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Posted at 8:39 AM ET, 02/28/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* No end in sight for Wisconsin standoff as Dems refuse to budge: With Governor Scott Walker threatening to initiate a process leading to layoffs if his budget repair bill doesn't pass by his latest "deadline" of this Tuesday, state senate Dems are refusing to blink and continue to insist they will stay out of state indefinitely.

* Also: Police yesterday shelved plans to evict protesters from the state capitol, temporarily ensuring that images of Wisconsin unrest and anger over Walker's proposals will continue at news outlets across the country.

* Wisconsin protesters making history: From the Milwakee Journal Sentinel's weekend coverage:

"Not since the anti-war protests of the Vietnam era has Madison been the scene of such sustained and large demonstrations."

* National money flows in for Wisconsin Dems: With help from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and others, ActBlue's fundraising for Wisconsin State Senate Dems who are holding out against Walker's proposal is now at over half a million dollars.

* Walker has already won many concessions: Michael Cooper and Stephen Greenhouse document this morning that public employee unions have already agreed to give Walker much of what he wants, revealing the true political and ideological nature of his insistence on also rolling back bargaining rights.

Key takeaway: This is another sign, as I noted here the other day, that Walker very easily could have declared victory and accepted the unions' offer, and his refusal to do this reveals what this is really about.

* The long game against organized labor: A labor official spells it out

"The game goes like this. Destroy private-sector unions, reduce private-sector health and retirement benefits, then say 'Hey, how come those public employees get such [relatively] good benefits? That's not fair.' Private-sector unions are only 'okay' once they are completely emasculated."

* Yes, unions still have a crucial place in American life: Its influence has waned considerably, but organized labor still plays an important national role: It gives workers a voice, acts as a check on the temptation to focus only on profits, and maintains balance in our political system.

* Even "CEO mayors" think public employee unions are important: Mike Bloomberg: "in my experience they are integral to training, deploying and managing a professional work force."

Wow. This one is even more heretical than Bloomberg's support for the "ground zero mosque."

* House GOP leaders to defend DOMA? John Boehner says in an interview with the Brody File that Republicans are exploring ways of stepping in and defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court where Obama won't.

I'd be surprised if anything comes of this, since it would reactivate a culture-war fight that has receeded as a hot-button issue for many Republicans, but we should know by the end of the week whether this is real and what it means.

* House GOP leaders eager to avoid government shutdown? John Boehner says Republicans and Dems have a "moral responsibility" to cut spending without shutting down government, continuing to shift the blame for any eventual shutdown to Dems, another sign that the politics of this remain volatile with neither side having a clear upper hand.

* But a shutdown doesn't seem likely: The Wall Street Journal on why Republicans and Dems seem increasingly likely to reach a deal to avert a shutdown.

* Pete King turns down volume of his anti-Muslim buffoonery: GOP Rep. Pete King, who spent months mouthing off about his hearings into Muslim radicalization to any news outlet that would listen, is now refusing to grant interviews about his plans and still has announced only one witness.

Also key: Dems on King's committee will call as a witness Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who disuptes King's claim of Muslim non-cooperation with law-enforcement, meaning Dems are the only ones thus far who will solicit testimony from an actual member of law enforcement.

* Right-wing grievance-mongering of the day: Haley Barbour's latest: Liberals are criticizing him on civil rights merely because they "don't like conservative Christian Republicans from the Deep South." Boo, hoo, sob, sob.

* Andrew Sullivan to the Daily Beast: Sullivan's announcement that he's moving to the Beast/Newsweek hybrid could create another journo-bloging beast entirely.

* And right-wing media continues hunt for union thuggery in Wisconsin: They come up empty yet again. Jeez, the lack of union violence is so disappointing!

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | February 28, 2011; 8:39 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers, Labor, Senate Dems, budget, gay rights  
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Next: Report: House GOP budget cuts would destroy 700,000 jobs

Comments

Greg:

On the previous thread, cao said:

""If there is any justiice in the world, you'll die in a ditch.""

I've said this before, Greg, but again how proud you must be of the quality of progressive thinking and discussion that you have engendered here on this board. Kudos.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Christ conservatives are such crybabies.

If they don't get everything they want they bawl about being persecuted.

Barbour made a fool of himself with his revisioinist memories of racial matters. People aren't about to forget. Have another bucket of KFC, Haley.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

We are set to begin the 3rd month of R control of the House. What have the R's done to create jobs? What have the R's even discussed that has the first thing to do with jobs. The R's have offered no serious plans for HCR, remember they had a plan set aside to "replace" the ACA..remember their cry..repeal AND REPLACE. They have no serious plans for job creation, all we are hearing is more talk about abortion, union busting, and making sure gays are not allowed to get married. As the old lady used to say, "Where's the beef?"

Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Keep up the good fight, Gov. Walker!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 28, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Nobody who spends so much time sneering at kindness and compassion deserves dignityt, Scott. May you reap exactly what you sow. When you need others' help, let them drive by and ignore you. It would serve you right.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The Kochdaffi Republican Brotherhood.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Well stated Claw..you are the epitome of IGMGFY!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Ganesha akbar! Leftists are such sad little bedwetters.

Witness cao's defense of his soiled sheets, hung out to dry in the plum morning sun. The devil made him do it!

Oh my! "die in a ditch"

so progressive!

*shame*shame*shame*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Scott...

Perhaps I caught the last thread a little too late and so I wished to bring this forward since it addresses a falsehood you continually repeat...

"Compassion is something that is felt and practiced not by "a people" but by individuals. "Society" does not "feel" compassion, nor does government. It is a phenomenon particular to individual human beings."

I don't know what your hangup is here Scott. You keep bleating this falsehood ad nauseum when it's so apparently untrue.

Societies DO exhibit collective traits such as compassion or the lack thereof.
Societies have different "norms" in these areas and so perhaps it is your concept of compassion that is confusing you. A society can definitely be compassionate.
I will readily concede that this is not a black and white descriptor. Some societies like ours give lots to charities, others have more Gov't protection for their citizens. But Scott you are simply mistaken about societies and entire groups of people not exhibiting what we might call "personality traits".

http://socyberty.com/psychology/how-nations-like-the-united-states-of-america-exhibit-personality-disorders/

"A person’s characteristic traits, coping styles and ways of interacting socially emerge during childhood and under normal circumstances will crystallize into established patterns by the end of adolescence or early adult hood. These traits and behaviors constitute an individual’s personality. For most adults, personality is attuned to the demands of the society they find themselves in. What this means is that most people act or behave according to their society’s norms or expectation.

If a person diverts from the norms expected by their society, that person is said to have a personality disorder. For there to be a diagnosis of a personality disorder, the pattern of behaviour must be pervasive and must be manifest in at least two of the following areas; cognition, interpersonal functioning, affect and impulse control. People find the behaviour of individuals with personality disorders confusing, exasperating, unpredictable and to varying degrees unacceptable.

This got me thinking about the general human population and how although we are similar our mannerisms are different depending on our societies. One society may have certain traits and mannerism that would be considered a disorder in another society"

Now if I wished to be snarky Scott perhaps our society is too compassionate for your tastes leaving you stuck with a "personality disorder" relative to our society.

BTW If anyone is interested..follow that link for an interesting take on the "personality disorders" exhibited by various world societies from the perspective of an American shrink...not our shrink but a different one. ;-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey, ruk, the Republicans are gearing up to defend DOMA. Now there's an urgent issue for you. Unless there's some woman with a liquified brain somewhere about to be taken off life support.

Now if only the Dems have some message discipline.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

cao:

""Nobody who spends so much time sneering at kindness and compassion deserves dignityt, Scott.""

I've never done any such thing, cao. As usual, you are making things up.

""May you reap exactly what you sow. When you need others' help, let them drive by and ignore you.""

I do find it astonishing the confidence with which you pontificate on what I do and do not do given that you know virtually nothing whatsoever about me or the life I live. It is quite an interesting phenomenon the way in which some people take their own bizarre interpretations of what people say on a message board and project that into the sum total of a person's life actions.

I guess you have to fill your need to hate somehow.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Well gee Scott if the blog is so unsuitable and wrong what's keeping you here? What, you have a few dozen more repetitions of "tax Peter to [ay Paul" you need to post? You afraid there's someone out there who doesn't yet grasp the full extent of your contempt for behavior not based on pure selfishness?

You could go bear that cross over on freerepubliic or redstate, you know. Trust me, there's nobody here who isn't fully aware how much contempt you have for people helping each other.

And yes, may you reap exactly what you sow. Let your Last Picture be someone not sparing you a moment of attention or the simple helping hand that would save your life.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Cao

While I concede the accuracy of your observations of what is ailing our nation I remain a bit more optimistic than you.
But I do have my fears.

I posted recently about the pendulum. What the righties do not realize is that they are endangering us all because of how far they have pushed that pendulum to the IGMGFY right. When our society figures this out, and I think Wisconsin is just the beginning it will swing the pendulum back again. If it swings back soon enough it'll simply be another course correction...if the energy builds too much..well....

My greatest fear, and one you do a great job of playing upon(not without some justification) is that a pendulum has momentum..a sort of energy if you will. The farther it swings to one side the farther it will swing back. I am not a pure socialist nor a pure capitalist and I'm not a communist. My fear is that if the right keeps moving this pendulum to such a radical degree when it comes racing back there could be violence and all sorts of "unintended" consequences. Not only will our righty friends be very very upset, it's not going to be that great for those of us on the left...at least those of us not on the radical left.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"Societies DO exhibit collective traits such as compassion or the lack thereof."

Hi Ruk -- I don't disagree with your statement. However, i think there is danger in attempting to outsource compassion to the society at large. I think it can contribute to relieving individuals of the responsibility, or even the fact that there may be a problem. I recall a study that one of the reasons (not the only of course) that giving the the US was higher than the UK as simply because because people thought they had contributed through taxes -- it was the government's problem. kind of a "crowd out" problem.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 28, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

At least we are compassionate to foreign cows:

Once in the United States, Canadian and Mexican cattle have to be treated just like native-born cows — they can’t be labeled differently to consumers or otherwise discriminated against. Canadian and Mexican people have no such luck. For example, Canadian Kiefer Sutherland, star of the hit TV show 24, couldn’t apply for the government job he pretends to have on TV, despite his character’s role as a forceful practitioner of truth, justice, and the American way.

One element of this bovine bias is that cows get immediate access to the U.S. welfare system. In 2009, 9 million dairy cows living in the United States received $1.35 billion in subsidies, regardless of their country of origin. That’s about $20,000 a year per bovine household (or herd, which averages around 133 cows). Meanwhile, annual payments for the average human household on welfare are only around $16,800 — and, of course, around four-fifths of legal immigrants aren’t on any type of welfare at all, while illegal and nonpermanent human residents aren’t even eligible. If you want to see a real welfare queen, check out a dairy cow

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/02/foreign-cows-vs-foreign-people/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 28, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Scott

Not to speak for Cao...but for myself...

"I do find it astonishing the confidence with which you pontificate on what I do"

This is a blog...we are not "pontificating" on what you DO..but rather on what you POST.
Perhaps your posts are just coming from an alter ego of yours and you DO wonderful things. But you post some heartless and quite frankly IMO incorrect things.

You are so tied into the "individual" that your posts have become incredibly narcissistic...not in the sense of false pride but in this obsession with INDIVIDUAL. You are swimming against a long long tide of human thought on the subject of individual versus community.
Whether it be Christ, Buddha, or virtually any great spiritual thinker, community and caring for each other has always been paramount...not some idolatry of individual rights and achievements.

Whether it's "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee" via Donne and later quoted by Hemingway...or in our own United States..."United We Stand Divided We Fall" your way of thought is simply radical. It's not spiritual, it's totally selfish and it's not even an effective way to run a society...unless perhaps you are a Somali pirate.

I can easily concede Scott that you may be a wonderful father, fine human being, who tithes at church and give copious amounts of time and money to charitable causes. It doesn't mitigate your churlish, selfish and in some instances incorrect posts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry ruk but that political pendulum is just a metaphor and not a real harmonic oscillator. Under Clinton it didn't even get back to the center.

Personally I would love to see real socialism in America. Not agrarian communism, that stinks, but a government for t people and human rights, not merely the powerful and privileged.

But you know what I think the future holds for America.

In a generation, America won't be able to feed itself. And that's the end, the rest is detail. Very ugly, very bloody, very savage detail.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""I don't know what your hangup is here Scott.""

Perhaps you should consider the possibility that the hangup is yours, not mine.

""Now if I wished to be snarky Scott perhaps our society is too compassionate for your tastes...""

Not in the slightest.

As usual, you are conflating a disagreement over how compassion is manifested with an opposition to compassion itself. As I have repeatedly said, I have nothing against compassion, despite your continued attempts to paint me otherwise.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"I think it can contribute to relieving individuals of the responsibility, or even the fact that there may be a problem."

Hi NoVa.

It certainly can. But again that is where societal norms need to take hold in a positive sense. I'm not for "outsourcing" compassion. I'm for compassion period...in individuals, groups, government, society at large.

I believe societal norms can change. I posted a headline in this morning's Times that showed Teen pregnancies had dropped in Florida by 15%. I've personally interviewed one young lady from the "wrong" side of town who took personal responsibility and pointed out she was going to simply be a "baby mama".

I do acknowledge the need for personal responsibility NoVa..but I think it exists for corporations as in "corporate responsibility" just as much as John Q. Public. And again IMHO it's the corporate titans and outright robber barons like Rick Scott who are messing up our society.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

As a rather anecdotal piece of evidence that Republicans have overshot on their campaign against public unions, my uncle, a die-hard republican and fire fighter, posted a link on facebook about how much fire fighters get paid and rhetorically asked if he got paid too much.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 28, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

You'd think that after all that's happened people would see who the actual thugs are. I mean in 2008 that 900 billion dollar bailout went to large banks and mortgage companies not teachers unions and firefighters. That 60 billion dollars a year Medicare plan. Went to healthcare industries not cops and janitors. Unions are fighting for better working conditions and pay. I wish private sector unions were around to fight for the same thing. Bank of America Exxon and other large corporations paid 0 dollars in taxes the last two years and we are blaming teachers for budget gaps? Not that 1 trillion dollar tax cut or housing collapse but unions. Ridiculous

Posted by: osmondbrinson | February 28, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

""Now if I wished to be snarky Scott perhaps our society is too compassionate for your tastes...""

"Not in the slightest."

Is this a concession that societies as well as individuals can be compassionate? Perhaps just a typo. As you say that is the real crux of our discussion.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

It is not about what Scott would do, if he saw a person injured, it is about what you or I would do. If I saw Scott C injured, I would stop to try and help him.

A certain someone can not keep calling for a more just society, and then go on to say, they hope that Scot ends up, needing help, and that no one will try to help him.

That smacks of the very same lack of empathy and compassion, that he accuses Scott of having.

One can not claim to be for a caring society, while also wishing that no one will care,when they see a person who needs help.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

cao:

""Well gee Scott if the blog is so unsuitable and wrong what's keeping you here?""

At the moment, boredom.

""And yes, may you reap exactly what you sow.""

As I have pointed out, you haven't the slightest idea what I "sow". Even ruk understands that much.

Again, if pretending you actually know me somehow allows you to rationalize your seemingly uncontrollable urge to express hatred, I guess there will be no talking you out of it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

As I have repeatedly said, I have nothing against compassion, despite your continued attempts to paint me otherwise.

==

For a guy who "has nothing against compassion" you SURE SPEND A LOT OF ENERGY SHOWING CONTEMPT FOR IT.

Matter of fact, you seem almost obsessed the issue. Note how many posters are getting the SAMs impression. And no, I don't think it likely you're a grand guy IRL. I bet you're nickel-tipper who parks an oversized car straddling two handicapped spaces.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

rukidding7 writes
"My greatest fear ... is that a pendulum has momentum..a sort of energy if you will. The farther it swings to one side the farther it will swing back."

Certainly true in physics & reasonably true in politics & culture. Look at the late 19th century & the rise of the 'robber barons'. TR slowed the pendulum with his trust-busting, but it kept swinging right through the 20s until the crash. The pendulum kept swinging, despite the depression, into the FDR administration - such that they tried too soon to address the deficit. Then came the New Deal, and WWII. The pendulum finally reversed course.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 28, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Leftists are such sad little bedwetters."

The iron law of conservatives, whatever they say about liberals is actually true of them.

I was pretty sure conservative America had to change its sheets (the bed sheets, not the ones they wear to rallies) over that UNION THUG who pushed a provocatively close camera out of his face last week.

Then we could just mention Sharia law which has the right cowering under their soiled beds passing constitutional amendments prohibiting this imaginary threat.

Why solve real problems when you can solve imaginary ones? It worked too, Oklahoma hasn't turned into a Muslim caliphate since they passed that law! And this rock on my desk prevents dragon attacks....

Posted by: Scientician | February 28, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Apparently there was no mention in the NYTimes of the Best Documentary winner last night, "Inside Job", but naked capitalism gives us the quote.

""The politics of the night belonged to Charles Ferguson, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary for Inside Job. He said at the end of his acceptance speech:

"Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong.”

Ferguson has a very mild manner, but he is utterly fearless. He wants prosecutions, and he used one of the biggest stages in the world to ask for them. Ferguson has gone after the Obama administration and spares no one, as when he called Eric Holder and Andrew Cuomo “partners in crime.

Ouch.""

Posted by: lmsinca | February 28, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Liam, are you unacquainted with the expression "may you reap what you sow?"

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Cao and Liam I do not believe Scott would neglect his "personal" call to be a Good Samaritan. I truly believe Scott would help me out of the ditch if he passed by...

What I do not believe is that if it required his tax money to do it he would gladly pay.

I think MY..can't speak for the rest of you...disagreement with Scott is not about his lack of "personal" compassion but his confusion about the role of "societal" compassion.

I've tried Donne, Buddha, and Jesus let me close with one great Republican President, Lincoln, quoted in the platform of the last terrific Republican President Ike...

"The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere."

WTF ever happened to THAT Republican Party.
Oh yeah it got taken over by the IGMGFY tea partiers like claw.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

As I have pointed out, you haven't the slightest idea what I "sow".

==

I'm talking about what you post right here on this blog, over and over and over, DUMMY.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Yes, but I do not care to live my life hoping that someone who does not share my political or social philosophy, will end up getting mistreated or neglected.

As a lovely Jewish chap was reported to have once said: Do unto others.........

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

[Greg cites: "Dems on King's committee will call as a witness Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who disuptes King's claim of Muslim non-cooperation with law-enforcement"]

Ah yes, the "tiny minority" of Muslims canard. As if a few cooperating Capos invalidates all the FBI RICO investigations of the Cosa Nostra.

We saw this scene in the Godfather Part II when Senator Geary interrogates Don Cicci.

Senator Pat Geary: Mr. Cici, was there always a buffer involved?

Willi Cici: A what?

Senator Pat Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.

Willi Cici: Oh yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers!

*sniff test fail*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Cao,

And so when are you and your significant other going to visit St. Petersburg? I'm telling you we haven't gone down the sh!tter yet.

While we have a terrific climate I suspect you also enjoy some nice weather in Vietnam.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Is this a concession that societies as well as individuals can be compassionate?""

No, it is rejection of your assertion that "perhaps" society is "too compassionate" for my liking.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

OK Scott...links...facts...stating the obvious...I give up! Have fun worshiping at your altar of the individual.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Cao and Liam I do not believe Scott would neglect his "personal" call to be a Good Samaritan. I truly believe Scott would help me out of the ditch if he passed by...

==

Ooooh, finally I get to use this one.

Scott is a libertarian. I knew a guy at Microsoft back in the early 90s whose best friend was also a libertarian. One night the guy's car broke down miles out of town. He walked to a pay phone and called his libertarian friend and asked him to come out and drive him home.

The libertarian SOB demanded to know *how much he would be paid* for his trouble. He was not joking, and he actually refused to help were it not financially worth his while. I am happy to report that this friendship ended at that moment and he called someone else, less acquainted, who drove outnat once and would not even accept gas money.

That's the libertarian outlook, identical to what Scott expresses here.

Don't be so forgiving, ruk. Libertarians are the scum of the earth.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone translate this into something that makes sense?

WASHINGTON -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that he doesn't think teachers or firefighters are overpaid, but their ability to collectively bargain pension and medical benefits should be curtailed in order to restore "some balance between public and private workers."

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/02/gov_john_kasich_says_limiting.html

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 28, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

[Scientician whined: "whatever they say about liberals is actually true of them."]

I'm-rubber-you're-glue?

That's all you've got?

If Leftists wish to ignite the strawman of creeping-sharia-denial, feel free to chase a wild goose with your red herring.

But don't pretend cao shrieking "die in a ditch" was anything but a bedwetting Leftist tantrum of abject intellectual bankruptcy.

*pathetic*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Ruk -- re: the Lincoln quote. that might be a great definition of what the government should do. but it has nothing to do with compassion.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 28, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I keep forgetting. Which one of Greg's toadies recently engaged in psychological nudity over their childhood bedwetting torments?

Just trying to compassionately understand the Leftist animus here.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Related to "teachers" and "state budgets", Bill Gates wrote a guest opinion this morning.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022702876.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

I disagree. Yes, better teachers can be developed at no increase in school district expense, I am sure. But there are two fundamental issues that Gates overlooks.

1] The greatest problem every elementary school teacher faces every year is the loss of information from the long summer vacation - it leads to more than a month of review every September/October. The same 183 day class year divided into six grading periods separated by breaks, with the summer break limited to the entire month of July [school opening first Monday in Aug. and closing last Fri. in June] will raise scholastic achievement more cheaply than any other initiative.

2] Overcoming [teacher union, usually] antipathy to parental volunteers in the classroom and encouraging parental involvement is also a proven technique, costing nada.

Then in-house teacher mentoring, part of what Gates likes, will work more effectively.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 28, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Sure, pragmaticagain, it makes sense to me even if public workers are not overpaid, private workers ALWAYS face hostile management. Here in California, public unions have basically been in bed with DEMOCRATS in Sacramento.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 28, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: I'd love to come visit, but at this time I'm not sure when I will next be in the USA. You make Leningrad, er, Petrograd, er I mean St. Petersburg sound like a great place. I hope to have some bumaga er I mean papers to sign in my old haunts in a few months and if all is well in the money department I'll look into it.

And of course the reciprocal invitation applies, this house has two guest rooms pining to be used. Prepend this moniker to yahoo dot com dot VN and let's strategize the confusion of our enemies.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that he doesn't think teachers or firefighters are overpaid, but their ability to collectively bargain pension and medical benefits should be curtailed in order to restore "some balance between public and private workers."

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/02/gov_john_kasich_says_limiting.html

-------------------------------------------

It means: 1) the governor is a coward who can't say what he really thinks 2) in the race to the bottom, the private sector is currently winning and the governor doesn't like to lose.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 28, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3-

Why the /snarky generalizations about the discourse here at PL? Surely, you approve of everything that gets written over at Red State? If you don't like the comments, ignore them or go somewhere else.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 28, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

cao:

""I'm talking about what you post right here on this blog, over and over and over,""

No you are not. You have repeatedly spoken of my "sneering at kindness and compassion". At no point have I ever posted any such sneering.

You spoke of me dying in a ditch while passersby refuse to help me as me reaping what I sow. At no point have I ever suggested that anyone refuse to help someone dying in a ditch (or any other circumstance for that matter).

Again, you are simply inventing things in order to justify your hatred. Perhaps you really believe the things you say about me, but if so, it is akin to a belief in the Easter Bunny. You believe because you want to, not because there is anything to it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3, forget about him (he even knows what type if car you drive and how you park). He has already received his reward in full. Matthew 6:2.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 28, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@Mark-

Re: parental volunteers in the classroom-
there might be damb good reasons why teachers (in a union or not) might oppose this.
What do you think about the reasons the teachers mention?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 28, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Chuck, I think the school can control for appropriate parental involvement rather easily. That is the experience of Head Start and of many elementary schools that have tried it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 28, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Wipe your nose, Scott, and quit bawling. Have the basic honesty to own what you write here and stop pretending you're being misrepresented. You probaby keep a copy of The Virtue of Selfishness within reach at all ties.

Right. You're the very soul of charity and kindness. You just have this "thing" about governent having anything to do with helping people and, with no moral ramifications at all, you regard "redistribution" as a greater injustice thatn slavery and it's only a simple misunderstanding that you write about compassion and decency with what some people prejudiced against you reasonlessly interpret as a lip-curling sneer.

Save it. And drop the epistemology dodge, it's trite.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The time may have come for the labor movement to form a National political party.

It's core principles should be to fight for well paying jobs, an end to production outsourcing, and all the free trade(which are not fair trade) agreements. Why should the American middle class have to surrender their hard won living standards, in order to compete with the poorest paid working forces that American outsourcers can find around the globe?

We have tried the free trade and outsourcing racket for far too long, and it has almost destroyed the USA. We are never able to close the balance of trade gap, so why the hell should we continue down that failed path?

Labor. Form a national political party. Focus on workers' rights, and restoring the USA as an Industrial Giant, once more.

Let us get back to making the stuff we purchase, and purchasing the stuff that we make.

Take a look at what just happened in Ireland. They held a national election, with just a three week campaign. An over 70% voter turnout, has almost wiped out the Party that was in power, when the economy collapsed, and Labor has risen to 37% of the seats won. It now has almost double the seats, that the outgoing ruling party has ended up with.

They are now in a position to be hugely influential, because the winning party can not form a government without them.

Start fielding a slate of House Candidates in 2012, and by 2016 you should be able to win enough seats, to be able to decide which party will rule the House.

Let us have a working class party, that fights for to restore the golden age of American Labor, when the middle class was thriving, and we made almost all our own products.

Labor; time for you top stop being Blanche Dubois. You can not continue to depend on the kindness of corporate funded politicians.

The time has come to form a working class political party, which will only be beholden to the American Workers.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Chuck - one more point - the best teacher initiative for the buck is in-house mentoring, where teachers are encouraged to help each other. This is especially useful for the new teacher who should not be expected to simply sink or swim. This is done well in a number of schools and is easily replicated.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 28, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

cao:

""That's the libertarian outlook, identical to what Scott expresses here.""

I have never expressed anything remotely like the story you just told. Again, you are just making things up.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

One problem with this great idea, Liam.

Americans don't want to admit that they're laborers. Theyd rather fantasize about the Ewings and the Carringtons. Why the hell do people who can't afford a car read the Wall Street Journal on the bus with the banner facing out and spend the whole ride peering over the edge to see who's impressed?

And if such a party was formed, you have any idea how immediately it would be called Socialist and confused with the SWP?

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Chuck:

""Why the /snarky generalizations about the discourse here at PL?""

Because Greg is a hypocrite.

""Surely, you approve of everything that gets written over at Red State?""

Probably not, but I wouldn't know since I don't read what is written at Red State.

""If you don't like the comments, ignore them or go somewhere else.""

That is rather ironic advice.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Nonsense.

American workers would be delighted to vote for a party that is dedicated to delivering better wages and benefits, and bringing the Manufacturing jobs back home.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

On another American Labor note:

Labor; as a back up plan; just in case Governor Kochdaffi of Wisconsin ends up taking away the Unions' collective bargaining rights.

Start organizing a National Boycott of all things Wisconsin, to kick in, as soon as the law is passed.

Boycott all Wisconsin products, and promote a national tourism boycott of the state, until the law is rescinded.

Get the plan ready, and let the people of Wisconsin know that you have it ready to roll out, so that they can put more heat on Governor Kochdaffi to back down now.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Liam, regard the fact that tens of millions of those same workers vote passionately against their own interests every two years, and that they just returned to power the very same people who have made it as clear as Steuben glass that they're on the side of the outsourcers and the billionaires.

The whole democratic system of voting in one's self-interest has broken down. Rationality and logic be not aboard. It's all emotionalism and imagery now.

It could only work with some unprecedented oratory, a lot of money, and a wholly new communication network.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

cao:

""Wipe your nose, Scott, and quit bawling.""

Very weak, cao. Very weak.

If you could substantiate the things you say about me, you would. But you can't so instead you resort to silly dodges like this.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

[Greg lies: "right-wing media continues hunt for union thuggery in Wisconsin: They come up empty yet again."]

VIDEO EVIDENCE: WI union protester threatens to break Fox News reporter Mike Tobin’s neck
http://www.examiner.com/american-politics-in-vancouver/wi-union-protester-threatens-to-break-fox-news-reporter-mike-tobin-s-neck#ixzz1FGm5KxOU

Don't be a union thuggery apologist your whole career, Greg.

*none so blind*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Liam-still writes
"The time may have come for the labor movement to form a National political party."

Our system of gov't does not accomodate 3rd parties very well. Because our elections are won on a seat by seat basis, going to the majority/plurality winner, winning seats is an all-or-nothing proposition. In systems of gov't with proportional representation, there is more room to influence policy with smaller parties.

A labor party would have to focus on winning seats where a majority of voters are blue-collar, then convince them that voting for Labor is not a wasted vote. Given that most elections are won by demonizing the opposition & being the lesser of two evils, it is extremely difficult to convince voters that the 3rd party candidate is 1) viable and 2) worth the risk of letting the worst evil into office. See Nader, 2000.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 28, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Liam-still writes
"The time may have come for the labor movement to form a National political party."

Our system of gov't does not accomodate 3rd parties very well. Because our elections are won on a seat by seat basis, going to the majority/plurality winner, winning seats is an all-or-nothing proposition. In systems of gov't with proportional representation, there is more room to influence policy with smaller parties.

A labor party would have to focus on winning seats where a majority of voters are blue-collar, then convince them that voting for Labor is not a wasted vote. Given that most elections are won by demonizing the opposition & being the lesser of two evils, it is extremely difficult to convince voters that the 3rd party candidate is 1) viable and 2) worth the risk of letting the worst evil into office. See Nader, 2000.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 28, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@Mark in Austin

While I support the teachers in Wisconsin and hope all teachers get paid well and are respected I can't help but believe parenting is actually far more important to a child's educational success than the quality of the school or the teachers.

Here in St. Pete our most successful schools have been the "fundamental" schools. Race is not a factor in these schools but parental involvement is required. Parents must sign forms that require a certain level of involvement...homework is mandatory..there is a dress code..and troublemakers are quickly tossed out. These schools have become so popular in St. Petersburg with parents from all races that there is now a significant waiting list.

When there was an outcry to open even more of them last year some of our educational professional worried that this would result in leaving the other kids behind.

And to me that is the sad crux of the problem. Kids are either blessed or cursed by their luck in the parental sweepstakes. Not sure what we can do to help other than to keep working to change the societal norm about education. As Obama as pointed out when the science team gets just as much applause as the football team then we'll know we're on our way.

While I concede we have a long way to go there are "some" bright signs.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/article1154280.ece

The birth rate for 15- to 17-year-olds has fallen 19 percent, a decline in Florida that surprises public health officials and teenagers alike.

Florida logged the second-highest drop in the nation behind Arizona, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every 1,000 teenagers here, there were five fewer babies born in 2009 than in 2007. Eighteen and 19-year-olds had 20 fewer babies — a 15 percent dip.

It's good news because statistics show that young moms and their babies face tough futures and cost society about $9.1 billion a year.

But what does it mean? Is it a trend? Or is it a blip?"

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

VIDEO EVIDENCE: WI Union Thug verbally assaults teenager
http://biggovernment.com/bhennessy/2011/02/27/union-thug-talks-dirty-to-17-year-old-handing-out-copies-of-the-constitution/

*classy*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

They have not been offered a chance to vote for a party dedicated to protecting their wages and jobs.

That is what I am calling for. I do not need you to sign on to the plan. I am calling for a Labors' Right Party for people who work in America, or who are out of work in America, but are still in America.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

All, new report finds that House GOP budget cuts would destroy 700,000 jobs:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 28, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Edit: Labors' Rights Party.....

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Because Greg is a hypocrite.

==

Greg is extremely hands-off here. What positions are you claiming he's betrayed?

What a load of bull. Let me summarize for you.

* you're against social safety nets

* you never shut up about how much derision you have for social safety nets

* you keep repeating this "tax Peter to pay Paul" thing like you just thought it up and haven't posted it dozens of times before

* you sound like a selfish libertarian creep

Get it? Now go get a room with your fellow Conservative People and whine about the meany redistributive liberals.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Anybody (Greg?) hear any new word on Roger Ailes?

Political Wire was reporting over the weekend that an indictment was possibly imminent (this week, as early as today).

Thx.

Btw, I 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 100th the notion that ScottC is the biggest baby on the thread. He is "always right" and so horribly misunderstood. What a joke. He comes from the Karl Rove school of "Who Me?" He is as pathetic as his arguments are ludicrous.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

See Nader, 2000.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 28, 2011 10:57 AM |

....................

Nader was not a third party. A pissed off labor force, with a party of their own, competing to win enough house seats by 2016, entirely different thing.

What the hell difference does it make if it is the Democrats or the Republicans are calling the shots, since the middle class is still getting wiped out.

Time for Labor to field it's own party, dedicated to the rights of the working class.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

[Greg lies: "right-wing media continues hunt for union thuggery in Wisconsin: They come up empty yet again."]

Video EVIDENCE: Rhode Island union supporter to cameraman – “I’ll f* you in the @ss, you f@ggot”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNBkcpgPkuY&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Fun:

Palin’s numbers slip in Iowa: And what about Palin? Per a new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, “Palin's favorability has ebbed with Iowa Republican likely voters, whose most active members make up the state's presidential caucus electorate, in the past 15 months… Palin's favorability has slipped among Iowa Republicans who say they will vote in 2012 to 65 percent in the poll taken this month from 71 percent in November 2009.” What’s more, “The new poll shows fewer likely voters who are Republicans view Palin very favorably, 18 percent, than the 27 percent who did so in the Register's November 2009 poll.”

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"What the hell difference does it make if it is the Democrats or the Republicans are calling the shots"

Not one bit.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 28, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The time may have come for the labor movement to form a National political party.

It's core principles should be to fight for well paying jobs, an end to production outsourcing, and all the free trade(which are not fair trade) agreements. Why should the American middle class have to surrender their hard won living standards, in order to compete with the poorest paid working forces that American outsourcers can find around the globe?

We have tried the free trade and outsourcing racket for far too long, and it has almost destroyed the USA. We are never able to close the balance of trade gap, so why the hell should we continue down that failed path?

Labor. Form a national political party. Focus on workers' rights, and restoring the USA as an Industrial Giant, once more.

Let us get back to making the stuff we purchase, and purchasing the stuff that we make.

Take a look at what just happened in Ireland. They held a national election, with just a three week campaign. An over 70% voter turnout, has almost wiped out the Party that was in power, when the economy collapsed, and Labor has risen to 37% of the seats won. It now has almost double the seats, that the outgoing ruling party has ended up with.

They are now in a position to be hugely influential, because the winning party can not form a government without them.

Start fielding a slate of House Candidates in 2012, and by 2016 you should be able to win enough seats, to be able to decide which party will rule the House.

Let us have a working class party, that fights for to restore the golden age of American Labor, when the middle class was thriving, and we made almost all our own products.

Labor; time for you top stop being Blanche Dubois. You can not continue to depend on the kindness of corporate funded politicians.

The time has come to form a working class political party, which will only be beholden to the American Workers.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for your idea, Liam, and I would vote format, albeit absentee. I've stated why it wont fly and others have offered other reasons.

By the way, and this is overdue, if you don't like my living outside the USA you can take it and stick it. One American in 60 lives in another country and I have had no good reason to regret my move. In fact it seems to have improved my health; I was diagnosed with diabetes a year before I left, it was worsening, and after three months here my blood sugar is back in the normal range.

I won't pretend to be anything but massively disillusioned with rpthe Americam people and the futility I express in this topic of yours and others is genuine and is quite different from the trolls' attention-seeking behavior. Nobody wishes more than I that things were otherwise, but I've understood since Jesse Helms that mundane truths are always outraced by spectacular lies. And America is in the grips of a lot of spectacular liars.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Liam-still writes
"Nader was not a third party. A pissed off labor force, with a party of their own, competing to win enough house seats by 2016, entirely different thing."

In theory, you're right. I'm talking about reality. How many districts have enough of a labor presence to win a plurality of votes? You might find some where there's enough of a blue collar presence to theoretically win; but getting 100% of that vote to support a new party would be next to impossible.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 28, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"A pissed off labor force, with a party of their own, competing to win enough house seats by 2016, entirely different thing."

Maybe start at the state-level. build the farm team first.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 28, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@R&R

Is that you Ethan? Glad to hear from you again. I need your expertise to confirm what I am learning at my mother in laws Jewish nursing home.

Tell me about a "mitzvah". I am gathering it is simply a good deed that someone does for another...speaking of compassion LOL.

I'm wondering about the "quality" of a "mitzvah". Is is still a mitzvah if one does the deed out of a simple sense of duty, or does there indeed need to be an altruistic motive behind the mitzvah to make it genuine?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Not only has Palin absolutely refused to grow, sticking to the same "down to earth" folksy BS, but the best thing she had going for her candidacy, her looks, is slipping fast. Look at some recent pics and compare to mid-2008. She's getting jowelly and crepey.

And, oh, yeah, she never makes any sense, she needs protection from actual questions, and she's most petty than a clique of eighth grade girls.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Cao, I do not need you to tell me that it will be a hard fight. Some of my ancestors were members of The Molly Maguires. Shut the hell up, since you already have gotten far out of the way, and hence out of the fight.


Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe start at the state-level. build the farm team first.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 28, 2011 11:22 AM

.....................

No time for that. This is a national labor crisis, and it has to compete for Congressional seats to have a national impact.

I am looking for clones of Harry Truman and Tip O'Neill to represent labor, and labor first, on the national stage.


Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@Liam and others speculating about a "labor" movement.

For many of the reasons already espoused I'm not certain a pure "labor" movement would work. My concerns are more along Madison Ave reasons. "Labor" still has a way to go to regain any sexiness.

Having said that I do believe you're onto something though Liam. We need a "genuine" populist movement in our nation...not the faux BS of the Tea Party idiots. Eventually people will realize that the Corporatists are the real threat to our American way of life and the rapidly vanishing American Dream.

Bernie Sanders make a ton of sense but is seriously lacking in the "charisma" department. I would vote for him but I'm not sure he can inspire a large following.
When the populist backlash comes and IMHO it's only a matter of time, Wisconsin may just be a precursor, I hope we find a leader who is genuine and not just someone who takes advantage of a p!ssed off country...that is the real danger IMO.

@Cao I've tried to connect using your email addy..thanks for the invite.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Taxpayers need to DEMAND our taxpayer dollars Back.. that public employee unions are using for political campaigns.
Unions spent Hundreds of Millions of dollars on political campaigns.
It not only sounds Illegal, but at the very least, its definitely not fair.
Let's ask for that money back. We never intended it to be used for politics.

Posted by: ohioan | February 28, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey RUK, yup that's me!

Can't help ya much on "Mitzvah". What you said sounds right but you'd be better off with a more reliable source :) I am what they call a "bad Jew," a "Reform" Jew which, according to Glenn Beck, is pretty much the same thing radicalized Islam because we are both "politicized". I digress!

But in general, a Mitzvah is a blessing, a positive event, usually with religious overtones. I could be wrong on specifics, but that's my impression. Here's the wiki entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitzvah

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst:

"[Scientician whined: "whatever they say about liberals is actually true of them."]

I'm-rubber-you're-glue?

That's all you've got?"

Well no, that's not "all" since I cited two examples of right wingers wetting themselves in terror over imaginary threats. There is in fact a rich literature in academia on right wing fear, as a well observed and documented phenomena. So yes, it does appear that you are in fact glue.

Haven't you ever noticed that the only thing that ever drives the right is fear? Whether it is terror that the ERA would lead to unisex bathrooms, that JFK would take orders from Rome, or that Obama would surrender to Al Qaeda, the right is always afraid.

The "creeping" Sharia thing is the latest example. It must be creeping pretty slow to be that non-existent. It is a non-threat. A farcical nonsense fantasy nightmare cooked up in the addled brains of people like Pam Geller. A majority of the country wanted the Public Option in the HCR bill and could not get it. The 1% muslim minority is somehow going to pass Sharia laws?

You're all delusional. But I'm the one "whining" somehow. Yeah.

Posted by: Scientician | February 28, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Rukidding.

The problem we have, is the Democratic Party no longer elects people who have had dirt under their own fingernails. It nominates limousine liberals, who do not know how to engage in real pub sessions with workers.

I am amazed how detached Obama has been from the situation in Wisconsin, when it was his chance to use the bully pulpit to show the working class that they had a fighter for them, in the White House.

Not even the token effort of sending Joe Biden, with his "working class roots" to go fire up the protesters.

President Obama has really gotten trapped inside The Bubble, and appears to not have learned from being too slow to take on the anti Health Care town hall protests, and was also slow off the mark on the Gulf Oil spill.

The working class, with dirt under their nails, have never been convinced that President Obama relates to them, so what does he do, when he has a chance to show them, that he is with them, in Wisconsin? Nothing.

I also wonder why he does not go back and listen to his own State Of The Union call for young people to become teachers.

What parents in their right minds would now urge their college kids to focus on becoming teachers, while the see the teaching class being accused of destroying the economy and of being greedy hogs.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 28, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Btw, great to see you RUK. I've been following the Awake Florida movement on facebook and twitter. Pretty awesome. Gotta fight back!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

R&R

Glad to see you're still around. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

RUK,
This may help a little. Mitvah is also translated as 'commandment'. There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah. Tzadekah is the word for charity. A mitzvah can also be used to describe a good deed or good outcome for a situation.

Maimonides, often called by his acronym RaMBaM (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon), was a 12th century Jewish scholar and physician. Rambam wrote a code of Jewish law, the Mishnah Torah, based on the Rabbinic oral tradition.

Rambam organized the different levels of tzedakah (charity) into a list from the least to the most honorable.

8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4. When the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient.

3. When the donor is aware of the recipient's identity, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2. When the donor and recipient are unknown to each other.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others

Posted by: dont_remember | February 28, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"I am looking for clones of Harry Truman and Tip O'Neill to represent labor, and labor first, on the national stage."

Without digressing into a political tactics bull session, I'd say that you might get better returns at the state level. about 25% of the house is non-competitive. and the average cost of winning a House race in 2008 was about $1.1 million. depending on the state, you can finance a lot of state candidates for that. the VA state rep. who is chair of the labor and commerce committee spent $42,000 on his campaign.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 28, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

All, good stuff from Adam Serwer on Haley Barbour's claims that HE is victim of prejudice:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 28, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@dont_remember

Thanks for that education. I was seriously curious and the older Jewish folk at the terrific nursing where my mother in law (she is a gentile as am I) resides pretty much gave me the generic description.

I particularly enjoyed your list. That list could be beneficial food for thought for all of us.
And that includes you Ethan you "bad Jew".:-)

@Liam I am in total agreement with you about Obama. He should have gone in person..Biden would have been better than nothing but this was a REAL chance for Obama to show whose side he is on...the Wall Street boys and the corporatists...Geithner..Immeldt et al or the working folks of America. It truly saddens me that Ike and the R's of 1956 made a far greater committment to "labor" than Obama and the 2011 Dems. It's simply pathetic. I thought a weekend of playing his famous campaign soundbite about putting on comfortable shoes and joining labor on the picket line would have shamed him into action...but alas..crickets. Add to that the fact that the DNC recently had to chide Obama about not getting our rear ends out of Afghanistan.

I simply do not understand how people are avoiding the obvious. We have a deficit that needs to be addressed...we all agree on that..and yet at a time when our tax burden is at it's lowest in over six decades we can't even raise the marginal rate a few % points...when our defense spending has risen by 67%...yes 67% since 2000 and we can't even address our grossly disproportionate defense spending. It's lunacy and it's no wonder Cao gets on his rants...I mean really given the facts who can blame him?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

cao:

""What positions are you claiming he's betrayed?""

He has been on the "civilized discourse" train since teh shooting in Arizona. But in the one place where he actually has a say over the type of discourse displayed, he is silent, he is, as you say, hands off. Particularly with regard to people who agree with him politically. he is a hypocrite.

""* you're against social safety nets""

That is not true. You will search in vain for any post of mine that says such a thing.

""* you never shut up about how much derision you have for social safety nets""

Again, an utter falsehood.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"And that includes you Ethan you "bad Jew".:-)"

Ha!!!

I like a good mitzvah every now and again. I try, really, I do. In fact, I put more energy towards mitzvahs than I do religious observation of my faith. That is pretty commonplace amongst us Reform Jews.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Again, an utter falsehood."

Liar.

The utter contempt with which you approach social safety net policy is evident in every position you hold.

Go ahead and tell us otherwise. What do you think, we are going to fall for your claptrap?

No, in fact, we point it out every single time, and for good reason. That YOU don't see it now is either a testament to how blind you are or a testament to the lengths you will go to deceive people about your extremist views.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

rar:

""Liar.""

You obvoiusly have no idea what that word means.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 28, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"You obvoiusly have no idea what that word means."

You "obvoiusly" are a pathetic shill.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

[Scientician denied: "The "creeping" Sharia thing is the latest example... It is a non-threat."]

That is a jaw-droppingly stupid assertion.

In May 1991, MB issued to its ideological allies an explanatory memorandum on "the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America." Asserting that the Brotherhood's mission was to establish "an effective and ... stable Islamic Movement" on the continent, this document outlined a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" for achieving that objective. It stated that Muslims "must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."

Discover the Muslim Brotherhood @
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=6386

Don't indulge in Islamo-supremacism denial your whole life, Scientician.

+16K deadly Islamo-supremacist attacks globally since 9/11 don't lie.
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 28, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

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