Tuesday Open Thread

TalkLeft's webmaster and I have spent the entire day working on having the premium content option for our content available on this site, rather than on the new premium site. We are almost done.

We are now working with Media Pass instead of Tiny Pass, which was able to accomplish this. We had an hour and half conference call on joinme, which is pretty cool since we could each show stuff on our computers. Media Pass has incredible customer service.

So, it looks like I spent a week and half designing a site that won't be used at TalkLeft. I'd much rather have spent that time writing blogposts. But, pretty as it is, it is better to keep all TalkLeft's content in one place.

I'll be back to regular blogging soon, this is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Quoth Miss Emily Latella: (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:52:35 PM EST
    It wasn't a waste of time, Jeralyn; (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 06:15:30 AM EST
    you got lots of feedback from the community about features they'd like to see, got a chance to test the interest in a premium site, and learned a lot about what's out there now that fits what you want to do.

    I had been thinking over the last 10 days that as long as you had "original" TL up and running, it was going to be hard to wean people off of it and get them over to the new site.

    But, if you keep the original site and add a premium feature, it's going to have to be premium enough that people will have a reason to subscribe - whether it's only being able to comment if you're a premium subscriber, or not being able to see the comments without a premium membership, or only getting a limited number of page views per month before having to subscribe, there has to be an incentive greater than "look at all these cool new features."

    Looking forward to the big reveal!

    Disbuting the lies (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:52:45 AM EST
    The primary theory the the White House and various legislators having been selling on how to control cost for health care in the U.S. is "skin in the game." IOW, force people to pay more out of pocket costs so that they actually use less care. Even though people are already paying exorbitant health insurance premiums, "the powers that be" want to force everyone including Medicare patients to pay thousands of dollars in deductibles before the first dollar of insurance kicks in.

    Let's look at actual facts instead of this myth that has been devised to reduce actual health care while increasing the insurance industries bottom line:

    The International Federation of Health Plans is out with their new comparative price report for 2012 and it again shows the United States radically overpays for basically every health care service relative to any other first-world country.
    Americans do not tend to consume more health care than the rest of the first world. The sole reason we spend so much more on health care is that our government allows hospitals, drug companies, labs, insurance companies, and doctors to overcharge us. Governments in the rest of the industrialized world limit how much hospitals can charge. They do this either by having a single-payer system or imposing an all-payer price setting system. link

    Please click on the link and look at the chart that compares prices on one procedure.

    I'm not sure (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:09:35 AM EST
    Where these so-called smart people think that health care is like any other commodity - it does not follow the same laws of supply and demand.  Yes, if I finally get health insurance, I may actually go get a checkup or see the dentist if I have not in many years.  Ok, so I guess I'm using more of that particular service where before I used none.  But if I go for a yearly checkup, then there is a greater chance of 1) me taking better care of myself, and b) the doctor finding anything bad early, thus making treatment easier and cheaper, and more likely for me to recover and be healthy.  This is much less expensive for the system all around (and then prevents me from using resources that could be used for those with much more serious conditions).

    Goodness - you don't need a PhD. in Economics to see that.


    Just ask yourself "who profits" (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:41:56 AM EST
    when you or the government pays thousands of dollars in health insurance premiums and the deductibles are so high that the individual still cannot afford actual care.



    We already have so much skin in the (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:51:11 AM EST
    game, there probably isn't a dermatologist or plastic surgeon out there who could make us look presentable.

    And the skin-in-the-game argument is just so dishonest, given that it's my understanding that health care costs are already coming down.  Just as the deficit is coming down, even without all the austerity measures the deficit hysterics are so enamored of.

    So, why are these people still pushing this phony agenda?

    Three guesses, and they're all spelled m-o-n-e-y.

    The day there is more interest in seeing more of the thousands of dollars I pay in premiums each year going for actual care, and more of the few dollars I have left being available for other things, than there is in keeping insurance executive salaries and bonuses at stratospheric levels, and dividends at record rates, and maintaining an inefficient and expensive administrative structure, is the day I will know that, finally, the priorities are where they should be.

    If that moment ever comes, I will no doubt be celebrating from the great beyond, because I don't think this is going to happen in my lifetime.


    "Skin in the Game" (none / 0) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:36:18 AM EST
    cost shift proposals that were in Obama's 2013 budget recommendations:

    Significantly restructuring Medicare cost sharing is another proposal worth noting. Proposals to redesign the Medicare benefit would streamline deductibles, standardize coinsurance rates, and implement an out-of-pocket spending cap. While simplifying Medicare is a worthy goal, a recent study finds that redesigning benefits in this way would increase costs for almost three-fourths (71 percent) of beneficiaries.

    Similar proposals would prohibit or limit first
    dollar coverage in Medigap plans -- a widely used form of supplemental coverage to Medicare. Proposals to undo first dollar benefits would increase cost sharing for one in five people with Medigap. Most startling about these plans is who will be the hardest hit -- the sickest Medigap beneficiaries, who will pay the highest price.

    Taken separately or in combination, what people must understand about cost sharing, coverage and redesign proposals is this: cost savings to the federal government will be achieved by forcing people with Medicare to pay more; just how much more will depend on the seldom-discussed and hard-to-explain details embedded in these proposals. link

    Wow, sounds great to me (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 11:04:31 AM EST
    "Redesign, restructure, standardize, spending cap," .............who could ask for anything more?

    I wonder if Rosetta Stone teaches the language Washington uses? What would I look under, "up yours?"


    Reason we need to cut domestic and safety net (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    programs. Hint: It is not to reduce the deficit.

    Mr. Obama is proposing that the simplification of the corporate code should not add to the deficit, and that most or all revenue raised by closing tax breaks should be used to lower rates or offset the cost of new or existing tax breaks favoring manufacturing, clean energy, and research and development activities, according to administration officials.

    So, this plan would lower rates from 35 to 28% while cutting "loopholes." And whatever money is raised (even the estimated bilions from the backdoor tax hikes from the chained CPI) would go to new tax breaks for various industries, not to help pay for the vital programs that are on the chopping block in either the sequester or the Grand Bargain. Neither would it go to pay down the deficit. link

    We need the poor and the middle class to pay for more tax breaks for the rich.

    Not only are the folks up in D.C. wanting to rewrite the tax code, these good "religious folks" have rewritten the holy texts to read "Blessed are those who steal from the poor to give to the rich."


    And now.... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:42:15 PM EST
    The administration is finally admitting that some people's health insurance premiums could rise because of the ACA.

    The Obama administration acknowledged Tuesday that some people could see their premiums rise under the healthcare reform law.

    Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters that "there may be a higher cost associated with getting into that market" where "folks will be moving into a really fully insured product for the first time."

    The comment was among the first from the Obama administration to reveal a degree of uncertainty about the impact of the law on insurance premiums.

    But, of course:

    The secretary's concession on premiums put the White House on the defensive. When asked about Sebelius's remarks, a spokesman for President Obama said healthcare costs are falling thanks to the healthcare law.

    "I would actually point to the results that we're already seeing from the Affordable Care Act, which is a savings of $2.1 billion and the analysis from the [Congressional Budget Office] that actually says, in the future, we're gonna see rates that are lower for higher benefits," deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

    Sure, like we believe them.


    Well, what did we expect? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:12:42 PM EST
    This is the way it has been for quite awhile now.  

    One of the main reasons (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:05:33 AM EST
    Health care costs are coming down is due to the bad economy - not out of efficiencies or a higher demand.

    Drivers of the slowdown

    But what was the culprit--the recession? Federal fraud-fighting efforts? The advent of health reform?

    Mostly the economic downturn and its unusual sudden impact, the analysts said.

    Historically, NHE spending growth has fallen in the several years immediately after a recession but not during the actual downturn, according to CMS analyst Anne Martin. For example, the NHE growth rate was largely unchanged during the two previous recessions, which ran from July 1990-March 1991 and March 2001-November 2001, but declined sharply in the subsequent years.

    The most recent downturn, however, led to significant drops in out-of-pocket health spending, lower physician utilization, and fewer ED visits, tamping down the nation's NHE growth, CMS analysts said.

    And then:

    According to Stephen Heffler, director of national health statistics for CMS' Office of the Actuary, "it's too early to say that something significant and dramatic and permanent has occurred."

    And one way or another, it seems inevitable that health cost growth will resume, so long as the economy bounces back, economists suggest -- and regardless of what happens with the Affordable Care Act.

    If the law stands, CMS actuaries expect health care costs to jump by 7.4% once most provisions of the federal health reform law are implemented in 2014, including a major expansion of health coverage. Prescription drugs spending will increase by 8.8%, and spending on routine physician visits by 8.5%.

    Obama the Republican (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:50:35 AM EST
    At every turn, when his administration was supposed to be the Agent of Change, this useless pile of nothing promotes the sickening status-quo operating paradigm of this nation: "Silly complaining human citizens, don't even think for a second that you matter more than money. If it comes down to saving people or money, we will save money and let you die every time. Suck it, rubes."

    And this is our "leader." The biggest waste of eight years in the history of the modern Democratic Party.


    If only it were just a waste of time, and (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:25:20 AM EST
    not what it's really been: eight years of moving the Democratic Party to the right, and giving credibility to more Republican policy than I can stand to think about.

    It's forced me to add, when telling people that I am a registered Democrat, that I'm old-school Dem, not the new mushy-middle, authoritarian-leaning, deficit-obsessed, constitutional rights-shredding, privacy-invading, corporate-loving, cheerleader-for-crap creature that the party of Obama wants me to be.

    Geez, I don't even know why I'm still registered as a Democrat, other than that, if I were registered as an independent, or Green, I'd have no voice in MD primary elections.


    Eight years of moving the Dem party... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:59:02 PM EST
    ...to the right is certainly wasted time to me, but I certainly get your POV.

    And YOU don't know why you're a registered Democrat, well, join the exile club, dues are REALLY cheap -- as in the same dirt we usually have to eat politically.

    You put up a post last week about MMT and fiat currency, and the factual reality that the United States cannot go financially bankrupt. But currently Obama seems to be happy (post-partisan happy) to be leading the "adults in the room" call to cement the myth of money as buffalo on the prairie. That he simply can't stand up and lay out the truth, talk about the game of it all, and how we simply need to make sure the "losers" of the game are still allowed dignity and a decent life.  Being slaves to an inanimate non-object of our own creation, what sentient being wants to keep promoting this paradigm? (Except, obviously, the most financially predatory amongst us, but still...) Count me as utterly baffled. The survival instinct of it HAS to kick in soon, no?

    Don't answer that.



    You're like me... (none / 0) (#30)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:19:50 PM EST
    ...a clothespin Democrat.

    We hold our noses long enough to step into the booth to vote anti-Republican.

    Remember what a wise poster on slashdot.org said a few years back.

    "The Republicans are the party of evil, and the Democrats are the party of stupid."

    Maybe you can't fix stupid, but at least stupid's not intentionally out to screw you over.

    So you practice what self-defense you can.


    The things Democrats in power are (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:42:50 PM EST
    pushing for aren't the result of being stupid - they're the result of being completely self-absorbed and self-interested, with one eye on keeping their cushy jobs, and the other on lining up lucrative work in the private sector when someone finally gives them the boot.

    It's as if they all went to some de-programming center and had an epiphany along the lines of, "Maybe those Republicans have a point: screw being for the little people, forget about standing up for the downtrodden - there's no money in that!  I want to eat 4-star meals in cherry-paneled boardrooms, not sh!t-on-a-shingle in a soup kitchen.  I want to surround myself with people who smell like money, not people who smell like urine.  I want to retire in luxury, not in a trailer park.  Let's start the bidding at 5 million - do I hear 10 million?  Come on, Granny - you don't really need Medicare or Social Security, do you?"

    As far as I'm concerned, that's its own brand of evil, and every bit as soul-destroying.

    But maybe you're kind of right - the stupid part is that Dems keep voting for these people.  When this is what you vote for, this is what you get.  


    Florida Mom wrestles and subdues alligator (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:07:13 PM EST
    near her kids' school.
    Man, I'm betting that her kids don't give her a lot of grief.  Nor, I would imagine, would people that she's trying to arrest in her job as a deputy sheriff.  

    I love kick-a$$ women! (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:14:34 PM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 01:26:18 PM EST
    Me, too!  Isn't she great?

    I like this part: (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:13:51 PM EST
    While all this was going on Thursday afternoon, a Clermont police officer who had been called to the scene watched from a safe distance.

    "He told me straight up, 'I have no idea how to handle alligators.' I said, 'That's OK. You wait till I get him ready,'" Jessica said.

    The Clermont officer proved useful in keeping gawkers away.

    That is a great story! (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:41:06 PM EST
    I love this part:

    The Clermont officer proved useful in keeping gawkers away. Well, except for one.

    "A guy on a moped was trying to take a picture. I'm like, 'Really dude? You need to leave -- I don't need a distraction,' " Jessica said.

    It's weirdly coincidental you posted this, Zorba. Yesterday I started reading Karen Russell's novel "Swamplandia!" which is about a family that swims with--and wrestles--alligators at the gator theme park they run in Florida.


    All I have to say (none / 0) (#37)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:12:44 PM EST
    is, more power to that family (and also to Jessica, the deputy sheriff who subdued the alligator).
    I just don't think that wrestling with alligators would be at all my thing, even if I was much younger!  

    Finally, someone does something (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:32:17 PM EST
    good without having to use a gun...

    Oh, I absolutely (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 05:02:44 PM EST
    thought of this, too, Anne!   ;-)

    One of the major reasons (none / 0) (#32)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    I try to avoid traveling to Florida.  Gators and giant deadly snakes, lurking in the nearby marshes, or just on the other side of the fence.

    And not nearly enough folks around of the type like that Clermont officer.

    Much prefer taking my chances in CA with the mountain lions, coyotes and occasional Manson types.


    Not to mention (none / 0) (#36)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:09:51 PM EST
    the earthquakes in CA, brodie.
    One of these days, a huge one will occur and California is going to crack off the continent and sink into the sea.  
    Just kidding!  Well, sort of.  ;-)
    They've got hurricanes in Florida to balance off the earthquakes out in CA, of course.
    The snakes and alligators don't particularly worry me.  What I can't handle is, not the heat, but the humidity in Florida in the summer!

    Standing up for what is right (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:17:38 PM EST
    even when it is unpopular. What a concept!

    As best as I can determine, there is only one Democrat in the Senate from a red or swing state right now who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996: Sherrod Brown of Ohio. His perspective is particularly interesting, because he voted against DOMA in a state where gay marriage was so unpopular that Republicans were able to use it to turn out voters by referendum eight years later, in the 2004 presidential election.
    "Casting a controversial vote forces us as elected officials to go home and take a public opinion bath," Brown said, in a reference to Lincoln's famous formulation. "Advocating for a position, you can move the public."
    "People were very critical after the vote -- there was a lot of disagreement and anger about it," said, Brown, who won reelection by a comfortable margin last year despite running an aggressively populist campaign in the face of tens of millions of dollars in outside cash. "To me, taking a controversial position, if you believe it and you argue it, you can convince enough people that even if they don't agree with you, they'll appreciate that you stand for something."

    Take note, red state Dems. It is possible to win arguments over difficult, controversial issues, even when the politics look daunting. And if you try it, you just might find yourselves on the right side of history. link

    FBI prepares to defend warrantless 'Stingray' (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:22:39 PM EST
    cell phone tracking

    Attorneys representing the U.S. Department of Justice are expected to defend warrantless use of stingray devices, which trick mobile devices into connecting to them by impersonating legitimate cell towers.

    One win for the homeless (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 07:24:10 AM EST
    Residents of shelters, streets and cheap motels began collecting checks ranging from $400 to $750 Monday at the Loaves & Fishes homeless services complex on North C Street and other locations around town, while those with permanent addresses are getting their money in the mail.

    The payments resolve an unusual class-action lawsuit charging that Sacramento police stomped on the constitutional rights of homeless people by grabbing their belongings and throwing them away without giving the owners a chance to get them back. link

    A step in the right direction (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 12:43:57 PM EST
    The cops didn't shoot the homeless people.

    Maybe there's hope yet


    Does this mean... (none / 0) (#1)
    by unitron on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:44:33 PM EST
    ...not changing over to WordPress.com's abominable comment handling software?

    yes that's what it means (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:10:38 PM EST
    the commenting will remain the same. I agree, that was Wordpress's wost feature.

    Truthfully (none / 0) (#4)
    by sj on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 09:20:55 PM EST
    I like the cleanliness of this site better anyway.  Although it would be nice to not see ads.  Or have their scripts occasionally foul up the site.

    Did I just split an infinitive there? (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 09:21:31 PM EST
    Nah... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by unitron on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:22:03 PM EST
    ...you just knocked it around a little to let it know who's boss.

    I've got something like... (none / 0) (#8)
    by unitron on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:27:14 PM EST
    ...15 to 20% of the screen width on each side full of a whole bunch of nothing that could be full of paying ads without me getting terribly upset (of course I'm running Flashblock).

    Alternatively, the part in the middle where the comments are could be widened out into some or nearly all of that space and I wouldn't have to scroll down nearly as much.


    Yes (none / 0) (#12)
    by sj on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:04:52 AM EST
    There is a lot of unused real estate.  But I didn't think there was that much gain in the WordPress site.

    One thing I wouldn't mind... (none / 0) (#9)
    by unitron on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:28:47 PM EST
    ...is an easily locatable option to get notification emails if someone replies to one of my posts.

    That's okay, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:06:56 PM EST
    I just spent the better part of the last two weeks working on a proposed draft amendment for the Speaker, which just got deep-sixed in a Senate committee hearing an hour ago after a 15-minute discussion. Spinning one's wheels sometimes happens to the best of us.

    US vs Mexico, Azteca Stadium (none / 0) (#20)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:36:02 AM EST
    Should have been a much more exciting game to watch than it was.  Maybe partly due to Espn seeming to tamp down the crowd noise from the 105,000 Mexicans (and 500 Americans) in the stadium.

    Partly due also to the US side seeming to play for the tie, as they didn't often have sustained attacks in the Mexican side of the field.  Perhaps this was due to the fact the US squad was playing with a number of starters out with injuries, and star Donovan Landon still being on a year-long sabbatical (?).

    A frustrating two hours spent waiting for something to happen.

    At least in the previous game in Denver vs Costa Rica there was the unusual sight of a soccer game being played in a snowstorm to capture my attention.

    A draw is a win at Azteca... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:03:36 PM EST
    Mexico got robbed on the non-call on Adu that should have been a penalty kick...but thems the breaks, I'll take it!  Huge point, if not the most entertaining game.

    Good to see somebody emerge at center back...Gonzalez looks like a keeper.  Love Zusi's hustle.  Guzan had a good game in net too.


    Sure, in the context (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:24:18 PM EST
    a tie is a win for the US squad.  Comprenday.

    But from another perspective, a tie -- especially a scoreless tie and the sort of anemic scoreless tie we saw last night -- is a loss for the home viewing squad.

    I feel like calling my cable company to have those 2 hours deducted from my monthly bill!  Or calling US team coach Jurgen Klinsmann to have him send me my refund!


    I've seen worse scoreless ties... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:55:10 PM EST
    it wasn't that unwatchable brodie...Zusi's long run back to break up a good header chance for El Tri alone was reason to watch....great hustle play!  

    I also enjoyed seeing our center backs playing soundly & consistently.  Turning away all those corner kicks at the end got hair-raising.  

    But I hear ya, hardly the kind of match that will help futbol's popularity grow here in the US.



    Yes. Given that the U.S. team's record ... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 10:20:57 PM EST
    ... over the years when playing in Mexico has been rather abominable (something like 1-27-8), and further that the Mexican national team looks to one that country's stronger entries in years, and finally that Mexico has probably yet to come down off their high from upsetting Brazil last summer in the 2012 Olympics final to win the gold medal, a tie can certainly be considered a moral victory by the Americans, at least.

    True but also misleading (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:32:13 PM EST
    and unusual for Greg Sargent at the Plum Line to do that.

    Brown is now a Senator from a swing state, but when he voted on this issue he was a member of the House from the OH 13th district which has voted a Democrat to the House for 19 consecutive elections. Swing district it was not and is not.

    I think the point might be (and I (none / 0) (#41)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:40:26 PM EST
    assume you meant this as a reply to MOBlue's comment) that yes, it might not have been as courageous a vote in a safe district, but he seems to have done it without regard for how it might be used against him if he decided to seek a Senate seat, which would have been a state-wide election.

    At least I think that's a valid point.


    True (none / 0) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:58:49 PM EST
    and you are right, it was meant as a response to Mo.

    I do check out the Plum Line often (and enjoy it). Just think this article was poorly done, unless he's going to talk about current Dem Senators that were in the House in a swing district, in a red or swing state, and voted no in 1996. I'm not going to research it but a safe guess might be none.


    I think Greg already made the bet (none / 0) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:20:27 PM EST
    that there was not another Democrat in the Senate from a red or swing state that voted "NO." He did not qualify his answer by district but by whether or not the state was a red or swing state.

    As best as I can determine, there is only one Democrat in the Senate from a red or swing state right now who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996.

    The fact that an Ohio district was a Democratic district back in 1996 did not mean that the people from his district supported "gay marriage" or that Brown received support from his constituents for his vote. In fact, as Brown indicated in the article, his vote was not popular back then. A direct quote from Brown:

    "People were very critical after the vote -- there was a lot of disagreement and anger about it," said, Brown......

    Chuck Robb - (D-VA) (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:47:31 PM EST
    Voted no.

    Here are all the Democratic Senators who voted no:

    Akaka (D-HI), Boxer (D-CA), Feingold (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerrey (D-NE), Kerry (D-MA), Moseley-Braun (D-IL), Moynihan (D-NY), Pell (D-RI), Robb (D-VA), Simon (D-IL), Wyden (D-OR).

    (Here are the Representatives:)

    Only one Republican Representative, Gunderson, voted no; so did the Independent, Sanders.

    The remainder were Democrats: Abercrombie, Ackerman, Becerra, Beilenson, Berman, Brown (CA), Brown (OH), Collins (MI), Conyers, Coyne, DeFazio, Dellums, Dixon, Engel, Eshoo, Farr, Fattah, Foglietta, Frank (MA), Gejdenson, Gutierrez, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hinchey, Jackson (IL), Kennedy (MA), Kennedy (RI), Lantos, Lewis (GA), Lofgren, Maloney, Markey, Martinez, Matsui, McDermott, McKinney, Meek, Millender-McDonald, Miller (CA), Mink, Moran, Nadler, Olver, Pallone, Payne (NJ), Pelosi, Rangel, Rivers, Roybal-Allard, Sabo, Schroeder, Scott, Serrano, Skaggs, Slaughter, Stark, Stokes, Studds, Torres, Towns, Velazquez, Waters, Waxman, Williams, Woolsey.

    Two Democratic Representatives abstained: Jackson-Lee (TX) and Owens.

    (More)Chuck Robb (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:54:51 PM EST
    Since he was the only Southern Senator to vote no on DOMA, many think it was the main cause of his eventual defeat in 2001, but after his vote he said this:

    "I feel very strongly that this legislation is wrong. Despite its name, the Defense of Marriage Act does not defend marriage against some imminent, crippling effect. Although we have made huge strides in the struggle against discrimination based on gender, race, and religion, it is more difficult to see beyond our differences regarding sexual orientation. The fact that our hearts don't speak in the same way is not cause or justification to discriminate."

    Not disagreeing with you but disagreeing (none / 0) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:48:26 PM EST
    with the suggestion put out by Sargent.

    My read is Sargent puffed up an article hinting there is no backlash from a tough vote in a swing state using Brown as an example. Brown was in an overwhelmingly blue district when he voted which he had previously won 67-32 and had little to fear.

    Again, I like the Plum Line. Bookmarked and also follow him on twitter :)


    I guess I did not read it the same way (none / 0) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 05:17:05 PM EST
    Brown said that he received a lot of criticism and people were very angry with the way he voted.

    Don't forget that Sherrod won the Senate in a red or swing state despite his vote against DOMA and also coming out against Issue I in 2004 which the people in Ohio supported with 62% of their votes.

    This "the possibility" is what I took from his article - not that there is no risk.

    ....Brown, who won reelection by a comfortable margin last year despite running an aggressively populist campaign in the face of tens of millions of dollars in outside cash.

    ...if you believe it and you argue it, you can convince enough people that even if they don't agree with you, they'll appreciate that you stand for something."



    Only one small county in Ohio (none / 0) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:50:39 PM EST
    voted against Ohio issue 1 in 2004 which read:

    Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.[3]

    DC Celebrity sighting last night (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:22:02 AM EST
    As I was leaving work arond 7 last night and walking the two blocks to the parking garage, I see a town car dropping off people in front of a fancy Italian restaurant.  The weird thing is that there are two people getting out the front seat and holding open the back doors, instead of just one driver, so I figure it must be someone important.

    I was right - alighting out of the back, within touching distance of me - was Justice (and Mrs.) Antonin Scalia.  

    All that talk of gay people wanting equal rights this week must have left him hungry for some overpriced pasta!

    Two chauffeurs? (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:43:27 AM EST
    Hope that's not on the taxpayer dime.

    NBA Beat... (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:46:52 AM EST
    So nice to see Lebron's pouty face make an appearance in Chi-town last night...it had been far too long!  

    71-72 Lakers can pop their champagne...the streak is over, the streak is over...biddy bye-bye;)

    You haven't been able to say that (none / 0) (#57)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 09:17:11 AM EST
    since before the Super Bowl. Game #1 in the streak was Super Bowl Sunday. What a ride it was. 52 days of smiling for a Heat fan. 1 day for a Knicks fan. Enjoy your day :)

    Knickerbockers... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 09:25:39 AM EST
    now hold the longest current win streak at 6...back from the dead thanks to K-Mart and 6th man extraordinaire, J.R. Smith.

    See you next Tuesday!


    Went to a restaurant/club in S Beach (none / 0) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 11:19:49 AM EST
    about 5-6 years ago, and it happened to be after a Heat game, and a bunch of guys from the team came in to eat and walked by our table.

    It's one thing seeing these guys on a BB court where everyone is big so it almost seems normal, it's completely another to see them in "real life" among regular people.

    Biggest group of guys I've ever seen. And I don't just mean they were tall, they were strong as bulls. Like pro tight ends.


    Glad the Lakers streak (none / 0) (#59)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:15:09 AM EST
    is still intact, not that the current Heat squad is unworthy of holding that record.  But that 71-2 LA team was a joy to watch, back in the era of offensive basketball, back when teams were able to fast break and it wasn't much of a rarity for winning teams to score in the 130s and 140s.

    I even seem to recall that during that streak, the Lakers beat a team something like 159-99 -- or thereabouts.  They were, at the time, about as perfectly tuned a team on offense as ever played. One reason they meshed so well, and started the streak, was the retirement early in the season of 60s superstar small forward Elgin Baylor, known not only for his hang time skills near the basket, but for needing to have his hands on the ball a lot.

    The five starters became a well-oiled machine, a true team, once he stepped aside..  Besides the streak, the Lakers that year crushed a very talented NY Knicks team in the Finals.  If memory serves, before that they had to beat Kareem and Oscar Robertson of the Milwaukee Bucks, the previous year's champions.  That series I recall as a classic.

    The Bucks of the previous year also had held the record win streak -- 20 games.  So for the Lakers to win 33 in a row -- that sort of feat goes well beyond merely setting a new record.  It was an astounding accomplishment, one of the most remarkable achievements by a team in sports history.