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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 42,673

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Elizabeth Warren and the Flaming Marshmallows


Because sometimes all you can do is cope. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time. Got a nice Thanksgiving message (okay, a block email) from my senior Senator Elizabeth Warren…

I buy all sorts of things for Thanksgiving that no one in the family eats much during the rest of the year. Jell-O for Aunt Bee’s special dish (she’s gone, but the green Jell-O salad lives on). Canned onion rings. Marshmallows.

I’d stopped doing the sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows on top, only to get protests from the family. I said I wasn’t going to keep making it. “You don’t eat more than a few nibbles, and I end up throwing most of it out.”

My daughter Amelia and son Alex dissolved into gales of laughter. “No, no, you’ve got to keep making it.” Even Bruce was in on the joke.

Finally they confessed why they looked forward to the dish. The last thing I do, once all the dishes are laid out and the turkey is on the table, is put the sweet potato casserole topped with carefully arranged marshmallows under the broiler, while everyone heads to the table.

And about half the time, I get distracted and remember the sweet potatoes only after the marshmallows have caught fire.

Amelia and Alex claim that, while they were growing up, that was the highlight of Thanksgiving: Would mom set the marshmallows on fire again this year? And, if I did start a fire, how exciting would it be? Would I scream? Would I set the kitchen towels on fire again? Would I carry the flaming dish to the sink while everyone rushed into the kitchen and yelled advice? …

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. As I look around this morning at my own kids and grandkids, making new traditions and hopefully not setting the house on fire, I’m deeply thankful to have the opportunity to fight for families in Massachusetts and all across the country – and I’m thankful to have you with me for those fights.

Should moderate Christians address the violent extremist terrorist factions within Christianity?

Do you think signs like this encourage or discourage violent Christian extremism?

Taibbi: America Is Too Dumb for TV News



This is a horrible thing to have to say about one's own country, but this story makes it official. America is now too dumb for TV news.

It's our fault. We in the media have spent decades turning the news into a consumer business that's basically indistinguishable from selling cheeseburgers or video games. You want bigger margins, you just cram the product full of more fat and sugar and violence and wait for your obese, over-stimulated customer to come waddling forth.

The old Edward R. Murrow, eat-your-broccoli version of the news was banished long ago. Once such whiny purists were driven from editorial posts and the ad people over the last four or five decades got invited in, things changed. Then it was nothing but murders, bombs, and panda births, delivered to thickening couch potatoes in ever briefer blasts of forty, thirty, twenty seconds.

What we call right-wing and liberal media in this country are really just two different strategies of the same kind of nihilistic lizard-brain sensationalism. The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. Both companies offer the same service, it's just that the Fox version is a little kinkier.


"I saved a bundle on Christmas presents this year by discussing politics on Facebook"

And BOOM! goes the dynamite...

The phrase Clinton should use to win the election

It's the economy, stupid!

It's not any great conspiracy, it's not even conscious to a big extent, it's people being people

If something threatens your job, your livelihood as well as your social status that you have struggled for all your life you are going to be extremely biased against it and you will oppose it reflexively in every way.

The establishment is the establishment because it is the group of people who have clawed their way by whatever means necessary to the top of the heap in an ever more competitive and savage political, economic and social environment. Alpha-humans to the core they react to any challenge to their world view and status with aggression. As physical aggression becomes less and less effective and common aggressive behavior doesn't end but rather other forms of aggression are sublimated for the physical.

Oh, there's probably some conspiracy going on but it's a tiny fraction of the overall freakout among the One Percent by which I mean the one one hundredth of a percent actually.

Reddit humor for gearheads: Just Rolled Into The Shop ... and.. Ask A Shitty Mechanic

I've laughed until the tears were streaming down my face more than once looking at this stuff and reading the comments.

If you non gearheads only knew how thoroughly you were mocked by those dumb ass grease monkeys..



Wingnut fanfic: What Defeating ISIS Would Look Like

Quite possibly the dumbest and most bloodthirsty thing I have ever read.. The author is a retired Infantry Colonel.



“Our goal is simple. We are going to destroy ISIS and kill its members. There will be no negotiations, no hesitation, no hands tied behind our backs. They wanted war. They will have it,” said the President. The new GOP Senate majority leader dispensed with the filibuster, and the declaration of war passed easily. The President also announced that all Americans must pay their fair share to support the war effort, and imposed a temporary 7% payroll tax on working Americans. Those not working must also pay their fair share too, he said; he signed a bill cutting all social programs 7% and shifting the savings to the military. The Democrats went ballistic; the President’s approval rating hit 60%.

The destruction of Raqqa was the first part of Operation Linebacker III, the leveraging of American air power to annihilate all urban centers controlled by ISIS forces. Covered from interference by Russian aircraft by a protective screen of F-22s, the B-52s worked their way from urban target to urban target, literally obliterating any ISIS-supporting town in Syria. This supported the Wildman’s strategy of depriving ISIS of any of the vestiges of an actual nation state. The caliphate, to the extent it governed anything, would rule over rubble.

In Kuwait, the huge storage facilities housing divisions worth of United States military equipment were activated, as airliners alerted for military service ferried in the heavy corps of United States Army troops and Marines to man it. They drew their gear and headed north back into Iraq over familiar roads to familiar staging areas. Logisticians worked 22 hour days supporting this massive movement of almost 150,000 troops.

At an airfield outside Irbil, the brave Kurds beheld a nearly endless series of C-17 cargo planes flying in with the weapons and ammunition Obama refused to supply. The Iraqi prime minister called the President to complain that he had never given permission for any of this; the President informed the Iraqi leader that America wasn’t asking.


Joe Stiglitz tells Democracy Now that war cost will reach $5 to $7 trillion


AMY GOODMAN: And finally, war—you wrote a whole book about the cost of war. President Obama has just announced that the U.S. will continue the longest war in U.S. history, the war in Afghanistan, of course, Iraq continuing to blow up, and the Middle East, as well. Talk about this.

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: OK. Well, the book I wrote with Linda Bilmes was called The Three Trillion Dollar War. Actually, we estimated the cost would be well in excess of $3 trillion. Just imagine what we could have done with those—with that amount of money to address the real problems in our society. But we knew that we were being conservative when we said $3 trillion. We, for instance, when we talked about disabilities, we were looking at the evidence from the previous wars, and we knew that this war the disabilities would be much, much higher. Unfortunately, we were right. And about 50 percent of those coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq are disabled. And by now, our estimate of the cost of the disabilities alone, and healthcare and disability benefits for that group of people, is over $1 trillion. You know, I don’t—

AMY GOODMAN: Which brings the cost of war to? Just the financial cost?

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Oh, we’re—you know, I said before we were $3 to $5 . We’re talking $4 to $6, $5 to $7 trillion.

Reports on college literacy levels sobering

Article is fairly old but I don't see any evidence that things in this area are improving.


WASHINGTON — Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.


Almost 20 percent of students pursuing four-year degrees had only basic quantitative skills. For example, the students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the service station. About 30 percent of two-year students had only basic math skills.
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