Wednesday Open Thread

“Prolonged endurance tames the bold.”

–Lord Byron

43 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Libertad says:

    Intensity of support or opposition can have an impact on campaigns. Currently, 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends).

    Source Rasmussen polls

  2. Libertad says:

    Facing 30 years on federal political corruption charges in NC, the $50 million trial lawyer is being exposed as quite the dolt.

    GREENSBORO, NC – Is that any way to talk about your baby mama?

    John Edwards had some filthy words for mistress Rielle Hunter when he found out she was pregnant with his love child, it was revealed during the disgraced former Norch Carolina senator’s federal trial yesterday.

    “He said that she was ‘a crazy slut,’ and it was a ‘one-in-three chance’ that it was his child,” testified former aide Andrew Young, who had to break the news to Edwards because Hunter couldn’t get in touch with him.

    Young then spilled details about how Edwards allegedly tried to buy Hunter’s silence as he campaigned for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

    Young, testifying with a guarantee of immunity, allegedly funneled $1.2 million to Hunter in exchange for her keeping the tawdry affair and love child under wraps.

    Read more:

    Your former VP candidate is some kinda special guy.

  3. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Challenging The Math of a Work Week

    One of the biggest benefits of going to a place like Harvard Business School is that you are surrounded by people who are insanely talented.  And you realize that while your Mom believes you are the smartest person in the world, you really aren’t.  There are so many other people who are wicked smart.  And they all work so damn hard.  They don’t work 54-hour weeks.  They work 70-80 hour weeks.  And they sustain that level indefinitely.  Holy crap…that is humbling.  And as you start thinking about competing with them, you realize that the profits in almost all markets accrue to the top company.

    This is one of the fundamental changes our society is going through. And the result is a bigger skew in incomes. When most companies did reasonably well and most people could do a good job at those companies, salaries tended to be the same for a given job across companies & industries.

    But we now have tremendously increased profits for the top companies and you only get to the top with the best people out there. And that is damaging to the concept of a large professional middle class.

    • Tom says:

      I can see where organizations with a smallish structure and startup culture would benefit by highly selective recruiting and long productive hours. For the vast majority of organizations, longer hours doesn’t increase productivity. I suspect that is partly due to the disconnect between productivity gains and stagnant wages. In most cases, more hours just means higher wages- directly in hourly positions, accrued through a status bump in salaried jobs. With increasing hours on the job, focus suffers and at some breaking point just about everybody ends up phoning it in.

      American work culture seems to put a premium on hours spent working, but there’s a hard upper bound established by biology as well as physics. Companies that are composed of more than a devoted band of rock stars (even then, the Beatles broke up after only 10 years) would do well to rethink their priorities if they want to be sustainable beyond the burnout point.

      I like the German results-oriented model that seems to have found a sweet spot between encouraging outliers to shine and letting the hoi polloi keep up without getting sucked dry and discarded.  

    • sxp151 says:

      The author is challenged to come up with any kind of evidence for what he claims, and says “I’ve seen it first hand!”

      But I’ll just post this.

      Since the standard for evidence in any discussion of business people is just “personal experience,” I’ll say that in my experience executives spend most of their time bullshitting and wasting time and entertaining themselves and calling it “work,” and that’s as true in business school as it is in the rest of their lives.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        My comment/link above was speaking to the segment where you do have a substantial number of companies that have extremely smart people working at them. Apple didn’t come back from the dead because the people there were coasting on a 40 hour work week.

        • sxp151 says:

          Apple employees are lucky to get 60-hour work weeks. And the great thing about working your employees 70 hours a week is that if they one of them burns out in a year, she can go jump off a building and you’ll find another one to replace her.

          It’s funny how often business executives will drastically overestimate their own basically sedentary and entertainment-filled work week and use it to justify sweatshop labor from their underlings. Must be fun to be on the top of that relationship.

          • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

            But don’t let the fact that you know nothing about the software world stop you from commenting.

            • sxp151 says:

              Apple literally runs sweatshops in China and pays the workers there next to nothing. And its executives are like any other executives: basically lazy and pampered but always always always telling everyone else how hard they work while golfing or eating or blogging.

              Feign outrage if you like, but it might be more credible if you actually, you know, reply with something substantial.

              • RedGreenRedGreen says:

                the importance of Beer Fridays in these situations. That’s why you clearly know nothing about the corporate world.

              • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                Apple does take advantage of cheap labor in PRC. At the same time, those jobs, by PRC standards, are good jobs. But on pushing manufacturing to PRC, yes that is taking advantage of the job market there and exploiting people.

                In terms of the development side in the U.S., I’ve worked with senior executives at Microsoft and they tended to work 60 – 70 hours/week. I have friends at Google & Apple who have said the same of those places.

                I’ve seen some start-ups where the CEO operates as you stereotype – it does occur. But every one of those failed. At most start-ups the people there, including those at the top, work very very hard.

                And while I’m sure some play golf, I’ve never heard a single person discuss golf, say they were leaving to play golf, or talk about it in any way.

                • sxp151 says:

                  It’s stories from my friends!

                  Senior executives don’t do much of anything, and they count personal activities like commuting and exercise and lunch as work. Check out the graphic and corresponding article from WSJ above.

                  • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                    Directly observed activity is data. Check out what industries the WSJ was tracking.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      it’s not data.

                      They did a study. Maybe you don’t like how they did their study, and you think you can do a better study. So do it. But if in the end you have no numbers, and all you have is a general feeling, then you haven’t done science and you don’t have data.

                      You have some science background, right? You should know this. You’re happy enough to want to measure everyone else’s performance, but apparently CEOs must be trusted to self-report honestly.

                    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                      If I have a single data point showing one particle going faster than light – that is sufficient data to disprove the speed of light limit.

                      On the flip side, if I’m trying to determine how CEOs spend their time, then I do need to get a random sampling across the company types I am measuring (big difference between being CEO of 1 coffee shop and all of Starbucks).

                      The data I have is not a random sample (nor is the data from this study). But I am not saying my data is more valid. I’m just saying I have a reasonably sized sample set and the behavior I have directly observed contradicts the 35 hours/week listed in the article.

                      And with that I did not say my data was valid and the study is not. What I did was dive in to find out what type of CEOs were being measured and exactly what that misc. category truly is.

                      Having contradicting data is the impetus for much scientific research. It’s not what you base your conclusions on, but it is what gets much of it started.

  4. SSG_Dan says:

    …let’s let Tom Tomorrow help us get to know them!

  5. rocco says:

    Your articulation of how the teabag movement has spawned an antiquated form of conservative legislator was absolutely spot on.

    The war on women is nothing if not an extension of the christian conservative right wing lack of values that permeate the landscape.

    A very weird and creepy belief system, one that has the male in charge and in a position of making decisions that directly affect women, solely because of an imagined preordained right.

    This battle was fought and decided in the 70’s.

    Having to go back to it now sets us back as a culture and embarrasses us in front of the rest of the industrialized world.

    Great job Nancy, see you Saturday.  

    • VanDammerVanDammer says:

      given the 2 mins air time I’d a thought her pitch shoulda been really tight and had a call to action.  It was a good opportunity in the cork but definitely not a bullseye.

      It left me not really knowing what to expect, why I should attend, and how great the threat.

      Too much wasted talk on gosh how people are driving from all over & even spending the night and how it’s non-partisan ’cause there’s even a Republican (one?) helping to organize.  

      Hell she was asked a question and went off for 10 seconds and then had to be reminded about the question — that was bush league.  

  6. Ralphie says:

    Being debated on Second Reading in the Senate now (9:55 AM)

    Tune in.

  7. VanDammerVanDammer says:

    Newt Gingrich will end his White House bid May 1 and formally back Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, sources tell CNN and Fox News Politics.

    According to CNN, Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters.

    Finally!  This egotistical asshole costs taxpayers $40,000/day for Secret Service coverage just so he can have an entourage. Knew he’d be out by end of April but what is with the May 1st arbitrary date — that doesn’t make sense.

    I do know he’s in DC nearly next week with a paid speaking gig at a DoD conference (not sure WTF he adds) and I was highly suspicious about a campaigning political candidate being paid DoD dollars to speak at a conference.  That would seem a bit of an ethical issue if not downright illegal, but it’s Newt and has he ever worried about how his ethics appear?  

  8. rocco says:


    Sometime around 10 AM Roy Blunt (yes, the author of Blunt Rubio) Told MSNBC the reason for the Stafford loan rate hike in July is that the loan rate must be raised to 6.8% to help pay for the ACA. He literally said if “Obamacare” is killed in SCOTUS, the issue will go away.

    It was the first time this nonfactual talking point had been trotted out,and it actually took Andrea Mitchell aback. She asked no questions, just let him skate on it.

    Blunt’s retiring, not running again, in Missouri, so he’s a good one to run that lie up the pole.

    Like when shooter told John Edwards that the Vice Presidential debate was the first time he’d ever met him. An outrageous lie that is so stunning it causes shock and awe.

    Same as the Swift Boat drunks allegations in ’04, taking a poorly run Kerry campaign by surprise.

    ’12’s different.

    Steve Israel, Congressman from the New York 2nd since January 2001, hit back on the Ed Schultz less than 30 minutes later, and lo and behold, another flat out lie by a red party with zero credibility was debunked.

    Hats off to OFA, DNC, and everybody that’s so on the ball this time.

    We’ll need it, there are 81,000 fewer voter registrations in Florida now than in ’08, nationwide the suppressed numbers are in the millions…….with 6 months to go.

    34 states with outright voter suppression drives.


  9. rocco says:

    for over a year.

    With Gingrich, it’s always been about Gingrich’s favorite subject……..Gingrich.

  10. AristotleAristotle says:

    And that, boys and girls, is why God invented them.

  11. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Taxpayer-funded crisis pregnancy centers are using religion to oppose abortion, and many of them only hire Christians

    If you want to help carry out the anti-abortion mission of the taxpayer-funded Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center, you have to be a Christian.

    It’s right there on the Rapid City, S.D., center’s volunteer application.

    “Do you consider yourself a Christian?” “If yes, how long have you been a Christian?” “As a Christian, what is the basis of your salvation?” “Please provide the following information concerning your local church. Church name … Denomination … Pastor’s name.” “This organization is a Christian pro-life ministry. We believe that our faith in Jesus Christ empowers us, enables us, and motivates us to provide pregnancy services in this community. Please write a brief statement about how your faith would affect your volunteer work at this center.”

    But that hasn’t stopped the center from receiving federal funding and other forms of government support.

    In 2010, it was awarded a $34,000 “capacity building” grant as part of President Obama’s stimulus bill.

    Last year, the nonprofit National Fatherhood Initiative, with “support from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance,” awarded the center $25,000 for capacity building.

    And when South Dakota passed a law requiring that women get counseling from a “pregnancy help center” before receiving an abortion, the Rapid City center was quick to sign up – becoming one of three such facilities listed on the state’s official website.

  12. rocco says:

    And I find it disgusting.

    What’s the remedy?

    What actions need to be taken?

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