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Paul Krugman at The New York Times delivers the "O" word in Oligarchs and Money:

Doing what America did after World War II—using low interest rates and inflation to erode the debt burden—is often referred to as “financial repression,” which sounds bad. But who wouldn’t prefer modest inflation and a bit of asset erosion to mass unemployment? Well, you know who: the 0.1 percent, who receive “only” 4 percent of wages but account for more than 20 percent of total wealth. Modestly higher inflation, say 4 percent, would be good for the vast majority of people, but it would be bad for the super-elite. And guess who gets to define conventional wisdom.

Now, I don’t think that class interest is all-powerful. Good arguments and good policies sometimes prevail even if they hurt the 0.1 percent—otherwise we would never have gotten health reform. But we do need to make clear what’s going on, and realize that in monetary policy as in so much else, what’s good for oligarchs isn’t good for America.

Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times writes Is Obamacare too big to fail?:
[Obamacare] still faces a series of difficult tests—most important, keeping costs under control so insurance premiums don't soar in coming years.

And the program is certain not to be universally popular with its participants. Just think: Millions of newcomers to health coverage are about to join the rest of us in those frustrating battles with insurers.

But the enrollment numbers do mean that the main argument Republicans hurled against the law—that it was doomed to collapse—is looking weaker than ever.

They also mean that Democrats now have a chance to shift the healthcare debate from whether the law should be repealed to how to improve it. Recent polls have found that between 53% and 71% of respondents (depending on how the question is worded) favor keeping the law and fixing it.

Esther Breger at The New Republic writes No Excuses, CBS: Hire One of These Outstanding Women to Replace Letterman:
David Letterman will be the longest-running host in late night when he retires in 2015, but one thing hasn’t changed at all from the time he started “The Late Show” in 1994: the all-male landscape of late-night television. And judging by the names floated as contenders for Letterman’s slot—Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Neil Patrick Harris—that isn’t likely to change soon. As Alexandra Petri pointed out in The Washington Post last night, in the history of late-night broadcast television, there have been more hosts named Jimmy than women and people of color. (Cable also just lost its only late-night show hosted by a woman, as Chelsea Handler announced she’s ending her E! talk show.) Looking at the hilarious women across the rest of the TV dial—in sitcoms, Comedy Central shows, and Saturday Night Live—the idea that there are no women funny and likable enough to helm a TV show past 11:30 p.m. is increasingly absurd. There’s a deep bench to choose from, if CBS is willing to make the kind of risky move it did by hiring Letterman in the first place.
More excerpts from pundits below the fold.

The Editorial Board of the Toronto Star fumes Lift the secrecy on rail safety:

Just how hard does this have to be?

Does Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government really expect Canadians to have any tolerance for secret safety arrangements between Transport Canada and the railways, after the Lac-Mégantic disaster last July that turned a Quebec town centre into a fireball and left 47 people dead? The answer, No, ought to be obvious even to the most obtuse policy-maker.

Not when there’s been a vast surge in rail traffic carrying hazardous goods. Last year 140,000 carloads of crude oil rolled across the country, up from 500 just five years ago. And some of it is volatile oil from the Bakken Formation, the kind that figured in Lac-Mégantic.

Thomas Delapa at Alternet writes Rumsfeld Documentary Reveals What an Unaccountable Slippery Bastard He Is:
So what do we know now that we didn’t after documentarian Errol Morris’s 100-minute Q&A with Donald “I Don’t Do Quagmires” Rumsfeld in  “The Unknown Known”? Only that the former U.S. secretary of defense is still a master strategist of evasion, contradiction, misdirection and malapropism.

As a footnote, here’s what we do know to date about that dirty little Iraq War that “Rummy,” the George W. Bush White House and their nincompoop Pentagon neo-cons cooked up and spoon fed to the omnivorous American public: more than  4400 U.S. military deaths and 32,000 wounded, at least  100,000 to as many as 500,000 Iraqi fatalities, millions more displaced, and an estimated price tag of  $3 trillion, give or take a few hundred billion.

Yet like most of the questions that Morris tosses—gently—at his subject, any such factual horrors are sidestepped, parried and danced around by a fitfully nimble Rumsfeld. Relaxed, nattily dressed and imperiously self-assured as ever, Morris’ hollow yet overstuffed man does his imitation of “Hogan’s Heroes” Sgt. Schultz (“I know nothing, nothing”) while implausibly denying personal culpability for any stink that blew back from the Iraq War, whether the phony Weapons of Mass Destruction raison d’être, prisoner torture or the fictitious links between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 World Trade Center Attacks.

Alexandra Bradbury and Jane Slaughter at In These Times write Only We Can Feed the Labor Movement Fire:
We troublemakers keep hoping for the spark that will set a wildfire of workers in motion. The worse our situation gets—economically, politically, ecologically—the more we yearn for a vast movement to erupt and transform the landscape.

It’s not impossible. Look at 1937, when workplace occupations spread everywhere, from auto factories to Woolworth’s. The 1930s wave of militancy forced Congress to aid union organizing with new laws and to enact Social Security and unemployment insurance. Industrial unions formed during that upsurge continue to this day.

So why not here and now?

In our lifetimes, we’ve seen sparks—but we haven’t seen them spread like that. In some ways we’re more connected than ever before, able to watch each other’s struggles in real time on our phones. Yet mostly, the sparks haven’t leapt from one workplace or one Capitol rotunda to another. The Occupy movement is the shining exception.

Amitabh Pal at The Progressive writes Global Warming Dooms the Poor:
Global warming will have devastating consequences for our planet—particularly the less fortunate.

“Climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps,” says a just-released assessment by the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The underprivileged among us will be especially badly hit.

“Climate change is expected to have a relatively greater impact on the poor as a consequence of their lack of financial resources, poor quality of shelter, reliance on local ecosystem services, exposure to the elements, limited provision of basic services, and their limited resources to recover,” the report states.

Trevor Timm at The Guardian Leak the CIA report: it's the only way to know the whole truth about torture:
As Marcy Wheeler has noted, torture advocates are allowed a free hand to go on book tours, exposing the greatness of torture, while torture critics like former FBI agent Ali Soufan are usually muzzled, or worse. Of course, no government official has ever been prosecuted for torture, but former CIA officer John Kiriakou is in jail for speaking to the press about it.

Still, the larger question remains: will the White House live up to its word and tell us the truth about torture?

President Obama has stated he wants the findings declassified in an expedient manner, but he quickly defended the CIA when it was accused of spying on the Senate, and as McClatchy reported, "the White House has been more involved than publicly acknowledged … For five years, the White House has been withholding more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the committee for its investigation, even though Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege." [...]

It's possible the only way the public will ever get to see the entire landmark report is the same way we've learned everything we know about it: if someone leaks it.

Robert Fisk at The Independent writes Sinister efforts to minimise Japanese war crimes and portray the empire as a victim must be exposed:
I’ve been to Yasukuni myself, a place of cherry trees and blossoms and a museum to honour the memory of the 2.5 million Japanese soldiers, kamikaze pilots, rapists and war criminals who died in the Second World War. I had a cousin who died building the Burma railway and so I was greatly interested in the real steam loco shunted into Yasukuni, the very first engine to use that infamous track. It carried home the ashes of the first Japanese soldiers to die in Burma. No doubt Abe enjoyed his little trip to honour the murderers of Imperial Japan.

Sure, Japan has apologised for the little matter of the “comfort women”. But why, according to the Chinese, has Yasukuni received 60 visits from Japanese prime ministers between 1945 and 1985, including six visits made on 15 August, to mark the date of Japan’s surrender? The 1937 rape of Nanking—in which tens of thousands of Chinese women were raped and at least 100,000 killed—is being turned into part of “a self-defensive holy war”; school textbooks now try to depict Japanese aggression in the 1930s as the “liberation of backward nations”. The Japanese Education Minister is proposing to reject textbooks that do not adopt a “patriotic tone”. When the US hears that Palestinian textbooks include Israel as part of “Palestine”, American officials roar like bears. But when the Japanese do far worse, the Americans turn into mice.

The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times states Speak up, Hilda Solis—The Board of Supervisors candidate should campaign as if voters had a real choice.:
But it's a different story in [Gloria] Molina's 1st District, which runs from downtown Los Angeles eastward through the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. More than a year ago, those in the political know began explaining to one another that the choice to replace Molina had already been made, although not by voters and not at the polls. The next supervisor was to be U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. There was to be no race, no choice, no debate. It was as though she were already the incumbent.

With no disrespect to El Monte city councilman and retired county employee Juventino "J" Gomez or to school police officer April Saucedo Hood, both of whom are running campaigns for the seat, neither of them has the fundraising prowess, the political backing or the vision and know-how to offer much of a challenge. It is virtually certain that Solis will be a member of the Board of Supervisors for the next four years and, given the power of incumbency, the next 12. Even a November runoff is unlikely. The once-in-a-generation opportunity for a district of 2 million people to select their county representative has been extinguished. Voters have been ripped off. Democracy has been mocked.

Voters should be angry. But at whom?

Shall we blame the Democratic Party and labor power brokers who paved the way for Solis' coronation and found other paths to advancement for other would-be contenders? Should we blame the Republicans for offering little or nothing in the way of a viable challenger? In part.

But much of the problem is that districts are too big and government is too closed. With no credible challengers and therefore no need to debate, Solis is not forced to discuss what she would do to solve that very fundamental issue. But she should.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Top Ten list just dropped into Letterman's lap. (13+ / 0-)

    Dad 1912-78, Mom 1914-86, me 1959-? ... it's a unique perspective.

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 04:43:48 AM PDT

  •  A TV program some years ago blamed MacArthur (4+ / 0-)

    for the modern Japanese attitude towards WWII. I seem to remember it going like this: The Emperor was not held accountable, so in the minds of many Japanese, they'd done nothing wrong, and therefore insisting Japan own up to her crimes was simply Yankee racism and aggression.

    Read something prior to that from a Japanese doctor who'd performed experiments on POWs, including vivisections: "[the bloodcurdling screams of his first victim] really made an impression on me, because it was my first one." And later, "You do what you have to to win." Aw, ain't that cute?

    •  And the converse is that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If we'd messed with the Emperor, the Japanese would have fought to the bitter end and there would have been no peaceful occupation.
      Do you realize WWII ended almost seventy years ago? We are beginning to sound like Southerners going on about the Civil War.  

  •  Zach Galifiniakis- Between Two Ferns (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, DSC on the Plateau

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 04:47:00 AM PDT

  •  Monday's Numbers and NC Voter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, bear83, rja
    •  The GOP Hyperventilating over 'voter fraud' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is really getting old.

      I wonder what NC is spending on the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program and what GOP big wigs are benefiting from that spending.

      After all, we all know that when it comes to Republicans, it's always about lies and money.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:52:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Late Nite with Sarah Millican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    konving, Iberian

    Even guys with mother issues would like her.  

    OTOH.  Probably too hard to follow.

  •  Omitted fm Krugman extract is point that he often (11+ / 0-)

    makes, that:

    Doing what America did after World War II
    is not only:
    using low interest rates and inflation to erode the debt burden
    but (even moreso) growing the economy, which causes the debt to decline as a percentage of the economy without the debt ever being "repaid" (thus invalidating all the 'concern' about somebody's grandchildren having to "repay" it).

    Since the low interest rates, and deficit spending, help that growth, it turns out that, when deficit spending can increase growth, at times like the past five years, it helps reduce the federal debt -- the exact opposite of the austerity fetishism that has prevailed in Washington. Krugman explains this so clearly that virtually any Senator could understand it if their ears were not stuffed full of money from people who benefit from unreasonably low inflation.

    •  Not exploiting historically low interest rates (8+ / 0-)

      to borrow money to spend on much-needed improvements and projects that would also boost the economy back to full health is an economic and moral crime of the highest order. People will literally die because of it, and given the reality of climate change and what needs to be done about it, all the more so.

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

      by kovie on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:25:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Post WWII there was the... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tampaedski, mstep

      ...apparently quaint notion that part of the defense against Communism was sufficiently regulating the Free Market so that the "groundlings" were getting enough of a share of the bounty to make ends meet with a few pennies leftover to pursue the simple diversions of life.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:27:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There had been a substantial threat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ohiolibrarian, FogCityJohn

        of U.S. citizens turning to Socialism before and during the years immediately preceding and during the Great Depression.  Much of the threat was due to the paranoia of the politicians and Very Serious People of the time, as any threat to their continued money and power was cause for freak-out, but the public was indeed listening to the message of the Industrial Workers of the World and the communists' rallying cry of "Workers of the World, Unite!"

        There is no such perceived threat today except for those nutcases that call the current president a socialist and his policy recommendations socialism.  Which leaves the politicians and Very Serious People of today totally unconcerned with the plight of the average citizen.

        "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by SueDe on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:44:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  By 1930 (0+ / 0-)

          Most American Socialists were FAR more like Norman Thomas than like Joseph Stalin! The attacks were based on hyperbole not fact.

          (Although it does need to be noted that Vito Marcantonio followed Stalin's foreign policy line to a T, had lots of organized crime connections, and conspired with NYC Republicans who weren't at all progresssive.)

    •  OTOH (0+ / 0-)

      I came of age in the '70s and remember why inflation is a dirty word. With stagnant wages already being eroded away by fodd and fuel, this could be the basis of a Carter in '80 type backlash. If not wondering if Klugman jumped the shark.

      I can almost hear those Wingers bellowing away on their tangents and strawmen "Klugman and them liberals are so out of touch and behind the times that they want to brink back inflation! What's next? Disco? Bellbottoms?"

      "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 Apr 07, 2014 at 06:31:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most wages would not be stagnant w/inflation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FogCityJohn, Stude Dude

        of 2% to 4% that was engineered policy (rather than the higher inflation that resulted from rising oil prices, as was the case in the 1970s).  

        It is a feature, rather than a bug, of policy-engineered 4% inflation that wages (and, to a lesser extent, prices) in low-productivity industries can be eroded by up to 4% per year, thereby encouraging workers (and, to a lesser extent, company owners) to move from them into higher-productivity industries.

        A bigger feature of 4% inflation is that it enables the Fed, by pushing nominal interest rates down to zero, to create a negative return of 4% per year on interest-earning T-Bills, thereby encouraging savers to move their money from T-Bills into investments, which tend to create more jobs.

        And of course anybody who bought their home using a fixed-rate home loan benefits from the erosion of value in the principle amount that they owe on the home loan.

        These points help explain why home loan lenders, and big buyers of T-Bills and the like, prefer low or zero inflation, and why the Fed has tended to target  2% rate, even though the financial crisis has demonstrated that a 4% rate would have had many advantages.

    •  It's really ideology (0+ / 0-)

      that has their ears clogged up, and not so much the cash money. Ronald Reagan taught them that low taxes are good, and government spending is bad. So they know what they know, and have no need for pesky economists to explain anything.

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

      by mstep on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:45:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time has done nothing to soften my (23+ / 0-)

    complete contempt and utter revulsion of Cheney, Rumsfeld, W, Rice and the supporting cast of henchmen.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 04:53:23 AM PDT

  •  Great interview with Erroll Morris on NPR (8+ / 0-)

    Erroll Morris talked about the movie The Unknown Known with Steve Inskeep Sunday morning. Very much worth a listen.

    It's fascinating how two men as profoundly evil as Rumsfeld and Cheney can have such different styles. Rumsfeld is genial, smoothly evasive, comfortable with the intelligentsia, eager to be liked. Cheney is aggressive, blunt, brooking no contradiction, proud to be despised. What they have in common is an epic, impenetrable self-satisfaction.

    Cheney is Old Scratch. Rumsfeld is Mephistopheles.

    •  No, Cheney is the devil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, diffrntdrummr

      and Rummy is his eager to be liked lackey.

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

      by kovie on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:26:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He also called us all morons. (5+ / 0-)

      I have to take exception to his rant, while I sort of agreed with it, not all Americans were 'morons'.

      Every last person who voted for Bush CLEARLY was a moron. he got that right.

      but a LOT of us knew from Day 1 what a gaggle of shitwads had slithered into the White House and that Rummy is a complete and total liar and bullshit artist.

      As the Bush Admin was on a tear milking 9/11 and torturing people and making the infamous bullshit case to invade Iraq,  some of us were already aware of the PNAC's dream of a "New American Century" and their wet dreams of a "New Pearl Harbor". Rummy's plan to sweep it all up, things related and not, etc... America was being taken over, as far as I am concerned.

      And we were skillfully corralled for a hot minute back in the Unknown Knowns Era. (Free speech zones, anyone?)

      The press clearly came out of their conservative-owned closet and fell right in line as the Stenography Corps.

      Morons truly gave in to Team Cheney's propaganda war, intelligent people saw through it and that needs to always be remembered.

      There was nothing we could do.

      We. Were. POWERLESS.

      Not morons.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:36:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Guardian article is must-read, including: (7+ / 0-)

    The absurdity of anti-whistleblowing policy is highlighted by this:

    former CIA director Leon Panetta indisputably leaked classified information to the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers, however, only the people who may have leaked the information that Panetta leaked information are under investigation

    Less absurd and less surprising, but more fundamentally important, especially as key Senators decide how hard to push back against the CIA, is this:

    Nancy Pelosi said last month: "You don't fight [the CIA] without a price, because they come after you, and they don't always tell the truth about it."
  •  Phyllis Diller - Wouldn't she have been the best (0+ / 0-)

    late night host ever?  

  •  I'm conflicted about the Japan issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, sydneyluv, Hoghead99

    We owned it after the war, not shared to any meaningful degree with anyone else, and if we didn't impose enough punishment on individuals and on society we have nobody to blame but ourselves.  Japan is now a normal country that treats its own people well and is a positive force in the world, so its lack of self-loathing doesn't bother me that much especially when the country that most decries that lack of self-loathing has obvious strategic interests....and a decided lack of introspection about its own more recent history.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:11:53 AM PDT

    •  I have little respect for MacArthur as a general. (4+ / 0-)

      He was very much self interested and often demonstrated why he earned the nickname "Dugout Doug" at Corrigedor. There is an account, as men he sent without much thought, across unknown territory in New Guinea to reach the combat zone diseased and starving, of him dressed in silks making comfort demands in an appropriated mansion.

      One of the few things I do respect him for is his administration in Japan—with one deficiency that is now revealed. I think he avoided much trouble for us and Japan by not smashing the Emperor's image and in fact using that to move Japan rapidly toward a democracy, one with women's rights no less.  

      The one big gap there was, with total power, not forcing an accounting of the extensive war crimes in the press and schools. While China certainly has skeletons in its closet, the horrors of Japan's war and conquest of its neighbors is a deep and not admitted wound. It is rather strange that in a society, where I saw news of a train engineer killing himself because he'd caused many commuters to be late, valuing (too much sometimes) taking responsibility that little is taken for real horrors of the first half of the 20th Century. A good part of that blame I think lies with MacArthur's error in judgment in not at least forcing a more general knowledge and acceptance of that responsibility.

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

      by pelagicray on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:27:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And let's not hold Japan to a higher standard... (9+ / 0-)

        ...that we hold ourselves.  We live in a country where the Confederacy is celebrated, and "Westward Expansion" is considered in territorial rather than human (or, more precisely, violently anti-human) terms.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:57:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our hypocrisy doesn't justify theirs. (3+ / 0-)

          The U.S. certainly needs to initiate a truth and reconciliation process both for slavery/Jim Crow and for the centuries long extermination of Native Americans.  But our failure to do that doesn't somehow exonerate the Japanese for war crimes.

          It may, however, make American protestations seem rather hollow.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 10:12:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They paid for their war crimes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You know, country destroyed, people hanged, that kind of thing.  We don't get a do-over on whether we hanged enough people.  

            It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

            by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:11:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny, but ... (3+ / 0-)

              neither the Chinese (who actually suffered the rape of Nanking) nor the Koreans nor any number of other Asian peoples whose countries were occupied by the Japanese seem to agree that Japan has paid for its war crimes.

              As the old saying goes, where you stand depends on where you sit.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:33:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Rec but don't entirely agree (0+ / 0-)

          As bad as American genocide was against Native Americans, what the Japanese did in China was far, far worse. And that is saying something.

      •  The humiliation and reparations we imposed (0+ / 0-)

        on Germany after WW I are widely accepted as primary factors in the rise of Nazism and the general lead up to WW II.  Aided by the depression.

        It is now 65 years after WW II.  That Japan is now involved in historical revisionism doesn't terribly shock me. We do it; every country/ethnic group/tribe/religion does it.

        Your phrase "at least forcing a more general knowledge and acceptance of that responsibility" is a gentle one, except for the word "force."  I don't know how you change culture by force.  Unless you want another war.

        I was a young child at the time, and I recall everything made in Japan was stamped with the words "Made in Occupied Japan."  Even as a child hat struck me as unnecessary humiliation.  Nothing good comes of humiliating an entire nation.  Perhaps a reconciliation project like that in South Africa would have worked.

        And shocking to me is the resurgence of ultra-nationalism in Germany and various eastern European areas. But generations pass and newer ones haven't experienced what they did.

      •  I have heard though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that McArthur's casualty rates were lower than those of Generals such as Bradley and Patton in the ETO.  

        •  Different kind of war (0+ / 0-)

          He was a better strategist than tactician. His "island-hopping" strategy saved many thousands of American lives. And he was smart enough not to try to fight in China (where the Japanese were advancing as late as Spring 1945). But the costly reconquest of the Philippines, completely unnecessary from a military perspective, was entirely because of his ego.  

  •  Jeb Bush sticks his toe into the immigration (5+ / 0-)

    waters....Scarborough immediately chops it off....Good Luck Jeb.

  •  Two WP pieces worth a look. Attention span in both (4+ / 0-)

    an issue.

    First a very accurate observation from  Robert McCartney in "D.C. region fails to excel as it should on projects like Md. health exchange, Silver Line." The governments in question are state and local, but it demonstrates an illness that I've observed increasingly over the last decades in federal projects as well. This is at the root of many of our "government" failures now:

    They don’t have a good excuse for either debacle. Experts on government performance said the problems seemed typical. Both projects suffered from fractured lines of authority and accountability as well as poor management of contractors.

    A root cause is that the politicians at the peak of the command structure are not there by virtue of their management abilities. Administrative prowess seldom wins elections.

    You get people chosen not because they are particularly effective leaders or managers, but because they are politically astute, they are great fundraisers or they are communicators,” said Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service.

    One of the things I personally experienced was the fading of the "big war" generation where "getting things done," though still plagued with "gremlins" and "glitches" into management by people with no such brutal necessity in their background. Competent technical managers became almost unwelcome—there is a tendency to be a bit too forthright and demanding—in favor of those with "political skills" ("ass kissing" was often heard from the ranks). Our entire society has been hit by the rise of people managing technical projects, including contracting, whose technical competence is less important than their ability to "get along." It got pretty bad in the mid 1990s with new management in some agencies I observed demanding "softer, gentler" project management. Well, sometimes that just leads to these disasters we keep seeing from the ACA website roll out to the Silver Line.

    Then  Michael S. Rosenwald points to a problem I've also observed in such projects, though that isn't the focus of "Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say":

    To cognitive neuroscientists, Handscombe’s experience is the subject of great fascination and growing alarm. Humans, they warn, seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia.
    And, with regard to a young Navy financial analyst:
    His book club recently read “The Interestings,” a best-seller by Meg Wolitzer. When the club met, he realized he had missed a number of the book’s key plot points. It hit him that he had been scanning for information about one particular aspect of the book, just as he might scan for one particular fact on his computer screen, where he spends much of his day.
    And of students:
    “They cannot read ‘Middlemarch.’ They cannot read William James or Henry James,” Wolf said. “I can’t tell you how many people have written to me about this phenomenon. The students no longer will or are perhaps incapable of dealing with the convoluted syntax and construction of George Eliot and Henry James."
    A 2012 Israeli study involving engineering students is cited. They wrongly thought they'd done better comprehending on screen text.

    So, dumbing down all about. Consider that Navy financial analyst's realization and the Israeli engineering student's wrong assumption in the context of a complex project's engineering and contracting requirements:

    Missed a number of the contract's key points?  Missed a number of the key engineering and technical requirements points? Oh shit!

    Another million or billion here and there down the drain. Another derailment. Another massive project DOA.

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

    by pelagicray on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:14:34 AM PDT

    •  I think some writing requires an (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate, DLWinMI, viral, pelagicray

      adjustment if your brain is not accustomed to the particular syntax.  I have often struggled to adjust if it was worth it to me and I have been reading for 55 years.  I think part of the problem is people just don't see that kind of "work" as valuable any more. There is no "time" to step out and "live" in the writing.  As a former violin teacher, I saw students not seeing value in the struggle to train their bodies and minds, and not seeing value in the end result.  This is really too bad, because it so enriches a person's total perspective, and enhances your total life.

  •  being funny and likeable (7+ / 0-)

    are not the only skills a talk show host needs

    the standard talk show format includes guests, and interviewing is a skill.  it's more than just sitting and talking to people.  it takes engagement and a quick mind and a background in improvisational comedy

    I wonder if Ellen DeGeneres is interested in a move to late night?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:15:09 AM PDT

  •  Part of the issue with the 0.1% and Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    and all the stuff we KNOW is the correct path forward - but which does not endlessly re-enrich the already way-too-rich - is tha what we need and want is being made needlessly difficult to achieve.

    ,b>Good arguments and good policies sometimes prevail even if they hurt the 0.1 percent—otherwise we would never have gotten health reform. But we do need to make clear what’s going on, and realize that in monetary policy as in so much else, what’s good for oligarchs isn’t good for America.
    SOMETIMES the proper thing for you and me occurs, but it is NOT reliable and is the execption, NOT the rule and it SHOULD be the rule.

    It's like we're trying to run a race and the GOP, shitty Dems, Corporations and all those other related entities are stepping on our feet, preventing us from running as we are able. No reason for it - they just do it to be shitty. They believe in shitty. They ARE shitty.

    We are NEEDLESSLY (do you know that that word means?) screwed by these fuckers. NEEDLESSLY: there is NO NEED for them to oppose affordable healthcare (unless they have other intentions, which I firmly believe they do, for it explains much)

    The fact is we are enduring MUCH we should not be enduring. The GOP has no RIGHT to work endlessly to make our lives suckier and suckier - but that is exactly what they are doing and it is happening because they are being allowed to do this shit.

    Nobody stops them.

    And they are fucking us blind.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:21:52 AM PDT

  •  Mickey Rooney has died (5+ / 0-)

    One of the last remaining movie stars from the original Talkie era.


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

    by kovie on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:23:07 AM PDT

  •  So, because NBC and ABC picked a dude, CBS... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo has "No Excuses" but to pick a woman? If they could get Colbert to host, and I was in charge of the signing process, I'm sorry, there is nobody, man or woman, that would stop me from signing him.

  •  Perspective on the Los Angeles Times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jackson L Haveck, FogCityJohn

    Crocodile tears. The problem with Hilda Solis is what she was secretary OF. As liberal as the Times has ever been, the editorial board has never given up its enthusiasm for anti-labor measures.

    If they're concerned about the board, they might want to spearhead enlarging it. Each supervisor currently represents about 2 million people. That's roughly the size of Nebraska or New Mexico, each of which has TWO senators. But no, the Times wouldn't want the county to have to pay more people to govern it. Wouldn't be prudent.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:27:22 AM PDT

    •  Easier said than done. (3+ / 0-)

      To expand the Board of Supervisors, LA would have to become a charter county.  Right now, its BOS has only five members because it's what's called a "general law" county.  Under the Government Code, the BOS of a general law county has five members.

      Charter counties can have a BOS with more members, as San Francisco does, for example.  (SF County has about 820,000 residents and 11 supervisors.)  So LA County would have to adopt a charter.  That's not impossible, but getting something like that off the ground in a county as huge, heterogenous, and populous as LA is no cake walk either.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 10:18:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the last four years I was at the... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Dave in Northridge

      ...Times (with some time spent on the the editorial/op-ed pages), the majority of the board had little enthusiasm for anti-labor measures. I have no idea what the predilections are now, but Colonel Otis is long dead and the Chandlers who inherited the operation haven't been involved in 14 years, so I don't think it's anti-labor animus (or opposition to Solis per se) that is driving the Times editorial pages now.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:53:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  colbert (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GleninCA, Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson

    should stay where he is network confinement would hurt his shtick, chelsea would be fine with me but the powers that be would need a respirator after one of her shows as would some in the hinter land.

    joy behar would be a nice choice she is acerbic but might be acceptable to the can't say shit if you have it in your mouth hypocrites.

    we censor things like language and sex on the networks but allow things like violence, murder, and hate for that genre because the american viewer is comfortable with them its in the dna.

  •  Late Night should go to (6+ / 0-)

    Tina Fey.  I think she would crush it

    by LazyActivism on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:16:27 AM PDT

  •  Russell Brand? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    ObamaCare! Sign-up by phone: 1-800-318-2596

    by mwm341 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 06:21:26 AM PDT

  •  There are still people out here fighting (5+ / 0-)

    for the Unions. Here in West Palm Beach Fl. we are very active: especially in the AFl-CIO and affiliated Unions. But membership is down here as elsewhere and now instead of beating us up literally which is so much more dramatic, we are being beaten down with $$$$$s and legislatures which  adopt "right to work" laws.

    We have picketed and protested wage theft and we have succeeded in bringing Unionizing back into public awareness in States like Tennessee. The NLRB is finally up and running again after having 2 few members for years, and the courts may help some with favorable rulings re. the auto workers.

    But it's a never ending battle with fewer and fewer people who ever talk about or even remember that the rights we have now like the 40 hr. work week and so many others were won the hard way. Too many years of being brain washed by the right and too many years of people just accepting things the way they are.

    Now that people are really suffering, there will be more opportunities for us to relate the message. When people who labor have finally suffered enough, they will also finally hear what we have been shouting out in the wilderness.

  •  Chrispie as a croupier in an Adelson casino soon? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, a2nite, Amber6541

    from Esquire via TPM;

    Bad news for Chris Christie -- and very good news for the citizens of New Jersey: Esquire has learned from sources close to the investigation that David Wildstein, the former Port Authority operative who helped plan and execute the Great Fort Lee Clusterfk, is now cooperating with Paul Fishman, the federal prosecutor investigating the soon-to-be-ex-governor and his minions for criminal conduct. Fishman has also increased the number of investigators at work on the case, and has begun presenting evidence and witnesses to a grand jury in Newark.
  •  tina fey (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, GleninCA, Eric Nelson

    she's funny and smart,  and really carried the
    ball doing weekend update.

    A Late night talk show would be basically that
    with some guests for 90 minutes.

  •  it's time (0+ / 0-)
    As Alexandra Petri pointed out in The Washington Post last night, in the history of late-night broadcast television, there have been more hosts named Jimmy than women and people of color.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 09:01:07 AM PDT

  •  Replace him with.... (0+ / 0-)


  •  "Don't molest your staff" should be a contract (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    requirement whether a woman or a man replaces the current host; he destroyed the brand by his predation.

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