Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

Me and David Waldman on Daily Kos Radio:

On the agenda today: the continuing attacks on Susan Rice; is it too soon to ponder the 2016 presidential race; new PPP poll on Republican nuttery, and of course; more on filibuster reform. In particular, how well do comparisons of the 2005 nuclear option fight and today's filibuster reform effort really hold up? And why do editorial writers, misty-eyed for the days of the "Gang of 14" agreement, always forget that it enshrined the right and ability of the majority to change the rules by majority vote? Finally, a hint at a discussion to come: the NYT investigation into the value and efficacy of state and local government incentives granted to businesses in the hopes of bolstering job creation and retention.

Open thread.

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    RIP Dave Brubeck (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:52:09 PM EST
    Thanks for the link, and ... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:19:16 PM EST
    ... also many thanks to Dave Brubeck for all the music over the many years. "Take Five" hit the spot this morning.

    I (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:05:36 PM EST

    have a place in my heart for Dave Brubeck.

    When I was a teenager and forming an interest in Jazz, I went to hear his quartet at a New York club called Basin Street. After the last set I went upstairs and met him and talked to him about music.
    Although he was already quite famous and I was just a kid, he talked to me seriously and wasn't the least bit patronizing.

    Afterwards, he and the other members of the quartet were going to the Stage Deli for some sandwiches and relaxation and he invited me to go with them as his guest.

    There was nothing in it for him. Just a nice person being kind to a young person interested in music and in what he was doing.

    I will miss his presence on the scene.


    I envy you! (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:35:27 PM EST
    That's a great story. And I can easily believe Brubeck's behavior towards you was genuine. He seemed like a truly nice guy, and one who would really have enjoyed talking with a teenage fan.

    "Time Out" was the first jazz album I owned. My sister gave it to me as a Christmas present when I was 10 years old. I don't know why she thought I'd like it. First I fell in love with the album's cover art. Then I fell in love with the album.


    I heard last night... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:43:43 PM EST
    that the Stage Deli has closed its doors.  Another institution gone, a piece of history lost.  

    Bummer... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by unitron on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:30:03 PM EST

    Gettin' old sucks, 'cause all these great people keep falling victim to the alternative, and I'm not seeing any adequate replacements on the horizon.

    Congrats... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:57:44 PM EST
    on the big win last night...from the recap it appears your USF boys blew the Johnnies off the floor down the stretch.

    i emailed you some sh*tty cell pics (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:03:50 PM EST
    Tiny gym perspective.  I have a funny story about your star guard getting trapped in the lobby behind ticket holders waiting to get in.  

    Good game for my Dons, yes, Johnnies are very athletic tho, but, as Chris Mullin was saying at halftime, the next step for them is execution. USF played just about the best game I've seen them play in awhile.

    And you'd be proud of your boy Mullin, he's a class act all the way.  Was sitting to my left most of the game, moving around and talking to St. John's peeps behind their bench. Signed some autographs for USF clad little kids and made sure to shake their hands. Straight-up cat.  I think USF is coming out there next year, so who knows, maybe I'll get out that way.  




    Springsteen was great last night. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:17:06 PM EST
    3 hours 30 minutes of infectious enthusiasm and musical emotion. I've been entertained at many concerts before, but I've never been moved like I was last night. He is The Boss!

    Nice setlist... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:06:54 PM EST
    Love "The E Street Shuffle"!  

    Mad Tom Morello in the house, that musta been cool.  And Social D 's Mike Ness...wow.



    Ya, Ness and Bruce killed it doing a cover (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:24:12 PM EST
    of Patti Smith's Because the Night, thought you'd appreciate that.

    Some funny stuff, too. At one point Bruce crowd-surfed back to the stage and tried to tell them to turn him around before he got to the stage but they didn't hear him or something, and they ended up dumping him on his head on the stage. Thump! He got up laughing.

    There was a kid next to me who knew all Bruce's newer songs that I didn't, and I knew all the older songs that he didn't, like the E Street Shuffle.


    I suppose one should congratulate the (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:26:45 PM EST
    NY Times for committing an act of journalism with this story. The scam that is business tax credits has been known for years to anyone who pays attention to state and local government.

    These deals rarely, if ever, pay of for a state or city. The companies take the money and do whatever they want anyway. And local governments never seem to learn. They just line up to throw money at the next sweet-talking ceo.

    I live in a state with a very shaky tax base. We have not properly funded any state program or service for years, be it K-12 education, higher education, social services, heck, we don't even properly fund the state police. Prisons, well lots of money for prisons, more than we spend on Higher Education, but bupkes for most everything else.

    And still, this state gives out a fortune in business tax credits every year. When some people tried to tighten the requirements, or even eliminate some of these credits, well, the squealing from businesses and business groups what quite something.

    The only way to stop this insanity is for everyone, every state and municipality, to stop it now. Stop throwing good money after bad. That's not going to happen though. It is like an addiction. Even those who know better seem unable to stop themselves.

    Yes, it;s about time (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:43:45 PM EST
    someone in the mainstream media started covering this. Same situation here in WA -- we have a ridiculous tax system which rewards almost 600 different tax breaks to businesses. Many of these are totally outdated, originally put into place for agricultural businesses which no longer play the same big role in our state's economy. And the tech companies get huge R&D tax breaks, which often don't pan out in the form of jobs or revenues. Oh, and then there are favorite sons Microsoft and Boeing, who routinely outsource thousands and thousands of jobs, and pay no tax AT ALL. It's lovely that Boeing continually threatens to take all its manufacturing and assembly out of WA unless we feed them billions of dollars in "incentives." Criminal, really.

    The problem is more complicated (2.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:03:22 PM EST
    than some of you imagine. States like NY, CA, MA etc support relatively progressive policies when it comes to supporting public education and taking care of the elderly and the sick. States like TX do not care about the sick and elderly or for public education. They just do their best to bring business into the state.link. States like NY and CA keep losing young workers whose education their taxpayers subsidized to states like TX without getting any benefits in return.
    We have to find a middle way to spend on public education, provide R&D and manufacturing tax breaks and taking care of the sick and the elderly. Neither what the Republicans, or what you or MO Blue would like to do will work.

    We really have to find a way to make (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:41:42 PM EST
    opportunity and success not dependent on geography; there is no reason why someone in Alabama should have less access to high quality health care than someone in Maryland, why a child in Texas can't get the same quality of education as a child in New York, why there are fewer resources for the elderly person in Mississippi than for the senior in Massachusetts.

    These are the kinds of things - education, health care, a high quality of life even for the least among us - that should be standard - united, if you will - from coast to coast and from border to border.

    I get the whole state's rights thing, but when states are making decisions that diminish and punish people for needing the basics, something's wrong.


    Oh really? (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:48:06 PM EST
    But you don't know very much about WA State's tax breaks for businesses. This is a subject I have studied extensively. I am well aware of the reasons for giving R&D tax breaks. I am also aware that, in the case of the bio-techs (and we have lots of them in WA), expensive drug trials take about ten years, and often fail. That doesn't lead to jobs, drug introduction, profits and revenues. Microsoft gets wonderful high-tech tax breaks, and then outsources jobs like crazy, and hires cheaper labor from foreign countries to work in Redmond on a contract basis. I've commented more than once on the billions we've given Boeing, which pays no tax at all, and actually receives hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds. We've also given tax breaks and other incentives to a company that gladly took our money, promised us the moon, and then high-tailed it outta here less than five years later, only to hit up other states for the same tax giveaways.

    There's a whole lot that states and localities can do to bring business here that doesn't so egregiously siphon off much-needed funding for health care, education, and housing programs for populations in real need.

    And, contrary to your claim, it's not just little ol' me that thinks it's a problem that needs to be rectified. Rueven Carlyle, the state legislator from Seattle, has proposed a plan to do away with some of those outmoded and unjustified tax breaks.


    Asian countries (2.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:38:58 AM EST
    provide a lot of tax breaks for manufacturing and R&D. This is how we lost our electronic hardware manufacturing base (and steel, semiconductors and automotives also). Now you want us to lose aircraft manufacturing, software and pharmaceutical companies too?
    Everybody in the country is not a teacher (that belongs to a public sector union), social worker, activist, artist or lawyer. I do not disagree with the fact that some of the tax breaks provided to the technology sector can be structured better. More oversight is also needed. However, the vitriol some of you express towards anything that does not meet your worldview is really difficult to explain. Communist countries tried experiments in trying to provide healthcare, housing and education (they also decide who is going to study what based on merit) to all its citizens over many decades; unfortuntaely those experiments did not work out very well.

    Free good quality education and results (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:27:50 AM EST
    Finland's Education System Best In World

    Education in Finland is an egalitarian system, with no tuition fees and with free meals served to full-time students. The present Finnish education system consists of well-funded and carefully thought out daycare programs (for babies and toddlers) and a one-year "pre-school" (or kindergarten for six-year olds); a nine-year compulsory basic comprehensive school (starting at age seven and ending at the age of fifteen); post-compulsory secondary general academic and vocational education; higher education (University and Polytechnical); and adult (lifelong, continuing) education. link

    No tuition fees

    In Finland Bachelor's and Doctoral level programmes -as well as many Master's level programmes- do not charge tuition fees, regardless of your nationality. This also applies to the international degree students and to exchange and visiting students as well.

    However, in some universities some Master's programmes may charge tuition fees from non-EU/EEA students. At the University of Helsinki only two Erasmus Mundus programmes may charge tuition fees from non-EU students; Food of Life and Economy, State and Society. link

    Apples and Oranges comparison (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:27:29 PM EST
    Teachers in Finland are drawn from the top 10% of their high school class. Teaching is a prized career in Finland; yet the starting salaries of teachers in Finland are lower than those in the United States.
    I like Finland very much and have travelled in that country. I would also like to point out that Finland does not have a huge financial sector and does not churn out MBAs and lawyers in numbers that they do in the United States. Lawyers and doctors generally make the same amount of money as teachers in Finland which is not much compared by American standards. People have a high quality of life there because they derive pleasure from non materialistic things. Houses are very small, the cost of gas and essential commodities like garments are very high. I know folks from Finland who do their yearly shopping of clothes and other essential items when they visit the United States.
    Finland also provided a lot of tax subsidies to huge multinationals like Nokia (and also to other telecommunications and high tech companies). The governments, schools and universities and private sector high tech companies have a very constructive relationship there. Companies like Microsoft, Intel, Boeing, etc also work closely with the government to fund STEM education in our schools as well as promote University level research, so they help communities in a variety of way besides job creation and preserving a technology base in our country.
    I would also like to point out one more thing before I close. Finns have immense pride in their iconic companies like Nokia, so much so that many Finns were willing to buy shares of Nokia while knowing that they would lose money, to simply prop up a national icon as it kept tanking. Boeing and Microsoft are iconic American companies. Wouldn't it be nice if you had the same sort of pride towards our icons as the Finns have towards theirs before you lamented why can't the United States be more like Finland?

    I find it hard to get past your desire (1.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:47:50 PM EST
    to make icons of multinational corporations. Must we build them churches instead of just dedicating the halls of Congress to them.

    If large government subsidies and stock purchases by citizens are what are required to obtain the type of free education that is available in Finland, then their level of education should have been available here in the U.S. years ago. Billions of dollars of subsidies are given to multinational corporations by U.S state and federal governments each year. Just one example:

    The Export-Import Bank is subsidizing Boeing aircraft sales to the Chinese military. U.S. funds - Chinese workers. Tail sections for the 737 were made in Wichita until Boeing moved the work to a military factory in Xian, China. Chinese labor making $50 a month under military discipline.

    Icons?.... Talk about worshiping false gods.


    You are intentionally obfuscating now (none / 0) (#38)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:22:06 PM EST
    This trick won't work.

    One intentionally obfuscating (none / 0) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:53:29 PM EST
    deserves another.

    Turning multinational corporations into icons is a trick that doesn't work outside of a comedy skit. If there is a comedy club in your neighborhood that has a amateur night, you might want to try out your routine there. It is sure to have the audience rolling in the aisles especially if it is in a working class neighborhood.  


    You are the comedy (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 11:15:08 PM EST
    Keep working yourself into a lather day after day into saying Obama bad, Boeing bad, Microsoft bad, Obama is hellbent on destroying the safety net, "Obama is sticking it to seniors", Obama is hellbemt on desytroying the environment, Obama is hellbent in promoting creationism, etc, etc.

    Outside of your bubble, lots of people believe that Boeing and Microsoft are iconic companies (and lots of electricians, machinists and other working class people are employed in Boeing.) They take pride in the work they do. They really do not care about silly sloganeering like "multinational corporations-bad". What a waste of time it is to interact with you!


    Funny how you are the one working yourself (none / 0) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:17:11 AM EST
    up into a lather. Wow, a real good rant you have going for you there. Your face must be turning purple by now.  

    Back to the subject at hand. I have known numerous people who have worked for Boeing over the years and I yet to hear one of them describe it as an iconic company. I'm very sure the electricians and machinists and other working class people who are employed at Boeing take pride in their work. They always have. I'm also sure that they would prefer their jobs were not outsourced to other countries. Now that preference is something that I've heard more times than I can mention from Boeing employees for years.

    Finland's subsidies for multinational corporations is something that you referenced to explain why they are able to furnish a high quality free education. So I'm surprised that thought I shouldn't addressed U.S. subsidies to the multinationals in my response.

    As to it being a waste of time to interact with me, please punish me by not interacting with me in the future. It would definitely be your sweetest revenge since I would miss it sooooo much. :o(


    Finland and America (none / 0) (#44)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:37:40 AM EST
    You wrote "Finland's subsidies for multinational corporations is something that you referenced to explain why they are able to furnish a high quality free education. So I'm surprised that thought I shouldn't addressed U.S. subsidies to the multinationals in my response."

    You are wilfully distorting my post. I did not say that the "free" part (in "high quality free education") was only due to Finland's subsidies for multinational corporations. The political history and general values of people (including the value people put in education) are different in both countries, so education systems in each nation developed differently. It may be a useful exercise for you to figure why people in America did not get "free education" in Colleges and Univs even when FDR or LBJ were Presidents. However, the "high quality" part in (in "high quality free education") has been due to subsidies that the Finnish government provided to companies like Nokia (which supported so much of research in Finnish Universities and helped develop education curriculum in schools) and the  synergistic role that governent, businesses and academia have played in developing Finland into an education oriented society.
    I will not spend any more time on your obfuscations.


    I really, truly wish (none / 0) (#45)
    by NYShooter on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:31:46 PM EST
    the 3 of you would just STOP!

    What is the matter with you all? Three ultra bright, committed, dedicated, knowledgeable people morphing into Fox, Tea party, and Glenn Beck right before my very eyes. I really hate this.

    I haven't been involved in this discussion, even though I'm a businessman and have much experience in the topic at hand. I, also have a lot of anecdotal experiences that might have proven to be helpful for everyone. But, since when did we require a SWAT team to officiate a debate by some of our brighter lights here at TL? What should have been an enlightening discussion, and a learning experience, has turned into an Animal House, snark-infested brawl.

    Shame on all of you!

    Now, you can tell me to mind my effen business, and drop dead.


    You pretend I said stuff (4.00 / 4) (#34)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:33:49 PM EST
    I never said.

    Did I say we shouldn't give ANY kinds of incentives to aerospace, tech and pharmaceutical companies? No, I did not.

    Did I say everyone in every job needed to belong to a union? No, I did not.

    Did I even mention anything about people who are teachers? No, I did not.

    You sound just like a Republican, making all the same phony straw man arguments they make.

    The one thing you didn't bother to respond to is how people serving in WA's legislature are looking at rescinding unnecessary, unfair tax breaks for businesses. Because it's been a hot button issue here for years, and they are as tired as the citizens are of corporations hosing us. But then, as already stated, you know nothing about the history of business tax breaks in WA. I do.

    Better luck next time. But don't expect me to waste any more time on you and your nonsense.


    You expressed a callous disregard (1.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:22:51 PM EST
    for people employed in the tech private sector (the ironic thing is that Boeing even has a unionized workforce). Please do not pretend otherwise. Companies like Boeing and Microsoft have thousands of employees. From your posts it does not seem that you care much about them.

    Once again, you make sh*t up (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 11:27:56 PM EST
    and make broad assumptions to feed your bankrupt straw man arguments.

    Make no mistake, I have many more friends who work for both Microsoft and Boeing than you do. Guaranteed. And gee, thanks for pointing out the OBVIOUS -- that Boeing has unionized workers. And they are among the most skilled and experienced workers in the world. Apparently, you are ignorant and unaware of the strongarm tactics the company has used against those unions for years. In fact, SPEAA is going through yet another ball-busting negotiation with Boeing right now.

    The reason the 787 Dreamliner manufacturing was done elsewhere, and only final assemblies were assigned to Everett, was precisely because of Boeing's direct desire to punish the unions. And even then, some of the assembly was outsourced to other cities and countries. And this was after the company engaged in a ridiculous bidding war on the project after saying "f*ck you" to Seattle -- its home base for nearly a century -- and moving its headquarters to Chicago. In addition to the $3.2 billion tax cut, former governor Gary Locke made a secret back room deal with the company for millions more in gifts, such as special road construction, and outfitting them with their very own lobbyist's office inside the WA Department of Trade, a lobbyist whose sole job description is securing yet more tax breaks for the company. The only reason the secret deal became public was due to the investigative efforts of reporters from the Seattle Times.

    And the citizens aren't ever going to know the rest, because part of the secret deal includes allowing the company to redact any financial information it wants from documents provided to the public. Oh, and as a final slap in the face to state representatives and senators, the WA legislature is prohibited from ever rescinding any of the tax breaks, or the gifts Locke gave to the company. EVER.

    Both Italy and South Carolina messed up their part of the Dreamliner and the UNION folks in Everett had to redo it all, at greater cost and significant delays, because the workers in Everett are the best. The fiasco proved to everyone that Everett should have been assigned that work in the first place. The Dreamliner roll-out was more than three years late.

    One of my closest friends is a Boeing engineer and I know and care very deeply about the cr*p he and his team go through on a regular basis.

    Your limp attempts to paint me as some sort of anti-tech commie are laughable. You're just wasting everyone's time by pretending you know anything about any of this.


    Ha Ha (none / 0) (#42)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 11:48:31 PM EST
    How are you so sure that you have a lot more friends in Microsoft and Boeing than I do?
    The information that you provided is nothing new to me.

    Orwell was an optomist (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:45:29 PM EST
    ❖ "Verizon has filed a patent for a DVR that can watch and listen to the goings-on in your living room." The purpose of such intrusion? So they can target ads "appropriate to whatever you're doing in the, uh, privacy of your own home". Comcast and Google are in on this, too. link

    Well... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:22:15 PM EST
    the reeferman can't advertise so I guess that means I will be bombarded with Oreo ads? ;)

    Seriously though Verizon seems to be the worst of the worst...they database every text their customers send and receive since forever and now this?


    OMG that it unbelievably creepy (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by sj on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:22:21 PM EST
    And the stage is set for the Thought Police.

    The very (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:53:07 PM EST
    creepy-crawly John Sununununu said the other day that the democrats, "aggressively got out the base of their base, the base of their base that's dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs."

    I was thinking about how oblivious he and others are that it is we who fund the government. It is our money.

    And they go about resenting it that we might want to have this money, which is our money, to be spent in a manner that actually improves our lives and makes our daily existence easier.

    Jim Demint (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:56:35 AM EST
    Aka Dimwit Demint is quitting the senate to work for a think tank. I wonder if they will replace him with someone even wackier?

    A year and a half (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:10:06 AM EST
    with someone appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley and then a really interesting 2014 when there will be two SC elections for Senators at the same time.

    It would be incredibly difficult to move to the right of DeMint so I would expect more towards the middle but not to the left of Graham, which when it comes to votes probably means a fairly meaningless change other than slightly more sanity in the debate.


    Demint and "Think Tank" (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:30:22 AM EST
    in the same sentence. It surely boggles the mind.

    And I needs me some Howlin' Wolf today (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:57:23 PM EST
    Hey, did you hear the news? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:14:47 PM EST
    ACORN stole the 2012 election for President Obama -- or so say 49% of Republicans, according to a new PPP poll released yesterday.

    You know, it's actually kinda scary to consider what these people might be thinking, if only they had a bong.

    It's a "fracking" shame (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:41:49 PM EST
    ❖ The Missouri River feeds into the Mississippi River near St Louis, MO. Drought is so intense that the Mississippi River is 15 - 20 feet lower than normal. Nonetheless, fracking operators in ND "are demanding immense quantities of Missouri River water be diverted to them, further threatening levels on the Mississippi." If barge traffic on the Mississippi has to be halted for a couple of months, impact on trade will be immense. link

    Mississippi levels big story around here, as this (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:22:31 PM EST
    city is a port for barge traffic. Here's what the local rag talked about today as to economic impact:
    The American Waterways Operators (AWO) prepared a study for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that highlights the economic impact of closing the Mississippi River to commerce for the months of December 2012, and January 2013. Here are some of the highlights:

    • Five million barrels of domestically produced crude oil would be replaced with imported crude oil, "costing $545 million additional in imports,"

    • Nearly 300 million bushels of agricultural products could be delayed in reaching intended markets, with an estimated value of $2.3 billion for the products,

    • Approximately 3.8 million tons of coal would be stranded, valued at $192 million,

    • Other barge cargo that would be unable to be transported up or downstream on the river would include: 1,705 tons of chemicals and related products valued at $1.8 billion, 1,582 tons of crude materials valued at $237 million, and 7,793 tons of food and farm products valued at over $2.3 billion,

    • An estimated 4,100 jobs on towboats would be affected, along with an additional 15,660 jobs directly related to barge cargo movement, representing an estimated $130 million in wages and benefits.  

    More of the local story here:

    The usual 12-foot depth that is maintained for barge traffic on southern stretches was reduced to a nine-foot limit earlier this year due to drought conditions. Anything lower than that will virtually halt barge traffic on the Mississippi River

    Local barge workers from the Winona area recently traveled south on local tow boats to assist downstream. Once the local barge season ended here, less than two weeks ago, ARTCO employees took the local tow boats to southern waters because the tows used in the Winona port are smaller than those used for southern river work, and thus have an easier time navigating in lower water levels.

    (Note: the season closes here when the river freezes, but it is still a well open channel.)


    Well, but of course (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:10:23 PM EST
    {{Sigh}}  Never mind everyone else, as long as the oil companies involved in fracking get their way.
    Not to mention the fact that maybe, just maybe, all the companies involved might just start to think about just why the river depths are less than normal?  
    But the Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid, that might involve actually thinking about Global Climate Change, and we certainly don't want to do that, do we?  It might impact profits!   {/snark}

    End of Prohibition day (none / 0) (#22)
    by desmoinesdem on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:27:46 PM EST
    New fact I learned today: Utah was the final state to ratify the 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ending Prohibition.

    It's amazing to me that less than 100 years ago, the temperance movement was politically powerful enough to get Prohibition enacted.

    Prohbition (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by womanwarrior on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:54:12 PM EST
    Not to mention how amazing it is that no one learned from the violent crime caused by prohibition, so here we still are with marijuana prohibition, cocaine prohibition, and heroin prohbition, and we spread our violence to Mexico, the rest of Latin America and even Asia.  Wow! Amazing!

    You are pretty good... (none / 0) (#26)
    by bmaz on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:57:55 PM EST
    ....but this "David Waldman" guy seems a bit of an X-tremist.

    Ring ring, blam blam.