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Paul Krugman at The New York Times deplores politicians' Writing Off the Unemployed:

What do we know about long-term unemployment in America?

First, it’s still at near-record levels. Historically, the long-term unemployed — those out of work for 27 weeks or more—have usually been between 10 and 20 percent of total unemployment. Today the number is 35.8 percent. Yet extended unemployment benefits, which went into effect in 2008, have now been allowed to lapse. As a result, few of the long-term unemployed are receiving any kind of support.

Second, if you think the typical long-term unemployed American is one of Those People — nonwhite, poorly educated, etc. — you’re wrong, according to research by the Urban Institute’s Josh Mitchell. Half of the long-term unemployed are non-Hispanic whites. College graduates are less likely to lose their jobs than workers with less education, but once they do they are actually a bit more likely than others to join the ranks of the long-term unemployed. And workers over 45 are especially likely to spend a long time unemployed.

Third, in a weak job market long-term unemployment tends to be self-perpetuating, because employers in effect discriminate against the jobless. Many people have suspected that this was the case, and last year Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University provided a dramatic confirmation. He sent out thousands of fictitious résumés in response to job ads, and found that potential employers were drastically less likely to respond if the fictitious applicant had been out of work more than six months, even if he or she was better qualified than other applicants.

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post laments that An economic school has led to gridlock in Washington, one embraced by Ron Paul and others of that ilk who tout the views of two Austrian theorists as the antidote to our economic problems:
This is, indeed, an enormous change. When Nixon declared his allegiance to Keynesianism, he was reflecting an insight embraced across partisan lines. Government’s exertions, both during the New Deal and more completely during World War II, helped rescue the U.S. economy from depression.

Postwar Keynesian approaches, including the Marshall Plan, let loose an economic juggernaut across the Western world. Secular and Christian parties of the moderate right and social democratic parties of the moderate left created free societies and regulated market economies that delivered the goods — literally as well as figuratively — to tens of millions. (The actual country of Austria, by the way, largely ignored the “Austrian” economists and followed a similar path.)

Those who follow Hayek and Mises would have us forget this history or rewrite it beyond comprehension. They would also have us overlook that Hayek’s “own historical justification for apolitical market economics was entirely wrong,” as the late Tony Judt put it in “Thinking the Twentieth Century,” his extraordinary dialogue with his fellow historian Timothy Snyder, published in 2012, after Judt’s death.

Hayek believed, Judt said, that “if you begin with welfare policies of any sort — directing individuals, taxing for social ends, engineering the outcomes of market relationships — you will end up with Hitler.”

Paul Waldman at The American Prospect writes—Where the Heart Is: Should we care if a senator doesn't own a home in his home state?
Today, The New York Times published a shocking revelation about Republican Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a man about whom I'm sure you've given barely a moment's thought in the three-plus decades he's been in Washington doing the people's business. Roberts, it seems, doesn't even own a home in the state he is so privileged to serve! Apparently, he's registered to vote at the home of a couple the paper describes as "longtime supporters and donors," where he says he stays when he's in the state, though I would hope that by now they'd be actual friends. I don't know whether it's legal to register to vote at an address where you just crash now and again, but of all the things you might not like about Pat Roberts, this is pretty far down the list. It does, however, show the absurd contradiction we demand from our politicians.
More pundit excerpts can be found below the fold.

Greg Mitchell at The Nation is just short of gleeful in his good riddance piece His Loss Is Their Gain: Bill Keller Suddenly Exits 'New York Times':

Keller, increasingly an embarrassment at the New York Times as a columnist—after an up and down tenure as chief editor—announced tonight he is exiting the paper, just a month after he drew wide scorn for a column bullying a cancer victim, which was not mentioned in the Times' release.[...]

Keller had recently supported a U.S. attack on Syria—apparently learning nothing from his boosterism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  He fully backed Judith Miller in the Scooter Libby case. He also famously mocked Julian Assange (after exploiting all those WikiLeaks leaks). Top executives at the Times nevertheless expressed surprise and wished him well.

“Bill has made so many contributions to The Times over his 30 years here, it’s difficult to quantify them,” said Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times. “He challenged his newsroom colleagues to innovate while remaining true to the highest journalistic standards, and we’re all better for it.
One could have some fun with that but I will try to resist.
Heidi Moore at The Guardian explains Why I'm not watching the Sochi Olympics:
Political controversies and the Olympics are old friends. Protests and boycotts are nothing new to these games. Ban-ki Moon of the United Nations has spoken out against Russia's abuses, and enough foreign leaders have sworn to skip the games that Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee, slammed them for the "ostentatious gesture" and the harm to Olympic headlines. These boycotts also may not work. To many of us, without the power of world leaders, there's nothing to do but sigh, turn on the TV, and look past the atrocities to the games themselves.

But we have power too: the power of the dollar, the power of our eyeballs and viewership. The International Olympic Committee is selling us to sponsors and television networks; they are making a very big bet that we will show up. The networks have spent billions over the years for the Olympics. The IOC sold the 2012 rights to NBC for $1.2bn. NBC paid $775m for the rights to the Sochi Olympics.

But what if we don't show up? Suddenly, the financial picture changes. That is the power that consumers have.

This year, to me, it seems like a mistake to ignore the human principles that are being trampled under the snow in Sochi. Many of the abuses in Russia – against gay rights, against the environment, against animals – came after the Olympic contract, almost as if Russian leaders were emboldened by the Olympic imprimatur and financing to not only continue abuses, but create new ones.

Michael Tomasky at the Los Angeles Times commits the ultimte heresy in Cute? Hardly. The Beatles subverted the American way of life.:
That's today's conventional wisdom: The Beatles were cute and unthreatening. The Rolling Stones—now, there was your threat. And the Who, smashing their instruments. And numerous others, against whom the Beatles were supposedly a dish of vanilla ice cream.

It's ridiculous. If there's one canard I'd like to see these anniversary festivities flip on its head, it's that one. To the America that existed then, the Beatles were plenty threatening. To understand why, you have to understand the music scene of the time, and how utterly new the Beatles were in every way, how totally uncategorizable.

Bill Fletcher Jr. at The Progressive writes To the Point:
I don’t live in Vermont, but without question, Bernie Sanders is my Senator.

For the last few months, the word on the street has been that Sanders is contemplating a run for the Presidency. Sanders has hinted at the possibility but has not confirmed or denied that he may take the plunge.

Excitement around a possible Sanders run is palpable. After more than one term of the complicated, neoliberal Presidency of Barack Obama—combined with the relentless assaults by the political right on all that for more than sixty years appeared sacred—there is a deep and clear desire among many for a different direction.

Yet a Sanders run brings its own complications.

One issue is whether Sanders should run as a Democrat or as an independent.

Eric Zuesse at Op-Ed News writes Vulture Fund Kingpin Is the Top Financial Backer of Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte:
Paul Singer, the billionaire head of the most aggressive vulture fund, Elliott Management, is the top financial backer of New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. She recently introduced legislation to sock 4 million Latinos with an average tax-hike of $1,800.

Apparently, the Republican Party's "no new taxes" pledge doesn't prohibit tax-hikes against the poor—only against the rich.

Singer has an interesting background. His firm had controlled the bankrupt Delphi Auto Parts company in 2009 when U.S. taxpayers were rescuing the U.S. automotive industry. Singer's people then told the U.S. Government that if they didn't buy them off to the tune or $12.9 billion, Delphi would shutter its factories, and the U.S. auto plants of GM and Chrysler would have no steering columns and other vital parts, which would mean that the entire rescue of GM and Chrysler would fail. So, Singer's people got the money they demanded from U.S. taxpayers: U.S. auto workers took the hit instead (in addition to U.S. taxpayers).

One of Elliott Management's major investors then was Mitt Romney, the man who condemned the bailout of Chrysler and of GM, and who now walked off with "at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney's most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion.

Paul Buchheit at Alternet explains 5 Ways Rich People's "Entitlements" Cheat You and Me:
he word 'entitlement' is ambiguous. For working people it means "earned benefits." For the rich, the concept of entitlement is compatible with the Merriam-Webster definition: "The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)." Recent studies agree, concluding that higher social class is associated with increased entitlement and narcissism.

The sense of entitlement among the very rich is understandable, for it helps them to justify the massive redistribution of wealth that has occurred over the past 65 years, especially in the past 30 years. National investment in  infrastructure, technology, and security has made America a rich country. The financial industry has used our publicly-developed communications technology to generate trillions of dollars in new earnings, while national security protects their interests. The major beneficiaries have convinced themselves they did it on their own. They believe they're entitled to it all.

Their entitlements can be summarized into four categories, each of which reveals clear advantages that the very rich take for granted.

John Judis at The New Republic says The New York Times Owes its Readers an Apology—Kristof's column on Dylan Farrow and Allen was out of bounds:
I have tried to steer clear of the controversy created by the publication by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof of an open letter by Dylan Farrow alleging that Woody Allen molested her when she was seven years old. I have read some of the older news stories and Allen’s response today in The New York Times, but I haven’t studied the matter closely. Dylan Farrow’s account of molestation was vividly disturbing, and there are obviously cases where these kind of allegations have proven true. But there are also instances where childhood memories have proven fallible. (I had my own experience of repressing something that happened when I was seven.) So I am agnostic on the matter of who did what, but I am not agnostic on the propriety of The New York Times publishing Kristof’s column and Farrow’s open letter.

I know that columnists get wide latitude in saying what they want, but I don’t think that should be granted in an instance where someone is being accused of committing unpardonable. crimes. I think in such an instance every effort has to be made to be objective, and that includes who reports the story. Kristof, who appears to be a good friend of Mia Farrow, Dylan’s mother, would strike me as the very last person capable of offering a clear and fair view of that matter. That’s not a judgment on his journalism. I’d say this about anyone reporting on a matter where a friend was involved.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sochi spoiler alert (21+ / 0-)

    Medals have been won, mistakes have been made, Putin not shirtless as yet.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:38:49 AM PST

    •  Breaking news: Simon Shnapir (0+ / 0-)

      is 6' 4" tall. He just looks even taller because his partner,  Marissa Castelli, is only 5' tall.

      Updates as more information becomes available...

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:31:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm, interesting comment . .. (13+ / 0-)
    Should we care if a senator doesn't own a home in his home state?
    On one hand - that's never going to be a problem for John McCain since he owns a home in pretty much every state (right?).

    OTOH, if owing a home is strict requirement for senate membership, that quite effectively skews those eligible to run for senate away from lower income folks (who disproportionately rent).   Not that they have much of a chance anyways, but it'd be nice not to be THIS blatant about it.

    •  And when school children (26+ / 0-)

      aren't allowed to use a relative's address in order to attend a higher-quality public school located in a district outside their own, why would a representative be allowed to claim a residence outside the state where he actually lives?

      Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

      by Miniaussiefan on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:04:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To play the devil's advocate (5+ / 0-)

        a fundamental difference is that in your scenario, the kids are getting a service FROM the state (or county/whatever) so it is reasonable that their family be taxpayers in the jurisdiction in question so as not to unfairly burden the people already living there.

        But for a politician, presumably it is they who will be PROVIDING the service, so in that case it's not like they are expending resources that have to be made up by others.

        In fact, we peons should be down on our knees thanking them for their service.  You know, when they could be making 16x more $$s by working with their buddies on Wall Street, or whatever.

        •  I had a Senator (11+ / 0-)

          that didn't live in my state - she grew up in my state but lived in the state of her husband - Kansas. Elizabeth Dole used her Mother's home  as her 'legal' residence so she could 'represent' North Carolina.  She didn't last long in Congress. Now if we could just figure out how to get rid of Richard Burr - who really represents Bank of America and not the rest of North Carolina - I would be happy.

          Point is - she had no 'skin in the game' as the GOP likes to say since she hadn't lived in North Carolina for decades.

          Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

          by Caniac41 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:38:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate a good devil's advocate. ;) (10+ / 0-)

          I still think a person claiming to represent a place (state, district, whatever) ought to be in fact a resident of it. There's enough deception as it is among our elected reps, so I get persnickety about this.

          Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

          by Miniaussiefan on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:38:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure, those are good points (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SoCalSal, Miniaussiefan

            My initial comment however, was more oriented towards interpreting the snippet in the diary towards the home ownership question - not residency per se.  

            IOW, I was thinking that whoever was making the statement was going back to the days when only property owners were allowed to vote - but since that idea won't really fly these days, doing the next best thing (limiting the ability to run for office to property owners).

            •  GHW Bush residence was a hotel (6+ / 0-)

              And at the time many were shocked. At what point do we say something is a residence?

              Personally I would argue that they actually live there. Spending time is not the same as being a resident.

              If your knowledge of the state consists of knowing hotel staff (or in this case the people that you are crashing with), no, you do not have "knowledge of the states problems". Then, again, one could argue even living here they would remain insulated.

              I don't think the Founders idea was "renting a hotel or crashing at a friends place" for residency. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

              Republicans who fear the US turning into Greece want to implement austerity measures... like Greece.

              by feloneouscat on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:54:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is no question (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tb mare, Roadbed Guy, SoCalSal, Bernie68

                that the Founders supported property ownership as a requirement for the vote.  Universal suffrage would have been an outrage to them. They feared the thought of democracy.

                We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

                by Ohkwai on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:10:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Residency doesn't mean property ownership (6+ / 0-)

                  My point was that words have meaning.

                  I don't think hanging in a hotel or crashing at someone's place meet the requirements of residency. I lived a year in Canada but that didn't make me a Canadian.

                  The more we turn a blind eye to the laws (usually because they are rich) the more we trash the Constitution.

                  I have to wonder what is next? You subscribe to the NYT therefore it is the same as residing in New York?

                  Republicans who fear the US turning into Greece want to implement austerity measures... like Greece.

                  by feloneouscat on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:37:21 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  what's a resident? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wintergreen8694, SueDe, Roadbed Guy

            He works in Washington DC. Not in Kansas anymore. Does he have to own a house to be a resident? Certainly not. Rent an apartment - or a room, get mail there, vote there, honestly represent his constituents? Who makes the rules? I believe they are made by each state. Isn't there one state  (Idaho?) that doesn't require residence at all. You could run.

            This is an artificial controversy. Save your umbrage for something that matters.

            •  I'm with you - save your umbrage. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, SoCalSal

              It's up to states whether their representatives are required to live there, including House members, and they either pass laws on residency requirements or they don't.

              And as I understand it, Pat Roberts does own a home in Kansas, but rents it out.  If Kansans don't like the arrangement he has made, they can stop voting for him (which they should have sense enough to do anyway, but whatever, he's their's).

              "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 Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:39:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't umbrage a crayola crayon color? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              If so, yeah - it's probably worth saving for something more relevant than this.

              Or maybe I'm thinking of burnt umbrage - I don't do all THAT much coloring these days.

        •  Residency laws are for little people (7+ / 0-)

          This sort of deception is common as dirt.  Romney's claim that he lived in his son's basement when he ran for Governor was ludicrous on its face.  Yet that passed muster for the State of Massachusetts, even when challenged before an official inquiry.  Apparently politics trumps reality here too.  Romney is hardly alone, but it was the only example I could think of where the politician's claim was subject to some official scrutiny.  Come to think of it though, perhaps Santorum's residency got some attention in connection with payments for his kids home schooling.  The upshot is very few state officials are willing to do what Wyoming did in the case of Liz Cheney's fishing license.  

        •  So a politician's lips should reside in the state (0+ / 0-)

          or district he's "representing."

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:57:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Residency (0+ / 0-)

        Article I, section 3 requires each federal Senator "when elected, [to] be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."

        This clause appears not to have been litigated in federal court.

        Justice Story's commentary sheds only a little extra light. Owning property or not is not relevant but rather genuine connection to the state:

        § 729. The only other qualification is, that the senator shall, when elected, be an inhabitant of the state, for which he is chosen. This scarcely requires any comment; for it is manifestly proper, that a state should be represented by one, who, besides an intimate knowledge of all its wants and wishes, and local pursuits, should have a personal and immediate interest in all measures touching its sovereignty, its rights, or its influence. The only surprise is, that provision was not made for his ceasing to represent the state in the senate, as soon as he should cease to be an inhabitant. There does not seem to have been any debate in the convention on the propriety of inserting the clause, as it now stands.

        § 730. In concluding this topic, it is proper to remark, that no qualification whatsoever of property is established in regard to senators, as non had been established in regard to representatives. Merit, therefore, and talent have the freest access open to them into every department of office under the national government. Under such circumstances, if the choice of the people is but directed by a suitable sobriety of judgment, the senate cannot fail of being distinguished for wisdom, for learning, for exalted patriotism, for incorruptible integrity, and for inflexible independence.

        Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution

        States like NY count days in residence to determine vulnerability to  taxation. Wealthy people count their days, and some have sufficient wealth to be able and require an assistant not only to count their days in NY but plan to ensure that the total is less than 180 (to have a slight cushion).

        A ceiling of 180 days in DC would not be inconsistent with getting the people's business done if the staff remained resident and at work full-time.

        Such cases as I can find seem strict with respect to requiring candidates to meet time requirements for admitted residency but willing to give elected officials latitude in retaining residency after election to federal office. In that regard, they treat residency, inhabitance, and domicile interchangeably. Domicile as a legal term of art recognizes that once achieved, it persists until arrival at a new domicile with intent to remain indefinitely. The Senator's argument would be that his stay in or near Washington DC was not meant to establish a new domicile but only work-related.

        One Florida case resting upon an earlier Massachusetts case I have not been able to find online follows that lead:

        The case of Harvard College vs. Gere, (5 Pick. 374,) involved the question as to the effect of an actual residence in Washington City, engaged in the public duties of a United States Senator. The court held that he was still an inhabitant of the town where he resided when elected. In that case Chief Justice Parker says, "an inhabitant by our constitution and laws is one who, being a citizen, dwells or has his home in some particular town where he has municipal rights and duties and is subject to particular burdens; and this habitancy may exist or continue notwithstanding an actual residence in another town or another county, provided the absence is not so long or of such a nature as to interrupt or destroy the municipal relation previously formed."
        Dennis v. Florida17 Fla. 389, 399-400 (Fla. 1879)

        In the meantime, however, the GOP's fixation on what they call voter fraud pushes the other way. Kansas requires residency to be eligible to vote. If Kansas means actual current residency, then the Senator might have a problem if he has voted for himself.

    •  Except that Roberts does not (7+ / 0-)

      appear to rent either. He just stays with acquaintances occasionally, which does not seem to indicate any type of commitment to his district. The problem of voting in a place where he has no actual residence seems to me to be a problem as well. If I visit friends in another state a few times a year can I vote there? I'd guess not. Is he so financially strapped that he cannot maintain a modest apartment there or is he just that disconnected from the place?

      "Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié" Balzac

      by gelfling545 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:46:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Owning a home shouldn't be a requirement (6+ / 0-)

      But maintaining a residence should be. Just rent an efficiency apartment, that's all it takes.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:11:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you're saying that the Roberts controversy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      is good for John McCain?

      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:22:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of apologies (6+ / 0-)

    I think Politico owes an apology for the Bobby Jindal op-ed on the already debunked misrepresentation of the CBO report regarding Obamacare. They should probably apologize for their comment section as well, but that's another story.

  •  Milton Friedman economist - Republican strategy (16+ / 0-)

    First Reagan's kickoff speech set the tone of his campaign

    Reagan wanted Southerners to know he supported states’ rights, code words for keeping blacks down. This was not a new idea with Reagan. Earlier he had let slip he “would have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act,”29 as well as the Voting Rights Act, which he said was “humiliating to the South.”30 Also, by kicking off his Southern campaign at a town in the heart of Dixie with an especially loathsome past, there was more than a hint that he was not squeamish over locals using violence to put blacks in their place.
    and then onto his economic guru which has been the Republican approach to government and economics for decades
    Reagan had not only come to Dixie to honor racism with winks and nods. He was also there to peddle a theory of government. The theory was not Reagan’s creation, but the brainchild of one of his advisors, Milton Friedman.31 In his book Capitalism and Freedom, first published in 1962, Friedman argued that most of what government does is unnecessary and can be done better and cheaper with free markets. He was for cutting taxes,32 getting rid of welfare, abolishing Social Security and Medicare, and privatizing secondary education, plus everything else government does, except national defense. Working Americans, Friedman insisted, would have more jobs at higher pay, if government kept its hands off business, and markets were completely free, restrained only the dictates of supply and demand
    From the excellent book

    “Worse than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington’s Rigged Statistics, And Where To Go From Here”, by Keith Quincy. Available and barnes and for $16. Kindle 99 cents

    •  Most people still don't realize (19+ / 0-)

      what a truly loathsome piece of human excrement Reagan was, not just in the things he did as president but in the things he believed in and did as a person. He was a moral coward, hypocrite and turncoat of the first degree, betraying his Hollywood friends at the first sign of personal danger and opportunity. He was perhaps one of the hollowest, most soulless and cruel people to have become president, right up there with Jefferson, Jackson, Nixon and Bush II.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:05:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He was the Dad who has martinis with the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, Don midwest

        neighbors after work, tells hysterically funny jokes about how they put a dead rat in the cleaning ladies jacket at his office and late at night wakes his kids up to smack them around with a bar of soap wrapped in a towel. It was truly "Mourning in America".

        •  More like the dad who told that joke (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude, singe

          when the only black dad in the neighborhood was around, then told the racist jokes he really wanted to tell as soon as he left. A classic big fish in a small pond coward, only comfortable being his true self when surrounded by fellow cowards, bullies and assholes, and then showing what an asshole he was.

          I don't watch it, but I understand that this is what the show Mad Men is largely about, that whole racist and misogynist insecure overcompensating white male assholes with the 3 martinis thing that was satirized in The Graduate.

          I could add something about my opinion that Obama unfortunately fetishizes that whole genre and validated it in his praise of Reagan, but that would be OT and reveal me to be the loathsome hater that I clearly am. :-)

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:57:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree that Obama fetishizes Reagan (5+ / 0-)

            because of any of the former president's desire to keep the 1940s and '50s alive and operational - although I agree he had massive appeal to those who shared his fetish for those times.  Obama has made it clear repeatedly that what he admires about Reagan was his ability to completely effect a turnaround in government's compact with citizens, both economic and social.  I agree that Reagan was a transformational figure; I just don't agree that the change was beneficial, and I don't think the current president thinks so either.  I think Obama's idea of transformation was and continues to be entirely different.

            "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 Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:55:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama's idea of transformation (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Laconic Lib, Don midwest

              is largely symbolic, and even there quite lukewarm. I originally thought that his praise of Reagan was backhanded and purely about his political skills. I'm not so sure about that anymore as Obama has proved himself to be beyond any serious doubt among people who look beneath the pretty photo op surface an enabler of the status quo that he allegedly wants to transform.

              He let Wall St. get away with it massive financial and moral crimes.

              He continued and in fact intensified BushCo's bullshit GWOT policies.

              He let BP get away with literal murder.

              He's about to authorize Keystone XL.

              Sure, he talks a pretty game, and he's done good things in a variety of issues, but in his actions he's been center-right on the great structural issues of the day, meaning having to do with our financial, economic and energy systems.

              It's not enough to just say all the right things to be transformational. You have to actually DO the right things--especially when they offend the establishment.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:05:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  At least Obama could have asked during the State (0+ / 0-)

            of the Onion whether Reagan was still dead? I mean it would have been tasteful and with so many dead congressmen in the audience who are still "serving" not entirely arch.

  •  A Sanders run in Dem Pres primaries cd be useful (12+ / 0-)

    to demonstrate how many Dem primary voters are to the Left of Hillary and Barack.

    Hopefully Sanders would find Progressive Congressional and Senate candidates to campaign with, since their success will be central to determining the Progressivism of the next Democratic President.

  •  "Its difficult to quantify" Keller's many contri- (7+ / 0-)

    butions without laughing out loud.
    Its just too bad he gets to 'retire' to be  another wealthy self entitled poo-bah who will likely continue to fart his 'sage wisdom' into the ether on morning 'news' gabfests for many years to come.

  •  You should have a home in the state you represent (5+ / 0-)

    But IOKIYAR.

    Do the people of Kansas care as long as he has an R after his name?

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:07:14 AM PST

  •  And the biggest "Rich People's Entitlement" of all (14+ / 0-)

    is the ability to, in effect, extort profits by driving down the cost of labor, avoiding environmental and health and safety regulations, etc. (the Waltons, the West, Texas fertilizer explosion) while simultaneously holding the entire economy hostage to socialize the risk (the 2008 bailout of investment banks) that Hayek, Mises and their disciples are so happy to impose upon the poor.

  •  Our banksters and plutocrats are also fools. (9+ / 0-)

    Leaving a door open for fraud. "Experts warn of coming wave of serious cybercrime" enumerates some of the threat to our economy.

    Banks, retailers and policymakers have been slow to address the growing sophistication of cybercriminals. Only 11 percent of businesses have adopted industry standard security measures, said a recent report by Verizon Business Solutions, and outside experts say even these “best practices” fall short of what’s needed to defeat aggressive hackers lured by the prospect of a multimillion-dollar heist.
    These are the "smart people" running things? Oh yes, "we" are "protected" with credit cards to a degree—not with debit cards ("Why you should keep your debit card at home")—as long as you discount all the trouble and time "monitoring" your accounts and such even if you only get hit for $50. For much of this idiocy we can thank our business friendly lawmakers that shield those businesses that are careless with our financial data from full liability for their selfish negligence and fail to enact strong regulations requiring sane security measures.

    Oh yeah, we are #1 in the minds of many of the idiots, but hell, my magnetic stripe card is a thing of wonder when I travel—sort of like pulling out my witch doctor bag of charms against evil spirits. Almost everyone else uses the much more secure chip. Even the old telephone cards and several of the public transit cards in my passport wallet have those little chips. In fact, I've had my card refused in a few places, against credit card company policy, because it was magnetic stripe. In the last linked page note that merchants "cannot link to an account number" but the microprocessor creates a "unique transaction number" for the transfer. Every time some waiter here wanders off with my card and it seems gone a bit long I think of that. All because of "not invented here" and the cost of fraud has been less than the cost of upgrading the system.

    Our business leaders. Often village idiots.

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

    by pelagicray on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:49:13 AM PST

  •  Obamacare makes you lazy...and causes bad breath.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tampaedski, rl en france
  •  Thanks for the Sanders link in *The Progressive* (9+ / 0-)

    (not In These Times, though both excellent publications.)

    I'm all for a Sanders run for president, as a Democrat.

    He'd push the discussion on a lot of issues in the ...err...right ...direction, and that alone would be worth it. Sure would make the New Hampshire primary interesting.

    Go Bernie!

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:56:40 AM PST

  •  . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    BANGOR, Maine -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Saturday won an unofficial straw poll to be the 2016 GOP presidential nominee at the Penobscot County Republican caucus at Husson University.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:00:01 AM PST

    •  Just goes to show how completely crazy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the Penobscot County Republicans are.  But for Democrats in the state, this should be a warning that defeating their current governor won't be as easy as they may think.

      "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 Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:20:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am aggressively not watching the Olympics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for obvious reasons (I will miss the bocce.).


    However: Friday’s tape-delayed coverage from Russia posted gains from the last non-live Opening Ceremony in 2006. In fact, it’s the most-watched Opening Ceremony for a non-live Winter Games since the 1994 Lillehammer Games. Yesterday’s delay could have impacted the audience level given the amount of online coverage following the games (who didn’t already know about the malfunctioning ring light by the time the ceremony aired last night?).
    Entertainment Weekly

    It doesn't look like morality is winning out over entertainment. Sigh. . .

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:09:39 AM PST

    •  Morality never wins over entertainment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      Bread and circuses I guess.

      •  I'm watching for the athletes... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe, LordRobin, LS Dem

        ...nearly all of whom are apolitical, at least in public.  Some will be able to parley their Olympic participation into long-time careers paying well enough for comfortable support, some of the medalists in more glamor sports (Shawn White in snowboarding comes to mind) into some real wealth.  But for most of them, it's a labor of love for which outside the period of the Olypics themselves, recognition only within the modest, cult-sized audience for their particular sport.

        I'll give Putin credit for pulling off creating a good venue to showcase winters sports, with a fortunate assist from mother nature (and a huge investment in artificial snowmaking equipment for insurance) for timely provision of the necessary weather conditions for outdoor alpine events without having to resort to the stored snow from previous years.  Sochi was a VERY risky venue from the standpoint of reliable weather and snowcover for winter alpine events.

        I'll give Putin appropriate discredit for the massively corrupt financial boondoggle in building the site and half-completed, half-assed support facilities with questionable water etc., and for the political aspects of the show.

        THE OLYMPICS THEMSELVES ARE FINE.  IT'S THE EXPENSE, POLITICS, AND WASTEFUL FINANCIAL BOONDOGGLE OF MOVING THEM TO DIFFERENT SITES EACH TIME that are the problem.  They should designate one, or at most a rotating set of the same three or four sites for both summer and winter olympics - for winter, one in the Americas, one in Europe, one in Asia, and for summer perhaps add an African site, and be done with it.

        Kudos to NBC for showcasing the ATHLETIC COMPETITIONS and athletes in Sochi, and mostly leaving both the politics and the annoying diversions in coverage of previous olympics of taking enormous chunks of time with "profile" pieces of e.g. Hans of the Swiss skating team tending his cows up in the mountains and interviewing his mom over their family dining table - bah, this time far more time seeing Hans skate and far less on such crap puff pieces.

        •   (0+ / 0-)

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:04:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Doesn't work like that (0+ / 0-)

          You can't really separate them.
          If you support the event despite the politics and the corruption and everything else horribly wrong, there's no incentive to deal with the problems.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:05:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. Consider the athletes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I have problems with the Olympics.  I don't like how expensive they have become, and I don't like how the IOC is beginning to make a habit of awarding them to countries with problematic human rights records or who really can't afford them.

          But in the end, this is an athletic competition.  To express your displeasure with the games by boycotting entirely isn't fair to the young people who have trained all their lives for their shot at the dream of participating in the Olympics.  Worse still, boycotting indirectly condemns these young people as doing something wrong.  After all, if you consider watching the Olympics on TV to be a sin, how much bigger sin it must actually be to compete in them!


    •  Not bocce! Curling!! (0+ / 0-)

      Haven't had my second cup of coffee yet.

      You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

      by yellowdog on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:23:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keynesianism (0+ / 0-)

    I'm wondering if Keynesianism mainly has a bad name because of the '70s when Ford and Carter were trying to prime a Stagflated economy only to get more inflation?

    I wonder if a similar undistributed middle is used to blame the Great Society social programs on the sludgy economy of the '70s?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:21:59 AM PST

    •  Keynesianism has a bad name... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      because it does not direct benefits to the wealthy first and it works for all of America.

      Their boats are already out in deep water.

      The republicons moan, the republicons bitch. Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich. Ferguson Foont

      by Josiah Bartlett on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 10:16:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Secretary Sibelius Should Be The One (0+ / 0-)

    to call for Senator Roberts' resignation.

  •  The "makes you lazy" argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Diana in NoVa, Meteor Blades

    This is rather monumental ignorance.  We've seen "jobless recoveries" the last few times this country has emerged from a recession, each time the recovery in employment getting worse.

    The best explanation I've heard is that the technology gains has reduced the need for many employees.  I'm sure if you dive in the data it will not be so clear cut, but what this screams to me is that the 40 hour work week is not the optimum number now.

    If the work week was pared down to 30 hours then it would stand to reason there would be an increase in available jobs of 33%.  I suppose this hypothetical change would be an opportunity to for companies to try and streamline their operations, so it's unlikely that many new jobs will become available, but it would probably be enough to make a serious dent in unemployment.

    So this "work work work" attitude of the GOP just seems another case where they ignore the actual data and just squawk with little or not thought put into their positions.

    Besides, I have met far more people in my life that are not enthralled to work than people who want to spend more time  with their families and working on their hobbies.  People want meaningful work, but few want to work so much that they have little life outside work.  It seems the GOP might be mistaking this fact of human nature a little bit.

  •  So, what's the pro and cons for Sanders (0+ / 0-)

    to run as Independent vs. Democrat?

    I wished he could run as Independent, just because I think the Democrats deserve that. But I guess this is childish thinking.

    •  As I understand it, (0+ / 0-)

      one must be a registered democrat to run in the democratic primaries, so the discussion of pros and cons is mute. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:43:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  is there any reason why the Democrats (0+ / 0-)

        would not stand behind him, even if he ran as an Independent. The Democratic Primaries help Sanders in what way? Let's say Hillary would run and Sanders would run as an Indpendent. Would he have more chances to win against Hillary if he were to run as Independent?

        •  Many Democrats would (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          not appreciate Sanders splitting the party vote in a presidential election, or at least siphoning off enough votes to hand a victory to the GOP. If he ran as a Democrat he could be a part of the Democratic primaries, which would include the debates, and would be the best chance of pulling the conversation to the left on the national stage, and if he wins the candidacy, great, if not it doesn't result in party splitting votes in the presidential.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:38:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, the Democrats are unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            never united behind the most basic issues. Sad.

            Sanders it too good of a guy and not mean spirited enough to defend himself in debates against mean spirited Democrats. And they are there in numbers.

            And the American population is so blinded and brainwashed against anything with the world social in it, you just can palm face yourself and put your head into the sand.

            Thanks for answering. Seems easy enough to understand. Was a little slow this morning.

            •  I think you might be surprised... (0+ / 0-)

              by Sanders if he did run in the Democratic primaries and participated in the debates.  I think he'd be quite formidable with the progressive message, without needing to be mean spirited at all. He's very good at that. Extremely focused and knows his facts. I've heard him do the spiel over and over again, with all the passion as if it was his first time. One of Sander's many pluses imo, is that he remains a gentleman, but with no loss to his strong message.

              Problem is, he'd have to be willing to become a Democrat, and I don't think he's going to do that. And yeah, running as an independent labeled a Democratic Socialist would not give him a snowball's chance in hell, but could peel off voters from the left, not in our best interest if you like me, don't want to see a republican in the oval office in 2016. SHIVERS.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 03:38:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  We're not watching the Olympics either. (0+ / 0-)

    For the same reasons.  We are voting with our viewership (or lack, thereof).

    If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:49:52 AM PST

  •  If it weren't for the Beatles (0+ / 0-)

    The Rolling Stones would have remained what they were - a unknown second rate outfit playing American blues badly.

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:56:23 AM PST

  •  Oh, now I get it... (0+ / 0-)
    “if you begin with welfare policies of any sort — directing individuals, taxing for social ends, engineering the outcomes of market relationships — you will end up with Hitler.”
    The GOP is trying to save us from Hitler. Maybe this explains why they've turned into a fascist party. (that doesn't make any sense, does it)

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:18:42 AM PST

  •  A Sanders run might help move Hillary to the left (0+ / 0-)

    but if he, by some longshot chance, becomes the nominee then he needs to become a better debater. He couldn't handle Michelle Bachmann in a recent TV debate. If he can't handle Michelle, he can't handle any of the possible Repub nominees.

    Of course, his liberal positions might overshadow any debate performance in a positive way, but hopefully he would improve his debating skills before entering the race.

  •  "Let's follow the Austrians." Great slogan for the (0+ / 0-)

    21st century. not.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:55:25 AM PST

  •  Life is complicated... (0+ / 0-)

    ...a Bernie Sanders candidacy is not. He would be lucky to run even with Dennis Kucinich. Please spare us another Nowhere Man candidacy from the irrelevant left.

    "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:24:35 AM PST

  •  Re: New Republic on NYTimes (0+ / 0-)

    publishing Dylan Farrow's testimony on sexual assault.

    Woody scripted his response which was printed in the week-end NYTimes OpEd section. A privilege that the NYTimes denied Dylan Farrow. Here is part of a response to Woody's OpEd self-defence.

    A Close Reading Of Woody Allen's New York Times Op-Ed
    Allen's defense is predominantly build upon insisting that Mia Farrow is a bad person, rather than disproving Dylan's sexual abuse allegations or proving that Mia Farrow coached Dylan into believing said allegations. Instead, he focuses solely on crafting Mia as a monster, using details of the case but mostly relying on Mia's affair with Sinatra (which seems irrelevant in this context). From a logical standpoint, all that this can plausibly aspire to prove is that Mia Farrow is not a good person (though it fails to effectively do even that).

    "The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn't even hire a lawyer to defend myself."
    "I include this anecdote so we all know what kind of character we are dealing with here."

    "Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that."

    He repeats the phrase "twenty-one years ago" three times to establish distance. He repeats the phrase "of course" four times to establish certainty with no backup for that "certainty."

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 12:50:49 PM PST

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