Monday Open Thread, anyone.

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

“Just think what my margin might have been if I had never left home at all.”

-President John Kennedy, commenting on the fact that he had campaigned hard in Alaska and lost but won Hawaii handily without visiting it

46 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gray in Mountains says:

    to get on the primary ballot. So,

    1: “it is a horribly flawed system” I guess because he couldn’t, even paying people to gather signatures and bonuses, muster signatures where he lives, and

    2: it is a “setback” equivalent to Pearl Harbor Day

    • DavidThi808 says:

      When two credible candidates don’t make their primary ballot.

      • sxp151 says:

        Candidates on the Virginia ballot in 2008 (when the rules were stricter):

        Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and John Edwards.

        Gingrich has exactly one way to demonstrate that he’s a competent manager (after his fiasco as Speaker), and running this campaign is it.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          short term memory loss and fill in the blanks with a few facts.

          Here, let me help you out.

          Virigina is Gingrich’s home state and residence for the last 12 years.

          If he and his campaign can’t figure out how to get on a ballot in his home state, one might wish to stop blaming VA and put the blame for this fuck up squarely where it belongs–on a candidate that is running a piss poor ground campaign.

          How soon we forget that his campaign manager as well as a half dozen of senior advisers from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina left his campaign in June because of how poorly he was running things and because of the lack of focus and direction from their candidate.

          I realize he was super busy touring the Greek islands at that time and promoting his awesomely produced documentary but perhaps, just perhaps, he should have brought his ass home and acted like he actually wanted the job he’s running for.  

          • BlueCat says:

            that write in would not be an option.  But I think this is what happens when a phony campaign meant to function as a book tour enhancement builds up some unexpected momentum and forces the huckster to start acting like it was a supposed to be a real campaign. They probably never bothered with a lot of details, never intending to really run for President in the first place.  

            • Middle of the Road says:

              And somebody should have been aware that write in would not be an option.

              There’s not a single professional thing about his campaign which speaks volumes to how he would govern, doesn’t it?

              • BlueCat says:

                Craig describes engineering the historic take over of the House on the Gingrich thread. The only way former big shot pols, like former big shot real estate moguls, can keep their celebrity status sufficiently burnished to use to make a lavish living is by recharging their fame periodically. Otherwise they just descend into the kind of has been status where, when they die, people say I didn’t even know so and so was still alive.

                This hasn’t been run like a professional political campaign because that’s not what it is. It’s been a really spiffy celebrity tour book though.  

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I used to think I knew what “credible” meant . . .  

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Peloponnesian War?  Tough day for historians, I guess . . .  

    • Lurker19 says:

      was laughing about the Gingrich VA fail the other day.  His theory is, the old guard GOP higher ups in VA tossed out all of the signatures on Gingrich’s petitions on purpose, you know, to keep him out of the race for the nomination (nobody knows you better than the folks back home, right?).

      I just read another theory that tossing out all of Gingrich’s signatures proves that he was committing voter fraud on a scale not seen, since, well, I s’pose ol’ LBJ.

      This run up to the election has been highly entertaining.  But all of the popcorn I’ve been having is not helping my diet.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Harsh Realities From 500 Startups Founders

    “In the almost two years that we’ve been building EcoMom, I’ve been the CEO, loading dock worker, fund raiser, legal clerk, delivery guy, trade show set up guy, purchasing guy, accountant, graphic artist (barely), credit card puller outer, food getter, vendor schmoozer, customer service manager, blog network coordinator, and many other titles. Each day brings a new role, to add to all of the others.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value

    “What would lead [a CEO],” asks Martin, “to do the hard, long-term work of substantially improving real-market performance when she can choose to work on simply raising expectations instead? Even if she has a performance bonus tied to real-market metrics, the size of that bonus now typically pales in comparison with the size of her stock-based incentives. Expectations are where the money is. And of course, improving real-market performance is the hardest and slowest way to increase expectations from the existing level.”

    Our theories of shareholder value maximization and stock-based compensation have the ability to destroy our economy and rot out the core of American capitalism. These theories underpin regulatory fixes instituted after each market bubble and crash. Because the fixes begin from the wrong premise, they will be ineffectual; until we change the theories, future crashes are inevitable.”

    Yet, precisely the opposite occurred. In the period of shareholder capitalism since 1976, executive compensation has exploded while corporate performance has declined. “Maximizing shareholder value” turned out to be the disease of which it purported to be the cure.

    • Craig says:

      I’ve been saying for years that the problem with the American economy is that there is no incentive for anyone to do anything except look at the short-term stock price.  No one is planning for the long term or even thinking about it any more.  This article hits the nail on the head.

    • Shareholder value is a real-life application of an unregulated free market – in concept, executives and board members should be looking out for long term benefits, corporate image, etc. but in reality those items take an insignificant back seat to short term stock value, which is driven by the quarterly statement.

      This is mostly due to the irrational price points of most stocks and the incentives that accompany stock trading vs. traditional company valuations.  I don’t know that we can put the genie back in the bottle, but we could do a few things to mitigate the effects.  Eliminating the lower capital gains tax rate and adding a per-transaction stock trading fee would be a start, and would solidify the Federal treasury at the same time.  Altering the accounting methods for stock options might also help.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    *(broadest interpretation permitted).

    My gift? — and, BTW, thanks for asking — a comparative religions plaque:

                                       RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD

    Taoism:  Shit happens.

    Hinduism:  This shit happened before.

    Islam:  If shit happens, Praise Allah

    Buddhism:  When shit happens, is it really shit?

    7th Day Adventism:  Shit happens on Saturday.

    Protestantism:  Shit won’t happen if you work harder.

    Catholicism:  If shit happens, you deserve it.

    Johovah’s Witnessism:  Knock, knock — “Shit Happens.”

    Judaism:  Why does this shit always happen to me?

    Hare Krishnaism:  Shit happens Rama Lama Ding Dong.

    Athiesm:  No shit.

    Television Evangelism:  Please send us more shit.

    Rastafarianism:  Now, that’s some good shit.


    • Middle of the Road says:

      My best gift was Van Gogh: The Life by

      Steven Naifeh. I’ve been dying to read it but too cheap to buy it so was in heaven getting that. And a copy of The Constant Gardener, which I love but never owned on DVD until now.  

      • droll says:

        just like my father, who I never met, was. My mom’s family is totally supportive of that (seeing as how I was allowed to “convert” at 13), but totally Christian. So I usually get eight of whatevers for Christmas, as a nod to the Festival of Lights.

        Eight pairs of socks.

        For some reason I was also given all eight Harry Potter movies. This is some kind of miscommunication, not unlike when I used to be given Pooh Bear things to wear (shudder – it clashed with all the black!). But I’m a huge Alan Rickman fan; now I get to glare about the lack of Snape development in the last films for the next few weeks. Oddly, this makes me happy.

        Best event was lighting the Menorah next to the tree and a mound of wrapping paper, watching my mom and aunt do what they saw in the Jazz Singer. 😀 “Don’t we need to make a circle with our hands, but toward the candles?” Very cute.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          so I just dig getting thoughtful gifts and giving them. I gave my mom a Nativity ornament made out of wood from Israel for Christmas and she loved it. And she gave me money and I loved that. 🙂

          What is the Festival of Lights? I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know what that is. I would love it if someone gave me 8 pairs of Smart Wool socks right now. I need to really drop that hint hard next year.

          • BlueCat says:

            It’s basically a festival celebrating a miracle to do with consecrated fuel oil following a defeat of our enemies. We got those suckers good!  As you can see, the answer to the question “Is it the Jewish Christmas?” is.. not at all.


            • Middle of the Road says:

              I had no idea what it entailed or why there were 8 days.

              I’d still like the socks, though…

              • BlueCat says:

                Hanukkah Harry. See immortal Saturday Night Live skit with John Lovitz. For Jews who were kids when I was, it’s pretty much a documentary and almost as funny as the Christopher Walken Cow Bells sketch. Last candle lighting tomorrow night.


                • nancycronk says:

                  after their bar mitzvahs (at age 13). Now we just give them $150 once and say, “Go get what you need”. (In Arapahoe County, where we live, I am astounded by the expensive Christmas gifts my kids friend’s get — new cell phones, game systems, designer clothes, etc. Our cash gift to our kids seems like nothing in comparison — yet it is a far cry from the socks and a pair of Levis jeans of my childhood!).

                  The gift-giving is no longer the centerpiece of our holiday celebration. It is now about making latkes (potato pancakes), getting out the hanukkiah (menorah), lighting the candles, spinning the dreidel, and playing board games with friends. We also make lots of Christmas cookies and give them out to neighbors, friends, and sometimes, fire stations in the area. It is important to us that our  kids realize giving to others who are celebrating another holiday (Christmas) is very appropriate this time of year, whether we celebrate it or not.

                  Oh, and MOTR, “Hanukkah Harry” is a joke.

                  I think it is also worth mentioning there is a Hindu holiday which is also called “The Festival of Lights” but it is earlier (in autumn) and the two stories have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The similar name is just a coincidence.  

                  • BlueCat says:

                    I think MOTR can figure out that Hanukkah Harry is a joke. Especially since I already had provided a link to totally legit info and it’s an SNL skit, for God’s sake. No need to take everything so seriously Nancy.

                    • nancycronk says:

                      but I figured the “Festival of Lights” was the most basic part. Most people I run into say, “I see the menorrah (or ‘candle thing’) and know you light them” but that’s all I know about your holiday.  And yeah, I occassionally get asked if it is the Jewish Christmas.

                • Middle of the Road says:

                  And I remember laughing my ass off.

                  Great stuff–thanks for the reminder. I hit your link yesterday for some afternoon entertainment…and laughed my ass off all over again–“The Night He Saved Easter.” Oh my God. 🙂

              • droll says:

                just as well. 🙂

                I bet your mom’s present is incredibly beautiful.

                Now, switching to wishing a happy new year. I like it because it’s safe. While many groups of people have another, we nearly all live off of the common calendar. This one is so easy to celebrate. Bottoms up!

        • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

          By FAR the best character.

          • droll says:

            but I’m reminded of how ridiculously talented the adults in the film were. The trio? Not so much. Kind of a shame, for many reasons. Ah well, it’s a guilty pleasure. What’s to be expected?

            I also recently received the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Odd, since I’ve never read the books and hadn’t seen the films. Have now and my nerd heart rejoices. Also, Frodo is a douche.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      Holy freaking awesome grandmother.

      I’ma gonna fly a plane!!!!


      Duck, y’all.

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