Thursday Night Open Thread

Me, I'm rooting against the Red Sox. How about you?

Open Thread.

< Wednesday Open Thread | Friday Afternoon Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    ABB: Anybody But Boston... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:33:27 PM EST
    Sorry, Red Sox fans...

    Don't be sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:06:29 PM EST
    Red Sox fans have become just as obnoxious and insufferable as Laker fans. I root against both those teams as a matter of principle.

    Call Me Perplexed (none / 0) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:29:47 PM EST
    I never thought you'd root against The Flyin' Hawaiian.

    Victorino played for the Pads back (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:40:15 AM EST
    in the day and my Hawaiian friend was so proud.

    It's I'm sure, like (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:35:09 AM EST
    me, a Buffalo fan, finding Jets and Patriots gans insufferable, obnoxious, unevolved..like Swift's
    yahoos and the morlocks in HG Well's The Time Machine..Sadly, ultimately only fit to be rounded up and humanely but definitively eradicated at the most convenient opportunity..;-)

    Then, afterwards, in Buffalo, we'll celebrate the event by burning a few overturned police cars and projectile vomiting on each other in the dignified
    and reflective that way that only Bill's fans are capable of..


    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:47:45 AM EST
    ...sports seem to be a refining quality of all fans, especially my Packer backers who like to discard their shirts and paint their obese bellies full of brats, green and gold, but only when it's sub zero with a nice wind.

    But hands down, the Eagles fans are second to none for being the absolute worse, followed by the Raiders.

    People have been stabbed at games in Georgia, San Fran, and Jacksonville this past year.  And the year before 2 people were shot and another beaten at Candlestick.  And I would be remiss to not mention Eddie Debartelo, owner of the 49ers at the time, punched a fan in Green Bay.  


    Hey hey hey... (none / 0) (#52)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:56:25 PM EST
    No need to bring Lakers fans into this!

    Not rooting AGAINST the Sox (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:53:34 AM EST
    But a true-blue Tigers fan who is very blue this morning.

    Gonna be hard to take two of two in Boston, but I still have hope. I have to, because, in my book, the BoSox are only one step above the hated Yankees.


    Dodger Blue is back in my veins (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:41:26 PM EST
    Magic is the owner every Dodger fan has been dreaming about for as long as they've been fans.

    Also, I found this footage from the deciding game in the Dodgers' 1978 NLCS win over the Phillies (LINK), a game which I was lucky enough to be at -- friends of friends had two extra tickets by chance, the first people who were going to use them had an emergency and at the last minute I found myself with a second deck seat down the first base line. I was a few months shy of my twelfth birthday. I can still close my eyes and see Ron Cey charging home with that winning run. We must have been sitting just above that camera position, because the view is strikingly similar to the one we had from our seats. Along with the day it snowed at my friend's house way out in the eastern part of L.A., it was probably one of the two really magical moments in an otherwise senselessly sh*tty boyhood.

    Gotta cheer for Adrian. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:38:30 PM EST
    re Sox (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by DFLer on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:20:55 PM EST
    forgot to add: I hate their beards, some of which are really hideous. Are they auditioning for casting on Duck Dynasty?

    Is any beard more awesome (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:41:42 AM EST
    than Brian Wilson's?

    DHS nominee (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:33:27 AM EST
    Obama will nominate Jeh Johnson for the new head of Homeland Security.

    President Obama will nominate Jeh Johnson, formerly the Pentagon's top lawyer and a key figure in the administration's debate over the legality of drone use, to head the Department of Homeland Security, according to White House officials.

    The official announcement will take place Friday at the White House. Johnson, if confirmed by the Senate, would succeed Janet Napolitano, who announced she was leaving the Cabinet post in July.

    As the former Defense Department general counsel, Johnson was responsible for the legal work at the nation's largest bureaucracy. His job placed him at the center of some of Obama's most important national security decisions, from the practice of targeted killings beyond America's defined battlefields to the intervention in Libya.

    "The president is selecting Johnson because he is one the most highly qualified and respected national security leaders," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the nomination before its announcement. "During his tenure at the Department of Defense, he was known for his sound judgment and counsel."

    The official added that Johnson was "responsible for the prior legal review and approval of every military operation approved by the president and secretary of defense" during Obama's first term.

    I wonder how many... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:34:59 AM EST
    ...of those "legal reviews" resulted in the determination that whatever was being reviewed was not legal and, therefore, the military action could not be carried out.

    My guess? Zero.

    Sounds like rubber stamp duty, IMO.


    Linking to this short video again (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:39:20 AM EST
    About wealth inequality in America and how far off peoples' perception of that inequality is from reality. Amazing, sobering, and infuriating. (LINK)

    BART strike here in SF, so I have to get my wife into the city. Hopefully CalTrain won't be too crazy, or I have to play limo driver. Where's some telecommuting when we need it? Oy.

    Peace out, friends.

    Dem lawmakers - just say NO (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:05:26 AM EST
    Labor puts Dems on notice: Don't touch Medicare and Social Security benefits

    In an interview, Damon Silvers, the policy director of the AFL-CIO, laid down a hard line, putting Dems on notice that any agreement that cuts entitlement benefits -- even in a deal that includes GOP concessions on tax hikes -- is a nonstarter. Silvers strongly suggested labor would withhold support in 2014 from any Dem lawmaker who supports such a deal.

    "We are opposed to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits cuts. Period," Silvers told me. "There will be no cover for members of either party who vote for such a thing."
    "Chained CPI is like the vampire of American politics," Silvers said. "It keeps being shot through the heart and it keeps reviving. The reason it keeps coming back is because it has billionaires behind it."

    Silvers was referring to individuals and groups like Pete Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire whose lavishly-funded foundation has been pushing for cuts to these programs for years, Fix the Debt, which is pushing for deficit reduction, and GOP-aligned groups that have in recent years promoted the Paul Ryan budget. All of these are expected to spring into action when this fall's fiscal fight -- and talk of a "grand bargain" -- heats up.

    Let's Hope... (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:55:18 AM EST
    ...the D-bag party still cares what unions think.

    I have little faith of SS cuts not being part of the equation in January.  Obama would rather appease the opposing party than his base, that is a known.  And since his name isn't on Social Security, he doesn't give two damn squirts about it.


    Interesting post at naked capitalism, on (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:24:27 AM EST
    the ongoing problems with the ACA rollout:

    Obamacare Rollout: Will Insurers Be Hoist on the Enrollment Petard?

    An excerpt:

    Let's turn finally to the additional potential huge can of worms that the Journal tripped over but apparently did not probe. And credit to Lambert for catching it. Here's the key sentence from the top of the second paragraph, emphasis ours:

       Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans.


    But it could be that there is something more seriously wrong with the enrollment engine. It has to be fairly pronounced for the insurers to pick it up. How would insurers detect a "suspect eligibility determination"? Are they seeing enrollee' estimated incomes? Why should that even be something the insurer is even aware of? You would assume the path is: Customer enters income and other eligibility information. HHS system slots individual/family into appropriate subsidy bucket. Consumer then pokes around among various plans and gets prices adjusted for his subsidy level. Customer ALSO gets to see whether he is eligible for "Advance Tax Credits" which means all he pays his insurer is that net price. When he files his tax return for the year, if his income on his tax return differs enough from what went in the enrollment form to put him in another bucket, he will have gotten too much or too little subsidy. That difference is applied to his taxes.

    That's a bit long-winded, but you can see where this is going. First, for insurers to detect eligibility issues, it would seem likely that they are getting the entire enrollment file, including the income information. I don't like the idea of that from a privacy and security standpoint. Bad enough the NSA knows everything, now your insurer is in that loop too? Second, the errors have to be both pretty gross and reasonably frequent for the insurer to notice and be concerned about them (after all, in theory if the customer does not pay the rack rate, the Administration picks up the rest of the tab, so you would not expect them to be looking at this information all that closely).

    There's also discussion about what it means for the success of this rollout if insurance companies are going to have to manually straighten out the problems they're encountering, some of which are detailed here:

    Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions. Medical Mutual of Ohio said one customer had successfully signed up for three of its plans.

    The flaws could do lasting damage to the law if customers are deterred from signing up or mistakenly believe they have obtained coverage.


    Scott & White Health Plan in Temple, Texas, has received 25 enrollees from the federally run exchange so far. "There are some missing data elements that are requiring a lot of research on our part," said Allan Einboden, the health plan's chief executive. "If we'd received 5,000 and they all had to be worked, that's a lot of extra administrative costs," said Mr. Einboden, who said he expects the problems to be fixed...

    At Priority Health in Michigan, health-plan staff are calling new customers to confirm each of their "couple of dozen" enrollees accurately picked the plan, said Joan Budden, chief marketing officer, after realizing some had enrolled in multiple health plans, likely owing to user error linked to slow healthcare.gov response times. "Sometimes they pushed the [submit] button three times," Ms. Budden said.


    But, hey - at least it sounds like the jobs numbers will be improving, as companies have to hire additional workers to straighten out the enrollment problems...

    Some points (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:02:16 PM EST
    w/o reading the article I can tell you it has much speculation and misinformation just looking at the sections you posted.

    First off, the transaction used to send data to insurers is the same specification that is used to enroll employees of a group - it's the 834 Enrollment Transaction.  The transaction has been in use for years.  Google 834 Enrollment and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Whomever wrote this article at Naked Capitalism, should do better research rather than fear-mongering and rumor spreading. It does not help the cause of socialized medicine in either the current form or any other.

    But it could be that there is something more seriously wrong with the enrollment engine. It has to be fairly pronounced for the insurers to pick it up. How would insurers detect a "suspect eligibility determination"? Are they seeing enrollee' estimated incomes? Why should that even be something the insurer is even aware of?

    The 834 transaction defines a skeleton of data to be sent and the transaction companion document details the meat added to the bones. While it is true that the enrollment transaction supports sending income information, CMS's specification expressly prohibits this information from being sent.  Per p. 22 of the Companion Document:

    2100A ICM Member Income - Member income information will never be transmitted.

    Second, errors in the enrollment file are nothing new and part and parcel of accepting this data electronically. Far better to get most data electronically and clean up where necessary than decipher paper enrollment forms. Finally, these files run thru complex routines to check for data errors based on the specification requirements.  The errors don't have to be "fairly pronounced." Checks are along the lines of, if A is present, so must be B, C or D, but not E.  These checks have been in place for a while because again, the transaction is not new and most insurers receive this data all the time. Thank HIPAA and Admin Simp for that.

    Admittedly, there are most certainly design flaws in the user interface. Better instructions, more validation, etc. will help. These things require feedback from actual users however.

    I really wish the haters (not saying that's you) would stop constantly looking to trash this thing and allow those working hard to resolve implementation issues time to do so.

    There's a whole host of people running off with the worst-possible sounding headlines based on perceived grumbling by {insert stakeholder here}. Here's an example I saw the other day on CNBC.  Contrast the headline with what the head of AETNA (who I will say sounds like he knows what he's talking about) actually says.

    'So much wrong': Aetna CEO blasts Obamacare tech debacle

    Doesn't sound like he's "blasting" to me.  Be smart, don't believe everything you hear or read - even if it's coming from sources you like.


    Insurance companies have to do some actual (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:06:12 PM EST
    work to get their 20 million new customers enrolled? But Obama promised them pure profit!

    With no more information to go on, suspect eligibility questions could be any number of things, not just financial. People trying to get their parents covered, kids over the maximum age, etc.

    Plenty of problems, should have been smoother, sure. But I'm confident the insurers will do what they have to do to get their premiums ASAP. CGI will be glad to get their feedback and help!


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 160 (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:00:41 PM EST
    christine, since the last thread filled up (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:04:35 PM EST
    I'll respond here:
    No, sj. Rather, my suggestion is (none / 0) (#203)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:54:32 AM MDT

    that the process agreed to when sequestration went into effect (1) resulted from a difficult position that Democrats found ourselves in after the 2010 loss and (2) contained a device--the bigger bite out of Defense budget next year--that Harry Reid notes will shift the leverage in the coming negotiations.  One can argue whether that second point was accidental or planned.  And, one can argue whether someone is always lucky or, in fact, smart.  At the very least, Senator Reid is showing himself as an excellent strategist ... in the best sense of the practical word.

    I see what you are saying. I admit it that to me sounds like apologia of the highest order if placed in context of the last five years.

    However, if you should happen to be right, remind me of this discussion and I will cede the argument gladly. But speaking for myself, I think Senator Reid's "excellent strategy" sucks eggs.

    I'll remind you, sj. (none / 0) (#42)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:08:48 PM EST
    Remember (none / 0) (#45)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:40:05 PM EST
    I am saying that there will be little to no attempt to go back to pre-sequester funding levels and that negotiations will use (essentially) these levels as a starting point. You think that this is a negotiating strategy of some sort. Admittedly I haven't a clue as to what outcome you would then expect.

    What outcome would you expect?


    In general and on a continuum (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 05:32:14 PM EST
    I would expect an improved position for domestic spending ... not simply improved from the recent effects of sequestration, but an improvement in expectations.  As for expectations as a rule: For a number of years--dating back to what was engendered by the "Reagan revolution" of pushing conservatism foremost on the national stage--we have had to bear with and counter and otherwise dodge loud all-purpose media and other pervasive calls for "entitlement" reforms/cut-backs.  It is my opinion that the setting has shifted somewhat as a result of 2012 with its Democratic victory and with the astute positioning on tax-increases for higher income people until it became a given as well as from the foolish moves of the TeaPots in shutting down the government/playing with default ... it is also my opinion that improvement from the backs-against-the-wall reality after the 2010 loss (in terms of numbers and other realities) can and should lead to a better posture by Democrats in the upcoming negotiations.

    The problem is to change the lay of the land in that so many people and groups take as a given that there has to be "entitlement reform."  For example: While the press has lost a lot of influence, they still have a lot because they and other media people use and coin phrases--often based upon group-think--that enters the body politic.  The push becomes a tidal wave, at times, even in papers with extensive reach such as the Washington Post (or, locally, the Denver Post.)  My personal view is that the use of the word "entitlement" itself should be re-framed, because any benefits under Social Security and Medicare, e.g., are really Life Benefits or Earned Benefits.  Reframing the debate has to precede where we go with any reform.

    In almost any negotiation about anything -- especially budgets in government or any organization -- give & take must be expected.  While it is important for the biggest supporters of a status quo position to hold-the-line in positioning, the reality has always been that there will be some give.  Plus: There are the public gambits and the back-channel discussions about who gives and gets.  In this case, the background (as mentioned above) should lead into a better positioning for overall domestic spending than we could have foreseen for some time ... in exchange for the defense shifts upward.  Because there are back-channel "don't go this far or I'll put this on the table" realities, I do see the potential play of the Raise or Dispense with the Payroll Tax on Social Security card should there be any real threat to Social Security.  My biggest concern is means-testing as to Medicare ... but, now, I'm even thinking that that could be dodged by commitments to indexing and accounting and gathering-more-info (and all that) on a broader level.

    I do not pretend to know the outcome of negotiations other than an opinion that "the line will be held" when all is said & done ... for a number of pragmatic reasons having to do with upcoming elections.  What I would really love to hear, btw, is the direct question put to all the press/media/pundit bloviators who have helped shape Conventional Wisdom about the pressing need for immediate reform ... the direct question of What Specifically Would You Cut Back in these Programs, and Why?  But, that may be for another day.

    So ... in sum, my opinion about budget battles is that they ebb and flow and, consequently, the best thing is to improve our position bit by bit. They ebb & flow because the context of where the public stands and what the public believes at the time defines the acceptable parameters within the negotiators can operate in a practical sense. The one thing not to do--especially in this time--is to assume that you can jam the opposition and/or roll them.  That kind of Cruz Assumption tends to lose eventually and when it really counts ... big time.


    It might help if Obama quit saying (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:18:47 PM EST
    that there had to be entitlement reforms and including cuts to SS and Medicare in his proposed budgets.

    Maybe the questions that you want posed to the press should be posed to President Obama. I would suggest another question for him: Do you think that people will rush to the polls to vote for Democratic candidates to thank them for cutting SS and and Medicare?


    I agree ... part way, MO Blue (2.00 / 1) (#71)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:30:11 PM EST
    This is one of those circular expectations things ... this "entitlement reforms."  What has happened is that everyone uses it.  It has become a phrase just about every politician subscribes to ... a bad habit, but one that has been going on for years.  

    While it would be much better if the President said that out front, it might also be stupid to do so.  Take a look at where the opinion drivers are in this society ... all the "communicators" (those relatively few with the microphone who have been selling this since the '80s.)  I know what would be the optimum for me--take on the framework head-on--but, it is that practical side of me that says "the political leaders who first do that will end up getting clobbered by the press while unnecessarily sacrificing themselves." Because I feel that there is more than one way to do this without throwing oneself on a pyre, I'll accept the President's phrasing ... because what will count is the actual outcome.  Not pure, not saintly, but if we can withstand the concerted push from those-with-the-mics and more, the end result is what matters.


    Yes, everyone uses the phrase (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:55:36 PM EST
    but Obama has put in writing actual detailed proposals on how he would reform SS and Medicare.

    The chained CPI is an actual method of cutting SS and not some vague use of the phrase.

    These cuts to Medicare which Obama has included in his budgets and his negotiations with the Republican are actual detailed cuts to the program and not a vague use of the phrase.

    Higher Cost Sharing for New Medicare Beneficiaries

    In 2017, 2019 and 2021, new Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay an additional $25 for their Part B deductible, for a three-year total of $75 to be added on to the cost of the Part B premium, which in 2013 is $147.

    The administration says the change would "strengthen program financing and encourage beneficiaries to seek high-value health care services." Seniors advocates say it's an additional cost to people already struggling on fixed incomes. In 2012, nearly half of Medicare beneficiaries had annual incomes of below $22,500.

    Also starting in 2017, Obama's plan would require new Medicare beneficiaries to pay $100 for five or more home health care visits that are not preceded by a stay in the hospital or another medical facility, such as a nursing home or a rehabilitation hospital. Home health care is one of the few areas in Medicare that does not have cost sharing, and its rapid growth in recent years has led panels like the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to recommend beneficiary cost sharing.

    Beginning in 2017, new beneficiaries who purchase supplemental insurance, known as Medigap, with particularly low cost-sharing requirements -- such as "first-dollar" coverage -- will face a surcharge equivalent to approximately 15 percent of the average Medigap premium. The thought is that more generous Medigap plans encourage overuse of services, but seniors rely on these generous plans to shield them from unanticipated costs.

    Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, said that Medicare proposals that "increase deductibles and co-pays, and tax Medigap plans that ensure financial security, must be rejected."

    Wealthier Beneficiaries Pay More

    Current law already requires individual beneficiaries whose incomes are $85,000 and above ($170,000 and above for couples) to pay a larger share of Medicare Part B (outpatient services like doctor visits and laboratory services) and Part D (prescription drugs) premisums. While most beneficiaries pay 25 percent of their Part B premiums, higher-income beneficiaries pay between 35 to 80 percent, depending on their income.

    Obama's plan would increase the lowest income-related premium to 40 percent and cap it at 90 percent. His plan would also maintain the current income thresholds until a quarter of Part B and Part D beneficiaries are paying the higher income-related premiums.

    In a 2012 analysis, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that if the proposal to have a quarter of all beneficiaries pay the higher premiums were implemented last year, beneficiaries with incomes at or above $47,000 for individuals and $94,000 for couples would be paying higher income-related Medicare premiums. (KHN in an editorially independent program of the Foundation.)

    The Obama administration says the proposal would help improve Medicare's financial stability by reducing how much the government spends on Medicare for beneficiaries who can afford to pay more. But the Center for Medicare Advocacy fears asking higher income people to pay a greater share of premiums "might lead to more people choosing not to participate in Medicare. Fewer participants in [Medicare] B and D would result in increased costs for the remaining participants."

    Let me tell you that the requirement for seniors to have skin in the game by penalizing first dollar coverage in medigap will quickly wipe out any and all saving of seniors who have a chronic illness that requires regular ongoing treatment. Meeting high deductibles prior to the insurance kicking in will guarantee that more money will go out for medical expenses than income coming in for those who are being treated for illnesses such as cancer or kidney disease etc.

    You also might want to examine his last couple of budget proposals. I don't think you will find raising the cap on SS anywhere in the documents.    


    To be even more precise, (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 10:15:20 AM EST
    Obama has on numerous occasion brought people to the WH in an effort to sell chained CPI, cuts to Medicare along with cuts to the corporate tax rate. Here is a link to an article dated 3/13 that outlines one of his "charm offensive" to sell his cuts to the "entitlement programs" and to the corporate tax rate.

    Just in case you missed it, Obama would be taking money out of the pockets of the poor, the sick, and the elderly in order to put it into the pockets of the mega rich CEOs.

    Also, give me your honest opinion as to the political impact of cutting SS and Medicare to the Democratic Party when these cuts are signed into effect by a Democratic President and will need a majority of Democratic votes in Congress to get the legislation through.


    Honest opinion (none / 0) (#90)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 12:29:35 PM EST
    I believe, MO Blue, that if the Democratic Party is seen as cutting Social Security and/or hurting those on Medicare, they will lose more than they might ever have imagined.  I think that negative acts toward Social Security or Medicare would be wrong for ethical and practical reasons.

    Again, you make strong arguments and document them quite well.  Here, tho, is another honest opinion:  My own background (as well as my personality) causes me to look at pre-negotiation talk and early negotiation posturing as laden with puffery ... so, I tend to wait it out to observe what the real give & take will be.  From my own experience, I regard it as quite common to portray one's negotiating side as willing to "put everything/just about everything on the table" in order to establish for multiple audiences how reasonable and open and good that side is compared to the other refusing-to-negotiate side.  That is a routine performed by many negotiators ... because negotiations play out in words, tone, appearance, and actions.  For that reason, my reaction is to watch a bit more as the preliminaries develop to ascertain what is more posture than "give."

    Forgive me if the foregoing sounds preachy or close to it.  And, I realize that my own background can be an impediment to seeing what is really happening for longer than need be, since when my side--in the opening acts--signifies largesse and an unacceptable give my reflex is to assume the pre-negotiation kabuki.

    Because of the constant reprise about both sides having to give, etc., I do think that there might be a small bone on both sides ... simply because it would be hard in the atmosphere leading to off-year elections to get away without any movement. But, as indicated earlier, the pressure to give relief to Defense does give us an opening.


    BTW, the mean testing on Medicare (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:24:54 PM EST
    that Obama has put in his last two proposed budgets would increase the lowest income-related premium to 40 percent and cap it at 90 percent. It would also freeze the current income thresholds until a quarter of Part B and Part D beneficiaries are paying the higher income-related premiums.

    Thanks, MO Blue (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:09:33 PM EST
    On this issue, I continue to feel deep concern.  I have no answer to the strong argument that you make about Medicare.

    You don't change the lay of the land (3.67 / 3) (#87)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 08:41:40 AM EST
    by continuing to state that we have to have "entitlement reform," you change it by being truthful and educating the American people on the facts.  

    The "give and take" about which you go on and on...and on, is about taking from people who have very little and giving to people and corporations that will never stop wanting more.

    I've read your comment at least three times, and all your word salad does is pile excuses upon apologies; it is, in my opinion, one of your most impressive loads of crap yet.


    Thank you, Anne (none / 0) (#88)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 09:18:37 AM EST
    for you predictable reply. xxx Chris

    It ... (none / 0) (#91)
    by sj on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 02:30:35 PM EST
    ... was predictable, wasn't it? Anne has a razor sharp ability to wade through the morass, expose the core, and then cut to the chase. I, myself, just get the sense of the general direction and lose patience. I should be more patient.

    Short and sweet please (3.50 / 2) (#66)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 05:57:57 PM EST
    And definitive. There is no standard of measurement here, only hopes and wishes and impressions and quien sabe que tanto.

    It's the kind of thing that allows for breathless adjectives of "brilliant" and "wise" and "excellent" without anything to back it up. If you're going there, forget it. This has no metric.


    Any attempt to talk about the upcoming (none / 0) (#68)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:19:52 PM EST
    negotiations in a short, sweet, and I-know-the-answer way would fail ... for anyone.  You asked my opinion; I gave my opinion that the domestic spending position will improve more than expected.  If you have the $$$ amounts, go ahead ... I'd be anxious to hear your opinion (and even a "metric.")  

    Without metrics (3.50 / 2) (#72)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:42:18 PM EST
    It's just cheerleading. Even worse it is cheering for the posturing. I'm not surprised, I suppose. Also not surprised that you question "metrics". Nor should I be surprised that you don't see one when it is staring you in the face.
    I am saying that there will be little to no attempt to go back to pre-sequester funding levels and that negotiations will use (essentially) these levels as a starting point.
    If that happens -- which will be a verifiable event (a "metric", if you will) -- and it will not be one that should give rise to terms like "excellent strategist" (at least not if referring to Reid).

    Whether or not the term "entitlement reform" sees the light of day is a metric. Guess which side of that I see as a success?

    And by the way, I didn't ask for your opinion about changing the lay of the land or any of that othe cr@p. I asked what you thought the actual outcome of congressional activities would be after the next round of negotiations. Not what hopey-changey thing you think is you think is hinted at.


    What is wrong with you, sj? (2.00 / 1) (#75)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:06:45 PM EST
    Seriously.  I try--have tried--to answer your questions when you ask.  In good faith.  What I see, what I realize is that your responses seem to be "the loaded for bear" kind.  There is no attempt for discussion, common ground, nor any respect.  For whatever reason that you see fit to attack me personally over these many months really is your issue.  Not mine.

    As I said, if you have a "metric," perhaps you might want to discuss it.  If you don't or don't want to discuss what you want to see (as opposed to what you don't want to see), that is fine too.

    Look ... when I originally answered, I assume that your response would be an attack.  But, nonetheless, I thought it worth a try.  Again, the anger apparent in most if not all of your responses to me is really your issue ... not mine.

    Have at it ... and excuse my assumption that you would like the last word.


    Thanks for giving me the last word (3.00 / 2) (#78)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:17:04 PM EST
    Your putting the quotes around the word "metric" and inability to see one when it's gift wrapped and handed to you on a silver comment tray tells me what I needed to know. As for what's wrong with me? I find it more and more difficult to suffer fools gladly, I suppose. Maybe I will soon start wearing purple.

    But for now I am re-extending the offer I made to you yesterday.


    I already do wear (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:58:48 PM EST
    purple. I have that framed in my bedroom and if I am down, I read " When I grow old", and it always brings smile to my face.

    I've worked with many engineers and scientists (none / 0) (#80)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:43:27 PM EST
    for most of my government career.  What I did learn is that their concept of "metric" involved numbers, etc. ... tho, I must say, human interpretation typically entered into the point from which they started.  I say that because my background is quite different: lawyer, manager, negotiator, and strategist.  "Metrics" at the mega-level negotiation stage usually involves a mix of qualitative and quantitative.

    Again, I fully believe that the prospects for betterment in the domestic budget are quite high ... for the qualitative reasons and analysis given in my previous comments.  BTW, based upon my 30 years with the government, one piece of learning has to do with the fungibility of the federal budget.  The balance sheet is lots more than a balance sheet.  That is my experience, and my opinion.


    Lest I forget (none / 0) (#81)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:47:06 PM EST
    Why don't we just pass each other by ... no harm done.  The disagreements, for the most part, are based upon seemingly very different views of the world ... and, it is only needlessly hurtful to do otherwise.  Thank you.

    Whoops (none / 0) (#64)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 05:37:10 PM EST
    Please insert the word "Cap" in the appropriate place referring to "...Dispense with the Social Security Tax Cap"

    Zola Budd Update for gbrbsb (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:10:11 PM EST
    Unless they go into television, anonymity is the norm for former track athletes in the US and that's where Zola resides now. She is a track coach in South Carolina and her daughter is a reigning State of South Carolina High School Track Champion and also a State of South Carolina High School Cross Country Champion.

    When track stars in the US retire, they could be your next door neighbor and 99.9% of the population would have no idea.

    Just 2 weeks ago, Zola won a 5k cross country race at the 2013 Great American CC Festival against members of college teams ...not her age group but overall for women at age 47.

    On a side note, Zola - and her daughter - now wear shoes when racing.

    2nd side note: Mary Decker was responsible for her own DNF in the 1984 Olympics.

    A 17:47 5K at age 47. Jaysus. (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:36:33 PM EST
    low/mid 18's for 3 miles, which equates to high 18's/low 19's for a 5K, so I'm not too impressed with the college girls in your link.

    Am I missing something?


    I only know it was (none / 0) (#57)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:24:59 PM EST
    a cross country course. They vary from course to course so I haven't a clue. Wikipedia desribes Cary, NC as "hilly".

    The schools listed as competing are all small schools though, but still...age 47!


    I've found some other races for Zola (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:40:14 PM EST
    2012 State Farm Melbourne & Beaches Music Half Marathon 3rd overall (Women) 1:23:47 (6:23 per mile)

    2011 Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon 2nd overall (Women) 1:19:55 (6:06 per mile)

    Very few races. Looks likes she's fast just doing them for fun.


    did not medal (4th in my (old a$$) age group).

    Wow (none / 0) (#58)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    We had a pretty good XC team in high school, and most of the boys (all of the girls) couldn't run that on a 5K course.

    and girls running high 17's/low 18's (ignoring phenom Sarah Baxter who runs mid 16's). Add about 30-40 seconds to convert to a 5K time.

    We usually had ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:23:57 PM EST
    ... 2-3 boys every year who would break 16:00 for a 5K, and 2-3 girls who were under 19:00.  My freshman year we had a guy who ran a 14:49.  He managed to win states, as well as the 800m and 1600m in track - and he smoked, if you can believe it.

    But a 17:47 at age 47 is pretty, damn impressive.


    Ya, your "we" is "us." (none / 0) (#83)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 01:47:47 AM EST
    I grew up in NJ.

    Pretty close (none / 0) (#86)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:11:02 AM EST
    I live in Jersey now, but I grew up in PA.  Lotta really good teams from Jersey though, IIRC.  CBA dominated that same race, averaging 15:24!

    I am rooting For the Red Sox. (none / 0) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:09:34 PM EST
    My guy, Jacoby Ellsbury is playing for the boys from Beantown, and i have to show some Oregon solidarity.

    Go, BoSox!

    Sports is where the husband and I support (none / 0) (#11)
    by Amiss on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:25:19 PM EST
    each other. I lived in Michigan for a few years, but still have to support the Red Sox.

    Agreed -- Fellow Oregonian..... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cashmere on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:16:30 AM EST
    Go SOX!!!!!

    I was on the bus after the A's lost and (none / 0) (#4)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:07:52 PM EST
    driver was talking to a passenger and wondering who roots for the Tigers (speaking of the future games against the RS). I DO! when they are playing the RS.

    (Yes, the bus driver was getting game updates as we were moving along . . . :))

    Just saw... (none / 0) (#5)
    by desertswine on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:26:48 PM EST
    an amazing catch by the Tiger second baseman, ranging far to his right to spear a shallow blooper.

    I like the way the Sox are playing-impressive (none / 0) (#7)
    by DFLer on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:55:41 PM EST
    but kinda want Detroit (Central Div and all)

    Great pitching all 'round the post season...love it.

    Like the Dodgers too...don't know if they will survive.

    Saw many a game in the day in both Dodger Stadium and the Fenway Park bleachers.

    National Leaguer here (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:21:17 PM EST
    As long as it's not the Mets or the Cards! Go Dodgers!

    Go Cards! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:09:16 PM EST

    On this we agree (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:51:56 PM EST
    Grew up setting on the front porch with my folks listening to the Cardinals on a Philco radio positioned near an open window.

    "It might be! It could be! What a drive! It's outa here!"


    They Had Electricity... (none / 0) (#47)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:00:32 PM EST
    ...when you were a kid, I thought that was a 20th century invention ?

    Nah, radios back then... (none / 0) (#85)
    by unitron on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 01:49:11 AM EST
    ...were steam powered.

    Hand- cranked (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 02:35:16 PM EST

    OMG, yes! (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:26:41 PM EST
    Harry Caray (and Jack Buck, and for a few years, Joe Garagiola) on KMOX, were the voices I grew up with.  My folks always, always had the radio on when the Cards were playing.
    And, believe me, the rumors flew in St. Louis after Caray was fired as announcer.  At least one rumor suggested that it was a result of a grudge against Caray by Auggie Busch, Jr., because of a supposed affair between Caray and Auggie's daughter-in-law.  Who knows?
    At any rate, Harry Caray was the soundtrack of my youth.

    KMOX was for the Cards (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:07:30 PM EST
    what TBS was for the Braves.

    As a kid growing up in FL the Braves were the south's team thanks to Ted Turner and every game being on TBS.   I still have my Dale Murphy jersey.

    Now that I live in Indiana the Cardinals are the team of choice because everyone in SW Indiana grew up listening to Cardinals games because of the tremendous reach of KMOX.

    Also it doesn't hurt that I was at Game 6 two years ago.

    Go Cards!


    I thank you for setting the record (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:09:40 PM EST
    straight for the young'uns who think Caray is the time honored voice of the Cubs. I never could get used to that. He's a Cards guy!!!

    Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau are the only Cubs voices for me!!!


    You're welcome, ruffian (none / 0) (#65)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 05:52:55 PM EST
    I have to say, when Caray went to the Cubs, he became dead to those of us in St. Louis.     ;-)

    So you guys were mad at him... (none / 0) (#84)
    by unitron on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 01:47:50 AM EST
    ...for having been fired?

    Funny, when I worked in broadcasting, getting fired was not something we went out of our way to do.


    The feeling was (none / 0) (#92)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 02:34:20 PM EST
    that he could have gone anywhere but the hated Cubbies.
    Also, if the rumors were true, if he had kept his pants zipped, Auggie wouldn't have fired him.  (Yes, I know it takes two to tango, as it were, but Auggie's DIL didn't work for him. )

    ruffian, how about Ozzie Guillen as Cubs (none / 0) (#70)
    by caseyOR on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:28:52 PM EST
    manager? Are the Cubs crazy enough to offer him the job? Is Ozzie crazy enough to take it?

    Rick Telander at the Sun-Times thinks it might be a good idea. Read why here.

    If nothing else, Ozzie at the helm would be interesting. I do think Telander might be on to something, though. What say you?

    Oh, and GO, DODGERS!! Beat the Cards!!!!!!!!


    As to your second question (none / 0) (#73)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:48:52 PM EST
    "Is Ozzie crazy enough to take it?"

    There is no one in the circle of available baseball managers that is crazier.


    So true, my friend, so true. (none / 0) (#76)
    by caseyOR on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:07:15 PM EST
    Under the best of scenarios the Cubs are years away from a stellar season. So, we might as well make it an interesting journey.

    SYG in trial court in Seattle. What is the scope (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:54:24 AM EST
    of damages a successful criminal defendant may recover?  Answer:  very broad, at least in this case.


    The House Stenographer (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:01:39 AM EST
    who was released to go home after a quick evaluation Wednesday night has spoken out as to her reasons for the "He shall not be mocked" rant:

    "For the past 2 and 1/2 weeks, the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me to deliver a message in the House Chamber. That is what I did... "

    Her husband's response: "My wife is a sweet, level-headed wonderful woman of God. I am proud of her."

    Maybe she once worked for Jerry Landers at Food World in Burbank.

    I know he's her husband, ... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:45:41 AM EST
    ... but if he actually believes she's "level-headed", I'd love to meet some of the people they hang out with.

    Link (none / 0) (#28)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:41:41 AM EST
    That is ... (none / 0) (#94)
    by sj on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 05:22:42 PM EST
    ... some seriously weird sh!t. How can anybody think that is normal behavior?

    The woman works for Congress..if that's (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 05:32:01 PM EST
    her "normal," that would explain a lot, don't you think?

    Given the kinds of things I routinely shout at the TV, I can't even imagine what I might be tempted to stand up and shout from the well of the House or Senate...

    Actually kind of surprised it hasn't happened more often.


    Can't say it was normal (none / 0) (#97)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 12:23:53 PM EST
    behavior.  I'm just glad she didn't blow herself up as a martyr.

    Poor gal might have found herself in heaven with a bunch of GOP husbands as her reward.  


    Tea Party Insult Generator... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:13:24 AM EST
    To be clear, these are not insults directed AT the Tea Party, but insults being hurled BY Tea Partiers, at John Boenher and posted on his Facebook wall...


    The one on the screen when I clicked on the link was:

    Cowardly Benghazi-denying RINO traitor

    Have fun!

    My Favorites (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:14:48 AM EST
    Spineless Muslim-loving RINO

    Lying treason-loving libtard

    Big government devil

    Apparently in those circles this biggest insult one can hurl is calling another a muslim, a liberal, someone fond of the government, or the GD devil.

    I was really shocked to not find some version of "Negro loving....", but with a little different verbiage.


    This seems like a good place (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:02:39 PM EST
    for this.
    Yes, the President has won an important battle against the zombies. But while it's possible to win a zombie battle, it's never possible to win a zombie war. No matter how many individual zombies you dispatch, there will always be ten more where they came from. The Tea Party doesn't take legislative defeat as a signal that it's doing something wrong: it takes it as a signal that nothing has really changed in Washington and that they therefore need to redouble their nihilistic efforts. Take it from me: come February, or March, or whenever we end up having to have this idiotic debt-ceiling fight all over again, the Tea Party will still be there, and will still be as crazy as ever.
    And if you doubt this, note it has already begun.

    This sums up why all the chortling over Teh Great Dem Victory of 2013 is just noise.


    Again, I have to ask (none / 0) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:16:36 PM EST
    why is it so hard to get the message out to the American public?

    From Paul Krugman's NYT article today describing the real damage being done. And, these are the people Obama thinks he can compromise with:

    "A useful starting point for assessing the damage done is a widely cited report by the consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, which estimated that "crisis driven" fiscal policy -- which has been the norm since 2010 -- has subtracted about 1 percent off the U.S. growth rate for the past three years. This implies cumulative economic losses -- the value of goods and services that America could and should have produced, but didn't -- of around $700 billion. The firm also estimated that unemployment is 1.4 percentage points higher than it would have been in the absence of political confrontation, enough to imply that the unemployment rate right now would be below 6 percent instead of above 7."


    My guess is because (none / 0) (#39)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:42:51 PM EST
    most people feel comfortable hanging with their posse. And when the posse goes off the rails they'll follow right along.

    I get that. I do. It isn't easy admitting that you've haven't been hanging out with the right crowd. And it's really tough if it means getting sideways with friends and family. This I know.

    It isn't that different from High School, really. The Popular Kids just look so much better than the earnest geeks in the chess club.


    "A$$h0le establishment communist!" (none / 0) (#27)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:39:57 AM EST
    Took me a second to realize these were actual posts from Boehner's wall.

    Just when I thought I had a bead on how crazy these Teapartiers are ...


    LOL (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:12:25 PM EST
    Double-crossing Constitution-shredding socialist.

    Love it.


    Today is a bad day for Jeralyn to be on hiatus... (none / 0) (#32)
    by magster on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:10:08 AM EST
    There's a high stakes motion to suppress going on in the James Holmes' case where cops talked to Holmes after Holmes invoked his right to counsel in order to extract "public safety" information from him to defuse the bombs in Holmes' apartment.

    State should offer life without parole and be done with it.

    Middle age thought for the day (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:47:40 AM EST
    "The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you'll grow out of it."
    -- Doris Day

    So if you're out walking down the street sometime
    And you spot some hollow ancient eyes,
    Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
    As if you didn't care,
    Say, "Hello In There, hello."

    Growth industries (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:15:57 PM EST
    S&P: The Shutdown Took $24 Billion Out Of The US Economy
    In September, we expected 3% annualized growth in the fourth quarter because we thought politicians would have learned from 2011 and taken steps to avoid things like a government shutdown and the possibility of a sovereign default. Since our forecast didn't hold, we now have to lower our fourth-quarter growth estimate to closer to 2%.

    China reports rebound in economic growth

    China's economic growth has rebounded to 7.8 percent in the latest quarter after a boost in government spending to reverse a sharp downturn.

    The data reported on Friday should ease pressure on communist leaders for new stimulus measures to prevent politically dangerous job losses.

    That would allow them to focus on what they say is their priority of longer-term reforms aimed at making China's economy more efficient and productive.

    Growth of the world's second-largest economy accelerated from the previous quarter's two-decade low of 7.5 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

    Too many people in Jail (none / 0) (#40)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:50:37 PM EST
    Nice piece on Reason about how we incarcerate 5 times the people we did in the 70's.

    More Dodger nostalgia (none / 0) (#44)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:14:49 PM EST
    Speaking of nostalgia.......... (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:12:24 PM EST
    Johny Podres, 1955, World Series, game 7, Dodgers vs. Yankees.

    Up until a year prior to the '55 Series, we lived in Brooklyn, and, I had been a maniac Dodger fan, "Da Bums!

    Then, in 1955, we moved to the Bronx. Naturally, I had to switch sides (it was, literally, a case of life & death) and, becoming enamored with that up and coming Super Star, Mickey Mantle, made the switch a little bit easier.

    In those days being a Yankee fan meant you were always in the World Series, always playing the Dodgers, and, always beating the crap out of da Bums.

    Until that awful, surreal, "it wasn't really happening" day in 1955. Even though I probably cried for 24 hours around the clock, the Johny Podres story was pretty much a fairy tale come true for the long suffering Dodger fans. The kid, just out of the Army, gets to pitch against, and beat, the Mighty Yanks:

    Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Don Larsen, Yogi Berra, Billy Martin, Phil Rizzuto, Elston Howard.....what a line up!

    Good times


    That was a magic combination, Dadler (none / 0) (#96)
    by shoephone on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:10:39 PM EST
    I loved that team. And, of course, Fernando on the mound, and Dusty Baker in the outfield. Now that Dusty is sans a team and the Mariners are sans a manager, I'm hoping the two will realize there's a wonderful opportunity of success in joining forces. (Mostly, I'd just like to see Dusty in Seattle.)