Monday Morning Open Thread

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Open Thread.

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    If true (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:37:53 PM EST
    The Petraeus shark may have finally been jumped.

    According to Katie Hinman of ABC, Jill Kelley's twin sister has hired Gloria Allred. The sister has attempted to sue most everyone else in recent years. Looks like she may be hoping to expand her list.

    I knew... (none / 0) (#77)
    by rdandrea on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:47:54 PM EST
    ...she'd elbow her way into this sooner or later.

    Read this comment on google. (none / 0) (#87)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:35:31 PM EST
    "In view of the vicious vitriolic, venomous vilification of the vivacious, voluptuous Khawam sisters by over-zealous media vipers, the Venus-like Natalie was very wise to retain legal counsel to facilitate her total & complete vindication."

    Gotta respect the alliteration, if (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:38:51 PM EST
    not the sentiment.

    "Venus-like"??? (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:40:15 PM EST
    Venus?????  Really?  Who the he!! said that?  Oy, vey!

    very vapid (5.00 / 6) (#96)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:40:42 PM EST
    and vaguely vomitaceous.

    Why am I not (none / 0) (#90)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:41:44 PM EST
    at all surprised?  I suspected that Gloria Allred might well elbow her way into this mess.

    I guess the election is over (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:43:53 AM EST
    Joe Biden, my favorite cracker, is out there calling my President a homeboy.  Joe Joe Joe, life is boring without you.

    I (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:36:26 AM EST
    think I could gladly endure a little more boredom were Joe to get a job elsewhere.

    yep (none / 0) (#104)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:36:45 AM EST
    everyone has a "favorite" "Joe Biden" moment




    I admit (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:44:01 AM EST
    to using Paypal.
    I find it less nerve-racking than entering a card number on a website with which I am not familiar.

    Nevertheless, I am aware that it is a right-wing organization. What it did to add to the misery of Julian Assange and Wikileaks was a real exercise in suppression of freedom of speech and a capitulation to our right wing government hellbent on secrecy.

    So, what can I say?
    I haven't resolved this as yet.

    But the last straw might be what I see every time I go to log in:
    That "Paypal is the most LOVED way to pay..."

    Quite a word.
    Not only do we have to endure their politics, we have to love them.

    Does Paypal have a competitor? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:54:18 AM EST
    Not (none / 0) (#23)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:16:27 AM EST
    to my knowledge...

    No EXACT competitors (none / 0) (#29)
    by rdandrea on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:35:42 AM EST
    But Amazon Payments and Google Checkout operate in a similar niche.

    Paypal is more comprehensive in its choice of payment methods.


    I (none / 0) (#32)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:14:02 PM EST
    find that many businesses - online businesses - offer paypal as a payment option.

    Amazon, as far as I know, registers your card once, and you can just click to order after that - but only from them.

    Google checkout - I have never run across.
    But Google is a pretty unsavory organization as well.

    For that matter, the banks that issue credit cards are a fine lot of thieves.


    Amazon Payments (none / 0) (#35)
    by rdandrea on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:49:25 PM EST
    is a system like PayPal that can be used by vendors outside the Amazon community.  It is a little like PayPal in that you can charge it up with money and run a balance (thereby allowing Amazon to ride the float on your money).  It's unlike PayPal in that you can't link it directly to a bank account, however you can link an Amazon Payments account to a credit card.

    PayPal isn't cheap for the vendor, by the way.  Their base fee is 2.9 percent plus a flat 30 cents per transaction.  Many vendors pay the price because it is convenient for the buyer.  I will confess that I'm much more likely to impulse buy small things if the vendor takes PayPal.

    It's also a pain for the vendor in that it will yank money out of the vendor's account very quickly on almost any buyer dispute (up to 45 days from the date of sale).  I buy used astronomy gear now and then and prefer sellers who take PayPal.  Right wing company or not, the dispute policy is why I like buying with PayPal.  I feel I have have quite a bit of protection if the condition of an item is not as advertised.


    I (none / 0) (#45)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:03:48 PM EST
    have to agree.

    The dispute policy is definitely a plus.
    It was my only leverage against a dishonest vendor.

    So there you have it.

    A bargain with the devil.


    But (none / 0) (#52)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:21:56 PM EST
    do I have to love them?

    No (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by rdandrea on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:27:28 PM EST
    Google checkout, (none / 0) (#65)
    by the capstan on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:53:07 PM EST
    I think, share info, I think.

    Aren't They Owned by Ebay ? (none / 0) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:15:35 PM EST
    I use PayPal all the time and occasionally Google Checkout.

    I bank at Bank of America and Capital One, BoA owns my mortgage.  Seems like a lot of those Hedge fund managers are making ridiculous 'donations' to the candidates/causes on the right.

    Not sure how one avoids the right in financial matters.  


    Why has General Petraeus lawyered up? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:57:08 AM EST

    More investigations in the works (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:22:37 AM EST
    The FBI found no reason to further investigate Petraeus, but the CIA is now investigating whether the former director behaved inappropriately, such as possibly using agency resources to further the affair. link

    Link? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:58:18 AM EST
    Here's (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:06:24 AM EST
    Looks to be PR (none / 0) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:10:53 AM EST
    as opposed to the insinuated meaning behind "lawyered up".

    Of course that could also be the law firm doing PR after Petraeus lawyered up :)


    So he's protecting his (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:15:25 AM EST
    Future in the public eye?

    From what I gather (none / 0) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:40:46 AM EST
    that has been a lifelong process for him.

    I have found the approach to the media by Kelley and Broadwell interesting. While neither have spoken, Kelley calls 911 and emails the mayor to complain about the camped out media. Broadwell's brother by comparison takes two pizzas outside to the media and says, "We thought you guys might be hungry".


    Free Food for the Press... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:39:11 AM EST
    ...worked for McCain, well almost.

    Maryland and Rutgers... (none / 0) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:06:30 AM EST
    to the Big 10.  Opens up two major markets for the league.

    I was hoping for a westward expansion, but oh well.  Maybe that's still to come.  

    Ridiculous dilution (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:12:10 AM EST
    of  the brand name.

    Oculus (none / 0) (#26)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:21:31 AM EST
    FEAR the turtle!

    It's all about... (none / 0) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:03:30 PM EST
    the cold, hard cash money.  The Big Ten Network is a bit part of that.  

    Doesn't make it easy for fans west of Mississippi (or Missouri for that matter) to be able to drive to a game in College Park or New Brunswick and get back home in a weekend.  


    Even Maryland basketball? (none / 0) (#98)
    by unitron on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:37:04 PM EST
    They're leaving the ACC?

    Great show! (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:15:53 AM EST

    Clinton has even been out there (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:19:08 AM EST
    saying we must get our deficit under control or interest is going to start killing us.  You don't fear this?

    President Clinton has (none / 0) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:43:36 AM EST
    been involved with the Peterson Foundation and its "Solutions Initiative" for quite a while.   After the electoral harbinger of the upstate NY election that hinged on Paul Ryan's budget, especially his Medicare coupon-clipping program,  Clinton seemed as though he was trying to cheer up poor Ryan, saying that Clinton hoped that Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing.  And, of course, ended with his backstage encouragement to Ryan to "give me a call" to discuss Medicare.   Pete Peterson is no friend of Medicare or Social Security, in my view.

    Can we get some cold figures? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:53:12 AM EST
    I am trying hard to understand what it is that Clinton is talking about.  It is shadowed.  

    Clinton shouldn't be able to run around saying anything and not be able to break it down.


    Seems Like His Budgets... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:21:05 PM EST
    ...back in the day, the ones with surpluses, kind of speak for themselves.

    If there is one person that actually has some credibility on the Federal Budget, it would be Clinton.


    Surpluses in a fiat economy... (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:16:55 PM EST
    ...are pretty much useless. If we traded in seeds or livestock or something that had a utilitarian function, then having some in surplus makes sense. Having a surplus of inanimate objects of no other use or value, and when those inanimate objects are REQUIRED to alleviate human suffering or great human need, it seem similar to keeping food away from people during a famine.  I really believe, on a daily economic basis, we've been so indoctrinated in this country, and our operating paradigm is simply that money is more important than people on a daily economic basis. Sad but true it seems.

    Raise the floor!


    Hardly anyone gets this, Dadler... (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:59:41 PM EST
    and no matter how many times you explain it, or simplify it, or point people to places where they could learn more, it's rare for the light bulb to go off or for people to have an "aha" moment.

    We've been brainwashed into thinking that the federal government having "money in the bank" is the same good thing it is for individuals - or that not having it is the same bad thing it is for individuals.  It might not be good for someone to have maxed out credit cards and be using cash advances to pay his or her living expenses, but it seems impossible to convince people that the federal budget doesn't operate the same way, or mean the same thing.

    Very frustrating.

    And I get especially frustrated with this near-veneration of Bill Clinton - even more so as he seems to be parroting the likes of Pete Petersen, Bowles/Simpson and Paul Ryan, whose ideas are terrible for the country, and even worse for those with the least.

    There seems to be little realization or analysis of who derives the most benefit from all this budget-balancing and deficit-reducing and austerity-imposing; shoot, when you look at who's pushing it, it's almost impossible to believe these people have the interests of the average person at heart.

    And yet...the genuflection continues.


    prefer: flexible medium of exchange (none / 0) (#105)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:39:32 AM EST
    the "interest" thing is the "problem", as a sovereign, the US needs an "organic system"
    from this:
    US Treasury needs currency to pay for items and wages, prints Bonds (asset), calls the Fed Res, Fed calls Bureau Of Engraving and Printing to order currency in the amount of said Bonds, Fed gets Bonds and US treasury gets currency, the US Government pays interest, which is not created, so there has to be a larger and larger debt the national debt has interest compounding

    to this is the way a healthy system works:
    US Treasury needs currency, Labor/work is an asset that backs the currency for medium of exchange purposes, BEP sends over the amount the Government authorizes, eliminating interest as well as the national debt

    it is foolish to listen to the "austerity" and "balance budget" folks because the interest was never brought into circulation to pay back the debt with interest

    the productive work/products/service is the important master and the medium of exchange is the servant to accommodate and facilitate them

    kinda simplistic


    I Get That... (none / 0) (#110)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 11:22:50 AM EST
    ...but really, an inanimate object.

    If we didn't have this debt to begin with, there would be no calls for austerity.  The debt in itself proves that debt is bad.   Seems like you are arguing when, not if, the debt should be reduced which of course will not happen without a surplus.

    But that wasn't my point, which was that Clinton, if anyone, actually has credibility on the federal budget, whereas nearly everyone else in the discussion is basing their views on abstract thoughts and models.  You might not agree with him, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have credibility.

    I don't buy into the off cliff non-sense, but it doesn't take an MBA to figure out that less debt is better than more debt, everything else being equal.  And as much as you want to call it inanimate, a surplus represents more of those objects in each and everyone of pockets.

    And for the record, sign me up in the raise my taxes camp.  I have no problem pitching in my share to help folks in need and to reduce the debt.


    They've all lied about budget issues though (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:05:46 PM EST
    Or they lie by omission. The entire beltway has "allowed" the vast majority of Americans to believe that Social Security is "broke" and that it is adding to our debt.  Both of those myths are myths, but many Democrats and Liberals don't clear that up because they hope to use the shared fallacy.  If they can't break it down for me these days and then allow outsiders to analyze their data....historically speaking, very recent history....they have all eventually been found to be full of $hit.

    Cold figures... (2.00 / 4) (#100)
    by Rojas on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:03:28 PM EST
    How many dead...
    Bill Clinton told us early and often
    Iraq had WMDs..
    He removed the compliance testing that could prove otherwise. He trashed Ritter (the whistle blower)  when he disagreed.
    Big Dawg... I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire.

    More CDS fairy tales (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:13:29 PM EST
    Funny stuff.

    Well, we certainly can't just ignore it, ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:43:37 PM EST
    ... and keep piling up debt ad infinitum. At some point, we're going to have to get serious and act to get our fiscal house in order, or it will make things worse.

    For the better part of the '80s, '90s and the '00s, the Republicans in California thought they could keep kicking the can down the road. Their unyielding hard line on taxes and revenues compelled the state and its voters to approve bond issue after bond issue just to meet basic operating costs. By 2008, California was in the fiscal weeds with increasingly limited options.

    As a result, CA voters have since concluded that the GOP is an active impediment to reaching any fair-minded budgetary solutions, rather than a good faith participant in the search for them. That's why the last two election cycles have been so devastating for Republicans, rendering them marginalized politically.

    The GOP's fate in California is what eventually awaits Republicans nationwide, if their congresscritters continue to obstruct efforts to fix this mess on behalf of their wealthy corporate benefactors.


    Talking about the federal government (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:56:23 PM EST
    and its approach to spending and debt, and talking about spending at the state level is pretty much an apples-and-oranges discussion - it's really two conversations, because there is no equivalence.

    Doesn't change the GOP's effect and intent with regard to either - we know they get in the way no matter what - but the federal government is not under the same restrictions and imperatives that most state government budgets are, so I would caution you to stop discussing them as if they were.

    The feds can and in many cases should incur debt; it's never been cheaper to borrow, and there are a lot of places the feds could spend the money that would have very positive effects on the economy.

    And I really wish people would stop acting as if Bill Clinton was some kind of fiscal guru - he's responsible for a lot of policy that got us to the 2008 meltdown, and he's entirely too cozy with the forces of austerity.


    I guess I can take a break (none / 0) (#13)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:27:21 AM EST
    from Philly sports radio for an hour.  Good show so far.  From Krugman:

    Every time you read someone extolling the dynamism of the modern economy, the virtues of risk-taking, declaring that everyone has to expect to have multiple jobs in his or her life and that you can never stop learning, etc,, etc., bear in mind that this is a portrait of an economy with no stability, no guarantees that hard work will provide a consistent living, and a constant possibility of being thrown aside simply because you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    And nothing people can do in their personal lives or behavior can change this. Your church and your traditional marriage won't guarantee the value of your 401(k), or make insurance affordable on the individual market.


    Wow, I really hear that this week (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:07:51 AM EST
    Stressing out over possible contract non-renewal for reasons nothing to do with my performance now or over a long career of doing good work in bad circumstances.



    I'll be thinking of you. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:26:32 AM EST
    What the huck, chuck? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:00:20 AM EST
    you can't have doorbells in the show.  All my dogs are barking now

    It's Monday morning, and I think that ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:04:47 AM EST
    ... everyone could use a good, hearty laugh to start off Thanksgiving week.

    I mean, c'mon, the Republicans wouldn't really be THAT dumb now -- would they?

    That's sweet (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:07:28 AM EST
    Bless your heart Charlotte.

    They (none / 0) (#25)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:21:08 AM EST
    laughed at Reagan. What an idiot.

    Then he got elected - twice.

    And now he is beatified.
    Admired by all. Including you-know-who.


    Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:17:28 PM EST
    For starters, Reagan didn't just walk off the job halfway through his first term as governor because it was too hard and he didn't like it anymore.

    Suffice to say that the times and circumstances we face today are entirely different from the Cold War-era conditions as they existed back in 1980. And while we shouldn't dismiss Sarah Palin as a know-nothing ignoramus, that doesn't mean that we should also ignore an opportunity to treat her like one whenever it presents itself.


    Reagan (2.00 / 1) (#80)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:07:51 PM EST
    was a half-wit.

    Palin 2016 ?!?!? (none / 0) (#99)
    by unitron on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:46:00 PM EST
    "Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan: charming and affable and unwilling to back down if she's right."

    Or to back down if she's wrong, one suspects.

    In the unlikely event of her ever considering the possibility of being wrong.

    2016--Hilary versus "We've decided to double down on crazy this time around".

    Be interesting to see how they try to go about smearing Clinton for being a woman while nominating one.


    The Democrats were the problem (none / 0) (#101)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:40:18 AM EST
    before, and they'll script the Republicans again.

    Good questions (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:11:39 AM EST

        First, how can a debt-ridden economy grow if a large part of demand in the past was based on debt, which is now to be reduced?
        The second major problem of modern capitalism is this: How can the unleashed financial markets be reined in again, and how should the G-20 countries come up with joint rules for major banks, which are their financiers and creditors, and for markets, which punish and reward these countries through interest? How much freedom do financial markets need to serve the global economy as a lubricant, and what limits do they need so that banks, shadow banks and hedge funds do not become a threat to the system?
        Third, how do governments mediate between the power of the two sovereigns, how do they reestablish the primacy of citizens over creditors, and how does democracy function in debt-ridden countries? How can politicians react without burdening countries with more debt, and how can they reduce that debt? In fact, how can they even govern anymore in this prison of debt? In the past, future revenues were mortgaged, in municipalities, states and the federal government. This now makes it difficult to structure the present and the future. Today only about 20 percent of the federal budget is truly politically available, as compared with 40 percent when Schmidt was still in office.
    Worlds Debt Prison

    Ooooh. Ooooh oooooh (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:12:04 AM EST
    They are probing the Friends of MacDill program.  WHY?????  They interviewed some members, people who do really work hard for those in need.  So why the probe?  Airplane rides?

    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:19:34 AM EST
    they are only investigating a chapter of "Friends of MacDill", the Friends With Benefits of MacDill"

    Silver Linings Playbook (none / 0) (#28)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:31:15 AM EST
    Saw it with the Mrs. this weekend in the city. On the fence about the film as a whole, it was a little too on the nose and easy, but it had a song in it that I used to listen to in college over and over after my girlfriend broke up with me. Hearing it again was almost worth the price of admission. The song? "Girl from the North Country" by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. (LINK)

    Peace, y'all.

    If (none / 0) (#33)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:21:07 PM EST
    a new democratic majority materializes, what will its agenda be?

    Cut spending, (none / 0) (#34)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:44:20 PM EST
    and mess with Social Security and Medicare, of course.  At least, that's what a lot of them are talking about (including Obama).  Except Harry Reid.  Let's hope he remains firm in his statement not to cut Social Security.  And add Pelosi to the list of those wanting to protect S.S. (sort of- her statement was much more ambiguous than Reid's).

    It (3.67 / 3) (#36)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:02:28 PM EST
    certainly looks that way.

    They will mess with social programs.
    My guess is that they will wind up with giving an insignificant tax hike to the very wealthy, and put the majority of the burden on the poor and nearly poor.

    I will add to this unattractive scenario by saying that during the campaign, I saw no difference in substance between Romney the Terrible and Obama the Good on the issues of war with Iran, Israel and the Palestinians, on war in general, on civil liberties, or on increased production of oil and coal.

    The dems are going to have to show me something before I get excited about their alleged emerging majority.

    As for Pelosi, that she could be ambiguous at this late date only adds to my generally downbeat feeling about today's dems.


    i know it's Allen West, but . . . (none / 0) (#38)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:07:31 PM EST
    . . . sound familiar?

    Election officials missed a deadline on Sunday to report results of a two-day recount in Representative Allen B. West's bid to remain in Congress, apparently sealing unofficial results giving the victory to his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy.

    St. Lucie County did not meet a noon cutoff to finish processing 37,379 ballots that were cast early in the 18th Congressional District race, but it eventually released the results, which showed Mr. Murphy gaining votes in the recount. Regardless, under Florida law, previously submitted results favoring Mr. Murphy will be certified unless an emergency exemption is granted by the state.

    "It puts an end to it as far as we're concerned," said Eric Johnson, an adviser to the Murphy campaign. "It puts an end to it as far as the state's concerned."

    For Christmas, I really want (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:11:21 PM EST
    a Bobcat (no, not the cat, the compact tractor).  Plus a whole lot of attachments and implements to go with it.  {Sigh}  Not going to get one, I'm afraid.  
    I also want a '57 Chevy in great condition, but I'm not going to get that, either.   :-(
    What can I say?  I like good machinery.

    Why tell us, Virginia? (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:32:49 PM EST
    And P.S. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:10:54 PM EST
    I thought that this was an "open thread," where we could talk about pretty much anything we wanted to.  Like sports, films, plays, music, our children, our pets, even what we want for Christmas.   ;-)

    Besides (none / 0) (#49)
    by rdandrea on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:17:37 PM EST
    You never know if someone on here will buy you one unless you make your wishes known! :)

    (Not offering)


    See adam b's post on Daily Kos re (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:19:17 PM EST
    beware of commenters seeking gifts!

    Oh, Mr. Zorba (none / 0) (#42)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:38:24 PM EST
    is certainly aware of my wish-list.   ;-)
    He'd like a Bobcat, too, and would not object at all to a '57 Chevy.  But in order to purchase such things, we'd need to inherit a whole ton of money from some very wealthy and heretofore unknown relative, or win the Lottery (difficult to do, since we have never bought a ticket!)

    Rent One... (none / 0) (#59)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:36:17 PM EST
    ...for the weekend.

    I worked at a rental center for a couple summers.  When the boss man left, we would all jump on the machines and act like fools.

    Bobcats are funner than they look because they don't have steering wheels.  That place was like a movie, just a bunch of screw-offs who worked the summer, smoked a lot of weed, and got to play with all kinds of cool stuff.  From wood chippers to bouncy castles to Ditch Witches.

    But... it had drawbacks.  I had to load, deliver, and set-up every single chair used for my college graduation.


    After you pley with a wood chipper... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by rdandrea on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:38:33 PM EST
    ...having just smoked a little weed, do people have to call you "Lefty?"

    I cannot think (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:44:22 PM EST
    of a wood chipper without thinking of Fargo.  (Sorry about that!)
    And if you have never watched the movie, don't click on the following link, unless you want to lose your lunch.  Be warned!

    As a Wisconsonite... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:53:29 PM EST
    ...when that movie came out, it was so offensive that I could hardly say the name without wanting to get violent.

    Now, after living in Texas for 15 years, I wouldn't call it spot on, but not too far off.  My friends come down occasionally and I am like who are these alien talkers.


    Oh, this is a great film, (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:02:07 PM EST
    with a great cast.  Not at all easy to watch, but the Coen brothers have produced some truly great films.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#61)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:39:24 PM EST
    Oh, yes, we have rented a Bobcat in the past, for work around our farm.
    They are just so cute.  And useful.  I still want one!  

    at 50k a pop (none / 0) (#68)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:54:45 PM EST
    you must REALLY want one.

    Yes, but (none / 0) (#70)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:57:26 PM EST
    it is not to be, not at that price.  Unless there really is a Santa Claus.

    Here's One In Virginia... (none / 0) (#73)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:08:59 PM EST
    ...for $11,900.

    Beware of equipment bearing new paint. (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Rojas on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:05:13 PM EST
    Better to see it in it's work clothes unless you know the re-builder very, very well.

    I have the one you linked slightly larger brother. That generation are well sought after machines for farm use. Reliable and fairly simple to repair. No computer connection to force you into the arms of the dealer.

    At my age a little bit of bobcat goes a long ways. I stand in awe of Ms. Zorba.


    LOL! (none / 0) (#84)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:22:53 PM EST
    Come out this way and take a gander at our 50-year-old John Deere 3010!  Very useful, but then, we have a 60+ acre farm and still grow hay.  (We used to raise beef cattle, but have gotten too old to do that any more.)
    I want a Bobcat compact tractor for the "little things" that need to be done around here.   ;-)

    No, that's a skid-steer loader, (none / 0) (#81)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:12:20 PM EST
    not a compact tractor.  For our purposes, a compact tractor is much more useful and versatile.
    And the tractors are cuter, too.   ;-)

    I Was Messing Around.... (none / 0) (#112)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:04:09 PM EST
    ... I went on Ebay as a joke.

    My dad collects tractors, before his friend sold his farm, they would restore them in the winter.  Last time I went up, he didn't have space and was renting space to store some of the tractors.

    That is one thing I will never miss.  I have to be somewhat elusive when I visit, because my dad just sees another abled-body.  I love the guy, but it's mildly irritating to be on vacation and pops thinks I should spend some of it bailing hay or picking rocks.


    What??? (none / 0) (#113)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:10:46 PM EST
    You mean to say that  vacations don't involve baling hay or picking rocks?  Don't tell my kids that!      ;-)

    I've got a bobcat-like John Deere 250 (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    It's okay :)  It's not all that though :)  When a hydraulic hose goes the bill makes you cry.

    Get some wrenches (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Rojas on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:52:50 PM EST
    Bust some knuckles and save some cash.
    Lots of places make hoses. No need to pay Deere prices. Just bring the old one in to a hydraulic shop and they can copy it.

    Absolutely correct, Rojas (none / 0) (#85)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:27:41 PM EST
    It's too expensive to buy "branded" stuff.  We also have a really good local welder who is able to do wonders with welding a lot of the broken parts on our equipment.  So much cheaper than buying new parts.  Plus, Mr. Zorba and Son Zorba are very good at fixing things, themselves.

    Every nut and bolt on that thing (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:55:29 PM EST
    is proprietary.  My husband took a panel off the other day and lost two bolts and he's still cussing because they cost $15 each.

    Does your old man have an A&P license? (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Rojas on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:04:39 PM EST
    I wouldn't think many pilots do but who knows he sounds real special with allot of time in. There's not a bucket of bolts more proprietary than those birds he's been flying.

    A few things:
    Buy the factory service manual. It's may run a couple hundred. You'll get your money back.
    Take pictures before...
    Get a Plano box or similar to put all parts in.

    All the manufactures strive to make everything on skidsteers proprietary.
    Fact of the matter is they don't have enough volume. Damn near everything on the powertrain and hydraulics side is off the shelf.

    As for hoses, even if the fittings are proprietary (which I doubt) any decent hydraulics shop will save them and build a new hose with the factory fittings including the custom bend radius.

    Finally go here. Get an account. They are rednecks. Not limited to the continental US but rednecks nonetheless. You'll fit in just fine. I don't know how the Deere support is there, but most folks are sole proprietors or farmers sharing what it takes to keep these things going and/or keeping the dealers honest.


    Crew Chiefs work on them (none / 0) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:33:20 PM EST
    It is too much for someone to fly combat and work on the things.  Two completely different things.  Two completely different schools that take about 2 years each to master and graduate from where all you study is this one specificity.

    We have (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:18:42 PM EST
    an old (1962) John Deere 3010.  It's huge, and useful.  But I still want a little Bobcat!

    I think Zorba wants a bobcat. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:30:12 PM EST
    What gave you (none / 0) (#91)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:43:13 PM EST
    your first clue, Angel?   ;-)

    Not sure, your hints were so subtle. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:47:24 PM EST
    Romney said: (none / 0) (#107)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:01:16 AM EST
    you got your "gift" before the election

    so cheer-up :-) its after election

    the Bobcat is one Bad Motor Scooter



    Site Violation (none / 0) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:25:00 PM EST
    My best guess is that this is spam.

    Yes, it is (none / 0) (#43)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:42:42 PM EST
    and it is spam from Turkey (or, at least, it is written in Turkish).  What is it with all the Turkish spammers lately, anyway?  They used to be mostly from Eastern Europe.

    translation: (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:50:47 AM EST
    Happy Thanksgiving

    Yikes (none / 0) (#46)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:08:06 PM EST
    I ran this spam thru google translate and it was all about weapons... although couched in a bath of gobbledygook.

    Interesting, (none / 0) (#55)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:43:22 PM EST
    but alarming.  I didn't hit the link, or translate the original post.  I just recognized it as being in Turkish.  Geez.....weapons.  

    A slight exaggeration: (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 01:54:51 PM EST
    "It's a sad, sad commentary on the attitudes of the day that a nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition is now having to hunt for a home, something like our savior had to hunt for a place to be born because the world was not interested," Hunter Jameson, head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee, said in advance of the hearing.

    Fed. judge plans to deny bid for park nativity displays

    Always With the Crucifixion Complex (none / 0) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:48:45 PM EST
    Would someone please explain the difference between and actual baby, the one they consider their savor, and a doll in a manger for public viewing 2000+ years later.

    There were something like 21 spots for 'religious' scenery and the atheists got as ton of people together and won 17 spots.  Personally, theirs are better, this is hilarious.

    I am not about making fun of ones belief's, but in this case, it's been so politicized that they bid for these tiny boxes, almost like prison cells(HERE), to display their thing, that it's almost begging for comedy.

    Not real inspirational to see a nativity scene that is in fenced in box, right next to another box.


    The theoretical parents of the savior (none / 0) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:54:09 PM EST
    found private property, as should Hunter Jameson.

    the new testament (none / 0) (#108)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:12:10 AM EST
    Freddie Mac and Fannie May arrived in the Chocolate city just in time for the arrival of Katrina, and wouldn't ya know it, the home they were staying in was under water



    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#54)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:36:39 PM EST

    Has anyone read "A$$holes: A Theory" by (none / 0) (#57)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:08:03 PM EST
    Aaron James?  Serious question.

    No, but I feel that (none / 0) (#63)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:46:55 PM EST
    I could write such a book.   ;-)

    Ha! I'm not sure why this is but I feel like I'm (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:01:48 PM EST
    living in a world full of them and I thought I'd read the book to try to get some perspective about why that is - why there are so many of them and why it's so annoying to me right now. I think I'll buy it and give it to myself for Christmas.  :)

    Hostess Brands Inc. and its striking union (none / 0) (#74)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    Hostess Brands Inc. and its striking union agreed on Monday to mediation to avoid the immediate liquidation of the baker of Ho Hos, Twinkies and Wonder Bread.

    Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., said attorneys representing Hostess and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union will participate in mediation Tuesday in a bid to avoid the loss of more than 18,000 jobs.

    "My desire to do this is prompted primarily by the potential loss of over 18,000 jobs as well as my belief that there is a possibility to resolve this matter notwithstanding the losses that the debtors have incurred over the last week or so and the difficulty of reorganizing this company in the first place," the judge said.

    He will preside over a mediation session Tuesday afternoon. If it isn't successful, then Hostess will return to court Wednesday morning to seek to move forward with its liquidation.

    Good news for Slayzero... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by fishcamp on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:17:56 AM EST
    oops, sorry.

    Always the Unions Fault... (none / 0) (#114)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:12:01 PM EST
    ...never the executives, who make millions, that run the company into the ground, and for Hostess, a second time.


    However, Hostess [and the conservative media] failed to mention that the 85-year-old company gave its executives pay raises earlier this year when it declared bankruptcy for the second time.

    ThinkProgress.org reports that the salary of the company's chief executive Greg Rayburn tripled from $750,000 to about $2.5 million, and at least nine other executives received pay raises ranging from $90,000 to $400,000.

    That tool Rayburn is out there bashing the Union while taking home a huge paycheck the same year his company declares their second bankruptcy.


    Pretty Sure... (none / 0) (#116)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:40:25 PM EST
    ...salaries of officers in a publicly traded company are easy to verify.  Yahoo Finance stores all SEC fillings if you care to dispute.

    Not that execs don't make a lot more than the other employees, that's a given, but according to Fortune he was making 125K/month, not 750K/year (62.5K/month) as thinkprogress claims.

    Additionally, he was initially hired by Hostess as Chief Restructuring Officer in Feb, 2012, after the co's second bankruptcy filing.

    He was promoted to CEO soon after he was hired, so his previous, presumably lower, salary as CRO may well be where the misstated 62.5K/month (750k/year annualized) number came from.

    Also I can find no primary reference regarding him getting a pay raise from the 125K/month to 250K/month (2.5 mill/year), and HuffoPo did print a retraction to their claim that he got such a pay raise:

    CORRECTION: An earlier version of as well as an earlier headline of this post incorrectly stated that Greg Rayburn received a 300 percent raise as CEO of Hostess as the company approached bankruptcy. Rayburn wasn't CEO of Hostess until after the company filed for bankruptcy. The post also incorrectly stated that he was paid a salary of up to $2,550,000 per year. His salary when he joined the company was $100,000 per month, according to a company spokesman.

    Pretty Sure... (none / 0) (#119)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:55:38 AM EST
    ...there is a huge bonus involved here, in the millions, there is a post on in Tuesdays open thread.

    I did not know they were a private company.


    the others and you shouldn't trust everything you read from thinkprogress.