispatched, and now Cantor is taking a beating.  That is really amazing.

    Boehner got dispatched (none / 0) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:46:30 AM EST
    by the Republican caucus's flat-out refusal to go along with his deal-making and by Cantor's desire to topple him and be speaker himself.

    Boehner has little choice at this point but to stand by and watch Cantor take everything up to the brink of catastrophe and then hope he can find a way to step in and save the day.  He's probably toast as speaker either way, though.  No room for almost-grown-ups in the Republican House these days.

    The White House and congressional Dems are knocking themselves out to deepen the rift between Boehner and Cantor, but they may come to regret that if Cantor becomes speaker as a result.


    One of the very few things (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:43:15 AM EST
    I like about Obama is his obvious visceral dislike of Eric Cantor, which has been on actual public display a number of times over the last couple of years.

    Isn't Wednesday night (none / 0) (#109)
    by robert72 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    party night at the WH? Obama likely walked out because he was late. Remember the press conference with Bill Clinton?

    Panetta should not be let off the hook (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:06:36 AM EST
    so easily.  His statement and following explanation are ridiculous.

    It's truly amazing that people appointed to cabinet level positions are excused for making statements any reasonably well informed citizen would never  make.

    We consistently let the high and mighty off the hook whether it's unrealistically low taxation, criminal fraudulent behavior, factual gaffes and a host of other behaviors which would get the not high and mighty fired.

    Panetta may not know the (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:56:28 AM EST
    difference between 9/ll and a Seven-eleven, and say so with impunity, but he better know which way Paul Revere was riding in
    in 1775 or the MSM will be all over him.   But, then, he is just a former CIA Director (up to a month ago) and the new Secretary of Defense, so it is not as if he is someone in a position of importance or anything.  

    And (none / 0) (#123)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:09:31 PM EST
    Chief of Staff under Clinton

    We have very low standards for bigshots and very high standards for everyone else.


    If ya know... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:11:42 AM EST
    how to keep 'em on the hook without getting locked up, we're all ears cal....as you said, they're up high and mighty...the guns and badges and law work for them, not for us.

    We know voting don't work, at least how we do it in the two-party framework.  What are our hold them accountable options?  Seriously, I think about it and come up with bubkis.


    kdog (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:27:13 AM EST
    I'm without solutions as well.  We're really in a box.  The media doesn't inform well enough but the media is part of that gang.

    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:40:06 AM EST
    it still gotta get worse I'm afraid...to where starvation is a greater concern than getting your arse locked up.  Hopefully a new age on enlightenment comes first, or a massive technological advance that isn't hijacked by grifters...or the worst hits after we're dead:)  

    After death is no good for me (none / 0) (#121)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    I don't want to leave my kids and grandkids a f*cked up US.

    The joys... (none / 0) (#122)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:09:24 PM EST
    of contraception on this end...no offspring to pang on the conscience for refusing to get locked up for the good of the nation...I know I'm selfish for my pre-emptive surrender, but cages really suck.

    What do you tell the next generation though?  Besides "get in on the grift if ya can" and/or "sorry we f*cked you so we could live way beyond our means on a house of cards"?


    Fascitnating article on the Stuxnet (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by republicratitarian on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:23:58 AM EST
    Prosecutors cause mistrial order in Clemens' case (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by magster on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:11:17 AM EST
    Showed the jury inadmissible and prejudicial evidence twice.  Judge to consider dismissing charges now.

    Oops! Someone at the prosecutor's office will get fired, I bet.

    Fired? (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:16:25 AM EST
    They should get a raise for saving the state the time and money they were fixing to waste on this nonsense.

    If the flub was intentional sabatoge, I'd say give the flubber a medal of freedom.


    Get them of the payroll, too. (none / 0) (#83)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:27:47 AM EST
    Why? plenty of decent lawyers who don't play dirty need jobs, too.

    Here's a link (none / 0) (#84)
    by Peter G on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:36:27 AM EST
    that gives some details.  The Supreme Court has set a pretty high standard that has to be met before a prosecutorial mistake at trial, even if bad enough to cause a mistrial, will trigger a double jeopardy protection against retrial, but who knows?  Judge Walton can be pretty tough on prosecutors, and he must know what b/s the case is.

    I suppose if you twice violate pre-trial orders (none / 0) (#100)
    by magster on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:31:43 PM EST
    on what is and is not admissible, the prosecutors are dancing close to the line on that "intent" test laid out in the case you linked.

    Funny... (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:19:07 PM EST
    this is why I love Nancy Pelosi.

    An insider confirmed a Washington Post report that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) engaged in a bit of "floral diplomacy" last week, shipping a bouquet to President George W. Bush. The arrangement, a gift marking the president's 65th birthday, came with a note that read, "Mr. President, Happy Birthday! Welcome to the Medicare years!"

    (the hill)

    Tour coverage (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jim in AZ on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:43:18 PM EST
    sigh  Tour coverage starts so early tomorrow.  Damn rude of the French not to schedule it later; I'll be getting up at 3:30am.  Looking forward to seeing glimpses of Mark Cavendish in head-to-toe green, creeping up the HC climbs in the autobus with all the other sprinters.  Loving the Green Jersey competition almost as much as I am hating the crashes.

    Allez, Andy.  Vill Gleck (Luxembourgish for, Go Andy.  Good luck!)

    It has been a brutal Tour this year (none / 0) (#22)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:46:04 AM EST
    what with all the crashes.  My Favorite, Chris Horner crashed out, now I am rooting for Thor.  

    Next to seeing (none / 0) (#25)
    by Nemi on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:45:48 AM EST
    the car from French Television drive directly into a group of riders, to me the most scary thing this far was seeing Chris Horner after the race being helped onto a stretcher not knowing who or where he was, having no recollection whatsoever of finishing the stage. I'm appaled that they let him continue after that crash.

    And interviewed after the race (none / 0) (#24)
    by Nemi on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:39:49 AM EST
    still not knowing, and then being told that he had earned the green jersey, he lit up even more and said - beaming with joy - "Luvely!"

    And how can you not love a guy who not only doesn't hide his emotions, good or bad, but also pronounces his "th"s as "f". :D


    It's hard to want to beat Japan right now (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:05:01 PM EST

    Not for our... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:46:47 AM EST
    amazing ladies of soccer it ain't.

    Should be a great match...Japan has got some skilled players, but we've got an eagle that soars high above the rest, the hardest working head in the futbol business.  

    So she played for the Gators, nobody is perfect:)


    Dude, Wambach isn't doing this alone (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:52:24 AM EST
    We have an incredible untouchable goalie and Heather O'Reilly too as regular stars.  It is a team though :)  We started going down when Wambach and O'Reilly were benched for injuries, and we made a come back when they returned to play.  I still don't have a lot of zeal for beating Japan though.

    I hear ya... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:08:45 AM EST
    a scrappy, gritty, and talented bunch.

    Rapinoe is probably my favorite...that cross against Brazil for the equalizer...hot damn on the money in the clutch!  And Hope Solo is just bad-arse like Han Solo.


    Fun to watch team (none / 0) (#108)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:59:48 PM EST
    with all their last-minute heroics and several dynamic players, including a cutey or two.  Rapinoe -- my pick so far for the Jean Seberg World Cup Best Player Off the Bench Award -- almost always delivers a spark in the 2d half with her energy and accurate passing.  Wambach is dangerous, given her size, with set plays that send a ball near her head; and against a much smaller Japan team, she again should have that advantage, assuming Japan allows many such set plays.  And Solo in the net has been steady -- no major mistakes to date.

    But against a very skilled ball-control Japan squad -- which is also much quicker and which has a solid back line -- I wouldn't recommend the US team leave too much scoring for the very end.

    Very entertaining this Women's World Cup.  Natural athletes too -- so unlike the men riding bikes in France right now -- with the only cheating I can see being the tugging on opponents' jerseys and the occasional fake foul flops.    


    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#13)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:17:37 PM EST

    Pedaling! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Joan in VA on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:46:48 PM EST

    LOL (none / 0) (#26)
    by Nemi on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:52:44 AM EST
    my dictionary warns: "Do not confuse peddle with pedal." Guess you're not the first and won't be the last. :)

    But whatever we call it I'm fascinated by it. Especially now when an Armstrong win is no longer predictable.


    The U.S. must default and reorganize (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:29:10 AM EST
    I have come to the conclusion that without, and I hate this phucking language, but without a War on the Financial Class of Criminals at the Highest Levels -- and I mean destroying these people as much as they can be destroyed sans physical violence.  Humilated, pauperized, marginalized, and make to know CLEARLY that they are the most wretched people America can produce, because they have NO excuse for their behavior.

    Class War is on.  

    its amazing that you seem to (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:56:58 AM EST
    believe that a default would hurt the rich more than the poor.

    of course it would be exactly the opposite.


    It would hurt everybody (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:44:58 AM EST
    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:05:35 AM EST
    everybody will hurt but how much more will it hurt the middle class is the question.

    Its gotta get worse... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:53:16 AM EST
    before it gets better...we can try and beat the odds, or we can leave it to the next generation.

    I'm down for a class war...err, I'm down to make it a two-sided class war, because the other side has already been fighting one, and for some time.

    Mortgage strike, Rent strike, General strike...we just need numbers, otherwise we will be snuffed by the wealthy's Blackwater, otherwise known as law enforcement.


    There was a lot of civil unrest (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:14:52 AM EST
    during the Great Depression, I think we will see it again too.  I think law enforcement crack downs will not be easy to predict though, I think some people will be allowed to protest but inevitably some law enforcement leaders will not allow it and people will be killed.

    Indeed there was... (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:22:16 AM EST
    Congress and the president did not just give us the 40 hr. work week, paid vacations, sick days, workplace protections, a minimum wage and all the other benefits we enjoy...civil unrest and strikes and heroes getting their heads bashed in gave us all that.  

    Bfrom about 1890-1916, the (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:32:51 AM EST
    the Socialist Party was a major player in city and state politics.

    With WWI, and good old authoritarian dem Woodrow Wilson, guess what happened to it?

    That's an oversimplification, but not entirely untrue. Look at the history of the IWWW, Knights of Labor, and the early AFL or CIO...


    And the red scare... (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 08:49:10 AM EST
    post WWII was the final nail in the coffin for any socialism 'round here.

    We need a reincarnation of Eugene V. Debs and stat Jeffrey.

    This calls for Debs wisdom nuggets...

    "It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it."

    Hear that hold your nose Dem voters? :)

    "Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most - that is, those who work hardest, and at the most difficult and most menial tasks, have the least."

    Hear that purveyors of "job creator" nonsense?

    And his most famous most beautiful nugget...

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

    Amen Brother Debs...Amen.


    Well, not exactly (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Towanda on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:34:28 AM EST
    as then as well as now, look at the programs and the principles -- and the principals, key players such as the mother of old-age insurance aka Social Security and others in the labor movement -- rather than convenient, superficial political labels in that transitional time between the wars.

    Some Socialist programs were subsumed first by the Progressive movement and survived -- finding shelter in circles such as Eleanor Roosevelt's -- to resurface as part of the New Deal.  

    And those are the programs under attack today by the allegedly liberal pols and their followers who claim to be Progressives.  Again, as ever, look at the programs and principles that they espouse, not at the labels that they misappropriate.


    Either you or I, (none / 0) (#49)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:25:18 AM EST
    or maybe both, will fill the role of Bukharin for our velvet revolution, brother!

    I have no doubt (none / 0) (#61)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:12:03 AM EST
    But without getting out of this death endless spiral of corruption, we will never again be a great country.  Never.  And that is not possible until we hit bottom, truly, like the wretched addict this nation is.  We are run by thieves and murderers and we seem not to care enough to act.  Yes, we will all have to pay a price, which means folks like us here will have to be more generous to those less fortunate than any generation in history.  Are we up for it?  Or will will ALWAYS look to someone else to solve our problems?



    And again: Congress legally insider trades (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:23:25 AM EST
    Should've read (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:30:15 AM EST
    ...sans physical violence, then we cannot possibly have any recovery that is not illusory.

    My husband (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:22:14 AM EST
    had a colonoscopy and I just got the bill. It's $900 so no thanks to the ACA for that one. The insurance companies are finding away around paying for stuff that Obama claimed they would pay for. I'm not surprised really. I knew the legislation wasn't that good.

    I have had them for years (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:55:07 AM EST
    before and after the ACA.  the cost is virtually the same.  it had little effect on that I suspect

    Just (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:12:52 AM EST
    reinforces my belief that the legislation is crap and really does nothing other than force people to pay a tax or buy junk insurance.

    My husband had a colonoscopy a few weeks back (none / 0) (#95)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    ...it cost him $0 (nil, nada, zero.) Kaiser Permanente, as part of the ACA emphasis on preventive care, encourages such examinations, and the costs are zero. (We are also quite fortunate because under the longtime federal exhange progam that the federal government runs for its employees--active & retired--the high option cost for total family, including eye & dental, is slightly over $300. Most federal employees, like myself, seem to believe that the competitive exchanges--transparent & published during each year's open season--has been a major facting in holding down costs.)

    My husband & I are very fortunate in this regard. I look forward to the expansion of the approach over the next few years. (Oh...just heard from a friend the other day that she was surprised to find her annual exam/blood draw cost nothing in keeping with changes now incorporated in her small group policy--private--following the ACA.)


    The cost is so low for retired federal (none / 0) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:31:42 PM EST
    employees because they are able to keep their federal health care and taxpayers pick up 70% of the cost regardless of the retirees income.

    There are two separate aspects (none / 0) (#130)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:28:16 PM EST
    In my comment, I noted that Kaiser's preventative zero & low costs approach for certain procedures are directly tied to ACA.  That is separate, of course (as you indicate) from the cost of insurance to federal employees & federal retirees. BUT, a significant portion of that cost reduction realized over the years stems from the concept & reality of an exchange--during open season, federal employees do shop around & there is a significant openness about the costs/coverage of various plans (including competing presentations.)  Hard to imagine, I know, but these "exchanges" do have a $$ reduction effect (apart from and in addition to the large group buying-power of the feds.)

    This is what bugs (none / 0) (#131)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 05:45:33 PM EST
    me: things are going to magical with ACA when: x, y, or z happens. Well, the first round has happened and it has failed to deliver on what Obama supposedly promised. If Captain above has had them before and after and seen no cost difference and ours is going against the deductible, then it really has failed on that account. If insurance is supposed to pay for them then insurance should pay for them all. The exchanges aren't going to change a thing.

    According to the Kaiser Foundation (none / 0) (#132)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:35:03 PM EST
    calculator the unsubsidized single health insurance premium on the exchange in 2014 adjusted for age (60) will be $10,172 in a medium range market. In a higher market it will be $12,206.

    That is for single coverage plan with a 70% actuarial value. A family plan with a 70% actuarial value would have a premium of $24,042. That is quite different than your the high option cost for total family, including eye & dental, of slightly over $300.

    So according to Kaiser, the "exchanges" do not have anything like the $$ reduction effect of the federal, taxpayer subsidized federal employees plans.


    I'm not an actuary (none / 0) (#135)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:29:33 PM EST
    ...and, admittedly, I enjoy the price capabilities of federal employees.  

    One thing: My paying-attention-to-his-family-history husband who has his colonoscopy every 5 years, as recommended, used to pay over $300 under the same Kaiser plan and, now--as a result of preventive promotion under the ACA--he paid $0.  My friend, Susan, paid nothing for her recent yearly complete physical exam--for which she previously paid a significant amount--and, her plan is a private small group plan (the same plan she had before.) Small anecdotal evidence that in these parts there are some clear changes.


    You do not have to be an actuary (none / 0) (#136)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:17:06 PM EST
    to understand that $847 - $1,017 per month for a single coverage policy that requires the insured to pick up 30% of the cost of health care does not indicate that the exchanges will result in affordable insurance let alone actual health care.

    For a family plan on the exchange to replace your current 70% subsidized federal insurance you would be paying in the neighborhood of $2,000 per month rather than $300 per month. That is a difference of $1,700 per month or $20,400 annually. You would also have to pay 30% of actual health care out of pocket. The insurance company would only have to pick up 70% of the cost (70% actuarial value).

    So while the health insurance legislation may allow for physicals at no cost, the exchanges are not making the actual policies less expensive. People will be paying quite a lot both in premiums and out of pocket expenses even as early as 2014 for sub par coverage.  


    I'm staying away from that one (none / 0) (#106)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    -- as I do with almost all "recommended" annual tests or whatever you're supposed to get at a certain age, unless it's a simple matter of drawing some blood.  No thanks on all the potential side effects, or potential for errors/mistakes in the procedure itself.

    It just sounds too physically risky, not to mention uncomfortable, beyond the costs.

    Eat right, including real foods, exercise daily, drink plenty of water, sleep and keep stress levels down -- keeps the doctor away.


    oh yeah (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 06:58:09 AM EST
    go Women's World Cup team!!!!

    and I dont care a sports at all.

    Obama to republicans (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 07:08:21 AM EST
    "make my day"

    this is a wonderful thing to watch.  Mitch comes up with his hale mary punt and the president walks out.

    the republicans are now in full panic mode.

    Unfortunately, Obama... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:43:55 AM EST
    ...is engaged in the same process they are, which is this Capt: in the worst economic crash and burn since the Great Depression, and in a time with the worst financial crime in US history, the president has decided that the best plan is to NOT go after that corrruption en masse AND take from the government the ability to do ANYthing for those who actually need help.

    He is a wretched piece of idiocy, and Republicans panicking or no we are STILL negotiating from Obama's favored and destructive right wing paradigms.

    And I will repeat: corruption, Corruption, CORRUPTION!!! (LINK)


    TPM (none / 0) (#53)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:45:00 AM EST
    on Obama's walkout:

    "I have reached the point where I say enough," Obama told the leaders, according to the account. "Would Ronald Reagan be sitting here? I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this."

    If he actually said that verbatim that would be hilarious.  Oscar!

    I love that he actually BELIEVES... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:39:28 AM EST
    ...that anything Reagan did was good?  Or that if Reagan were alive today, giant whore that he was, that he wouldn't simply go along with whatever would get him elected.

    Barack Obama is truly a monumental dumbsh*t.  He is aided only by the fact that Republicans are slightly more so.

    And THIS is what we're supposed to be content with?


    Speaking of soccer (none / 0) (#55)
    by CST on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 09:50:24 AM EST
    Machester United was in town last night to play a friendly against our very own, New England Revolution.

    The first half of the game was surprisingly close, and not just the score (0-0).  Although really only the second half of the first half was close.  Then the true second half started and... it is what it is.  3-1 at the end of the game, with our only 1 coming on a lucky deflection off a forward who didn't know the ball was going to hit him, nevermind trying to aim it.

    But it was fun to see.  Those Manchester boys are the real deal.

    Hopefully the ladies will show the U.S. boys how it's done.  I have no problem rooting against Japan.  Really glad this one is happening over the weekend when I can actually watch the whole thing live.

    Saw some of the friendly... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:06:36 AM EST
    good show to keep it close for so long...the talent gap, err gorge, was evident.

    But to be expected...their preseason or not, its Man U.  Hopefully the MLS All-Stars or another club can at least give 'em a good run, maybe a W.


    yes the gorge was very evident (none / 0) (#77)
    by CST on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:01:40 AM EST
    It was pretty funny, there was one player on the Revolution, number 17 Nyassi who was just... so bad.  He was always open, but whenever he got the ball sent his way he would either miss it, or lose it by the second touch.  It was kind of fun to watch him predictably fail every time at handling the ball.

    LOL... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:14:18 AM EST
    I think I know the player you're talking about...there was one rush when the Revs had numbers and some dude misplayed a ball so badly I thought I was watching one of my niece's games...except my fam's little soccer beast woulda coralled that ball and produced a chance at least:)

    She is so cute, being so into the Cup...she was calling me at work with updates yesterday.  And she was so mad she missed the Brazil game, and came home to hear me screaming "Gooooooaaaaaalllll" on their answering machine.


    This is the game you got to go to (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:09:40 AM EST
    in the flesh?

    yea (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by CST on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:38:00 AM EST
    my sister got the tickets a while ago from a coworker who bought them and couldn't go, and I was a last minute add.

    It was a lot of fun, the game didn't sell out (Gillete is huge) but there were about 50,000 people there, which is a lot for soccer.  And everyone was cheering for everything, our goals, their goals, good saves, good plays.  The true definition of a friendly.


    Bolling is aching (none / 0) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 10:40:22 AM EST
    to be the next Glenn Beck at Fox. (For now, FYI, he's at Fox Business, not Fox News.)  He's an absolute screaming disgrace.

    Mistrial (none / 0) (#79)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:10:33 AM EST
    In the Roger Clemens case. That was a given after a flub yesterday by the prosecution.

    Another brainiac expert... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:44:11 AM EST
    gives us an example of a benevolent tyranny...taking obese children away from their parents?  

    C'mon bro...I know ya mean well but yanking a child from his/her rightful place is f*ckin' serious business...too many twinkies and Big Macs is far too little reasons.  Child obesity is a serious problem, but thats a cure worse than the disease, and we got enough of those tyvm.

    The smartest people are often the scariest and most dangerous.

    Dear Dog. (none / 0) (#86)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:49:02 AM EST
    And of course, the fatbody police will be the teachers... not the parents or doctors or school nurses...

    yet another unfunded mandate if something so Nazi-esque passes.


    No worries... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 11:56:55 AM EST
    the soda and fast-food lobbies will never allow it to see any light of day.  And most Americans are damn proud of their spare tires:)

    Liberty makes strange bedfellows sometimes.


    I earned my the old fashioned way... (none / 0) (#89)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:01:04 PM EST
    Beer and Pizza.

    But my cholesterol and triglycerides indicate I'm a healthy fatbody ;-)


    "Is food allowed outside the mess... (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:26:51 PM EST
    Private Pile?"

    "Are you allowed to eat jelly donuts?"


    The p'toon has failed me! (none / 0) (#107)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:56:56 PM EST
    So instead of punishing private pyle, I'll punish all of you!"

    "You eat it. They're paying for it."

    Ahhhh... basic training. BAck in the old days it wasn't fun.


    I can't even imagine... (none / 0) (#111)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    my old man warned me and all his brood since toddler-dom that if we ever enlisted he would kill us...watching "Full Metal Jacket" sealed that deal for me.

    You know, when you're out of a job, (none / 0) (#93)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:11:27 PM EST
    or making minimum wage, and trying to feed a family, what are the chances you're going to be able to afford the kinds of foods that qualify as healthy, when you can get Mac 'n' cheese and all kinds of pasta for pennies a box, or you can take a couple bucks to the fast food place and eat burgers and fries and regular soda?

    And when you're working a couple jobs to try to stay afloat, what are the chances you even have time to cook real food - you know, the kind without all the added sugar and salt and fat - even if you could afford minimally-processed food to begin with?

    Honestly, the people who come up with these harebrained ideas ought to be given $3 a day and challenged to get three healthy meals out of it; that would be interesting, no?  Sure, there are a lot of children of privilege who have packed on the pounds, but here's the thing: lots of people who have the money to eat healthy don't - they hit the drive thru's in the mad dash of getting their kids to all their activities, they send them out the door in the morning with pop-tarts and hot-pockets, and dinner?  Where's the carry-out menu?  I know because I had friends when my kids were young who lived just like that - my kids used to think their friends were so lucky to be going out to eat all the time and getting to eat garbage food - I was the weird mom who cooked.  Oh, the horror!  

    True story - when my older daughter was 12, she was invited to go to St. Maarten with a friend's family.  When she got home, she told me that for the last 5 days of their 10 days away, she was dreaming of real food - even though they were staying in a villa with a designer kitchen (how come I never get to take those kinds of vacations?), they never ate one, single "home-cooked" meal - not even breakfast.  She said she hadn't really missed us, but she really missed my cooking.

    Seriously, we are, as a nation, so screwed up it's not funny, and this king of thing just makes my blood boil.

    I'll stop ranting now...


    Don't (none / 0) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:15:32 PM EST
    feel weird. My youngest complains that we don't eat out enough and my teenager will spend his money going to a fast food place to get food instead of eating something at the house. His excuse was "I was hungry". I said you couldn't wait five minutes until you got home? He has no answer for that. I tell him he's wasting his money but it falls on deaf ears.

    For sure... (none / 0) (#102)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:37:39 PM EST
    the bad sh*t is the cheap sh*t.  Wanna tackle childhood obesity?  Tackle the income gap and see where we're at.  Talk about out of touch.

    I lived in a house like yours Anne...always home-cooked meals, occasionally pizza or chinese as a real treat on a Friday night.  If moms was working the kids cooked.  A meat, a starch, a veggie and a glass of delicous whole milk...no substitions.  If ya didn't like something you were told "this ain't a restaurant, eat it!".

    And ya had to be home for family dinner unless ya had a really good reason not to be.  God help a friend of yours who rang the bell during dinner time...they got read the riot act, then we're invited to join us if there was enough.  And the random dinner guests pops dragged home from the bar for fuel...oh I got stories, and great memories.  


    Different world back then (none / 0) (#113)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:12:54 PM EST
    when most of us here were growing up.  Healthier foods and lifestyles -- much more outdoor activity for kids for instance, plus never a question we'd get plenty during recess and phys ed in school, something no longer taken for granted in today's public schools.

    Of course even back in the good old days of Ozzie and Harriet things were changing in terms of food quality (as in fast-food and frozen tv dinners and heavily pesticided foods) and lifestyles (more sedentary, in front of the tv).

    I think more people got more exercise back then, but there was a negative trend in terms of food quality.  And today we have organic food alternatives in most major cities.  Not so back then.


    Excercise is the key... (none / 0) (#115)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:23:04 PM EST
    to overcome the cheap food problem.

    Not much ya can do about bad parents except try to educate, but phys ed needs to be re-emphasized in schools, and school lunches and breakfast programs could always use healthier fare.  Not sure if they changed the standards since Reagan, but ketchup definitely ain't no vegetable.


    School lunch rooms (none / 0) (#116)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:25:58 PM EST
    have to squeeze every penny so hard it's painful on the fingers. Especially poorer districts where ALL the funds come from the USDA. Makes decent lunches all the more difficult.

    Less standardized testing... (none / 0) (#117)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:29:14 PM EST
    more phys ed and better food...our kids will be more rounded, and dare I say better educated, for it.

    Its gotta cost a pretty penny for all those bubble sheets, scanners, testing bueracrats, etc, etc, etc...and no kid needs that sh*t more than a healthy breakfast and a mile run.  Standardized tests are more for the adults than the kids.


    Those tests also (none / 0) (#119)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:35:06 PM EST
    contain race, gender and class bias, no matter how hard the folks work to eliminate it.

    Are we doing anything right Jeff? (none / 0) (#120)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:39:07 PM EST
    Besides our ladies playing top flight soccer?

    Anything? Education...fail. Health Care...fail.  Economy...fail.  War and Foreign Policy...fail.  Criminal Justice...fail.  Drug War...criminal f*ckin' failure.  

    Throw me a freakin' bone here:)


    Uhhh... baseball isn't on strike... (none / 0) (#124)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:53:56 PM EST
    American beer and pizza are excellent...

    Me like pie?


    The more I think about it, yes. (none / 0) (#125)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 03:54:59 PM EST
    We do pie better than anyplace else on earth.

    Got another one k, (none / 0) (#126)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:01:16 PM EST
    this isn't a commercial, either.

    Kitchenaid Mixers. Same basic internal design as 1950. If you need a mixer to do more, hire a chef!


    Ezra (none / 0) (#90)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:02:08 PM EST
    basically does "face value" reporting so who knows if this is just the Obama camp doing a PR ploy.  I think it's kind of a mixed bag.  Ezra:

    A lot of Democrats took one look at the McConnell plan, which would raise the debt ceiling without substantive fiscal concessions, and saw their way out of this mess. But not the White House. What's come clear in recent weeks is that the Obama administration is much more intent on reaching a major deficit deal, and much less intent on making revenues a major part of it, than most observers assumed.

    I can't claim to know what the WH actually wants, but there are a lot of people in the WH, apparently including the President based on his remarks about the economy, who do believe in confidence fairies and "deficit first" thinking.  Whether exposing the GOP is the primary driving force in negotiation or achieving these aims is the primary driving force, I don't know.  Maybe both, and probably more than anything the desire to win.  

    Trying to figure (none / 0) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:08:49 PM EST
    out what the WH or Obama wants is like trying to untangle cat guts (h/t gryfalcon on that one).

    Obama wants to make America (none / 0) (#101)
    by observed on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:33:14 PM EST
    a shining land of opportunity, for those who are deserving. Those who are not can live in Obamavilles for all he cares.

    A couple of Kennedy family (none / 0) (#104)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:42:51 PM EST
    disputes have been in the news lately.

    1)  Ted Kennedy in his will left his big house at Hyannis Port, part of the family compound, for the new Edward Kennedy Senate Institute policy center.  Apparently widow Vickie doesn't live there and it's just a "ghost house" currently, but RFK's widow Ethel lives next door and isn't thrilled by the proposed change of property usage, nor are some of the locals.  

    Surprising that Ted didn't get around to settling this one with Ethel and others before he passed on.  Or perhaps Ethel didn't want to dispute it too much at the time given his serious medical condition.

    2)  Where to locate RFK's papers, many of which are about to be opened to the public for the first time.  Ethel Kennedy and son Joe have complained that the original place for them, the JFK Library, hasn't done enough over the years wrt showcasing RFK and his achievements.  They are thinking about arranging a deal with Geo Washington Univ instead.

    Confused... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Addison on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 12:43:05 PM EST
    So Reid is working with McConnell on his plan to raise the debt ceiling and put some minor political "burden" on the Democrats, who'd have to vote for debt increases (as if that wouldn't happen already in a "Grand Bargain"). But Dems are actively TRYING to get spending cuts attached to it! I'm confused...

    "We would like to see, even if we can't get a grand deal, that some real cuts be added to Senator McConnell's proposal and perhaps Senator McConnell's proposal be modified," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "That is another possibility, not as good as a larger deal, but certainly better than just avoiding default."

    If Schumer is pushing cuts as preferable to what amounts to a "clean bill" debt ceiling increase, I have to believe there's something more going on here.

    They are looking (none / 0) (#110)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:02:00 PM EST
    to minimize the debt ceiling votes from 3 in 2012 to 1 via these cuts, I think.  The Senate Dems actually seem afraid of voting up the debt ceiling.  WTF is wrong with them.

    I don't understand how this is not a step back for the Dems in negotiations.  

    I think there is a genuine appetite for cutting among Dems, but, this is your response to McConnell?


    A new religion recognized. (none / 0) (#127)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 04:11:02 PM EST

    Hope this cheers Kdog up some... I didn't mean to harsh his mellow.