Monday Open Thread

“Most human organizations that fall short of their goals do so not because of stupidity or faulty doctrines, but because of internal decay and rigidification.”

–James Garfield

88 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Why I will never pursue cheating again

    Last Fall, it was my first semester of teaching as a tenured professor. It was also the semester that I realized how pervasive cheating is in our courses. After spending a tremendous amount of time fighting and pursuing all the cheating cases, I decided that it makes no sense to fight it. The incentive structures simply do not reward such efforts. The Nash equilibrium is to let the students cheat and “perform well”; in exchange, I get back great evaluations.

    By the end of the semester, 22 students admitted cheating, out of the 108 enrolled in the class.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      (But quite a bit less repulsive.)

      I have a friend who has always seen cheating as a tax on the moneyed but dumb. They find ways to pay the smart but poor to do their work, both groups get degrees, everyone’s fairly happy. It’s an interesting perspective, but ultimately I think cheating should be pursued, because the students who don’t want to do their own work really don’t belong in college and might feel more enthusiastically about a different type of program.

  2. Gray in Mountains says:

    I knew he resisted appointint some cronies or wanna-be cronies and hence was assassinated. But, quotes from Garfield are uncommon if not rare. The man, not the cat.

  3. SSG_Dan says:

    With a deadline looming on the debt ceiling and record number of people unemployed and wanting jobs, what’s the Republican’t Party’s response? “Look, over there…it’s a DEATH PANEL!”

    Accusations fly over obscure Medicare board

    WASHINGTON (AP) – So long death panels. Hello “rationing” board.

    An independent panel authorized by President Barack Obama’s health care law to control excessive Medicare cost increases is drawing heavy fire from Republicans. Nearly every health industry lobbying group is pushing for its repeal, as are some consumer advocates. GOP lawmakers call it a rationing panel, and at least one has suggested seniors will die from its decisions.

    But don’t look for the Independent Payment Advisory Board to start chopping any time soon. It doesn’t exist yet. Known as IPAB, the board may not be appointed for another couple of years, and remains in suspended animation to see if the brouhaha dies down.

    IPAB has the power to force Medicare cuts if costs go up beyond certain levels and Congress fails to act. Although Medicare’s long-term finances are troubled, it’s unclear if short-run costs will rise enough over the next decade to trigger the board’s intervention. If that happens, the law explicitly forbids IPAB from rationing care, shifting costs to retirees or restricting benefits.

    If the economic well-being of the nation wasn’t at stake, it’d just be another example of the destructive compulsive behavior of Repubs….

  4. Libertad says:

    Drilling in our own coastal waters and expanding Alaska, as North Dakota has seen, would do more than increase federal government revenues. Exploration, drilling and extraction will create hundreds of thousands of jobs; produce trillions of dollars in additional federal, state and local tax revenues; it will support suffering US industries with lower energy costs; will keep prices down at the pumps; strengthens our overall economy; weakens our depenance on adverse foreign nations such as Venezuela and much much more.

    Lowering the cost of energy will increase stock values that are owned by unions, citizens, government pension plans, and private retirement funds.

    You libs need single payer healthcare and more debt for more spending. If you really want this, then you could fund it with the taxes from US fossil fuel increases. If you really want to reduce unemployment, increase consumer spending and fund the free education of 20 million illegal aliens you should look at bumping up our economy to pay for it.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      And get an even better ROI as well as move toward the future rather than double down on the past.

      • Libertad says:

        You may be fine with soaring energy costs, but data centers, manufactures and the general public ain’t so hot on their recently spiked ‘lectric bills.  

        The added pain is the loss of income (complete or deminished earnings) resulting from trillions in mis-spent federal and state.

        When costs rise and revenues don’t keep up, the margin pressure results in lost jobs or lost investment. That in turn means lower government tax receipts. It works the someway at the household level too and really

        I need not remind you of these core economic principles that I know you know. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of renewable energy sources and in general lowering the cost of energy usage …. We just need a sustainable approach that doesn’t rely on massive subsidies that distort the actual costs.

    • ajb says:

      Highest lies per word I’ve yet seen in one of your posts.

      BTW, did the email you’re copying come with any links?

      • raymond1 says:

        … from just Alaska and coastal drilling.

        Especially the latter: $trillions in just additional taxes, which means the level of economic activity would be in the $10+ trillion ballpark — in a US economy whose entire size is about $14 trillion.

        That’s right, folks: Lib thinks more offshore drilling would roughly double the size of the entire US economy.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      …spend a few minutes off of WoW and you’d know that North Dakota’s energy boom is already happening. It’s one of those examples of “Developing the leases you already have.”

      Now, where’s your rant about “job killing energy regulations?” Y’know, the one that might have prevented the Yellowstone river from turning into a Jiffy Lube?

  5. DavidThi808 says:

    Transparent Government, via Webcams in India

    That is the premise for the webcam that a top government official here has installed in his office, as an anticorruption experiment. Goings-on in his chamber are viewable to the public, 24/7.

  6. Libertad says:

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 24% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends).

    You know the source and can’t stand it that the strongly disapprove and approve numbers are so gapingly wide. You know these numbers indicate just how the people are motivated to go the to polls and it just chaps your collective asses that Barry is potentially circling the drain.

    The effects of a multitude of failed policies and failed leadership has put Barry into the same class as Carter, albeit without the respect that people had for Carters honesty and boy scoutishness. Face it Carter was a nuclear engineer dork who served in the US Navy … He got a lot of kitchen table street cred for that, even if he was a total micro management failure.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      I see you did get some sleep after last night’s dungeon run…however, while you’re using complete sentences this time, the final result is your usual incomprehensible load of frogwash….

    • BlueCat says:

      Poll: Obama winning debt spin war

      Seventy-one percent of Americans surveyed for a CBS News poll released Monday morning say they oppose how Republicans are handling negotiations, while just 21 percent approve. In contrast, 48 percent disapprove of the president’s role in the talks, while 43 percent approve

      • ellbee says:

        Want to see how you get a ten-point advantage?

        Weight the sample by ten points in favor of the Dems.

        Note that the original survey had a seven-point advantage for Democrats, which would be equal to the difference in the 2008 presidential election’s national popular vote. CBS then weighted the survey to give an even further advantage to Democrats, mainly by lopping off almost three points and splitting it evenly between Democrats and independents.  That leaves Republicans with less than 24% representation in a poll that’s supposed to measure national political sentiment.

        In fact, the remainder left to the GOP ensures that no reliable conclusions can be made about Republican sentiment, either.  A poll of 193 adults – not registered or likely voters – is too small a sample for reliable conclusions about national political currents.  This poll is a complete waste of time, and about the only conclusion one can reach is that CBS tried very hard to get a sample that would support its preconceived notions of the debate.

        How is it that anyone believes anything coming out of CBS anymore?

        • BlueCat says:

          71%  opposing the way this was handled by Rs leaves a lot of lopping room. It’s clear who is refusing to put anything on the table. Dems should probably send Eric Cantor a nice fruit basket to thank him for his tantrums and childish intransigence. Even if it’s not really all of 71% it still looks like, more so than not, people can understand Obama responding with, to paraphrase… OK, see you tomorrow after you’ve had a chance to get over your hissy fit, Eric.  

          • ellbee says:

            Cantor’s not the one that left the meeting in a huff.  

            Maybe the OneВ® was late for his 76th round of golf…

            • raymond1 says:

              … b/c yeah, I’m sure lots of folks outside your Fox echo chamber believe (a) Obama rather than Cantor is the one being obstinate, and (b) Obama is a lazy guy who plays golf rather than do his work – that was Bush, actually, but yeah, keep with the racist talking point about the lazy black guy.

              • ellbee says:

                Obama defines obstinate, elitist, arrogant.

                “Hey, I won”.

                And you can bite my ass with the racist stuff. I realize it’s a fallback in lieu of an argument, but you’re barking up the wrong tree, so knock it off.

                Using your logic, you would now stand to be accused of being TOTALLY ANTI-SEMITIC because you called Cantor “obstinate”.  Come on – everyone knows what “obstinate” is a dog-whistle-word for, right?

                Do you see how completely stupid that kind of garbage is?

                Can we please all just stop with this asinine calling of people racists in the complete absence of any evidence to that effect? It’s just fucking idiotic at this point, Raymond.

            • BlueCat says:

              I agree with raymond except for the implication that you are a racist. I don’t believe that.  I believe you are illogical and deluded but not racist. But I don’t judge raymond too harshly for jumping to that conclusion.  Most of your fellow travelers are definitely racist and, like my grandma always said, when you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

              • ellbee says:

                Calling someone a racist is a horrible thing to do, particularly when you have absolutely zero reason to do so, and you do it anyway.  It’s awful.

                And you are out of your mind to say that “most” of the opposition to Obama has anything to do with the color of his skin.  People aren’t stupid.  That whole meme will be finished soon, hopefully.

                • BlueCat says:

                  By fellow travelers I mean the GOPT wing of the GOP which is demonstrably racist as witnessed by their signs, the forwarded e-mails filled with  racist “Jokes” and images, the obsession with proving  Obama’s illegitimacy as a citizen, etc. etc. etc. Those are the dogs to which I am referring. And, judging from the very nasty (even though admittedly not racist) things you yourself have said about Obama, you appear to be among those who love to dish it out but can’t take it. I suggest you get down off that high horse and take a deep breath.

                  • ellbee says:

                    You’re talking about a handful of idiots.  You are not talking about a large piece of ANY constituency, and my opinion is that it severely weakens one’s argument to simply believe that people just couldn’t be opposed to the President unless they were racist because…gee..he’s just so great that there couldn’t be another reason.

                    I don’t put up with racists.  I wouldn’t put up with them in the workplace, among my friends, or at any political gatherings or functions I go to.

                    I wish I could help you to understand that from my experience, it’s simply not that prevalent.  

                    • BlueCat says:

                      it’s a handful.  But then I think we’ve established that you’re delusional already.

                    • ellbee says:

                      In your opinion, what’s the percentage of Republicans in your opinion whose opposition to Obama is driven primarily by race?

                    • dwyer says:

                      The repubs do not treat the office of the Presidency with respect…beginning with Demitt calling out “You lie” during the first STate of the Union…

                      The leaders demanding that the PResident “come to the Congress.”

                      In my case, over the many long years of life, I have heard incredible racist speech from people I know…….when I hear similar sounding comments from politicians, particularly from the South, I hear racist tones based on that experience….I could be wrong….

                      Today, I hear people say the “n” word, I hear “uppity,” “lazy”…in connection with the golf…..I have seen people walk out of the room when Obama comes on the TV screen …I also hear “high y” ….”mongrel”…

                      Now, these are not my friends, this is the white noise of being around a lot of people…some, unfortunately, are relatives by marriage….

                      I would appreciate hearing from you about some situations in which you heard racist comments and how you reacted…

                      I do not think that all criticism of the president is racially motivated.  I do know that there is a segment of the population that despise the fact that a black man is President…

                    • ellbee says:

                      When I hear the N word (at least in the last ten years or so, I guess) it’s coming from black folks.  While I find the word itself distasteful, I certainly am not the guy to tell them not to use that word.  I appreciate its place in African-American slang, and why it’s used.

                      Look up some of my responses to Mark G. when he uses his creepy derivative “Blackman”.  I’m not a fan, and I let him know. That’s how it goes if I hear it in person from anyone that’s not black, although I honestly haven’t run into that in many years, and there are good reasons for that.

                      Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about (pay attention, Bluecat):

                      What percentage of Dems dislike/despise/hate Clarence Thomas?

                    • dwyer says:

                      What percentage of Dems dislike/despise/hate Clarence Thomas?

                      As a matter of fact, I think that Anita Hill had an obligation to report that harassment if and went it occurred. To wait until the hearings for his nomination, I thought, was wrong.

                      I disagree with Thomas’s opinions on the court.  I have a lot of concerns about his wife’s political and fund raising activities.

                      We are not playing tit for tat here.  

                      This is what I am worried about:  Republicans from the Teaparty and/or the South have a strategy of non-cooperation with the PResident because he is black and white men can not take orders from a black man or allow a black man to win in a fight.  The country could be destroyed economically because of that.

                      You are fortunate not to hear these kind of comments…I do not seek them out, but I know they exist.

                    • DaftPunk says:

                      You don’t think there’s enough race-neutral reasons to hate Clarence Thomas?

                      excuse me for the obvious…

                      You don’t think

                      …never mind.

                    • ellbee says:

                      I forgot, I’m stupid.  Thanks for the help.

                      You have illustrated my point.  If I were a liberal, there would in fact be a myriad of non-race-based reasons to “hate” Thomas.

                      Why can’t liberals understand that philosophically, there are just as many reasons for someone on the other side of the spectrum to have disdain for Obama that’s just as race-neutral?

                    • Diogenesdemar says:

                      versus everyone of a large group of “someones.”  I guess you’re both right.

                      It’s Heisenbergish — any particular is arguable, the group is quantifiable . . .

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Michelle as a gorilla, watermelons on the White House lawn, the obsession (sorry Fox but you don’t have the copyright on that word) with proving Obama was born in Kenya and brought up as a little Mau Mau junior ranger of some kind, hating white people, all seem kind of racist. Show me the same kind of stuff, in the same quantities, generated by people who think Clarence Thomas is a lousy Supreme Court Justice or that Cain is a lousy presidential candidate.  

                    • DaftPunk says:

                      I didn’t call you stupid.

                      You post shit to get a rise when you haven’t thought it through (EPA decided that they had the power to regulate CO2? No, you didn’t like their approach to how it’s regulated. You don’t like foreign courts dictating US law, but you might not be OK with being the only country besides Saudi and China which execute teenagers.)

                      Demonstrate that there’s thought to what you write instead of spouting talking points (lies) and you might get a different reaction.

                      I understand there’s ideological reasons to oppose any politician, but there’s plenty of race-based hatred of Obama as well.  I don’t know if you’ve acknowledged that.

                • raymond1 says:

                  I have no idea if you’re a racist, and I don’t have any reason to think you are — but this “Obama is lazy” meme (a) so has zero basis (elbee, your whole gripe is that he’s actually accomplished a shitload of things you hate), (b) so calls upon a racist stereotype, and (c) is being peddled repeatedly by race-baiter Karl Rove, who doesn’t repeatedly use a word as charged as “lazy” without knowing what he’s doing.

                  • ellbee says:

                    Did I use the word “lazy”?  Ever?

                    I think he’s played a lot of golf. I think his time might be better spent in other ways, but that’s just like…my opinion…man.

                    Of course you don’t have any reason to believe I’m a racist, but that didn’t stop you from saying this:

                    but yeah, keep with the racist talking point about the lazy black guy.

                    So, yeah.  You called me a racist anyway.  What the fuck is up with some of you people?

                    • BlueCat says:


                    • ellbee says:

                      It ok if I call people racists?  What are you talking about?

                    • Mark G. says:

                      Raymond pretends everyone except the black man is racist. He will twist; misconstrue and lie to play his race-card.

                      BTW Obama is NOT lazy, he has played 75 rounds of golf this year, no lazy man would ever do that.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      You really want to be in the same team as this dick, elbee?

                    • ellbee says:

                      …you should look at my interactions with Mark.  I’m uncomfortable with his commentary on race here, and I’ve pointed that out to him.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      I said when you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.  

                    • Libertad says:

                      For many Dems. the goto play is to whip out the race card. Hell, they usually deal it hour after hour off the bottom of the deck.

                      The entire Obama Team is lazy. When faced with a failed set of economic policies, the entire “leadership team” (Roemer and Goolsbee) quit and blaming their departure on a need to get back to their university position lest they be terminated from their full professorships.

                      Shit, you know if the failed policies had actually worked these two twits would have had millions in book royalties coming their way. Hell, they would have both stayed to be considered for the new Treasury Secty, as Geithner skated 5 directorships and non executive chairman of Goldman or Chase.

                      The problem with the entire “multi album” set of Obama policies is they are each fundamentally rotten to the core. They violate basic financial rules or economic principles.

                      Socialism failed folks, just ask the Chinese who only use it now to maintain political one party control.

                      Why do you think Obama is batting -18 in Rassmussen’s strong approve/disapprove poll? You’ve lost the key independant segment of America.

        • Libertad says:

          I suspected thenullnull

          What I find most shocking is Obama’s threatening of America.

          I found thenullnullWhat I find most shocking is Obama’s threatening of America.

          I found the Washington Post piece below shocking. Our President continues to play politics like it’s Russian Roulet night down at Spend’N Tax headquarters.

          The White House on Monday threatened to veto the debt ceiling solution due to the inclusion of a balance budget measure.

          Again, more failed leadership by Team Obama ….. sad!

  7. DavidThi808 says:

    from CodeBelay

    Silicon Valley Information Technology Workers (excludes hardware, e.g. Apple, Intel, financial software which would total 387,000): 49,900

    Los Angeles Information Technology Workers (excludes hardware, financial software which would total 758,000): 106,100

    Despite having a smaller pool of talent, Silicon Valley tech workers’ companies are able to produce 1% of the GDP of the United States or $174 billion annually.

    Compare this with Los Angeles which despite having sheer numbers will only produce $10 billion this year.

    Silicon Valley produces $3.8 million per worker and Los Angeles roughly $90,000 – just enough to keep the lights on.

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    The U.S. House should be working on a bill right now that specifies where to cut in the budget if no debt increase is passed. There is a very real possibility of no increase. The 40% cut in spending is the biggest financial decision that will be made on the budget if that happens. And financial bills must come from the House.

    So why has the GOP leadership not done anything real on this? My guess is this would make it very clear to the voters what will happen to the benefits and services they like if the tea party course is actually followed and that would kill the tea party. They also don’t want to have their members have to vote for a bill that would seriously harm them in the ’12 elections.

    The Dems should be pounding on Boehner to step up and pass legislation on what to cut if the limit is not increased. It’s what’s best for the country (and for us Dems).

    • BlueCat says:

      the idea that we can cut our way out of this without increasing tax revenues is a fairy tale. Just like the discredited trickle down theory that tax cuts to “job producing” rich people increase tax revenue by increasing jobs and prosperity has been proved to be a fairy tale.  

      Oddly, slashing spending by ignoring infrastructure needs, slashing benefits to recipients who have to spend them pretty much immediately and slashing public sector employees when the private sector isn’t creating jobs, just makes the economy suck more, while our infrastructure and public education crumbles.  

      But, hey, deteriorating to the point of joining the third world is OK with the corporate elite. Their class does great in third world countries. Besides, ideology is sacred and much more important than any practical considerations, such as, you konow, objective reality.  Just ask Elbee. That’s why the only kind of Darwinism Rs approve of is the misnamed one…Social Darwinism.

      • reubenesp says:

        cuts to food stamps, UI insurance, social security, medicare and medicaid.

        LBJ paid for Vietnam with an accross the board 10% income tax surcharge.  Bush CUT taxes and borrowed a trillion dollars to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan.

  9. SSG_Dan says:

    ..if we withdraw fully from Iraq and Afghanistan, and end the Bush Tax cuts, we’re good in 2016..

    The light blue area represents the U.S. debt forecast if Congress does nothing and all the tax cuts expire. The dark blue area is the debt forecast if Republicans get their way and make the tax cuts permanent. But if Obama gets his way, we’ll get something in between — and debts will continue to rise nonetheless.


  10. DavidThi808 says:

    Gene Marks at Forbes does a really good job of explaining why the unemployment rate is going to remain high:

    I know you need a job and I know this is a very difficult situation.  And I don’t want to sound cruel because I’m trying to help you.  And to get help with a problem the first thing we have to do is diagnose the problem.  So here’s the cold, hard truth about why you’re unemployed:  most businesses don’t need you any more.  We can do just as much, if not more, without you.

    But we do need programmers.  And experienced customer service people.  We need engineers,  scientists, high end equipment operators, nurses, lab technicians and (very soon) capable construction workers too.  In other words:  people with skills.  As a business owner it’s a no-brainer to me that if I can profit from your skills I may very well be persuaded to hire you.  What expertise can you bring to me that a machine can’t do for much less?  I have to meet that challenge with my own customers.  That’s the challenge that we all face.

    The entire article is well worth reading. But the bottom line is that a large number of the unemployed do not have the job skills needed for today’s economy. And this shift in skills needed is going to accelerate.

    If we don’t address this, we’re going to have a sizable underclass for the indefinite future. And addressing this requires fixing K-12 and having most people go on to College.

    • BlueCat says:

      who here will be able to afford to buy their goods and services? The upper 1% won’t be able to replace a no longer huge, no longer prosperous, no longer hyper-consuming middle class all by themselves, neither for us nor for the world that looks to American consumers to fuel their economies. Unless they plan to pay much better wages to customer service reps?  But why would they do that with plenty of people desperate for any job.

      I guess they can do what other corporate elites in poor countries do.  They can live in well guarded compounds to protect themselves from the desperate masses or perhaps live abroad and sell their wares to countries with big prosperous middle classes. Perhaps China will take our place as the consumer engine fueling the world economy? Perhaps kidnapping for ransom will become one of our own growth industries?

      I guess as long as the increasing concentration of wealth at the very top continues at the present pace, the owners of that wealth won’t see any reason to care about anything else.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        It’s that the economy has shifted and the people looking for jobs need to shift with it. What do you propose companies do – hire people who can’t add value? If I hire marginally competent people then I put the job of everyone at my company at risk – why should I do that?

        • BlueCat says:

          Sure economies change and there are shifting needs.  But the fact is you can’t have a prosperous middle class without jobs that allow the average run of the mill majority to make a decent living. You think your going to get there with more customer service jobs? Look at the jobs you cited. A strong middle class can only exist when there are well paying jobs with decent benefits for the average majority. Lake Wobegon, where everyone is above average, is and always will be a myth.

          That’s the conundrum. There are tons of people out of work right now who already have been through retraining for jobs that already are no longer the answer. As far as becoming scientists and engineers?  The way things are going only the privileged few will have access to  any college education.  Construction? Not while people can’t afford to buy houses and government can’t afford to fund big projects. Times are still really tough in construction related trades.

          So where is all this education and training going to come from, who’s going to fund it and what are service sector jobs going to pay?  

          • DavidThi808 says:

            Do you want to limit the use of automation in factories so that we still have jobs for people with just a high school degree? You would have to do that world-wide to make that work.

            What we’re facing I call the Craigslist effect. Craigslist has 27 employees and they replaced 100,000+ people who were the infrastructure for classified ads and the reports that profit paid. This has happened in industry after industry. We can’t bring those jobs back.

            For the last 60 years the deal was get a high school education and you can find a decent job. And everyone found that requirement reasonable. Well now it’s get a college degree – and keep learning the rest of your life. That’s a reasonable increase over 60 years.

            I think College should be free as it’s needed for a good job. And we have a drastic shortage of qualified workers. I also think if you increase the number of college educated then service workers will see better pay – because there’s fewer people applying for those jobs.

            • BlueCat says:

              It’s just that we’ve been hearing this retraining mantra for a couple of decades now and it clearly isn’t the grand answer.  

              There is something much more fundamental going on that has to be addressed. First, there would have to be a huge government  investment, which most in the overwhelmingly GOP business world are adamantly opposed to, in order to accomplish the kind of massive education and training programs that would be necessary to engineer enough change.  

              There would also have to be a new way of looking at factors determining worker pay that don’t rest entirely on getting the most immediate profit out of them by paying them as little as you can get away with.  

              Henry Ford was out to lunch on a lot of things, such as the whole World Jewish Conspiracy, Protocols of the Elders of Zion thing and an old fashioned paternalistic attitude toward workers, but he was very smart about something else.  

              He figured out that making assembly line cars cheaply enough combined with paying workers wages good enough could transform luxury item automobiles from a only the small market of the wealthy item to a product that would be affordable for the much larger market of ordinary Americans, including his own workers. He looked at the big picture, not just the next months financial’s.

              What’s missing is an understanding of the big picture, as witnessed by the withering of the very class that is most needed to fuel the whole economy.

  11. reubenesp says:

    The drown the government baby in the bathtub crowd has taken a legal body blow with the disgraceful and spectacular fall of archconservative Rupert Murdoch.   Although the Murdoch media empire still provides Norquist and his spawn a valuable mouthpiece from which to spew their hateful political venom, its reputation has been sullied.

    UK commentators are making the case that eliminating the fear of Murdoch’s take no prisoners approach to politics has opened the windows on an evil empire, resulting in resignations of corporate and high ranking public officials that has reached all the way to No. 10 Downing St.

    But what does Murdoch’s fall mean for Grover Norquist, another one man band who has held America hostage by his religious-like pledge against any and all tax increases, including opposing the elimination of tax subsidies, and who hates the social safety net?

    Norquist has built a political empire, much like Murdoch’s media empire, based on bully tactics and hate and fear mongering. Absent any provable illegal activity, Norquist is still able to freely threaten and bully politicians into submission.  But the spectacle of the ferocious Murdoch going down in flames should embolden the mainstream media to dig deeper into Norquist operations. Nobody likes a bully.

    I think the upshot is that Indies are now more skeptical about a movement whose religious icons think nothing of committing over the top illegal acts, and whose ideas appear to be more ideological than reasonable and which are perceived to harm the country.  The proverbial chickens are coming home to roost.  I’m confident the GOP will be out of power for a generation beginning in 2012.

    As per your James Garfield quote for today, looks like stupidity and faulty doctrines AND internal decay and rigidification can be be used to describe Grover Norquist, the Tea Party and the GOP.

  12. SSG_Dan says:

    Borders liquidating and closing all stores

    Borders on Monday night said it would effectively shut down as it planned to liquidate its business. Following unsuccessful tries at selling itself following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company planned to sell all 399 of its stores and their assets to two liquidation companies, Gordon Brothers and Hilco. The clearout would start as soon as Friday with the entire process wrapped up by September.

    Company president Mike Edwards directly blamed the failure on the nature of technology and the pressure from e-readers, among other factors.

    “The rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now,” he said.

    The move could be a serious wound for Kobo. While generally successful, a large part of its US sales have been dependent on being the exclusive e-reader hardware maker for Borders. Kobo will now have to lean more on regular store chains in the US, its mobile apps, as well as sales in its home country of Canada and elsewhere in the world.

    Borders represents the first major casualty of e-books. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which leaped on to e-readers faster and with more attention, are already selling more e-books than paper editions for most if not all of their lineups. The threat was only expected to worsen as iPads, the Nook Color, and Amazon’s future tablet reduced the market for paper magazines.

    I can now check out books on my creaky Android phone from the Denver Public Library using Overdrive software, without ever having to step foot in the local branch. My wife’s iPad has 6 books from DPL, two from Barnes & Noble using the Nook app, and a few iBooks purchased from the iTunes Store.

    Adopt or Die….

  13. Libertad says:

    Hey radical Democratic friends,  what’s the scope with this organization? They have been advertising here daily?

  14. ajb says:

    U.S. Defense budget vs other countries.

  15. Mark G. says:

    It all started when an ignorant Cpoll(oxymoron) said American professionl sports are racist becasue there are hardly any African American players.

    I simply pointed out the percentage of African Americans in America is 13% yet Pro FootBall has a 66% African American content.

    You have been dancing the Liberal 2step ever since.

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