Friday Open Thread [3.15.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on March 15, 2013

This art installation went live last week on the San Francisco Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland. This is supposed to remain up for 2 years, but I think it should be permanent.

“There will be opportunities ahead. But do you want to risk the full faith and credit of the United States government over ObamaCare? That’s a very tough argument to make,” – John Boehner, in response to Hannity’s urging to leverage the debt ceiling to repeal the ACA.

Boehner’s Speakership is not long for this world if he continues to talk like that. Reportedly, he has also made that same admonition to his caucus, telling them and Republican Senators like Ted Cruz that the fight is over and they all needed to stop trying to defund Obamacare.

So the right wing can stop trying to claim that the Pope took the name Francis not as an honor of St. Francis of Assisi but as a honor for St. Francis Xavier.

Applause broke out in the Sistine Chapel for Bergoglio when he crossed the threshold of 77 votes, and again when he said “Accetto,” I accept, according to Dolan, who himself had been considered a candidate for the throne. Dolan told reporters that Bergoglio “immediately said, ‘I choose the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi,’ ” referring to a rich man’s son who took a vow of poverty.

What a difference 8 years makes:

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  1. Dan says:

    Saw this today in a News Journal comment thread:

    http://delawarereferendum.wordpress.com/

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    Well, that’s a first. Never heard of any desire to secede and join Sweden. LOL.

  3. Michelle M says:

    That’s weird.

  4. Mongo says:

    Did you know that our Lt. Gov. is paid less than any other statewide elected official (source is below)?

    In fact, at $78k, our second in command is paid less than most, if not all, cabinet secretaries.

    Among 43 states that have Lt. Governors, Delaware ranks 33rd.

    Can any of you provide some historical background or explanation on why Delaware pays our Lt. Governor such a relatively low salary?

    After ruminating on this for few days, here’s Mongo’s thoughts on this — Even though $78k is about double Mongo’s annual salary, it seems to me that the Lt. Gov should be paid commensurate with the fact that he or she is the second-highest elected official in the state.

    In addition — consider the massive amount of campaigning it takes to win that seat, both in terms of campaign funding, but also the staggering amount of time it would take to run a successful campaign for that job.

    It’s possible that some members of the governor’s security detail receive a higher salary than the lt. Governor. Of course, those troopers deserve every dime, but it seems out of balance.

    The problem with offering low salaries for elected officials, is that virtually the only people who can can win one of those seats is someone who isindependently wealthy. A person who would have to live on that salary would not be able to justify spending all of that money to campaign, take months off of work, just for a job that pays relatively little.

    While we all know a lot of great people who are wealthy, the whole idea of our government is that we are supposed to represented by a cross section of our society, and that includes middle-class families who struggle to make payments on the min van, and the mortgage every month (actually, we paid off the van two months ago, but you get the idea).

    In case you’re tempted to make a snarky comment about why does a supposed working stiff like me have time to write meandering blog posts in the middle of the afternoon, Mongo is off work today, tending to his five-year-old daughter, who has a cold. Mongo writes as he is watching Sesame Street.

    Source: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Comparison_of_lieutenant_gubernatorial_salaries

  5. Sven-Erland says:

    Well, now that you have heard about it, the idea is kind of growing on you – isn’t it?

  6. Let’s see…socialized health care, cool Scandinavian climes, every woman blond and beautiful…

    OTOH, there’s ABBA. And that’s a deal-breaker.

  7. Geezer says:

    El Som: Call your travel agent: ABBA is retired.

  8. liberalgeek says:

    LOL… Sweden. I wonder what would happen to Delaware’s role as incorporation capital of the US if we head on over to Sweden?

    What does Sweden pay their Lt. Governors? That could decide it for me.

  9. Geezer says:

    Mongo: Lt. Gov. is officially considered a part-time job.

  10. Mongo says:

    Thanks for the interesting post, Dan. I once spent a week in Bergen, Norway, and it was amazing. But, with all of her faults, I will stick with the U.S.

  11. Delaware Dem says:

    Sven, I don’t mean to insult you or your homeland, but I have absolutely no desire to become a Swedish citizen, or for Delaware to be a Swedish colony again.

  12. Sven-Erland says:

    Liberalgeek As we wrote in the blog: The Swedish government has already lowered the corporate taxes and remains committed to further reductions, to ensure Sweden’s competitiveness in a globalised economy. You may rest assured that Delaware’s status as a tax haven will be intact.

    Delaware Dem, it’s early days yet. You will have time to reconsider before the referendum.

  13. Sven-Erland says:

    Please forgive me, El Somnambulo, but I am afraid that ABBA retired 30 years ago. However, there are many new bands in Sweden, for example the Swedish House Mafia.

  14. liberalgeek says:

    Sven – You misunderstand what makes Delaware a corporate haven.

  15. Sven-Erland says:

    Liberalgeek, BTW, we don’t have any Lt. Governors – so he would be kicked out of the job once you join Sweden. However, the Kalmar Castle has plenty of rooms, we could grant him 20 or so rooms in the new residence. (The county governors in Sweden do not reside in the kind of minute mansions that US offer their governors, but in royal castles)

  16. Sven-Erland says:

    Liberalgeek, I’m sure I do misunderstand things, but the corporate laws of Sweden are quite different from the US. The board of directors is always non-executive, why the directors as well as the shareholders would enjoy the same kind of protection as they currently do in Delaware. If that was what you were thinking of.

  17. auntie dem says:

    Matt Taibi is live blogging from the Senate Committee hearings on Chase and the London Whale debacle. Outrageous stuff at . . .
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/live-blogging-the-senate-hearing-on-j-p-morgan-chase-and-the-infamous-london-whale-episode-20130315

  18. cassandra_m says:

    The CPAC clown show features Donald Trump today telling the assembled that the solution to brown immigrants who will vote Democratic is to let in more white immigrants who will vote GOP.

  19. Jason330 says:

    LG beat me to it. Aside from possibly South Africa, I can’t think of a place that potential GOP voters could emigrate from.

  20. Jason330 says:

    That bridge installation is pretty freaking cool.

  21. SussexAnon says:

    wow, WTF on seceding to Sweden? I would give Delaware back to the native Americans. After all, thats who we stole it from. But that might be too originalist.

    Sounds like a ruse to get public referendums passed in DE. No thanks, our state is small enough to effect change at the legislative level.

  22. puck says:

    “I can’t think of a place that potential GOP voters could emigrate from.”

    The Russian Mafia?

  23. puck says:

    Bergoglio “immediately said, ‘I choose the name Francis

    You know every single one of those dudes had their Pope name all picked out.

  24. Idealist says:

    Maryland’s General Assembly passed a bill to abolish the state’s death penalty today.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/15/justice/maryland-death-penalty-ban/

    Could Delaware be next?

  25. cassandra_m says:

    The CPAC Clown show features white supremacists having issues with outreach to minorities. I’m of the same mind as the first commenter here — the fact that they got that far without burning any crosses is genuine progress.

  26. Sven-Erland says:

    SussexAnon, we stole it from the native Americans. Then the Dutch stole it from us, after that the British stole it from the Dutch. Then you stole it from…well, never mind…the British got what they deserve. Anyhow, if you want to give Delaware back to someone it should be Sweden.

  27. SussexAnon says:

    “Anyhow, if you want to give Delaware back to someone it should be Sweden.”

    No. If we were to give it back to anyone it should be the native Americans, from which it was stolen. I don’t know how you can write the above referenced paragraph and arrive at “it belongs to Sweden.”

    Secession will never happen anyway. See War, Civil, 1861. Or for a more fitting, less serious example see Conch Republic, 1982. Because that was a joke, too.

  28. Miscreant says:

    Sven,
    As a gesture of good faith, I have been authorized by the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Delaware to give New Castle County, in its entirety, to Sweden. Behind the “wasteland” facade of Wilmington lies a vast treasure trove of culture, intellect, and wealth. Trust me on this. You won’t be sorry.

  29. Sven-Erland says:

    SussexAnon , I’m trying to get to the bottom of this. What do you mean by “we”? If by that you refer to white men in general, then I guess you are correct; we stole the land from the Native Americans. However, if you refer to the US government, then the Actus reus that you are guilty of isn’t theft, but handling of stolen goods. Wilmington was in fact a Swedish settlement, erected on land stolen from the Native Americans.

    By the way: Europeans do study American history, including the Civil War. I’m quite sure that we can be more civilised this time. Besides, there are many advantages from a policy perspective. For example, we could allow the US to set up a camp for enhanced interrogation techniques, since Delaware would no longer be US soil.

    Miscreant, I have informed the committee and they are thrilled about your proposal. They see it as a token of good faith, but also as a sign that the idea to become Swedes is growing on you. In your own words: you won’t be sorry. Sweden has a government that actually works (relatively free of corruption) and I have been to DC several times. Trust me, Stockholm is a much more beautiful city.

  30. Matt Denn hasn’t made $78K since his first year or so in office. Even though it doesn’t seem to be reflected in some of the websites on open government, I have seen it on the state website that his salary was raised to just over 100K…..whereupon he stopped putting in the 10 or so hours at Bifferato, a Wilmington law firm nicknamed “the Safe House for Needy Politicians….Carl Schnee….Beau Biden….Bill Lee….” to make what he said he needed to make ends meet.

    http://www.delawaregrapevine.com/5-09denn.asp

    Bifferato rings a bell. One of the few non-Markell appointees on the Diamond State Port Corporation is an attorney with that name. Rather insidery.

  31. cassandra_m says:

    As much as the folks in NCCo would dearly love to no longer have to no longer have to make excuses for the confederate bumpkins below the canal, I’m wondering if this whole thing is meant as a joke to commemorate the 375th anniversary of Swedes landing here in the New World. Said anniversary is supposed to bring a royal visit too.

  32. Sven-Erland says:

    cassandra_m, you’re quite right: the King and Queen of Sweden will visit Wilmington on May 11 this year.

  33. heragain says:

    We kept the LT salary low when it was elected separately. No reason to feed the opposition.

  34. Sven-Erland says:

    The 2012 mayoral election in Wilmington – a fascinating testimony that politics is interesting everywhere, also for outsiders.

    http://delawarereferendum.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/wilmington-mayoral-election/

  35. puck says:

    Steubenville verdict @10:00 am. Regardless of what the verdict is, I think the reasoning will be interesting.

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