• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Catscatscats on Gee-7
    Kathleen A Wynne on Gee-7
    William on Gee-7
    William on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    riverdaughter on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    lililam on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    Earlynerd on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    Earlynerd on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    lililam on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    lililam on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    lililam on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    William on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    William on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    Ga6thDem on Healthcare, Medicare and …
    William on Healthcare, Medicare and …
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    January 2010
    S M T W T F S
    « Dec   Feb »
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 25, 2019
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 25, 2019 by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Give No Heed to the Walking Dead [The Scholar’s Stage, via Naked Capitalism 8-18-19] The People’s Republic of China is wealthier than any rival America has faced. Its leaders are convinced […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

Weird Weather Weekend Open Thread

What Oklahoma looks like today (photo by Native1)

Another snowy view from Native1

It’s a weekend for strange weather. We’ve had heavy snow down south, and way below normal temperatures up here in New England. Dakinikat said it was only about 38 degrees down in New Orleans today. My aunt lives down on the coast in Alabama, and they only had temperatures in the 40s. Our Virginia Conflucians have had heavy snow today too. Here’s the picture that Indigogrrl took of her barn this morning.

I’ve always found weather exciting. Even though I don’t love dealing with snow and ice, I still find big snowstorms kind of thrilling, and there is a nice feeling I get when I know I’m snowed in and don’t have to go out till the storm is over. I love thunderstorms too. I was born in Fargo, North Dakota, in the middle of a terrible blizzard. My mom actually had to go to the hospital a day early because the doctor was afraid if they waited, she wouldn’t be able to get there.

I’ve heard stories about extreme weather from my parents all my life. Maybe that’s where my fascination with weather comes from. My mom often talked about having to dig a tunnel out of the front door of their house back in Hope, North Dakota, in order to get to school. And my mom has talked about the time the temperature went up over 120 degrees, in 1934. That same year in the winter it got down to 60 below 0. That is still a record for extreme temperatures in one location in a year, and it is still the hottest year on record in the U.S. Those were the dustbowl days. My mom says the dust storms were horrible. I found this photo on-line. I’m not sure where it was taken.

In Fargo, where my dad grew up, they have periodic floods when the Red River overflows its banks. Those can get really bad. In 1997, a flood completely destroyed Grand Forks. Much of the downtown burned and had to be rebuilt.

Grand Forks after the 1997 flood and fire

This picture was taken in Fargo during the big flood a couple of years ago.

A dog looking at the swollen Red River in Fargo

My first fully conscious experience with extreme weather came when I was three years old. We lived in Iowa then, and we experienced a tornado. I still have a picture of my three-year-old self sitting on a huge fallen tree. The next year, we moved to Kansas where I was exposed to extreme heat. Many of my memories of Kansas involve us kids playing outside on 100-degree afternoons while our parents took shelter inside. I’ll never forget the day it went up to around 115 degrees and the heat broke the big thermometer in downtown Lawrence. Of course there were the usual pictures in the paper of people frying eggs on their sidewalks. Here’s a classic of the genre.

Hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk!

Here in New England we get some pretty extreme weather at times–though not as extreme as the hurricanes down south, the tornadoes in the midwest, or 40-below-zero days they get up in the north country where I was born. But we get some wild nor’easters–those can be really bad, and if they come in the winter it can mean a blizzard with a couple of feet of snow. In February of 1978, Governor Dukakis had to close down the entire state for a week because of the terrible blizzard we got. Here’s a shot of a highway north of Boston after the ’78 blizzard.

Of course New England weather is notoriously unpredictable, and we never know when we’ll get a snow or ice storm in April or even May In the late summer and fall, we often get the tail-end of hurricanes, and once in awhile we get a full-blown hurricane. One October in the 80s we lost our electricity for a week because of a hurricane–I think it was Gloria.

This is an open thread, but if you’d like to share your extreme weather stories, please do.

Advertisements

Halleluja! LOST returns on Tuesday! OPEN THREAD

I don’t know about you, but I’m giddy with excitement over the return of LOST; and while it’s the final season, I’m realllllly looking forward to more answers than questions.

Any other LOST fans out there?  What are your theories for this final season?

For the rest of you, this is an OPEN THREADWhat’s got you giddy today?

Oh…and for any Micheal Buble’ fans out there (gosh,…I can’t be the only one) he’s on Saturday Live tonight. Sing it Michael!

By the way, the lovely blond in this video is his new fiance’ Luisana Lopilato, in case you’re interested. — and yes, I’m a goofball.

Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!!!! It is 3 degrees here in the Boston western suburbs!!

Nevertheless, we are better off than you guys in the southern states where there is a winter storm going on. Yesterday, Texas and Oklahoma got about a foot of snow, and today the storm will move east into the Carolinas and Virgina and then out to sea.

California Conflucians are getting a break from the storms, but the state still needs more to end the long-term drought.

Our economics-challenged President is threatening to veto spending bills (except money for wars, banks, and insurance companies), because he thinks cutting the deficit is as important as creating jobs. I wonder when he’s going to figure out that the U.S. economy is dependent on consumer spending; and if people don’t have jobs, it’s kind of hard for them to buy things. Since he never held a full-time job before getting elected President and all his friends are rich corporate types, he doesn’t quite get what us ordinary people are so worried about.

“Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t,” Obama said. “And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.”

In an effort to make a dent in the growing federal deficit, White House officials announced earlier this week that their budget proposal would keep non-military discretionary programs at fiscal 2010 levels (Greenwire, Jan. 26). The proposal would exempt some of the largest parts of the federal budget including defense and entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

It will be up to Congress to decide whether to comply with this request in its spending bills, and Obama pled with them last night to toe the line — addressing critics from his own party and calling the effort vital to keep markets in line and avoid increases in the cost of borrowing.

I guess Obama thinks he can solve our economic problems by creating jobs in the military and defense industries. Maybe he is hoping a lot of us will go to work for Blackwater? I don’t know what he’s thinking, but I like Joseph Cannon’s idea of replacing Geithner with our own Dakinikat.

Eric Holder has been taking a lot of criticism from the right for locating the 9/11 conspiracy trial in New York City, and now he will be getting critiques from not non-Obots on the left. The Justice department review has cleared the Bush torture memo writers of professional misconduct.

Previously, the report concluded that two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.)

By this time everyone should be aware that the Obama administration is not going to hold anyone accountable for planning or participating in torture. Continue reading

Open Thread: Hillary Loses Her Shoe, But Keeps Her Cool

Hillary is all over the “style sections” this evening. On her way to visit French President Sarkozy, she stepped right out of one of her shoes. But she never lost her cool!

Does anyone else have some cheerful news you’d like to share? I think we could all use some smiles and laughter tonight, don’t you?

And feel free to break out the wine, beer, or spirits.

Nitecap and the Marquise de Merteuil

You guys probably have a head start on me.  I just got home from work after spending hours on a frakin’ Excel spreadsheet.  I HATE Microsoft.  Every app is so damn kludgy.  I need a drink.  Rico!  Some tequila please?

In the meantime, let me direct your attention to this excellent smack down of Sally Quinn by Bob Somerby titled The Wages of Quinn.  Somerby dissects Quinn’s most recent column where the Queen Bee of DC threatens the Obama’s with her own personal brand of divine retribution for being lousy hosts.  “Pretty nice administration you got there.  Wouldn’t want anything to *happen* to it.”  As Somerby points out, Sally and her droogs don’t pick on Republicans for being celebrity struck social climbers like the Reagans or intellectual and sleepy boors like the second round of Bushes.  She saves her attacks, and at this point, they seem awfully close to domestic terrorism, for Democrats.  Clinton really frosted her crockies because right after his first election, he called her and the Villagers on their little cliquey games.  Quinn holds a grudge and her vengeance knows no boundaries of decorum.

I don’t know why Sally gets away with it except that she’s married to Ben Bradlee.  She sounds to me like a frustrated woman who should have been a CEO of something but was born 30 years too soon.  So, she is forced to channel her intelligence and thwarted ambition into middle school variety power plays that are approved by her class as being appropriate for her gender and station.  Oooo, the shackles of conformity must be rubbing her raw after sooo many years.  Nevertheless, she will not be ignored.  But someday, probably soon, she will be discarded.  Everyone gets old, eventually.  She will be replaced by a newer version of herself.

In the meantime, she’ll continue to scheme and stab people in the back and help the Villagers take down another Democrat.  Hey, Obama’s a pretty weak president.  It’s not going to be hard for Sally and her posse to take him down.  I’m just sick of people indulging in ruining other people for sport.  Besides, Obama’s doing a pretty good job of ruining himself without Sally’s help.

Someday, I hope Sally gets what’s coming to her.  In my fantasy, it goes a little bit like this:

Thursday: So, there was a speech (and other news).

First of all, I don’t get this at all. I think Joan Walsh is just so desperate to say something nice she’s forgotten that by “spine” most of us mean something more than a lame joke:

Finally, some spine

In case he wasn’t fully aware Republicans are impervious to his political charm, President Obama saw it early in his first State of the Union address. After ticking off a list of taxes he’d lowered, the chamber was in cheers — except for the GOP side of the aisle, where traditionally tax-cutters have clustered. Obama smiled and ad-libbed, “I expected some applause for that one.”


Howard Zinn, dissident historian, dead at 87

The cause was a heart attack, his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn said.

Published in 1980 with little promotion and a first printing of 5,000, “A People’s History” was, fittingly, a people’s best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003. Although Professor Zinn was writing for a general readership, his book was taught in high schools and colleges throughout the country, and numerous companion editions were published, including “Voices of a People’s History,” a volume for young people and a graphic novel.


Really? Oh, Really? I’m surprised they can get anyone in the airport, much less on a plane!

Iata says airlines suffered ‘worst year’ in 2009
Despite the improvement at the end of 2009, Iata said 2010 would be a tough year for airlines the world over.


Tampering — Bugging . . . What exactly is the difference?

The Landrieu Phone Case: Not A Bugging After All?
It’s still a mystery what exactly filmmaker James O’Keefe and his companions intended to do when they allegedly arrived at Landrieu’s office. But the accurate way to describe what allegedly happened would be attempted phone tampering.

The four men (one of whom was reportedly picked up in a car outside) were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony — specifically, “maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States of America,” according to the affidavit.

Weird.


And the speech? I can’t do any better than this from Talking Points Memo:

Not Quite
Dems: Speech Was Health Care Breakthrough (Really?)

Democrats praised Obama for pushing Congress on health care reform. But neither chamber is ready to blink yet.


These are the stories that caught my eye this morning — what are you reading?

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.”