Monday Open Thread

I'm still really busy with work stuff, not much time for news. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    The (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:57:59 PM EST
    good old NYTimes has an article today about the effects of the budget cuts on the military.

    It mentions nuclear weapons, base closings and weapons development among other things;

    But when it gets around to mentioning medical attention for military personnel, also on the chopping block, it describes the program as "sprawling" and the "restructuring" of the military medical insurance program as something that, "costs more than America spends on all of its diplomacy and foreign aid around the world."

    In no other category does the Times describe the programs to be curtailed as lavish in any respect.

    But when it comes to caring for those injured in pursuit of the idiotic adventures initiated by W., well, that's another story.

    Disgusting (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:08:55 PM EST
    As a guy with a little brother ruined by these wars, phuck them, times ten.

    And it's never been a mystery to me why the idiotic military leadership denies mental health damage to soldiers so adamantly. How else are you going to keep treating your employees like cold meat? How else do you expect to get them to die with smiles on their faces?



    Speaking as a former military dependent, ... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:52:15 PM EST
    ... I have to note that an awful lot of the Pentagon's allocated funding under its TRICARE insurance program is for the provision of primary and specialized health care services for military dependents and retirees, who combined generally outnumber active duty personnel at any given time.

    When my father was serving as an officer in the Marines, not only was the Pentagon obligated to pay for his care, but also for that of his wife and four children (including a son with cystic fibrosis). That's six people on the military's health care roles for one active duty officer.

    Further, after he was killed in Vietnam, those obligations remained in effect for my mother and each one of us kids until we reached the age of majority -- although it must be acknowledged that the Pentagon did once try to boot us off TRICARE immediately after his funeral, mostly because they did not want to pay for my brother, whose CF then required expensive care. My grandfather's protests got those health benefits restored; my brother died in 1971 at age 8.

    Presently, we should also note that in accordance with provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the DOD has recently extended health care to dependent children of active duty and retired miliary personnel who are between the ages of 22 and 26.

    Not all that long ago during the 1990s, the Pentagon actually tried to punt its health care obligations under TRICARE over to Medicare once retirees and spouses attained age 65, but the resultant hue and cry from the retired class -- which included my late stepfather -- was such that the administrative rule providing for said transfer was soon rescinded.

    Health care (primary and behavioral) for veterans who were injured and / or disabled as a result of the wars in Asia, once they are formally seperated from the armed services, falls under the responsibility of the perpetually underfunded U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Therefore, I'd offer that whatever rules the Pentagon seeks to implement in "reforming" TRICARE, will in all likelihood take aim at limiting those benefits currently received by military dependents and retirees. It will probably not affect active duty personnel to any great extent.

    I would think that since MT is presently part of the current system as a military spouse, she would be better able to talk about the health care that she and her children receive under TRICARE -- that is, if she's around today.



    They are having a very difficult time (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:16:19 AM EST
    Trying to provide a standard of care to all of us across the board.  They have all these different contracts they must negotiate out to get all of us covered in all these different regions.  Most of us are farmed out seeing private practice doctors.  It IS sort of a sprawling mess right now...all these different contracts in the age of the military no bid contract too.  I think we could use a good overhaul, it would save taxpayers a bundle and I don't see where any of us would lose services.  They are still going to treat us, they are just going to stop ripping YOU off for it.  I think you guys are overpaying for us bigtime right now.

    Active duty will always always be taken care of, that is just part of the machine.  New direction too in retention of soldiers with PTSD.  Now they are looking at how bad it is?  They are trying to rate it, judge who can function well with it, and stay serving their nation in some capacity.  That opens the door for saying....okay, these soldiers can't be retained and need more help and need some very serious help.  Interesting, gives me heart, BIG JOB though embracing all that but people are out there making it happen right now.

    We are scheduled for Shaw AFB after the year in Korea, and they are leading the charge in that area.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#80)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:43:46 PM EST
    Not every initiative that's undertaken to reduce costs necessarily has sinister implications for the poor, working and middle classes.

    The NY Times (none / 0) (#21)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:17:21 PM EST
    did not mention Russia's offer to purchase US nuclear weapons so they don't fall into the wrong hands

    The Short Fiction Drawer (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:06:27 PM EST
    Terrible news, the deficit is (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:07:30 PM EST
    heading down.  According to Dr. Krugman, the cyclically adjusted deficit as a share of GDP is currently about what it was in 2006, at the height of the housing boom, and it is dwindling.   But this is a major problem for those looking for excuses to do what they really want, namely dismantle Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And, according to Dr. Krugman  we are sure to encounter a blizzard of bogus numbers to show that we are still in some kind of fiscal crisis.   But we aren't.  

    Now what did Krugman say?  Paul Ryan will introduce a budget that would repeal Obamacare, remake Medicare and cut $770 billion from the growth of Medicaid over 10 years.

    The White House is, according to NYT's "political memo," opposed to nearly every element of Ryan's plan.  However, Mr. Obama has signaled, according to the NYT article, a willingness to reduce cost of living increases for Social Security, has indicated an openness to means-testing  Medicare so that high income retirees would pay more for their medical care (premiums are already means tested, and  my guess is that means testing for benefits will not be for income above $400,000 per year, as in the tax rate fiscal cliff deal) and he has put on the table $400 billion more  cuts in Medicare over the next decade.  

    Republicans are looking for more, including cuts to Medicaid and raising the eligibility age for Medicare.  The Democrats are going to remain firm (firm, I tell you) no  more offers until Republicans express some willingness to make tax revenue part of the equation.

    Austerity or Bust!! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:10:26 PM EST
    And bust it will be!!

    Money controls people like sanity should.  


    They Better Quit... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:21:13 PM EST
    ...d1cken around, the economy might start flourishing all all their deficit schtick will have to be scrapped for another idiotic reason to screw our elderly selves.

    Reminds of the movie Looper, where a guy runs into his 30 year older self and wants to kill him in order to make his life easier; too nearsighted to care that he will be that guy in 30 years.

    It amazes me that people are so comfortable with screwing themselves that in some circles it's actually a plan to be championed.


    The Republicans (none / 0) (#24)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:32:06 PM EST
    have been rather Dickens (Charles)
    if only the end of year fiscal cliff ended like the Christmas Carol

    Right... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:44:14 AM EST
    ...but it's one thing to not care about others, it's quit another to not care about your own future.

    Let's have some real shared sacrifice (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:25:17 PM EST
    Move all congresscritters off the government tit (h/t for government tit to Simpson) by eliminating their tax payer subsidized health care and retirement plans. Let them go to the Obamacare market place for health insurance, a 401k plan and Social Security for retirement and Medicare when they reach 65 or whatever age they decide it should be for ordinary citizens. Eliminate all tax breaks that they currently receive on their  pensions and reduce the amount that is exempt to same levels as ordinary citizens.    

    Off to that great elephant burial ground, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:31:33 PM EST
    or, as it is sometimes called, wingnut welfare.  The American Enterprise Institutean has announced that former (I like writing that) Senator Joe Lieberman will be joining their organization.

    Why am I (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:42:15 PM EST
    somehow not surprised?    ;-)

    Please, please don't let him become a (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:45:38 PM EST
    spokesman for that organization. If I never hear his whiny voice again, it will be too soon.

    Dear gawd (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:39:33 PM EST
    just read more about his new job. Lieberman

    ....will co-chair AEI's American Internationalism Project, an effort to rebuild a bipartisan consensus about big foreign policy questions.


    This is a common project of the Right these days. They know that no one likes their ideas. Scarred by the experience in Iraq, few want to do it again in Iran....

    So one of the Right's strategies is to go trolling for morally deficient, easily corrupted neoliberal "Democrats" to assist their efforts at creating a "bipartisan consensus" to override popular will and common sense in the service of the conservative agenda. link


    Here's the most interesting obit... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:18:56 PM EST
    that I've read in a long time (if ever). I feel like I have a lot in common with Mr. Stamps....   ladies' man, foodie, and well I'm not much of a natty dresser.

    What a wonderful obituary (none / 0) (#25)
    by sj on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:21:00 PM EST
    That was a much-loved man.  

    You know ... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by sj on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:24:27 PM EST
    ... I don't think it matters who fired the rocket.  Do you think the baby cared?  The whole situation is a tragedy.  Period.

    Too funny.... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    Ahmadinejad is in trouble with corporate.  His offense?  Giving Chazez's grieving moms a hug, which makes Allah very angry or something.

    If giving a grieving woman a hug is wrong, I don't wanna be right.  

    Dud, we just posted to the same story (none / 0) (#61)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:33:16 AM EST
    I didn't even notice.

    Great minds and all that.

    Peace, baby.


    Dud? Make that Dude (none / 0) (#62)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:33:36 AM EST
    No off fence.

    Nun taken! ;) (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:37:17 AM EST
    Another case of "if ya think the shift manager is a d8ck, you should meet his bosses!" ;)

    The great Persian people... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:38:43 AM EST
    ...may be even more screwed that we are. Of course, that's partially because we overthrew their first democracy, but still...ahem.

    "Spreading Democracy... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:51:35 AM EST
    in the Middle East", we were against before we were for it, if we are for it...damned if I know, gotta ask our "economic interests" where we stand on that this week.

    It's hard being the big foam finger (none / 0) (#81)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:43:53 PM EST
    You know, the big foam finger you buy at the Garden or Staples Center, the one that says "We're #1!"

    That's what this country has become, a big foam finger, except now it's the middle finger, and it's pointed at pretty much every regular average person on earth.

    Progress is a b*tch, I tell ya.


    The Spiteful Sequester, Exhibit B... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:34:47 AM EST
    Is the White House serious?  Cancelling all tours and blaming the sequester?  

    Like the threat of customs delays we discussed last week, this is another example of government spite.  I refuse to believe there isn't another way to cut 74 grand a week from White House spending and keep the tours...we're getting played y'all.  Getting played big time.

    Personally (none / 0) (#70)
    by CoralGables on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:57:25 AM EST
    I'd prefer we cut spending in the districts of those in Congress that think sequestration is a good idea. Use the they want it they get it approach.

    Still a little spiteful... (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:25:34 PM EST
    my preference is start with the spending that causes direct harm to the American people before even looking at spending that actually benefits the American people.

    But it looks like Obama's idea is to make the cuts in the most spiteful manner possible....make us pay for questioning government spending.  An "I'll show you for cutting my budget!" kinda thing, if ya catch my drift.

    So very childish, not to mention poor leadership.  He gone forgot who he works for or he thinks we're f8ckin' stupid.  

    Like I said about customs, I think I could cut the WH dicretionary budget by more than 74 grand without telling school kids and tourists they ain't welcome in their White House.


    I have no problem with spiteful (none / 0) (#74)
    by CoralGables on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:38:24 PM EST
    If I was Obama I would have taken the deal to manage the cuts. Boehner today says sequestration is here to stay. I'd yank all funding from his district.

    That's cold CG... (none / 0) (#75)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:00:15 PM EST
    does Obama have no responsibility to enact the cuts mandated by Congress in the most sensible and least harmful way?  I think he does, it's a Plastic Man-worthy stretch to pin the White House tour decision on Boehner.

    I mean he still has a job to do, the job we hired him to do...to serve us as best he can, as efficiently as he can, with the cash he is allocated by Congress.  It's clear he has no interest in doing that, he'd rather play games and spite all Americans for (gasp!)demanding fiscal responsibility and accountability, and/or voting for the Boehners of the House.  

    That's just not cool, anyway you slice it.  Indefensible.


    Unless of Course... (none / 0) (#76)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:04:14 PM EST
    ...you decided to take your family to DC and was counting on the d1ckheads giving a tour of the people's capital, and not spending an addition hour inline with you hyperactive kids at the airport.

    Spiteful is fine so long as the spite is directed at the target.  Shut down the Congressional smoking room or spray tan facility, don't close tours to the capitol or increase the already ridiculous waiting times at the airport.

    Yanking his districts funding will only make Ohioans suffer more.  Yank there GD travel per diem, make them work a full week, I don't know but it should hurt Boehner people who nothing to do with their BS.


    They are making a point (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:10:57 PM EST
    The Secret Service has submitted that this will save $74,000 per week in overtime.

    As Republicans continue to blast the White House for canceling tours due to the sequester's budget impact, the United States Secret Service is offering further explanation about its decision to nix the visits for tourists beginning this weekend.

    According to an official who broke down the numbers for NBC News, there are 37 Secret Service officers staffed for tours. They each get paid $50 per hour for eight-hour shifts. These officers work five days a week, adding up to a savings of $74,000 per week that the tours are off.
    That comes to almost $2 million before the end of this fiscal year.

    The Office of Management and Budget has calculated that the Secret Service may need to cut as much as $84 million from its budget due to the sequestration cuts. Last March, the service requested a budget of $1.6 billion for fiscal year 2013.

    But let's face it - this is a good, down and dirty way to also say "Look how MEEAAAANNNN those Republicans are!"



    Exactly... (none / 0) (#112)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:27:28 PM EST
    Obama and the Secret Service mean to tell us they can't cut 84 million from a 1.6 billion Secret Service budget without killing the White House tour?  Must be using some Secret Service math!  

    Pure spite...with the hope we are all so partisan and stupid we'll blame it all on Boehner.


    AAANNNNNDDDD - that's backfiring (none / 0) (#194)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 07:11:43 AM EST
    Seems there's a little trouble with blaming the Secret Service


    Since the decision was announced last week, Obama and administration officials have said the decision was made by the Secret Service -- which spends roughly $74,000 a week to allow for the tours -- in order to avoid furloughs and other cutbacks necessitated by the sequester's automatic spending cuts.

    But that explanation backfired, observers say.

    "Using the tours to send a message seemed like a surefire winner," said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communication and advertising. "I think the White House was expecting everyone to go `Oh, this is so horrible!' but this time it didn't play, perhaps because it was too overt."


    Carney at Wednesday's press briefing sought to place responsibility for the decision on the White House, not the Secret Service.

    "We had to cancel the tours, it's our job to cancel the tours," Carney explained. "[The Secret Service] cannot cancel them ... this is not a tour of the Secret Service building. It's a tour of the White House and the grounds, and we run the tours and the invitations and that process."

    But of course, he tried to turn it around and blame the Republicans, until the WH reporters then started questioning him about the cost of Obama's planned trip to Illinois this week.


    Illinois or Israel? (none / 0) (#195)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 07:23:13 AM EST
    The article said Illinois (none / 0) (#196)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:15:19 AM EST
    He's going to Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago to talk about energy after having a private meeting with some energy executives last week.

    Now, I don't have a problem with him going and talking about energy, but what was funny was that Carney couldn't really give an answer to the reporters's questions about the costs.


    Humor (none / 0) (#143)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:27:14 AM EST
    Doctor O turns out the Lights on Secret Squirrel

    LAPD adds insult to injury. During the hunt (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by caseyOR on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:26:09 PM EST
    for Christopher Dorner, the LAPD blasted away at a pick-up truck with two women inside and then claimed they thought it was Dorner's truck. The cops fired hundreds of rounds at this truck and the women inside it. The women were delivering newspapers. One, the grandmother, was struck by bullets. The granddaughter, amazingly, was not hit.

    After this debacle, the LAPD apologized to the women and promised to give them a new truck. Well, turns out that truck would come with a requirement that the women pose for a photo-op and that they pay income tax on the truck.

    The women have declined to be part of this PR charade. And they do not see why they should have to pay income tax on this replacement.

    I think the women should sue LAPD, and I think they will. Good lord, give them a truck and thank your lucky stars those cops didn't kill them.

    It is not up to LAPD whether the value (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:00:06 PM EST
    of the replacement truck is taxable.  That is a pure question of tax law.  

    with the VP of the car dealership.

    According to him, the LAPD contacted him and asked them to donate a truck to the women. The dealership agreed (Galpin Ford has long been a big player in LA).

    He said Galpin originally offered them a new Ford, but the women's  attorney said no, that the women wanted a truck like the one they had.

    Galpin then found a similar truck on one of their used car lots and thought the deal was done (they were going to cover the sales tax as well).

    However state and federal law require Galpin to issue the women a 1099 as the gift is taxable. (I assume the shot-up truck is tax-deductable, so the whole transaction should be a net zero.)

    Anyway, the lawyer would not accept the women being 1099'd, and that's where the issue stands now.

    The VP said the attorney also said the  women were going to sue the city "for millions." (ftr, I feel the city should pay handsomely.)


    The Thing Is... (none / 0) (#173)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:04:00 PM EST
    ...even if they wanted to cover the tax, it would be impossible.  It's 2013 income, until they file their return in 2014, their tax bracket is unknown so they could only estimate the tax.  And with an open lawsuit, their bracket could be wildly different then 2012's.  But again, that would be another gift, and another estimate on top of that.  It's why games shows and Oprah don't cover income taxes on gifts, it's physically impossible to know the tax amount of a gift, it can only be known the proceeding year.

    If their attorney thinks they don't have to file 1099, well then they aren't getting good legal advise.  Unless they aren't filing returns and worried that the 1099 might trigger a S storm.  Then they are getting great advise, but probably too late.  I am positive the IRS didn't miss them refusing a large gift because of the tax.


    Yup. And they will have a massive 1099 (none / 0) (#174)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:22:07 PM EST
    when the city pays them. Of course their attorney won't advise them to turn that one down.

    That doesn't make sense (none / 0) (#177)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:48:36 PM EST
    However state and federal law require Galpin to issue the women a 1099 as the gift is taxable.
    The recipient doesn't pay the gift tax.
    When a taxable gift in the form of cash, stocks, real estate, or other tangible or intangible property is made the tax is usually imposed on the donor (the giver) unless there is a retention of an interest which delays completion of the gift.
    I learned that from the John Edwards trial.

    They (whoever "they" is) wanted to treat the replacement truck as income instead of as a gift.  I don't blame the women.  


    I think "they" is the taxing authorities (none / 0) (#181)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:19:54 PM EST
    of the US and CA.

    Again, I would think that if the previous truck is a loss, and the gift of a similar truck is a similar gain, the transaction is a net zero and triggers no tax liability.

    I am certainly no tax expert, but  I would think the dealership, at least, and probably the attorney as well, would have consulted one.


    No (none / 0) (#182)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:31:44 PM EST
    The taxing authority of the US and CA doesn't determine if it's a gift or income.  They only tax accordingly.  So they're not the "they" in question.  If it's a gift, the donor pays the gift tax.  But the "giver" must decide if it is, in fact, a gift.

    with various taxing authorities, but I really don't know jack, so I concede the point.

    I don't know about your experience (none / 0) (#190)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:14:02 AM EST
    and I don't have experience in this area myself, which is why I did research.  And I did pay attention during the John Edwards trial.

    1099s aren't issued for gifts, they (none / 0) (#185)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:35:38 PM EST
    are issued for income, which means the "donation" is being characterized as income, likely of the miscellaneous variety.

    Further, businesses do not make "gifts," people do, in their individual capacity, not their corporate one.  Businesses don't file gift tax returns.


    Sounds logical to me. (none / 0) (#189)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:08:30 AM EST
    Galpin's "gift" of the truck to the women is, to the various tax authorities, a payment from Galpin to the women.

    Yep (none / 0) (#192)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:18:41 AM EST
    Sounds logical to me, too.

    Okay, that was what (none / 0) (#191)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:18:10 AM EST
    I didn't know
    businesses do not make "gifts," people do
    Which leaves me still wondering about the families in say "Extreme makeover: Home Edition".  Some of the beneficiaries clearly couldn't afford the income tax on those houses, so... how does that work?

    Anyway, I digress.


    Tax Semantics (none / 0) (#198)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:47:53 AM EST
    While the dealership and the LAPD are calling it a gift, I highly that is their real intent, as least from a tax perspective.  Gifts are rare because as JB stated, the donor pays the tax.

    The dealership will most certainly view it, at tax time, as some sort of donation, it's why the 1099 in part of the equation, they never intended it to be a gift.

    FAQ's on Gifts

    Edwards trial is a poor example in that it is specific exemption, "Gifts to a political organization for its use."  


    Of course they are going to sue the LAPD. (none / 0) (#114)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:48:57 PM EST
    just saw (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by CST on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:03:46 PM EST
    a highschool classmate of mine on the reality tv cop show "Boston's finest".  He is a cop now I guess.

    I can't tell if this is a surprisingly good TV show or I just really like seeing my city on TV.

    Having never seen "Boston's Finest" I (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by caseyOR on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:13:15 PM EST
    can't speak to its quality as a TV show.

    I do know that I would watch just about any TV show if it provided shots of Portland's downtown bridges or other local landmarks. And if there was a chance I would see someone I know, well, I'd definitely be perched in front of the TV.  :-)

    As an aside, how's it going? Still loving school?


    Which one is he? (none / 0) (#197)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:21:14 AM EST
    I watch mainly because it comes on before Southland (and there is nothing else on).  It's a pretty good show.  Last nights speed dating segment with Danielle (?) was interesting.  

    his father (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by CST on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:52:14 AM EST
    is head of the drug unit.  It was kind of funny because when they showed his dad my first thought was - hey, I think I know his son!  A few minutes later his son was on as well.

    I watch it with my sister.  It's not the landmarks that make it exciting to watch, it's the fact that they are in the neighborhoods where we've worked and lived, and where our friends lived.  It's the parts of Boston you wouldn't normally see on TV but they are the parts we consider home.  Plus the accents and people are much more real than every over-done hollywood version.


    TNT (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:17:10 PM EST
    Last night I watched Gran Torino on TNT and I couldn't help noticing how they are promoting JR's Funeral.  I believe they are calling it the show of the year or something similar.  Just really rubbed me the wrong way, like they were just waiting for Hagman to die to roll out the extravaganza of a JR's funeral.  I would love to know if it was filmed before he actually died, "Larry get in here and help us with JR's imminent funeral."

    Gran Torino
    That role, I now realize, was Eastwood being himself, the same biter old man that had an the on stage discussion with a chair.  Hard to watch once you realize that he isn't playing a character so much as he is just being his grumpy self.

    Being his grumps self, that is, but WITHOUT... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:06:53 PM EST
    ...the smooth Hollywood transformation to sane and sympathetic hero by the end of act three. Reality tends to bend in the opposite direction, as Clint himself is proving with his own living corpus.



    Kind of contradictory, no? (none / 0) (#11)
    by bocajeff on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:12:05 PM EST
    Considering he directed himself in Gran Torino.

    He isn't that smart (none / 0) (#58)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:56:40 AM EST
    He probably thinks he IS that character. Or fantasizes that he is. Truth be told, Eastwood wouldn't sacrifice himself for anything, except more money.

    Larry Hagman had already filmed ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:36:23 PM EST
    Scott: "Just really rubbed me the wrong way, like they were just waiting for Hagman to die to roll out the extravaganza of a JR's funeral. I would love to know if it was filmed before he actually died, 'Larry get in here and help us with JR's imminent funeral.'"

    ... five of the episodes for this season's installment of Dallas, when he passed away from leukemia last November at age 81.

    Both Hagman and the producers knew he was terminally ill at the time Dallas got rebooted on TNT. According to his co-stars and longtime friends, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, the current storyline dealing with the dastardly J.R.'s demise was actually prepared in anticipation of the actor's own pending death, with both his knowledge and his approval.

    The big question will be whether the recently resurrected series -- which has maintained pretty robust ratings in its second coming -- can actually survive without J.R. Ewing, who became prime-time television's first true anti-hero back when Dallas first aired on CBS in the late '70s.


    That's So Morbid (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:48:02 PM EST
    Nothing will bring Dallas back to it's glory days, they are hoping for just a sliver of those dollars.  But planning the on air funeral for the character of terminally ill actor just reeks of desperation.  

    Lucky for them he didn't go into remission and TNT would have been forced to scrap the show of the year.


    It is rather morbid, at that. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:06:38 PM EST
    But given that the storyline about J.R.'s death was initially broached in 2011 when the revamped Dallas went back on the air, it sounds like it was kept in reserve and was dusted off late last year, when it became necessary with Larry Hagman's death.

    It wouldn't surprise me if we subsequently learned that Hagman first proposed the storyline himself, when he agreed to reprise the role of J.R. Ewing despite being diagnosed with leukemia.


    New Yorkers, Feel Free to Grab a Big Gulp Tomorrow (none / 0) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:02:39 PM EST
    A judge on Monday invalidated New York City's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries, one day before the new law was to take effect.

    That didn't take long.

    Cue Bloomberg taking a big gulp (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:08:21 PM EST
    Ahem. ;-p

    The pouty press conference... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:50:09 AM EST
    puss on Bloomberg was priceless...thank you NYS Supreme Court!

    loved this cover for the New Yorker (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:14:34 AM EST
    Classic cover... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:33:55 AM EST
    Hell if this soda sh*t passed court muster, I may as well have started cowering in a dark alley full-time, with all the pleasurable habits I have that the city frowns upon;)

    dog (none / 0) (#56)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:40:14 AM EST
    thought you might like that.

    Bipartisan agreement (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:26:15 PM EST
    Senate Democrats and Republicans on the Appropriations Committee late Monday reached a deal on a $984 billion government funding bill to avert a government shutdown after March 27.

    Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have signed off on the measure which will be debated on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
    Enough Republicans on the committee back the agreement that, pending a deal allowing GOP floor amendments, it is expected to pass the Senate.

    The deal does not contain any provisions not already agreed to behind closed doors by House Republican appropriators, aides said.

    One of the most interesting aspects of the deal:

    The bill contains no new funding requested by the administration to implement President Obama's healthcare overhaul or to implement his financial sector reform law.


    Has anyone hazarded a guess what (none / 0) (#32)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:28:18 AM EST
    happens to Obama's signature health insurance legislation if there's no funding?

    More important, where does that leave millions of people who still have no health insurance?


    Well the beauty of this is even if (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:55:33 AM EST
    they do not implement Obama's signature health insurance legislation, the Republicans plan to keep the $700b in Medicare cuts that is part of Obamacare. What do you want to bet that this part will also remain intact:

    Federal (disproportionate share) payments to hospitals are significantly cut beginning in 2014 with the start of the ACA coverage. Hospitals would still be required to provide care to the uninsured under federal law but will see their compensation for those patients seriously curtailed. Actual care would IMO deteriorate even further as the funds are reduced.

    Bottom line to answer your question, people could well be worse off than they were before Obama's health insurance legislation was passed.  


    Are you including the people (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:18:48 AM EST
    who have lost employer provided healthcare insurance due to Obamacare??

    Will their employers give it back?? Will the insurance companies reduce their premiums??


    From our "Get What You Pay For" file: (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:50:41 AM EST
    Allegiant Airlines, which has long advertised low, low fares to popular destinations, stranded about 1,700 of its passengers in Honolulu for up to two days this past weekend, after several of its B-757 long-range aircraft developed mechanical problems and were grounded.

    Allegiant commenced its Honolulu service last year by offering nonstop flights to and from secondary markets in the West, such as Spokane, WA; Boise, ID; and Fresno and Stockton, CA. They've thus far proved very popular with the public, but they won't be for long if these sort of unseemly delays keep up.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#29)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:03:55 AM EST
    My family has used this airline several times to go from Owensboro to Sanford FL.

    We've had no issues and if you play the game right with them it is very affordable.

    Buyer must beware because their low cost strategy is to try and trick you into up charges by charging for everything.  

    I'm going to let the boss know about this to see if cost or safety is a bigger motivation.

    Should be interesting.


    I've never flown them. (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:58:47 PM EST
    But then, I've no real need to go to Fresno, Stockton and Boise. But were I to go to any of those places, the prospect of nonstop service is very appealing.

    Otherwise, from Honolulu you have to connect through San Francisco or Los Angeles, which adds an additional two hours minimum travel time per one-way trip. I could fly United nonstop to Denver or Chicago, and still get to either of those cities faster than I could flying United to Fresno, which is 1,600 miles closer.

    California's Central Valley is still a largely untapped market for Hawaii tourism and business. For the longest time, conventional wisdom held that the region didn't offer sufficient capacity to sustain nonstop airline service to the islands. But then Hawaiian Airlines commenced nonstop widebody service between Honolulu and Sacramento 11 years ago, despite all the "expert" predictions that the initiative was doomed to failure.

    Fast forward to today, and Hawaiian's HNL-SMF route is very popular and operating at an average 93% capacity, which is the highest rate of all its U.S. mainland routes. In fact, the passenger demand has been such that Alaska Airlines has since joined Hawaiian in offering nonstop service from Hawaii to Sacramento, albeit from Maui rather than Honolulu.

    The primary difference between Hawaiian Airlines and Allegiant Airlines, aside from sheer size, is that Hawaiian has long been the U.S. airline industry's standard-bearer for on-time performance. I shudder to think what Allegiant's on-time record is going to be like this month, given its two-day delays out here.


    Why it works here (none / 0) (#115)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:01:40 PM EST
    Living in Evansville IN I can't fly anywhere without changing planes in a big hub or driving to a larger airport like Nashville or Louisville.

    With Allegiant I can hop across the river and be just outside of Orlando on a direct 2 hour flight.   And the airport is small on both ends making it easy to get in and out of.   The Owensboro Airport is smaller then a big Greyhound station.

    For the price its hard to beat.


    No Walmart? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:15:05 AM EST
    Wouldn't you think a new Walmart in a poor NYC neighborhood would be a good thing?  New jobs, fresh produce, better prices?

    It is ok to favor unions but this seems to be only punishing your constituents.  Aren't non union jobs better then no jobs?


    I (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:39:46 AM EST
    am a union member.

    Having expressed that caveat, I have noticed that when union jobs disappear, all jobs disappear. And those that remain have no security, no benefits and no recourse for maltreatment.

    As an example, when the Union was strong, there were musicians being employed all over. On TV. Johnny Carson had a big band for years. In theaters. It was unthinkable to have canned music. There was always a live orchestra. There were loads of small cafes and restaurants - many with small groups or at least a live pianist. With the weakening of the Union movement - beginning with St. Ronnie - all that evaporated.

    Maybe all that is coincidence - but I don't think so.


    The (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:23:45 AM EST
    jobs that Wal-Mart brings are minimum wage jobs that  pay no benefits. Nothing special about those jobs and their produce is rotten. So the only benefit might be better prices. A lot of times Wal-Mart is a net negative to a community.

    Not so. I'm no fan of Walmart but... (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:21:12 AM EST
    Many jobs are full time and many have benefits.

    Talk meaningful percentages (none / 0) (#41)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:23:39 AM EST
    or numbers.  What does "many" even mean in this context?  50?  100?  1000?

    I don't know and neither do you (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:41:35 AM EST
    I just note that many do and you just attack.

    I would say that all managers are full time.

    Why don't you take an assignment to find out??

    BTW - Playing the "percentage" game?? I venture the airlines have a very low percentage...

    BTW - How many of the people employed by Mom and Pop Inc had "benefits?" Having been there I say very very very few.


    So asking for (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:43:55 AM EST
    clarification is now an attack? Oy.

    Oh wait, I forgot who I was talking to.  


    When you don't know and I don't know (none / 0) (#125)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:45:52 PM EST
    and you know that neither of us knows then asking an unanswerable question is....

    an attack.

    It certainly isn't an effort to have a reasonable debate.


    Question - is "very, very, very few" ... (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:46:19 AM EST
    ... less than "many", or more than "many"?

    BTW (none / 0) (#50)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:48:26 AM EST
    I believe you here:
    I would say that all managers are full time.
    I mean, I believe you would say that.  Now, can you source it?  And no, I won't do your homework for you.

    Why should I source anything to (2.00 / 1) (#126)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:48:02 PM EST

    At best it would be a waste of time and just give you an excuse to snark.

    But yes, part time managers don't make a lot of sense.... especially in large corporations.,


    You very rarely ever source anything, Jim. (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:23:08 PM EST
    Really, why should today be any different?

    Just to waste your time (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:29:09 PM EST
    WalMart's "full time" employees' average yearly salary is $15,500. That's well below poverty line if the employee is the sole breadwinner in the family. And for an unmarried person, no dependents, that's only $4,000 a year over the poverty line. But, in any case, I don't know ANY family that can survive on $15,500 a year, nor any individual who can make it on $11, 139. It's ridiculous. And before you diss the information without reading it, take note that the study in question was published by Bloomberg News, not exactly one of those dreaded "commie", "far-left" sources you're prone to rant about.

    But, oh, admit it. You don't really want to be bothered to click on any links. After all, a tiger doesn't change his stripes.


    wev (none / 0) (#137)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:10:03 PM EST
    Because I do read links.  What happened?  You couldn't find any evidence to support your assertions?  Not that it will stop you from making them.

    "Many" = (none / 0) (#48)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:44:19 AM EST
    "I really have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, but 'many' sounds good, sooooo ..."

    A few (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:39:04 PM EST
    of the management jobs which you probably could eke out a living on but the vast majority are stock clerks and cashiers.

    Does Walmart... (none / 0) (#84)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    give out the food stamp and Medicaid applications with the employment application, or does the prospective "associate" have to procure those necessary forms on their own? ;)

    I don't (none / 0) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:43:17 PM EST
    know for sure but I do know that a friend of mine's sister applied and they made her go in a room and take off all her clothes.

    What? (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:47:05 PM EST
    I'm almost scared to ask for details...shoplifting thing?  drug thing?  pervy manager sex harassment/abuse thing?

    I can't (none / 0) (#100)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:56:08 PM EST
    remember all the details but I was shocked. I guess they thought she was shoplifting or something even though she was not. She came home terribly upset. She was just a teenager that went into to apply for a job. Apparently Wal-Mart assumes that people are guilty without evidence is all I can deduce from the situation. BTW, she was NOT shoplifting. My friend said her sister should have filed a sexual harassment suit because of it. Of course, she was so young he didn't know anything about the law and did not know that this was not some standard practice. Or maybe it was standard practice for them. I really don't know. I just know that I was horrified.

    Crazy.... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:15:25 PM EST
    "Loss Prevention" obviously does not prevent the loss of human dignity...that's just horrible.  

    Probably not the first, nor the last, time suspicion of shoplifting has been used as a precursor to a sexual assault.  Or suspicion of drug possession (been there, not cool!). Or pick your suspicion.  The dehumanization inherent in authority, real or imagined.


    That's when I would've told WalMart ... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:09:04 PM EST
    ... sorry, but this is clearly not going to work out -- and then filed a formal complaint about that particular "request" to both the U.S. Dept. of Labor and the local police department.

    Thank you for giving me yet another reason to not patronize WalMart and Sam's Club.

    Oh, and while I don't know that WalMart is currently providing food stamp applications for employees in their personnel offices, I can vouch for the fact that they were doing so a decade ago.


    Walmart jobs are part time minimum wage jobs (none / 0) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:27:55 AM EST
    and due to their poverty level salaries a large percentage of their workers receive food stamps and Medicaid. They cause the demise of local small businesses.

    Tax breaks and subsidies at the taxpayer's expense is a routine part of Walmart negotiations with local planners and municipalites. Walmart appears to expect--and even demand---such deals. It is not entirely clear why local officials are often so eager to have a Walmart move into their area since, as noted above, the net tax revenue is dramatically less--per comparable square footage--- than small, locally owned stores. Perhaps they are deluded by the notion that "bigger is always better". link

    That's a really (none / 0) (#42)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:26:27 AM EST
    good link, MO Blue.  Great synopsis.  

    About those local officials, though.  Read my link on Walmart de Mexico.  But probably those tactics are used just in Mexico, right?


    Walmart (none / 0) (#39)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:20:02 AM EST
    is unethical and parasitical to the core.

    For your reading "enjoyment":

    Wal-Mart's explosive growth has gutted two key pillars of the American middle class: small businesses and well-paying manufacturing jobs.

    Small, family-owned retail businesses likewise closed in droves as Wal-Mart grew. Between 1992 and 2007, the number of independent retailers fell by more than 60,000, according to the U.S. Census.

    Their demise triggered a cascade of losses elsewhere. As communities lost their local retailers, there was less demand for services like accounting and graphic design, less advertising revenue for local media outlets and fewer accounts for local banks. As Wal-Mart moved into communities, the volume of money circulating from business to business declined. More dollars flowed into Wal-Mart's tills and out of the local economy...

    ...Between 2001 and 2007, 40,000 U.S. factories closed, eliminating millions of jobs. While Wal-Mart's ceaseless search for lower costs wasn't the only factor that drove production overseas, it was a major one. During those six years, Wal-Mart's imports from China tripled in value from $9 billion to $27 billion...

    ...Wages have stagnated. The middle class has shrunk. The ranks of the working poor have swelled. Whatever we may have saved shopping at Wal-Mart, we've more than paid for it in diminished opportunities and declining income.

    ...And the worse things get, the more alluring Wal-Mart's siren call of low prices becomes. While Ford once profited by creating a workforce that could afford to buy its cars, today Wal-Mart profits by ensuring that Americans cannot afford to shop anywhere else. The average family of four now spends more than $4,000 a year at Wal-Mart.

    and this is fascinating if dismaying reading:
    Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited
    I have no quarrel with those who shop at Walmart.  I understand completely.  However, I decline to join them.

    Somehow I don't find articles by (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:35:05 AM EST
    people like

    Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the author of Big-Box Swindle. She lives in Portland, Maine.

    very helpful. Especially when there no sources for the author's claims.

    And the glorification of the "local" employer rings no truth bells for me. I grew up in a small town and watched them fight a union coming to a local factory tooth and toenail. Yet they loved the extra bucks in my Father's pay check when the union contract was signed.

    I suspect that many who deify the Mom and Pop stores never experienced the high prices, poor selection and poor service that too many of them offered.

    Do we have a problem with off shore manufacturing? Yes. How do we fix it? I don't know but closing Walmart doesn't seem to be a solution.

    Maybe we should be pushing for cheaper energy and fewer EPA regulations.


    Sorry (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:42:04 AM EST
    I forgot to search Fox News for a link to satisfy you.

    Something tells me that jim (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:32:11 AM EST
    probably works part time at the myFacts Line...read the whole series.

    Gotta love Doonesbury; Garry Trudeau has perfect pitch.


    "How about Bin Laden?" (none / 0) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:15:11 PM EST
    "We carry irrefutable proof that he's still alive."



    You are free to boycott anyone you wish (none / 0) (#118)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:34:08 PM EST
    However I have a problem with city council members and local government banning Walmart's for no real legal reason.

    That said the libertarian in me says that's what democracy is for and if the constituents don't care enough to elect members who won't make selfish political decisions then so be it.  

    To me the anti Walmart agenda is silly because for the most part I'd say the anti Walmart crowd is being hyper selective in their stand against corporate behavior.  I doubt most of you have personally reviewed all your shopping choices to such standards.   Do you all hold Apple to such standards?

    Rather then take on each of these claims I'll link a great Penn and Teller episode telling you how silly you're being.   Take it for what its worth.



    Of course I am (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:21:31 PM EST
    You are free to boycott anyone you wish
    Just as you are free to shop anywhere you wish [providing you have access and funds].

    But what does this even mean?

    However I have a problem with city council members and local government banning Walmart's for no real legal reason.
    City Councils are charged with preserving and enhancing the well-being of their city.  To keep from caveating every other statement, let's just pretend they are doing their job appropriately.

    Let's also stipulate that there is a darn good reason for existing building codes, landscaping requirements, zoning regulations, permit granting, real estate usage, guidelines, etc.  I have no desire to go off onto that tangent and follow that red herring.

    Okay then, if Walmart meets all criteria then fine.  Let them build.  What you don't seem to understand is that Walmart demands exemptions from all these criteria as SOP.  Really.  Moreover they demand and receive tax breaks that takes even more money out of the local economy.  So stop the nonsense about city council members "banning" Walmarts.  

    So, yes, I'm free to "boycott" whatever I want. Whatever that means.  Because I think it means not boycotting Walmart would mean I would stop buying from my neighborhood stores.  I think.

    And you're free to patronize any "bullsh$t" store all you want.  And you can continue to pay for largely Chinese goods of poor quality, and for music that has been sanitized because Walmart didn't like what the artist liked.  All that's fine.  

    But you asked a question and then when you didn't like the answer you resorted to spewing trash like this red herring logical fallacy.

    To me the anti Walmart agenda is silly because for the most part I'd say the anti Walmart crowd is being hyper selective in their stand against corporate behavior.  I doubt most of you have personally reviewed all your shopping choices to such standards.   Do you all hold Apple to such standards?

    Rather then take on each of these claims I'll link a great Penn and Teller episode telling you how silly you're being.   Take it for what its worth.

    Will you please just take a few courses in logical thinking and stop doing this?

    Because taking your comment for what is worth means I would be able un-see it.  It is that meaningless.  And, unfortunately, un-seeing isn't a skill I've learned.


    Most of the government stands against (none / 0) (#127)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:44:06 PM EST
    Walmart are by democratic politicians who are heavily influenced by their union supporters.  

    In Chicago according to my link above they passed a special law that only applied to big box  retailers that they had to pay double minimum wage.   No one else had to abide by the law, just stores like Walmart.

    That's what I have a problem with.  I'm all for enforcing the law but in not changing the law to punish certain companies because they won't unionize.


    Not sure I follow your logic (none / 0) (#132)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:12:35 PM EST
    But no need to take a course.

    I don't think Walmart asks for any favors any large company wouldn't ask for when they look to move into a community.   Is that an indictment of Walmart or local politicians?

    I'm simply stating that I think most of the Walmart hatred is irrational and selective because they're the biggest game in town and the easiest to hate.


    oy (none / 0) (#135)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:51:36 PM EST
    pffffttt (none / 0) (#139)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:20:27 PM EST
    I think, sj, if you step back just a bit (none / 0) (#147)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:52:15 AM EST
    from taking your razor-sharp sword to Slado, you might see that he has a point - that point being that if we all examined where the things we buy and use are coming from - who makes them, what their labor practices are, what effects they have had on local communities, and so on - if we looked at what our 401(k)s are holding - you know, the mutual funds we cheer on when they go up because we're hoping that our eventual retirement doesn't have us shopping in the pet food section for our own meals - there might be very little we could buy or make use of if we were going to be "principled consumers."

    But there sits that big old WalMart, that gigantic WM SuperCenter...and it's easy, because we know they don't pay well, we know they have mostly part-time workers so they don't have to pay benefits, we know about the gender discrimination - we know it, and we have to see that big box on our way to work or school, and it's easy to hate it.  It is - it's just easy.

    We don't even have to do any homework on WalMart, because it's all over the newspapers and online - everyone knows.  But how many know about Amazon, or Apple, or the thousands of other companies whose business practices have hurt people, hurt communities, hurt the environment?

    Slado's point, it seems to me, isn't that WalMart deserves the Employer of the Year award, but that there seems to be a selective hatred of it - and I, at least, can't completely disagree with that.

    And his point about the city councils - if you had made the point that it was wrong for a city council to approve a WalMart, to give it special tax treatment and incentive payments, would Slado have been justified in coming back at you with "City councils are charged with attracting business and providing their residents with affordable places to shop?"  I think he would have.

    Slado's not wrong that WalMart is easy to hate - it is.  And he's not wrong that - as I also stated - much of WalMart's success lies in the decisions being made in DC that are affecting the economy.

    I have trouble, from time to time, wending my way through some of Slado's logic - I have that problem with any number of commenters, as I'm sure they do with me - but I think we do a disservice to the forum and the conversation when we immediately think, "oh, this is going to be a mess of tortured logic" just because we see Slado's - or any other particular commenter's - name.  I tell myself all the time that I shouldn't read the comments of those who make me the craziest, but I usually do anyway - and then I have to tell myself not to bother responding - sometimes that works, but sometimes not.

    This is going to read like a lecture, and I don't mean for it to - it's just that when I don't comment as much and just read, there are times when it seems like there is a lot of piling on that doesn't accomplish much - some of the posting from the other night just seemed downright mean, and it bothered me.


    Not sure how (none / 0) (#152)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:24:42 AM EST
    you can use Apple and Amazon as your examples of selective hatred of Walmart, Anne.  Amazon isn't a brick and mortar shop that demands concessions from municipalities and ultimately lowers wages, drives out other businesses, etc. etc.

    Apple does have brick and mortar locations, but they tend to be small, trendy and located in the more upscale malls.

    Are they ethical employers and manufacturers?  Nope.  That, like Walmart's business practices, is also common knowledge.  They are detrimental to a functional system, but they don't leave a physical wasteland behind them.  In this country, anyway.

    I don't see Slado's comments as a mess of tortured logic, by the way.  I don't seem them as logical at all.  It doesn't mean he doesn't have a point.  He usually does. And, when I can find it it, it often gives me something to think about.  But very often what he says not only doesn't support his point, it muddies the waters.  And appears to me to be deliberately provocative.


    I don't (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:39:25 AM EST
    know about Apple but Amazon does demand concessions. They had a big deal about getting an Amazon warehouse in SC and Amazon demanded that they not have to pay sales taxes. Well, lo and behold then every other business started demanding that they did not have to pay sales taxes either so the deal fell through. The bigger problem is all the corporate welfare that is handed out not only to people like Wal-Mart but lots of other businesses too. Wal-Mart has set the low standard for pay and a lot of other things but Amazon has people working in warehouses that are not air conditioned and had to have an ambulance on site in PA because people were passing out from the heat.

    Then the morons in SC give Boeing 900 million dollars in corporate welfare essentially paying 233K per job that pays only 30K. Now my uncle's electric coop doesn't know if they are going to be able to stay in business because nobody thinks they should pay for power anymore. Only you and i should pay high power rates while they get it free. It's sickening.


    It IS sickening, d'accord (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:50:16 AM EST
    Well, lo and behold then every other business started demanding that they did not have to pay sales taxes either so the deal fell through.
    That's what should have happened, right?  And I get your point about Amazon (and yes I know about the conditions in the warehouses).  I didn't want to digress into that discussion because there aren't, for example, over 20 Amazon warehouses in the Denver area.  But I know what you're saying.

    As a longtime Seattleite (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:12:38 PM EST
    allow me to say the following:

    F*ck Boeing. They get billions of dollars in tax breaks, screw up the Dreamliner engineering and manufacturing, pay next to nothing in taxes to either the federal government or the states where they do their business, and still walk around with their hand out, demanding more privileges. God forbid they should ever bargain in good faith with their unions in Washington State.

    And as for Amazon, the company is run by a control freak who does nothing but take, take, take from this community, and treats his employees in the most abominable manner, one that should land him in jail.


    First off I do antagonize (none / 0) (#156)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:48:28 AM EST
    Sometimes but only to get a good debate started.   My attentions are only to draw out a debate on a subject that interests me.

    In this case it was the back and forth between Walmart and what I see as disingenuous do gooders on city councils.

    Another example would be the whole Chick Fila kerfuffle in Chicago.

    As for my logic if it is sometimes "tortured" in your view it is not because I'm intentionally trying to be misleading or devious.   It is either because I'm struggling to make a point or because you don't agree with me.

    Be careful with the latter.   It is much easier to question someone's logic when you don't agree with them then admit that you might not be right or at least a little wrong.

    Take my conceding the empty stores.   Instead of questioning my assumptions I could have just questioned your "logic" and ignored your point.

    Instead I read the link, looked up a few of my own, learned something totally new to me and conceded your point, at least partially.  

    It is human nature to think we're right 100% of the time.   When we get the first hint that we might not be we go in to defensive mode and attack the person challenging our beliefs.

    Be careful sj when you challenge someone's "logic".     I try to never do that and if I do please call me on it.


    Just to clarify (none / 0) (#159)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:10:52 AM EST
    when I refer to "logic" I really mean logic, not beliefs.  As in
    1. Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity
    And I don't know off-hand all of the logical fallacies but there some that are used more often than others and are fairly easy to spot.

    Someone's conclusions based on evidence is a completely different matter.  I know that two people may reach completely different conclusions based on observing the same evidence.  That's where genuine disagreement comes in.  

    And opinions, well, I was taught that opinions can't be wrong.  Because they are opinions, not facts.  But I was also taught that one's opinions -- or conclusions -- should be based on something.  I might try to sway you to my way of thinking, or you might sway me based on evidence or previously unconsidered perspectives.  That's the good stuff.

    But throw in bad logic and the perspective gets lost in my mind.  It literally gets lost in my mind.  I think "literally" is appropriate in that sentence.  

    Does that make sense?


    Wal Mart has thrived because there (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:19:08 PM EST
    are larger and larger numbers of people who haven't - thrived, that is.  A lot of people don't shop there because they like to, they shop there because they can't afford to shop anywhere else.  

    And the bigger hold WalMart has on a local economy, the more people end up shopping there - as businesses close, the people who used to work in them can't afford to shop at the more expensive stores, so they become WalMart shoppers, too.

    And while WalMart is selling cheap and cheaply-made goods, they are also selling the same brands of goods I can find in the local chain grocery, or at Macy's - for less.  I've bought Rubbermaid there, Philadelphia cream cheese, Keurig coffee pods, Post-it notes and pens, beef tenderloin and crabmeat, Carter's and Izod and Ralph Lauren and Eddie Bauer and Anne Klein.

    I'd go to Costco over Sam's if there was one anywhere near me, but I would have to drive more than 25 miles to find one.

    I don't judge people based on where they shop.  I know people aren't shopping at WalMart because they want to support a good employer - they do it because they need to make the money they have go farther to keep up with the rising cost of everything else.  WalMart is as much a symptom of an economy with no middle as it is a contributing factor to that middle disappearing - but it's hard for me to blame the laid off, the elderly, the people with three part-time jobs, those trying to put kids through college, the guy who just had his hours cut back, the furloughed, the people paying more for health insurance, the ones who haven't had a raise in three years, for trying to make ends meet the best way they can,

    The day we have more Wegmans and Harris Teeters and Whole Foods and Nordstroms and Bloomingdales than we do WalMarts will be the day we know the economy has lifted up more people than it has ground into dust.  


    There are always going to (none / 0) (#128)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:54:01 PM EST
    Be poor people.   We will never have an economy that will allow everyone to shop at Harris Teeter.

    It's impossible.

    The option is we have those stores and Walmart or we have no stores at all.

    Walmart is the perfect example of capitalism reducing the cost to provide goods to more and more people.   Instead of focusing your rage at someone who is actually providing a service you should turn your focus to our leaders in Washington that through monetary and fiscal policy committed the largest wealth drain in human history through the housing bubble.   Where did all the middle class money go?  Up in smoke thanks to back to back bubbles created by Washington and their crony capitalist pals.

    That's who is killing the middle class.

    Walmart is the least of our problems.


    Non-Sense... (none / 0) (#155)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:32:32 AM EST
    ...economies have been expanding and contracting long before Walmart was a staple in most US cities.

    It boils down to the prisoners dilemma, when individuals operate in their own best interest, as a whole, it's the worse possible outcome.

    People are making less because they insist on getting more for their dollar than a descent wage can maintain in the United States.

    This is one of the main functions of government, to make sure individual's self interest doesn't become the worse possible outcome for the country.  But in a global economy that function is dissolving and companies exploit it for their own self interests, which is bringing down wages and making 'good' jobs fewer and fewer.  Those low prices, at any store, come at a cost to our economy.

    Walmart is an easy target, because of anyone, they are probably the one company that doesn't play fairly.  From bribs, to forcing suppliers, to overtaking local courts by shear force of size.  Plus they are privately owned which makes the 5 or 6 Walmart heirs always a part of 10 richest people in the US.  Billionaires who won't give their employees a descent wage will always make good targets.

    For me personally, I have subsidized a couple friends Walmart shopping by giving them $10 for every Walmart trip.  Because in reality, the savings amounts to a hill beans.  But I understand that a hill of beans to some is a necessity.

    I have actually been coming around with Walmart's new policy of substantial donations to causes I like.  Like THIS school that lost all their musical instruments in Storm Sandy.  Walmart replaced them and more.  Not so much the dollar amount, but they helped kids.  And it's something they have been doing all over the country, real stand-up S.  S that for me defines what companies are worthy of my support and which ones are not.  

    But then I started Googling because of Jim's nonsensical benefits comment to get actual numbers.  Turns out they are pulling the benefits they enacted a couple years ago.  So for me, no way, I will go with the companies who give back the most.  

    It's a huge disappointment that our government isn't making foreign goods produced by substantially lower wages more competitive so American families can have respectable wage earners that provide the necessities, like health care, to their families without being forced to contribute to the problem by shopping based solely on low prices.


    I'm in general agreement. (none / 0) (#119)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:59:33 PM EST
    For example there have been, literally, hundreds of American car manufacturers, soda producers, grocery stores, etc., etc., that are no more.

    In many industries the only way to survive is to get big. In many industries that causes major dislocation to some of the existing players. In many industries there are opportunities to explore the cracks in the big player's portfolios.


    The way to survive in business (none / 0) (#131)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:05:09 PM EST
    Is to,provide a good or service that people want and to figure out how to make money at it.

    We shouldn't pay more to get certain products from a certain type of store unless we want to.   The angst over progress and efficiency has always amused me.  

    Walmart is the worlds best example of capitalism. Its not always perfect but its fair.   Want to beat Walmart be smarter then Walmart.

    All this angst is really just an aversion to the realities of capitalism.   The only way to keep Walmarts from happening is through government planning and I'd argue that is worse then the side effects of pure capitalism.


    Well this is true (none / 0) (#138)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:17:50 PM EST
    ...an aversion to the realities of capitalism
    I do have that for sure. And Walmart is a classic example of why unfettered Capitalism is just as bad as any other unfettered social system.

    You know, when you posted your original comment I thought you were actually interested in responses.  It turned out you just wanted to further justify your initial justifications.  That's human nature I suppose.

    See ya.  No need to read more of this.


    I post this stuff (none / 0) (#144)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:33:35 AM EST
    Like other stuff because I'm genuinely interested in the other side.  I enjoy the banter and it makes me question my opinion.

    Thought that was the point of the site?

    I thoroughly enjoy your responses and learned more about Walmart from the links.

    My original post was more angled towards my dislike for political hacks on local commissioner boards but sometimes these threads take on a life of their own.


    Got it (none / 0) (#149)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:57:10 AM EST
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Many of us experienced (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:54:55 AM EST
    purchasing good quality items and knowledgeable personal service from the Mom and Pop stores.

    Somehow I don't think I've saved anything when purchasing socks that fall apart after two washings.

    Personally I would prefer to keep the EPA. I don't think I want to trade breathable air for cheaper goods.    


    Cheaper energy and lack of EPA regulations (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:03:44 AM EST
    Beijing, China Air Pollution Hits Hazardous Levels
    [Jan 12, 2013] BEIJING (AP) -- Air pollution readings in China's notoriously polluted capital were at dangerously high levels for the second straight day Saturday

    Choking to Death:Health Consequences of Air Pollution in China
    According to a Chinese public health expert, the nation's poor air quality is worse than SARS.

    Funny how conservatives want to incorporate 3rd world standards and corresponding living conditions here in the "homeland."


    I don't get the logic (none / 0) (#129)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:56:02 PM EST
    Last time I checked avian is a communist country.

    How,exactly do republicans support those types of policies here at home?


    Cheap energy and elimination of EPA regulations (none / 0) (#142)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:31:55 PM EST
    is what Jim said we need in this country. The hazardous levels of air pollution described in my links are the result of cheap energy (primarily coal) and the lack of EPA regulations.

    Conservatives or if you prefer Republicans, are always promoting cheap, dirty energy sources and deregulation to maximize corporate profits.

    Republicans attack EPA regulations as job killers - SFGate

    Republican Presidential Candidates Pledge To Revoke EPA's Authority

    The logic is very simple. Hazrdous levels of air, water and soil pollution result from the policies that conservatives want to implement.



    Fair enough (none / 0) (#145)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:41:54 AM EST
    I myself think agencies like the EPA is exactly what the federal government should be doing.

    Business has no motivation or capitalist pressure to protect the environment.   That is the role of government.

    Do I think the EPA can be inconsistent and sometimes heavy handed?  Sure.   Could,they also do more in some ares?  You bet?  But Ion balance they do a great job.

    Republicans use the EPA as a base stirrer when a dem is in the Whitehouse to get themselves all in a lather. While they sometimes have a small point it is usually exaggerated.


    I keep looking (none / 0) (#151)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:10:02 AM EST
    at "avian" and know that you intended to type "China."  I figure that must be an auto-correct thing, but then I look at my keyboard and darned if I can figure out how it got there.

    I'll tell you how (none / 0) (#157)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:54:57 AM EST
    Since I'm at home recovering and wake up in the middle of the night I'm trying to quietly type on my iPad while my wife sleeps.

    It causes all sorts of crazy words and punctuation errors.

    I've come up with a new strategy of laying the iPad sideways  to get the bigger keypad so its more like typing on a computer.

    It is working much better.


    You are also forgetting (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:13:10 AM EST
    That Walmart is notorious for coming into a small community, building a store, driving out all the local competition, then abandoning their store to open up a larger store 20 miles down the road, leaving not only local businesses defunct, but also the eyesore of decaying abandoned buildings and all the issues that come along with that.

    Walmart is truly the evil empire.


    Not true (none / 0) (#130)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:59:11 PM EST
    Walmart only closes a store when it loses money.  If a Store loses money it's because the community around it is losing money and I find it hard to blame a dying community on Walmart.

    I suppose you never go to shopping malls either?   They are much more responsible for the death of Mom and pop stores then Walmart.



    You need to (none / 0) (#136)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:01:02 PM EST
    do more reading.  It is absolutely a strategy of Walmart to do just what jb said.  Moreover they usually keep ownership of the vacant building so that competition can't creep in.

    You need to stop spouting talking points and do some real reading.  Or not.  If you want to shop there, just do it.  Nobody that I know of is going to look down on any Walmart shopper.  You don't have to defend it or justify it.  But your defense wreaks of "la-la-la --- I'm not listening!!!"

    So if you don't want to listen I suggest you stop talking about it.  It actually makes me wonder if at heart you know the truth of it all and just don't want to believe it for whatever reason.


    Walmarts do leave empty buildings behind (none / 0) (#146)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:18:19 AM EST
    But it's usually to upgrade to a Super Center.  Often very close buy.

    If they ever move  20 miles,away it'd only be because there wasn't enough demand for a Super Center and the old store is losing money.

    That is probably very rare as there are literally thousands of examples of Walmart building Super Centers close by.

    So on the part about them abandoning stores and not allowing new tenants I concede.   It's not illegal but definitely a bit of an eyesore.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:16:23 AM EST
    we have abandoned Wal-Mart buildings and shopping centers all over GA. What else happens is that when the anchor store leaves a shopping center, most of the other businesses eventually leave too. Some communities in GA have started fighting back and telling either the real estate companies or Wal-Mart that if the building is not leased withing a certain amount of time say three years that the building will be imploded. Worse than eyesores, the abandoned buildings have become magnets for crime and all kinds of other things. Somehow when this threat is realized they manage to find a tenant for the building.

    I'm pretty sure... (none / 0) (#150)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:04:27 AM EST
    Walmarts do leave empty buildings behind (none / 0) (#146)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:18:19 AM EST

    But it's usually to upgrade to a Super Center.  Often very close buy.

    ...that's the point of what jb said.  Don't get hung up on 20 miles part of it.  And I'm sure that the close "buy" in your comment was just a typo :)  

    Personally, I think they're more than just an eyesore.  They prevent the use of the actual real estate by other businesses which may anchor a commercial area and make the area generally unattractive to businesses of other sorts. And I do believe it's a strategic move.


    I concede on they one (none / 0) (#158)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:02:01 AM EST
    After checking out a few more links it is a strategic practice of Walmart.

    Since they decided to move into the grocery business their original layout is not big enough for the grocery and produce side and it was not cost effective (they always run the numbers) to modify of add on go their original stores.

    So they build new ones, abandon the old ones and try and keep grocery stores and other big box retailers out of them.    Problem is the building don't really lend themselves to anything else.

    Seem communities have gotten very creative and Walmart will even help as long as you aren't what they see as competition.

    This is not a pretty side of Walmart and fair game for their critics.

    We have (3) of these sites here in town and (2) new SuperCenters as well.  


    I finally have sympathy for Iranian... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:32:44 AM EST
    ...president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (link)

    I believe this means that swine are levitating in Hades.

    Speaking of swine.... (none / 0) (#66)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:43:49 AM EST
    I don't know about the swine levitating, but Ahmadinejad appears to have some human qualities, as did (imo) Hugo Chavez. I liked Chavez.

    On the other hand, I think that W. was the devil incarnate.

    I don't think I will ever see a comparable photo of Bush.


    Have you seen his paintings? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:48:03 AM EST
    Very John Wayne Gacy in technique.

    And then again about Ahmadinejad, he did try to claim "There are no gay people in Iran," so he can basically suck it. Still, regarding the Chavez mother hugging "scandal," well, even a blind squirrel, as they say


    I (none / 0) (#69)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:54:39 AM EST
    will overstate my case, but Obama was no civil libertarian when it came to gay people - he said that marriage went against his religious beliefs. Not exactly Iranian-speak, but close enough.

    And about Bush's painting, my association was to Hitler to tell you the truth....


    I get where you're coming from (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:31:46 PM EST
    And whatever the issue, Obama doesn't lead on anything, ever, period, except for lessons on getting on your knees for Repubs.

    And Hitler, Gacy, Bush, soul brothers on canvas.


    ...and wearing ice skates for take off and landing (none / 0) (#71)
    by unitron on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:04:08 PM EST
    I particularly liked the comment that called him a motherhugger.

    Technical question (none / 0) (#77)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:34:51 PM EST
      Does anyone else have trouble viewing/navigating this site in IE? When I attempt to navigate away from the homepage, I get a script error message "access is denied..." and the browser freezes. This seems to be the only place I have this problem and this site operates fin in Chrome.

    ABC News (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:41:03 PM EST
    script in a post below this one is I believe, root cause.  

    yes.. (none / 0) (#82)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:47:44 PM EST
     The script error message  identifies a url with an abcnews.go.com address.

      Is this something I can fix on my computer or does it have to be done by the webmaster here?


    Hit the "X"... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:53:08 PM EST
    7-10 times and it goes away...till it comes back;)

    You can try disabling ActiveX (none / 0) (#90)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:01:05 PM EST
    (h/t SJ)

    I use IE9, so from your Menu Bar --> Tools, and select ActiveX Filtering and ensure it's checked.

    If it's checked already, well, there's kdog's solution, okokokokokok


    Only problem - disables it for any site that uses (none / 0) (#91)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:03:11 PM EST
    ActiveX.  You'll have to uncheck and refresh on a site that needs it after you turn it back on.

    or so for various reasons. TL and everyone else seem to load fine in firefox.

    Everyone tells me I should (none / 0) (#86)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:54:05 PM EST
     switch from IE  but I guess I'm a creature of habit. I never do anything "fancy" enough to notice any difference in performance among the competing browsers and I have just stuck with IE because I'm familiar with the interface.

    da bomb.

    The problem is here at TL (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:22:17 PM EST
    Jeralyn has said she messed up something when she was in a hurry a few days ago. If she doesn't know how to fix it, surely the Webmaster should. The problem is that all the people who are using Internet Explorer (and, that a big majority) may try fixing the problem at their end, thinking there's something wrong with their computer, and can really screw up their system. A lot of the "help" sites tell people to go into their registry and attempt to fix the problem, which is a recipe for disaster, unless you're an expert tech.

    Bottom line, the problem is at TL, and can only be fixed at the source.


    I wish I could leave it behind (none / 0) (#88)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:56:25 PM EST
    But it's the only browser available during working hours.

    And Reconstructionist?  That problem has been here for the last few days for us IE users, and it's really, really annoying.


    I don't suppose that (none / 0) (#89)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:00:08 PM EST
    you could talk to the "higher ups" about allowing Firefox and/or Chrome?

    Ha! (none / 0) (#99)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:51:18 PM EST
    Let's just say "no..." and leave it at that :)  First place I've ever worked at like that.

    If you expose yourself... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:25:13 PM EST
    on a deserted street at 2 am, and no one is around to see it except one of the state's spy cameras, can you still be arrested, charged with lewdness, and sent to the county jail?

    I say no, but the police in NJ say yes.

    Oh, for the love of (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:38:26 PM EST
    the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Nobody was around, she wouldn't even have done it except she seemed rather unhappy about the cameras (and who wouldn't be?) and this seemed to be her way of protesting them, and it's just breasts.  What if she had been a young mother breast-feeding (well, maybe not on the street at 2 AM, but perhaps an earlier time) and the camera got a picture of her breasts?
    Those cameras everywhere are an intrusion.
    Oh, and BTW, Americans are way too uptight about the human body and any kind of public nudity (even though they're willing to pay big bucks to see breasts on the big screen).

    Now, that would certainly be (none / 0) (#103)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:07:45 PM EST
    an interesting case.  I have no idea if it would go anywhere, but it sure would be a great thing if she could get anywhere with this.

    Isn't that exactly (none / 0) (#106)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:14:29 PM EST
    Why she did it?  She wanted a reaction and then she could use that as a platform to protest the cameras.

    If nothing happened, no one would be reporting on her cause nor talking about her.  Sounds like she got exactly what she wanted.


    ummmm, no.... I wouldn't assume that at all (none / 0) (#122)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:32:34 PM EST
    Isn't that exactly (none / 0) (#106)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:14:29 PM EST

    Why she did it?

    I have been known to flip off office buildings, speakers on conference calls, specific comments on TL, myself when I'm being an idiot, etc.  I don't do it for reaction at all.  Even though it's a physical act.  I'm not one for mooning things/people but my friend who is doesn't do it for reaction either.

    We do it as an editorial statement and as an act of frustration.  For the most part, those us of not born into the internet age just don't think in terms of our every move being monitored and made public.  If I'd flipped off a security camera at 2:00 in the AM I don't think I would have really expected that someone would actually monitor that.


    Then you wouldn't have (none / 0) (#175)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:32:33 PM EST
    Flipped off a camera.  She was protestng that she was being watched. She knew exactly what she was doing and got exactly the reaction she wanted.  It is a legitimate argument to say the consequences of her actions are too harsh, but for her to act all innocent and surprised is ridiculous.

    I guess I wasn't clear then (none / 0) (#176)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:39:14 PM EST
    Then you wouldn't have (none / 0) (#175)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:32:33 PM EST

    Flipped off a camera

    Because depending on what was going through my mind and circumstances I might very well have done so.  I mean I haven't, but it wasn't because it was a camera.  From where I sit, she was making an editorial statement about the camera's presence.  I believe you to be completely mistaken in this assumption:
    She knew exactly what she was doing and got exactly the reaction she wanted.  
    And it is an assumption.  Not a fact.

    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#178)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:51:08 PM EST
    Barnegat, N.J.  police arrested a woman after they say she got out of her car, lifted her shirt and bra and exposed her breasts to surveillance cameras.

    Seems like this was not a heat of the moment "Oh, I'm so angry" thing, but deliberate acts.  (And of course, you have absolutely no facts to say that she wasn't thinking about being seen on the camera, but we'll let that slide).

    Let's review, shall we?


    1. Stopped her car near a camera.
    2. Got out of her car
    3. Deliberately looked up at the camera
    4. Exposed her breasts
    5. And then flipped the camera off.

    And, not surprisingly, at the time of her incident, she had a separate warrant out for her arrest.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#179)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:56:50 PM EST
    Granted, she doesn't sound like the brightest bulb on the planet.  But I think your assumption is a bigger stretch than mine was.

    Tucker already had a warrant for her arrest that had been issued by police in Atlantic County. She was additionally charged with lewdness, Germaine said.

    My pet peeve is traffic light cameras. Ya, at 2am with no one else around they'll still give you tickets.


    Got One a Couple Months Ago... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:04:32 PM EST
    ...I turned right on a red light in a lane that also has a green arrow.  No sign indicating I could not turn.  Just a ticket in the mail.

    The sad thing was I wasn't in the wrong, but because it was $59 I wasn't going to use a day of vacation to sit in traffic court.  If a cop would have written me a ticket for the same thing, it would would be around $170. How scummy is that, the half-A method that doesn't stand up in court issues small tickets knowing people aren't going to burn the day to fight it even though they would win.

    What I can't figure out, is we, the voters outlawed the cameras about 2 years ago after they figured out it was a taxing scam.


    Ya, LA also discontinued their system (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:18:18 PM EST
    although it took some time to officially die. I took my front license plates off because of the cameras (I don't run red lights, but I do make mistakes sometimes), I guess I should put them back on now...

    Isn't it generally the law (none / 0) (#160)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:30:21 PM EST
    That if there is a green arrow to turn right, it is implied that there is no right turn on red (because that's the whole point of the arrow)?

    Maybe... (1.00 / 1) (#161)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:58:30 PM EST
    In Texas, unlike Wisconsin, a left turn lane with a green arrow is OK to go through when it's not green.  This is the same occurrence, only that it's right and the red light is for people going straight.

    Every other 'no right turn on red' is clearly marked and I can't think of another instance of right green arrow for two turning lanes.  What I am not clear about is it illegal for both lanes, or just the outside lane I was in to turn on red.  I can guarantee that question was never covered in school or on a DMV test.

    Not saying I am right, but me, and a good majority of drivers, think it's OK.  There is no reason not to post to turn on red sign, but more importantly, why am I getting a ticket from a prohibited camera for a discounted price ?

    JB, it seems like so much work to always prove you love busting 'lawbreakers'.  On Monday, I think, when I saw the post about Kilpatrick I would have $50 you would be the first to post, it was conscious bet in my head.  I won.  But even I was shocked to see you were getting your info through a live blog.  Who in the F gets on a live blog about the Kilpatrick that doesn't live in Detroit or is in the press ?  Even Jack McCoy doesn't get that level of pleasure from the guilty.  It's unnerving at times.


    In defense... (none / 0) (#162)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:18:59 PM EST
    of my pal D.A. JB McCoy;), she is originally from Detroit and has always followed the Kwame corruption case closely.

    She does love to see people punished for lawbreaking, no matter how stupid the law is...I don't get it either, but I still love her.


    HAHAHAHAHA! (none / 0) (#163)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:27:31 PM EST
    1) Maybe instead of instantly jumping all over my comments, you should be a bit more thoughtful and actually think about the fact that, yes, I do have a good point.  It's the law in many jurisdictions that if an intersection has a green arrow to direct right turning traffic, it is implied that you may only turn right on the green arrow / green light, so I was inquiring about it (as I at least remember the parts of Texas that I lived in had similar laws, at least at some intersections).

    2)Um, again, if you had at least once or twice paid attention to the substance of my comments, instead of just always trolling to jump on me about being for people who break the law to won the consequences of their actions (pfft - like that's a bad thing), you'll know that I was born and raised in the Detroit area and lived through the whole Kwame Kilpatrick saga, which is why I was getting info from a live blog of a local Detroit paper that I at least skim on a daily basis.  That's "who the F gets their information" from a live blog - someone who has seen firsthand the devastation a crook like Kwame Kilpatrick can do to a whole region.

    And I just internally bet myself $50 that your response would be a smart-a$$ response to a genuine question because you are so entrenched in your little world, that you can't actually see the forest for the trees. Guess what? I won my bet too.

    Wow -  it must suck for you to be so way off base today. And for the record - I  love Jack McCoy.


    No, I don't think so (none / 0) (#165)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:02:42 PM EST
    Not here in Maryland (or Colorado, either)
    Isn't it generally the law (none / 0) (#160)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:30:21 PM EST

    That if there is a green arrow to turn right, it is implied that there is no right turn on red (because that's the whole point of the arrow)?

    In fact there is one exit from I95 where the exit lane diverges into two lanes.  Both lanes must turn right -- there is no other option.  There are two green right turn arrows (one for each lane) and no green light.  With me so far?  Okay.  The posted sign says that a right turn on red is only permitted from the right hand lane.  Even though the center/left lane has the better view of oncoming traffic.  

    Seems weird to me.  Maybe they're trying to train drivers for the time (about 2 years from now) when construction is complete, and the barrier is removed.  Who knows.

    The whole point of the arrow (it seems to me) is the driver can be guaranteed that turning right at that point is safe because of how other traffic lanes are being directed.  No stopping is required. A right on red, OTOH, takes place after a stop and after the driver has confirmed that traffic is clear.


    I know it's like that in a lot of places (none / 0) (#167)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:12:42 PM EST
    But I know I've been at intersections where the opposite is true - you are ONLY allowed to turn right on a green arrow (which usually comes first,) then, of course, on a green light.

    Which is why I was asking about this particular intersection where he got his ticket.


    ::shrug:: (none / 0) (#171)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:49:40 PM EST
    The only time I've seen right turn on red prohibited is when it's posted as such.  Regardless of whether it's an arrow or a light.  

    Now a left turn... that's a different matter.

    Just did some googling and (without checking every state) the only prohibition I see on RTOR is when it's posted.


    totally depends on the state (none / 0) (#183)
    by CST on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:02:17 PM EST
    and in some cases it depends on the city.  For example, you cannot turn right on red in Manhattan - and maybe now the entire city of NY.  No signs posted.  Other places you can on a red arrow (like MA).  Here you can also turn left on red if it's a one-way onto a one-way.  Traffic laws vary significantly by area.

    makes sense to me (none / 0) (#193)
    by sj on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:24:47 AM EST
    But then that's a prohibition on RTOR completely, right?  Manhattan, I mean.  And I'm also accustomed to the LTOR from one one-way onto another so I would so get a ticket in Manhattan.  If I were nuts enough to drive there.  

    But back to Scott's case, it sounds like he knows the traffic laws of his area.  This sounds like a question for Triple-A :)


    NYPD Cop... (none / 0) (#97)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:43:29 PM EST
    ...who planned to eat women found guilty on all charges.  Didn't know his wife was one of the planned victims.  LINK

    Wow... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:59:33 PM EST
    the jury had been out for a few days, I thought that a good sign for the defense.

    I don't think the prosecution proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt, based on what I've read/heard, but the verdict is not surprising.  May as well say found guilty of being too creepy to live among us.  Right or wrong, the sicko really didn't have a prayer.


    I can think of a few people ... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:21:47 PM EST
    ... I'd like to see arrested for being too creepy to live among us.

    Unfortunately, both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dick Cheney are much too prominent and well-connected for that to ever happen.


    If YOU call him a sicko (none / 0) (#111)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:26:58 PM EST
    ye of the libertarian slant, what chance did the poor ear nibbler have?

    Exactly... (none / 0) (#113)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:40:42 PM EST
    I'm a pretty tolerant cat when it comes to kink...this guy is one piece of work boy, good lord.  

    I like to think I could look past the creepy factor and acquit based on the merits, but ya never know unless you're in the jury box.

    I assume protective custody forever, because his fellow inmates upstate ain't gonna look to kindly on him either.  And a former cop to boot...he's so f8cked!


    Tonight marks the 85th anniversary ... (none / 0) (#134)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:36:33 PM EST
    ... of the greatest civil engineering disaster in U.S. history -- the catastrophic collapse of the St. Francis Dam in Los Angeles County on March 12, 1928, which took upwards of 600 lives and nearly destroyed the towns of Santa Paula and Fillmore. And thanks to modern technology, we can see what happened.

    That was fascinating (none / 0) (#140)
    by sj on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:21:10 PM EST
    and horrifying.  

    That it was. (none / 0) (#168)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:14:25 PM EST
    My uncle had a friend in high school whose parents perished in the disaster. According to the story, they managed to place him and his little brother in a large oak tree that could withstand the deluge, before being swept away themselves. Afterward, the boys' aunt and uncle adopted them, hence their relocation to Pasadena.

    The collapse of the St. Francis Dam is the reason why we now require peer review of all public works projects prior to their approval.

    The dam was the brainchild of William Mullholland, chief engineer of the Dept. of Power and Water in Los Angeles. At 70 years old, he was the premier civil engineer of his time, have designed both the Owens Valley and Los Angeles Aqueducts in addition to having been one of the primary architects for the Panama Canal. Nobody questioned his calculations and judgment when he raised the dam's threshold in mid-construction to allow for greater reservoir capacity.

    But that single change actually moved the dam's center of gravity about 120 feet in front of its siting, which meant that the dam was evermore being pushed forward from the top it filled to capacity. It stood at final capacity, filled to within six inches of the dam's top, for only three days before it suffered its catastrophic failure, and unleashed a 15 billion gal. torrent of water upon unsuspecting residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.


    "Habemus Papum." (none / 0) (#164)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:51:46 PM EST
    White smoke is pouring from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

    And we have (none / 0) (#169)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:22:31 PM EST
    an Argentinian.

    Perhaps a hiking buddy of Mark Sanford's.


    Jorge Mario Bergoglio (none / 0) (#170)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:27:46 PM EST
    He is 76, opposes gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives, is a registered Republican and a political donor to Ted Cruz.
    (some of that probably isn't true)

    Another link showing Chavez was (none / 0) (#180)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:05:13 PM EST
    Bernard-Henri Lvy - A wealthy ... (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:24:38 PM EST
    ... French socialite turned anti-socialist philosopher/writer also not a big fan of Chavez?!?

    I'm shocked!

    What does Steven Forbes think about him?


    Obama and transparency (none / 0) (#200)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:52:35 AM EST
    Two things that don't go together.

    Along with others, I've spent the last four years documenting the extreme, often unprecedented, commitment to secrecy that this president has exhibited, including his vindictive war on whistleblowers, his refusal to disclose even the legal principles underpinning his claimed war powers of assassination, and his unrelenting, Bush-copying invocation of secrecy privileges to prevent courts even from deciding the legality of his conduct (as a 2009 headline on the Obama-friendly TPM site put it: "Expert Consensus: Obama Mimics Bush On State Secrets"). Just this week, the Associated Press conducted a study proving that last year, the Obama administration has rejected more FOIA requests on national security grounds than in any year since Obama became president, and quoted Alexander Abdo, an ACLU staff attorney for its national security project, as follows:

    "We've seen a meteoric rise in the number of claims to protect secret law, the government's interpretations of laws or its understanding of its own authority. In some ways, the Obama administration is actually even more aggressive on secrecy than the Bush administration."

    Re-read that last sentence in italics. Most of those policies have been covered here at length, and I won't repeat them here. But what is remarkable is that this secrecy has become so oppressive and extreme that even the most faithful Democratic operatives are now angrily exploding with public denunciations.