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Did you enjoy the solstice yesterday as much as I did?

  • A friend and mentor of mine, the one and only David Dayen, retired from blogging yesterday:
    And to you, the reader. Over the past couple weeks since I made this announcement that I would step aside, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and kind words from countless folks. People who do this for a while will tell you that they always, in the back of their mind, fear (and probably are just convinced) that they are merely screaming into a dark void. It means so much to me that you all have reached out to let me know that, in some meager way, I managed to have a measure of impact, at least at that individual level. This is all a writer can really hope for, and I’m humbled by your comments and emails and tweets.

    My wife Mary is the most wonderful, patient person in the whole world, and I’m certain she will be pleased to get to go to sleep at night without the piercing light of an active laptop to contend with. The biggest thanks goes to her since none of you, at least as far as I know from my vantage point, have to put up with that. Also I’m sorry I left the back door open last night. Like blogging, marriage is a work in progress.

    I really and truly have no idea what I’m going to do next as far as this part of my life goes. My wife tells me that I’ll last a month, tops, before crawling back. I don’t really think so (I gave a fuller explanation of my thought process in making this decision on Sam Seder’s radio show, if you’re interested), but she seems to know me well. So we shall see.

    If anything does change, I’m sure I’ll let people know @ddayen. And if I do move forward, I hope I can count on you to move forward with me.

    This has been a great privilege. Thank you.

    For many, David's blogging has been a staples of news and advocacy, especially on the subject of the banking sector and financial reform. For me personally, David's more than that. In 2009, we served together on the editorial board of Calitics, a blog dedicated to covering progressive politics in California, and he had been instrumental in covering California's continuous budget crises from a progressive point of view. He taught me so much of what there is to know about California politics and the financial sector, and on both of these subjects, he has forgotten more than most of us will ever know--unless we read every one of what he has tabulated to be 22,000 blog posts over the course of his blogging career.

    David explained his decision to retire in a very worthwhile interview with Sam Seder's Majority Report, and it's worth a listen for his comments on the blogosphere in general. Knowing David's passion, intelligence and desire, I know he will continue to advance a progressive agenda in some way--but the blogosphere is certainly worse for his departure, and his voice will be sorely missed.

  • Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way:
    The internal disputes roiling the website founded by the late conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart broke out into the open Friday, when a star blogger sued to be freed from her contractual obligations to the site.

    St. Louis talk radio host Dana Loesch, also a frequent guest on CNN, alleges in the suit filed in federal district court in St. Louis that the site is refusing to publish her work while "sabotag[ing] her attempts to labor in a similar fashion elsewhere through public misstatements and private threats to sue those who would otherwise employ Loesch."

    Loesch is seeking her freedom from the company and at least $75,000 in damages.

    I'm not sure I'd classify anything Loesch does as "work," but this is Breitbart's standards we're talking about.
  • The New York Times editorializes on Wayne Lapierre's epic press conference of crazy:
    Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, would have been better advised to remain wherever he had been hiding after the Newtown, Conn., massacre, rather than appear at a news conference on Friday. No one seriously believed the N.R.A. when it said it would contribute something “meaningful” to the discussion about gun violence. The organization’s very existence is predicated on the nation being torn in half over guns. Still, we were stunned by Mr. LaPierre’s mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.
    And that's the nice part.
  • Apparently, you can be fired for being too sexy. I'll never have to worry about that, but ...
  • Joe Klein, on Kerry, Hagel and the nomination process in general:
    I think the President has a responsibility here–to make a decision fast. It may be that Obama hasn’t made up his mind yet (in which case, the Administration shouldn’t have leaked his name). There are other fine candidates, like Deputy Secretary Ash Carter and defense intellectual Michelle Flournoy. Hagel is a good choice, too; he would the first Vietnam veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense. But the current state of play–Hagel twisting in the wind, his reputation slimed by such flamingly patriotic individuals as Bill Kristol and the saintly bloggers at Commentary–is unfair and not very classy. It is the exact opposite of what a nomination process should look like.
    It hurts me to put these words down, but I agree with Joe Klein on this. It was painful to watch Ambassador Susan Rice be pilloried by these jokers without even having a nomination process to go through.
  • Charles Pierce at Esquire on the impending nomination of Sen. John Kerry to Defense:
    But the key is the Swift Boats. If some senator brings it up — or, worse, if some of the old poolroom liars are trotted in front of the Senate committee sitting on Kerry's nomination — and if the courtier press doesn't emphasize at every moment that everything that was said about John Kerry and Vietnam in the 2004 presidential campaign was a lie and an embarrassment to American politics and the American media, then we have on our hands yet another case of journalistic malpractice, and we have had enough of those, thank you. Those people should be ignored. The "controversy" should be relegated to the guy with the pompadour on the Ancient Aliens TV show.
    Damn right. It's hard to think about Senator Kerry without mentioning the context of the national journalistic shame that was the Swift Boat incident.
  • From the blog of the bigoted, hateful, anti-gay National Organization For Marriage. Offered without comment, because it's what passes for intellectual among these circles.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Safety in schools is about more than guns (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Shockwave, PSzymeczek, trumpeter

    usually each Saturday when I am teaching I offer a reflection about teaching, schools and related

    This is today's.

    In it I am attempting to address something I think is very wrong with our approach to schools

    I will be interested in any responses people may choose to share.


    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:02:01 PM PST

  •  I played a wedding on the solstice (9+ / 0-)

    for two fellow parishioners and good friends. It was a beautiful ceremony. As the sun was setting.

    As for the NOM, well, the sister of the bride was telling my fiance GMB02 and I about how their son just came out. How I very much do love the Episcopal Church.

    Yesterday was a very, very special day.

    Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

    by commonmass on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:02:53 PM PST

  •  I'm (6+ / 0-)

    too sexy for my job, too sexy for my job, watch me work, just ask Bob....

  •  We should direct our anger at the GOP, not Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, ScottyUrb

    My diary reminding progressives who caused this mess and deserves the bulk of our anger:

    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

      We are capable at directing anger in more than one direction. Of course the Republicans deserve derision and scorn in massive amounts for their actions.

      But Obama, by offering up Chained-cpi, was willing to give something away that would not reduce the national debt by a single nickle, yet would seriously negatively impact the lives of millions of seniors.

      Pardon me if I call BS on a move like that.

  •  Also, diary about GOP-proposed Medicaid cuts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, ScottyUrb, marina

    That did not get enough attention:

  •  Sign me up for the War on Solstice! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If life was fair, we wouldn't need unions.

    by ScottyUrb on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:10:29 PM PST

  •  Off topic endorsement. Just because. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "This is NOT what I thought I'd be when i grew up."

    by itzik shpitzik on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:11:59 PM PST

  •  wow! (5+ / 0-)

    i hadn't known. dayen is as good as it gets, anywhere. i feel like i did when bob herbert left the times.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:16:39 PM PST

    •  If he wants to leave, he should leave, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis

      I didn't much like his slagging the blogosphere in the interview with Seder.

      Just picking a leftish website at random, let's take Daily Kos for an example:  I can identify three things here, without even going further, that refute him depiction of the blogosphere.  (I'd quote from that interview here, but I don't have a transcript, and the online automatic captioning is unintentionally hilarious.)  For the those who don't watch, a large part of it is that it's watered down from its 2006-2008 peak because it's broader and it's too captive to Democrats.

      I think that if all you read from here were just Joan and Jeb's front-page stories -- which I'm not arguing are the best (though I like them) but are the ones I think of that most closely follow news events --  you would right there have the kind of critical perspective on current events that he says he finds lacking.  And if DKos did absolutely nothing else but fund polls through PPP -- which have transformed the best of polling and changed critical storylines at a time when the most popular of polling has become atrocious -- something we understand largely because of PPP doing it better, it would justify the site's continued existence, period.

      If Dave doesn't like that, despite our informed critical posture, we're more cooperative with the establishment than he'd like -- as if he has a better prescription to go with a sharp diagnosis -- then he can start a blog.  Or whatever.

      Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
      -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:07:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Umm, you mean (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, OLinda

    John Kerry's nomination to State, right?

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:17:49 PM PST

  •  I don't think I've ever heard (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Phil S 33, commonmass

    an assault rifle discharged in my little neck of the woods in rural PA. Some of my neighbors, who've lived here for 40-50 years, can't recall it either. It was a little chilling to hear it this morning when we were out clearing snow.

  •  Dana Loesch is about to find out first hand that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, snazzzybird

    the courts are corporation friendly and that she is shit out of luck and can do nothing about it.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:21:58 PM PST

  •  Well I'm a fucking anachronism (4+ / 0-)

    I have, thus far, raised two English boys. One is in his second year at the University of London, the other was just accepted into a leading UK Music College to study for a BA in Professional Musicianship.

    My three younger, American children are all pulling straight "A"s in school, and one of them sits in the 1st Chair Alto Sax, having made All Region Band.

    She, by the way, is the straight teen (she's boy mad) who attends the "Equality Club" at school because she thinks folk who are different to her deserve her support.

    My wife and I love each other very much, yet I may have glimpsed some pron recently.

    Shit, I must be doing it wrong.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:27:07 PM PST

    •  Props for raising sane kids in Oklahoma (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, commonmass, twigg

      It is not easy in the heart of REDLAND.

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:37:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Congrats on your boys, Twigg. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      From one professional musician to another in training (pass this on): if you can't write a fugue, you can't play one. ;)

      Happy Christmas, my friend.

      Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

      by commonmass on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:52:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a gay guy who sometimes looks at porn and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, twigg, DRo

      I think straight people should be allowed to marry.  Does that prove NOM's point?

      "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

      by Rikon Snow on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:54:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Congrats on the family (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      On Thanksgiving, my youngest great-niece gave us a recital on the viola -- a bit off-key in spots but a credible job nonetheless. Not sure if she plans to pursue music as a vocation (her parents have been encouraging math/science careers for their daughters so the girls can support their parents in old age), but if it helps her get a scholarship my niece is all for it. (She's only in 8th grade, so has a couple more years before they have to repeat the college tour that they did for her older sister.)

      We have some Republicans in the family, but for the most part they're of the relatively sane, non-wingnut wing of the Party; they don't like the over-attention to social issues like abortion or gay rights, and would prefer the GOP to return to its fiscal conservative roots.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:27:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't knock Ancient Aliens tv show's credibility- (6+ / 0-)

    since the show's claims about ancient aliens on planet earth are more credible and fact-based than Congressional Republicans' claims that their policies are helping the middle class.

    Which is more likely - that Mitt Romney really paid his income taxes in years past (those years of tax returns he had to hide from public view in the campaign) or that ancient aliens visited planet earth?  My bet is on the extraterrestrials.

  •  says it all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, commonmass, OLinda
    Still, we were stunned by Mr. LaPierre’s mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:29:34 PM PST

  •  I am going to miss DDay so much (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, OLinda, shopkeeper

    He is simply one of the best bloggers/journalists around!

    But it's sooooo stressful. A person just has to take a time out to keep their lives in balance.

    Thanks, DDay, for all your devotion and caring; for being a real human being in the best sense of the words.

    And come back to us when you feel like it!

  •  Marriage Equality and the "unraveling" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Cali Scribe

    Of the "marriage culture" (I do admire the faux high-minded rhetoric of these bigots).

    Wonder if the "researcher" ever considered that men who are so uptight that they're opposed to marriage equality would simply not admit to viewing porn. Self-reporting on such an issue (especially if you're speaking to subgroups of people who feel that they are not "supposed" to view it) probably is t going to be terribly accurate. I'm sure there are ways that real researchers check and adjust for this. I'm not so confident this guy did so.

    As for traditional marriages unraveling, we received a Christmas card from one of my oldest, dearest friends this week. He, his equally good looking husband and their beautiful adopted children were all wearing matching sweaters. They look like a magazine ad.

    Not only that, but their card bravely stepped out there and wished a "Merry Christmas" not the more politically correct "happy holidays" like ours did.

    I told my husband that if we can't come up with an equally perfect Christmas card next year, he should consider our traditional marriage over.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:32:17 PM PST

    •  Best card ever (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was one my brother and his family sent; it had a picture of a traditional 50s family (including family dog) posed around the Christmas tree with the caption, "Merry Christmas from the Smith Family". (It actually was something other than Smith, but I don't remember the exact name.) It had us perplexed because we didn't recognize the name or family.

      Inside, the message was,

      We don't know who these people are either, but we can't get them out of our living room.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:34:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's great. (0+ / 0-)

        I'll used gay friends  and their children photo next year.

        We don't have a lot of overlap in friends anymore. Probably, our Catholic relatives (which is all of them) will just be thrilled we finally have some children.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:53:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Someone goofed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, OLinda

    Kerry is going to State not DoD.

  •  No fish stories here. (0+ / 0-)

    Always remember: Extraordinary clams require extraordinary proof.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:32:40 PM PST

  •  Possible BIG news: (5+ / 0-)
    NORWICH, Conn. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy says his Connecticut-based brother, Ted Kennedy Jr., is considering running for the Massachusetts Senate seat that will become vacant if U.S. Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as the nation’s next Secretary of State.

    Better run for Gov ---Scott Brown.....

  •  All the NRA speech reporting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, AmazingBlaise

    since yesterday has made it very clear what they intend.  Listen to the words:  monsters, evil, rampage, horror, insane killer, defenseless, predators, demons, robbers, rapists, cancer, disaster, nightmare, blood-soaked, slasher, bad guy with a gun.

    All designed to make people fearful.  It seems to me, reading the comments of the adamant gun defenders on many sites, that the NRA has been successful in scaring some people into arming for their alarmist fantasies (one guy wrote, 'when 5 guys break into my house to rape my wife, I'll be ready' -where does that come from?)

    I am announcing here and now that I refuse to live in fear - of bad guys or the NRA or the insane proliferation of guns in this country.  But I will work to stop as much of it as I can.

  •  Dark Money Won the House (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good article over at Salon.

    In state races a little money goes a long way, and the Republicans have figured that out.

    To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

    by Bluehawk on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:45:07 PM PST

  •  Solstice Energy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here in La Crosse, Wisconsin: Eight inches of snow on the ground, four degrees this morning, sun all day.  All good.

    I like Chuck Hagel and Big O and Chuck should tell Kristol and Co. to kiss their asses (in a nice way, of course).

    Solstice party with friends last night, a good excuse to drink wine, to converse, to sing badly, and to observe holiday outfits that can move a person to ogle, to wonder, to admire, or to wince.  We looked for a virgin to sacrifice, but the only one in town was a sixty-year-old man who was unavailable because he was out shopping with his mother.

    Go Bears!  Go Niners!  Go Texans!  And any other team that can help the sinking Bears.

  •  David is a clear voice in this confusing world (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, shopkeeper

    He will be missed.

    I hope to hang out with him at Drinking Liberally every month though.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:49:24 PM PST

  •  Speaking of Sam Seder (0+ / 0-)

    You can subscribe for free to his podcast, or become a member and have the free podcast plus extras. You won't be sorry. You can listen to the David Dayen interview here. Scroll down on the left.

    Two other recent interviews available are Matt Taibbi on HSBC drug and terror money laundering and Cliff Schecter on gun control.

    (Dante, I can't believe you didn't link to his page.)

  •  Breaking Non-news (0+ / 0-)

    NOM study confirms that people who are not hung up on sexuality, are not hung up on sexuality. Porn at 11.

  •  My concerns about Hagel as SecDef (2+ / 0-)

    are two-fold:

    1. It continues to play into the meme that only Republicans can be strong on defense

    2. I'm concerned that his recent apology for putting a hold on James Hormel's appointment as Ambassador to Luxembourg may not be genuine (and Hormel himself has some thoughts), and even though DADT has been lifted I worry about his stance on extending benefits to same-sex couples such as military IDs for dependents, access to services including shopping at the PX, etc. -- benefits that the Defense Department has internally ruled don't fall under the DOMA prohibitions. (Not sure if that's overall or just in those locales where marriage equality is on the books.)

    I've heard some folks recommend moving Eric Shinseki to Defense from VA, and appointing someone else to VA, but not sure if that's a non-starter in the Administration.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:22:23 PM PST

  •  While I don't think Hagel sounds anti-semetic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, bleeding blue

    simply for having used the sloppy phrasing 'jewish lobby' to describe aipac, I'm still not sure why I'm supposed to be 'pro-Hagel'.  Isn't he a Republican?  Do we really need to have yet another Republican Secretary of Defense, and reinforce the meme that Republicans are 'better on Defense' than Democrats?

  •  Is it just me or does the day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, wa ma

    seem to be getting longer?

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:32:46 PM PST

  •  Medianesia/GOPnesia re Swift Boats (0+ / 0-)

    The MSM and the GOP will contract a severe case of amnesia and the Swift Boat issue will be forgotten. The GOP wants Kerry at State  ASAP. GOPers want their top NRA/ Wall Street fund recipient "Scottie" to run again and win that Sen. seat in a low turnout special election. The MSM also wants to have Brownie "redeem" himself. Run Teddy, Jr., please!And if Teddy doesn't, Dems must unite behind another strong candidate. For more on Brown, new black "outreacher," (LOL) Tim Scott, and the latest political developments, read   this  

  •  Ummm... (0+ / 0-)
    From the blog of the bigoted, hateful, anti-gay National Organization For Marriage. Offered without comment, because it's what passes for intellectual among these circles.
    Intellectual?  It doesn't even pass for rational thought.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:38:25 PM PST

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