From commentor Josie:
Here are two pictures of my son’s aging pug, whose life has been recently upended, and my namesake Josie, who did the upending.
I kept Emma (the pug) for a year on two separate occasions while my son was in law school, so I am somewhat attached to her.Â I am over the moon, however, about my first grand child.
Emma, as you can see, is taking her new duties very seriously.
It’s a great responsibility for a not-so-big dog, after all!
Apart from this evening’s meet-up in NYC, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up a week few people will be sorry to see the back of?
Pets bonding with/protecting/mothering/etc babies is great.
Pictures ‘for ants’, not so much.
Prepping for some shore leave, a trip that has a much different purpose than it did when originally planned.
Mrs. Cisco would have been done with her rehab by now, and we were going to celebrate by taking a couple of weeks to visit the Cisco ancestral home. Now, I go to rest and to see my dad, who was too ill to make the trip when she died, and is unwell still. I noticed the irony that like my nym’s character, I find myself without my partner and best friend, and trying to find my way without her counsel. Hoping that this trip will help…
Josie, What a cute picture.
@Ben Cisco: I hope that the trip will bring you some peace.
PUG: “Are you housebroken yet?”
JOSIE: “Is that where they make you pee outside? Bleah!”
@Mike: I am up in the night with a throat so sore that I cannot sleep So maybe I’m just dense at the moment but I do not understand what you mean by “Pictures ‘for ants’, not so much.”
Good Morning ☺, Everyone ?
@Ben Cisco: As always, I am happy to see a comment from you and am sad about the loss you are having to learn to live with. You are making your way through your loss with so much grace, I can only think that there are good things ahead for you. I hope that spending time with your dad will be a great comfort to you.
I probably should, but I don’t actually know the origin of your nym. Can you point me in a direction so I can read about the other, I’m guessing fictional, Ben Cisco?
Always confoozled by your nym, as Cisco was a fictional Mexican caballero in popular media, ubiquitous throughout the first six decades of the last century (including early TV, The Cisco Kid being the first American TV series filmed in color), and Sisko being the DS9 character.
@rikyrah: Good morning rikyrah! Until today, I have never been up early enough to see your “good mornings” and be able to reply.
How doubly cute to get a photo of a baby and a doggy to end a rough week!
Hotter than hot.
That’s just shy of 124 degrees Fahrenheit.
Love the bottom photo. Cautious love, is right!
My sister lost her beloved dog, Apache, about 5 weeks ago, and last night they brought home a new dog named Dusty. Good name, I think! She is 7 and very timid and feeling very uncertain. Dusty is a rescue but we don’t get to hear about the back story until later today or this weekend. This is surely a traumatic event for Dusty so I suspect she has a sad story.
They got Apache many years ago from same doggie refuge; his original owner kept him chained up all the time and his jaw was broken from being kicked in the face. It took Apache time to learn to trust again, but he was the sweetest boy and I adored him. I am glad that Dusty gets a second chance with my sister. If her team is winning at a hockey game, she still feels bad for the other team’s goalie, so I’m sure her heart went out to Dusty as soon as she met her and heard her story.
I woke to the smell of smoke this morning. There was a fire about 2 blocks away. (On Clark St. 2 streets south of Addison for those fantasy familiar with the Wrigley area.) It was the second nearby fire this week. It’s enough to make one stay to feel some paranoia.
Good morning everyone. Congratulations on the new grandchild Josie, and thanks for sharing the cute pictures. I’m really loving our new morning pet Zen start to the day.
@Ben Cisco: I hope the trip will help too, and that time spent with your dad is a comfort for you both. Grief does ease after a while, and your love for your wife is a great testament to what a lovely person she must have been. Be well Ben.
@Eric S.: Chicago has a lot of old wood skeleton buildings and fires can happen, but it also has a great fire department which strikes them pretty fast. Try not to worry too much.
@Ben Cisco: I lost my best friend a little over ten years ago. I think of him every day. Be gentle with yourself.
@NotMax: Wow, you’re full of cheery news.
@WaterGirl: I wish that people who hurt dogs (and cats) could be severely punished for animal abuse so we wouldn’t have the nightmarish stories like the one of Apache.
I’m still seething after coming across this story about a Pastor starving his pitbull to make a religious point. He needs to be in jail for what he did and that poor dog taken away and given to a loving home.
@satby: I’m certainly not paralyzed in fear or anything. Not in my nature. About 13 years ago (am I that old now?) I was awoken by my roommate pounding on my door. The deck was on fire. My bedroom window was orange. All was mostly fine. I had some smoke and water damage where my window broke out. Left me with a healthy respect for a fire and for the Chicago FD.
@Eric S.: We’ve had a # of fires in my area recently. Maybe the meth labs are fighting back.
Travels with Charley
Good morning! ? I believe The Ben Cisco nym refers to CAPT Ben Cisco of the USS Defiant and also commanding officer of Deep Space (station) 9 in the Star Trek universe. Character was played by the wonderful actor Avery Brooks.
I should add the fire 13 years ago was arson. Someone, never caught as far as I know, set 3 fires that night. All of them within 3 blocks. All of them at buildings with a street address of 2626. Even though I know there is no logical reason to connect the two fires near me this week my irrational mind brings back that night 13 years ago.
Re-posted from an earlier thread…
Friday NYC Meet-up at Old Town update:
Any time after 6pm at the tavern. As i said, they don’t take reservations, but if I give them a headcount in the afternoon, they should be able to set some space aside.
So far, as of right now, this is what I’ve got:
Me (lurker-instigator) I’ll be there at 6.
Celia and ______
and maybe PsiFighter,
if we are still hanging out when he/you gets in from…Miami? (If he/you think there is a chance of coming by, post something today and I’ll get my phone number to you via Anne Laurie -if that’s ok with her)
MDC and JAFD, we’ll see you at the next one.
Thanks AL for front-paging the event.
@Ben Cisco: I’m so sorry for your loss. My father died a month ago, and the grief has been overwhelming at points (he was a lifelong alcoholic who suddenly dried out a year ago, and it sucks to lose him after such a brief, golden time with him sober). My stepmom is having a really hard time- he was an addict, but he was also funny and smart and kind- truly the love of her life. Her neighbor, who was widowed three years ago, visited two days after it happened to hug her and just say, “I promise you it will get better.” I think that was the best condolence my stepmom could have asked for- reassurance that the grief is terrible now, but will fade with time, while the love stays.
I hope it’s a lovely visit with your father. Safe travels.
The right (cough) and honorable (hack) Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas thinks the US Suffers From an ‘Under-Incarceration Problem’
I think he’s right and should help by turning himself in.
@Patricia Kayden: I’m totally with you on that! There should be consequences. Why is that such a difficult concept?
@OzarkHillbilly: Sometimes, I think to myself, it’s not healthy for me to hate these people so much. Then Sen. Tom Cotton opens his mouth and I feel okay about it.
I hope you find comfort and the beginnings of peace.
That’s quite lovely, Nicole. thank you
@Ben Cisco: I hope the trip will help.
Iowa Old Lady
@Ben Cisco: Strength to you.
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
Trump always says what we’re thinking.
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
Johnny Crackhead (photo)
@David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch:
Unfortunately, that hasn’t hurt him yet.
@David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch: Looks more like Johnny Meth-head.
@OzarkHillbilly: sounds like he misses those chain gang days.
Cute baby and pug!
@Ben Cisco: Courage, strength and safe travels!
@Nicole: Condolences to you and your family.
Pugs stink…. Literally. Don’t be fooled by the cute factor.
I have had and still have many of ’em.
@Nicole: Such wisdom, and hard gained. I like the part about the pain and/or awfulness falling away, and the love remaining. Comforting words.
Best to you, and to @Ben Cisco:
So sorry for your loss, and I hope that this trip helps you.
Hi WaterGirl :)
@David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch: He aint making it to 26. Either OD or suicide in the next 18 months. Book it.
@Ben Cisco: I am watching my father try to cope with the loss of my mother, his wife and counsel of 61 years, and it’s heartbreaking. Please believe me when I say I know what’s happening in your life. Give yourself time to mourn and time to rest. Take big deep breaths. Remember all the good times.
NOTE: I’m a network admin by trade, hence the “misspelling”
the pictures up top are too cute for words.
Thanks for posting the pictures, Anne Laurie, and thanks to the kind commenters for your compliments. I am having so much fun with Josie; I am her nanny for two weeks every month, sharing duties with the other grandparents, so I get to see her develop into a very interesting person. Emma is very helpful. Every time Josie starts to get upset about something, we show her the puppy and she brightens up immediately.
@Ben Cisco: Sorry for your loss. I lost my wife of 40 years in July 2009. It’s one day at a time with some days (time with the nieces) better than others (important anniversaries). But overtime the better days get more numerous.
@David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch:
I doubt Mr. Pig has an exercise routine but if he did, he could certainly invite the media to watch how awesome he is doing that too.
@Josie: My mother swore that she would not spoil her grandkids like my grandmother spoiled me. Unfortunately that was before I phones allowed us to record the promise. The doctor hadn’t even smacked Kathleen on the butt in the delivery room when the grammy genes kicked into overdrive. Truth be told so did the spoil them rotten Uncle genes did also. Now that Kathleen has one of her own, my sister is experiencing her own case of raging grammy genes
Also, thanks to JPL, NotMax, satby, Nicole, Phyllis, debbie, Betty Cracker, WereBear, Iowa Old Lady, Elizabelle, rikyrah, Emma, and D58826.
Phyllis, Nicole, and Emma: my sincere condolences on your loss, and I hope you and your loved ones find comfort and peace as well.
May the Prophets guide all your paths.
@D58826: A grandparent has one job and one job alone: To make that child/children believe that no matter how the rest of the world views them, in this house with these people, they are the center of the universe.
@Ben Cisco: It is so hard to move forward without your partner. My husband of 30 years died almost 20 years ago, and I still wish I could talk to him about things – life decisions, our boys, etc. I wish you peace and comfort in your family and friends.
Damn, drive 7 hrs, fish for 4 and then leave the van windows open and it rained like hell!
@OzarkHillbilly: And I viewed my job as Uncle was to spoil them rotten and then give them back to their mom. I viewed it as big brothers revenge for having to put up with a little sister tagging along when I was growing up :-) :-)
@raven: catch anything to make it worthwhile?
@Nicole: Condolences Nicole, on the loss of your father, especially after reconnecting with the person in recovery. It is hard because we do miss them so much, but it will get better. It’s just 6 weeks since we lost my mom, but we were consoles by the fact that she was released from even greater suffering. Sometimes you just have to hold on to that.
Sanders Camp: Millions Have ‘Growing Doubts’ About Clinton Campaign
By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND
Published MAY 19, 2016, 5:51 PM EDT
Hours after Hillary Clinton declared herself the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign fired off a statement warning that she spoke too soon.
“In the past three weeks voters in Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon respectfully disagreed with Secretary Clinton,” communications director Michael Briggs said in a statement. “We expect voters in the remaining eight contests also will disagree. And with almost every national and state poll showing Sen. Sanders doing much, much better than Secretary Clinton against Donald Trump, it is clear that millions of Americans have growing doubts about the Clinton campaign.”
Sanders’ team was responding to comments Clinton made in a CNN interview that aired Thursday, in which she said there was “no way” she wouldn’t earn her party’s nomination.
“I will be the nominee for my party, Chris,” she told host Chris Cuomo. “That is already done in effect. There is no way I won’t be.”
Trump Claims UK Prime Minister David Cameron Invited Him To Visit
By KATHERINE KRUEGER
Published MAY 20, 2016, 8:34 AM EDT
Just days after presumptive nominee Donald Trump sparred with both UK Prime Minister David Cameron and London’s newly-elected mayor, Trump said Friday that Cameron has invited him to visit.
During a discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about policy in the Mideast, Trump said Cameron attacked him first but has since changed his tune.
“And by the way, he would like me now to visit 10 Downing Street,” Trump said. “They put out that invitation about two days ago. I’ll do just fine with David Cameron. I think he’s a nice guy. I’ll do just fine. But they have asked me to visit 10 Downing Street. And I might do it.”
Cameron has called Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigration “stupid, divisive, and wrong,” which caused Trump to caution that they might not have a “very good relationship” if he’s elected President.
We adore being grandparents. Not long ago Leslie Stahl was on CBS Sunday Morning talking about the joys of being a grandmother, a sweet episode. She’s also written a book about this. Stahl is not just over the moon, she’s out of the galaxy being a grandmother. I’m sure she is thinking about her grandkids every waking hour, minute and in her dreams.
I happened to catch Stahl on Chris Matthews show and at the end I cracked up to hear her say to Chris, “You’re a grandparent, aren’t you Chris?” She’d rather talk about being a grandparent than absolutely anything else in the world.
I’m looking forward to hearing the real story from Cameron.
@Ben Cisco: Thanks for the link. I never watched Deep Space Nine, so the reference in your nym went right over my head. I may have to see if it’s on Netflix.
@Ben Cisco: Echoing all the kind words sent your way. Hope you have an enjoyable trip. Sorry to hear of your loss.
@Ben Cisco: Oh, sadness! Sending good thoughts your way.
@Eric S.: Oh, noes! Arson in Wrigleyville?
@Nicole: I had a goodly number of years with my dad sober before he died. He went into rehab during my first summer in college. I seldom saw the worst side of his alcoholism – he was very high-functioning – but I know it caused him and my mother and many others a lot of pain. So it sucks that you got so little time with yours as a new man. I am sorry to hear it.
from Matt Taibbi:
I have a little fundraising beg, if it is OK with the blog powers to post.
My wife and I, are fundraising for Shatterproof, a non-profit organization fighting against addiction. (I had planned on posting this in this morning’s open thread before I had read any of the posts upstream).
Any donation is 100% tax deductible, and any amount that you would like to give would be appreciated. The fundraiser ends today, but I’m sure Shatterproof will take donations any time.
Here is the link to my fundraising page.
(Primarily a lurker since 2005)
After Capitol Hill ‘chaos,’ Democrats name names
05/20/16 08:40 AM—UPDATED 05/20/16 08:42 AM
By Steve Benen
In recent years, not much gets done in Congress, so there aren’t a lot of opportunities for drama. And yet, yesterday, multiple headlines highlighted the “chaos” that erupted on the floor of the House of Representatives. So, what happened?
It was a chaotic scene on the House floor Thursday morning after an amendment to help protect LGBT people from discrimination failed by just one vote as Republicans succeeded in convincing a few members of their own party to switch their votes to help ensure the measure would not pass.
House Democrats could be heard chanting “shame, shame, shame” on the floor as the measure went from garnering up to 217 votes at one point down to just 212 when the vote was gaveled. Boos erupted from the House floor as the measure failed.
There are a couple of relevant angles to this. The first is the substance: two years ago, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting government contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and applicants. Congressional Republicans won’t consider the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, so the White House did what it could under the law.
Two years later, House Republicans want to undo that policy. When putting together this year’s big defense spending bill, the GOP quietly added a provision to restore contractors’ ability to discriminate. Pushing back, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) sponsored an amendment yesterday to nullify the anti-LGBT provision and protect the White House’s anti-discrimination policy.
It didn’t go well – the Republican majority defeated Maloney’s amendment. In 2016, the House GOP is still willing to go to the mat to allow businesses to discriminate, even when taxpayers’ money is being used.
Which brings us to the second angle: how House Republicans waged this fight.
The House allotted a couple of minutes to vote on Maloney’s measure, and when time was up, the amendment appeared to have passed. Except, in a fairly unusual move, Republican leaders decided to keep the vote open for a while in order to get some GOP members to switch their vote and endorse discrimination rights. What was a two-minute vote turned into an eight-minute vote – the kind of abuse Republicans used to condemn – so GOP leaders could twist arms and get the outcome they wanted.
And thus, “chaos.”
Democratic leaders, outraged by the ugliness and underhanded tactics, decided to name names, releasing the list of the seven House Republicans who agreed to switch their vote, after time had expired, to advance the anti-LGBT policy (in alphabetical order): Reps. Jeff Denham (R- Calif.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Mimi Walters (R- Calif.), and David Young (R-Iowa).
Each of these members initially voted to do the right thing, but each reversed course.
My dog, who we got as a puppy when my two older children were 6 and 1, treated those two like she was having to fight for survival, in other words, as siblings. When our youngest was born 4 years later, she was suddenly a mom. The first two couldn’t do more than pet her, but she would let him crawl all over her. When he cried she came running.
Except of course since the last time thewy did it. Tom Delay kept the vote open past the 15 minute limit to twist the arms needed to get the medicare part d drug plan passed. Now Medicare needed a part d but this one was more about subsidies for big pharma than helping seniors.
@Ben Cisco: Hand in there Ben. I unexpectedly lost my wife of 24 years Mat 17 2015 and the last year has been just plain strange. The grief is a big one but at least it was expected and like others have said will diminish over time. The thing that has been hardest for me is suddenly having to remake my life. All of those unspoken/barely conscious pictures I had of how my life would go got torpedoed and I’m having to reinvent who I really am and what I want to do with my life over the next 20 or so years. As the pain has subsided I find this new challenge somewhat exciting.
It will get better.
@rikyrah: Hopefully each of those House Members has someone running against them. They deserve to lose and be replaced by Democrats who aren’t out to sanction discrimination. Especially vulnerable should be those House Members from the blue state of California.
So I see that the first defendant charged with “conspiracy” in the Malheur siege, has pled guilty. He seems like a charming fellow.
Why it matters that Donald Trump never vetted himself
05/20/16 10:00 AM
By Steve Benen
It’s Campaign Management 101: It’s not enough to research your rivals; you have to research yourself. Taking a close look at your opponents’ backgrounds will help uncover their strengths and weaknesses, which in turn will help shape your strategy, but digging through your own background will help you anticipate and prepare for upcoming lines of attack.
None of this is controversial. There are professional researchers who, for a handsome fee, do nothing but this and I’ve never heard of a modern national candidate who chose not to take advantage of these services.
That is, until now. Mother Jones’ David Corn reported yesterday on a detail that should make Republicans nervous.
For most major presidential campaigns, it is a routine act: You conduct opposition research on your own candidate. The reason is obvious; campaign officials and candidates want to know what they might have to contend with once the you-know-what starts flying. But not Donald Trump.
At least not at the start of the campaign that would lead to him becoming the presumptive GOP nominee. According to a source with direct knowledge, when Trump was considering entering the presidential race early last year, his political advisers, including Corey Lewandowski, who would become his campaign manager, suggested that he hire a professional to investigate his past. But the celebrity mogul said no and refused to pay for it.
It would be a mistake for any national candidate to skip this part of the process, but for a guy like Trump – who’s record includes a long list of personal and professional controversies – it’s incredibly reckless.
Corn’s report added, “The candidate, who now refuses to release his income taxes, did not want his own campaign scrutinizing his past. He was not willing to be transparent – not even for his own team.”
Bobo today, at the end of a pablum-filled column on how America has changed over the past 60 or so years:
Hey David, the only problem is there’s one party in DC that equates early education for all as tyranny, and infrastructure projects as yet more gubmint spending on moochers. Can we get a call to vote a straight D ticket yet? No? Ah well….
@Ben Cisco: Eminence, I hope your visit to the ancestral home goes very well, that your visit with you father is good and you get a good rest. Hold your late wife in the light and your heart
Josie: A friend of mine never wanted to have children, he later married a woman with adult children who in turn had their own children. He loves being a grandpa and spoiling the grandkids. He watches them. takes them places and has been teaching them about computers (he worked for IBM research). Congratulations on the granddaughter. Enjoy her and the pictures of her with the doggie are so cute.
@LAO: Girl, you need help! Course, I am eating this stuff up, so I need help, too.
A Ghost To Most
Here it is dumbasses making butane hash oil.
@Miss Bianca: Once I find a reliable support group, will pass it on to you.
Animal abuse: laws against abuse vary by state and city jurisdictions. Some state/cities have strict laws and punishments.
Rhode Island has some strict laws — an adoptive mommy of cat from a rescue in CT was attacked by three young men. The police tracked them down and arrested them. One of the three was wanted on warrants from MA and he was returned there.
My friend Cassie who operates a shelter for cats and kittens, took in a young cat whose owner didn’t take care of her cat. Either the cat was attacked or in an accident but a back leg was hurt and was infected with an open wound that had maggots. So Cassie took in the cat, took it to the vet and paid for medical care. The leg had to be amputated. The medical bills were paid by friend’s of the shelter. The owner’s boyfriend later complained that Cassie didn’t return the cat but fostered it and had it adopted. Why the *sshole thought his girlfriend would get the cat back, I don’t know. The cat’s medical costs were several thousands of dollars. The cat now has a great home.
The Hillary speech transcripts have become a major campaign issue. At the l;ink is a article describing one of the BIg Dogs speeches, with a transcript. Well worth the read.
But if this is a typical Clinton (either one) it sounds pretty tame to me. But I can see why Hillary is reluctant to release them It will be so easy to take someting out of context to wit:
Bolds are mine. That sentence would be an attack ad while the ‘self-deprecating’ part would hit the cutting room floor. I imagine there are any number of instances like that in Hillary’s speeches. I suspect the political calculation is that the issue of the speeches will come and go throughout the campaign but if the transcripts are released it will be ‘a new Clinton scandal’ every week and that will be all the MSM will want to talk about. The campaign will spend most of its time explaining the context to little or no good effect. She is still being criticized as not caring about the deaths of 4 Americans for the ‘what does it matter’ portion of a much longer comment on Benghazi. Read the full quote and she is obviously talking about the attackers not devaluing the Americans.
It’s the way the game is played but no sense giving the GOP free ammunition. Let them work to find/invent something
@D58826: This is why the whole (un)friendly fire from the Sanders campaign on the Wall Street speeches stuff is making me gnash my teeth. That, plus the fact that Trump and others have been paid even more to make speeches on Wall Street, and thats all good, nothing to see *there*, of course.
@LAO: I laugh at this stuff, of course, but in some ways its to keep from screaming. Particularly in the context of that pool of sick barfed up from the collective maw of the uber-right that we saw last night.
Trump’s income tax returns once became public. They showed he didn’t pay a cent.
By Drew Harwell
May 20 at 9:45 AM
The last time Donald Trump’s income-tax returns were made public, the bottom line was striking: He had paid the federal government $0 in income taxes.
The disclosure, in a 1981 report by New Jersey gambling regulators, revealed that the wealthy Manhattan investor had for at least two years in the late 1970s taken advantage of a tax-code provision popular with developers that allowed him to report negative income.
Today, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Trump regularly denounces corporate executives for using loopholes and “false deductions to “get away with murder” when it comes to avoiding taxes.
@Miss Bianca: And listening to Trump quote Bernie’s comments on Hillary’s qualifications. Never going to be able to stop that stuff. I’m sure Hillary will make liberal use Of Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, etc quotes when talking about Trump; but at this stage of the primary lets not give the GOP any freebies.i
GOP Elite Banking on More Gridlock
Fri May 20th, 2016 at 10:03:56 AM EST
Given the ridiculous amount of gridlock we’ve experienced in Congress during the last six years of Obama’s presidency, you’d think that folks would have an appetite for one side or the other to get enough political power to break it. Certainly, that’s Democrats’ ambition, but it’s no longer true for the Republican donor class.
Hundreds of millions of dollars that Republican groups had been poised to spend in the 2016 presidential election are now increasingly likely to move into Senate and House races, as many big donors look to distance themselves from the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump.
It’s clear now that Big Money Republicans are ready to concede the presidency, and they’re preparing to deal with a Clinton administration with as much obstruction as possible. Never mind that the country has come to loath Congress just as much as they loath cockroaches, chiggers, and herpes.
Oregon voters decisively rejected candidates who expressed support for the armed occupation of a wildlife preserve in their county.
Candidates packed the ballot Tuesday in Harney County, where armed militants led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy took over the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve earlier this year in attempt to overthrow federal ownership of federal land.
Voters flocked to the polls — with a state-high 72 percent of eligible voters participating — to reject candidates who expressed support for the occupiers or echoed their anti-government rhetoric, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.
@LAO: Hopefully he was just a small fish who sang a nice tune to the feds. When it comes time for the Bundy family I hope they are still serving time when my 5 year old niece is on Social Security.
@satby: It’s very true. And while it just sucks that he died so suddenly (he had just called me two days before to ask about getting tickets to see Paul McCartney this summer- and now I can’t bear to hear ads for Macca’s tour; it’s so painful), I do take a lot of comfort in that he didn’t suffer a long drawn-out illness. My mom died of cancer when I was ten, and I remember how very, very sick she was at the end.
@D58826: No cooperation — which I respect.
@Miss Bianca: I’m glad you had time with him sober. I wish ours had been longer, especially for my stepmom, who put up with almost 30 years of him gradually getting less and less functional, until that final year when he stopped drinking, but I am amazed, and grateful, for how blurry my own memories of the past 15 years, when his drinking was really bad, are, and how gloriously clear my memories of the past year are. His drinking was dysfunctional and awful, but he himself was such a good, good person, that I don’t think any of us in the family made a conscious choice to forgive- it was so easy to let go of what had been before once it was in the past. I am so sad right now, but my grief is uncomplicated by anger or resentment. Had he died two years ago, it would have been a much different experience.
@bemused: My sister claims she retired because she was tired of driving to work during the winter snow storms. I think it was to spend more spoiling time building snowmen with Callie
@Josie: your sweetie looks about the same age as my grand-twins. I am also lucky to see them each day, as they and their parents live with me. We are blessed!
Ah, yes. This makes your nym a very neat pun.
Coming very late to this thread (West Coast time). I wish you well. Ben Sisko had a very deep relationship with his father (played by the wonderful character actor Brock Peters), and so I hope you can find some hope and renewal on your visit home during your shore leave.
Political Animal Blog
May 20, 2016 8:30 AM
What the Obama Administration Has Done to Reduce Income Inequality
By Nancy LeTourneau
There are those who say that President Obama’s most important speech is the one he gave in Osawatomie, Kansas in December 2011. He went back to the town were Teddy Roosevelt said, “The fundamental rule of our national life – the rule which underlies all others – is that, on the whole, and in the long run, we shall go up or down together.” Here is how Obama described our current situation:
Today, we’re still home to the world’s most productive workers. We’re still home to the world’s most innovative companies. But for most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded. Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefited from that success. Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments — wealthier than ever before. But everybody else struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren’t — and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up….
But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.
The steps this President has taken to reduce income inequality are not often highlighted as a package, and so they are sometimes unacknowledged or dismissed. Today, Paul Krugman takes a look at a few of them, but he begins by suggesting they can be placed in two categories:
Step back for a minute and ask, what can policy do to limit inequality? The answer is, it can operate on two fronts. It can engage in redistribution, taxing high incomes and aiding families with lower incomes. It can also engage in what is sometimes called “predistribution,” strengthening the bargaining power of lower-paid workers and limiting the opportunities for a handful of people to make giant sums. In practice, governments that succeed in limiting inequality generally do both.
April 27, 2016 10:54 AM
The Troubling Use of ‘Merit Aid’ at Public Flagships and Research Universities
Which eight public universities spent 100 percent of institutional aid on non-needy students in 2014-15?
By Stephen Burd
This isn’t the first time I have looked at the use of non-need-based aid, which is otherwise known as “merit aid,” at public four-year colleges. In the past, I have focused on the share of students without financial need who receive merit aid at different state universities. While those data showed how pervasive merit aid is at public higher education institutions, the new data—which I gathered from information that colleges disclose as part of an annual survey called the “Common Data Set”—are even more revealing.
Of the 134 public research and land-grant institutions:
17 colleges, or 13 percent of the schools I examined, spent 75 percent or more of their institutional aid dollars on non-needy students;
37 colleges, or 28 percent, spent at least half of their aid dollars on students without financial need;
67 colleges, or 50 percent, spent at least one-third of their aid on non-needy students;
84 colleges, or 63 percent, spent at least one-quarter of their institutional aid on students without financial need;
Only 18 schools, or 13 percent, spent under 10 percent of their aid dollars on non-needy students; and
3 colleges reported that they didn’t provide any merit aid.
Some may argue that the fact that public research universities and land-grant institutions are devoting, on average, one-third of their institutional aid to non-needy students isn’t concerning. After all, these schools are still using a majority of their aid to help financially needy students. In addition, public universities in certain parts of the country are spending extremely small shares of their aid on non-needy students. For example, the data show that public universities in New England and on the West Coast don’t make much use of merit aid.
I disagree with this assessment. The widespread use of merit aid is harming low-income students, I believe. Low-income students at high merit aid schools pay an average net price—the price after all grants and scholarships are taken into account—of $11,785 annually. In contrast, those attending schools that spend the smallest shares of their aid on non-needy students are left on the hook for only $8,998, or 23 percent less. Over four years, that difference adds up to more than $11,000.
In addition, it appears that the use of merit aid at public universities is spreading rapidly. Stung by sharp state budget cuts at the same time they are seeking greater prestige, these universities are increasingly pitted against one another, fiercely competing for the students they most desire: the “best and brightest,” and those wealthy enough to pay full freight. And they are using a large share of their institutional aid dollars—money that could instead be going to students who truly need it—to entice these generally well-off students to their schools.
J R in WV
Lots going on today. Mrs had a dream last night in which she was climbing through a farm fence, after which she fell to the floor! Ouch! I got a cold-pack out of the freezer, seems to be no harm done.
Late this afternoon we’re going to town, out to celebrate 445th anniversary ! Whoot!
Tomorrow going to solar seminar with neighbor – evidently you can build an installation connected to the grid at a distance (up to two miles) from your home and still reap the benefits of solar, including the tax break. So I continue to be optimistic, while I also prepare for the worst. Back-ups for my back-ups…
Wish I could do the NYC meet-up, but too far away, Mrs can’t travel distances yet.
@J R in WV: 445th anniversary! Whoot! Im glad you all still appear to be hale and hearty! : )
@J R in WV: Mazel on 45, my parents just celebrated their 50th (which we kids made a super big deal out of).
I’m assuming you meant 45 not 445 — cause that would be some accomplishment!
J R in WV
Oops. indeed 45… wife pointed out typo a few minutes ago, I just got around to seeing it for myself. Dag-nab it.