A day of conferencing.

Got up early and headed down to the Motor City Casino and Hotel for the Detroit Policy Conference, put on by the regional chamber of commerce. You know how these things go: There’s an exhibitor space for sponsors. There’s coffee and bagels. There are skirted tables and name tags and a stage with a sectional seating arrangement, where the panelists will sit and be questioned.

(Oddity: In many ways, this was a 3/4-day version of the June Mackinac Policy Conference, also a regional chamber event. Same typography, same big-screen TVs, same coffee and bagels, same furniture. I assumed the Mackinac furniture was provided by the Grand Hotel, but it was exactly the same as today’s furniture, in all but color, making me wonder if the chamber’s event people actually have a furniture stash, and whether it comes over on the ferry. Today’s furniture was pure white. Nobody said anything that drew blood.)

And there was a “buzz board,” provided by one of the media sponsors. What is a buzz board? A new wrinkle at these events — an electronic screen that scrolls tweets from the audience using an agreed-upon hashtag. I cannot look at one without feeling an overwhelming sense of mischief. The last event I attended had one, and it was entirely automated; if the hashtag was correct, the tweet went into the stream. And so one guy tweeted: “My name is misspelled in the program.” Another said, “Anyone want to duck out early and get some beers?” The possibilities for bad behavior are almost limitless, particularly if the buzz board is behind the speaker.

The most interesting single detail: A young venture-capital executive speculated we’re only a few years away from commercial use of drone aircraft — small, helicopter-like deals that will enable, say, same-day deliveries from Amazon. They could land on your driveway, or some sort of community helipad. You could rent one for a few bucks to send a frozen casserole across town to your flu-bound mother-in-law.

There was also a keynote that painted a picture of a thriving downtown, complete with photos that would leave many suburbanites agog. People on the street! People gazing out floor-to-ceiling windows of tastefully decorated loft workspaces! STREET-LEVEL SHOPPING FOR NORMAL STUFF LIKE SWEATERS!!!!! That was the opening session. The closer said the city is
done for, stop dreaming. So you really can’t say the chamber doesn’t entertain an alternate viewpoint from time to time.

Bloggage? I have virtually none. Being on Twitter all day, I could only dimly perceive the outlines of this ridiculous Bob Woodward story. One word: Sheesh.

Limping into the weekend on insufficient sleep, I can only say: I hope yours is restful.

Posted at 12:27 am in Current events, Detroit life |

79 responses to “A day of conferencing.”

  1. Paul Musg. said on March 1, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I *thought* you were tweeting more than normal. Troll away!

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  2. Dexter said on March 1, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I have nothing except to report that Waterloo, Indiana is in the news again, this time reports tell us Fred Treesh, a Waterloo resident and murderer who went on a crime spree in the Midwest nineteen years ago will be strapped onto a table / gurney and be given a series of drips which will paralyze him and then kill him. He has but 510 minutes to live. I wonder what’s going through his head? He will die in Lucasville, Ohio.


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  3. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Xo Dexter os Austin even close to Matty Kemp? I think not.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2013 at 6:50 am

    So. You’re puzzled, as is Woodward, by the whole sequester weirdness in Washington on both sides of the aisle. Let me explain.

    Actually, I will call on the help of my old friend Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

    Seems that once upon a time, a fellow thought he’d make himself a killing by starting a rumor that gold had been found in hell. Sure enough, soon there were those who went to the crack o’ doom and threw themselves in, seeking treasure. Meanwhile, their homes and lands and businesses could be had for fire sale prices. The original rumor monger made out like a bandit, buying and selling those leftover assets.

    After a relatively short while, the district was almost emptied of residents. One day, the original rumor-monger said “if everyone is going to hell, there must be SOMETHING to that story”, and he went and threw himself into the crack o’ doom.

    And that’s how we ended up with the sequester.

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  5. alex said on March 1, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I suspect the administration’s strategy here is to let the cuts kick in and let the public have a taste of Teabagger austerity for a month or two. How ya like small government now that you have to live with it, folks? This gambit may effectively mean the death of the Tea Party and GOP recalcitrance.

    I’m having such a gross-out this morning I can’t stomach breakfast. Yesterday we saw a mouse and went out last night and bought traps. Glue traps. I wasn’t a fan of them because I’ve heard they are considered cruel but I had no idea just how cruel. Of the four traps put out, we found one that effectively did its job and one completely gone. Disappeared. Eeek.

    We found it underneath the stove. Whatever tried to take the bait ended up coyoteing itself. The trap was all scratched up with a ball of fuzz and a foreleg on it. I think we’ll be doing snap traps from here on out. I hope I don’t happen upon the amputee.

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  6. beb said on March 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Actually the sequester is easy to explain. Back in 2009 the Republican party determined to deny President Obama an administration. So when, in 2011 the Federal debt ceiling came up, instead of just raising the limit as had been 80+ times in the last 80+ years, the Republicans announced that they would not approve any increase unless the President agreed to massive deficit cutting. Mind you classical economics says not to cut government spending in the middle of a recession. One only has to look to Great Britain to see that austerity has been a disaster. Nevertheless the president offered a Grand Bargain that dealt with the deficit through a combination of cuts and tax hikes. The Republicans loved the cuts but revolted at the thought of any amount of tax increase so the Grand Bargain was dead. As time ran out on the debt ceiling increase it was proposed to kick the can down the road. The Republicans would get their cuts and a supercommittee would be formed to find a way to deal with the rest of the targeted trillions of dollars in deficit reduction. And to ensure that the supercommittee didn’t just kick the can farther down the road the deal put a gun to its head. No deal and massive cuts would automatically go into place, targeting not only the domestic spending but also the military spending. The gun to the head was the sequester. The supercommittee could not come to a compromise because the Republicans continued to refuse to accept any amount of tax increase.

    Now the Republicans are trying to argue that the sequester is all Obama’s fault as if their own intransigence hasn’t been the cause of all this all along. Bob Woodward apparently found some quote that makes it appear as if the sequester was Obama’s idea and was going to publish it as a “j’cuse” moment. A White House staffer advised him, “as a friend” that he’s come to regret doing that. Woodward left out the part that the staffer was advising him as a friend to suggest that the White House was trying to intimidate Woodward. When the full tweet came out Woodward’s reputation nosedived because he was caught flat-out lying. And it still doesn’t change the fact that if the Republicans hadn’t decided to take the nation hostage over the debt ceiling increase the sequester wouldn’t be here today.

    And I suspect that Boehner’s refusal to negotiate with the White House this time is as much a decision to let his rebellious caucus stew in their own juices for a while.

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  7. beb said on March 1, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Detroit’s problems deserve a separate post.

    Detroit’s suffered under fifty years of – not just white flight, not just black flight, but middle-class flight. Any one with any amount of wealth or property has left the city, leaving behind, the retired, the unemployed, the unemployable and the criminals. There’s no revenue to support the minimum of services a city needs to provide. The city is deep in debt and has no way to pay it back. The only way to make Detroit viable would be for the state government to infuse around $100 a million a year forever and even that might not be enough. The chronic corruption in City Hall, the endless buffoonry in City Council are not nearly as much of a problem as the sheer short-fall in revenues needs for the city to minimally function.

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  8. Randy said on March 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Alex, you can get a these little boxes from exterminators that are filled with a food that mice love. But once they eat it, their blood goes from liquid to solid and they go to mouse heaven.

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  9. coozledad said on March 1, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Deadbart is one year old today.

    Stop all the clocks, get the interns in the hall,
    Preemptively jab Malkin with 10mls of barbitol,
    Silence Bobby Woodward with a bland email
    Bring out the Deadbart, let the mourners wail.

    Let aeroplanes circle trailing snake flags
    Scribbling on the sky the message “God Hates Fags”,
    Put little bows round the necks of some Pouilly Fume,
    Let McConnel and Graham don their black lingerie.

    He was their North, their South, their East and West,
    They’d have let him crap their chest,
    Their Stephen Foster crooning an old dark song;
    I thought hate would keep him going: I was wrong.

    O’Keefe is not wanted now: put him back on the boat;
    Pack up the pimp costume and douche the fainting goat;
    Take comfort, Ben Shapiro, you still live to shit the bed
    But Breitbart’s not alight-Bart. He is dead, dead, dead.

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    • nancy said on March 1, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Considering closing this thread, because buddy — ain’t no one going to do better than this today.

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  10. Bitter Scribe said on March 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Apparently Woodward is something of a paranoid weirdo. I remember, years ago, a Chicago Tribune reporter writing about how she approached him in public and asked for an interview. He went ballistic, accusing her of “eavesdropping” on him and threatening to get her fired, even calling her up afterward to rant at her.

    And now he’s going (went?) on Hannity. This guy is seriously pissing all over his legacy.

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    • nancy said on March 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

      When Dan Quayle was, as we journos say, catapulted into the spotlight in 1988, Woodward sent one of his research lackeys to my newspaper to go through our clip files. He was all “Mr. Woodward” this and “Mr. Woodward” that — a real Ivy League bootlicker, something you don’t see much around those parts. I highly recommend this Joan Didion evisceration, old but still worth your time.

      I recall reading somewhere that Bob — I really feel I need to call him that — is so paranoid he writes on a computer with no internet capability whatsoever, in a locked room, etc. Seems overreaction for stenography, but whatevs.

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  11. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I bow down to Coozledad. As I’ve said before would love to hear him read that aloud, I keep imagining his voice as Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch.

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  12. Jolene said on March 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

    The Didion article is terrific. Love the description of Woodward’s books as “books in which measurable cerebral activity is virtually absrnt.”

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  13. Jolene said on March 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Whoops! I meant absent, of course.

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  14. Judybusy said on March 1, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I second Deborah’s request!

    Also, thanks for all the well-wishes on our marriage legislation! I’ll keep you posted as things progress. I don’t want to have any more conversations as I did the other day with the closer for our refi:

    CLOSER: “So will your husband also be signing?”
    ME: “Weeel, first, I don’t have a husband, but a partner. We are married under Canadian law, which doesn’t count here, which you can tell really pisses me off!” (Sometimes, stuff just flies outta the mouth.)
    CLOSER: “Oh, but I’ll have to check on that, since you are married.”
    ME: “Trust me, we’re legal strangers. It doesn’t count. But go ahead and check.” [Repeat 3 or 4 times.]
    CLOSER: “Yeah, well, I’m a huge Dan Savage fan, so I totally support gay marriage.”
    ME: “That’s awesome! I hope we get it passed this year!”

    So glad I got someone hip to the issue, and looking forward to meeting him. I also gave a heads up about our enthusiastic dog, to make sure he would be OK. (He’s coming to the home for the paperwork.) So, he’s also a dog lover. Should be a good meeting.

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  15. adrianne said on March 1, 2013 at 11:58 am

    My comment (already posted to Facebook, but I’ll repeat here) on the whole Bob Woodward non-story:

    Hey, Bob? Bob Woodward? STFU.

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  16. LAMary said on March 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I was in college when Woodward/Bernstein hit the big time. Woodward was scheduled to speak and do q/a at the student center but he cancelled at the very last minute. Bernstein showed up instead at the very last minute. He heavily insinuated that Woodward was a dick.

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  17. adrianne said on March 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Yes, I think Bernstein was the real reporter in that duo, and Woodward was the Yalie with ins at the CIA and FBI.

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  18. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Hope you passed on the nine months old bagels and coffee, Nancy.

    The fraudulent old hack demands the deference he got from Bushco and makes ignorant claims about the origins of current sequestration, gets called on his bullshinola, and gets his knickers in a twist. Why doesn’t he just fabricate some more conversations? He’ll make a lucrative book out of them and feel better in no time.

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  19. Dexter said on March 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    The Tampa sinkhole hasn’t yielded the poor sleeping man yet. He’s down there somewhere. Was he cast straight into hell for past transgressions, or just plain unlucky? A sonnet, Mr. Coozledad?

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  20. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    They didn’t kiss my ring, butthurt Woodward whines.

    books in which measurable cerebral activity is virtually absent

    Of course. He was quoting members of Bushco, verbatim, most of the time. I’m convinced Bob’s tantrum is based on his feeling that he didn’t get his proper respect from the Obama people. It’s like the opening of a Twilight Zone episode, so maybe he’ll just disappear into some alternative universe.

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  21. MarkH said on March 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Judybusy, I’m just curious because you didn’t finish the story. Are you and your partner Canadian citizens? And I assume the subject property refi is in the US? (I don’t know where you live). I work in this business as well and would like to know how things go at the signing.

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  22. mark said on March 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    The President has certainly made lots of predictions of disaster if sequestration occurs. I suspect he is a little worried about his ability to make good on his promise. It is hard to believe that 85 billion in reduction to 3.8 trillion in planned spending means disaster.

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  23. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Pretty funny Alexandra Petri piece about l’affaire Bob, that also manages to be informative and has a funny graphic. Bob wants more than anything to be the new David Broder. Sad little ambition.

    FX is running all of the episodes of The Americans tonight @10:30 est. It’s well worth taping for those who haven’t seen it. This network makes taut, well written, beatifully cast and acted TeeVee. I’ll never forgive the bastards for cutting Terriers off at the knees, but SOA, The Americans and especially Justified almost make it right.

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  24. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Mark: It will cut more than 35,000 victims of domestic abuse from the rolls of those that are aided by VAWA, immediately. Obviously conservobots don’t see that as disastrous. I think those 35,000 victims would disagree. And you know as well asI that spending under the Obama Administration. Whatever the current problems are, and remember Dickless said it doan mean shit, they’re the result of spending and not taxing, and that’s an indisputable fact:



    GOPer likely answer? Cut out coverage for LGBT and Native American victims. This business has gone beyond just mean-spirited granny starving into actual evil.

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  25. MarkH said on March 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Prospero on FX and its series: Word. The Americans has unexpecedly grabbed hold of the wife and me.

    I have about had it with SOA, though, and all this drivel of Jax “fixing this last thing, and then I’m out!” Well, what’s keeping you in Charming, bro? Just get out already! Oh, too late…your doctor/not-quite-biker-babe wife just got thrown in the hoosegow on a murder abetting charge. Guess he’ll just have to find more people to kill.

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  26. Danny said on March 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    The President has certainly made lots of predictions of disaster if sequestration occurs. I suspect he is a little worried about his ability to make good on his promise. It is hard to believe that 85 billion in reduction to 3.8 trillion in planned spending means disaster.

    Also hard to believe that that small percentage reduction somehow magically only affects the stuff that is really a priority to the electorate. They play the same game in Cali: “Oh dear, we have a budget deficit, so instead of cutting easy-to-pinpoint wasteful spending, we must screw with the taxpayers by prioritizing the closing of public bathrooms at highly used state beaches and try to scare everyone by telling them how only teachers, police and firefighters are on the chopping block.”

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  27. Judybusy said on March 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    MarkH, the story’s not done yet: the closing takes place Monday. I don’t anticipate any difficulties.

    We’re Americans, living in Minneapolis. We travelled to Canada to get married in 2007, with an expectation that it will be recognized in the states, just like straight people who get married in other countries. However, I am giving some thought to getting married again here, if we can just to make sure we are legally recognized. I also like the idea of getting married in our home state. I’ve refied in the past, and my partner had no part in it; the house is solely in my name. I had it before we met.

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on March 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    instead of cutting easy-to-pinpoint wasteful spending…

    Ah, yes, the ever-present Wasteful Spending, just sitting there as a line item in the budget, waiting to be cut, along with its cousins Fraud and Mismanagement. So easy.

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  29. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    And yet, Danny, the recently crushed GOP presidential candidate was practically vehement about the need to fire cops, firefighters and teachers, the GD union thugs.

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  30. brian stouder said on March 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Well, tonight is Cork & Cleaver night for Pam & I.

    Twenty years ago (next Wednesday) she was stupid enough to marry me! (I mentioned to her that if she’d have knocked off a 7-11, she’d be getting out of jail right about now)

    The big question is: prime rib (which I always get) or ‘something different’. (I’m thinking – why screw with what works?)

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  31. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    How deranged is Scalia’s description of the Voting Rights Act as perpetuation of racial entitlement? Mighty fucking deranged. Is he a racist or is he nucking futs? God knows, but he’s in for the duration of his reprobate life, most likely:


    Ahole needs to be impeached posthaste. Before he sees his way clear to making it possible for GOPers to pervert the voting process any more as was done with the bizarre Tejas voter ID laws that excluded student IDs and state employee IDs as valid while validating concealed carry permits. It’s not just about teh blacks anymore.

    instead of cutting easy-to-pinpoint wasteful spending…

    …that they voted for in the first place. Given the obscene level of obstructionist behavior from GOPers since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, it is very difficult to understand how all these upstanding fiscally responsible GOPers don’t own whatever frivolous spending there may be. That’s on the House.

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  32. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Happy anniversary to you both Brian.

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  33. mark said on March 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    “It will cut more than 35,000 victims of domestic abuse from the rolls of those that are aided by VAWA, immediately.”

    That’s certainly the kind of thing Obama is threatening. But why would he do that? Total cuts are less than 2% of total spending, and half comes out of the military, half from other discretionary spending. Why does Obama want to disproportionately hurt women, especially those that are victims of domestic violence, while leaving other programs intact? Why still give us a tax credit for buying a Chevy Volt while “cutting women from the rolls of VAWA”?

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  34. brian stouder said on March 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks, Pros.

    . I suppose Scalia has cleverness (or something) – but certainly not intelligence. How can he use a term like “racial entitlement”? Does his know anything, at all, about American history? Does he know that – by God – voting IS an “entitlement” – and equal opportunity disenfranchisement is NOT more virtuous than race-based disenfranchisement….even if he could show that disenfranchisement is not race-based?

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  35. brian stouder said on March 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    (which he cannot do)

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  36. Sherri said on March 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Brian!

    I would guess that some things (like cutting the women from the rolls of VAWA) are easier to do immediately, while other things take a while to wind down. Removing a tax credit for a Chevy Volt wouldn’t actually happen until next year’s taxes, right? It’s easier to say, close all the national parks, than to shut down air traffic control.

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  37. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Enjoy your night out Brian, and happy 20th anniversary!

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  38. mark said on March 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    The cuts don’t have to be immediate, just a reduction from projected fiscal year spending. And the Administration has already threatened cutting Air Traffic controllers.


    Again, we are only talking about 1% of non-defense spending. The “cut” is still smaller than the slated spending increase for 2013 over 2012. Why would Obama go after 35,000 women immediately?

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  39. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Have a great anniversary dinner, Brian and Pam! My hubby never gets past the prime rib either. I’m very happy with *just* the salad bar.

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  40. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Mark and Danny, you’re both forgetting the party line. Sequestration was all President Obama’s idea, so the results must be disastrous. Of course , for it to have all been President Obama’s idea, that would mean the President proposed something and the House voted for it and Yertle didn’t filibuster it. We all know that didn’t happen in this century. Meanwhile, Congress has been sitting on four reasonable fixes, as I pointed out last night. The most sensible is reapealing the sequestration legislation, but the other three bills (two bipartisan, one from the WH) are undoubtedly preferrable to letting things stand. Yet we were treated yesterday to the unseemly picture of the fiscally responsible rats skittering down the Capitol steps on their ways out of town, clumsily ignoring reporters. Fuckers work a four day week tops.

    Brian, it’s not just race-based anymore. It’s about the PA GOPer pol claiming they had won PA for RMoney by redistricting, and the Tejas ID laws aimed at disenfranchising students:


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  41. Sherri said on March 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Tom Levenson looks at what sequestration will do to science funding: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/02/27/there-should-be-grandeur-basic-science-in-the-shadow-of-the-sequester/

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  42. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I’m as much in the dark as anyone about sequestration, but responding to Mark and Danny, my impression was that these cuts were automatic and across the wide body of governmental activity including the Department of Defense. This is why Sen. Huckleberry Graham has had the vapors. . .that his beloved defense spending will actually dip. . .and why he has been screaming to the peanut gallery about how excited Iran is about potential cuts.

    You who fly are going to be thrilled by what may happen at Chicago’s O’Hare. There are two control towers because the north runway cannot be seen by one of the towers. It’s likely when the furloughs begin that staffers at the second tower will be kept off work. This will affect 37 fucking percent of the air traffic through Chicago, which of course will ripple across the nation.

    I refuse to be lectured on fiscal responsibility by a party who cheered the commission of two foreign wars, huge tax cuts for the wealthy and an extension of Medicaid coverage without raising one fucking nickel. Now that the chickens are roosting, these same assholes holler for more cuts but will absolutely not consider a single instance of increasing revenue.

    The Republican Party is broken. It is increasingly driven by nihilists who salivate at the idea of watching our nation slowly sink so long as the black man in the White House is brought down. And John Boehner is certainly among the worst speakers in my adult life. . .the whiny, weeping orange-tinted weasel cannot get his own party members to toe the line. If not for Nancy Pelosi’s help, he wouldn’t be able to get a damned thing done.

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  43. mark said on March 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks for the link Sherri. Pretty grim forecast by Mr. Levenson. Especially this part:

    “The most impacted are the young, new investigator scientists, who are coming into science, and will now abandon the field of science. There will be a generational gap created.”

    A 1% cut to 2013 non-defense federal spending will cause all young investigative scientists to abandon the field of science. Wow. Hard to believe. Really, really hard to believe.

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  44. Jolene said on March 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Sherri, I just dropped in to share that SciAm link. Thanks foe posting it. Cutting research finding is relatively easy to do and very, very damaging.

    mark, I think some of the statements the President has made are examples of what might be cut, though I can’t say I know that for sure. In any case, major areas of the budget are excluded from sequestration (e.g., Medicare, I think), so the burden falls more heavily on the areas that are included.

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  45. mark said on March 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Jolene- you are right on both points. But the president has promised a disaster that he really can’t create. And Jeff B., if O’Hare shuts down one of it’s two control towers for any appreciable length of time, I’ll get you cash for a steak at a nice Chicago Steak house. Eat it at your own risk, of course, because the President is also threatening to furlough all of the FDA inspectors. Strange, but he hasn’t threatened to shutter the doors at the golf course at Andrews AFB.

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  46. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    This was reported by CNN about the house in Florida collapsing into a sinkhole:

    “I heard my brother screaming and I ran back there and tried going inside his room, but my old lady turned the light on and all I seen was this big hole, a real big hole, and all I saw was his mattress.”

    His “old lady”? Seriously?

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  47. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    But the president has promised a disaster that he really can’t create.

    Give me a break. This is the sort of horseshit that drives sane people crazy. The cuts are across the board of federal agencies, not targeted. Cut the Obama’s out to destroy the country crap. That’s fracking whackjob conspiracy idiocy.

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  48. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Mark, he wouldn’t mention shuttering the golf course because it so fucking insignificant in the scheme of things. Don’t be such a concern troll. This is the kind of statement that makes me furious. Straw man indeed.

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  49. alex said on March 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    His old lady. Seriously.

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  50. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Deborah, seriously.


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  51. Sherri said on March 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Sequestration was designed to be a doomsday scenario, to force everybody to “get serious.” Of course, Republicans don’t want to get serious about anything but drowning government in a bathtub, so they’re going to claim that it’s not really a doomsday scenario, and even if it is, it’s the President’s fault, he created it, no sir, we had nothing to do with it. Never mind that we threatened to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States.

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  52. Sherri said on March 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    On a different topic, James Fallows looks back ten years to the run-up to the Iraqi war: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/as-we-near-the-10th-anniversary-of-the-iraq-war/273504/

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  53. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Wow Sherri 10 years ago today the Iraq war was started? It is also the day 10 years ago that we moved to Chicago from St. Louis. I don’t remember them coinciding. But I was pretty preoccupied so maybe that’s why it doesn’t seem like it to me.

    Little Bird and are celebrating the 10 years in Chicago anniversary with home made pizza, seems appropriate even if we are in Santa Fe at the moment.

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  54. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Little and I

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  55. Sherri said on March 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Deborah, the invasion wasn’t until March 20, 2003, so it’s not ten years today, but ten years this month.

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  56. alex said on March 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    The sequester will hit the FDA too, although that agency hasn’t operated with a sufficient budget to do its job properly in years anyway. In more civilized parts of the world—the ones Republicans love to call “socialist”—you can buy a beef pie with no mammalian DNA and Taco Bell serves what was intended for the glue factory. Those are countries where their systems are supposedly not anywhere near as broken as ours. Bon appetit, America.

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  57. mark said on March 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Deborah- The discussed possibility of cutting back air traffic control at O’Hare equates to the savings that would be achieved by eliminating 10 to 12 air traffic controllers. https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130301/news/703019938/print/

    That’s a fucking insignificant amount- compared to the 44 billion in cuts required, compared to the economic loss that would be created by crippling operations at O’Hare and, yes, compared to what the government spends maintaining it’s 3 championship courses at the Andrews golf complex. http://www.aafbgc.com/

    Threatening to significantly reduce air traffic at O’Hare to save a couple fucking million dollars on air traffic control is the fucking straw man our President has been constructing.

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  58. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Seems to me Golfism is another form of Obama Derangement Syndrome not quite as virulent as Birtherism or some other forms. Always want to ask the jackass Golfists if they had symptoms when Shru W. averaged 127 vaca days per year.

    Alex: But that means deregulation, which is good for bidness so GOPers will be fine with that. What will drive them even crazier than they are is losing even one of the two obsolete Virginia Class submarines the USN is scheduled to build this year.

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  59. Prospero said on March 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Those subs are $2.6bill a pop. That $2.6bill should be cut before Women Infants and Children funding is cut, but every GOPer in DC would revverse my priorities. That’s not just stupid, it’s actively evil.

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  60. Sherri said on March 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Here’s a Kevin Drum explainer on sequestration: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/03/the-sequester-explained

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  61. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Glory hallelujah, not only is February over but not this Sunday but next Sunday daylight savings time starts!!!!

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  62. Deborah said on March 1, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    But the straw man question Mark is how much would be saved by shuttering the golf course? So why even bring that up? That has absolutely nothing to do with the problem? And we have no idea if it is the plan or not. So what is the fucking point of saying that? Except that it’s sensational bullshit.

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  63. Deggjr said on March 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Mark, nice trolling, 6 out of 62 posts from 2:46pm to 7:11pm. Well done.

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  64. beb said on March 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    The sequester was intended to be a gun to the head so there was no discretion allowed. The cuts had to be across the board. Every department, division, or project had to be cut by the same amount. So whether it makes sense or not, the air traffic controller budget has to be cut. The FDA has to be cut, the IRS, everything.

    The amazing thing is that the Republican party would rather trash the economy than vote even to close off loopholes in the tax code. (Of course it would be loopholes exploited solely by the rich.)

    So Detroit’s going to have an emergency manager. I wonder what happens when the EM decides to start selling off the contents of the Detroit Institute of Art (which I seem to recall the city owns) to pay off its debts?

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  65. alex said on March 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    What’s particularly galling is that money has never been cheaper to borrow making this the ideal time to take care of our desperate infrastructural needs, which would go a long way toward jump-starting the economy. The deficit can always be addressed when the economy is roaring again as it was during the Clinton years. The notion that future generations will be saddled with crushing debt is a completely false premise. The same thing has been promised before—think Reagan’s S&L scandal—and it never came to pass. Future generations will, however, be saddled with a world reminiscent of the Gilded Age where penury is the accepted norm for most people whose lives and votes will count for nothing. Not that they count for much now.

    I live in a badly gerrymandered district that not so long ago elected a pro-choice congresswoman who was a Democrat. These days it would be impossible for even a blue-dog Dem to win around here. You have to be a lowbrow Bible-thumping Club for Growth kook who’s a national embarrassment to even stand a chance.

    Why the fuck did I ever move back to this pig-ignorant hellhole?

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  66. coozledad said on March 2, 2013 at 10:28 am

    deggjr: At least he’s not quoting Jenghazi. Well, not today anyway.

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  67. brian stouder said on March 2, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Alex, I’ve been pondering this same subject – the low-brow, bible-thumping kooks who win higher office around here – and one bright spot (or incredibly lucky accident) is our elected school board and our mayor/city council.

    I almost begin to think that it’s a good thing to allow our kooks to expend all their political capital on House and Senate seats, rather than on our city council/mayor/school board.

    They can then receive national attention – in much the same way a guy masturbating on the playground would – rather than quietly wrecking our schools and our city. In the process, they can be discredited more quickly and completely (‘Mourdock’ is becoming a national noun, meaning “Republican kook”)

    The Russian roulette part of this, though, is that the sons of bitches in the gerymandered-all-to-hell state house are capable of absolutely anything, and their anti-civilization “public policy” cruise missile of choice seems to be their fixation with school vouchers. The sole purpose of vouchers is to kill the public schools, period.

    And if they get that done, then the bottom is out of the tub. The statewide election of Glenda Ritz as the Superintendent of Public Education threw the hooligans off their stride a bit, and they prouldy proclaimed that they could simply do away with her position….and although they didn’t do it, it’s clearly a bone they’re still gnawing on.

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  68. brian stouder said on March 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

    By the way, and without engaging in a pointless debate about the “proper” way to assign a per-plane cost to the F-22 fighter plane….how on earth can it make sense to expend $80 billion dollars –


    on a project that leaves us with 187 aircraft?

    How many F-16s or F-18s or F-22s or F-35s could we have purchased for those same dollars?

    I think we’re being robbed blind.

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  69. brian stouder said on March 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Hah! please ignore the F-22s in the rhetorical question above.

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  70. Danny said on March 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Mark, nice trolling, 6 out of 62 posts from 2:46pm to 7:11pm. Well done.

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    Unless, of course, the definition of trolling has changed and it now means challenging the obvious political hype surrounding the scarequester.

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  71. coozledad said on March 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Snake bites own ass.

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  72. Danny said on March 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Oh please regale us with more masturbatory verse, Derrick.

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  73. coozledad said on March 2, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    If the Malaysian government can afford to dole out half a million to people as transparently stupid as Trevino and Domenech, I suppose it’s possible they might dump a sock full of quarters on our resident trolls here.

    But that’s veering dangerously close to accusations of cultural myopia, and hence, a kind of racism and xenophobia: In short, nah. They can’t be that fucked up. Can they?

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  74. brian stouder said on March 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I defer to Rachel Maddow*

    “It’s weird to see Antonin Scalia in person,” Maddow told Jon Stewart. “He’s a troll. He’s saying this for effect. He knows it’s offensive, and he knows he’s going to get a gasp from the courtroom which he got. And he loves it. He’s like the guy in your blog comment thread who’s using the n-word. … He’s that kind of guy.”

    She called him a “troll who loves to make people mad.”


    *I almost always will defer to Ms Maddow; whereas I will always (always!) defer to Ms Derringer

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  75. Danny said on March 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Guys, your problems are twofold:

    a. You’re not used to having the prevailing orthodoxy challenged around here. We are heretics, not a trolls.

    b. You’re not used to speaking to people smarter than yourselves.

    I’m sorry, but thems the breaks.

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  76. coozledad said on March 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Well folks, there’s your Olive loaf of sad for today. Tune in next week for the replay of the victim angle.

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  77. Sherri said on March 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I suppose someday executives will learn not to put incriminating stuff in emails: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/prosecution-pca/

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