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Sandy Hook ride on Washington:  

A team of 26 bicyclists will ride 400 miles from Newtown to Washington, D.C. in four days, beginning Sunday morning [it's Sat March 9 - ed], organizers said.

The community will give the "Sandy Hook Ride on Washington" a sendoff at 8:30 a.m. at Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane, hosted by First Selectwoman Pat Llodra.

Among the others making appearances will be U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4.

The riders will arrive in Washington, D.C. for a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol at 1 pm on Tuesday.

The Sandy Hook Ride on Washington aims to memorialize the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by raising awareness about the immediate need for gun safety legislation.

Three of the riders are from Newtown, including Monte Frank, Bill Muzzio and Chris Peck. Two riders have children who went to the Sandy Hook School and the team includes parents, teachers, a Newtown police Officer and a Vietnam veteran.

This is an amazing show of support for the community. These are elite riders:
They are a mix of professional, top amateur, and masters cyclists from the Northeast. Our team includes a former US National Team member, Canadian National Team member, Masters National Champion, and State and Regional Champions.
Why are they doing it?
We support measures to help curb gun violence:

• Requiring all gun buyers pass criminal background checks*
• a ban of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines*
• making gun trafficking a federal crime, including real penalties for “straw buyers”*
• strengthen gun ownership restrictions for people with severe mental illness

We understand this issue is complex; but together we can ensure that specific actions are taken to prevent tragedies like those in Newtown, CT. Keeping children safe is an obligation we all share.

*source: Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Newtown is an amazing place, with so many people wanting to contibute in ways they can. Quilters quilt, riders ride, and so many people in town contribute in ways great and small, some public and many private. Here's more about the riders themselves. And there's more politics below the fold.

More losing by the NRA:

Some of the gun lobby’s strongest allies are breaking with the National Rifle Association to support proposals that would expand background checks for private firearm sales.

In behind-the-scenes talks with congressional staff members and others, gunmakers, dealers and other Second Amendment advocates have offered support for more instant criminal background checks, buoying the hopes of gun-control supporters, including President Obama, who has put a top priority on extending criminal checks to private sales.

The trade group for the nation’s leading firearm manufacturers said it will not actively oppose the expansion of background checks, which are designed to prevent guns from reaching criminals or the seriously mentally ill.

Legitimate dealers would likely benefit; this looks like a big deal to me.
National Weather Service forecasts smug attitude among DC residents from snowier climes
@ArthurDelaneyHP via Twitter for iPad

Greg Sargent talks about "the next big fight":

Here’s how this all fits in with the sequester and the government shutdown fight. Ever since Obama signaled that he supports extending funding of the government past the shutdown deadline of March 27th at the levels agreed to in the 2011 Budget Control Act — which would continue funding at the lower sequester levels, since the sequester will be operative — it has been more or less a foregone conclusion that this is what’s going to happen. House Republicans have rolled out legislation to continue funding the government at the sequester levels through September, with some steps taken to mitigate damage to defense. It seems likely that Democrats will accept this, or that they will push their own minor changes to the non-defense side and that some kind of deal will be reached with Republicans to keep that funding going. Either way, the funding of the government will continue at the lower level.

That brings us to the debt ceiling hike next month as the point around which the next fight could take place.

And yet another chance the Hastert rule will be broken and resolution will be with Democratic votes. Get used to it.

Rory Carrol/NY Times:

After oil wealth, theatrical flair was the greatest asset of Mr. Chávez, the president of Venezuela since 1999, who died Tuesday from cancer. His dramatic sense of his own significance helped bring him to power as the reincarnation of the liberator Simón Bolívar — he even renamed the country the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

That same dramatic flair deeply divided Venezuelans as he postured on the world stage and talked of restoring equilibrium between the rich countries and the rest of the world. It now obscures his real legacy, which is far less dramatic than he would have hoped. In fact, it’s mundane. Mr. Chávez, in the final analysis, was an awful manager.

Chávez has, to put it mildly, a mixed legacy.
Kinda sums it up MT@Greg_Palast: Chavez let TV station that helped organize coup stay on air. Pinochet dropped 'dissenters' from helicopters
@billmon1 via TweetDeck

NYT/CBS poll:
Seven out of 10 say Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican have done a poor job of handling sexual abuse, a significant rise from three years ago. A majority said that the issue had led them to question the Vatican’s authority. The sexual abuse of children by priests is the largest problem facing the church, Catholics in the poll said.

Three-fourths of those polled said they thought it was a good idea for Benedict to resign. Most wanted the next pope to be “someone younger, with new ideas.” A majority said they wanted the next pope to make the church’s teachings more liberal.

Ian Reifowitz writing In These Times:
A Nazi History Lesson
Alienated whites in Obama’s America
Fascinating read.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks Greg for including my piece in the roundup! (21+ / 0-)

    I'll be happy to respond to comments and answer questions. And yes, Greg, Newtown is showing what an amazing place it is.

  •  Maureen Dowd takes apart Dick Cheney (12+ / 0-)

    in a must-read column titled Repent, Dick Cheney that I explore and upon which I comment in this post to which I invite your attention

    "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 Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:32:15 AM PST

  •  I sure hope their bikes have snow tires. (9+ / 0-)

    Just sayin, after 9 inches of partly cloudy in Chicago.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:32:57 AM PST

  •  Think the Reuters/IPSO poll means anything? (6+ / 0-)
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Less than two months into his second term, President Barack Obama's approval rating has dropped and Americans blame him and his fellow Democrats almost as much as his Republican opponents for a fiscal mess.

    A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama's handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:37:27 AM PST

  •  Worth a chuckle and thoughts of sharp objects to (4+ / 0-)

    burst the pictured "balloon." Tom Toles today.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:41:37 AM PST

    •  Double post with a weird error message for this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Ian Reifowitz, tb mare

      one!

      If this error doesn't make sense to you, please submit this error message to the helpdesk.

      Can't call method "parent_id" on an undefined value at /www/dk4-perl/current/lib/ScoopDK/Utility/Comments.pm line 42.

      Oh oh administrators. This reminds me of the old software parable of the computer voice in a fighter telling the pilot there is an error number x in some module y when it should be saying

      Bail the fuck out!

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:48:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Worth a look and a chuckle with visions of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    us holding sharp implements to burst the pictured "balloon" in 2014: Tom Toles' cartoon today.

    Now to make that happen with early GOTV work.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:45:20 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the roundup, Greg! (14+ / 0-)

    That's wonderful about the Newtown bike ride.  Hope they don't freeze to death, the poor things.  Good thing it doesn't begin today, when we're having "Snowquester" here in D.C.

    The thing I remember about Hugo Chavez is that he offered free heating oil to poor Americans in the winter, thereby enraging the Smirking Chimp in the White House. It probably enraged Dick Cheney's brain too. (We know Darth Cheney's heart has been in a laboratory somewhere up North for years.)

    Chavez may be leaving a mixed legacy, but I'm sorry his end was so painful.  That's a rotten way to go. R.I.P.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:48:37 AM PST

  •  Sweeping reforms in the Roman Catholic Church: (8+ / 0-)

    I don't see another John XXIII or sweeping reformer to make the church "more liberal" as the poll suggested American RC's would like for the same reason that caused the Episcopal Church's ordination of an openly gay, partnered Bishop to shake the foundation of the Anglican Communion: most Roman Catholics are from deeply conservative, developing nations just as most Anglicans in the world are. On both scores we can chalk the conservatism up to colonial missionaries in apart, and the different mores of some non-Western cultures.

    The liberalization American and European Catholics might like to see will not play in the Church overall, and it won't happen with the next pope. The Church should consider itself lucky if it ends up with a Pope who will maintain the status quo while addressing the scandals. The Church loses if they elect a Pope who is going to "double down" on the Medieval sensibilities.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:57:06 AM PST

  •  Trump?....CPAC invites Trump?......WTF? (4+ / 0-)
  •  Unfortunately, more than a few wingnuts (2+ / 0-)

    will take the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington as further evidence of the conspiracy among President Obama, the Democrats, and the United Nations to impose a New World Order and take away their guns AND cars.

  •  Qpoll (9+ / 0-)
    By margins of 2-1 or more, Connecticut voters support most gun-control measures, with support for universal background checks at 93 – 6 percent, including 89 – 9 percent among voters in households where there are guns, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    Voters support stricter statewide gun-control laws 66 – 30 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.  

    Support for specific measures includes:
    •    68 – 28 percent back an expansion of the statewide ban on the sale of assault weapons.  Gun owners are opposed 49 – 44 percent;
    •    68 – 28 percent back a ban on the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds.  Gun owners are divided 49 – 48 percent;
    •    72 – 27 percent back registration of all handguns, with annual renewal.  Gun owners are divided with 48 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed;
    •    63 – 31 percent, including 50 – 46 percent among gun owners, favor limiting handgun purchases to one per month;
    •    85 – 14 percent, including 71 – 28 percent among gun owners, back a permit requirement to purchase and carry all guns;
    •    86 – 11 percent, including 85 – 12 percent among gun owners, favor a gun offender registry for those convicted of gun crimes;
    •    76 – 19 percent, including 65 – 32 percent among gun owners, back stricter gun storage requirements;
    •    50 – 43 percent back mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, who oppose this
    measure 71 – 26 percent.

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:07:39 AM PST

  •  I wonder how much farther down the (10+ / 0-)

    black hole to corporate death Yahoo! will fall now that new CEO Marissa Mayer has directed all employees to work from the office every day.  Even employees who were hired with the understanding that they would do their work from home -  even those who work from home only 2 or 3 days/week - will be required to come in to work in the office every day as of June 1st.  At-home workers are extremely upset about this new dictum, and many are reported to be updating their resumes and looking for new jobs with more accommodating employers.  Many of these employees are the most productive and technically talented people at Yahoo!.

    To quote from Ms. Mayer's memo to all employees:

    “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”
    For years I braved rush-hour commutes to and from offices back in the day, and "communication and collaboration" amounted to water cooler discussions of last night's TV shows, where we would eat lunch, office gossip and playing office politics.  One of the biggest reasons I went into business for myself was to escape the time-wasting distractions and inability to focus on my job in a corporate office and particularly having to play office politics to "get ahead by getting along" which was most times impossible.

    I wish Ms. Mayer the best of luck in resuscitating Yahoo!, but starting out by pissing off a large number of valuable employees by insisting on making their lives more difficult seems like a very unwise move.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:18:39 AM PST

    •  Not sure if that's a trend or not. (0+ / 0-)

      If so, it will certainly help cities.

      I mean, if you have to go into the office every day, you might as well cut out the drive and cut down the commute time....not to mention being close to dinner and entertainment and shopping in between home and work.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:23:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think people in CA look forward (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray

        to having to commute to and from work every day, especially if they haven't had to do that before and were hired with the understanding they wouldn't have to.  How many times is it going to be more convenient for you to go out to dinner or spend time to take in some entertainment or go shopping on your way home from work?  Never on your way into work and rarely, if ever, if you commute by public transportation.  

        And the idea that commuting by public transportation cuts down the commute time in CA is plausible only if you both live and work in San Francisco.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:52:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some people call it "shaking things up" (6+ / 0-)

      ...but I call it clueless.

      It's a simple but true adage that good leaders inspire.  She apparently disagrees.  "Work smarter, not harder" is probably one of her empty platitudes instead.

      Overall, the culture of top corporate management has improved a lot since the post-WWII era when top company people were veterans who brought a military attitude towards staff.

      Mayer seems to be a throw-back to that era.   If her other decisions reflect the same mentality, I don't see a long tenure for her.    

      Her decision reminds me of an under-performing professional sports teams whereby a new coach brings a harsher discipline attitude which inevitably wears out and demoralizes the team and they do no better if not worse.

    •  Amazing how this can get politicized among some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe

      too. In this piece, of what I'd describe as idiocy, claiming Obama could learn from Marissa Mayer we find, with my empahsis:

      To the left, a new, young and attractive female CEO is supposed to stick to the script. She isn’t supposed to puncture its view of the “progressive workplace,” whatever that is. Many gasp at the idea that she wants employees who haven’t had to come into work to suddenly do so. In true liberal style, once the privilege was granted, it had become a right. And many commentators who have probably never set foot in Yahoo and have no idea of its challenges were eager to proclaim that those working at home were more productive anyway. How dare she make such a backward-looking decision?
      Now, while I can faintly agree that Obama relies too much on lots of words and has used less raw power than I'd like (and not many others, particularly in "red states," would like what I'd like) the rest is pure bullshit.

      It seems part of a general scream of the dinosaurs who see themselves left behind by little things that are going to happen like climate change, increasing power of the "brown world" and so on.

      Increasing diversity in the U.S.? Against.

      Equal pay for equal work if you are a woman? Nope.

      Equal legal rights for same sex couples (religious recognition is a created phantom and not really an issue)? No way.

      Recognition of workers as a valuable asset rather than exploitable resource? Hell no.

      I don't have an idea of Mayer's political position. What I do see here is a probable losing battle that will involve two old axioms:

      Once a job is fucked up anything done to improve it makes it worse.

      And Eric Savareid's

      The chief cause of problems is solutions.
      Yahoo got lost an eon ago in terms of tech's pace, along with Alta Vista and other names from a decade ago I barely remember. I do not know of many of these that came back, other than as a very changed and faint echo, as even today's biggies face evolutionary change of a breakneck pace. I suspect pissing off and closing the company to those on the cutting edges that have all over the industry adopted effective practices of remote work is going to be a problem in the form of a solution—and there is no "liberal bias" in my estimation of that.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:15:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think she has control issues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray

        and a distrust of her employees, but that's just what it sounds like to me.  Her "solution" to the wrong - or nonexistent - problem of the company is liable to make the company's slide into oblivion even faster and more certain.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:48:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree. A well designed, supported distributed work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          system for any work of this sort combined with employees selected and encouraged to be assets seems to work very well and attract some of the best people in the field. In fact, the really "best" will not tolerate this sort of thing now. Twenty years ago I dealt with some "world class" database people that simply refused to work on any project requiring constant physical presence.

          The cases I've seen, particularly in IT, where this sort of regimentation is required seems to be a control issue of poor management and generally a loser in terms of corporations. You just don't get the best mental work out of people regimented to an office environment and there are other ways to encourage collaboration. This individual may be the last of the rapidly turning over Yahoo CEO line. The competition is probably already looking at some of her best human assets right now.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:25:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, kfred

    From last evening:  Insisting transgender students be put at risk.  Part two will be this evening.


    Triple 15
    •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

      I really like this one - more than usual.  It draws one right into it.

      Just give me a good patch of dirt and I'll show you growth and well-being!

      by kfred on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:07:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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