Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Stuff happening I'm sure. I'll try to get to it at some point today.

Open Thread.

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    Well, we could talk about the (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:09:26 AM EST
    Return of the Bowles-Simpson Plan, dusted off and brought to you by none other than ϋber-deficit hawk and Senate Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad...

    Tomorrow I will begin a Budget Committee markup of a long-term budget for the nation. As my Chairman's Mark, I will lay down the bipartisan Fiscal Commission plan, also known as the Bowles-Simpson plan. It is a plan which I believe represents the best blueprint from which to build a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement that can ultimately be adopted.

    What I am proposing is not partisan. I am trying to break from the `business as usual' practice that has gone on for too long. I am hoping that my Senate colleagues will stand with me to do what is right for the country. That's really the only way we can get something done. That might not happen this week, but it will have to happen.

    To be clear, we already have a budget in place for this year and next. The Budget Control Act passed last summer provided the spending limits and enforcement measures for the budget for 2012 and 2013. It is the law of the land. What we do not have is agreement on a long-term budget plan. That is what we must now work to achieve.

    David Dayen:

    The Chairmen's final Bowles-Simpson report still relied on 67% of its solutions from spending cuts and 33% from revenue increases (and that's really the most charitable reading of their final report). It would include cuts to Medicare and an increase in the retirement age. In addition, tax rates would be lowered, flattened and made more regressive than in the Clinton years. And on the area where everyone agrees is the only one you need to worry about relative to any long-term deficit, health care, they play a game. They basically write, "just limit spending growth to GDP +1% every year by... just do it." It's known as a magic asterisk. If budgeting were this easy, you could eliminate the entire deficit tomorrow by simply saying "eliminate the deficit."

    Conrad endorsed this proposal when it was first announced back in 2010, so this is no surprise. What is surprising is that the Senate Democrats are allowing Conrad to introduce Bowles-Simpson, with all of the above inside it, as the default markup baseline for the Budget Committee.

    It's clear that Conrad craves a bipartisan agreement on the budget. He acknowledges that Bowles-Simpson is "not perfect" but that it's a "middleground, consensus solution to the country's fiscal imbalance." He will work off that plan and try to build support from both sides of the aisle.

    Even if we already have a budget for this year and next, attaching "default markup baseline" to "Bowles-Simpson Commission report" is not a good thing - because we all know that Democrats never get the baseline to move left, only right.  And we know that Obama himself is quite enamored of the Commission's ideas.


    How much did the Army waste on (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:19:58 AM EST
    that golf tournament nobody wanted to play in and that people had to be forced to play in?  How much money did we waste "creating" Bowles-Simpson?

    I bet the GSA (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 12:56:08 PM EST
    spent more whooping it up in Las Vegas than the Army spent on that golf tournament.  After all, I bet the Army didn't provide a mind reader for the entertainment of the golfers.    ;-)

    Okay, about that golf tournament (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by sj on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:04:08 PM EST
    I have been part of more than one dysfunctional group that was in sore need of a team building exercise.  And in each and every case the group resisted that exercise.

    I would submit that if that tournament built a bridge between even two people who should have been talking but weren't, it was worth it.  One step at a time.

    Now I don't know if the CO (proper term yes/no?) was part/most/none/all of the problem or not, but I think it was still the right thing to do.

    But that's just me.


    How many hours a day would you guess (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:25:47 PM EST
    my husband and other soldiers work?  They are usually gone for about 12 hours a day.  Add to that deployments and being gone from your family for 12 months at a time....and the military is the most effective on its scale team on planet earth.  Now you may understand why nobody wanted to play in a golf tournament.

    Not the point (none / 0) (#31)
    by sj on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:32:55 PM EST
    I am sure there are lots of reasons they didn't want to play.  Probably all valid ones, too.  It doesn't mean that they shouldn't play anyway.

    Now to be clear, I'm not saying that it was all noble motives and high ideals behind the tournament.  I'm saying that it could provide a valuable function.


    Isn't there always some valuable function (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:17:21 PM EST
    That golf provides for certain individuals :)?

    also true, LOL (none / 0) (#75)
    by sj on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:46:52 PM EST
    And who could have predicted it was (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:20:53 AM EST
    doomed to be the POS that it is:)

    Bowles-Simpson (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by sj on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:53:53 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure you have known that there was no way it was going to be allowed to die.  Even in an election year O thinks burdening the middle and working and lower classes with "shared sacrifice" (which isn't shared by the banksters and other corporations with their pod people) is a good idea.  Apparently he also thinks he'll be rewarded for it.

    He's probably right.  We are the ones who will pay for it.


    Where else are we going to go? (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:22:12 PM EST
    His Secret Service can be a bunch slobs too in the brothels of the world and he still beats the guys trying to make any woman who enjoys sex a SLUT, wants birth control to be harder for us all to obtain, and wants to give American women a transvaginal ultrasound because the sluts deserve it.

    Where ever we go (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by sj on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:10:55 AM EST
    It is going to be a Bad Place.  The next four years are going to ... be really bad.  I remember feeling that about the Reagan years, but that was after he was elected.  I was right, too.  But it turns out that wasn't the whole story.  Sure it s*cked, but it turns out it can s*ck even worse.

    The current downward spiral will continue inexorably without my help.  So I'll let it do that.  I'll vote as close to my heart as I can.  Something needs to give it energy.


    Seriously, nobody (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:44:08 AM EST
    expects Simpson-Bowles to emerge from the Budget Committee untouched-- if it emerges at all.  Everybody hates parts of it, but it's really all they've got as a starting point.  It could get worse, it could get better.

    I was heartened to hear Sens. Begich and Whitehouse speak very strenuously against the S-B ideas about Medicare and SS, especially this vile "chained CPI" that would reduce the already pitiful COLA increases in SS.  And several senators reiterated that SS at least by law may not be considered in the deficit, and at least one expressed irritated puzzlement that it was even considered by S-B because it wasn't in their charter.  (I cheered a bit at that)

    But I doubt this process is going anywhere anyway.  The GOPer senators, every one of them, spent their 5 minutes or so of time railing against Obama, the deficit and/or Dem. leadership.  Sounded like leadership marching orders not to cooperate to me.

    If you have the stomach for it, it's actually pretty interesting.  The whole thing should be up on Cspan (it was on Cspan 3 today).


    No stomach for it (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by sj on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:04:16 AM EST
    Bowles-Simpson may not "going anywhere", but I seriously doubt that it's going to die either.  It will keep getting resurrected like the zombie plan that it is, and will be used as the starting point and/or measuring stick of upcoming budgets.

    I hope I'm wrong.  We'll find out in a couple of Friedman Units.


    Business as usual. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Addison on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:18:39 AM EST
    "Business as usual" actually worked fairly well for a long, long time. It was when President George W. Bush decided that a combination of huge un-progressive tax cuts, two land wars in Asia, and an expensive prescription drug benefit could all somehow improve "business as usual" that we got into this fiscal "mess" -- which isn't even that much of a fiscal mess considering the combination of low inflation and low interest rates, but whatever.

    Also, love the qualification that "what I am proposing is not partisan". As if that was a true benefit, as if the GAO scores bills based on partisanship.


    Oops, GAO should read CBO. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Addison on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:23:48 AM EST
    In this post Wanker-of-the-Decade period... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Addison on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:22:12 AM EST
    ...just want to call attention to the Daily Howler archives. Bob Somerby has been dealing with wankers (of all stripes, of all parties) for over a decade now, too, and with greater depth and specificity than Atrios. He "documents the atrocities" every single day for thousands of words.


    Daily Howler Archives

    Search for your favorite wanker and see their inglorious history!

    I don't agree. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by observed on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:51:35 AM EST
    Somerby is good, but he criticizes people for journalistic lapses, not just moral/ethical blindness. I find him too picky at times, and a bit arbitrary---e.g. his hate on Joe Wilson.
    Wanking is different from being a bad journalist.

    I quit reading him for about a year (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:46:55 AM EST
    over the very bizarre Joe Wilson stuff.  But I went back and still read him like taking my medicine. Buried in the ill-tempered, maddeningly repetitive diatribes is still the occasional real nugget.

    And for anyone who hasn't been there for a while, he's got new software and, gasp, actual comments!


    I read him every day for so long (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:20:33 AM EST
    and then just stopped, probably around the same time you did. I will check it out again though. I agree that when he nails it, he really nails it.

    Well... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Addison on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:57:36 AM EST
    ...that's part of what he does (journalism criticism), but he absolutely goes after pundits and op-ed writers as well. Look up any of the "wankers" on Atrios' list and you'll find entries on Daily Howler going back a decade or more. So, that he putatively focuses on one thing doesn't mean he's not also a good source for another thing. I agree that he's often "too picky" and "a bit arbitrary", he's obvious unconcerned with creating a blog and a written record that exhibits his views/personality through and through.

    However, his archive search doesn't actually work. I forgot that when I use it I have to do the Google search string of "SEARCH TERM site:dailyhowler.com" to get at the results.


    To me it's stretching (none / 0) (#12)
    by Farmboy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:56:38 AM EST
    the definition of criticism to apply it to what Somerby writes. IMHO critics should practice objectivity, fairness, and openness to facts, three things often missing at the DH.

    Twisting someone's words and insulting them based on personal characteristics, all with an attitude of self-aggrandizement is fine for Joe Pesci type comedy, though.

    If you enjoy it, all the best. I wander over there from time to time based on current events, but the DH isn't on my daily - or weekly - reading list anymore.


    Yes, I enjoy it... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Addison on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 12:11:53 PM EST
    ...although I enjoy the existence of the archives more than the day-to-day reading. I am definitely the biggest Somerby fan I know, and so I'm not surprised that other people have an aversion to his viewpoint/style.

    Wouldn't it also be great... (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 12:24:26 PM EST
    Twisting someone's words and insulting them based on personal characteristics, all with an attitude of self-aggrandizement is fine for Joe Pesci type comedy, though.

    ....if the people he's criticizing - those "journalists" (Maddow, Matthews, Olbermann, O'Donnell et al) would do the same???


    100-year anniversary of Fenway (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by CST on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 12:10:51 PM EST
    coming up this weekend with the Yans/Sox series.  The yankees have even switched up their road jerseys for the occasion.

    I just hope the team shows up.  These are uncomfortable days to be a sox fan.  I'm still p*ssed about what happened with Francona, maybe he had to go but not like that, and the recent shenanigans don't make me feel much better about it.

    Also, Go Bruins!  

    As for that other game, wake me up when the playoffs start, then maybe I'll care about losing to the Knicks.

    How fun! (none / 0) (#25)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:01:39 PM EST
    Thanks for the heads up :)

    No clinching the Atlantic... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:10:34 PM EST
    on our floor! Doc sure looked like he was coaching a playoff game, throwing Rondo back out there after a nasty spill.

    As for the Sox, didn't take long for Bobby V. to throw the clubhouse in a tizzy did it?  Sounds like the fellas are ready to mutiny already.


    Bobby V (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:26:41 PM EST
    is who he is, I don't know why anyone is surprised, especially if he's coming in after Francona.  I just feel like after everything, they threw Francona under the bus in such an unnecessary personal way, and he didn't deserve that.  That's not Bobby V's fault - and they obviously brought him in to ruffle feathers, I'm just not sure it's going to work out as planned.

    As for basketball, I missed the game as my sister and I decided to give our cat an irish wake, or at least the drinking part of it.


    Sorry about the feline... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:32:56 PM EST
    The only way to mourn is the Irish way.

    Rondo colided with Chandler under the rim and went down hard, looked like he landed right on his tailbone.  I've done that playing football, that sh*t hurts!

    The whole brewski-gate thing was so ridiculous, I hear ya...Terry got done real dirty.  After breaking the curse and winning a second he shoulda had a job for life if he wanted it, even if his players were shooting smack in the clubhouse.


    thanks (none / 0) (#56)
    by CST on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:53:17 PM EST
    sounds like it hurt!

    PS did you see this goodie about your beloved Mets?

    "Here is exactly what Justice Kagan had to say about the Mets in a recent ruling summary"

    "if a sports-fan friend bemoans that "the New York Mets do not have a chance of winning the World Series," you will gather that the team has no chance whatsoever (because they have no hitting)."


    Classic... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:46:15 PM EST
    she's a true Met fan, to be sure.

    Mutts having a Jose Reyes Tribute next week...how 'bout waiting till he retires, maybe.  If ya wanted to thank him ya shoulda resigned him ya cheapskates!

    That plus a Larry Jones tribute, the guy who feasted on Mets pitching my whole adult life...hard times in Flushing.  I'm not getting sucked in by this 7-4 start, no ma'am.


    Dick Clark has died. (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:08:51 PM EST
    He was 82.


    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ks on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:14:27 PM EST
    A true pioneer.  RIP.

    A coaching legend retires today. (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:09:13 PM EST
    Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in the history of college basketball, retired today from the University of Tennessee at age 59, less than one year after being diagnosed with early-onset dementia. She concludes her coaching career at Tennessee with a phenomenal 1,098-208 record.

    Under her tutelage, Ms. Summitt's Lady Volunteers won eight national championships, 16 regular-season Southeastern Conference championships, 16 SEC tournament titles, and reached the Final Four 18 times. The Tennessee women lost in the regional final this season to eventual national champion Baylor.

    An even more impressive statistic should be noted, especially on the heels of all five Kentucky starters bolting John Calipari's NCAA champion Wildcats yesterday for the NBA draft before their junior years. Since Coach Summit first took the reins at Knoxville in 1974, every single Lady Vol player who has completed her eligibility at Tennessee has subsequently graduated with her bachelor's degree.

    Like Coach John Wooden at UCLA, we will not see the likes of Pat Summit again in the college coaching ranks in our lifetimes, male of female. She deserves a shout-out as she begins a new chapter in her life.

    I'll always remember her fondly, holding up her then five-year-old son Ross -- who currently plays for the Tennessee men, and hopes to follow in his mother's footsteps as a basketball coach -- to help her cut down the nets after the Lady Vols won the 1996 NCAA championship.

    Aloha, Coach Summit. Best wishes and good luck.

    Stuff that happened last night.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:26:05 AM EST
    Stevie Novak-aine, JR Smith, and Melo stroking it like compulsive wankers last night against the Celtics for the big stretch run win. Knicks tie the NBA record with 19 threes.  Melo drops a triple double, Novak and Smith drop 25 a piece in an offensive explosion.

    Melo has been especially ridiculous lately...utterly unstoppable.  The Celtics knew it and were too quick to double-team, giving the sharpest shooter in the league the space to do damage and delight the crowd with many a discount double check.  As Clyde would say, dishing and swishing!

    Woodson has his work cut out for him with what to do when Amare returns...Melo is feasting on the 4's on the offensive end.

    kdog, and all lovers of Levon, this (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:56:46 PM EST
    ode to Levon, written in the evocative prose of Charlie Pierce, is the best explanation for why The Band and Levon occupy such a hallowed place in our collective soul.

    Read it, and if it does not bring a tear to your eye (it brought many to mine), well, that is your loss.

    Levon is a national treasure. We will be less without him.


    Very True.. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:00:19 PM EST
    and yet, as Laura Nyro said, there'll be one child born to carry on, carry on..

    A beautiful... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:30:21 PM EST
    piece, thanks Casey.  I'm totally chokin' up over here.

    The Band, and The Levon Helm Band, and all Levon's bands in between....the music just grabs me like few others.  Pierce puts the words to why much better than I ever could.  


    They cut right to the heart don't they? (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:02:20 PM EST
     I was singing 'It Makes No Difference' to myself all day yesterday. Will put on Big Pink when I get home in honor of Levon and the boys.

    Not least of it, they are the sexiest band ever, IMHO.


    And thus... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:16:28 PM EST
    the man, and The Band, are immortal.  

    Rockin' to Levon Helm & The RCO All-Stars right now sister...

    Society has no priority
    We're all one part of a whole.

    When people shout, you gotta hear `em out
    Everybody is a beautiful soul.

    ...Sing Sing Sing
    Lets all pitch in
    Let freedom ring
    And make a better world to live in.


    Rain Down Tears... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:31:13 PM EST
    You say you're leaving, ain't comin' back
    There's nothing I can say to make you unpack
    It's gonna rain down tears, rain down tears
    You need a shelter somewhere, somewhere

    Always got shelter thanks to Levon.


    Casey, thank you for that (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:30:33 PM EST
    Charlie's piece is so beautiful and strong. Just thinking about when my sister first brought home "Music From Big Pink" wayyyyy back when, and singing the Band's songs with my high school and college pals, and seeing The Last Waltz" the week it was released, and the eleven amazing people I saw it with (we took up a an entire row of the theater!) -- it really brings back some sweet memories.

    AND Heath Bell saves the (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:31:26 AM EST

    When is... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:54:02 AM EST
    Fidel Castro Bobblehead Night? ;)

    Looks like its gonna be a long year for a diehard Pods supporter such as yourself...3-9 out the gate.


    Pretty straight forward I think (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 12:06:28 PM EST
    First, Melo can't defend BIG 4s. (and vice verssa, but it can be flipped against them) Remember the C's are playing Garnett at center now.

    Here's the lineup - Baron Davis (who stinks now BTW, real achilles heel for the Knicks. They really will miss Lin I think), Shumpert, Melo, Amare and Chandler.

    First wave rotation - Novak, Fields in for either Amare/Chandler and Shumpert. Melo moves to 4. Someone comes in for Davis (Bibby? Really? This is where the Knicks are toasted.)

    Then Chandler/Amare in for Melo. then ChandlerAmare in for Fields.

    And so on.

    You can divvy the mintes so Melo gets 40, Chandler and Amara get 32.

    Shumpert gets 28-30.

    Novak gets 25.

    Fields gets 20-24.

    The problem is PG. The Knicks don't have one.


    Like that lineup/rotation.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:11:58 PM EST
    but I'd give JR Fields' minutes.  I am adamant that Shumpert must start when Stoud comes back, his defensive presence is too critical.  And he is a better shooter than Landry, though that is not saying much...Landry can barely hit free throws these days. What is up with those line-drive bricks?  It's like he just started shooting a basketball two weeks ago.

    I f*ckin' love JR Smith, streaky space cadet that he is, he can be instant offense off the bench.  Playing better defense than Fields too.  I think Woodson agrees...its always JR on the floor in the 4th.

    The point guard play is our major Achilles right now, for sure...damn right we miss Lin.  Baron is a shell of his former self, and Bibby a shell of the shell of his former self.  I might be able to beat them both off the dribble;)  

    Defending the big 4's...Stoud can't really defend them either.  Thank god for Tyson Chandler, the defensive MVP imo, he covers for our defensive shortcomings there.


    Levon is in "the final stages" (none / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:17:13 PM EST
    word is..

    Did you see that, dog?

    One thing we know: he'll be surrounded by a lot of love..


    My sister called me... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:32:02 PM EST
    last night to tell me, we were almost in tears talking about all our Levon Helm memories...and we were just saying a few weeks ago how much we were hoping he would make another miracle recovery to be able to hold some Rambles this summer at the barn.

    A god damn American icon that man.  I'm sure Rick and Richard are tuning up, waiting on their brother and beloved drummer.


    Richard and Rick.. (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:35:23 PM EST
    ..and Carl Perkins and Muddy Waters..

    And Sonny Boy Williamson... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:57:39 PM EST
    Levon tells a great story in his auto-biography about jammin' with Sonny Boy in Helena when he was on his last legs...but still raising the dead with that harp of his.  After the jam, Levon looked in the bucket Sonny Boy was spittin' in, it was full of his blood yet he still had the boogie in them bones.

    Sonny Boy.. (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:58:36 PM EST
    fantastic harp player, who also took the art of being a cranky-old-man-who-takes-no-sh*t-from-anyone to whole new level..:)

    If you can find a recording of his Little Village session, in which he's captured on tape 'working out the kinks' with Marshall Chess, check it out..it's worth the search.


    JR is the (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    irrational confidence guy every team needs.

    Form the terrible idea file... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 02:25:13 PM EST
    State senator proposes arming bus drivers and other MTA workers with tasers in response to an increase of assaults on bus drivers.  Further militarizing of our society...not cool.

    Seems to me a little plexiglass cockpit type enclosure for bus drivers would be a better way to protect them from unruly passengers, and from themselves before they tase any old ladies or children.

    Oh, for pity's sake (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:22:25 PM EST
    Militarized police state.  Kdog, did you see the news article about the Milledgeville, Georgia 6-year-old who had a tantrum at school?  The police were called, and they took her away in a police cruiser.  In handcuffs.  And the school system and police "defended how they handled the episode."  Handcuffing 6-year-olds!  Were there no teachers or administrators who could handle a little girl in a more appropriate manner?  Sure, she was going wild, but she's a little girl!  Were there no police officers who could have dealt with this better?  I despair for our country.      

    That child (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:31:34 PM EST
    Should not have been put in handcuffs, but that was no ordinary temper tantrum.  She needed to be restrained somehow for everyone's safety, especially her own.

    What would recommend the school should do in a situation like that?  Had someone tackled her, the school would be getying sued. Obviously, talking and coaxing and yelling didn't help because this child 1)was out of her mind or 2) is a complete brat that needs a severe punishment.  If she has no mental issues, there is no reason to let a child get away with that behavior.

    This is why I am not an  teacher.


    And yet (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:46:06 PM EST
    For a number of years, I taught developmentally disabled, severely emotionally disturbed, and severely behaviorally disordered students.  Including teen-agers and young adults.  Many of whom could get violent, aggressive, and/or self-abusive.  And many of whom were bigger than me.  We never once had to call the police.  You know your students, and you learn to read the signs of an impending melt-down, and how to de-escalate such a situation.  If you cannot "talk down" a 6-year-old, or even just pick her up (and I don't mean "tackling" her) and take her to a safe place, then you shouldn't be in the teaching profession.  
    And how do you know that the child has no mental issues?  She obviously needs some kind of intervention, and the family may need some professional help in learning how to deal with her.  The child, as well as the family, may need some counseling.  But calling the police, and the police responding by handcuffing her and taking her away in a police car, is very much over-kill.    

    And I applaud you for teaching (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:55:26 PM EST
    My mom taught for almost 50 years - I couldn't do the job.

    I would also argue that kids today (rather, parents today) are much different than they were years ago.  Also - if someone just "picked her up" as you say, there's a good chance of someone getting sued - probably not like when you were teaching. Parents now sue because their precious babies' feelings were hurt

    And as I said - this was not an ordinary tantrum -this was a child who was out of control and was not going to be "talked down" to anything.  

    Maybe you missed it, but I said I don't know if this child has mental issues, but since no mention of it was made in the article, and the parents haven't mentioned it in their public statements, my guess is she gets away with this unacceptable behavior all the time.

    So my question again is, and knowing you have expertise - what was the school supposed to do?


    I would have (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:27:20 PM EST
    picked her up and carried her to a safer place.  Lawsuits be damned.  (And we did learn how to restrain students without hurting them, or ourselves.  I'm sure most teachers, including special education teachers, don't get that kind of training now.)  And yes, I realize that things are much different now.  I'm glad I'm retired.

    Lawsuits be damned is right (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by CST on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:38:57 PM EST
    and I think that still applies.  You do your job, or you don't get in that career.

    I'm also not a teacher, but my sister is and is also the dean of discipline at an urban charter high school which serves plenty of kids with serious behavioral problems.  Yes, she's been threatened with a lawsuit for some nonsense.  No, it hasn't changed how she does her job, because that's her job.  I think the real question is not "will I get sued", but "if I get sued, do I feel comfortable with my actions so I can defend it in front of a judge".  And unless you are really out of line the answer to that is almost always yes.


    Good for your sister (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:07:09 PM EST
    Give her a hug and many kudos from me!  Yes, you do what you have to do.  
    I guess the thing that would most bother me about going into education today is the lack of respect for teachers, from the administration, parents, and society in general.  When I was in the special education field, we had less interference from the administration and school boards.  We were left to do our jobs, and if I may say so, we did a damned good job, especially considering the population we were dealing with.  We basically developed our own curricula and classroom techniques- there was very little, if anything, available commercially for the students I was working with.  The central administration had no idea how to teach and reach the kids I had, and left us pretty much alone, as long as the kids were meeting or exceeding their IEP goals (which they were).
    And the parents were grateful (yes, grateful) for the progress their children were making, and also for the guidance we gave them on how to deal with their behavior problems at home.
    Different times now, I suppose.  And again, good for your sister!  

    Speaking of Education... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:21:22 PM EST
    the testing craze continues.  Free labor outta 8 years olds developing test questions for the state and Pearson Corp (PSO on the exchange, I rate it a strong buy;)...9 hours of exams!

    Lovely, more time away from actual, ya know, teaching.

    I'm glad I'm not a "student" anymore, they don't let teachers teach! Too busy calling the cops and testing I guess.

    "Liability"...you understand;)


    Kdog, I don't even (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:13:05 PM EST
    want to know about this.  It's so frigging stupid.  And, do you want to know about more "stupid"?  I have a friend who teaches profoundly developmentally disabled students.  I am talking about children who have a mental age of about six to nine months.  (Yes, months, not years.)  They were still expected to take the No Child Left Behind, state-mandated tests.  She and her fellow teachers had to spend days teaching these children how to punch a button on a computer (yes, they were allowed to take a computerized version of the test, at least).  So then the children were "tested," and they randomly hit buttons, because they could not read or understand the questions.  Is this futile and a waste of time?  Of course.  Fortunately, they are talking about changing the requirements for such students.  But I have no idea why it took them so long to decide "Hey, this is pointless for this population."

    I don't wanna know either... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:59:14 AM EST
    I'm reminded of my work experiences...the bigger the corporate bueracracy, the further the focus seems to get from the purpose of its very existence.  The further away the decision maker is from the actual task at hand, the more lame-brained the decision.  

    Feels like the last thing anybody is worried about over at Monolith Acme Corp. is selling sh*t, and the last thing anybody over at the Board/Dept. of Education is worried about is educating.    

    I can somewhat relate to what teachers are going through in these strange days.


    I know that Iowa provides training for inservice (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Farmboy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:52:32 PM EST
    teachers on the use of corporal punishment and reasonable force; disciplinary alternatives to seclusion and restraint; the safe and effective use of physical restraint, confinement and detention; crisis prevention, intervention and de-escalation techniques; student and staff debriefing after a crisis; and positive behavior interventions and supports. I know this because I helped develop the course.

    However, nowhere in this course does it mention handcuffs as a solution to a child acting out. I guess Iowa isn't as up to date as Georgia.


    We never (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:16:38 PM EST
    had to use corporal punishment.  It was just inappropriate with the population I was teaching.  And, in my opinion, it is inappropriate for any student.  As for the behavioral interventions, de-escalation, positive interventions and the other techniques- yes, I agree.  These types of things should be taught and made available to all teachers.
    I wonder what the heck is being taught in education departments nowadays?  I learned extensively about behavior modification and interventions in graduate school.  I relied heavily on such techniques, and they work.  

    As I mentioned, the course covers the use of (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by Farmboy on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:15:42 AM EST
    corporal punishment by informing teachers of the Iowa law:
    No employee of a public school district, accredited nonpublic school, or area education agency shall inflict, or cause to be inflicted, corporal punishment upon a student.

    Good for Iowa (none / 0) (#92)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:20:15 PM EST
    Corporal punishment is banned in Maryland public schools, as well.  But, sadly, there are still a bunch of states that allow it.

    It is good... (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:33:23 PM EST
    'cause I know there were a bunch of teachers who wanted to smack the crap out of me on a regular basis.  

    fortunately no one was seriously injured (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:31:53 PM EST
    (physically), or some of us might be already on to discussing the viability - and lesson-teaching potential - of trying the child as an adult.

    This is sad, (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:58:18 PM EST
    but all too true, jondee.  Trying kids as adults.  Handcuffing and arresting children in school.  What have we become?   :-(

    Some people (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:57:09 PM EST
    Would also object to corporal punishment

    "get away with" ?? (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:01:06 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:17:09 PM EST
    Did you not understand?  

    The words "get away with" (3.67 / 3) (#51)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:33:26 PM EST
    imply a little too much quasi-criminal culpability to a child who, if she's been "getting away with" anything, has probably been doing so due to neglect.

    And imo, you have no business attempting to  (once again) deflect attention from your ill-trained, heavy-handed Gestapo friends by attempting to refocus attention on the behavior of a child, who has the least amount of responsibility of anyone for what occurred in that situation.  


    my guess is that those (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:48:20 PM EST
    cops have been getting away that kind of behavior for some time down there..

    I'm not sure (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:01:31 PM EST
    What "Gestapo-like tactics" means since I did not advocate any particular course of action and actually asked a question.

    But I know you like to imagine things and attack first without basic comprehension of what you actually read.


    I know when I see someone (3.67 / 3) (#63)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:24:26 PM EST
    going into knee-jerk prosecutorial/damage control mode..

    The tactics I referenced aren't what you (fully) advocated; they're quite simply embodied in the travesty of placing a tantruming 8 year old in police handcuffs.  


    She was (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:02:00 PM EST
    a 6 year old, not an 8 year old.  But in any case, I do agree, jondee.  It was a travesty, and should have been handled better.

    What could the school have done? (none / 0) (#102)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 03:41:01 PM EST
    Well, for starters, clear out the other children in the room, get the child's mother on the phone to alert her to the situation and ask if there's something they could do that would help the child calm down; keep her on standby to possibly talk to the child herself.  Someone else could secure any sharp or potentially dangerous objects so they can't be thrown; get another teacher or aide in the room whom the child likes, trusts or has some rapport with.  Get down at the child's eye level, so as not to present a looming, scary threat.  Try saying, "I know you're mad - if you want to throw things, let's go to the gym and get some balls for you to throw until you feel better."  If nothing's working, get a blanket or large sweater and swaddle the child in it so that she can't hurt herself or anyone else - and put her on the phone with her mother, if she hasn't already arrived at the school.

    And that's off the top of my head, with no training other than that of being a parent, and - once upon a time - a child; it's astonishing and disturbing that the people in whose care our children are entrusted for hours each day could exhibit such a failure of imagination, and significant lack of understanding of child behavior.

    But call the cops?  No.  Unh-unh.  Nope.  There are better ways to handle it in the moment it's happening and ways to help her be responsible for the consequences of her actions that don't involve handcuffs and holding cells.  Require her to clean up the mess she made, give her a project to do that relates to what happened.  I can still remember when my parents caught me playing with matches that my punishment was to go through the newspaper every day for a month and cut out every article I could find about fires and write a daily summary; I learned more about the danger of fire that way than I ever would have by someone just telling me, or by being spanked or sent to my room.  And it taught me something about positive ways to change someone's behavior that I've never forgotten.

    Too bad the teachers/principal couldn't think of one, huh?  Because I shudder to think what this child really learned from her experience.


    My crystal ball... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:23:16 PM EST
    smells legislation to allow teachers & administrators to carry mace coming...tasers even!

    Except (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:21:02 PM EST
    Bus drivers also have to ensure passenger safety.  1) How does plexiglass around the driver protect the passengers from an out of control passenger (or someone who hops on the bus)? And 2) How does plexiglass protect passengers if the bus driver needs to get to them to render aid quickly?

    I'm not saying lock the driver in... (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:35:05 PM EST
    just a barrier to keep them from getting punched or spit on.

    Surely better than whipping out a taser and possibly making a bad situation worse.

    As it is, afaik, bus drivers aren't supposed to confront fare-beaters...the 2.50 ain't worth it.


    I don't think this is about fare beaters (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:45:31 PM EST
    I think it's things like this (where the local drivers group advocates for shields), and this, this (where a shield would have done no good), this,and this.

    Just for starters.


    Both Archie and I agree (none / 0) (#58)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:59:57 PM EST
    Well played... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:43:59 AM EST
    they say Archie was behind the times, and it's true...but he was also ahead of his time, as the times they are a changin'...back!

    Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:54:45 PM EST
    Frustrating day at the tournament poker table (none / 0) (#54)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 04:49:01 PM EST
    Finished one spot from the money.  11th out of 94 players.  Today I am Bubble Boy...and not happy about it.  Peace, y'all.

    Worst seat in the house... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:26:47 PM EST
    my sympathies.

    Common on the east coast circuit for all the cashers to cough up a 20 or something for bubble boy.


    And almost had a fistfight at the table (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:23:41 PM EST
    Makes it that much more unpleasant.  60-something Chinese dude almost went at it with Larry the Cable Guy's older brother.  All over an accidentally mucked hand by the dealer.  Pitiful display, but it woulda been one of the funniest bouts I'd ever have witnessed.  Glad I didn't though.

    Anybody (none / 0) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:49:49 AM EST
    following the ALEC stuff that's being going on?

    I have been a little bit (none / 0) (#88)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:31:02 AM EST
    Do I understand that now that their 'success' with the Stand Your Ground law propagation is getting some backlash, they are getting out of the social issues, and only going to foist their economic ideas upon us?

    Apparently (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:51:26 AM EST
    but I think they are squealing mainly because they've lost their "nonpartisan" moniker that was falsely held in the first place. They apparently don't like sunlight shining on what they have been doing.

    That's rich (none / 0) (#90)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:22:22 AM EST
    My guess is that they were hoping to (none / 0) (#91)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:25:08 AM EST
    use the Chamber of Commerce model - play like you are non-partisan so local governments can send millions of dollars your way for 'business development' projects.

    Hard to make that work when you are funded by the Koch brothers.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    but nobody knew any of this because their list was secret until some whistle blower leaked a bunch of stuff.

    Warren Olney of "To the Point" (none / 0) (#94)
    by shoephone on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:21:29 PM EST
    just hosted an hour long discussion about it. It was great. The editor from the Wall St. Journal, who was using every  conservative tactic in the book -- deflecting, derailing, and flat out lying -- got pretty well reamed by the other three guests for his defense of what ALEC does and why it's so dangeerous. Now that the organization's cover has been blown, Republican state reps are going to be freaking out.

    I'd recommend listening to the podcast, if you're interested.


    Curtain's Up in Heaven... (none / 0) (#95)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:23:22 PM EST
    Report is in that Levon has passed on...this one really hurts.

    Now its really sinking in that I'm never gonna see him play ever again...never gonna see that pure joy radiating off of his face on that stage again.

    You'll be missed more than you ever could have possibly imagined dear Levon...I could never thank you enough for all the memories and happiness you gave me and mine.  

    It's good to see that he (none / 0) (#98)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:52:05 PM EST
    and Robbie were able to spend some good time together before he passed.

    Much love and condolences to all his family and friends.


    Damn happy to hear that.... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:54:33 PM EST
    good for Robbie, hope they finally buried that old hatchet, and all was forgiven.  

    If it hadn't been under these trying (none / 0) (#100)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:59:39 PM EST
    circumstances, they would've eventually worked it out anyway..

    You can't keep two good men down forever..


    Ah jeez. (none / 0) (#103)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 04:55:06 PM EST
    Ugh, terrible (none / 0) (#104)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:57:11 PM EST
    I feel for you like his family and friends kdog. Peace to all.

    SCANDAL (none / 0) (#97)
    by CST on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    For Scott Brown.  Hopefully this will be the final nail in his coffin.  From the conservative Boston Herald no less:

    "Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, donated the maximum $2,500 to the Massachusetts Republican's re-election campaign last month, according to newly released campaign finance records."

    More from the article:

    "It's one thing to be bipartisan, Senator, but this is taking it a little too far. There's no compromising in baseball."

    "Levine is the embodiment of everything we hate about the Yankees. He's described as arrogant and brash, and is the chief henchman of the Steinbrenner family, according to reports. Oh yeah, one of his chief goals every year is to destroy the Red Sox"

    "What's next, a Derek Jeter endorsement?"

    Emphasis mine.

    lol!~ Thanks for the chuckle :) (none / 0) (#101)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 03:17:41 PM EST
    Ha- you got my hopes up for a minute (none / 0) (#105)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:58:11 PM EST
    Maybe it will work!