Tuesday Night Open Thread

It's time for El Capo. How will he escape the guerrillas in Colombia?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< President of Colombia: War on Drugs a Failure | DOJ Announces Broadened Clemency Criteria for Drug Offenders >
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  • When Police State Marketing... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:38:31 AM EST
    goes wrong.  Hysterical. Very well played Tweeters!

    Hey GaDem (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:43:20 AM EST
    Just heard (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:34:59 AM EST
    Carter voted for it



    It's horrible. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:38:21 PM EST
    I'm sure the murder rate is going to go even higher and yes, I knew Carter was going to vote for it or did vote for it.

    Georgia has gone completely crazy. We have probably the most corrupt govenor in the history of the state. Too bad none of his primary opponents are going to knock him off.


    Charlie Pierce - as only he can do - (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:26:37 PM EST
    is referring to the new law as - wait for it -

    this plump turducken of pure stupid

    I'm stealing that line, which - sadly - I'm sure I will be able to put to use again and again.


    Bwahaha! (none / 0) (#151)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:10:12 PM EST
    I'm stealing it, too!

    Well, there is some hope (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:53:12 PM EST
    abounding in Georgia;  Three couples and a widow challenged  the state's ban on same sex marriage in federal court. The plaintiffs are two police officers, the owners of a pet daycare center, an attorney and a realtor, and a woman whose partner recently died and whose death certificate was required to state  that the deceased was "never married." (the couple was legally married in another state).  The state attorney general said he will defend the constitutional amendment passed by Georgia voters in 2004.  

    Got caught up on TURN (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:39:32 PM EST
    It's excellent.
    (I think it was you who commented about it the other day)

    Glad to learn (none / 0) (#58)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:12:08 PM EST
    that you like it.  I really enjoy it.

    Oh, I'm sure (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:11:43 PM EST
    he'll defend the constitutional amendment and I'm sure he'll be glad to more than waste taxpayer money going after this but the Attorney General in KY did the same thing until he had to say look guys, you're not gonna win. The supreme court has ruled and I'm not going to waste any more money.

    Anyhow that consitutional ban on gay marriage that was passed in 2004 is a constant reminder of the dreadful Bush Administration's ploy to draw voters out to vote for him but now it's another thing that is going to trash his legacy even more and remind voters especially young ones why they dislike the GOP so much.


    The coming elections are what (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:20:00 PM EST
    Is driving everything right now.  So just when you think it can't it loonier it will.  And then it will again.

    Oh, yeah (none / 0) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:33:30 PM EST
    It's what is causing the GOP senate candidates to go full on crazy every day. All the Republicans here are pandering to the far, far right hence Nathan Deal's gun legislation. He is really worried about the GOP base showing up but the last time I looked the GOP base was only about 33% of the voters in GA and the GOP is seriously worried that Deal's massive corruption is going to cause a lot of them to sit home in November. I mean the guy never was a favorite and his approval rating is sitting in the low 40's.

    Apparently Carter outraised him 4 to 1 last quarter too.


    Yes, these state (none / 0) (#57)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:11:10 PM EST
    constitutional amendments are a legacy of Bush and his brain (Karl Rove).   The sponsor of the Georgia bill, former  Republican State Senator Mike Crotts, is quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constituion as saying that he knew the issue would resurface again in the courts. "Its their right, but I'm a Christian and I just believe in what the Bible says."  

     And, then added, "if an individual wants to make that choice, to get married, that's fine  But I don't have to agree with it."  My response to Mr. Crotts would be (a) maybe he needs to re-think marriage definition, in several ways.  For starters, a marriage takes two, so it would not be the "individual's" decision but the two individuals decision.  And, (b) it isn't important that he agrees, at least, not any more.  He did his damage to equality in 2004.   Let's hope the judge undoes his contribution.


    All I can (none / 0) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:37:24 PM EST
    say is sometimes we are in competition with Oklahoma for stupid down here in GA.

    So now he's basically saying it's fine to get married but he supported a constitutional amendment banning the same.



    Drunk people in bars with guns (none / 0) (#48)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:21:19 PM EST
    and vigilante KKK armed neighbor hood watch kinds of groups. Hard to tell the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys'. Maybe everyone should be required to own guns for protection from the good guys having off days.

    Another 'ACA is doomed!' meme bites the dust (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jtaylorr on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:39:07 AM EST
    Looks like Obamacare's impending implosion, now 6 months behind schedule, will have to wait even longer.

    "As of this week, we have good evidence to the contrary. Health insurance premium rates are expected go up just 7 percent--a rate of increase much lower than what critics were predicting. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting that premium hikes will be relatively modest."

    "The origin of these critics' argument can be traced to a thinly sourced article in The Hill, which quoted a former Cigna executive saying things like, `My gut tells me that, for some people, these increases will be significant.' The reports about insurance rates possibly tripling, which were widely repeated, appear to come from a single anonymous insurance executive."

    There are those who criticize Obamacare in good faith, rightfully comparing its shortcomings to other international healthcare systems with lower costs and better outcomes, all while acknowledging that we don't live in a vacuum and that ACA is far better than the state of our healthcare system prior to its passage. Then there are the concern/doom trolls who are constantly reminding us that Obamacare is doomed to failure and just a few months away from total collapse, based on nothing more than right-wing talking points and 'gut' feelings. I have no problem with the former (I'm one of them); I have have many problems with the latter. If your arguments are based on nothing but a Hill article (go read the comments on the Hill article to see the company that doom trolls keep) sourced entirely from anonymous insurance officials, chances are you're losing the argument.

    Not that I expect this news to have any effect on the arguments of TL's resident Obamacare doom trolls. The funny/sad part is that setting this high expectation for the law's complete failure makes things like a 7% premium increase seem not so bad, even though any cost rises above the rate of inflation shouldn't be anything to celebrate. Hyperbolic criticism only helps Obamacare, and drowns out more nuanced and well-evidenced criticism.

    ACA may have, at its roots, (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:32:54 PM EST
    a misconception embodied in its name (and I don't mean Obamacare).  But rather, the Affordable Care Act.  A more apt title might be the Health Insurance and Protection Act.   Providing health insurance coverage for those uninsured and protecting everyone against the risk of losing the insurance they have should be thought of as the primary goal.

    Certainly, no small feat.  Prior to ACA, most Americans did not realize how vulnerable they were to loss  of health insurance or to crippling restrictions that may have been inflicted upon them.  

    It was not just a lack of money that caused many to be uninsured, it was a lack of access--being denied because they were too sick or had pre-existing conditions.   And, the bulk of the insured who received coverage through their employers were finding, with the rise in health costs, that the policies provided were much less valuable, higher deductibles and co-payments.  While some pine for the good old policies, more likely than not, they did not know what coverage they really had. Often, as with any insurance you don't know how good it is until you need it.

    While ACA appears to be impacting costs, the "bending of the curve" is likely a mix of the deep recession as well as cost reductions anticipated or implemented by ACA (e.g., targets to induce hospital efficiencies and economies, incentives/disincentives for re-admissions, computerized records, and preventative services.)    

    But, in my view, the basic issue is that health care, itself, is increasingly, unaffordable.  Shifting costs is just that, a shift from the government or insurer to the consumer.  But the costs remain.  It is the nature of progress in health care--new technologies and new drugs to treat the previously untreatable are expensive.

    For example, the drug, Sovaldi, to treat Hepatitis C, costs $1000 per tablet; requiring, typically, 84 doses ($84,000).  Similarly,  less than 10 years ago, an illness such as myeloid leukemia had a bleak prognosis; today it can be managed so that patients can expect to die of old age.  But, at a cost that is prohibitive for almost all without insurance coverage.

    Health care costs are now at about 18 percent of GDP and are expected to rise.  ACA can assist in keeping the rate of increase down as well as premiums.   But,  add the costs resulting from more being insured and expecting care.   And, cutting costs may not be the total answer, for as costs are reduced, so, too, will be the demand for, and utilization of,  those services.  


    When all is said and done, (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:48:54 PM EST
    health insurance is really just another means of transferring wealth, isn't it?  It comes out of my pocket, and goes into the pockets of an insurance company, which decides how much of it they will part with to pay providers of actual care.  My deductibles go to providers.  My co-pays go to providers.

    Providers claim they aren't being sufficiently compensated for their services.  They raise their fees in order to garner more of the reimbursement.  But that also raises my costs.

    If I can't afford those costs, what am I getting for my premiums?

    And here's the question no one's answering: are we healthier?  Are more babies making it out of infancy?  Are more people living longer?  Is the quality of life we are getting in exchange for all these costs and premiums a fair trade?


    These are (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:11:03 PM EST
    daunting questions.  My feeling is that we are healthier, but at a cost.  Moreover, good health is also related to economics.  For example, babies born into poor families will be disadvantaged.

    From an economic point of view, I am often perplexed by the concerns for the health care share of GNP (18 percent).  That is a sizable sector that provides many goods and services.  Manufacturing is about 64 percent of GNP and we would like it to be greater.  Arms sales is about one percent of GNP, and, apparently, this could never be cut.  As it is said, if you do not have health, you do not have anything.  Of course, if health care's share increases, something else will have to give.  And, what could that be, defense spending?  Not likely.


    Well, Anne, if only you ... (none / 0) (#158)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 05:14:51 PM EST
    ... as a woman worked harder, took the risks that men take on a daily basis and were more motivated by money, then you'd deserve equal pay and thus, maybe you'd have just enough funds to survive a major health crisis without it bankrupting the family.

    America's GOP: Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1899.


    Is that an opinion? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by sj on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:33:42 PM EST
    Prior to ACA, most Americans did not realize how vulnerable they were to loss  of health insurance or to crippling restrictions that may have been inflicted upon them.
    That's a serious question. Because in my experience (and opinion) this is far from true. If you get this from a study, I would like to see it.



    Thank you for (none / 0) (#63)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:27:45 PM EST
    the opportunity to clarify--yes, it is my opinion, one formed on the basis of situations occurring and contemplated.  What I intended to convey was, for example, the vulnerability owing to the lock between employment and insurance (and loss of job/loss of insurance, restrictions that were increasing with prior approvals for procedures and treatment,  cost-driven reductions in benefits and increases in out-of-pocket.  

    I see (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by sj on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:09:46 PM EST
    Thanks for clarifying. This is an excellent example of how the same information can lead to very different conclusions.
    What I intended to convey was, for example, the vulnerability owing to the lock between employment and insurance (and loss of job/loss of insurance, restrictions that were increasing with prior approvals for procedures and treatment,  cost-driven reductions in benefits and increases in out-of-pocket.
    In my circles, this vulnerability was a topic of conversation every year for weeks when it was time to [re]select the benefit package for the coming year. This was true long before Obama's presidency, much less post-ACA.

    I expect we are both going by what we observed.


    Thanks to the U.S.'s unwillingness to (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:02:31 AM EST
    negotiate drug prices, we are paying $34,000 more for Sovaldi per treatment than our Canadian brethren.

    In the U.S., it has priced the drug at $84,000 US for one 12-week course of treatment. Some patients may need to take a second course, raising the price to $168,000 US. In Canada, the company established a price of $55,000 Cdn for the same 12-week course of treatment.

    At current conversion rate, Canadians are paying approximately $49,900 for the same drug. Once, again the cost difference is per treatment. Some patients need more than one treatment which means we are paying $68,000 more for their treatment.

    MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than 2.7 million Americans are currently infected with liver-damaging hepatitis C, federal officials say, and one expert believes that number could be even higher.

    Yes, medical treatment is expensive and it is much more expensive in the U.S. due to our politicians unwillingness to challenge Pharma and their willingness to fill their campaign chests with their contributions instead.


    It's the same old story, and I don't know (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:07:11 AM EST
    why people don't understand it: it's about companies wanting to maintain their bottom line, so that if they are discounting for one customer, they are tacking on the difference on another.

    We saw this for years with what people with insurance were being charged versus people without.

    We get it: it's a business, and businesses exist to make money.  But we're not talking about one person getting a deal on a car, and another paying full price-plus - we're talking about business practices and decisions that affect whether people live or die.  


    Exactly, Anne (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:33:25 PM EST
    I have long maintained that, regarding medicines, we are subsidizing Canada and Western Europe and other countries that have some form of universal health care or single payer.
    If the drug companies charge them less because those countries negotiate a lower price, they're going to charge us more.
    When Medicare D came into existence, not only did the "doughnut hole" drive me up a wall, I was infuriated that it expressly forbid the government from negotiating better prices for drugs from the companies.  
    If our government would negotiate, we would pay a little less for drugs, and the other countries would pay a little more.
    Seems fairer to me than us subsidizing the other countries.

    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:49:46 PM EST
    Another link in that same article says things like this (so no, it isn't just "a Hill article"):

    Insurance premiums reflect what's known as "medical trend"--a metric that combines the growth in the cost of health care services with the rate at which people use those services. Health care spending has been growing at record lows for the past few years, and while the White House has claimed that Obamacare deserves at least some of the credit, the broader economic climate is also a big part of the reason. The Kaiser Family Foundation has found that health care spending rises and falls with the economy, but lags a few years behind. That means the economic recovery might be about to show up in health care--and make premiums more expensive.

    "Based on our model, right about now is when you'd expect the improvements in the economy to start putting pressure on health care costs," Levitt explains. He says medical trend will probably pick up by 5 percent or 6 percent next year.

    On top of that, one of the health care law's safety-net programs for insurers begins to scale down next year. The law pumped $10 billion in reinsurance payments into the market this year, to help offset the risk insurers shouldered by entering a new and unknown market. Those payments scale down to $6 billion in 2015. According to Levitt, that could add another 3 or 4 percentage points to premiums, on top of medical costs. "You could get pretty close to 10 percent just by those two factors alone," he says.

    Other analysts agree it will average out to increases of 6% per year from now until 2016.

    For example - Florida:

    Most of the consumers who bought a private health plan from Florida Blue through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges between October and April were previously uninsured -- one of many factors potentially leading to higher premium rates in 2015, according to a senior executive.

    Jason Altmire, a former Pennsylvania congressman and now senior vice president of public policy for Florida Blue, cited familiar reasons for a likely rise in rates next year, including the requirement that insurers no longer exclude those with pre-existing conditions, charge equal rates regardless of gender and charge older members no more than three times the amount paid by younger ones.

    Other reasons consumers may see higher premiums in 2015, he said, include the Obama administration's decision to allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans for an additional year even if the plans did not meet the coverage requirements of the health law. Altmire said that most consumers signed up through the exchange were previously uninsured Americans who may have delayed seeking medical care, making them potentially more costly to insure."A lot of them aren't in the best of health," he said, noting that consumers who signed up at the outset of open enrollment were likely the ones who needed it most. "We expect it to cost more to insure them because of deferred health needs."

    But even the CBO is hedging its bets:

    The CBO cautioned that healthcare premiums are difficult to predict and said premiums in some parts of the country could be much higher or lower than its projection for 2015.

    So...basically, everyone's guessing. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:56:15 PM EST
    And where the guesses fall is probably dependent on where the guessers' interests lie.  

    Or whether the guessers are lying, or - to be fair - shading and shaping the facts and circumstances to fit whatever the agenda is, or where the bottom line needs to be for maximum effect.

    We're still talking mostly about the cost of something that doesn't, in and of itself, deliver any actual care, as much as it serves as a passport to care that one may or may not be able to actually afford.  Yes, some things are "free," in the sense that no deductibles or co-pays have to be paid, but those "free" things are the ready-made excuses for why insurance companies will have to raise rates - because premiums are allegedly footing the bill for the free stuff.

    Your mammogram may be free, but the biopsy or further testing or surgery or chemo or radiation that may be needed are going to come with a bill.  What if you can afford to find out you are sick, but you can't afford to get well?

    This is not a new question - it's been around since long before the ACA; it's why millions of people didn't get the care they needed.  What is being done to fix that problem?  Will the ACA help with that problem?

    I've always been a little skeptical about the issue of health care spending: does it going down mean people are needing less care, that people are healthier, or does it mean just that less money's being spent, but it's not translating to better health?

    Whatever benefits the ACA brings to the table - and there are some - I have to stick to what I think it an immutable truth: that as long as there are private, for-profit, insurance companies at the heart of the system, the system will continue to break down.  And as long as those charged with regulation and oversight allow themselves to be bullied by the health industry lobby, the more loopholes, tricks and traps the industry will continue to exploit at our collective expense.


    Concerning (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:41:14 PM EST
    To my knowledge, for each of last year and the year before, health insurance costs increased well over 20%, and health insurance companies have recognized record profits.  The ACA provides no caps on what the insurance companies may charge.

    Knowledge (none / 0) (#77)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:44:32 PM EST
    Good to look deeper (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:28:29 AM EST
    First, the article you cite speaks only about quarterly results.  Second, it cites the hit to earnings resulting from drug development.  Quarterly statements are usually not audited; annual audited financial statements are available for public companies, and the "MD&A" -- Management's Discussion and Analysis Section of the annual report (or 10K in SEC jargon) often explains what parts of a company's business are responsible for reduction/increases in earnings. Usually quarterly statements report decline in earnings as compared to the same quarter for the prior year, so do not represent the whole year.  

    Wow (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:48:22 PM EST
    I thnk that's what is called crying all the way to the bank

    Knowledge is better served by (none / 0) (#80)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:59:20 PM EST
    reading the entirety of the article you offered because of the headline.

    What I got out of the article was confirmation that insurance companies are assessing where the soft spots are and positioning themselves to shore up their already obscene profits.

    And darn that super-expensive Hep C pill, eh?


    I suspect squeaky read the article (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:08:00 PM EST
    I did.  As far as what you got out if it, that sometimes has a lot to do with what you bring with you.

    Off topic (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:15:21 PM EST
    But what in the heck is tea room queen in technical terms please kind sir? :)

    MAN (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:23:23 PM EST
    Things are getting grim on the Americans.
    The cello music didn't stop for the whole episode.

     I thought the preacher was a goner for sure.


    Foreboding cello music ... (none / 0) (#165)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:28:19 PM EST
    ... is most always a dead giveaway, and often telegraphs a character's fate as ham-handedly as these particular Hollywood plot devices, lampooned so effectively by The Simpsons over the course of several episodes during one season. (Even the cello player himself wasn't spared!)

    It was sort of hilarious (none / 0) (#166)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:44:43 PM EST
    It was supposed to be a very grim episode.  And I kept giggling .

    Ditto (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:16:24 PM EST
    Chipped beef on toast feeding a 100.  I loved those little boil bags when I was a teen.  I figured I ate the preacher long ago, several days in a row.

    Ha (none / 0) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:19:18 PM EST
    It's is loosely defined as one who haunts public restrooms and like places looking for sex.  
    I assume that is about the Americans possible Ollie character.
    Sorry still giggling
    In his case he was afaik only having sex in an alley behind a seedy bar.   But this who know, know a tea room queen when we see one.

    Currently waiting about 30 minutes in so I can skip the commercials.


    God (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:21:44 PM EST
    My misspelled words would make more sense than the sentences spell correct makes



    So what about the Celebrators? (none / 0) (#107)
    by Slado on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:48:41 AM EST
    Obamacare should now be used as a term for this administrations figure it out as you go policy as they balance political concerns with the health of 8 million people.    The "law" is inconsequential now.  The law he signed doesn't exist anymore.   It's rewritten every day as he delays this and that and rewrites the rules to counter the obvious shortcomings.

    All that is certain is it will cost more then they said it would.

    To anyone who'd claim this was a success I'd ask by what measure?   What's the new goal?   Because the original one of insuring the uninsured doesn't even seem relevant anymore.

    It seems to me the proponents of this law consistently move the goal post so that any type of success can be claimed.

    If the doomsayers are irrational what do we call the celebrators?


    Well (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:12:17 AM EST
    First the CBO says you are wrong

    CBO: Obamacare Will Cost Less Than Projected, Cover 12 Million Uninsured People

    I would ask one of those 12 million people if it is inconsequential.  Like me.  I am one and as far as I am concerned you cal call me insured.  Something I have not been for more than two years


    Btw (none / 0) (#111)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:20:52 AM EST
    They also project that by 2016 it will cover 25  to 30 million

    I'm not sure you read that correctly. (none / 0) (#112)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:47:41 AM EST
    Even with those gains, a good chunk of the country will still lack coverage. The number of uninsured in 2014 will be 42 million people, according to the CBO. It will fall to 36 million in 2015 and 30 million in 2016 and 2017.

    Unless I don't understand English as well as I thought I did, I think this says that between now and 2017, 12 million more will be insured, but there will still be 30 million uninsured.


    CBO pdf (none / 0) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:45:14 PM EST
    CBO and JCT estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will increase the proportions of the non elderly population with insurance from 80 to 85% ---
    CBO and JCT project that 12 million non elderly will be insured by 2014 , 19 million by 2015 and 25 million by 2016.



    Oh (none / 0) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:56:55 PM EST
    And about the. 30 million still uninsured that same PDF projects that from 2017 to 2024 the number will increase by another 20 some million a year.  I don't remember the exact number and don't feel like looking again.  But feel free.

    For the record (none / 0) (#119)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:54:10 PM EST
    That stat did not come from that article nor did I say it did.  I have seen it many places.

    Why is the IRS paying any of its (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:30:00 AM EST
    employees bonuses, never mind the employees who owe back taxes?  Are any other federal employees except reenlisting active duty military eligible for bonuses?


    Just saw this (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:32:37 AM EST
    Why don't they put a " kick me" sign on their backsides

    CALLING nystray (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:58:31 PM EST

    We need an update on stray puppy. Please.

    Her legs got longer overnight :) (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:16:56 PM EST
    lol!~ She's still here.* I've taken her everywhere I can think of to find her owners and keep looking for signs# they are looking for her. She's not chipped and vet agrees she's about 6-7mos old and weighs 41.5lbs. She's still an easy keeper (even with what seems to be ZERO training) and I'm actively looking for a home for her while looking for her original parents. She'll be joining us at the community garden on Sat for our monthly workday/potluck.

    Anybody want a puppy?!

    *photo is from Sat or Sun before her legs sprouted some more.

    #Craigslist, Animal Control, Humane Society, our NextDoor group (which is LARGE), signs around the 'hood etc. Shop owners, Farmer's Market, walks to populated places, vet office, you name it. {sigh}


    This dog is brilliant to end up w/you! (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:25:56 AM EST
    Often thought dogs do as much of the (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:20:32 AM EST
    Picking as we do.  When my ghost was injured he could have showed up on the porch of any house in my neighborhood.  But he didn't.

    CAStray Meets nycstray (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:10:58 AM EST
    I think you have a new dog!



    Nope! She's just a foster. (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:24:10 AM EST
    She should be easy to find a home for. She'd be a great family dog, wouldn't knock little kids over because she's so gentle. I'm taking her to a few events this weekend to get her some exposure . . .

    Really should be easy (none / 0) (#190)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:30:54 AM EST
    She's a beauty

    Boo (none / 0) (#191)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 12:01:03 PM EST
    I though it was kismet....  ok..  you have to manage your life, and a second BIG dog (Puppy) is a lot to take on.  

    Nah, she's not 'my' doggie (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 12:36:24 PM EST
    as lovely as she is. Plus, Rox still has a lot of puppy in her, lol!~. I'm not planning a second dog (Dal) until next summer and there's only so much room at the inn :)

    Big Paws (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:15:37 AM EST
    Going to be a BIG DOG...  the little one can get rides on her back..

    just have to design a nice saddle..  

    they are going to be funny together.


    I'm thinking the same thing (none / 0) (#153)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:15:47 PM EST
    Six months old or so, and already 41.5 pounds?  With those paws, I wouldn't be surprised if she becomes a 70 pound dog.  If not more.
    But cute as he!!       ;-)
    If I were nearby, and if Mr. Zorba was not allergic to almost every dog except for poodles, I would so be there to adopt her!

    My Chow has (none / 0) (#201)
    by sj on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:29:33 PM EST
    shown me that big paws don't always mean big dog. She has the feet and the voice of a dog much larger than 40 lbs. So her tracks and her bark could be a huge security advantage.

    What a face (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:16:33 AM EST
    I'm glad you don't live anywhere near me.

    You and squeaky said what I was going to say (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:01:08 PM EST
    a. If that puppy were within a 500 mile radius I would be in the car right now coming to get her

    b. Those are some huge freakin' paws!


    She's officially up for adoption :) (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:18:39 AM EST
    The weather in the Bay Area is supposed to be really nice next week, so you can always take a quick vacation and stop on by and get her ;)

    At this point (none / 0) (#202)
    by sj on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:31:37 PM EST
    I'm not sure her people deserve her. It is very good luck for her that she found you. I know you'll find a good home for her.

    At the Bundy (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:56:20 AM EST
    Ranch Mr. Bundy has been giving interviews and is now talking, talking, talking. He's saying that African Americans were better off in slavery etc.

    Seems the GOP has another Duck Dynasty situation on their hands and they are like rats trying to jump off a ship.

    Well, when you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas as we say down here in GA.

    Holy hell (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:56:10 AM EST
    I think what he actually said needs to be seen by as many as possible - I edited it slightly to be safe

    "I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negr@," the rancher began as he described a "government house" in Las Vegas where he recalled that all the people who sat outside seemed to "have nothing to do."

    "And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?" he said, as quoted by the Times. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."

    This from a moron who has raised freeloading to an art form.  It's absolutely unbelievable


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:14:02 AM EST
    that's a tea partier for you. I think you can safely say that John Stewart won his battle with Hannity. Of course, though winning a battle with Hannity is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    You let these people keep talking and since they reside in a bubble they think what they are saying is what most people think they are going to continually shoot themselves in the foot. The funniest thing is all the Republicans that ran up to defend this joker.


    In conversation with a friend this morning (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:47:45 AM EST
    we both realized the importance of standing back sometimes ... as in the case of this Bundy and his illegitimate use of the land.  Funny, we said, how this may all have much more import to the detriment of Bundy & his followers than the old rushing-in approach that often confers secular martyrdom.  It seems, really, the Administration may have exercised the best possible strategy by standing back and waiting as Bundy continued to talk, blab, and boast ... and hold forth about the ugly and racist sentiments that he harbors.  For all to see ....

    Maybe the BLM wasn't so much lucky to be dealing with a fool, as the Bureau (and the management thereof) was smart in allowing Bundy to show himself as the fool that he is.


    Indeed... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:51:02 PM EST
    score one for anti-authoritarianism in this case.  The feds called off the dogs, and gave the problem child enough rope to hang himself.  Nobody got shot.  No people died, only 6 cows...and if they by chance got turned into steaks and burgers, no harm done at all!

    More of this style of conflict resolution please!!! ;)  I mean sh*t, the unpaid fees have already paid for themselves ten-fold in positive government pr.  If the feds had not backed down, anti-government sentiment would have gone through the roof...and perhaps partly rightly so.  

    Compare this to say Waco or the Elian Gonzalez affair during the Clinton admin.  This is sooo much better, and safer.


    And what was wrong with the way ... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:47:22 PM EST
    ... the feds handled the Elián González case?

    Let's please remember that this then-six-year-old child had first been kidnapped by his mother in Cuba, and then further put in serious harm's way by her and her boyfriend, who then perished with eight others in a foolhardy attempt to float across the Straits of Florida on a homemade raft. Elián was subsequently rescued as the sole survivor of that ordeal, and only after his Miami relatives waged a prolonged and politically-charged custody battle was he finally and properly returned to his father in Cuba unharmed, as he should have been in the first place.

    As for Elián's red-baiting great-uncle Lázaro González and his family, they had continued to hold little Elian illegally and in complete defiance of repeated orders from both the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the INS -- further upheld by a federal judge -- that they return him to the lawful custody of his father. And while they might have gotten their feathers a little ruffled at the tail end of their Andy Warhol-allotted 15 minutes, the only thing that got hurt was their pride. Federal agents swarmed their house that night so fast that they had already grabbed the kid and withdrew, before anyone there could react foolishly and put others in serious jeopardy.

    Quite frankly, given the personal disrespect they repeatedly heaped upon her, I've always felt that then-Atty. Gen. Janet Reno showed extraordinary patience and restraint in this case, and actually went pretty easy on Uncle Lázaro & Co. They should consider themselves lucky that she didn't also decide to arrest and make examples of them all, given the fact that they were the sole source of a lot of totally unnecessary pain and bull$H!+, well above and beyond what had already happened to the boy.

    Janet Reno certainly didn't do what Vice President Al Gore did, which was to first shamefully hold a finger in the air to gauge the prevailing political winds and then blow with the breeze. While the actions she took to ensure that justice was finally and properly done in this case may not have been politically popular with significant segments of our often-mercurial U.S. electorate, I remain of firm belief that ordering federal agents to immediately relieve Lázaro González of his self-anointed custodial rights over Elián was absolutely the right thing to do -- legally, ethically and morally.

    Elián's father, Juan Miguel González, had been twice victimized -- first by the boy's mother who clearly took the child illegally and without his consent, and then by his own estranged relatives in Miami, who wouldn't give the boy back because they were more interested with scoring political points as anti-Communists in their own Cuban-American community, than they were with the child's actual well being. Sorry, but Juan Miguel's Cuban citizenship and membership in that country's Communist Party did not rise to anywhere near a sufficient legal threshold to warrant losing permanent custody of his own young son to those clowns.

    To have allowed that farce to continue any longer might well have resulted in a clear travesty of justice, in which short-term political interests triumphed over those universal family values rooted in both common sense and human decency.



    Yes. (5.00 / 3) (#157)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:52:00 PM EST
    The whole Elián Gonzalez case was totally corrupted by the anti-Castro Cuban-American community.  Which wields a power way disproportionate to their numbers.  And which both political parties seem to kow-tow to.
    And never mind the best interests of this child.  He was not close to his relatives in the US, if he even knew them.
    I have never understood the rabid anti-Cuban stance of our government.  Especially considering the fact that we are perfectly willing to have trade relationships and travel between our country and China, another Communist country, and frankly, a far more powerful one than Cuba.
    Why do the Cuban-Americans hold this much power?

    In this case, justice triumphed. (none / 0) (#161)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 05:54:15 PM EST
    But that was only because Janet Reno had a backbone, and proved herself willing to expend whatever amount of political capital it took to ensure that it would in fact finally prevail.

    I've always found it embarrassing to see members of both major parties fall all over themselves in a perpetually shameless kowtow to the Cuban-American vote. Some Democrats even went further back then, and actually argued that Janet Reno may have cost Al Gore Florida in the 2000 election because she drew such a hard line in this matter.

    But to me, if you as a politician don't stand upon bedrock principle, then what good are you to the greater community, really? And honestly, doing the right thing -- particularly in something so obvious as this case -- should always be something that's worth risking an election over.

    A very good friend of mine is a former long-term state representative from Makiki Heights in Honolulu, who lost his seat in 1996 by only 87 votes, in large part because he and seventeen other colleagues -- including three Republicans, I might add -- adamantly refused to amend the state constitution for the purpose of banning same-sex marriage.

    Having failed to obtain two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment in the State House, the measure failed, and those voters opposed to marriage equality subsequently visited their wrath upon those legislators who had stood in their way, with fourteen of those members losing their bids for re-election. Hawaii's 1996 state elections resulted in a political bloodbath.

    When Gov. Abercrombie signed the bill in October of last year making Hawaii the 15th state to legalize marriage equality, he invited my friend as the then-leader of that dissident faction and several of his former colleagues to stand next to him, and be publicly recognized for having courageously taken a once very unpopular political stance, one which has since been vindicated by both time and events.

    As my friend noted in public remarks that day, the immediate sting of the voters' public rebuke might well be harsh, but the ultimate judgment of history should you fail to heed your own conscience can be far more damning in its long-term consequence, to say nothing of its lasting and corrosive effect upon your own soul. He is much more proud of having lost that particular election on principle, than he is for having first been elected to the legislature a dozen years years prior.



    My next door neighbor is a Cuban whose family (none / 0) (#178)
    by Angel on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:08:30 PM EST
    sought asylum here 46 years ago, and he grew up in south Florida Cuban community.  I'm glad we weren't living next door to them when the Elian Gonzalez case was going on!  

    Donald, how are you? (none / 0) (#149)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:49:29 PM EST
    Glad to see you back.

    I'm very sore, but otherwise okay. (5.00 / 6) (#156)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:46:52 PM EST
    They removed my lymph nodes on both my lower right neck area and in my lower abdominal area. I was in the hospital for two days, and came home yesterday afternoon. Today and tomorrow, I'm going to sit home, nap and watch sports, and try to regain my strength.

    The nodes in my neck were malignant, which we already knew, but the ones in the abdomen were biopsied and thankfully came back negative for malignancy. They were evidently swollen as a result of a previously undiagnosed low-grade but systemic bacterial infection, which had been causing me a little discomfort on my right side and was probably the source for my recent but persistent low-grade fever of between 99 and 100 degrees, and also caused my spleen to distend a little.

    Anyway, I'm presently on an antibiotic regimen to remove the infection before I can start further treatment. The oncologist said everything looks good and that he's quite confident that the malignancy has all been removed surgically, but given my medical history I will require six months of radiation and chemotherapy to ensure that the situation is firmly resolved in my favor. We'll start all that in about three to four weeks, and I may or may not lose my hair, and there will undoubtedly be days when I'll really feel like crap. So if I get log on here at TL and sound extra b*tchy, you'll know why.

    One day at a time, as they say. And in that regard, I'm going to go back to work next week and re-establish my routine. I've got to catch up with two clients in Hilo, so I'll go over there on Wednesday night, The Spouse will fly in on Friday afternoon and we'll spend the weekend. We'll see Younger Daughter for dinner on Friday night, but she's otherwise going to be busy because the spring semester at UH-Hilo is almost over and finals will shortly be upon her, and I've already distracted her enough. She returned to school last night.

    Thank you for asking. Aloha.


    Glad to hear (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 05:38:52 PM EST
    you came through everything fine!

    Ditto (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:33:29 PM EST
    To that

    I agreed.. (none / 0) (#187)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:17:09 AM EST
    with the decision to return the boy to his father...my problem with how it was handled is best illustrated by photo.  I mean c'mon, a para-military style raid with machine guns?  Was that show of force and additional trauma really necessary?  Personally I don't think so.

    PS...Get well and rest-up Don, glad to hear everything is going as well as it can be so far.  Hang in there bro!


    ... did you really expect the DOJ to just knock politely on the door that night, and simply ask for the child to be handed over? That family got exactly what they had long courted. They had repeatedly acted as though they were desirous of a confrontation, and surprise! They got one.

    And honestly, these U.S. Marshal's teams are trained professionals, not cowboys, and they knew there was a child involved. The tactic they used is a classic one, requiring the team(s) to quickly move in on the target with such an overwhelming display and preponderance of force that any persons inside will naturally and instinctively think twice about offering any resistance. While it undoubtedly looks capricious and brutal, 99 times out of 100 deployments it actually prevents serious injuries from occurring and saves lives. That's what happened here. Mission accomplished, no one was hurt, and the child was returned to his father.

    Thank you so much for the kind thoughts. I appreciate it. Aloha.


    Yeah why not? (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 12:54:21 PM EST
    What makes you think state agents in suits and ties and holstered weapons would have failed to return the boy to his parent?  These weren't militia maniacs armed to the teeth Don.

    And I'd say it doesn't just look brutal, it was brutal.  And unnecessary.  Non-violent conflict resolution should always be the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth choice.  That's what we teach our kids right?  


    The govt was never going to shoot anyone (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:02:03 PM EST
    It spite of what Hannity says.

    Unless they were shot at.  Which looked like a real possibility for a while.


    I don't know what country you live in... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:18:39 PM EST
    but the one I live in, state agents shoot people all the time.  Sometimes justified, sometimes not.  Not to mention the epidemic "non-lethal" brutality.

    The BLM chill-ax here is a refreshing approach to a legal conflict...granted, the fact that the wanteds here are white country folk might have something to do with it...The New Black Panthers pull a stunt like this the outcome may have well been very different.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#115)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:17:53 PM EST
    but I don't think that was Obama's plan. Not backing off and shooting was exactly what Bundy wanted. He wanted all those women to be shot and killed by federal agents so he could proclaim that Obama was really a Nazi or something. I think Obama just got lucky that the guy kept talking.

    My point about "standing back" (none / 0) (#117)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:49:59 PM EST
    is that the President knew exactly what he was doing.  The waiting game was a good strategy.  Lucky or smart ... we have two different views.

    Yeah, I'm going with lucky (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by sj on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:24:29 PM EST
    The study of human nature doesn't seem to be O's forte.

    More (none / 0) (#120)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:56:37 PM EST
    It is quite possible--even probable--that continued "good luck" might just stem from smart moves and making-one's-own-luck, so to speak.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:00:22 PM EST
    But the BLM did some really dumb things that made the situation worse than it had to be.

    Yes (none / 0) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:17:40 AM EST
    And as I pointed out in the comment below all the FOX sheep won't even know about it because it's not being reported in the "bubble".  And until it it it is just more lies from the lame stream media.

    Fox won't (none / 0) (#105)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:22:01 AM EST
    report it until it shows up in someone's campaign ad and then they'll be forced to report it. It'll be like election 2012 all over again where they think that they're going to win and win big inside that bubble of theirs.

    You know the really interesting part is (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:06:03 AM EST
    This is all over the net with some very notable exceptions.  If you google for the remarks you will get pages and pages of links - but no FOX News, no Town Hall etc.  finally on the bottom of the third page of links I found this rather sheepish bit from Brietbart-

    The embarrassment is not over. Texas Governor Rick Perry defended Bundy and his militia pals just yesterday on Fox News, complaining that the Obama administration "acted imperialistically" by trying to remove Bundy's trespass cattle. Nevada's Governor Brian Sandoval also gave Bundy a measure of legitimacy by criticizing the BLM. The Koch brothers-backed Americans For Prosperity's Colorado and Nevada chapters have endorsed Bundy's range war, which is still attracting so-called `Patriot' militia participation from Western states. Now that Bundy has let us all know what he really thinks about the world outside his ranch, how long will their support continue?



    Should (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:18:09 AM EST
    be interesting to watch and see. I'll bet though Americans for Properity continue their support for him despite his disgusting statements. I'm sure Jim Demint is in full agreement with what Bundy has said. It's really too late for the Kochs to back off their support for him.

    It may well be that (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:57:43 AM EST
    the GOP has found its presidential candidate for 2016.  All the attributes combined of the leading contenders, past and present.

     Cliven Bundy is a little less sophisticated (but just as ignorant as  Newton Gingrich, with his ever so subtle plan to have poor school children clean the toilets of their rich classmates so as to teach them the value of work.

    Bundy  has all the libertarianism of Rand Paul as demonstrated by the illegal grazing cow Cliven comes riding in on, and all the media savvy of Ted Cruz, but with the additional forcefulness of armed militias  to back him up.  

    All he needs is a sweater vest and a 9-9-9 economic plan, oh, and an vice presidential running mate.  Maybe Romney would take the second spot this time, he has proved to be flexible in ideology and probably looks good in a 40 liter hat.  


    The wire (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:29:21 PM EST
    Has a funny rundown of his biggest boosters and what they are saying, or not saying now



    Bundy responds (none / 0) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:18:47 PM EST
    I was "just wondering"

    "That's exactly what I said. I said I'm wondering if they're better off under government subsidy, and their young women are having the abortions and their young men are in jail, and their older women and their children are standing, sitting out on the cement porch without nothing to do, you know, I'm wondering: Are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were when they were slaves, and they was able to have their family structure together, and the chickens and garden, and the people had something to do? And so, in my mind I'm wondering, are they better off being slaves, in that sense, or better off being slaves to the United States government, in the sense of the subsidies. I'm wondering. That's what. And the statement was right. I am wondering."


    Well, their support is already on ... (none / 0) (#152)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:11:49 PM EST
    ... the public record, and it's now going to be very awkward and difficult to walk it back. In my opinion, the best they can do at this point is now ignore it and hope that it will eventually dissipate and go away.

    This is why good politicians never rise to the protagonist's bait on an emotionally-charged issue, without first getting a firm grasp on all the facts of the matter at hand. Because staking out what initially looks to be a politically expedient position can leave you subsequently burdened with some very heavy baggage, should ever-fickle public opinion subsequently decide to fly south for the winter and leave you chained in place.



    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:46:54 PM EST
    I hope the Hannity Stewart feud never ends.   If you didn't see him today try to catch the repeat.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 337 (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Dadler on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:06:59 AM EST
    Doritos are not what this kid wants. At all. (link)

    v. 336
    v. 335

    TGIF, mi amigas y amigos. I have brooding and some research work to do. Can't get no better than that, can you? Ahem. ;-)

    Minimum wage (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:36:17 AM EST
    The comments are even sadder. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:36:53 AM EST
    Disturbing little nugget in the article was this one:

    But this map does succinctly portray dramatic variation across the country in housing costs, and it suggests that proposals to modestly raise the minimum wage won't fully solve this problem.

    I don't know that anyone believes it would "fully" solve the problem, but this is the kind of thing that opponents seize on when all other arguments fail: "it won't actually solve the problem, so why bother?"


    Also doesn't make a lot of sense (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:30:50 AM EST
     No single county in America has a one-bedroom housing wage below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (several counties in Arkansas come in at $7.98).


    Not sure what at means.  The state minumum wage is 6.25.  Not sure when if ever that can be paid.  Possibly for under age workers.  In any case my area seems to be I the 7 dollar color, for one thing there are no "decent one bedrooms".  Apartments are virtually non existent here.  The only ones that exist are subsidized and have very low income requirements.  Other than that rent is not cheap.  When I decided to come here for early retirement I first looked for a house to rent.   I was amazed how expensive it is. The house I bought, that I had to spend a couple thousand bucks to make liveable,  had renters in it paying 450 a month.  I just looked in the local paper and there is not a single thing for rent for less than 500 a month.


    Skydiver almost hit by Meteorite (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:15:05 AM EST
    oop, now i read... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:18:17 AM EST
    ...maybe it was just a rock that was packed in his chute. Who knows.

    Warren for president? (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:34:34 AM EST
    hearing more and more talk about this.

    I still think Clinton/Warren would be a winning ticket.

    Just heard some talking head (female talking head) say that the dems would never have a two woman ticket. Why the hell not?

    Clinton/Warren... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:42:15 AM EST
    a no go for me.

    A Warren/? ticket might get me to pull a Brand D lever for the first time in 12 years...Warren is appealing enough a candidate for me to look past her poor choice in party association. I could even look past Clinton as her VP choice.

    Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren...now that's a dream ticket!


    Dream for republicans for sure (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:45:40 AM EST
    I don't know... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:53:08 AM EST
    maybe now is our time to shoot for the moon man, and not settle for oligarchy-light leadership...look at the losers the GOP has in the bullpen, look at the rapidly changing demographics, look at all these people busting their arse running to stand still waiting.  

    Strike the hammer while the iron is hot!


    Don't get me wrong (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:53:03 AM EST
    I wish we lived Ina country where W/S S/W could get elected.

    We don't.


    Dems would never do it for the same (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:11:57 PM EST
    reason most of them voted for the Iraq war. Too busy trying to show they have cojones. I expect it from the GOP before the Dems.

    Not that the current GOP would ever nominate (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:12:30 PM EST
    women I would vote for

    She's been pretty clear she isn't (none / 0) (#13)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:56:53 AM EST
    interested in running, that she feels she can accomplish more on the issues that matter to the middle class - who are the people she really identifies with - by staying where she is.

    That being said, it's hard to read this excellent piece by Charlie Pierce (that he wrote for the magazine), and not see how badly we need more elected representatives like her.


    Obama was saying the same thing (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:09:30 AM EST
    At this point.  She sure seems to be considering it.  Personally I think if Hillary did not run she would be there in a second.  VP is a different thing.  Again just MO I am not convinced she could do more where she is.  VP can be a powerful platform it it is allowed to be.  
    I'm curious if some here agree with that "no all women tickets".
    I seriously don't get that.  How can the country be ready for a female CIC and not be ready for a female VP?
    One big historical purpose of a VP pick has been to unite a party.   I can't think of a better progressive unity ticket.

    An all woman ticket... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:52:59 AM EST
    is a non-issue on the Brand D side, imo.  That's something Republican voters might have a problem with, but not Democrats.  If anything it might be an out and out positive.

    I agree (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:03:52 AM EST
    But it is suprising how many dem, and even dem women, don't seem to agree apparently

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:46:23 PM EST
    since we were told by Nancy Pelosi back in 2008 that we couldn't have a woman with Obama I guess a lot of people have internalized that or something.

    Personally I think Warren would be better suited to where she is because she can actually write legislation and I believe she is on the banking committee. The VP position as the saying goes is worth about as much as a warm bucket of spit.


    Well, actually, (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:37:57 PM EST
    John "Cactus Jack" Nance Garner said that the vice-presidency was not worth a "bucket of warm p!ss."    ;-)

    Harry Truman: (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:22:00 PM EST
    "Look at all the Vice Presidents in history. Where are they? They were about as useful as a cow's fifth teat."

    Honestly that love her (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:26:40 PM EST
    Was more like bless her heart.  If you spent any time in the south you know what that means.

    And if you hear (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:20:54 PM EST
    "Bless your heart," along with "Well, I never," and "Aren't you special?" all at the same time, in whatever order, then you had best be prepared to run for your life.     ;-)

    Yes, I think there are a lot of jobs (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:44:57 PM EST
    better for her than Veep or even POTUS. I'd rather have her in the Senate or someplace else with more focused influence than the top political jobs.

    I like her (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:43:34 PM EST
    but her background is as a college professor. Please no more college professors after Obama. As a matter of fact college professor/senator is what Obama was. I'm hopeful that she will be able to have a lot of input in the next Dem administration.

    I think you are painting too broad (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:25:40 PM EST
    a brush in your impression of a professorship as background to the presidency.  Both Bill and Hillary Clinton, for example, taught law at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.  It is difficult to predict success in the presidential office by background--certainly law is the most common, but then there is Nixon.  And, of course, a business background, and we have Bush (both of them).    And, film--an acting president.

      Senator Warren seems, to me, to have the qualities we should be looking for in any higher office.  I am sure that those Wall Streeters often wish they did not block her appointment to an administrative post in the Obama administration.  


    NYT weighs in on 2-woman ticket:: (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:16:47 AM EST
    I love D (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:21:21 AM EST
    But I find this a very odd statement

    "It's certainly possible to have two women," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. "I am not sure it's wise. You want a ticket that represents men and women."

    Dd the hump dreads of years of male only tickets represent women?


    You love Diane Feinstein? (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:01:51 PM EST
    Diane "Drug Warrior Extraordinaire" Feinstein?

    Damn Cappy your love comes cheap;)  


    Diane, I know stuff you don't, and if (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:09:04 PM EST
    I told you, I'd have to kill you, Feinstein.

    I haven't liked DiFi (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:45:49 PM EST
    since she became San Francisco's mayor after Mayor George Moscone, and Supervisor Harvey Milk, were assassinated.  (We lived there at the time, and Harvey was our Supervisor. And may Dan White be forever rotting in He!!, if there is a He!!)
    And I wasn't terribly fond of her as a Supervisor before then, either.
    Did I say I "haven't liked" her since then?  Make that "loathed."

    It does (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 01:23:00 PM EST
    It really does

    OMG, does she even listen to herself? (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:09:09 PM EST

    Oh man (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:22:02 AM EST
    Hump dreads

    Would be hundreds


    I was wondering..... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:10:06 PM EST
    I have no hump dreads myself, but I thought maybe it was 'a thing'.

    My dogs get hump dreads sometimes (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:28:46 PM EST
    In fact I have always said that dreds on white people always remind me to much of the things that form on my dogs butt if I don't brushed them enough

    Thanks!!!! Feinstein and Boxer were first elected (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:26:37 AM EST
    In the same election. Strange comment from her.

    And while she may the fantasy pick (none / 0) (#197)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:47:27 PM EST
    of many around here, there really isn't a big call for her to run at this time if HRC runs.

    Matt Bai lays out a good case.


    Blooming (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:33:50 AM EST
    Not only can you successfully link, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:18:52 AM EST
    You can successfully link photos. Beautiful.

    Those are great pictures (none / 0) (#200)
    by sj on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:26:31 PM EST
    I'm not sure what is going to happen to our Spring. The trees are now in bloom but they are calling for snow on Sunday which could nip all that in the bud. So to speak.

    Currently BLASTING (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:09:56 AM EST
    Oh, I love taking drums (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:20:25 PM EST
    Djembe drums are my favorite. Here's one for you. link

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 335 (none / 0) (#40)
    by Dadler on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:01:19 PM EST
    When dough and bread ain't nothin' like money. (link)

    v. 334
    v. 333

    Happy Wednesday, my good peeps. Get your joy on.


    On premature poultry enumeration (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:14:16 PM EST
    said weeks ago Dems would keep the senate and most if not all "endangered" dems would win.

    New poll gives Senate Democrats hope in the South

    If Democrats are able to keep states like Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina competitive through November, and force Republicans to play some defense in Kentucky, then it will be a positive sign for the party's chances of holding onto the majority in the Senate. The Times' Upshot forecaster currently has Democrats with a 51 percent chance of holding the Senate, a shift from earlier this month when Republicans had a 54 percent chance of a takeover.

    Voter turnout. The Dems will not win (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:17:36 PM EST
    unless they give their dispirited base a reason to go to the polls and vote. If they get the base out the Senate is theirs.

    Again and again and again, (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:47:33 PM EST
    It never changes.

    The Democrats' marketing strategy, and, plan, consists of cowering in a corner, covering their eyes & ears, and "reacting" to the Republican's relentless, non-stop, scorched earth, take-no-prisoners barrage of attack, attack, attack.

    Even though every poll shows that the Democrats have the plans, issues, and policies that the public wants, for reasons that have remained a mystery to me, they, simply haven't, apparently, been able to find a single person who could take the lead, and, articulate those ideas to the American public in a way they could understand.

    What the He!! Is a "Political Consultant" anyway?

    And, what do they do for the millions they are being paid?


    Pot (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:07:42 PM EST
    Young voter's priorities ;o)

    How Marijuana Legalization Could End up Saving Democratic Control of the Senate

    Democrats have the Alaska state legislature's inability to work quickly for this potential pot political windfall. This week the Alaska legislature needed to go into extend session, which means they will not finish work 120 days before the August 19th primary. As a result Alaska law required local election officials to move a marijuana legalization initiative scheduled for the August primary ballot to the November general election.

    This date change could be what narrowly save Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) re-election bid and Democrats control of the Senate.

    There are strong indications that having legalization on the ballot has the unique ability to get young people to vote. In 2012 the three states with legalization initiatives saw a significant increase in the percent of young voters compared to 2008, but there was no similar increase in the rest of the country. Similarly, a George Washington Battleground poll found 69 percent said they were more likely to turn out if marijuana legalization is on the ballot.

    In addition to pot (none / 0) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:20:43 PM EST
    And for the same reason there is also going to a minimum wage increase on he ballot which is also expected to help him

    I think that (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:27:39 PM EST
    is going to vary from state to state. With Nathan Deal and all the crap he's been pulilng down here the GOP is seriously worried about people showing up to vote with Deal on the ticket.

    I reall think the Medicaid thing (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:32:14 PM EST
    Is going to be a big factor in states like GA and LA

    I'm thinking (none / 0) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:40:22 PM EST
    more and more you might be right about that. People are hearing that people in other states are getting insurance and they are not. Rural areas which have been the GOP's stronghold in GA might not be so much anymore if what you are saying comes true. The rural areas are the ones that are losing their hospitals and don't have jobs with insurance.

    We are talking about (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:44:00 PM EST
    Hundreds of thousands of people.  In every state.

    Always (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:30:44 PM EST
    But I think that to the extent that the ACA is going to be an issue in these states, starting with my state of AR, It will be a benefit.  Actually I think it's just likely to be a wash.  Motivating as many pros as cons.
    Landrieu is running pretty hard on the ACA.  I once thought Pryor was sort of a bellwether but I'm not sure any more.  He seems to have a pretty steady 10 point lead.  And anecdotally that is all about healthcare.

    I never bought (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:26:11 PM EST
    into the GOP is going to take the senate meme that the beltway bloviators were loving to put forth. We've been hearing the same thing since 2010 and it hasn't happened. As long as there's a tea party for the GOP to pander to you can't predict anything. We'll know later on what the odds are

    Michelle Nunn has a better than even shot here in GA because of all the crackpots running to the far right to win the GOP primary.


    This is going to be fun (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:02:12 PM EST
    Sean Hannity: Jon Stewart's an Obama tool

    Sean Hannity went after Jon Stewart on Tuesday night, accusing him of being a "comedic hack" and a shill for the Obama administration.
    The Fox News host said Stewart is "kind of obsessed with this program" and that he and those at Comedy Central "kind of are the chief apologists for the Obama administration."

    Only the people (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:32:20 PM EST
    who reside in the talk radio bubble would believe that. I'm laughing at Hannity already and I haven't even watched it.

    I guess Hannity forgot that Stewart used Hannity's OWN WORDS. LMAO.


    Rand Paul just gave any primary opponent (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:23:55 PM EST
    A gigantic club to beat him with

    or rather David Corn did

    WATCH: Rand Paul Says Jimmy Carter Was Better on the Budget Than Ronald Reagan

    There are (I think) 6 videos at that link of Paul bashing Reagan. Even actually saying he was worse than Carter.  Seriously, he should fear for his life.

    An aspirant Republican bashing Reagan... (none / 0) (#128)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:41:44 PM EST
    ...is like an aspirant demon bashing Satan.

    That sh*t's gonna play worse than an atheist at an evangelical convention.


    Seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:44:20 PM EST
    The ads write themselves.

    Have your fiction bookmarked


    The funny thing (none / 0) (#130)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:55:15 PM EST
    is it's actually the truth. Reagan really ran up a lot of debt in 8 years.

    A sort of truth (none / 0) (#132)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:03:18 PM EST
    It did go along with the welfare queen driving a Cadillac. And "We start bombing tomorrow." And "Just Say No." And AIDS doesn't exist. And Billy Graham is my spiritual adviser. And James Watt is my interior secretary (as Mark Russell said, James Watt's idea of preserving nature is a parking lot without any line painted on it). And on and on. But who knows, maybe it's the time when the right wingers go extreme winger crazy and throw Reagan under the bus as some liberal pinko.

    IMO most republicans are (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:12:11 PM EST
    Fine with all that.  And if it comes to Reagan or Paul under the bus I think Paul better duck.

    Then it's hard to Jimmy Carter his ass (none / 0) (#139)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:24:51 PM EST
    But irrationality rules them peeps, so you're probably right that these turds will float.

    Maddow did a funny segment on this (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:19:41 PM EST
    last night

    I think it will show on the front page.  It was the first segment.
    I was actually unaware of the attempt by republicans to name the entire coastal area of the US after Reagan


    The truly sad part is that ... (none / 0) (#173)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:45:26 PM EST
    ... Ronald Reagan himself both disliked and opposed this sort of official hagiography, and as president had once proposed legislation which would have required someone to have been deceased at least 25 years before a federal building, monument, public facility, etc. could be named after him or her.

    I actually thought at the time, and still do, that this is a very good idea, because it would allow people to develop a proper sense of historical perspective about those persons and their overall accomplishments and significance to the American public. Thus, one could potentially avoid the sort of embarrassment that occurred in Anchorage, AK when they named the international airport there after Sen. Ted Stevens, only to see him subsequently enmeshed in the VECO scandal and brought up on public corruption charges in federal court.

    When congressional Republicans first proposed renaming Washington National Airport after Reagan, he and wife Nancy very specifically requested that they not do so, but they went ahead and ignored their expressed wishes and did it anyway.

    That's not unlike what radical Republicans are doing today with their hijacking of Reagan's political legacy, which is actually far more nuanced and complicated than they'd like to either believe or accept. Because for all his partisan rhetoric, Reagan was actually quite the political pragmatist in practice. He was openly scornful of the far right zealots in his own party, whom he mocked for their abject unwillingness to compromise with others for the sake of the country.



    Indeed (none / 0) (#174)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:00:07 PM EST
    Somewhere in this thread there is a link to a bunch of videos of Rand Paul bashing Reagan and all the problems that is now going to cause him.  For telling the truth basically.

    Goodness me! (none / 0) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:07:28 PM EST
    Here we are right in the middle of those comments about Rand Paul

    I saw that last night in Mother Jones. (none / 0) (#177)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:15:21 PM EST
    It should be said that Reagan himself noted his own biggest disappointment with his administration, which was the fact that he allowed federal spending to increase so significantly and dramatically on his watch.

    So Rand Paul really wasn't saying anything a few years ago that hadn't already been acknowledged by those people willing to be honest about their assessments of the Reagan presidency, including the Gipper himself. That he'll undoubtedly be pummeled and eviscerated for having said it actually speaks volumes about the present radicalized and jihadist state of today's GOP.



    Extremism in the defense of "liberty"... (none / 0) (#185)
    by Dadler on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:30:39 AM EST
    ...is no vice.

    I'd respectfully suggest the Republian Party has been off its rocker for decades. The only thing new seems the disdain for its own history. Keep it up, wingers. I may loathe my Dem Party for being empty-headed and corrupt, but watching the nuttier and more prejudiced version of it from the Repubs, well, you gotta appreciate the small joys in life.


    Absolutely (none / 0) (#134)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:09:16 PM EST
    Every word is true.  Which makes it all the more deadly.  The TRUTH about Reagan has become that which shall not be named.  Especially by a republican.   I seriously think this eliminates him from the primary.  I will be very surprised if he can get through a republican primary now.  Corn just did all the oppo necessary on Paul.

    I agree. (none / 0) (#141)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:04:52 PM EST
    I was thinking that he could be the nominee. I think he was planning on using the Obama model during the GOP primary relying on caucuses and the like but honestly I don't see how he gets past all the correct criticisms of Reagan.

    The real irony though is he is probably their strongest candidate. He would be stronger than any of the others because he changes the trajectory of the GOP away from George W. Bush. He would probably pick up some new voters for the GOP which none of the others would be able to do. Ted Cruz? a return to George W. Bush. Jeb Bush? A return to George W. Bush. All of them would be basically returning the country to the disastrous policies of George W.

    That being said even if he did somehow make it through the primary he would still lose the general election. Hillary, if she runs, is going to have easier candidates to beat than Obama ever did.


    I just read that Jeb (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:15:38 PM EST
    Basically said he is running.  IMO if he does the nomination is his.

    HIs stance (none / 0) (#146)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:36:49 PM EST
    on immigration is to the left of Obama. A whole lot of Republicans are going to be sitting home here in GA if he's the nominee. Look for Hillary to be competetive in GA if he's the nominee.

    I said similar gangs about McCain (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:41:14 PM EST
    Then about Romney.  Maybe Cruz can pull it off but I think they are smarter than that.  Who knows, maybe Paul can weasel his way out.  He is really good at that.

    I have been the one saying this the year it WONT be an establishment guy.


    Well (none / 0) (#150)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:53:09 PM EST
    surely even the GOP elite aren't stupid enough to think that another Bush is a good idea but you never know. Maybe it's that Jebbie is all they've got so they're going to throw him out there so to speak.

    The GOP base is the far right 25% of the country and the most likely to vote in primaries. Who does Jeb Bush appeal to? Some Republicans in maybe some of the northeastern states? Seems to me he would have a limited base of voters and man, if they really want to bring people out of the woodwork to vote against someone nominate Jeb Bush. And he's going to have to take a lot of incoming from Ted Cruz and the tea party. His wife is a Mexican and I really think that will probably kill him off with the GOP base if his immigration stance doesn't. Bubba is going to look at Hillary and Bill who are white and Jeb and his Mexican wife and then either vote for Hillary or sit home. This is the way they think: Michelle Obama should not be first lady because of the color of her skin but  she's not a Republican and they are not going to have another minority as first lady even if she has and R after her name.


    Also out there (of course) (none / 0) (#168)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:52:09 PM EST
    is Paul Ryan.  Yes ... I say that periodically.  I say that the lean-&-hungry one Ryan should not be discounted because of the Repub history of going to their "runner-up or VP."  He is far enough right to represent a "compromise" for the right's upcoming rejection of J. Bush; and, he is vaguely enough "northern" (Wisconsin) to be painted as a moderate or, at least, someone familiar with DC and capable of dealing like a good GOPer with the money-boys.

    Paul (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:04:43 PM EST
    Ryan's main problem is that he was VP on a losing ticket though I'm sure the GOP base likes the guy or did like him.

    He might try to pass himself off as a moderate but all Hillary or whoever would have to do is point out his voting record and his sponsorship of things like personhood for a zygote. Even writing personhood for a zygote sounds rediculous.

    Of course any of them will probably be turned into a crackpot by the time they get through the primaries.


    You could be right (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:54:15 PM EST
    From REPUBLICO (none / 0) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:19:07 PM EST
    Jeb Bush on Wednesday was the most vocal he's been about considering a run for the White House in 2016.
    The Republican told a crowd of about 200 people at a Catholic Charities fundraiser in New York that he is "thinking about running for president," according to an attendee.

    When a pol says that, they are running


    Oh, there are no words... (none / 0) (#85)
    by desertswine on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:47:00 PM EST
    for the disappointment of being a kid and a Cubs fan.

    Mama don't let your babies grow up to be Cubs fans (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:04:19 PM EST
    It is a lifetime of pain...this kid learned both lessons - a- they lose b- they can't just lose, they have to find the most painful way to lose

    good little visual (none / 0) (#91)
    by ZtoA on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:42:45 AM EST
    I dated a bleacher bum for the Cubs in high school and went to games with him. He was one of those "what was I thinking???" sort of guys. He was a kid like this but older, with lots of testosterone and was comfortable with yelling and posturing.  I got to the "what was I thinking?!?!?!" phase rather quickly.

    "what was I thinking?!?!?!" (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:36:46 AM EST
    about the Cubs, or, your guy?

    You know the Cubs won the Cold War (none / 0) (#155)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 04:40:30 PM EST
    See ruffian Colbert/Will link below

    And sold arms to Iran! (none / 0) (#179)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:04:36 PM EST
    Well, that explains ... (none / 0) (#183)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:40:13 AM EST
    ... their loss to the Giants in the 1989 NLCS.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 336 (none / 0) (#108)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:10:12 AM EST
    Dadler short fiction (none / 0) (#110)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:18:28 AM EST
    Looking for some reactions to this short story. At the very least, I hope it's thought provoking enough to make up for the sort of melancholy joy it keeps just at finger's length. As if that makes sense. I'll keep the link up for a few days probably. To those who read it and make a comment, thank you beyond measure, and I hope it wasn't so amateurish as to be annoying. Peace, y'all.


    Stephen Colbert and George Will (none / 0) (#136)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:15:40 PM EST
    So I was googling this interview from Tuesday night, because the very end of it was one of the best and funniest takedowns of Will (and Reagan) I have ever seen. I honestly gasped and immediately called my brother, it was so good. I see all the links to it online are from conservatives thinking Will knocked him out with his pontification that liberals are conservative because they want SS to stay exactly the same form 1936 to FOREVER, which is of course patently false. His point was too stupid to even mention, but they are all happy about it - Colbert got SCHOOLED. LOL.

    Please watch the whole interview to the very end and tell me who nailed who.  

    Baha (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:30:23 PM EST
    By that same logic did not the Chicago cubs also sell arms to iran

    Classic (none / 0) (#180)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:05:57 PM EST
    I love that man

    Just read a great movie pitch of Facebook (none / 0) (#144)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:23:46 PM EST
    PLOT:  97%of the worlds scientists contrive an environmental crisis but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires and oil companies.

    Oregon Health Exchange (none / 0) (#159)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 05:24:54 PM EST

    The Obama administration is poised to take over Oregon's broken insurance exchange, according to officials familiar with the decision, who say that it reflects federal officials' conclusion that several state-run marketplaces may be too dysfunctional to fix.

    In public, the board overseeing Cover Oregon is scheduled to vote Friday whether to join the federal insurance marketplace that already sells health plans in most of the country under the Affordable Care Act. Behind the scenes, the officials say, federal and Oregon officials already have privately agreed that closing down the system is the best path to rescue the state marketplace, the country's only one to fail so spectacularly that no residents have been able to sign up for coverage online since it opened early last fall.

    The collapse of Oregon's insurance marketplace comes as federal health officials are also focusing intensely on faltering exchanges in two other states, including Maryland.

    Earlier this month, the board for the Maryland Health Connection became the nation's first to decide to replace most of its exchange with different technology. But Maryland did not obtain required federal approval before its vote. And federal officials have not indicated whether they will give the state the $40 million to $50 million that it needs to make the switch -- and remain uncertain whether the state exchange has the capacity to correct its own problems.


    The third state that is the focus of special federal scrutiny is Massachusetts, which was in the vanguard of insurance exchanges, opening its own years before the 2010 federal health-care law. But the commonwealth's insurance marketplace has developed severe technical problems as it attempted adjustments to interact with the federal system.

    It's a temporary setback, jb. (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:56:27 PM EST
    But I'd hardly resort to hyperbole by calling it an "epic fail," given that like the state online exchanges in Hawaii, Maryland and Massachusetts, the problems are being addressed, and they will be fixed.

    Are you rooting for the ACA to fail? Because sometimes, the apparent giddiness you convey whenever you post bad news about it -- e.g., both bolding and capitalizing the aforementioned term "EPIC FAIL" -- sure makes it look as though you are. And then, you wonder why BTD and others believe you to be a closet Republican.

    Suffice to say that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 is not the end game in and of itself, but rather a necessary first step in what will surely be quite a many more in a long and winding road, as the reform efforts in the delivery of health care take firm root in the public consciousness.

    It took this country decades to create the current Rube Goldberg contraption that's called 21st century health care in these United States, and its vested interests are such that any attempts to reassemble it as a more publicly responsive system are going to take a lot of time, effort and perseverance in order to succeed.



    Hawaii was one of the states mentioned in the (none / 0) (#171)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:00:51 PM EST
    WaPo article I read.  Do you think the problems are serious enough that it will be pooled with the national exchange?  

    Yes, I do. (none / 0) (#175)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:01:02 PM EST
    The problems have been such that I testified to that effect before our legislature this session. My understanding is that the contractor built the online website to interact almost exclusively with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which basically left those prospective customers who use either Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari or Opera out in the cold.

    I mean, you could open the site and access the online forms with IE and Safari, but you were unable to transmit data back to the Hawaii Dept. of Health, which of course rendered the site inoperable for those customers.

    I actually suggested in my testimony that legislators probe the contractor's business history, to determine whether or not that contractor had an undisclosed financial or fiduciary relationship with Google and / or Mozilla, and had built the site as a means to drive exchange customers toward Chrome and Firefox and thus increase their respective market shares. That contractor has since been fired, effective April 1 of this year.



    It's spring and the bugs keep coming out (none / 0) (#192)
    by ZtoA on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 12:02:26 PM EST
    Yes Cover Oregon has been a disaster. I support the ACA but the Cover Oregon website has never functioned and no one has been able to apply directly from the website.

    It has been hugely expensive. Wasted money. Our previously popular Dem Governor, John Kitzhaber, is in political trouble over this.


    The Oregonian editorial

    The Oregonian news  


    I stand by "epic fail" (none / 0) (#196)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:40:37 PM EST
    since they still haven't been able to enroll a single person online in Oregon and have had to go to all paper, after spending millions of dollars to set up said online system.

    The Oregon situation may be singular (none / 0) (#198)
    by christinep on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:27:59 PM EST
    Because--by all available evidence--the
    ACA on a national level & overall is looking to be epic SUCCESS.

    Except that... (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by sj on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:24:22 PM EST
    ...the comment wasn't about the ACA. The article was about state run exchanges. The excerpt was about Oregon in particular.  Or didn't you read it, and just decide to react instead? So while you believe that the ACA is "looking to be epic SUCCESS" I'm not so sure that's true of your reading comprehension.

    You would have done better in your "rebuttal" to have read the article and selected a quote or two from there. Although apparently you are trying to rebut facts with impressions.


    Okay, so millions of people have (5.00 / 3) (#203)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:38:39 PM EST
    insurance; how many millions, how many who never had it before - well, that's a little murkier.

    But don't you think the real success will be measured by what people's health care experiences are?  Will their efforts to get the care they need be positive ones?  What happens when people need care for something that's not routine, something that involves co-pays and deductibles and balance billing?  What happens when they find out that they aren't covered for treatment at the hospital or with the doctor or surgeon best suited for their condition?

    These are things we can't know much about just yet, because there hasn't been enough time for any of those chickens to come home to roost.  We haven't gotten renewal notices yet with next year's premium amounts, so we don't know whether the initial premiums were like one of those "introductory offers" that look so great in the beginning, but come with sticker shock later.

    Maybe it all will be an "epic success" - I hope it is for the sake of the people who need it to be.  I hope there is strict and stringent oversight to protect people from falling through insurance company-designed cracks or getting financially strangled in a clever loophole.  I hope we can see fewer postponements of this deadline and that requirement.  I hope there is less political manipulation of elements of the law as we head into election season.

    The reality is that we don't know enough yet to declare success or failure; we haven't seen enough yet.  The proof of this pudding isn't in how well a website works, but about how well the health care system works.  You're a smart person - you know this.

    I frankly find it kind of amusing that someone who has spent countless hours explaining the benefits of incrementalism and baby steps and half-a-loaf and glass-half-full is willing, in such a short time since implementation, to declare the ACA an epic SUCCESS.  Not surprised, just faintly amused.

    Of course, try as I might, I didn't see one single link in your comment that supports your declaration - again, not surprised, because that's just not something you do.


    I was never really sure about (none / 0) (#162)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 05:55:06 PM EST
    The state run exchange idea.  Sure some states will ace it but others won't.  I sort of always thought that as much of a pain as one giant exchange was once it was working it was working for everyone.
    Personally I was not disappointed that my state did not even attempt it.  As crazy as my experience was I would have expected an AR  state run exchange to be worse.
    I wonder if people in those states can use the federal exchange

    According to the WaPo (none / 0) (#163)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 06:11:24 PM EST
    They can't yet.  But soon will be absorbed into the federal exchange and will.  Surprising how many states are failing and which states.  Most who were eager to make it work.  
    In a way it makes what happened to the federal exchange look a bit less bad.  Obviously it is a very complicated and difficult thing to do.  Even on a statewide scale.  I would imagine way more so nationally.

    Site Violator! (none / 0) (#184)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 03:49:23 AM EST
    At least he's trying to blend in.