Open Thread

Tuesday Open Thread [10.14.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on October 14, 2014 7 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [10.14.14]

The GOP in Asheville, NC objected to a rainbow flag hung at city hall (voted on unanimously by Asheville City Council), and the GOP hung a Nazi swastika flag alongside it as a protest.

This is how we know them, right?

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Monday Open Thread [10.13.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on October 13, 2014 18 Comments
Monday Open Thread [10.13.14]

This ought to be the talk of everyone today — with the Texas Ebola problem, we are seeing how the US Public Health system has been deliberately broken:

That chart is from a great piece in the Scientific American, showing how Public Health spending has been on the decline. The author, Judy Stone, provides some context for how Public Health considerations have been undermined over the past few years. Read the entire thing, then take a look at some of the material she provides in the links at the end of the article:

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Late Night Video — Jon Stewart Crushes Fox News, Again

Filed in Open Thread by on September 28, 2014 5 Comments

This is a thing of beauty and a reminder that there is no news at Fox News:

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Thursday Open Thread [9.18.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 18, 2014 10 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [9.18.14]

Kudos to Apple today:

Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

[...]The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

If you have data in the iCloud, this does not apply, but I like locking down your devices from law enforcement not just as a privacy standard, but also as a marketing differentiator. All of the rest of the cell phone purveyors need to offer this level of privacy immediately.

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Late Night Video — Diet Racism

Filed in Open Thread by on September 14, 2014 0 Comments

On the money (about 1 and a half minutes long):

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Hijacking a Comment to Create an Open Thread [9.14.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 14, 2014 10 Comments

Stealing this from Geezer in the Sunday Daily Delawhere thread:

I’ll treat this as the open thread so I can post this link to Thomas Frank’s piece from Salon, which is the best thing I’ve read so far this morning.

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/14/all_these_effing_geniuses_ezra_klein_expert_driven_journalism_and_the_phony_washington_consensus/

John Manifold responds Geezer’s post of the Frank article with this:

Thomas Frank : Ezra Klein
Rousseau : Voltaire

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Thursday Open Thread [9.11.14]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on September 11, 2014 3 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [9.11.14]

It’s the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and there are memorials and remembrances everywhere. You can see the front pages of newspapers worldwide as printed on 9/12 from the Newseum. Here’s the NJ front page from that day:

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Wednesday Open Thread [9.10.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 10, 2014 10 Comments

Today is a major protest by some of the Internet’s favorite sites to show users what an internet without net neutrality would look like:

You’ll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won’t slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons “to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like,” the organizers write on their website.

It’s all part of a push to get the Federal Communications Commission to enact stronger protections for net neutrality. “We’re going to reach millions and millions of people who have never heard the words “net neutrality” before,” writes Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer. The group advocates for tougher net neutrality protections.

Interesting, I haven’t noticed the slowdown yet — have you?

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Monday Open Thread [9.8.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 8, 2014 10 Comments
Monday Open Thread [9.8.14]

As states restrict the ability of women to get legal abortions, there will be more stories like this:

A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to up to 18 months in prison for obtaining so-called abortion pills online and providing them to her teenage daughter to end her pregnancy.

Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, of Washingtonville, a single mother who works as a nursing home aide, pleaded guilty in August to obtaining the miscarriage-inducing pills from an online site in Europe for her daughter, 16, who did not want to have the child.

Whalen was sentenced on Friday by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton to serve 12 months to 18 months in prison for violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by physicians.[...]

Whalen told authorities there was no local clinic available to perform an abortion and her daughter did not have health insurance to cover a hospital abortion, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported.

And this is what the War on Women looks like — criminalizing what shouldn’t even be the state’s business.

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Sunday Open Thread [9.7.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 7, 2014 3 Comments
Sunday Open Thread [9.7.14]

It’s been GOTV weekend here in Delaware and there are still races that are worth talking about — witness Mike Protack running against Janet Kilpatrick for NCCo Council proudly waving the flag for Metropolitan government (joining the governments of Wilmington and NCCo):

If elected, Protack said he would push for a metropolitan government in which the county would take over most functions from the city of Wilmington, which he called “a giant anchor” for New Castle County. He claimed without county intervention the government would be bankrupt, like Detroit, within five years.

“It could be a shining diamond, so it’s really a shame,” he said. “We need to save it from itself.”

Oh my.

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Tuesday Open Thread [9.2.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 2, 2014 7 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [9.2.14]

The Washington Post published Five things to know about Delaware’s election, noting that there are no Bidens on the ballot and noting that Beau Biden has gotten large contributions from Peter Angelos and the Buccini Brothers. They also note that Brenda Mayrack seems to be cruising in this primary and that Kevin Wade might be tilting at windmills. Smink has a COD endorsement? Yikes.

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Labor Day Open Thread [9.1.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on September 1, 2014 3 Comments
Labor Day Open Thread [9.1.14]

So now we have a new bit of right-wing foolishness to live through — Right wing launches misguided protest against Labor Day. Got that? A protest against Labor Day, folks.

But to the Freedom Foundation, a business-backed Olympia think tank, the day is evidence of the power of unions, which to members equals the decline of America. Rather than stoop to taking a union-backed day off, they plan to fight the power by … working all day Monday instead!

“I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor, so it would be hypocritical of us to take a day off on its behalf,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe, in announcing the “work-in.”

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Weekend Open Thread [8.30.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 30, 2014 12 Comments
Weekend Open Thread [8.30.14]

The Audacity of Taupe: President Obama wore a summer tan suit at his press conference on Thursday and I gather that this is not only news, but something of a cause celebre in Tea Party Nation. A Tan Suit, people. If you are a journalist actually paying attention to this, I need you to ask yourself now if you are why Americans seriously distrust their media. But when Eternally Outraged Congressman (ed. Peter King) Not Trying to Be ‘Trivial,’ But Doesn’t Think Obama’s Tan Suit Was Appropriate is making a fuss, I guess knee jerk coverage is in store, laundering this thing into some legitimacy that just looks bad for the liberal media that is actually covering this. (Be sure to click the link to NY Mag to see Peter King rockin’ his tan suit next to Gerry Adams. Then tell me who looks statesmanlike there.) And to all of the badly dressed teajhadists who think that a tan suit is a THING:

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Thursday Open Thread [8.28.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 28, 2014 4 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [8.28.14]

Two conservative groups commissioned a poll and found that women think that the GOP is “intolerant”. Ya think? YA THINK???

The report found that women think the GOP is “intolerant” and “stuck in the past,” and that women are “barely receptive” to Republican policies. Women think Republicans “fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live.”

“This lack of understanding and acknowledgment closes many minds to Republican policy solutions,” the report reads, according to Politico.

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Late Night Video — Race/Off by Jon Stewart

Filed in Open Thread by on August 27, 2014 1 Comment

Awesome commentary about the media coverage of the Ferguson business:

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Tuesday Open Thread [8.26.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 26, 2014 3 Comments
Tuesday Open Thread [8.26.14]

Chris Christie demonstrates a perfect execution of the GOP Grift:

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration openly acknowledged that more New Jersey taxpayer dollars were going to land in the coffers of major financial institutions. It was 2010, and Christie had just installed a longtime private equity executive, Robert Grady, to manage the state’s pension money. Grady promoted a plan to put more of those funds into riskier investments managed by Wall Street firms. Though this would entail higher fees, Grady said the strategy would “maximize returns while appropriately managing risk.”

Four years later, New Jersey has secured only half the promised results. The state has sent more pension money to big-name Wall Street firms like Blackstone, Third Point, Omega Advisors, Elliott Associates and Grady’s old firm, The Carlyle Group. Additionally, the amount of fees the state pays financial managers has more than tripled since Christie assumed office. New Jersey is now one of America’s largest investors in hedge funds.

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Saturday Open Thread [8.23.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 23, 2014 3 Comments

In the category of It Couldn’t Happen to a Better Group of People: Australian comedian Adam Hills throws a hilarious challenge to the Westboro Rat Bastards after learning that the WBC was planning to picket Robin Williams’ funeral — he suggested that they go to Iraq (via First Class tickets he’d pay for) to protest the beheading of Christians who are being forced to convert by ISIS :

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Wednesday Open Thread [8.20.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 20, 2014 16 Comments
Wednesday Open Thread [8.20.14]

More Ferguson, to be filed in the Annals of Really Bad Policing — video of a cop in last night’s protests in Ferguson of a cop waving his weapon at peaceful protesters telling them that ” I will fucking kill you!” There are two videos here — one of the cop threatening the protester and a clearer one of the cop and the other cop who caught up to him to get him to lower his weapon. Seriously, this cop doesn’t look angry — he looks scared to death. In a group of people with their hands up (and often you can see the light of smartphones filming), folks. No wonder he didn’t want to give his name.

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Saturday Open Thread [8.16.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 16, 2014 22 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [8.16.14]

Have you been following the #iftheygunnedmedown campaign? As the conversation has evolved this week about how Americans see its black men, it is black men (and women) who have taken to Twitter to ask the question: Which picture of me would the media and authorities use to represent me if I was gunned down by the police today? Here are a few of them:

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Late Night Video — Robin Williams, RIP

Filed in Open Thread by on August 11, 2014 9 Comments

I’m really stunned at this evening’s news that Robin Williams died today, apparently of suicide. Many years ago I saw him in a Kansas City club — the second show. He was on a tear, and the audience was falling off of their chairs laughing. By the time they got to the club’s closing time, Williams had a ton of energy and the audience was game to stay — so the owner closed the club, charged people $5 or something (so he could claim it was a private club since he was keeping the bar open) and Williams went on for at least two hours more. And it was really interactive too — not only was he conversing with patrons (and then riffing off of the conversations), but he took suggestions for routines. Mostly from Shakespeare. It was utterly hysterical and really smart — you could tell that he knew the work he was riffing off of. I can’t imagine what he has been experiencing, but I know depression can be brutal. Even if you are someone that the world loved so very much.

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Thursday Open Thread [8.7.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 7, 2014 3 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [8.7.14]

Delaware has convened a study panel to see if there is a way to get electricity to you cheaper than Delmarva can sell it. See if you can spot the irony:

Electricity aggregation programs, already in use in some states, allow governments or communities to negotiate for and buy power in a block for residents, with the group potentially able to get a better deal than the “standard offer” available from utilities.

In Delaware, the block could be as large as 900 megawatts annually, a deal that [Sen. Colin] Bonini said could draw spirited bidding from large and “very smart” suppliers.

Delmarva Power officials said they still were puzzling over the proposal Wednesday, when a study committee chaired by Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock held an initial public meeting in Dover. The committee agreed to hire a consultant to assess potential gains, prospective supplier markets and other considerations.

“There are other jurisdictions throughout the country that have looked at retail purchase energy models both for gas and electric,” Bonini said. “We’re looking specifically at electric.”

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Saturday Open Thread [8.2.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 2, 2014 2 Comments
Saturday Open Thread [8.2.14]

It’s August, y’all, and the southbound portion of I-495 is OPEN for traffic, one month early. Thank DelDOT and union workers today.

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Thursday Open Thread [7.31.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on July 31, 2014 12 Comments
Thursday Open Thread [7.31.14]

So conservatives who simply cannot live in the Reality Based Community created their own version of Facebook.  It is called Reaganbook — the “Facebook for Patriots”.  Somehow these conservatives feel that they are being censored and hounded off of Facebook and they need their own social network.  (There is nothing more appalling or more hysterical than conservatives who think they are being persecuted.) That site was recently pre-launched and that failed launch was subject to serious take-backs:

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Saturday Open Thread [7.26.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on July 26, 2014 6 Comments

How much more proof do you need that these wingnuts are over their heads? This fool of a Congressman from Florida (GOP, naturally) thinks that the State Department and Commerce Department employees sitting in front of him are actually representatives of the government of India. Apparently because it can’t be possible for the US Government […]

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Friday Open Thread [7.25.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on July 25, 2014 19 Comments
Friday Open Thread [7.25.14]

The Cape Henlopen School District is feeling the heat (it seems) over their decision to remove one book — The Miseducation of Cameron Post–from their summer reading list, so they decided to abolish the reading list all together. It wasn’t enough that they banned the first book without even reading it (they googled it and saw the controversy– gasp) OR even talking to the teachers’ group that put the book on the list. And as far as I can tell, they took this decision to abolish the summer reading list again without talking to a single soul responsible for curriculum. If I’m a parent in this District, I’m making the replacement of this entire school board crew a priority. Because they are pretty clearly incompetent. Apparently this move is meant to avoid actions by the ACLU, but certainly isn’t about helping students maintain some learning readiness.

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