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Paul Krugman at The New York Times says Detroit shouldn't be taken for the new Greece even though some people would like that:

So by all means let’s have a serious discussion about how cities can best manage the transition when their traditional sources of competitive advantage go away. And let’s also have a serious discussion about our obligations, as a nation, to those of our fellow citizens who have the bad luck of finding themselves living and working in the wrong place at the wrong time — because, as I said, decline happens, and some regional economies will end up shrinking, perhaps drastically, no matter what we do.

The important thing is not to let the discussion get hijacked, Greek-style. There are influential people out there who would like you to believe that Detroit’s demise is fundamentally a tale of fiscal irresponsibility and/or greedy public employees. It isn’t. For the most part, it’s just one of those things that happens now and then in an ever-changing economy.

Gary Paul Nabhan at The New York Times warns that the current heat wave is about much more than discomfort when the air conditioning isn't up to snuff in his column Our Coming Food Crisis:
One strategy would be to promote the use of locally produced compost to increase the moisture-holding capacity of fields, orchards and vineyards. In addition to locking carbon in the soil, composting buffers crop roots from heat and drought while increasing forage and food-crop yields. By simply increasing organic matter in their fields from 1 percent to 5 percent, farmers can increase water storage in the root zones from 33 pounds per cubic meter to 195 pounds. [...]

Second, we need to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles to using small- and medium-scale rainwater harvesting and gray water (that is, waste water excluding toilet water) on private lands, rather than funneling all runoff to huge, costly and vulnerable reservoirs behind downstream dams. Both urban and rural food production can be greatly enhanced through proven techniques of harvesting rain and biologically filtering gray water for irrigation. However, many state and local laws restrict what farmers can do with such water.

Steven I. Weiss at The Atlantic writes—Taxpayers now pay more to maintain rebel graves and monuments than those honoring Union soldiers.:
On June 19, an array of top government officials gathered for the unveiling of a statue of Frederick Douglass, the 19th-century African-American man born a slave who rose to be a vice-presidential candidate. That politicians and the federal government continue to memorialize black leaders and abolitionists of that era surprises no one, but few are aware of the other side of that coin: how much Washington pays to memorialize the Confederate dead. [...]

But even most Civil War experts don't realize the federal government has spent more than $2 million in the past decade to produce and ship headstones honoring Confederate dead, often at the request of local Confederate heritage groups in the South, and overwhelmingly in Georgia. Going back to at least 2002, the government has provided more headstones for Confederate graves than for Union soldiers' graves. In that time, the Department of Veterans Affairs has provided approximately 33,000 headstones for veterans of the Civil War. Sixty percent of those have been for Confederate soldiers.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones writes mildly of the insanity exposed in a New York Times article that Goldman Sachs manipulating storage and shipping deadlines to boost aluminum prices—Is It Time to Ban Banks Completely From Commodities Trading?:

Between Goldman's shady aluminum business and JPMorgan's shady energy business, it's about time the Fed took a fresh look at this. If they went even further, and banned big banks from trading in commodities markets at all, it would be OK with me. Rumors of commodity manipulation—and sometimes more than rumors—have been rife for years in the oil market, the water market, the energy market, and others. This is worth keeping an eye on.
William Greider at The Nation implores—Stop Larry Summers Before He Messes Up Again:
Washington insiders are spreading an alarming news alert. Barack Obama, I am told, is on the brink of making a terrible mistake by appointing Lawrence Summers as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. That sounds improbable, since Summers is a toxic retread from the old boys’ network and a nettlesome egotist who offended just about everyone during his previous tours in government. More to the point, Summers was a central player in the grave governing errors that led to the financial collapse and a ruined economy.

Surely not, I thought, when I heard the gossip. But my source heard it from the White House. Obama’s senior economic advisers—still dominated by Clintonistas and aging acolytes of Robert Rubin—are pushing the president to choose Summers as the successor to Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January. And they are urging Obama to make the announcement right now, before the opposition can get organized.

Steven C. Webster at The Progressive warns—The Climate Wars Have Begun:
Make no mistake about it, humanity is now and will be for the rest of our lives engaged in a war with planet Earth. This is a war to preserve consciousness, to survive as a species, and we are already taking massive casualties. That became painfully apparent to me as the nation watched in stunned amazement as the second EF5 scale tornado in less than two weeks barreled down on Moore, Oklahoma this summer -- a once-in-a-century event occurring twice just like that -- and the nation’s media didn’t know what to do other than cover it like our own backyard was Baghdad waiting for the bombs to drop.
Scott Martelle at the New York Daily News says a proper diagnosis is needed before Detroit's healing can really begin:
Bankruptcy, which seems likely to cut services even further, is poised to make life worse for Detroiters, who statistically are poorer, less educated and presented with fewer options than people in any other large American city. In Motor City, an ambitious teenager faces hurdles unimagined by suburban peers and struggles with conditions far beyond his or her responsibility or control. And so the cycle continues.

Bankruptcy might give Detroit a balanced budget. But it won’t make Detroit a balanced metropolis. And that is where our attention belongs. The question for all of us, when we look at Detroit: Are we looking at our industrial past, or our urban future?

Edward Wasserman at the Miami Herald writes—Snowden affair highlights gap between media and public:
The national survey of U.S. voters by Quinnipiac University found that by a huge margin—55 to 34 percent — respondents considered Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee, to be a whistleblower, not a traitor.

In what the pollsters called “a massive shift in attitudes,” voters also said the government was going “too far” in its anti-terrorism program — a dramatic swing from a January 2010 poll in which respondents, 63-25, said the government wasn’t doing enough to safeguard the country.

Not all polls agree. A Pew/Washington Post survey conducted in June found 56 percent of respondents thought routinely tracking hundreds of millions of phone records was acceptable. But Pew also found weaker support for Internet monitoring. By 52-45, respondents rejected allowing the government to “monitor everyone’s email and other online activities if officials say this might prevent future terrorist attacks.”

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board challenges an action by the California Legislative Black Caucus in Boycott Florida? No.:
What would be the goal of a boycott against Florida? Holden claims his target is Florida's "stand your ground" law, a statute similar to those on the books of more than 20 other states, which allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense without first trying to retreat from danger.

There is legitimate question about the wisdom and fairness of such laws, which, this page noted this year, encourage a dangerous shoot-first mentality. President Obama on Friday was one of many who called for a reconsideration of such laws in the wake of the Martin killing and the acquittal of Zimmerman. We join those who are concerned about "stand your ground" laws.

But if the wrong to be punished and corrected is the adoption of such laws, it would be odd and unjust to direct a boycott at Florida alone, and not other states with such laws, merely because Zimmerman's trial was racially charged and closely followed by the public. If the target was not the statute but rather this particular judge's handling of the case or this six-person jury's finding, a boycott of the entire state seems not merely wildly out of scale but wholly unrelated to the perceived wrong.

Molly Redden at The New Republic writes gleefully that—The 2016 Republican Primary is Going to be Awesome:
That does it. With Rep. Peter King’s announcement that he’s interested in running for president in 2016, I want to enter for the record my unseemly, unabashed excitement for the 2016 Republican primaries. King rounds out a field of “maybes” that already includes “wacko birds” Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, Allen West, John Bolton, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and been-there-done-thats of varying potential like Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. Some are self-dealing, some are YouTube bait, some have mortifying pasts, and any one of them might seduce the kind of eccentric, shifty, crocodile-shooting, or high-rolling super PAC patrons that wormed their way out of the woodwork in 2012. It’s gonna get weird.
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Comment Preferences

  •  What. The. Fuck? (24+ / 0-)

    Seriously: What. The. FUCK??!?!?!

    Taxpayers now pay more to maintain rebel graves and monuments than those honoring Union soldiers.
    This is seriously fucking twisted right here. And it says a lot about the way that government runs in the various States that the graves of the rebels who sought to dismantle the union to preserve the "right" to keep and own other human beings as chattel are more carefully-maintained than those of the people who fought and died to preserve the Union which was at least attempting to make itself more perfect.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:38:49 AM PDT

    •  The fact that the South has become (26+ / 0-)

      a symbol of freedom is more surreal than any novel ever written. Sorry Orwell.

      We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

      by PowWowPollock on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:55:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mostly it is a reflection on the South. (10+ / 0-)

      The North has nothing similar as far as I know. And I grew up in the North. (Indiana)

      As a former Yankee (what Southerners call people from states where okra doesn't grow) there is no big focus on the "Civil War". Only in the South does one find this nonsense. I am wholly unaware of Northern Civil War re-enactments or identification with anything from that particular blemish on our history.

      The only reason I can gather is stated in the article - Georgians press the government for this stuff.  Then complain the government wastes money.

      •  Gettysburg (11+ / 0-)

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:09:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More Union Soldiers died during the war than (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KibbutzAmiad, xxdr zombiexx, whaddaya

        Confederates, about 100,000 more.  As far as civilian deaths go, while war is never kind to civilians, the character of the Civil War far different from that of modern war, where civilians often bear the brunt of the deaths and casualties.

        No one really knows how many civilians died in the war. Starvation and Exposure do to the disruption of commerce and habitats undoubtedly took some. Partisans conflicts took others, while a few were actually killed by being on the way in the battlefield. Altogether, however, It'd only be a small fraction of those who were killed or died in uniform or performing some military function (like blockade running)

        •  More CW soldiers died of disease than bullets (6+ / 0-)

          A LOT more, both sides

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:51:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Civil War was first modern war (0+ / 0-)

          Long ago read article by some military historian type that claimed that the Civil War was the first modern war in that for the first time in history several events happened.  First, the many battlefields were controlled at a distance and not through up front hand to hand fighting.  Second, the involvement of the population through industrial capacity and numbers of civilians killed.  Civilians became legitimate targets.

          Curious in the second regard. A former manager whose family had a long history of West Point grads and whose father taught are various war colleges said that only American general studied in  foreign military  schools was Sherman.

          •  I don't know about only... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But he's definitely one of the main ones.

            Grant won by bull-headed competence. He turned the Eastern Theater into a War of Attrition. It worked, and in the US he gets credit for stopping Lee the only way possible, but anybody who tells you a military man actually want to fight wars of attrition is a fucking moron. It's not politicians who get attrited in a war of attrition.

            Lee won by getting really into his opponent's head, and creating extremely high risk strategies that would only work if Bobby Lee had a complete understanding of everything Hooker/McClellan/etc. would do. His battle plans are the sort of thing that look beautiful to an amateur, but suicidal to a pro.

            For example, at Chancellorsville Lee's Army was half the size of the Army of the Potomac. Lee split it in half. If Hooker had managed to get all his guys together 30k of Lee's dudes would have been fighting 130k bluecoats. Obviously those 30k are gonna get their buts kicked, and probably all be captured, and Hooker turns around and takes out the other 30k with his full strength. It only worked for Lee because he was so far in Hooker's head he knew exactly how Hooker would react. If you're a pro, teaching a bunch of 22-year-old Australians what they should do with their 40-man-platoons when 80 Taliban attack pretty much your entire job is to convince them not to try that shit.

            Sherman fought a lot of battles as one of Grant's top subordinates, and his own subordinates fought quite a few more, but he didn't fight many himself. He managed to conquer most of the Confederacy by maneuver. He took very risks, lost very few men, and still managed to accomplish a mission that nobody thought he could do.

      •  We even have reenactments in OR (7+ / 0-)

        With no CW battle ever fought here (Barroom brawls don't count)

        But the point is well taken----for losers, the South sure wants to go on celebrating it

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:50:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Weirdness. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          exlrrp, whaddaya
          •  I figure it was such an enormous fuckup (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xxdr zombiexx, gffish, whaddaya

            the South just decided to go full Republican on it and keep declaring  it a good and wonderful thing. Was it Bush II or Cheney that said "What you call it is what it is" re: the PAtriot Act.

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:10:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The whole lost cause thing just rings of Tea Party (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RadGal70, nocynicism

              Disconnected from reality, holding onto slavery and the myth of improving the lot of blacks, northern aggression against noble whites... /puke

              What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

              by TerryDarc on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:19:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of southerners cames west in the dust bowl - (0+ / 0-)

          my father and the family included. They brought their attitudes with them. This is the thing in Silverton, yes? The whole John Steinbeck/Grapes of Wrath thing.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

          by TerryDarc on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:21:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is how my state, California got (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            so many republicans, they came from the Oakies who came here during the dust bowl.

            "Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke

            by nocynicism on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:14:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They reinvent it, not just celebrate it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I had reason to visit Georgia some years back and was not far from the horrific Stone Mountain. Brochures for this nightmarish place littered the hotel and aside from touting it as the most visited attraction in the South, the "Northern War of Aggression" got alot of play.

      •  Plenty of Northern Civil War fervor (5+ / 0-)

        Especially during this 150th, there's plenty of it -- reenactors galore, exhibits and lectures and glorification of "the Union." That's on top of the obligatory statue in every town square and every cemetery, the books, the recent commemoration at Gettysburg, and on and on.

        I don't know what part of "the North" you come from, but if you think there isn't any attention to the Civil War, you must not be looking very hard.

      •  You mostly need to look around... (4+ / 0-)

        It's there all throughout the north and northeast. We just don't go waving the Rebel Flag off the back of our pickups after a night of drinking and shooting up the town.

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:25:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "The Lost Cause" effect. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caneel, MrWebster, GAS

        The Lost Cause (my emphasis):

        The Lost Cause is an interpretation of the American Civil War (1861–1865) that seeks to present the war, from the perspective of Confederates, in the best possible terms. Developed by white Southerners, many of them former Confederate generals, in a postwar climate of economic, racial, and gender uncertainty, the Lost Cause created and romanticized the "Old South" and the Confederate war effort, often distorting history in the process. For this reason, many historians have labeled the Lost Cause a myth or a legend. It is certainly an important example of public memory, one in which nostalgia for the Confederate past is accompanied by a collective forgetting of the horrors of slavery. Providing a sense of relief to white Southerners who feared being dishonored by defeat, the Lost Cause was largely accepted in the years following the war by white Americans who found it to be a useful tool in reconciling North and South. The Lost Cause has lost much of its academic support but continues to be an important part of how the Civil War is commemorated in the South and remembered in American popular culture.
        Confronting Slavery and Revealing the "Lost Cause" (my emphasis):
        As historian James McPherson explained in a recent article, it is especially difficult for southern whites "to admit - that the noble Cause for which their ancestors fought might have included the defense of slavery." Yet, the best historical scholars over the last generation or more have argued convincingly for the centrality of slavery among the causes of the Civil War. The evidence for such arguments provided in the letters, speeches, and articles written by those who established and supported the Confederacy is overwhelming and difficult to deny. While slavery was not the only cause for which the South fought during the Civil War, the testimony of Confederate leaders and their supporters makes it clear that slavery was central to the motivation for secession and war. When southern whites in the 19th century spoke of the "southern way of life," they referred to a way of life founded on white supremacy and supported by the institution of slavery.
        I'll add that after integration "our way of life" very often, on a bit of probing, turned out to be a form of neo-segregation. Yes, in some ways the South with its long contact across racial lines dealt better with race than other "lily white" regioins, but below that surface and among a significant segment of the population that "ole way of life" boiled and still boils.

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

        by pelagicray on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:14:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hair pulling over nothing (7+ / 0-)

      A trivial amount of money spent on grave markers becomes a massive event?

      Most Union graves were marked at Federal expense with tombstones on request in the 60 or so years after the war.

      The war ended.  Bind up the nation's wounds and all that seems to have worked for the most part. This is just part of that.

    •  Yeah, that's some sick and twisted shit. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  My great-grandfather was a union soldier. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, gffish, whaddaya

      He has a civil war monument in Michigan in a township cemetery. It was crooked for years. My family paid to replace the crumbling base.

      I had no idea the government was supposed to maintain the graves!

    •  I'm not really all that outraged (8+ / 0-)

      about $2 million spent over the last decade for graves or memorials.
      I'm sure Meteor Blades can tell us about graves of Union soldiers responsible for the murder of Native Americans all over the country being maintained by taxpayers as well.
      Can we focus on the important stuff, instead of pegging the outrage meter on silly shit like this?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:03:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thankyou. (0+ / 0-)

        The war was over 149 years ago. As long as people desist in calling it The War of Northern Aggression, it's time to move on.

        You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

        by mstep on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:56:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  most of the Union dead (0+ / 0-)

      were probably marked already. The American Legion was doing it, back in the 20s and 30s. There are records.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:16:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the real W.T.F. (5+ / 0-)

      in today's roundup is the floating of Summers as a replacement for Bernanke. Summer's resume is littered with one colossal fuck-up after another; he's not fit to serve as a waterboy for the local h.s. football team, the idea of putting him in charge of the Fed is ludicrous. Of course, we're talking about the D.C. funhouse here, where the mirrors turn the ludicrous into the "sensible" and "adult"...

    •  Among Southerners who are Civil-War (0+ / 0-)

      enthusiasts, descendants of Confederate veterans and reenactors--there's overlap among the relative communities-- the word has gone out that the Feds will pay to replace your ancestor's crumbling marker free of charge if you fill out the paperwork.  

      This has much less to do with Tea Party sentiment or nostalgia for the Lost Cause than it does with perception on the part of the anti-guvmint types that they can ride that particular gravy train.

      "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

      by DrLori on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:27:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Johnny Reb in the movies (0+ / 0-)

      Be interesting to survey how Johnny Reb has been portrayed in movies, novels, etc. over the last 50 years or so.  My impression is that he seems to be portrayed more positively than Union soldiers.  Any movies honoring Sherman's march?  From what I can gather, the South positively hates Sherman is if the march was last week.

      •  They're typically portrayed quite equally. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Nobody depicts Sherman's march because a) there's very little drama (we all know nobody dies and they get to Savannah) and b) nobody does Civil War films.

        The only really recent films I can think of are Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, and both make a point of not portraying the realities of slavery. When they do go into the causes of the war it's a debate over some abstract right to secede, that nobody in the modern US gets very worked up about, and the only abolitionists that appear in either film seem to be Southern generals. Longstreet has a comment on "we shoulda freed the slaves already" to a British observer in Gettysburg, and in Gods and generals there's a ridiculous scene with Stonewall praying with his personal slave. I forget exactly how it played out, but I know I walked out of that film.

        Prior to that Glory showed lots of racism by both blue and gray. The South does come off somewhat worse, but it doesn't sugar-coat the problems the 54th faced from their comrades.

    •  Why are we (0+ / 0-)

      putting markers on the graves of traitors?
      The continuing fascination with the heroes of the old South cheapens the sacrifice made by those (including my great grandfather ) who fought to preserve this country in that war.
      The slave owners and their wanna be ilk deserve nothing but the contempt of anybody in America who values equality and freedon.
      And if you don't share those values, perhaps you should live somewhere alse
      I understand you can still have slaves in some parts of the world. Try there, traitors.

  •  Boehner...'It's not about me.'..oh hell yeah it is (5+ / 0-)
  •  ICYMI (18+ / 0-)

    I did an interview on 60 Minutes Australia about what happened in Newtown, to balance out the Aussie view of gun crazy America.

    My 60 Minutes Australia interview about Newtown

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:44:52 AM PDT

  •  The South LOST. (5+ / 0-)

    I am unsure the wisdom of rabidly identifying with being LOSERS.

    Re-enacting those losses each year?

    Hoo....boy... sad.

    I live in Georgia, but in the Epicenter of Teh Evul - Atlanta.

    I wasn't born here so I'm a yankee still to those who dream of each year's re-enactment of their Great Ass-kicking.

    It's hysterical that this sub-demographic - which will rattle on about "big gummint' in a frothy-mouthed fashion - is sucking up tax dollars to spiff up the graves of those who lost.

    The South's gonna do it again No they're not.

  •  Can't they just buy Larry Summers his own island? (16+ / 0-)

    It would be cheaper than letting him run the Fed. Larry Summers & Co. have already crashed the economy once.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:51:35 AM PDT

  •  Florida is the poster boy of Stand Your Ground now (8+ / 0-)

    through a combination of intent and happenstance.
    Let them pay a price for it. And let their neighbors take notice.
    Screw the 'its not fair' boohooing by the LA TIMES and its corporate overseers.
    "Lets all have a conversation" is all usually code in the MSM for "lets do nothing but act real serious while we're doing it".

  •  Greece was once an amalgamation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya, nocynicism

    of city-states in constant war with each other. That's the Greece we're heading for.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:01:41 AM PDT

  •  I'm not much bothered (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, pelagicray, whaddaya

    by the Confederate headstones, except that the Confederate government, had it prevailed, would probably have told the states to pay for their own damned headstones on the grounds that states didn't want to pay the taxes to the Confederate government that would pay for them.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:07:31 AM PDT

  •  Confederate graves not a major issue (11+ / 0-)

    A sense of loss and identity is not something to dwell on.  This is a small matter, that shows respect for whoever requests a memorial.  In Georgia, statistically it would be Confederate soldiers, since more probably lost their lives there.

    There are those who idealize the Confederacy, but isn't it more likely that many are just looking to their family histories, working to reconcile the past and the present?  We are one family, one nation, who went through a terrible war, that per capita took far, far more lives than ALL of our other wars combined.  It was a horrible tragedy for the entire nation, but the loss of life in the South must have been far greater.  The reason those lives were lost is to my mind less important than to consider the enormous impact on hundreds of thousands of families.  For each death there probably were several disabling injuries.

    Such memorials may in part be paleo-political, but there are other aspects to it.  I don't see a couple of million dollars over the last decade as significant.  

    Let it go

    •  Who lost more is difficult to say... (0+ / 0-)

      In absolute terms it was the North. By far. 58% of the dead were Northern.

      OTOH, per capita the South lost a lot more by far. There were only 9 million Southerners, but there were 20+ million Northerners. Exacerbating the situation, 40% of the South was black, and it was illegal for blacks to serve in the Southern military. OTOH, the way conscription worked in the North any state which could find a black guy from South Carolina willing to put on the uniform reduced it's draftees by one, so a lot of the Northern casualties were black southerners.

  •  Molly Redden wins the morning (6+ / 0-)

    Republican primary candidates = YouTube bait.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:08:49 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the roundup, MB! (8+ / 0-)

    Nabhan's piece about the effects of climate change on food and seeds is sobering.

    This is even worse news for the poor and unemployed.

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

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:14:49 AM PDT

  •  My school district is also being run with (16+ / 0-)

    austerity measures like Greece. No salary increases in seven years, increases in insurance premiums and deductibles, thirty four kids in a classroom and half the custodians we had last year.
    At some point you simply can't do more with less.  

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:16:05 AM PDT

  •  "Get over Trayvon"........I don't think so. (6+ / 0-)
  •  Southern dead and headstones (7+ / 0-)

    There's a reason the South would be disproportionally represented in new requests for grave sites from the Civil War.  During the war itself, the North prepared 14 national cemeteries (Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and DC) at which only Union soldiers were buried.  In 1867, an additional 250K Union soldiers were recovered and buried at government expense.  Until 1914, every cent paid for Civial War burial sites was spent solely on Northern memorials; the process since then has been laborious and slow, primarily due to the disarray at most Southern battlefields in the last half of the war.

    Whether you think any government funds should be available for the burial of rebels seeking to sunder that very government is a matter of opinion.  But any surprise about the relative emphasis on Southern dead in recent expenditures is missing one basic element.. there aren't many more Northern dead who don't have a memorial already.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:48:43 AM PDT

  •  And How about Raul Labrador? (5+ / 0-)

    And how about another "wacko bird" plus crazy throwing his hat into the GOP presidential ring? I'm all for Idaho 1st CD Congressman Raul Labrador getting in. He is a GOP's idea of "ethnic outreach." He's a Puerto Rican Mormon who challenged Speaker Boehner for his job and even got a few votes. Now he's trying to torpedo immigration reform in the House. For more on Labrador and his zany record, read  this

    •  Wow, he's a real treat! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, gffish, whaddaya

      He would be a great addition to the primary crowd!

      Labrador helped restore gun rights to those deemed mentally defective by the courts and to exempt Idaho from the federal health reform law
      Nothing like gun rights for the mentally defective!

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:29:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama won't pick Larry Summers for he will (6+ / 0-)

    have to be approved by the Senate and there is a reason why Larry Summers wasn't picked as Treasury Secretary in 2009 is because he wouldn't be approved by the Senate.

    Larry Summers is a head fake.

    My money is on Yellen.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:56:35 AM PDT

  •  Detroit post-2013 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Detroit may be declining in some job markets, but that in itself makes it ripe for new job markets to open up and expand to fill the void. As a city loses businesses the infrastructure that once supported those businesses doesn't go away quickly. It's workers, housing, transportation, utilities, telecommunications, etc. that are hard to come by in a new location. In Detroit, new businesses can move in and start up quickly with the loss of  other business in the area. It's a win for everyone and businesses tend to be drawn into vacuums such as this. Detroit just has to market itself smartly and fill the void with industries that it will be able to build upon.

    The Armageddon of cityscapes will only occur if the country and the world stops working. And I don't think we have reached that point yet. So be patient.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:03:15 AM PDT

    •  Dude... (0+ / 0-)

      This is what my parents were saying back when I was born.

      The problem Detroit has is that it's got a terrible reputation, much higher taxes then it's suburbs, and very few city services. A lot of the infrastructure you mention has actually gone away. Many buildings, for example, are useless. There was at least one dirt road within the City Limits as of 2004.

      Keep in mind that much of Detroit's marketing problem is that those neighbors I mentioned see it as a failure when Detroit gets business.

  •  One thing different about Greece; it still exists. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, Amber6541, whaddaya

    There are a lot of assumptions about the Detroit bankruptcy, which, once you get past a general air of inevitability, include a vague belief that the City of Detroit
    Proposal for Creditors Executive Summary (the Plan) is somewhat akin to a restructuring.
    Don't believe it.
    The Plan, considered by the Emergency Manager to be a "comprehensive restructuring plan", lists no asset disposition. None.  
    What does The Plan say about Detroit's assets?

    No decisions have been made regarding any particular asset, and the Emergency Manager will continue to evaluate options for inclusion in his comprehensive restructuring plan.
    The Plan does say how it will dispose of these unlisted assets, including transferring "non‐core" assets to other private or public entities in sale, lease or other transactions, of which only 75% will be applied to reduce indebtedness.
    Asset Disposition Proceeds: If the City receives cash consideration in connection with the transfer of Specified Assets after the Effective Date and before the Maturity Date, an amount equal to 75% of such cash shall be applied to reduce the principal amount of the Notes. For greater certainty, the assumption of indebtedness shall not constitute cash consideration.
    The Emergency Manager had the time and the resources to determine asset disposition. I believe they already know, and they should have to tell us, about the disposition of this public property, so that in the end, Detroit doesn't exist in name only.
  •  On the honoring of traitors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Two reactions to the story of the federal government funding headstones for Confederate dead:

    1)  Yet another example of the hypocrisy of Southern Republicans.  While whining about how terrible it is to have a federal government, and crowing about "states' rights," they continue to go to the same federal government to get money out of it to pay for things they want, instead of paying for it themselves.

    2)  There is another scandal that is even more egregious than this:  the number of U.S. Army bases that are named in honor of people who were, by any definition, traitors to the United States, and who were responsible for killing thousands of U.S. Army soldiers.  There should be multiple campaigns to change the names of Ft. Hood, Ft. Lee, Ft. A.P. Hill, Ft. Stewart, Ft. Bragg, Camp Beauregard, and any other installation named to honor a Confederate general or leader of the most violent insurrection against the U.S. government in history.

    I wish this idea would get some general traction, and welcome the howls of outrage from the Southern Republicans who continue to work against the interests of the government and people of the United States.

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:15:30 AM PDT

    •  I Am A Democrat And I Still Think You Are Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      America has to accept many different ideas, some good, some bad but we cannot keep fighting the Civil War.

      Those bases were and are part of the 'binding' of wounds Lincoln spoke about.

      My family fought for the south.  All of them.

      My great grandmother still married a Yankee Colonel from Ohio and he was welcomed into the family.

      I grant you Texas is a funny place to live.  And, currently, the wrong headed morons that run this place are to be deplored.  But, we are better off to simply ignore the compromises that brought this country together than refight those old squabbles.

      •  Thank you for your reply (0+ / 0-)

        which was both thoughtful and reasonable.

        Indeed, reviving those old squabbles, as you call them, is to be deplored.

        My point was, I suspect, part of a wider issue that I have mentioned from time to time, to no reaction, but which informs many of my posts.

        I am concerned that many of the standard tropes that fill the political dialogs in this country are simply not true.  They are part of the working of the "Goebbels" strategy that lies, repeated often enough, eventually become treated as the truth.

        One of those lies is that the reason the South fought the Civil War was not to defend slavery, but to defend the principle of states' rights.  This is one of many lies that is repeated over and over, and never challenged.  Of course, in some cases, there were honorable men who fought for the South because of misplaced loyalties (R.E. Lee the most notable example, but not the only one), but the idea that there was some noble principle that is still valid involved in that conflict is still being used, and still damaging our country.

        One of my counters to that statement is that, prior to the Civil War, the only actions the federal government took with regards to slavery were in fact on behalf of the interests of the slave owners, not the slaves.  These were the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dredd Scott Decision.  Then, as now, Southern (now) Republicans (who used to be called Southern Democrats) would whine about states' rights, all the while using the purse and power of the federal government for their own purposes.

        It is a terrible thing to constantly refight the Civil War.  That is one reason I object so strongly to the Southern Republicans' efforts to do so.  Unfortunately, our response should not be to nobly rise above their infantile ranting and ignore their nonsense.  That only perpetuates and encourages their lies.  We have to challenge and refute the lies of the SR's or else we will lose this country to the corporate interests that are using their cause as a stalking horse.

        As usual, I've gone on too long already.  And again, thank you for your attention to my own rant, and your kind and well written response.

        In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

        by Noziglia on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:14:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Taxpayers now pay more to maintain rebel graves and monuments than those honoring Union soldiers."

    Tax payers are sponsoring traitor pride?

  •  Good and fair commentary on Detroit (3+ / 0-)

    by Martelle. I've been wanting to read his book (Detroit: A Biography) and this op-Ed is encouraging.
    Thanks, MB, for the round-up.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:25:11 AM PDT

  •  It would be interesting research (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, whaddaya validate those Confederate headstones to see if those particular individuals who were the ancestors of the applicants actually served in the Confederate Army or are just vanity stones based on genealogical research finding a similar name.  And satisfying a neo-Confederate nut's wish to join a Sons of the Confederacy organization.

    A map of the counties to which those stones would also be an interesting political analysis.  North Georgia, East Tennessee, Northern Alabama, Northeast Mississippi, the North Carolina mountains, and Upstate South Carolina all tended to be Unionist Democrats in 1860 and reluctant enlistees, if not sometime secret agents of the Union army.  Those same areas today are some of the most bigoted and rock-red Republican.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:46:59 AM PDT

    •  When I lived in eastern NC, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, gffish, whaddaya

      we found a very old cemetery while walking the dogs through the woods one day.
      It was evidently a family cemetery, mostly populated by children (sadly, most died before reaching the age of 5), two women, one who died when she was 21 and the other at 40 something. All had died during or just after the Civil War.
      The biggest marker was for the one man buried there, who had been killed in Gettysburg.
      It was sad and creepy at the same time.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:02:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Miami Herald has issues... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The poll about Snowden being a whistleblower or not has nothing to do with the actual NSA data gathering being ethically right or wrong.

    What Snowden did was literally a crime, not whistleblowing. But as for the NSA's data gathering, that is a story that needs to be looked into. It's an unethical overreach, but depending on the poll wording it you can get a monkey to dance on a pin.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:01:15 AM PDT

    •  Labeling Snowden is important to big picture. (0+ / 0-)

      Labeling Snowden will contribute to how people perceive NSA spying.  If he is labeled a criminal, then any criticism of NSA spying is diminish as the spying is legitimized and criticism weakened.  How can one commit a criminal act of exposure if the thing being exposed is criminal.  Rather, to call Snowden a criminal requires one to legitimize the  exposed act.  Otherwise, we get into a situation where we openly criminalize snitching on criminal behavior.

      As a analogy, would  people  call MLK and Rosa Parks criminals who fought for civil rights? In essence, we make civil disobedience into a felony whose outcome is the same as kidnapping, assault, etc.

      •  You're kidding right? (0+ / 0-)

        MLK and Rosa Parks were not acting even close to what Snowden has done. They stood up to hatred and abuses that were heinous at that time. They were non-violent protesters trying to change the laws and show us clearly how they were treating people differently.

        Snowden on the other hand told the world what we already knew. He could have done this in a non-classified form and been acting as a protest against this unethical legal pretzel that was spawned out of Congress post-9/11, but he chose to do something criminal. What he did wasn't what I would call an "MLK moment". He acted worse than the those he was vilifying. The precedent he is setting opens up a pandora's box in the intel world. You cannot allow individuals to simply break that code of silence if they feel like it.

        Compare it to something more basic. Let's say the hospital that stores all your medical information has someone in their ranks that has a problem with a certain class of people. They may be criminals in his mind, or not. But he then decides to "out" them by exporting your private records to others that will do something about his worries. This is clearly breaking the laws. But since he thinks you are a dangerous element he feels he is vindicated and likely to be called a hero for it. This does not make his actions anything less than that of a criminal. Even if he ran across an actual criminal. He breached the laws protecting that information. He became a vigilante. Do we want to have that happen on a larger scale? Then we might as well forget about any privacy laws for anybody. Because there would be no place safe enough to keep it with all these concerned citizens sifting through our records.

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:17:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People can't handle analogies anymore. (0+ / 0-)

          I in no way said Snowden was equivalent to MLK or Parks (metaphor).  I was comparing by analogy their labeling.  It is the difference between metaphor and simile.  So please, no high horses.

          Well, the crux is whether objectively at a certain point, we judge what the NSA is doing is illegal.  You reduce  the definition to what is legal by the fact that the laws say it is illegal.  By this standard, we must judge MLK first and foremost a criminal by this standard.  Is there any doubt he indeed did violate the law and was under the rules of the system legally arrested.  Case closed.

          In your analogy, you switch the focus to the person exposing the records, rather than the fact that the record keeping, etc. itself maybe illegal.  Then I demand we do the same with King.  Let us not focus on the laws he protested, but how he violated various laws.

          And we as citizens must deal with it.  You choose a type of legal and literal absolutism.  I don't.  

  •  Arghhh, Fuck rebel soldiers with a bayonette. (0+ / 0-)

    Dump them all in a pit and cover it with a waste water treatment plant.

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:48:54 AM PDT

  •  Recommend Our Coming Food Crisis in the NYT (0+ / 0-)

    Gary Paul Nabhan at The New York Times has an excellent op ed piece about the coming food crisis. Thanks for posting the link.

  •  Krugman (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but one does not believe in "inevitable" decline.  Truth is, Krugman is being too neoliberal, which until recently he has long been.

  •  Bernie Sanders: Detroit may be a template.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..used to shed workers pensions and privatize public assets for pennies on the dollar to private interests

    Bernie Sanders
    “It’s not only the road to privatization. I’ll tell you what else it is Ed. If in Detroit, as a result of the bankruptcy process you see massive cuts in the pensions that workers there worked for, were promised,; If you think that other cities and other states throughout this country will not be saying: ‘hey .. see that?..see what Detroit did?..We can also make massive cuts in the pensions that we promised out workers . Another attack on the workers of this country.

    Furthermore I think what you’re seeing in Detroit is the result of horrendous trade policies that have gone on for decades which have resulted in the shutdown of tens of thousands of factories in America..”

    Bernie Sanders begins @ minute 3:34 (short commercial - sorry)
    Transcript @ link:

    De-industrialization of American and the loss of good paying  jobs with pensions for a secure retirement.
    Maquiladeros : the “Millers Portion”

    A maquiladora (Spanish pronunciation: or maquila (IPA: is the Mexican name for manufacturing operations in a  free trade zone (FTZ), where factories import material and equipment on a  duty-free and  tariff-free basis for assembly, processing, or manufacturing and then export the assembled, processed and/or manufactured products, sometimes back to the raw materials' country of origin.
    Off-shoring that hurts workers globally. So when republicans say "free trade" what they really mean is literally getting workers to work for as close to - for free - as possible. And avoid paying taxes.

    "creative destruction" - republican style

    So Rick Snyder’s plan is no accident that just happened and was always inevitable, as he said this weekend on one of the MSM shows.

    Plus all this following the emergency manager takeover of democracy. The right wing rural population that surrounds the more Democratic urban locations, along with ALEC give Snyder his marching orders it sure looks like to me.

    P.S. Bankruptcy is being challenged

    Thx MB

  •  PBS American Experience "Death and the Civil War" (0+ / 0-)

    The Federal government right after the Civil War set up a commission to locate, name,  and rebury if needed all federal troops. The commission went into the South and setup national cemeteries to rebury thousands. Southern whites did not cooperate but blacks were very helpful and some blacks even made memorials for federal dead. The Southerns were enraged but the federal government did not include Confederates. So most dead Federal troops got proper burials.
    The first name for Memorial Day was called Decoration Day, day to decorate civil war tomb stones.

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