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      Sustained high profits, in free market economics, are considered the sign of an uncompetitive market.  De-fact if an industry or business makes high profits regularly, and certainly if they do so for more than a decade or so, the market is not competitive. The response to that should be political: either make the market competitive, [...]
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Free for all

I’ve been kind of busy in the last couple of days signing documents, sending documents, resigning documents, losing my stylus, dealing with lawyers and two realtors.  Then there is a paper I have to go over from my old job that’s about to go to the publisher.  It’s only been 20 months and nothing to show to future employers so I could get another job but I try not to be bitter {{inwardly seething}}.  Then there is another paper I’ve been fiddling with that’s a lot more interesting and deserves attention.  Plus midterms for the kid trying to convince her that Cornell has a buttload of overachieving asian high school students to choose from.  I mean, if she thinks she can get away with a B+ in AP Bio because she didn’t bother to study… Nag, nag, nag.

AND the skin under my surgical tape is itching like crazy.  (BTW, I highly recommend gallbladder removal to people who want to lose weight.  The inability to process fat containing foods is making think I will be svelte before summer. )

So, I’m here, but, er, not here.  I’ve got stuff and things and bills to pay and many miles before I sleep.

I hear that Obama is about to cave to the Republicans on how to screw us economically and that he doesn’t think he has to tell us whether he felt free to mow down Occupy Wall Street protestors if he thought they were domestic terrorists, which makes me yearn for Canada…

Anyway, this is a free for all.  Have at it!

Open Bar; Open Thread

 

The drinks are on me.

Obama Pulls Out All the Stops in Effort to Defeat Progressive Senate Candidate Joe Sestak

Jake Tapper:

Organizing for America, the former grass-roots campaign arm for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, is trying to rally supporters to phone bank and get out the vote in Pennsylvania for Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Penn., the former Republican locked in a tight primary race with a far more progressive Democrat, Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Penn.

Chris Bolling, the national volunteer coordinator for OFA, writes in an email that the “stakes of this election are high: ensuring that allies of the President are elected in the House and Senate to fight for change. So starting this weekend, through Tuesday’s election, there will be phone banks for OFA volunteers in D.C. We’ll call into Pennsylvania and encourage voters to support leaders who will fight for President Obama’s vision for change.”

Specter, of course, supported the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and only became a Democrat when it became clear he would suffer an ignominious defeat in the GOP primary to former Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Penn.

Meanwhile, the latest poll Muhlenberg tracking poll shows the race between Sestak and fake Dem Specter to be a dead heat.

In his latest attack on Sestak, fake Dem Specter charges that Sestak supports {gasp!} gun control!

Specter is highlighting his vote against the assault weapons ban in the 90s and calling Sestak out for his “F” rating from the NRA.

Sestak is returning fire by distributing an ad Republicans used against Obama in 2008 that highlighted Obama’s “F” rating with the NRA.

I guess Specter is banking on those bitter, gun-toting Pennsylvanians to put him over the top. But are they more worked up about owning assault weapons or about the crappy economy and the lack of jobs? I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday. Personally, I’m rooting against Obama’s candidate.

This is an open thread.

Thursday Morning Open Thread

Some WTF moments from last night’s SOTU extravaganza:

h/t CX4800: Chris Matthews “forgot he was black tonight for an hour.” WTF?! No. Obviously you didn’t forget. Chris Matthews needs to be put out to pasture.

h/t Judge Alito commits a major breech of protocol when he shook his head and mouthed “not true” as Obama talked about the recent SCOTUS decision that Corporations can donate any amount to candidates, according to Glenn Greenwald. Supreme Court Justices are not supposed to show any emotion; they are supposed to be completely unbiased. I guess that tradition ended in 2000.

TPM has a post on how the SCOTUS decision does “open the floodgates” to foreign influence in U.S. elections.

Justice John Paul Stevens didn’t even show up for the SOTU. New York Times Columnist Gail Collins says there are rumors he may retire soon. No, please, nooooooooo!

I also heard that John McCain mouthed “complete bullshit” at one point during the speech. If I find the video, I’ll post it.
Think Progress also saw McCain mouth “blame it on Bush.”

Post SOTU Open Thread

So what did you think? Did President Obama say anything that gave you any hope? Did he say anything that could be true? How many lies did you hear?

Martha Coakley for President Open Thread

I can’t reload that earlier thread anymore, so here’s a new one. From The Boston Globe:

Coakley: I oppose more US troops to Afghanistan

The Democratic front-runner in the race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy issued a statement saying, “I believe we should begin the process of bringing our troops home.”

Coakley has said repeatedly she trusted President Barack Obama but would wait to hear him make his case if he wanted to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

Yet two days before Obama is scheduled to address the nation on the subject, Coakley said “based on what I know now,” she does not support a troop increase….

Coakley said she is “very concerned” the case for more troops still has not been made. And she believes there is no evidence Afghan President Hamid Karzai “is a legitimate or trustworthy partner.”

We need a President with guts. Of course the last time we had a President who had the courage to speak up to the generals, he was shot down on the street in Dallas.

Ray McGovern at Truthout:

as he studied the options, cost and likely outcomes, Kennedy came to see U.S. intervention in Vietnam as a fool’s errand. Few Americans are aware that, just before he was assassinated, Kennedy had decided to pull all troops out of Vietnam by 1965.

The Pentagon was hell bent on thwarting such plans, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara found it an uphill struggle to enforce the President’s will on the top brass. Senior military officers were experts at “slow-rolling” politicians who favored a course that the Pentagon didn’t like.
When in May 1962 Kennedy ordered up a contingency troop-withdrawal plan, it took more than a year for the military brass to draw one up.

[....]

Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff, to whom fell the task of announcing President Kennedy’s death on Nov. 22, 1963, told James Douglass, author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, that Kennedy’s mind was fixed on Vietnam the day before. Instead of rehearsing for a press conference that day, Kennedy told Kilduff:

“I’ve just been given a list of the most recent casualties in Vietnam. We’re losing too damned many people over there. It’s time for us to get out. The Vietnamese are not fighting for themselves. We’re the ones who are doing the fighting.
“After I come back from Texas, that’s going to change. There is no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life.”

Kennedy never returned from Texas and the war went on. Sadly, Obama is no John Kennedy.

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Cult Classics Open Thread.


Cult Classics are movies that were initially deemed box-office failures but attracted a devoted group of fans. One of the original cult classics was 1936′s Reefer Madness. Like many cult classics it falls in the category of “so bad it’s worth watching.” Ed Wood’s 1959 Plan 9 From Outer Space is probably the ultimate example of that type.

The Big Kahuna of cult classics is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It did poorly when first released in 1975 and was almost headed for oblivion when someone got the bright idea to run it at “midnight movie” screenings. With a few months fans began showing up dressed as their favorite characters and talking back to the screen. They also threw rice at the wedding scene.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show still plays in a small number of theaters, making it the longest running theatrical release in movie history at 34 years and counting. Produced for $1,200,000 it has grossed nearly $140,000,000 in box office receipts.

Prior to the video revolution fans of cult classics were at the mercy of the film studios and television programmers. Once VCR’s and later DVD’s became commonplace, many films that bombed in the theaters were resurrected in the home video market.

As I said before, some movies become cult classics because they are egregiously bad. Others are actually pretty good movies that just didn’t catch fire in their theatrical releases. One common factor in most cult classics is that the studios that originally released them didn’t spend very much promoting them. That’s not surprising, since most of them were low-budget productions in the first place.

Here’s a clip from my favorite cult classic:
.


What’s your favorite?

Shitzengiggles Open Thread

celebrity-pictures-frankenstein-good-sht


I discovered a funny site called “Texts From Last Night.”  It consists of copies of text messages – some by themselves and some with responses – submitted by men and women, most of whom seem to be about college age.

I should warn you that some are disgusting, obscene and/or offensive, but many are hilarious.  Here’s a few reprintable samples:


(812): The sex was so good, I called my ex during the 2nd time just so he could hear. Is that mean?
****************************
(301): saw a man at the beach in a red speedo. when he rolled over he unintentionally displayed a HUGE skid mark.
****************************
(816): I accidentally asked my mom for a blowjob because ‘mom’ and ‘molly’ are next to each other in my address book.
****************************
(251): Why do you have Season One of Reba in your underwear drawer?
(1-251): Why are you in my underwear drawer?
****************************
(215): saw you walking with that piece of shit
(267): and that piece of shit just read that
****************************
(515): Well, I’m a guy so I don’t have one, but if its anything like the inside of my nose, yes, vodka would burn.
****************************
(915): so she asked me if I thought she was fat and naturally I said no….. but I think she might catch on
(1-915): who is she? I really hope you have an explanation cause either you think I’m fat or you’re cheating on me
****************************
(773): My landlord doesn’t knock anymore when he shows the apt… So i just had sex in front of a family.
(1-773): didn’t stop?
(773): naw, they were rude, not me.
****************************
(515): …there is blood under my fingernails.
(515): …I hope my roomates are okay.
****************************
(204): My cousin’s wedding had personal beer funnels for each table and a drinking game against the bride and groom. im sorry for ever calling you white trash
****************************
(267): Singing into hair straightener during spice girls….sooo dangerous
****************************
(905): My vagina is so ashamed right now. It won’t even look at me.
****************************
(780): Did we use protection last night?
(1-780): Um, no…keep in touch, okay?
****************************
(678): He wanted a quickie. I said, can I play doodle jump on my iPhone during? And that’s exactly how it went.
****************************
(702): He asked if it was my vagina. I told him it was my butt. Clearly I need to buy him a map of the female form.
****************************
(443): shhh. i hid the ranch dip behind the rooster. don’t tell anyone that way you can find it in the morning and it won’t be all eaten.
(610): wrong number but thanks


What’s made you laugh recently?

Open Thread: “The Cambridge Police Acted Stupidly”

Will Obama regret saying that? Personally, I think he’s right, but how will the Cambridge police react? Will there be pushback from law enforcement generally?

Sgt. James Crowley

Sgt. James Crowley

The arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley (who lives in Natick) says “I’m not apologizing.”

The Cambridge cop who arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. told the Herald tonight he will never apologize.

“I know I’m not apologizing. It’s not that I’m digging in my heels, I just have nothing to apologize for,” said Sgt. James Crowley.

The 42-year-old officer spoke to the Herald on the porch of his suburban home. He said he feels bad about the fallout from last week’s arrest, but he’s not going to give Gates an apology.

This could get interesting.

UPDATE 1: There is a very good piece at John McWhorter’s blog at The New Republic about the Gates episode. According to McWhorter (a self-described “black conservative,” Gates is no “rabble-rouser,” and has been “assailed as an accomodationist” by more radical black writers.

And meanwhile, the idea that he should have exhibited “deference to the police” ignores the totemic status that black men’s encounters with the police have in the way countless people process being black and what it means. There’s a reason Gates told the Washington Post Tuesday that what happened to him was part of a “racial narrative,” and that awareness surely informed his angry conduct.

The relationship between black men and police forces is, in fact, the main thing keeping America from becoming “post-racial” in any sense.

Here is where many will object with statistics about residential segregation, disparities in car loans and health care, and most recently, the dumping of subprime mortgages in black communities.

These, however, are more news stories than things felt on a visceral level among ordinary people as evidence that racism is still virulent in this country, a defining experience of being black. As Newsweek’s Ellis Cose put it in his widely read The Rage of a Privileged Class, “in the real world such statistics are almost irrelevant, for rage does not flow from dry numerical analyses of discrimination or from professional prospects projected on a statistician’s screen.”

What creates the true rub is unpleasant live social encounters, and none have such potent effect as ones with the cops.

UPDATE 2: The police report on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates has been removed from The Boston Globe’s website. Interesting….

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S.H.I.T. Open Thread


I’m a little too old to get excited about this movie. The G.I Joe I remember had “kung-fu grip” and fought Nazis.

I’m sure happy it’s Thursday. What’s on your mind?

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