Friday Morning Open Thread


< In Other News, Medicaid Expansion Works Beautifully | Saturday College Football OpenThread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 188 (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 12:05:42 PM EST
    Reminds me (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 12:24:17 PM EST
    of the trashy novel (and even worse movie), "Valley of the Dolls."
    Your sense of humor is so warped, Dadler.  I love it!  You're my kind of man.      ;-)

    Dadler's enviro friendly tip o' the day, seriously (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 12:11:28 PM EST
    I Use Microfiber Towels... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:22:30 PM EST
    ...i get form target, they are about $1 a piece and work infinitely better than other towels.  My washer has a silver setting that kills bacteria.

    But I still use paper towels as well, but those are recycled paper and I recycle them after I use them.

    Cotton is horrible for the environment, it's probably the worse crop in the world in regards to the environment.  So while the sentiment is there, between paper and cotton I would guess, so long as you recycle, paper is doing less damage.


    Cotton and Child Labour

    250 million children globally are compelled to work, of which over 70% are employed in agriculture, where they are at risk from exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, machinery and arduous labour. The cotton industry is no exception, where children are employed in a variety of tasks from cottonseed production to pesticide spraying and the annual cotton harvest.

    Cotton and Water

    Cotton is one of the thirstiest crops in the world taking about 2,720 litres of water to produce one cotton T-shirt, equivalent to what an average person might drink over three years

    Cotton and Pesticides

    Cotton grows on 2.4% of the world's arable land, yet it is responsible for the release of over US$2 billion of chemical pesticides each year. Nearly half of these are considered toxic enough to be classified as hazardous by the World Health Organisation.


    And that is just to get if off the filed, but it had to be bleached, died, woven and sewn.  Can't find anything but I though the chemicals used for the bleaching and dying process were pretty nasty and we all know about textile manufacturing and human rights.


    I use microfiber towels too and definitely prefer (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:49:44 PM EST
    them over cotton ones. But, I've heard quite a few people swear by flour sack towels.

    I love flour sack towels :) (none / 0) (#38)
    by nycstray on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:25:52 PM EST
    I don't get the bleached ones (none / 0) (#31)
    by Dadler on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:32:07 PM EST
    Hate microfiber, just as bad in the long run, IMO, and will be around, breaking down in the environment and polluting forever. At least cotton will just break down naturally and go away. IMO, either are way better than ANY disposable option, period. The disposable life is killing us in so many ways.

    That is Crazy... (none / 0) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:57:24 PM EST
    ...I would have sworn microfiber was cotton, they are so soft and absorbent.

    I love cotton, but but it's bad stuff.

    I am still in the recycling is better camp or at least that is how I rationalize the cases of bottle water I go through monthly.  


    Why not just get a water filter for your tap (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by nycstray on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:27:09 PM EST
    and some reusable bottles?

    Now you're just polluting... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 12:43:20 PM EST
    our waters with detergent washing the dish towels...marine life killer!

    Just kidding of course...good tip, I'm a stojne cold paper towel junkie.  Between this and the shaving club tip I should call you my frugality guru.  


    This was sort of (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:46:19 PM EST
    the whole conundrum I went through many years ago with regards to disposable diapers versus cloth diapers.  Sure, most people say cloth are better, but then you have to spend electricity to wash them and you use up a lot of water, and then you have the detergents going into the waste water.
    OTOH, using disposable diapers, you are clogging up the landfills.
    So, what to do?
    If you live in an area where water is scarce but there is more landfill space, it might be better to use disposables.  But if you live in an area where water is plentiful but landfill space is limited, it might be better to use cloth diapers.
    Who the heck knows?
    I split the difference and used both with my kids.  ;-)
    (Plus, old cloth diapers are great for other uses.)
    I guess I do the same with rags and paper towels.  I use both.

    If you didn't wash the diapers (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:55:08 PM EST
    But had a diaper service, then a gas-filled vehicle comes to pick them up and deliver them too.

    We considered that, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:11:08 PM EST
    as well.    ;-)

    My daughter uses cloth diapers, but (none / 0) (#14)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:04:59 PM EST
    disposables are SO expensive that I don't think there's any question that they're spending less money.

    Yes but, (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:09:41 PM EST
    I believe she is in this area?  In which case, her detergents are winding up in Chesapeake Bay.
    You can't win.

    Well, the thing is that she doesn't use (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:15:03 PM EST
    the commercial detergents, either - mainly because the commercial detergents have additives that can, over time, interfere with the ability of the diapers to absorb (and irritate the baby's bum).

    She makes her own - I think there's baking soda involved - and she's also on a well and septic system, so I imagine it might take a while for the laundry water to reach the bay...


    Good for her! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:27:06 PM EST
    But although it will take awhile, the well and septic stuff will reach the Bay eventually.  It sounds as though she is doing all she can to mitigate this, however.
    And I'm sure that her own detergents are not only better, all the way around, but cheaper, too.
    We're on well and septic, as well, and I think about what is going down my drains all the time.  I'm a long-time member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and I am greatly concerned about the Bay.

    How does she like the homemade detergent? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:56:16 PM EST
    I've been tempted to give it a try for a while now but don't know anyone who has done so and can give me feedback.

    It seems to be working well, and (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:02:21 PM EST
    is overall less expensive, so what's not to like?



    And grandbaby's bum (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:03:01 PM EST
    is happy.  :)

    You know, (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:44:37 PM EST
    I do remember that my mom used to wash my younger brothers' diapers with Ivory Snow laundry detergent, washing soda (although not baking soda) and 20-Mule-Team Borax.
    Maybe she was onto something, well before the times.  ;-)

    Those are the ingredients in the (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:53:58 PM EST
    "recipe" I have. Also, have seen some that use Zote soap or Fels Naphtha or Dr Bronner instead of the Ivory.
    I use Dr Bronner for pretty much everything, so I figured why not laundry detergent too!

    That's what I grew up with also :) (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by nycstray on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:11:44 PM EST
    Seems like (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:30:16 PM EST
    at least some of the "old ways" were better, doesn't it?

    The Additives... (none / 0) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:19:08 PM EST
    ...are to make clothes soft.  I use a detergent made for sports clothing that doesn't contain any of the waxes for certain things that need to breathe.

    The waxes clog the the spaces in fabrics making them less breathable which makes them warmer.  It's pretty noticeable with polyester sports clothing that is designed to wick away moisture.

    Now I wash all shirts, undershirts, and my sheets with the detergent.  They are less soft, don't smell anywhere near as good, but they are noticeable cooler.


    Yeah, I can't give up the paper towels either (none / 0) (#104)
    by ruffian on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:34:43 PM EST
    I did switch to cloth napkins though.

    I figure I did my bit for the environment by not procreating.


    I don't know what you use paper towels (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 12:45:03 PM EST
    for, but I don't know if I could deal only washing every week or so a cotton towel I had been using as a paper towel...I just feel like, no matter how well you rinse them out, they'd just be little breeding grounds for icky things.

    I have to admit that I fall back on the reasoning that by the time I add in the cost of electricity and water and laundry detergent, maybe using cloth wouldn't be saving me as much as I think I should...

    I also have an aversion to "dishrags," as opposed to sponges; I just never feel like whatever I'm washing is getting as clean with a rag.

    Funny the little quirks we all have, isn't it?


    I also use rags or towels over paper (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by nycstray on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 12:49:48 PM EST
    I toss them in the hamper daily. The white ones get washed with my sheets, the colored ones with my colors. They don't take up that much space in the washer, so I don't feel like I'm using other resources to save paper.

    Hasn't been any kind of problem (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Dadler on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:35:55 PM EST
    Been doing it for over a decade, and nothing even remotely icky or sicky has happened. I find the germ phobias, personally, to be more dangerous than the household germs. But that's just me. Again, tho, a decade and not a problem. Just think about the restaurants you go to and get a cloth napkin. You have no idea who washed it or how well. With these, you know exactly who washed them and how well, cuz you did it.

    I'm with you... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:45:07 PM EST
    the immune system is like a muscle, it needs exercise.  Germs and bacteria are the dumbbells.  All this anti-bacterial, anti-microbial are just dumbbells for the germs and bacteria.

    Not a germophobe - hate the antibacterial (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:49:44 PM EST
    obsession and avoid it as much as possible - I think it's a texture thing; cloth just doesn't feel as clean in my hands as the paper, or a sponge (I'm picky about sponges, too).

    Back in the day (none / 0) (#117)
    by jondee on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:37:38 AM EST
    I stayed in some hotel and motel rooms that probably could've been seen from space if a strong black light was shined on them..

    I always think it's funny how fast people lose their germ phobias when they see a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk..


    You've seen (none / 0) (#121)
    by sj on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:28:18 PM EST
    twenty dollar bills on the street? I don't think I've ever seen folding money on the street.

    It doesn't hang around long.. (none / 0) (#122)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:05:57 AM EST
    but yes, quite a few times. I've even inadvertently made a sidewalk deposit myself a few times..

    My sister (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:53:15 AM EST
    found $100 bill in a sandwich shop here in DC.  She tried to find the person who was ahead of her, but couldn't.

    She felt so guilty about keeping it that she promptly went back to her office and made $100 donation to an organization that supports poor women.


    Last time I Debarked a Plane... (none / 0) (#125)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:09:08 PM EST
    ...there was a hubbub going on in front of me because someone left $100 bill in the magazine rack at the section.  From what I could gather they were using it as a bookmark, someone saw it when leaving and they trying to figure out whose it was.

    It made no sense, unless like me, their normally currency wasn't US, and they were using the 'play' money to mark a page not realizing that a $100 US was a decent chunk of change.  I have a lot of foreign currency that I keep under a glass top on my living room table because the 'play' money looks pretty cool.  But over time I am sure there is at least a hundo.


    LOL (none / 0) (#124)
    by sj on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:15:49 AM EST
    Now that I've done.
    I've even inadvertently made a sidewalk deposit myself a few times.

    The only time I use paper towels is when (none / 0) (#7)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    I have to pat dry some meat or fish. For everything else I use towels.

    Do you mean for grease? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:36:49 PM EST
    I use paper for many things that I can use a towel for (and now I'll use the towel) but I don't think anything will sop up excess grease better than a paper towel. I use a couple when cooking bacon.

    ....mmmm.... bacon.


    When I was a kid, the nuns at the (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:04:24 PM EST
    boarding school I was at used to keep some pigs. I loved those pigs and used to run down to feed/watch them everyday. Well, one day we had pork for dinner and the next day one of my "buddies" was missing. I can't tell you how horrified I was once I put two and two together. I stopped eating meat after that (for about 10 years).
    But,I could never give up my bacon :-0!!

    That's what I use PT for also (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by nycstray on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:45:22 PM EST
    Rox discovered the bacon ones in the trash the other day. She composted them for me :P

    For grease and also for moisture if I am (none / 0) (#44)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:48:15 PM EST
    planning to fry/brown the item.

    I don't like dishrags, either (none / 0) (#40)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:33:54 PM EST
    but I like sponges even less. And with either one, all it takes is one person not squeezing the excess water out when done using it and it stinks to high heaven.

    I like these: scrub daddy. People either really like them, or really hate them. I fall into the first category. I took one for the kitchen at work because... you know... really stinky sponge. After 4 months it's still working great. It isn't often used for really heavy-duty cleaning, though.


    it in the microwave for a minute or two, the water in the sponge will boil and kill all the smelly microbes and the sponge will smell as fresh as it did when it was new.

    I've heard of that... (none / 0) (#48)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:14:08 PM EST
    ... but I never think to do it, because I just don't even consider the microwave. One of my secrets is that I don't really like microwaves, either.

    Now I wonder why I even have one...


    I put my sponges in the dishwasher (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:33:31 PM EST
    whenever I run it; seems to get them clean and keeps them sweet-smelling.

    Don't overdo it... (none / 0) (#84)
    by unitron on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:00:55 AM EST
    ...or the microwave will cause the sponge to shrink down and get hard.

    You could always soak it in a little white vinegar.


    Exactly, don't boil it dry. (none / 0) (#90)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:31:06 AM EST
    Microwave fast freshness!

    JP Morgan's Twitter Fiasco! (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:45:36 PM EST
    If you're not up on this story read Mike Tiabbi's piece on it here.

    Proof they're crooks AND morons.

    But it's nice to see them schooled by some clever twitter uses.  Many of their comments are very funny.

    Too awesome for words... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:02:36 PM EST
    almost redeems the existence of twitter.

    EPA proposes cut in ethanol (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:58:58 PM EST
    Well, this is news (to me, at least, although I don't follow this kind of stuff regularly).

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed the first cut in the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation's gasoline supply -- a shift that marks a huge blow to corn growers and puts President Barack Obama uncharacteristically on the side of the oil industry.

    EPA's action was widely expected, and came after a flurry of White House lobbying in the past two months by both the ethanol industry and opponents of the agency's biofuels mandate, including oil companies, food and soft drink manufacturers, Delta Air Lines and AAA.

    The agency said it was reacting to market conditions that include an unexpected slowdown in consumers' demand for gasoline, which means the ethanol supply could soon outpace the amount motorists could actually use. The oil industry has warned that the result could be a spike in gasoline prices unless the government scales back the ethanol requirement -- a phenomenon that mandate opponents call the "blend wall."

    I pay extra for R90 (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ragebot on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 04:28:26 PM EST
    because using a blend with ethanol voids the warranty on several of the engines I run.  Both the motors on my catamaran clearly state this in the warranty.  Same goes for the outboard on my tender, the motor that runs my genset, and the motor on the hookah I use to dive.

    Once you get out of the US or other third world countries the general impression is that ethanol is a joke.  It destroys non metal parts in many engines unless special care is taken to replace these parts.

    There is also the issue of not really gaining much in the big picture when using ethanol.  MPG goes down in vehicles using an ethanol blend.  There is also a cost to be paid to grow corn and produce methanol both of which require an energy input, often using oil based products, which leaves little gain in terms of reducing oil use.

    I would also point out my boat is almost completely solar self sufficient.  My last trip of around six weeks and covering around 300 miles required less than four gallons of R90 over all.


    Looks someone doesn't like that gas prices ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:10:02 PM EST
    are dropping.

    The ethanol blend requirement... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 04:36:30 PM EST

    is one of the factors keeping gas prices up.   Ethanol is a second rate fuel.

    This is a great story (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:15:52 PM EST

    He's saving Gotham City (San Francisco)!

    Here's some background (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:19:46 PM EST

    Five-year-old Miles already has experience fighting villains - he's been facing off with acute lymphoblastic leukemia since he was 20 months old.

    With his cancer in remission and his last bout of chemotherapy finished in June, his biggest wish was to continue living his life heroically. "He wanted to be Batman," said Patricia Wilson, the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Bay Area executive director.

    We can do that, Wilson thought, and she began putting the call out to volunteers to help turn San Francisco into Gotham City for a day for the boy from Tulelake (Siskiyou County).

    It might as well have been a worldwide Bat-Signal. Word of the foundation's efforts spread quickly on social media, and soon what started as a small effort to make a 5-year-old boy a hero for the day turned into a citywide extravaganza, with support and volunteers coming in from all over.

    On Friday, by Make-A-Wish's count, thousands of volunteers will cheer on "Batkid" as he defeats the Riddler and the Penguin at locations around San Francisco. The mayor will present Miles with a key to the city. Police Chief Greg Suhr will step in as Commissioner Gordon to alert Miles when his heroics are needed.

    This is so terrific! (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:29:11 PM EST
    Good for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, all the volunteers, the mayor of San Francisco, the police chief, and all those who worked to make this child's dream come true.
    Sometimes we need to be reminded that there really are caring people in this world.  Thanks for that, jbindc.

    Justice Dept. Office in SF issued indictments (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by magster on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:51:01 PM EST
    against Riddler and The Penguin.

    Jeralyn is looking into whether they were Mirandized.


    LOL! (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:42:09 PM EST
    Very nice.  Who would have imagined that the Justice Department (at least the minions in San Francisco) had a heart and a sense of humor?  Good for them!

    Mother Nature needs a shout out also ;) (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by nycstray on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:11:19 PM EST
    It was a freaking beautiful day around the bay today :) My lunchtime Rox walk lasted 2hrs . . .

    Those pictures are great! (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:24:43 AM EST
    Who is the little beagle (mix?)?

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 189 (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Dadler on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:34:43 AM EST
    Not that the StairMaster would make the experience any different for him. (link)

    Volume 188
    Volume 187

    Get your weekends on, my friends. I have to ride roller coasters all day with my kid tomorrow, and today will be devoted to atheist "prayers" in the hope that my son doesn't have to watch his father cry like a baby and shiver in fear. No no, it won't be that bad. Mostly. ;-)

    Speaking of corduroy fetishes.. (none / 0) (#118)
    by jondee on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:19:53 AM EST
    those new corduroy pillows are making headlines..

    The first time I went to six flags or three flags (or whatever the eff it's called) with my already battle-hardened, over-stimulated-and-jaded kids, they got to be entertained by standing around chuckling and waiting for me to get my nausea under control after the first ride..

    My advice, if your motion sickness resistance isn't where it ought to be, is to pony up for a whole bunch of bumper car rides and let them get out some of that latent hostility on the old man..;-)


    We used to ski the corduroy... (none / 0) (#119)
    by fishcamp on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 07:43:22 AM EST
    after they groomed the mountain with giant roller thingies that left perfect corduroy tracks.  you had to get there early.

    I don't even know what to say about this (4.20 / 5) (#53)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:53:25 PM EST
    But even if we get the -- the hardware and software working exactly the way it's supposed to with relatively minor glitches, what we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy. And another mistake that we made, I think, was underestimating the difficulties of people purchasing insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and lot of different benefits and plans and -- and somehow expecting that that would be very smooth, and then they've also got to try to apply for tax credits on the website.
    And this left me speechless, ...if I had anyone to talk to today:
    Q: What about the insularity criticism that you hear on the Hill?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I -- I've got to say I meet with an awful lot of folks, and I talk to an awful lot of folks every day. And I have lunches with CEOs and IT venture capitalists and labor leaders and, you know, pretty much folks from all walks of life on a whole bunch of topics.

    Because CEOs and IT venture capitalists and labor leaders represent "folks" from "all walks of life."

    Kind of makes the whole sh!tshow that (4.33 / 6) (#58)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:47:19 PM EST
    has been the rollout make more sense, though, doesn't it?

    I mean, when the president puts that much ignorance on display for the entire world to see - fake-folksy, duh-inspiring, master-of-the-obvious ignorance - a lot - I'm sorry- a bunch of things suddenly make more sense.

    And not in a good way.


    Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air (5.00 / 4) (#60)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:20:23 PM EST
    Has a little different take on his prez conference...

    He knows everything. And yet he seems to know nothing. He's passionate about the details of domestic policy but wasn't privy to the details of his own legacy law. He's an academic with a command of every issue at once but seemingly only finds out what his administration is doing in news reports. He's so brilliant every normal endeavor he's tried has bored him, but he couldn't bother to entertain himself with more than one monthly meeting on the make-or-break program of his presidency. He's the captain of the Culture of Competency who has overseen the most incompetent rollout of an entitlement program in history.
    Allahpundit noted that Obama distanced himself from the website's problems by saying he was never informed of its problems. He knew nothing.
    Apparently entirely ignorant of the process of buying insurance, the president decided to demand an overhaul of the entire insurance industry, building the purchasing mechanism himself.

    So, when you know something pertinent about federal technology failures that could increase the chances of success for your pet project, do nothing. When you know absolutely nothing about the subject of your ambitious pet project to remake 1/6 of the economy, try to do everything. And, when you do nothing with the knowledge you do have to prevent the Charlie Foxtrot created by your insistence on acting, ahem, audaciously with knowledge you don't have, insist that your lack of knowledge is proof of your intelligence. Hey, I'm smart enough that if I knew this was going to be such a lumbering catastrophe, I wouldn't have said those dumb things about how it would be great!"

    -- The ignorant omniscience of President Obama

    "he knew nothing" - (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:14:23 PM EST
    - the Sergeant Schultz defense.

    She is a Hugh Hewitt acolyte (none / 0) (#82)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:50:54 AM EST
    Well, being such a man of the people (3.67 / 3) (#55)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:31:22 PM EST
    why doesn't he leave the secret service behind and go sit down in a room full of regular folk tryin' to use healthcare.gov

    Should be a good safe PR move, no?

    Course, if the site worked they might get a little upset at the deals they have to choose from, so maybe it's not such a good idea after all?

    insert social commentary here...


    "If the site worked..." (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:12:49 AM EST
    Ha Ha!

    Senior federal officials involved in building the HealthCare.gov website were deeply concerned this summer about delays as well as weaknesses in the quality and size of the contractor teams assigned to parts of the project, emails released by congressional investigators on Friday show.

    The emails offer some of the first detailed evidence of which federal government officials had at least some knowledge that the start-up of the health care exchange might be troubled.


    But the email exchanges released on Friday make clear that there was growing friction between the federal government and CGI, a Canadian company, as the project missed various deadlines even as the Oct. 1 start-up of the federal marketplace site was approaching.

    There apparently was also tension between two contractors: CGI, which was leading the effort, and QSSI, a Maryland company that was supposed to test the computer programs to ensure that they worked. A spokeswoman for CGI declined to comment. But two company employees involved in the effort, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said the problem was not CGI's work, but a lack of clear federal oversight, as bureaucrats argued over which tasks should take precedent.

    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:15:56 AM EST
    I sometimes get clients who try to tell me how to do technical work they have have no background in.

    "Just put a button up on the webpage that that says 'click here to shop!' and put some pictures up of our products. And never mind all the fancy programming code and this databasy stuff! Christ, just put the f'in button up today and make it look good!"

    ^ ^


    I see that Polly (3.00 / 2) (#70)
    by lentinel on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:25:17 PM EST
    left the usual inarticulate "1" calling card in your ratings.

    Inarticulate? (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:30:10 PM EST
    Just out of curiosity, what would an "articulate 1" look like?

    Well, the "one" with which... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by unitron on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:07:10 AM EST
    ... I articulate is located between the index finger and the ring finger.  : - )

    For this small a site I don't get the need for ratings anyway--just skim all the comments and slow down on the ones that look interesting and if you disagree with someone or don't like what they said, politely explain why.


    I like (4.00 / 3) (#92)
    by lentinel on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:56:46 AM EST
    the ratings.

    It's a way of letting others know that you have read and appreciated their posts.


    Bingo. (none / 0) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:33:22 AM EST
    Like actual participation in the (4.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:48:54 PM EST
    conversation, and not just judgment from afar.

    ::shrug:: (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:53:52 PM EST
    I expect it. She's always gets truculent if she thinks O is being insufficiently honored. And he has his list of people that she is convinced dishonor him. I think she does word searches for certain users that he considers insufficiently obsequious and then just puts a 1 just ... because. This one is particularly funny because the quote is from The Great Man himself. I guess she didn't like what he had to say.

    It must be heavy carrying around that big chip on his shoulder.

    (No, I neither know nor care about PK's gender so use the pronouns interchangeably. It matters not, I think)


    lol, but, you gotta admit (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by NYShooter on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:25:46 PM EST
    the old "peashooter crouch from behind a bush" is a lot less dangerous, and a lot more fun.

    I've also noticed that PK isn't the only sniper taking shots here on TL. And, it's not even the surreptitious pot shots that bother me so much. It's the fact that reading for "comprehension" seems to be a dead discipline any more.

    There is nothing you can write, and, I don't care how much you qualify what you're saying, that a responder with an agenda can't so distort the meaning of what you wrote as to make you question yourself whether you really are a member of the KKK.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#80)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:11:37 AM EST
    Isn't that the truth?

    No worry (1.00 / 1) (#94)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 11:34:29 AM EST
    More good news!

    United Health drops thousands of doctors from their plans.

    UnitedHealth Group dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

    The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company's other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.

    The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing "significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment." According to the notices, the terminations can be appealed within 30 days.

    But I know, I know - if I squeeze my eyes tightly together, all will be revealed as good and ponies and unicorns will frolic together under rainbows while the angels sing.


    An oft-quoted figure (none / 0) (#101)
    by BBQinDenver on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:25:16 PM EST
    is that Medicare Senior Advantage plans cost about 7% more than traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Thus the need to reduce reimbursement for Advantage plans. Missing from that quote is the breakdown showing that it is the private-for-profit plans (such as United Health)that cost more that traditional Medicare; and that not-for-profit Sr Advantage (such as Kaiser) run about 3% less than traditional Medicare.

    My Kaiser Sr Adv monthly premium escalates to $49 for 2014 from $48 for 2013. max out-of-pocket up by $800 from 3400; Ultrasounds from 0 to 50; x-rays 20 to 25. From the contract: "...We do not allow providers to add additional separate charges, called 'balance billing.'...""(...Remember our plan covers service from out-of-network providers only in certain situations, such as when you get a referral.)"


    Balance billing (none / 0) (#106)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 02:31:00 PM EST
    is not something that the insurer can dictate for OUT-OF-NETWORK providers.  By definition, out of network providers are NOT the insurance company's providers.  Those providers have no contract with the insurer.  Thus they can balance bill all they want.  Some states disallow it, but not many.

    The law in most states prohibits balance billing for IN-network providers.  So la-tee-dah that Kaiser claims that law as their own policy.

    An important distinction.


    I wonder which ten states? (none / 0) (#102)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:27:33 PM EST
    I somehow doubt New York, New Jersey, and CT are among them. (since United bought/merged with Oxford recently, and Oxford operates out of those latter three). Gotta go or stay where the big bucks are!

    It wasn't difficult to apply online (none / 0) (#57)
    by CoralGables on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:43:05 PM EST
    You realize those were (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:20:36 PM EST
    O's words, right?

    He wouldn't lie! (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:25:51 PM EST

    Yes, it really was (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:37:35 AM EST
    The question wasn't about all walks of life (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:55:47 PM EST
    he was asked about the ignorant criticism he hears on capitol hill.

    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:18:10 PM EST
    But "ignorant" is an interesting take on "insularity"
    What about the insularity criticism that you hear on the Hill?
    Although I suppose if one remains insular one would also remain ignorant.

    Ooh - this is not a good headline (4.20 / 5) (#95)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 11:46:25 AM EST
    Obama has his Bush moment

    Oh yes, they did.

    And it's a comparison based on competence.


    Oh come now jb.... (4.33 / 6) (#96)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:05:34 PM EST
    Bush would never have had a hope in hell of getting crowds to cheer for the things obama suckers them into the way obama so effortlessly does.

    There's no equivalence. Not even close.


    {hangs head} (4.33 / 6) (#98)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:17:27 PM EST
    I am properly chastised.

    And got the "1" rating from you-know-who!


    Obviously (4.20 / 5) (#99)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:25:59 PM EST
    "you know who" would have bought the con from bush who s/he thinks is as good as obama, as easily as s/he does from obama.

    I am properly chastised. Lol.


    Hahahaha. (4.20 / 5) (#100)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:14:37 PM EST
    Some think they can have it both ways, I guess. Lol.

    We all know that conservatives are clueless (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:56:46 PM EST
    about fixing the economy. However, everything proposed by liberals in this blog (more taxes, more deficits) have been tried in France by the Socialist government of Hollande.
    However, the unemployment rate in France is 11% and their economy is contracting. People are also very unhappy with Hollande and a tax revolt is brewing in France.


    My take from all this is that traditional liberals are also as clueless as conservatives and people will do well if they stop listening to anyone with a loud mouth that professes to know all the answers.

    Yippee. More PK comments laced with insults, (4.50 / 6) (#79)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:53:17 PM EST
    followed by "1" ratings for those who refuse to get with his program.

    And so it goes.


    Lucky me! I received a "2"! (none / 0) (#103)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:29:43 PM EST
    Is that better than a "1" in this case, or worse?

    Wondering (none / 0) (#105)
    by christinep on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:53:10 PM EST
    Since patterns in the "ratings game" here appear rather obvious, perhaps the conversation or debate or heated argument from time to time would benefit from doing away with so-called ratings ... or tempering these real patterns.

     A number of TL's participants, I suspect, have both adherents and detractors: and, it is more and more common to see examples of each in predictable ratings.  Being no saint, I've doled out ratings in a pattern periodically; and, a handful of others do the same with some of my comments.  Nothing too awful either way, but there is a tit-for-tat or down-rating scenario that is evident ... and, that pattern on all sides predictably spawns a "so's yours" middle-school hee-haw that goes nowhere but downhill. 'Might help.


    This is beginning to be one of the more (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:18:53 PM EST
    ridiculous "conversations" I've seen here in the last little while; hey, do you think that could be a pattern, these sniping, petty, how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin, nobody-wins bicker-fests?  That I have to own up to participating in from time to time?  Ugh.

    Look, people say what they think.  They say what the feel.  Sometimes people agree; sometimes they do not.  We didn't all roll off the same assembly line, come pre-programmed with 10 talking points we recite whenever the magic string gets pulled.

    For every pattern you think you see in others, they can find the same in you, and this whole ratings thing is just a bunch of nonsense most of the time. Now, though, it's not just enough to use it as a cudgel - or a prize - now we have to wring some greater meaning out of them.  The "1" or the "5" don't stand on their own, now they're proof that people are part of some Mean Girl kind of clique.

    What is this now, middle school?  Does everything eventually come back to middle school, and whether we were liked or picked on?

    Do we really have so little of substance to say that we've been reduced to nit-picking the ratings?

    Apparently so.


    You're absolutely right (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 11:04:39 PM EST
    I should have gone with "Oy".

    Maybe Jeralyn's webmaster (none / 0) (#116)
    by Edger on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:34:17 AM EST
    could set up a way for some people to rate ratings and that would help with the endless spiral?



    Dear Anne: I said the same thing (1.00 / 1) (#120)
    by christinep on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 09:32:25 AM EST
    Look, we can all put our heads in that infamous sand or we can treat each other with respect.  The reason that I entered into this particular conversation was because of the tenor of the back & forth immediately before my comment.  Whether the sand gets in the way or not, an honest look at the ratings back & forth clearly shows "groupism" and a pattern (Group A and Group B) ... we all participate and it won't stop until we all stop (including you and me.)

    Thank you.


    You're really hung up (none / 0) (#108)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:34:00 PM EST
    on that "adherents and detractors" thing aren't you? You just keep bringing it up and bringing it up. Apparently it has never entered your head that some people are just ideologically more in accord than others. Nope, it must be that there are "cliques".

    Oh brother.


    Well then, call it what you will, sj (none / 0) (#109)
    by christinep on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:09:26 PM EST
    Supporters and non-supporters? People who are pro and con? Call it what you will.  But, the patterns are clear here... for whatever name one gives the dichotomy.  (It may not be cliques, but it surely is a derivative.)  In any event, the point is the patterns and whether we want to break through it or not.  No problem if we don't; better if we do.

    Seriously? What's a derivative of a clique? (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:38:10 PM EST
    LOL. You really like to categorize us vs. them. You say you want to break through patterns. Interesting, when you seem to be one enforcing them. That they are of the square peg/round hole variety doesn't seem to slow you down any.

    Look at the patterns. (none / 0) (#112)
    by christinep on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:45:33 PM EST
    We'll omit any descriptors, conclusions, etc.

    Like I said (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:00:20 PM EST
    You are determined to hang on to "us vs. them". Sometimes I think it's because the cold war ended and "some people" are just uncomfortable without an adversary.

    I had more, but never mind. You wouldn't hear it this time either. You're too busy sorting people into "adherents and detractors".


    Oh good (4.00 / 4) (#76)
    by sj on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:59:33 PM EST
    I'm so happy you feel that way.
    ... people will do well if they stop listening to anyone with a loud mouth that professes to know all the answers.
    It makes ignoring your "offerings" even easier.

    The "Shrill One" on France (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:13:42 AM EST
    The Plot Against France - NYTimes.com

    Non-Crisis France

    More Notes On France-Bashing

    Of course there are other views:

    But the paper also shows that, while spending cuts can hurt the economy in the short run, they probably don't hurt the economy as much as tax increases. In fact, during a recent talk at the Heritage Foundation on the issue of fiscal adjustments, Daniel Leigh showed that spending cuts could be just one-third as painful as tax increases. There are always caveats to such findings, and Leigh was careful to pointing them out, but that should at least raise some suspicious about Krugman's bold statement.
    But there is more: The new work of Heritage Foundation's Salim Furth looks at the data from the most recent episodes of fiscal adjustment, mostly in the U.S. and in Europe. He too finds very compelling evidence that raising taxes isn't the way to go (unless you are trying to tank your economy). link

    Of course, the best policy is to disregard the views of loud mouth liberals like Krugman. Safety net programs must be dismantled here and in France. Heritage Foundation policies are the way to go for Obama and the Dems. Look how great they have worked out so far with the health insurance legislation. <heavy sarcasm intended>


    has been tried by the socialist government (none / 0) (#75)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:59:23 PM EST
    of Hollande.

    If "socialistic" policies (5.00 / 4) (#93)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 11:32:18 AM EST
    are such an unmitigated disaster, why does a country like Denmark always rank far in front of the U.S in all the studies that have been done that measure an average citizen's overall sense of well-being and experience of relative freedom from excessive stress?

    You think not enough "meritocracy"-creating hyper-competition, and market-based solutions are why it's so violent here and children here are medicated at a rate four times higher than the average european child?

    The people don't thrive by low unemployment and high GDP alone. That's the kind
    of excessively narrow, pedestrian, Beltway yuppie thinking that keeps perpetuating the malaise.
    As Einstein said: attempting to solve problems with the level of thinking that created them.


    Jondee (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Politalkix on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:13:31 PM EST
    You must have seen from my posts over the years that I am hardly against "socialistic" policies (in the same way I am not against "free market" policies per se).

    I am however against the simple minded thinking professed by many in this blog that socialism is the panacea for all our economic woes just as much as I am opposed to predator capitalism.

    Even Deng Xiaoping said that it did not matter what the color of the cat was as long as it caught mice. IMO, too many people in the left and right are focusing too much on the color of the cat.



    Talking about simple minded thinking (3.67 / 3) (#107)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 07:33:34 PM EST
    You are probably one of the most black-and-white/all-or-nothing thinkers here [outside of the hard-core GOP]. I don't recall a single commenter ever who has said or even hinted that going sideways into "pure Socialism" is any sort of panacea for anything. In fact the only time I see any sort of panacea type thinking is when you are making accusations of it.

    I am probably one of the most innately Socialistic people on this comment board and I have never, in any way whatsoever, indicated that I think "socialism is the panacea for all our economic woes". I have said that the concept of the Common Good is sorely lacking. As have a number of others. Who care about the Common Good. How you can translate that into "socialism is the panacea for all our economic woes" I have absolutely no idea.

    Shooter was so right:

    There is nothing you can write, and, I don't care how much you qualify what you're saying, that a responder with an agenda can't so distort the meaning of what you wrote as to make you question yourself whether you really are a member of the KKK.

    Well, except for the question myself part. I know exactly where I stand -- your distorted perspective, notwithstanding.

    And that oh-so-simple mind (3.67 / 3) (#110)
    by sj on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 09:35:07 PM EST
    Does the only thing it is programmed to do. Go for the 1 rating. It's so expected that I just can't muster up the pique to get even the slightest bit offended. It made me laugh.

    The devil is in the details. (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:35:11 PM EST
    Springfield Illinois Roman Catholic Bishop, Tom Paprocki, has announced that he will offer prayers for "exorcism  in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage.  This exorcism will be conducted at the time Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, signs the recently passed legislation into law next week.

     Both the governor and the powerful Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, are Catholic so the dueling has begun.  Madigan has cited  the modernity of Pope Francis' "who are we to judge," position against Paprocki's medieval projectile vomiting and head rotating deliverance from demons.  These simultaneous activities sound interesting, if you can't show up, just fast--exorcise and diet are both good.

    Bishop Paprocki (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:56:56 PM EST
    would do well to consider the mistakes (and sins, frankly, if you want to go there) of the Catholic Church, before he starts performing "exorcisms."
    "Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone."
    "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
    "Love one another, as I have loved you."
    And any number of other quotes.  The Bishop should maybe start reading the Bible that he claims to believe in.
    I would like to see Paprocki's own head rotate.

    Oh, so THAT'S what the Bible says. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:03:50 PM EST
    And here I thought all this time that the passage read, "Let he who is stoned among you cast the first sin."



    lol; I'm still trying to figure out how (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:18:08 PM EST
    one of the earlier posters here uses a hookah to dive with.

    Without Pix (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by ragebot on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:20:54 PM EST
    it didn't happen.  There are many brands but I use a Hookamax

    Hawaii House Speaker Joe Souki, ... (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:38:39 PM EST
    The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 20, Verse 21: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

    ... who's 81 years old and has been around the block a few times, is also Roman Catholic. His response to Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva's public statements last week was to pointedly remind him that the legislature was discussing the eligibility requirements to obtain a civil license of marriage from the State of Hawaii, which has nothing to do with the Catholic rite of marriage as one of the Holy Sacraments. In other words, stop conflating the two as though they're one and the same.

    Father Gary Secor, who serves as the Vicar General for the Honolulu diocese, was much more circumspect when he appeared last night on the local PBS program "Island Insights." He thanked Speaker Joe for allowing everyone who appeared before the House Judiciary / Finance Committee's joint public hearing on SB 1 the opportunity to testify over the course of 58 hours and five days, and further noting that while he disagreed with the legislature's decision, that's what democracy is all about, and it was now time to move on to tackle other issues like homelessness and education.

    Both the Speaker and 75-year-old Gov. Neil Abercrombie were the big political winners out here this week. They rolled the dice in calling for a special legislative session to decide the matter of gay marriage, with the governor banking on the Speaker's ability to hold his 30-vote House coalition together, which he did. Had just five votes flipped, the measure would have been defeated.

    And now, the two old men are being hailed as heroes by the gay and lesbian community, and are appearing together at the celebration tonight at Hula's Bar & Lei Stand in Waikiki, Honolulu's most prominent gay nightclub.



    Beneath the city two hearts beat (none / 0) (#26)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:11:42 PM EST
    Soul engines running through a night so tender
    In a bedroom locked
    In whispers of soft refusal
    And then surrender
    In the tunnels uptown
    The Rat's own dream guns him down
    As shots echo down them hallways in the night
    No one watches when the ambulance pulls away
    Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light

    15:00 2Q: UCLA 20, Washington 7. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:56:32 PM EST
    The No. 13 Bruins are looking to put Pac-12 South rivals (and future opponents) Arizona State and USC on notice with a statement-making victory -- at my poor huckin' Fuskies expense.

    Donald just be happy (none / 0) (#67)
    by ragebot on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:02:57 PM EST
    you are not an FSU fan like me.  Our QB may need to hire Jeralyn the way things are looking.