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Posted at 1:40 PM ET, 02/19/2011

Open Thread

By Greg Sargent

Enjoy.

By Greg Sargent  | February 19, 2011; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Birtherism: Worst. Trap. Ever.
Next: Sunday Open Thread

Comments

Miscellaneous, my favorite topic.

"Saudi Arabia is far less vulnerable to democracy movements than other countries in the region, thanks to its vast oil wealth, its powerful religious establishment and the popularity of its king."

Translation from the Arabic, the secret police there are far more 'capable' than in places where ties to the US are weaker.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Saudi officials have tried to appear unruffled. On Wednesday evening, Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, the interior minister, invited a group of prominent intellectuals and journalists in Riyadh to discuss the recent turmoil. He struck a confident tone, saying that Saudi Arabia is “immune” to the protests because it is guided by religious law that its citizens will not question." NYT

Hilarious! Try, guided by a police state that will kill them if they do question. So the Kingdom is "immune" is it, medical terms sure are handy when you want to sound smart.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It should be noted that Flake's remark isn't quite the full denunciation one would want. The "issue" isn't whether Obama is a citizen, but whether he is "native born" and hence eligible to be President. To show true honesty, and more courage than they have, Republicans need to say that Obama is a native born citizen.

Posted by: mw09 | February 19, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Flake voted with the Dems on the CRE this a.m.?

Besides commenters railing against Flake for saying "stop the birther crap" (http://seeingredaz.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/flake-says-%E2%80%9Cget-off-this-kick%E2%80%9D/#comments)

I found the following this a.m. on http://seeingredaz.wordpress.com/:

Flake flakes, joins Democrats on budget vote

The U.S. House, now dominated by Republicans, passed H.R. 1, the continuing appropriations act, by a vote of 235-189 — at 4:40 a.m. this morning.

Not a single Democrat voted for its passage, but three Republicans voted against the bill. Funding government departments, agencies and programs through September 30, 2011, it cuts $62 billion in non-defense discretionary spending from current spending levels.

Interested in who the three Republicans were who voted with the Democrats?

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake joined Walter Jones (R-NC) and John Campbell (R-CA.). The three were the only ones to cross party lines and give aid and comfort to the Democrats.

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2011 at 10:43 am

One comment:

1.
Kimball says:
February 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

Jeff Flake is a sham. He’ll give some high-minded sounding reason for his joining with the Democrats, but don’t be conned. As a newly declared US Senate candidate, his swagger and arrogance are both showing in abundance. If you like this, you’ll love what comes if this guy’s elected. Jeff Flake has never been a conservative. He’s a Libertarian. But since libertarians don’t win elections, he decided to run with an “R” after his name. The fact that he has chummed for years on costly amnesty issues with Luis Gutierrez speaks loud and clear about who Flake is. Gutierrez is listed with GovTrack USA as a “lonely far left Democrat.”

Posted by: smd1234 | February 19, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

sorry, the 1st line of my post shld be

Anyone know why Flake voted with the Dems on the CR this a.m.?

Posted by: smd1234 | February 19, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

mw, that topic is not happening on this thread.

Analysts [recognized experts in the field, such as Shrink2 and TrollMcWingnut] tend to agree that Saudi Arabia would never allow the Bahraini monarchy to be overthrown. Ever since Bahrain began a harsh crackdown on protesters on Thursday, rumors have flown that Saudi Arabia provided military support or guidance; however, there is no evidence to support that.

Actually, I watched Saudi tanks come over from Saudi to Bahrain on the BBC live feed, was that supposed to be a secret? No evidence...my lyin' eyes betray me again.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Still, the Saudis are closely watching American diplomatic gestures toward Bahrain."

Nonsense, they know Bahrain is in the bag, the US veto of the UN resolution on Israeli ethnic cleansing was all they needed to see. But this is the New York Times' story, so they can wink all they want.

"Any wavering of American support for Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy, analysts say, would provoke a deep sense of betrayal, and could create an unprecedented rift in a [blood for oil] partnership with the United States that has been a [correction, The] pillar of Saudi policy since 1945."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Actually, I watched Saudi tanks come over from Saudi to Bahrain on the BBC live feed, was that supposed to be a secret? No evidence...my lyin' eyes betray me again."

Shorter MSM, "Who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes? Baby, I love you!"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

TO........shrink, thanks

TO........all (re post on earlier thread concerning BO's name)

This is from lawyer search at www.iardc.org

Compare:

(indicates name change for MRS. O)

Full Licensed Name: Michelle Obama

Full Former name(s): Michelle Lavaughn Robinson

Date of Admission as Lawyer
by Illinois Supreme Court: May 12, 1989

Illinois Registration Status: Voluntarily inactive and not authorized to practice law

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''
(below indicates NO name change, i.e., he's the same for 20 years - - at least)

Full Licensed Name: Barack Hussein Obama

Full Former name(s): None

Date of Admission as Lawyer
by Illinois Supreme Court: December 17, 1991

Illinois Registration Status: Voluntarily retired and not authorized to practice law

Posted by: smd1234 | February 19, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not for the weak of stomach: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_filkins

Remind me why we are spending more $ that we don't have propping up a corrupt adminstration and essentially funding both sides of the war?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Chuck you saw this I imagine,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12515461

Imagine blowing up a bank and not taking the money. The last time that happened was in Phnom Penh, year zero I think it was.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Birthers are the most Patriotic Americans of all. They should insist on getting an Obama Birth Certificate plank, at the Republican 2012 Convention.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So the population of Bahrain is 70% Shiite, but is ruled by a Sunni Regime?

Apparently the region of Saudi Arabia, where most of the oil resources are, is also heavily Shiite.

Look out Monarchs; It's Saudi Doo Doo Time!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ruled by one Sunni family, permanently, that is what monarchies are.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain how defunding PP is good (except for mentally challenged Republican donors)

- from the standpoint of educating women about sex and health
- from the standpoint of minimizing unwanted pregnancies that might result in abortions
- from the standpoint of helping women address their health needs
- from a fiscal standpoint

''''''''''''

In 2008–09, Planned Parenthood’s 95 affiliates operated 865 health centers across the nation.
. . .
For the three million patients our doctors and nurses saw, we
provided contraception (36 percent of our total services), testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (31 percent), cancer screening and prevention (17 percent), and abortion services (three percent). In all, we helped prevent roughly 621,000 unintended pregnancies.

As the nation’s largest sex educator, we also focused primarily on prevention through our affiliates’ sex education programs that reach more than 1.2 million adults and young people in communities nationwide each year

Posted by: smd1234 | February 19, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The nation does not need Planned Parenthood, now that Sarah and Bristol are here to convince young women not to have sex, and get pregnant, like they both did.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

WI Dems and unions float deal to concede benefits payments in return for continued bargaining. Must have been a midnight call from the fugitive Dems last night. WI Governor rejects bid.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116519738.html?page=1

500 comments on the article thread...skimming the comments pages looks like the unions aren't very popular right now.

Posted by: tao9 | February 19, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@shrink-

Well, I guess Al-Q isn't as far away as is reported sometimes.

Its a clusterf*ck. They know we're leaving *someday*-it doesn't matter if we give a timeline or not. You think we'd give a cr*p if soemone from the outside was in America? We'd wait them out.

So, unless we are going to get rid of that government (which we will not do because Biden said we won't "nation build") and make it a de-facto colony, WTF are we doing there? Trying to keep nukes out of the hands of terrists in Pakistan?


Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"fugitive Dems"

Boss Hog must be even more exhausted than usual, but so long as the General Lee is unscathed, it was all in good fun.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Tao, I see you too have decided to become a practitioner of The Big Lie technique!

That has been the Wisconsin Service Union's position all along. Walker has refused to discuss it, with the Unions.

Nice to see that you fully support the autocratic rule of a Republican Mubarak in Wisconsin.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@tao-

I second Liam above:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/dems-closed-much-larger-budget-shortfall-in-wisconsin-without-destroying-worker-rights.php?ref=fpa

Maybe tao, *you* can explain to me why *some* public empoyees are being singled out and not others. It'd be nice if you admit that it has nothing more to do with than the voting and contributions of one "type" of public employee. But, I'll settle for anything that sounds remotely plausible.

No one else from the conservative side could answer this question yesterday beyond the usual "scumbag" name-calling.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"WTF are we doing there?"

I used to think it was just Obama fulfilling a campaign promise, which with regard to war is not a small thing, though it would still bel craven. But I think now that the argument people like Petraeus (and ceflynline) make is serious and that it is (more important to me) sincerely held. Still I don't agree with it.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Unhappy Birthers to you;

Unhappy Birthers to you;

Unhappy Birthers Dear Karl;

Unhappy Birthers to you.

The Republicans lit all those candles, and it is fun watching you trying to blow them out!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Shrink

Like I said,when Bush was pushing for his Iraq invasion:

It is much easier to jump on the back of a caged Tiger, than it is to dismount from it, without getting mauled.

Obama did not jump on the back of either caged tiger, but he is stuck with the trick of getting us off their backs, without getting mauled.

Look at what the Bush Regime left him to work with in Afghanistan; Another corrupt clown, like they tried to install in Iraq. Remember that the Bush crowd picked Ahmed Chalabi at the same time that they picked Hamid Karzai.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The leading paper in Milwaukee and in the state wrote the article.

Read it. I simply noted the current newsworthy items. The article does not describe the concessions as having been offered prior, or ever.

If you don't care for the "fugitive" description, my apologies, although it is the most apt adjective given the circumstances.

Posted by: tao9 | February 19, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@shrink-

Please understand my rant wasn't meant at you personally. Just feeling very frustrated today. Just read some more from Petraeus and it doesn't make make me feel much better.

We are expecting an Afghan military and police force to step up and protect: A) a corrupt government B) whoever bribes them the most.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Chuck don't worry about me. The problem we agree is the war. Liam is correct wrt Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, in re the steaming pile they left in-country. I just can't see anything different at all between what is going to happen when we leave, whether tomorrow or 2014.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I *get* it now, Karl.

By Obama "refusing" to release is birth certificate, he is causing birtherism to grow and GROW! Not because he has anything to hide but because he knows that birtherism is whackadoodle crayzee and plays into his hand.

Now that's 13-dimensional Chess I Can Believe In! Huzzah.

You let the genie out of the box, Karl, good luck getting her back in...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

In news at least as important as birther hermeneutics, I'm pruning up trees on my property in the Columbia River gorge and I just (with my kids "helping") counted the rings on the stump of one of the branches An 157 year old branch, I'm glad it was long dead or I'd feel bad.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

shrink--Glad to see you're spending some time with the kids.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 19, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Scanning reality, The Guide is using mortars against protesters in Benghazi. Smart, very smart.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"Glad to see you're spending some time with the kids."

Thanks for caring. A little of me goes a long way.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, ever listen to The Decemberists? I'm obsessed with that band.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe tao, *you* can explain to me why *some* public empoyees are being singled out and not others. It'd be nice if you admit that it has nothing more to do with than the voting and contributions of one "type" of public employee. But, I'll settle for anything that sounds remotely plausible."

Hi Chuck! I'm a Con and I'll take a stab at it. First and foremost, Walker probably concluded that the Police and Firepeople were better at making his budget cuts look bad in the eyes of voters. The first time some mugger trips granny and she breaks a hip or somebody's house burns down, regardless of whether it was preventable, then it would be Game Over. On the other hand, we all expect it to take forever at the DMV and to get treated rudely to boot, so if their benefits, which are better than your average voter and do not require any sort of contribution, and if their "right" to organize is somehow compromised, meh. Further, from a political standpoint, it's win-win if they go on strike because it tends to really annoy the public, especially if it's teachers. Mom and dad get really PO'd when they have to arrange whose going to watch Johnnie and or Joannie. If your interest is in busting up public employment unions, and the polling suggests the public is rather ambivalent about them anyway (and so there's no mystery, I'm in favor of eliminating them for all Federal, State, County and municipal employees) Walker's doing it correctly.

I read that of the 125+ Police and Fire unions, only 4 endorsed him, so I'm not sure if their apparent exemption is really because of the endorsement of less than 4% of the unions. Your mileage may vary.

Hope this satisfy's a "I want a Con to answer" request. :-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@Troll-

So, if its not the political contributions or endorsements, in your opinion, what is it? To me, it looks like he's jsut splitting the difference, following the Koch playbook and hoping no-one gives a crap about his hypocrasy. Which isn't surprising.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes surely, if you come out here, we'll show you a good time. Live music is alive in PDX.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"So, if its not the political contributions or endorsements, in your opinion, what is it? To me, it looks like he's jsut splitting the difference, following the Koch playbook and hoping no-one gives a crap about his hypocrasy. Which isn't surprising."

Personally, I think he's following a strategy that I outlined above. He's attempting to break the influence of public employee unions. As to his motivation, well that's going to be a pretty divisive subject here. From what I can see, I think that Walker views them (the Unions) as a leading driver of State, County and Municipal expenses. I think he also sees them (the unions) as having a negative influence on how State, County and Municipalities decide what and how much to spend and tax. That their relationship to government is too cozy. That's what I think his motivation is, and what he thinks his mandate is. Whether the voters who voted for him actually want the results he's trying to deliver, well we'll see.

In the words of H.L. Mencken, " Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

yeah, shrink, I bet. The thing about the New Orleans music scene is that it starts to get thin pretty quickly once you get past traditional NOLA music.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING: “Snipers open fire on mourners in Libya, killing 15”
http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110219/benghazi-libya-gadhafi-protests-crackdown-110219/20110219/?hub=CalgaryHome

Snipers from Libya’s government forces fired on mourners attending a funeral for slain protesters Saturday, killing at least 15 people as demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Moammar Gadhafi continued for the fifth straight day.

Snipers targeted the thousands of people who were attending a mass funeral in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and the site of violent protests. The mourners had gathered to honour the 35 protesters who were shot by government forces on Friday.

Dozens of mourners were also injured, with many of the victims suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

“Many of the dead and the injured are relatives of doctors here,” an official at the local hospital told The Associated Press. “They are crying and I keep telling them to please stand up and help us.”

Death Toll In Libya Protest 'Hits 120'
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Libya-Gaddafi-Protest-Deaths-Exiled-Libyans-Claim-Up-To-120-Killed-In-Three-Days/Article/201102315936808?lpos=World_News_Top_Stories_Header_1&lid=ARTICLE_15936808_Libya_Gaddafi_Protest_Deaths%3A_Exiled_Libyans_Claim_Up_To_120_Killed_In_Three_Days

*monstrous*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 19, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@Troll-

"However, two economists at the University of Wisconsin, Keith Bender and John Heywood point out that “government workers have jobs that demand more education, which is not accounted for by raw averages.”

Bender and Heywood did a study last year for the Center for State & Local Government Excellence, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, in which they concluded that “although a comparison of unadjusted average earnings will show that wages are higher among jobs in state and local government, this result is largely due to the fact that the workers in those sectors have more education.”

..They said, “Holding education and other characteristics the same, typical state and local workers earn an average of 11 percent less and 12 percent less, respectively, than comparable private-sector workers.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41672854/ns/politics-more_politics/
http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/PM173/

But, from a more conservative POV, this:http://reason.org/news/show/public-sector-private-sector-salary
Wherein he states that the private sector is more productive than the public by virtue of competition. Well, that may be true as witnessed by the WalMart-ification of America.
IOW, you can get folks to work for peanuts selling crap from China, undercutting another company that actually pays a decent wage but that doesn't make it right, does it?

Its a race to the bottom with the GOP leading the way: outsource as much as you can, pay as little as you can, and then nickel-and -dime everyone for everything else.
Meanwhile the rich keep getting richer, the schools have less teachers here in Tx, the Earth is only two millenia old and there's no such thing as climate change.

Heckuva job, ya'll.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Its a race to the bottom with the GOP leading the way: outsource as much as you can, pay as little as you can, and then nickel-and -dime everyone for everything else.
Meanwhile the rich keep getting richer, the schools have less teachers here in Tx, the Earth is only two millenia old and there's no such thing as climate change."

I just continue to wonder what the motivation is for these people.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"But, from a more conservative POV, this:http://reason.org/news/show/public-sector-private-sector-salary
Wherein he states that the private sector is more productive than the public by virtue of competition. Well, that may be true as witnessed by the WalMart-ification of America.
IOW, you can get folks to work for peanuts selling crap from China, undercutting another company that actually pays a decent wage but that doesn't make it right, does it?"

Hi Chuck! Thought provoking and interesting as usual, thanks for linking to those items. The first one, the study, may very well be true, I wasn't arguing about wages though, I was writing why I thought Walker wasn't touching the police and fire people's unions and CB rights. I also conjectured on Walker's motivation which, I think, many probably disagree with. :-)

Ultimately though, I still think that the unionization of public employees is a bad thing. It's not the wages, per se, but the benefits that really become expensive, as well as the financial relationships that develop between unions and politicians.

"Its a race to the bottom with the GOP leading the way: outsource as much as you can, pay as little as you can, and then nickel-and -dime everyone for everything else.
Meanwhile the rich keep getting richer, the schools have less teachers here in Tx, the Earth is only two millenia old and there's no such thing as climate change.

Heckuva job, ya'll."

We no longer live in a world that's manufacturing base, such as it was, was utterly destroyed in a war. We are competing with countries with very low wages, for example, and we need to differentiate what we provide and sell to the world. If we don't, we fail. Further, I think we've spent ourselves beyond out ability to maintain. That is, the kind of government,and the services it has provided, that we have is unaffordable if we want to remain competitive in the world. I think we're going to have to get used to less services. As for teachers, I discussed that on the previous thread.

Thanks for the conversation, I enjoy it.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Here we go. More change we'd love to believe in.

"Egypt's military says it will not tolerate any more strikes which disrupt their country's [spoils system they call their] economy. State television carried a statement in which the military said strikers would be "confronted".

Egypt's [thoroughly corrupt, baksheesh driven survival method] has been hit by stoppages by groups including policemen and factory workers.

The army statement came at the end of today in which millions of Egyptians had celebrated the victory of their revolution one week ago. Cairo's Tahrir Square was again at the center of events, with an estimated two million people gathering there to celebrate the removal of Hosni Mubarak and to pay tribute to the 365 people who died in the uprising.

The demonstration was also intended as a show of strength - a reminder to the military rulers to keep their promise of a swift transition to democracy. By evening, the gathering had become a huge party, with music, singing, dancing, fireworks and food."

...good luck and good night.

[In case it isn't completely obvious, I edited pieces from the BBC]

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"The "issue" isn't whether Obama is a citizen, but whether he is "native born" and hence eligible to be President."

No, what the Constitution says is "natural born citizen."

"True honesty" would require you to admit that you have no idea what that means.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

QB,

I thought all us Cons were supposed to defend "birtherism" at all times?
;-). OMG, next you'll right that Barry's not a secret Muslim! Steps may have to be taken.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

D'oh! Right = write. And might.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I think the best evidence is that O isn't a natural born citizen. That has nothing to do with where he was born, which I assume was HI.

Mostly it just annoys me when to see libs constantly make these declarations about what they obviously know nothing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, my writing/typing is for the birds.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

QB,

Got it, thanks. I thought though, that territories and protectorates counted as "native soil." I had always thought the "Natural Born" requirement was inserted so that Hamilton couldn't become President (I think he was born, illegitimately, in Jamaica). I see the logic in it though, the risk of duel loyalties and all that.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, my writing/typing is for the birds."

Last noc Brigade accused me of tea many Martoonis.
I can't remember the last time I had a Martini, but don't tell him, that might just contribute to the con'sfusion.

Truth is, no one really cares about Obama's provenance, that is the odd part about home birthing. Only the true believers care. As for libs making declarations, you better just laugh, the country was founded by those folks.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

QB1, my vague recollection is that English common law gave English citizenship to the child of foreigners born in England. If I remember incorrectly, please revise my understanding. In any event, I would stand by the notion that "natural born" in Art II is what it was at English common law, which was the common law of the colonies, as well.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 19, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

@Troll-

You mentioned the financial relationships betwixt politicians and unions. Well, you mentioned above that there didn't seem to be the iron-clad political back-scratching vis-a-vis various unions. If there isn't the direct relationship between police/fire and their support for the strikers and/or the governor, then how is the relationship "too cozy"?

Re: Walmart and globalization--
Well, I guess all's fair as long as Tiffany's, Cadillac and Campbell's Soup all lower their
prices to reflect the new reality. Otherwise...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

shrink,

Come now, there's no founder who would have any truck with modern liberalism. (You think Jefferson would be a New Deal/Great Society guy?)

I care about Presidential eligibility but don't lose sleep over it. Obama is hardly the first to be challenged as not an NBC.

mark,

It certainly isn't an area where I have expertise. I've just read a few articles, cases, etc. since the 2008 election. What is a little surprising to me is how little solid evidence there is about the precise meaning of the constitutional wording, but from what I've read I think the Vattel definition is most likely.

Just my opinion. Obama was born with dual citizenship. There is a question there for serious persons.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Btw the martini is imo a no-clothes emperor of the drink world. Just a notch above turpentine.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I would guess more an interesting debate topic for HS kids reenacting the framing. Vattel was Swiss or French, right? The Jeffersonians get to argue the Francophile proposition and the Adams crew can argue from Blackstone.

For non-lawyers, the continental position [Vattel] was that natural born did not mean "born to the soil" but "born to two citizens".

So if this ever goes to the current Supremes, you think they will rely on Vattel to the exclusion of Blackstone?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 19, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

That is really going to endear us to all those young Arab protesters who may well become the future leaders across the middle east.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 19, 2011
========================================

You could endear us by going over on a butt-kissing mission. Maybe give some bounties to the families of suicide bombers. I'm curious about one thing: if any of this current unrest throughout the Middle East turns out bad for the U.S., will it be Bush's fault? Reagan's? Do you think Barry is a Zionist?

Posted by: Brigade | February 19, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I see them made, pure booze with an olive and of yes, a bottle of vermouth standing nearby, ever so patiently.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"You mentioned the financial relationships betwixt politicians and unions. Well, you mentioned above that there didn't seem to be the iron-clad political back-scratching vis-a-vis various unions. If there isn't the direct relationship between police/fire and their support for the strikers and/or the governor, then how is the relationship "too cozy"?"

Interesting and challenging! What I wrote was that I thought it good strategy to focus on non-police/firepeople since they can demagogue the first crime/fire post cuts. It's hard to get worked up over somebody getting their license in the mail a week later. Also, if they strike (especially teachers) it tends to really annoy the voters. I'm sure that Walker would have included police and firepeople had he not feared their ability to make him, and the cuts/restructuring he's advocating look bad. I happen to think that police and firepeople's unions have as a, if not cozier, relationship with politicians than do other government employees.

"Re: Walmart and globalization--
Well, I guess all's fair as long as Tiffany's, Cadillac and Campbell's Soup all lower their
prices to reflect the new reality. Otherwise..."

I don't understand your last part. I think you're writing that the aforementioned companies will need to lower their prices because globalization will/is making us poorer. If so, you may be correct, particularly if we do not compete effectively.

I'd like to pose a question for you, if you don't mind. Can globalization be avoided? Could it have been avoided?

Really interesting exchange, thank you.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"Btw the martini is imo a no-clothes emperor of the drink world. Just a notch above turpentine."

I'm with you. Tastes like distilled grass clippings.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I see them made, pure booze with an olive and of yes, a bottle of vermouth standing nearby, ever so patiently.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 8:30 PM
========================================

Now you're giving yourself away.

Posted by: Brigade | February 19, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Bernie! What do you know about this?

"Thousands of explicit photos that Col. Russell Williams took while wearing women's and girls' lingerie show how his sexual obsession escalated from lesser crimes to sexual assault and murder, a Belleville, Ont., court heard Monday.

"The decorated former commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in eastern Ontario, pleaded guilty to all 88 charges against him — including two counts of first-degree murder, two counts each of sexual assault and forcible confinement and 82 break-ins and attempted break-ins."---cbc.ca 10/2010


Posted by: Brigade | February 19, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

mark,

I would be surprised if the question of presidential eligibility of someone in Obama's circumstances (or maybe any others raising a question) ever got to the Supremes, wouldn't you? I know that one of the 19th c. citizenship cases cited English common law or Blackstone, but it was a 14th Am question. But remember that the founders widely read and drew from continentals, too, including Vattel and Montesquieu and the classical writers. Not always easy to pin them down.

I didn't find the Vattel position that compelling until I started to consider the dual citizenship/dual loyalty issue and the exclusion of naturalized citizens. It's a much more complex set of questions than people pretend, imo.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Brigade don't be a gray goose, you know whenever anything in the ME turns out bad for the US it is always the fault of the US. And yes Barry is a Zionist.

Troll, you didn't ask me, but who cares,
Q: Can globalization be avoided?
A: No.

Can globalization be made to make the world a better place with free Unicorns for all the little girls and...no...

Did America's extraordinary experiment with a sustainable middle class and even, upward class mobility have to become a casualty of globalization? Maybe we should have tried harder to see whether the answer had to be yes.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

ChuckinD, read the book "Songs of Blood and Sword" by Fatima Bhutto. It is the story of her father, Murtaza Bhutto and the Bhutto family in Pakistan. Murtaza, a secular Muslim with socialist leanings was assasinated by the police of his own sister Benazir's regime which was taken over by her husband. The corruption in that country is incredible, like many places in that part of the world. It really is too bad they have nukes in that kind of culture.

Posted by: actuator | February 19, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

@ Troll-

"I'm with you. Tastes like distilled grass clippings."

Bi-partisanship!

Re: Walker- then he's a wimp of the highest order. Don't make the police exempt and let him deal with the consequesnces.

How do you define "compete"? Lowering wages to "compete" with China? OK, as long as my house only costs 1/5 of its value now.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

"Did America's extraordinary experiment with a sustainable middle class and even, upward class mobility have to become a casualty of globalization? Maybe we should have tried harder to see whether the answer had to be yes. "

Shrink, really interesting question (and intriguing answer.) You're assuming the question has been answered, I'm not. I see it as still undecided.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Also, Asif Ali Zardari, current Pak prsident, the late Benazir Bhutto's husband used her name and popularity to gain the presidency after she was assisinated. They were both complicit in Murtaza's assasination by the Pakistani police.

Posted by: actuator | February 19, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

Btw, I've never heard that Hamilton idea. I don't see how it makes sense, since no one at the time of the founding was a citizen by birth. That's why the "natural born citizen" requirement had a grandfather clause exception, for anyone a citizen at the time of adoption of the Consititution. All the early Presidents were grandfathered in; none was a natural born citizen. Also, Hamilton was a prominent member of the convention and advocated ratification.

Who was a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution isn't defined either. I bit of a head scratcher in itself.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 19, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

qb1, I agree it is a more legally interesting question than the current "unpleasntness" permits. I also agree that it will not likely be heard by the Supremes, for many reasons, wrt BHO.
---------------------------------------------
Shrink, when I see that Germany has maintained both its middle class and its export industries, I am not ready to throw in the towel on our own experiment. We will have to take the best of what works for us, and also appropriate the best of what works for our industrialized competitors. Will we do that? You are more certain that we will not than I, but I admit that I am not sanguine about our prospects.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 19, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, one of the factors that will, probably during this century, play in favor of an American rebound, will be the crushing cost of petroleum. Air travel will become the prerogative of the military, and unless merchant fleets are nukes they will dwindle as diesel powered ships burn too much petroleum. Shipping costs will offset labor differentials, and our trading partners will become ever more centered in the Western Hemisphere. Europe will trade within Europe and Asia within Asia.

A regional and not global paradigm will result from the cost of transporting goods across oceans. My $.02 as a prognosticator.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 19, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"Re: Walker- then he's a wimp of the highest order. Don't make the police exempt and let him deal with the consequesnces."

I get your point, and it's a fair one. But if Walker want's to achieve his ends, whatever they are, I'm guessing he thinks he should employ optimum strategy rather than perfect fairness.

"How do you define "compete"? Lowering wages to "compete" with China? OK, as long as my house only costs 1/5 of its value now."

Wow, that is a tough question! Part of my answer would be that we should produce things that are better or cheaper or more innovative or more needed than other countries. The other part of my answer is that I don't know. As many people as humanly possible should be trying as hard as they're able though, ignoring as many rules about business as possible. :-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

"Btw, I've never heard that Hamilton idea. I don't see how it makes sense, since no one at the time of the founding was a citizen by birth."

Freaking public school education! I want my money back!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Briefly, Germany was forced to learn to compete ohne Lebensraum. America has not learned any lessons in this regard. America still thinks the world is its personal space.

America (apart from people like us) still takes its Arbeitswert for granted, anything less is considered unpatriotic. Shipping costs will help perhaps, but they are hardly the corrective emotional experience this country needs. The country is distracted by so many things that just do not matter with regard to global competition. This graphic I cited earlier is pretty sad, especially for a guy with little kids. They are working their fractions while I tap, Tiger Dad that I am.

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/02/19/opinion/19blowcht.html?ref=opinion

Posted by: shrink2 | February 19, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

In other key Madison news:

WI Badgers and MN Gophers tied 1-1 after one period.

12th ranked Badgers were shocked by MN @ the Kohl (USSen/D/WI) Center last night 5-2!

I've been to Kohl...16,000 seats for hockey. Probably only old anarchists and barely post-teen hippies at the StateHouse tonight.

Posted by: tao9 | February 19, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Frank Rich on the GOP tire fire:

"This shortfall of substance was showcased by last weekend’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, a premier Republican rite that doubles as a cattle call for potential presidential candidates. Palin didn’t appear — CPAC, as the event is known, doesn’t pay — and neither did her fellow Fox News personality Mike Huckabee. But all the others were there, including that great white hope of un-Palin Republicans, Mitt Romney. What they said — and didn’t say — from the CPAC podium not only shows a political opposition running on empty but also dramatizes the remarkable leadership opportunity their fecklessness has handed to the incumbent president in post-shellacking Washington.

As it happened, CPAC overlapped with the extraordinary onrush of history in the Middle East. But the Egyptian uprising, supposedly a prime example of the freedom agenda championed by George W. Bush, was rarely, and then only minimally, mentioned by the parade of would-be presidents. Indeed, with the exception of Ron Paul — who would let the Egyptians fend for themselves and cut off all foreign aid — the most detailed discussions of Egypt came from Ann Coulter and Rick Santorum.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who lost his 2006 re-election bid by a landslide of 17 percentage points, believes he can be president despite being best known for having likened homosexuality to “man on dog” sex. Even less conversant in foreign affairs than canine coitus, he attacked Obama for deserting Hosni Mubarak, questioning the message it sent to America’s “friends.” But no one (with the odd exception of George Will) takes Santorum’s presidential ambitions seriously. Romney, on the other hand, is the closest thing the G.O.P. has to a front-runner, and he is even more hollow than Santorum. Indeed, his appearance at CPAC on the morning of Friday, Feb. 11, was entirely consistent with his public image as an otherworldly visitor from an Aqua Velva commercial circa 1985."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/opinion/20rich.html?ref=opinion

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@troll-

"As many people as humanly possible should be trying as hard as they're able though, ignoring as many rules about business as possible. :-)"

Are you suggesting that liberals or Democrats are guilty of ignoring "as many rules as possible"?

No serious person exists at either extreme: pure free-market or pure state-control.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"As many people as humanly possible should be trying as hard as they're able though, ignoring as many rules about business as possible. :-)"

I may be wrong, but I think this is intended to be an encouragement to innovation. Not as a knock on Dems.

Old biz rules = stagnation

Posted by: tao9 | February 19, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@tao-

If so, I agree.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 19, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"Are you suggesting that liberals or Democrats are guilty of ignoring "as many rules as possible"?

No serious person exists at either extreme: pure free-market or pure state-control."

Intriguing indeed! No, I was not suggesting that at all. I was suggesting that a way to innovate is to ignore the "rules". I know that sounds trite because it is trite. But I also think it is a key component to success. I've read that that breakthroughs in physics were done by people who were young, they weren't constrained by what's not possible. Hope that makes sense. I wasn't trying to make any right/left comparison.

And I completely agree about the extremes thing.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I've read that that breakthroughs in physics were done by people who were young, they weren't constrained by what's not possible.

==

Pure nonsense.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

As many people as humanly possible should be trying as hard as they're able though, ignoring as many rules about business as possible.

==

Why stop there? Ignore arithmetic too. Like supply-siders.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 19, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"Pure nonsense"
"Why stop there? Ignore arithmetic too. Like supply-siders."

Hi cao! Hope your morning's going well. Challenging and provocative as usual! And if there's one thing I hate, it's adulterated nonsense.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 19, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut, Ivory soap is 99.99% pure nonsense too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 20, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

"Shrink, one of the factors that will, probably during this century, play in favor of an American rebound, will be the crushing cost of petroleum. Air travel will become the prerogative of the military, and unless merchant fleets are nukes they will dwindle as diesel powered ships burn too much petroleum. Shipping costs will offset labor differentials, and our trading partners will become ever more centered in the Western Hemisphere. Europe will trade within Europe and Asia within Asia. A regional and not global paradigm will result from the cost of transporting goods across oceans. My $.02 as a prognosticator. Posted by: mark_in_austin"

Oil shock won't much affect shipborn commerce because there is lots of coal left. There are abundant ways to burn coal and drive modern cargo ships, so they won't suffer, even though the poles melt and make Vicksburg a gulf port.There are also ways to gassify coal, and even in WWII the Germans had airplanes that would run on coal dust.

What will wreck the global economy is the universal assumption that the way to national economic boom is to find products made in America, get the means to produce them, sell them in America, and don't buy anything direct FROM America in return.

So much of what is called two way trade is one way trade and one way theft of intellectual property. The rules that, country by country, require that foreign companies only deal through local partnerships with domestic companies that were rife in Asia in the sities are essentially still in place and still enforced. You can't sell a Chevy in Japan, certainly not economically, you can only license Subaru or Mitsubishi to make cars using the technology you transfer to them.

You can't sell a Chevy in Japan because road taxes are by axle weight and imports get really nailed.

When I was running around Atami in the seventies, on three R & R's, I saw one or two full size Chevies. They were priced up there with the BIG Jags and Bentleys. They also wouldn't fit down many streets unless all the merchants pulled their displays into their shops. NOBODY could afford a garage for them. They were conspicuous consumption of the brassiest order.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 20, 2011 1:41 AM | Report abuse

I significant datum I did not know...

"James Murdoch defended the decision to fire Mr. Gray and later stood up, tapped a glass and reminded the gathering that *it was 25 years ago that his father had busted London newspaper unions, a seminal event in both British labor history* and the historical narrative of the Murdoch media kingdom, the News Corporation."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/business/media/20james.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | February 20, 2011 6:09 AM | Report abuse

"What will wreck the global economy is the universal assumption that the way to national economic boom is to find products made in America, get the means to produce them, sell them in America, and don't buy anything direct FROM America in return."

How would that be possible in the long term? Or even the medium term?

"So much of what is called two way trade is one way trade and one way theft of intellectual property."

IP theft is indeed a problem, but one related to and not the same as trade.

"You can't sell a Chevy in Japan because road taxes are by axle weight and imports get really nailed."

That sounds like GM's fault, not Japan's.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 20, 2011 6:41 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of "civi"l union thugs, sheesh. Anyway, looks like yesterday was biggest crowd yet, over 70,000. Walker's not backing down though even with the unions meeting the cuts and contribution levels he says he wants. Maybe this is just practice for our national government shut down looming in a couple of weeks.

""(Reuters) - When the two sides in Wisconsin's bitter battle over the future of the state's unionized public employees converged on the Capitol on Saturday for dueling rallies, the fear was trouble would break out.

Instead, the day was marked by a surprising civility when the shouting stopped and the one-on-one conversations began.

The slogans they had chanted had highlighted the stark differences that separated them.

"Kill the bill!" cried the opponents of Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposal to cut the pay and benefits of unionized public workers and sharply reduce their collective bargaining rights. "Pass the bill!" supporters of the proposal shouted back.

But aside from a few outsiders -- like AFL-CIO chief Rich Trumka here to back opponents of the measure, and Andrew Breitbart, the conservative provocateur who appeared at the Tea Party-backed rally to support Walker -- the people on hand were from Wisconsin itself and these neighbors were remarkably civil despite their sharp disagreements.""

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 7:23 AM | Report abuse

ABC

If you're out there, you'll appreciate this story in the NYTimes. Women in journalism and what they mostly don't talk about in order to stay on the front lines.

""In the coming weeks, I fear that the conclusions drawn from Ms. Logan’s experience will be less reactionary but somehow darker, that there will be suggestions that female correspondents should not be sent into dangerous situations. It’s possible that bosses will make unconscious decisions to send men instead, just in case. Sure, men can be victims, too — on Wednesday a mob beat up a male ABC reporter in Bahrain, and a few male journalists have told of being sodomized by captors — but the publicity around Ms. Logan’s attack could make editors think, “Why take the risk?” That would be the wrong lesson. Women can cover the fighting just as well as men, depending on their courage.

More important, they also do a pretty good job of covering what it’s like to live in a war, not just die in one. Without female correspondents in war zones, the experiences of women there may be only a rumor.

Look at the articles about women who set themselves on fire in Afghanistan to protest their arranged marriages, or about girls being maimed by fundamentalists, about child marriage in India, about rape in Congo and Haiti. Female journalists often tell those stories in the most compelling ways, because abused women are sometimes more comfortable talking to them. And those stories are at least as important as accounts of battles.

There is an added benefit. Ms. Logan is a minor celebrity, one of the highest-profile women to acknowledge being sexually assaulted. Although she has reported from the front lines, the lesson she is now giving young women is probably her most profound: It’s not your fault. And there’s no shame in telling it like it is.""

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/opinion/20barker.html

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Wisconsin firefighters are part of the protests. They don't want to be exempt from the cuts and they don't want the bargaining rights of others to be slashed.

When we had a big budget crisis here about 1.5 years ago our firefighters gave up a lot to save the jobs of six other firefighters, it's just how they roll.

""* "The reason that we are here is because it's important that labor sticks together. There was a message from the governor's office to conquer and divide...collective bargaining is not just for us, police and fire, it's good for all involved. It's a middle-class upbringing."

* "When firefighters see an emergency, one thing we do is respond. And we see an emergency in the house of labor, so that's why we're here."

* "Every day, if you notice, we lead the AFSCME employees, the SEIU employees, all the public sector employees into the building, because we are here to fight with them."

* "Collective bargaining is not about union rights; it's about rights of workers...We ask Gov. Walker to come back and negotiate with the people, negotiatie with the state workers' unions, and get things worked out, as opposed to just putting out this bill and we don't hear from him again."

* "Us as firefighters, we have been exempted from this bill...There's a 5.8 percent pay into the pension, there's a 12.4 percent pay into the health care premium benefits...For the betterment of the government, for the betterment of the state, we don't mind helping to pay for that. We don't want to price ourselves out of a job. Ever. What we want to do is have a fair and equitable treatment among our members."""

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/wisconsin-firefighters-give-pay-union-video

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

God takes sides in the war on Christmas...

"WASHINGTON — High winds whipped through the metropolitan Washington area on Saturday, downing power lines, fueling brush fires and even toppling the National Christmas Tree."

Posted by: bernielatham | February 20, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

My son's public high school has a small number of very capable teachers and an even smaller number of teachers who are outstanding mentors and teachers in a broader sense. The kids are drawn to those few. It's perfectly obvious who they are.

On the other end, there are a number of complete incompetents, lazy sluggards, miserable malcontents, and political cranks (yes, all on the left) who have no business "teaching" or even being around young people. Some of them have developed systems of "teaching" that involve their essentially doing no work at all.

And in between are the balance of the teachers -- the average and unremarkable if uninspiring. Sad to say, there are more toward the bottom end of the distribution than the higher end.

But they are all protected and promoted just the same by the teachers' union. The incompetent malcontents and the standout life mentors and teachers are paid on the same scale and insulated from merit review.

It would take any halfway intelligent person no more than a couple of days to learn who the outstanding teachers and the awful ones are. Just follow the kids around, talk to them, and look at the results. But the government-union industrial complex prevents the intrusion of common sense and accountability under which the rest of the world lives.

I doubt that the situation is better anywhere else, and a lot of ordinary Americans have had enough. That's what is happening in WI. Time will tell whether we can tear down this new American iron curtain.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 20, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

The looming budget shortages in the states for 2012 is a total of $125 Billion. We gave the banks over $700 Billion plus trillions in almost no interest loans, including some of the top corporations in the country, and just passed a tax cut that added $500 Billion to this years deficit. Why in the world aren't we loaning the states the money at the same low interest? I've never understood that one. Talk about a targeted stimulus.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The impossibly stupid is now possible...

"HELENA, Mont. -- A Montana legislator is proposing the state embrace global warming as good for the economy.

Republican Rep. Joe Read of Ronan aims to pass a law that says global warming is a natural occurrence that "is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021804612.html?hpid=politics

Posted by: bernielatham | February 20, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

As usual Yves Smith is doing great work and lots of digging over at nakedcapitalism.

Have a great Sunday all. Oh and BTW, my daughter and 17 other(all of them) adjunct faculty in the art department at a state renowned community college, for said art department 20 years in the development of, just lost their jobs as of the end of this semester. Ha, she's one of those awesome teachers, throw the baby out with the bath water.

""During the Great Depression, federal income tax receipts from individuals and corporations were roughly equal. During the second world war, income tax receipts from corporations were 50% greater than from individuals. The national crises of depression and war produced successful popular demands for corporations to contribute significant portions of federal tax revenues.

US corporations resented that arrangement, and after the war, they changed it. Corporate profits financed politicians’ campaigns and lobbies to make sure that income tax receipts from individuals rose faster than those from corporations and that tax cuts were larger for corporations than for individuals. By the 1980s, individual income taxes regularly yielded four times more than taxes on corporations’ profits…

Corporations repeated at the state and local levels what they accomplished federally. According to the US Census Bureau, corporations paid taxes on their profits to states and localities totalling $24.7bn in 1988, while individuals then paid income taxes of $90bn. However, by 2009, while corporate tax payments had roughly doubled (to $49.1bn), individual income taxes had more than tripled (to $290bn).""

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/02/wisconsin-union-battle-a-convenient-distraction-from-the-real-culprit-in-state-budge-woes.html

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"HELENA, Mont. -- A Montana legislator is proposing the state embrace global warming as good for the economy.

Republican Rep. Joe Read of Ronan aims to pass a law that says global warming is a natural occurrence that "is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana."

==

Yeah and by law pi is equal to three and position and momentum can simultaneously be measured with infinite accuracy.

That does it. I'm going for permanent residency.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 20, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

On the other end, there are a number of complete incompetents, lazy sluggards, miserable malcontents, and political cranks (yes, all on the left) who have no business "teaching" or even being around young people.

==

Like anyone believes a rage case like you.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 20, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca, thanks for pointing towards that Times article. I suppose the deepest background on the questions about where women should be or go is the old idea of protecting women and children, as if a terrible thing happening to a woman is somehow worse than a terrible thing happening to a man. In reality, that may be a romantic gloss that is more about stifling than protecting.

I read the Nation article you linked on unions and the deficits in right to work states and the moves afoot to create more of them. A lot of very useful info and a compelling look at the bigger picture including the way parts of the left can be elitist in attitudes toward unions. It's a very sane article.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 20, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

All, a FRESH STEAMING HOT OPEN THREAD for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/sunday_open_thread_22.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 20, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Always thinking of you ABC, we girls have to stick together. Hope you're feeling okay. How do the Twins look this year?

You know my youngest is in a predominately male environment (not the artist daughter) so we see lots of weird attitudes and behaviors. She seems to have figured it out though. It's kind of funny but the company she's doing her internship with this summer is a younger company with younger management and they seem overjoyed to have found a female they think can compete in their environment. A little extra pressure, but she's used to that.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, I appreciated your post on education yesterday and attitudes toward teachers. It's a complex dynamic at work, including the fact that a lot of very bright women, who used to have a choice between being teachers or nurses if they wanted a job, have now entered fields like medicine and law that traditionally have meant more prestige.

I use to think there was little need for the extensive instruction in pedagogy that schools of education require and just a lot more emphasis needed on courses with real subject matter content. I still think that's true to some extent, particularly for high school teachers. But the semester I spent mentoring a number of inner city children in reading was a real eye opener for me. I saw so many gifted, dedicated teachers and realized that their curriculum, certainly much of it inspired by their mutual training, was both innovative and effective. It made me much less of an education snob.

And there has always been a range of teachers, unions or not. Getting rid of reasonable union protections would just add more stress to a job that is already remarkably challenging.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 20, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, lmsinca. I'm not sure about the Twins. I hope Morneau and Nathan can make successful returns. My son and a couple of the grandsons are here for the weekend, so off to an entertaining part of my specific life.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 20, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think I'll skip the new (food fight central) thread and just post one more link here, then out for the day, leave a message, LOL.

Chris Bowers has a great take on the new gang of six and the "Grand Bargain" deficit reduction negotiations. They're trying to get future congresses to adhere to whatever they think they can pass now. Yeah right.

""A bipartisan group of senators is considering legislation that would trigger new taxes and budget cuts if Congress fails to meet a set of mandatory spending targets and other fiscal goals aimed at reducing federal deficits.

There are about 30 paragraphs in this article, but let’s pause right there. In just one sentence, we have already entered the territory of imaginary legislation.

Current Congresses cannot force future Congresses to do anything. Every year, Congress can pass whatever spending and tax levels that have enough support to pass the House, the Senate and the White House. A sitting Congress does not have to do what members of Congress told them to do last year, five years ago, or 200 years ago.""

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/20/946035/-Senate-plan-to-cut-Social-Security-and-Medicare-is-based-on-imaginary-theory-of-legislation

Posted by: lmsinca | February 20, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@ABC - thanks. The professions of teacher and nurse fell predominantly to women in early US history because womens' status allowed for the lowest levels of salary. Further, what minimal sets of employee rights were accorded men in the normal course, were usually seen as less applicable to women. These old patterns remain visible in the present.

Working in and around schools, one sees a range of attitudes towards schools and teachers from the parents who contribute a lot of time and resources to assisting the enterprise (PTA, field trips, attendance at public events, donations, monitoring the grounds while kids are outside, etc) all the way down to those parents who contribute nothing and are never or rarely seen at parent/teacher meetings etc. The critics and complainers are usually (by which I mean almost always) among that last group and include folks who have no children in the school. Is there a correlation between which group above are observably good parents and which are lousy parents? Yes.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 20, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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