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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   3901. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4328720)
I just yesterday signed up for Amazon Prime (technically as a trial for some free shipping, but even after a day -- I'm certain to move forward with the annual subscription)


Do it, it's ridiculously worth it.

Probably the best $75 I've spent all year ...
   3902. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4328721)
Local gun laws are only as good as the gun laws in surrounding jurisdictions. Only a strictly enforced national gun policy is likely to have any chance of succeeding.

We've all seen this before. This is where Andy blames Virginia for D.C.'s gun woes, but then fails to explain why Virginia didn't (and doesn't) have similar levels of gun carnage.
   3903. Tripon Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4328726)
I just yesterday signed up for Amazon Prime (technically as a trial for some free shipping, but even after a day -- I'm certain to move forward with the annual subscription)


Do it, it's ridiculously worth it.

Probably the best $75 I've spent all year ...


If you have a .edu acccount, you can sign up for Amazon Prime student. First year free, and then year 2 and 3 for only $40 per year. Only problem is that you have to prove you're still in class. When I go back to school, I'm probably going to sign up for it again.
   3904. The Good Face Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4328729)
I just yesterday signed up for Amazon Prime (technically as a trial for some free shipping, but even after a day -- I'm certain to move forward with the annual subscription)


Do it, it's ridiculously worth it.

Probably the best $75 I've spent all year ...


Amazon Prime is a bargain for the free shipping alone. In my house, it probably pays for itself every year by mid-February.
   3905. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4328732)
I just yesterday signed up for Amazon Prime (technically as a trial for some free shipping, but even after a day -- I'm certain to move forward with the annual subscription) and while, yeah, economies of scale and all... $79 a year and I've got access to an absolutely enormous on demand library of movies/TV shows and an ebook lending library that's absolutely huge (no music... yet... but I'm betting that's coming).

It's awfully hard for me to see how such a model is going to be profitable for authors, to say nothing of movie/TV studios... While the free Prime movie/TV stuff is mostly syndicated/previous season and older movies -- the ebook lending library includes a ton of stuff currently on the best seller list, in addition to a lot of older stuff.


It's not going to be easy to sort out, and I'm afraid that in the long run we're going to be no better off than we were before Amazon came along. I'm optimistic, but I'm not betting my life savings on the outcome.
   3906. Tripon Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4328734)
Prime's moving to the one day shipping model. (Slowly, but surely). Which probably means they're going to raise the rates by a sigificant amount.
   3907. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4328737)
For writers of literary fiction, the coming era will likely increase the tendency to use the writing as a portfolio to get you a job teaching in an MFA program, where you will beget more writers who can't make a living off of the writing. The whole thing has the feel of a Ponzi scheme. This trend has been one of the most enervating tendencies in scribbling over the last 50ish years, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.
   3908. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4328739)
Amazon Prime is a bargain for the free shipping alone. In my house, it probably pays for itself every year by mid-February.

Amazon Prime may be great for the other stuff, but 90% of their books ship for free anyway, as long as you have $25.00 worth of orders. I'll admit that when your time frame is close and you just want an inexpensive paperback, it can come in handy, but I've never had their SuperSaver free shipping take more than a week to arrive, and often it's just 2 days.

And that free shipping really adds up. I've ordered poster paper from a great discount place in Chicago for years, but lately they've been sloppy in their packing and the corners of the paper have been getting bumped. So for the first time ever I ordered the same paper through Amazon, and even though it was quite a bit more expensive, the free shipping wiped out all but about two dollars worth of the extra cost. I'll never buy paper from that other place again.
   3909. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4328744)
... while criminals would retain a supply of semiautomatics for generations to come.

What do you mean by "criminal"? And why is it such a static definition? Were the Newtown and Aurora gunmen "criminals" before they became mass murderers?

I don't care so much about "criminals" as I do "crimes." Banning certain forms of weaponry will reduce crimes, and certainly death tolls.
   3910. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4328749)
Prime's moving to the one day shipping model. (Slowly, but surely). Which probably means they're going to raise the rates by a sigificant amount.

It's yet another one of those "be careful what you wish for" type deals. Retailers were very loud about pushing states to get states to try and make Amazon pay sales tax. Amazon fought that for awhile, arguing jurisdictional grounds, but seeing the risks of lots of court battles, quickly changed strategy after fighting it at first. Now, with them paying sales tax in a lot of states anyway, there's now no sales tax obstacle to putting warehouses in the states, which they're now going to do as part of their plan to implement same-day delivery of lots of stuff. Which is *way* worse for those retailers.
   3911. Chicago Joe Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4328755)
I just yesterday signed up for Amazon Prime (technically as a trial for some free shipping, but even after a day -- I'm certain to move forward with the annual subscription) and while, yeah, economies of scale and all... $79 a year and I've got access to an absolutely enormous on demand library of movies/TV shows and an ebook lending library that's absolutely huge (no music... yet... but I'm betting that's coming).


Much of that film library is crap. "IP Man II-Legend of the Grandmaster" Must be a DiPierna biopic. ;)
   3912. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4328759)
The one thing that concerns me about Prime isn't really what I'll get from Amazon -- hell, they could double the price and I think it'll probably save me a ton of dough just on impulse buys of stuff knowing I can get it from Prime -- it's more what my ISP is going to do...
   3913. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4328765)
The one thing that concerns me about Prime isn't really what I'll get from Amazon -- hell, they could double the price and I think it'll probably save me a ton of dough just on impulse buys of stuff knowing I can get it from Prime -- it's more what my ISP is going to do...

I see the UPS man more than my family, thanks to Amazon Prime.

   3914. hokieneer Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4328769)
Amazon Prime is a bargain for the free shipping alone. In my house, it probably pays for itself every year by mid-February.


The wife signed us up for the 30 or 60 day trial for the holiday season. Not sure about keeping it past that, but it seems like a good service. Like Andy said, most things ship free once you get to $25, so it's not a must have service. In the past I've just maintained wishlists of smaller items until I accumulated enough to qualify for free shipping. Not sure if being able to 1-click shop is worth $79 a year, but it is something to think about.

We did all our Christmas shopping, outside of gifts for each other, online this year. Most of that was through Amazon. Times are changing.
   3915. BDC Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4328775)
Does buying second hand help the author

As Greg says, not at all, directly, but I think that a secondhand market helps shore up the price of any durable good. People who spend $29.95 on a hardcover book hope (at least some of them, or half-consciously) that they're buying a collector's item. Heck, even the $6.95 I spend on a supermarket Western can be justified partly because I can get credit towards other Westerns at the Book Rack exchange. If I were buying something I could never sell or even give away (and most e-books currently fall in that category), then I might balk at the higher price. I mean, imagine spending $15,000 on a car that has no resale value. I know, Fiat owners don't have to imagine that, but the rest of y'all.

   3916. Chicago Joe Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4328778)
For writers of literary fiction, the coming era will likely increase the tendency to use the writing as a portfolio to get you a job teaching in an MFA program, where you will beget more writers who can't make a living off of the writing. The whole thing has the feel of a Ponzi scheme. This trend has been one of the most enervating tendencies in scribbling over the last 50ish years, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.


Here's a thought-what if the cost of internet service already included royalties? Say the revenue from that pot went to whichever sites you visited/downloaded the most?
   3917. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4328783)
We did all our Christmas shopping, outside of gifts for each other, online this year. Most of that was through Amazon. Times are changing.


Last year I purchased every single gift I gave to everyone either through Amazon(.ca), Steam, or a couple of clothing/housewares online stores. I did not see the inside of a mall during late November and December, and it was glorious.

Sadly, that option wasn't available to me this year for a couple of items.
   3918. GregD Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4328784)
For writers of literary fiction, the coming era will likely increase the tendency to use the writing as a portfolio to get you a job teaching in an MFA program, where you will beget more writers who can't make a living off of the writing. The whole thing has the feel of a Ponzi scheme. This trend has been one of the most enervating tendencies in scribbling over the last 50ish years, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.
I agree with this and think it's always been thus for poets, of course. But I'd be cautious about what you're comparing it to. In most prior eras, most writers--even great ones--didn't make their living from their writing (while some absolute duds did make a living but such is life.) Is it better if writing is excluded to the wealthy or retired? Or is it better if writers are all working at publishing houses, as in parts of Europe? Or working at banks?

I'm not sure. I think having MFA programs employ writers is a strange but reasonably effective subsidy to buy writers time. I dislike that it comes on the backs of people who pay for a degree that is unlikely to have remunerative value but I also think most of those people know that before they take the MFA.
   3919. The Good Face Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4328790)
Last year I purchased every single gift I gave to everyone either through Amazon(.ca), Steam, or a couple of clothing/housewares online stores. I did not see the inside of a mall during late November and December, and it was glorious.


Yep. I've completed my Christmas shopping without a single trip to a mall or any other brick & mortar store. I'm never going back. I can't. I won't.
   3920. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4328792)
Just got a proposal from a friend of mine that ties together Connecticut and sports: Have all professional sports leagues and the NCAA declare that no American flag will be worn on any uniform until a full year has passed between mass killings.
   3921. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4328793)


Much of that film library is crap. "IP Man II-Legend of the Grandmaster" Must be a DiPierna biopic. ;)


Probably -- but I'm a sucker for re-watching old series... in fact, just last weekend out doing some xmas shopping, I very nearly grabbed the X-files complete series used.... now, I've got the whole thing on Prime (in fact, The UnNatural was one the things I just (re)watched last night).

For writers of literary fiction, the coming era will likely increase the tendency to use the writing as a portfolio to get you a job teaching in an MFA program, where you will beget more writers who can't make a living off of the writing. The whole thing has the feel of a Ponzi scheme. This trend has been one of the most enervating tendencies in scribbling over the last 50ish years, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.


I'm sympathetic to that...

Though, if you're a dabbler -- or, a hobbyist that really just wants to get something published and see the reception -- digital distribution opens up a ton of opportunities. Nothing against publishers or agents - but it's entirely possible to toss an ebook up entirely on your own, no fuss, no muss.
   3922. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4328796)
We did all our Christmas shopping, outside of gifts for each other, online this year. Most of that was through Amazon. Times are changing.


Ditto, 70% of the Xmas budget was one huge Amazon order.
   3923. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4328803)

Yep. I've completed my Christmas shopping without a single trip to a mall or any other brick & mortar store. I'm never going back. I can't. I won't.


Are your urban, suburban, or rural?

For certain folks that I knew wanted specific item X, I did it all online... but everyone else that I had actively had to 'shop' for - I still like hitting up indie bookshops, record stores, and curio type places. I'm in the heart of Chicago, though - so that sort of shopping is essentially walking a few blocks.

I'm absolutely done with malls and big box B&Ms;, though -- not so much out of any consumer activist tendencies, but just because that's precisely the sort of thing that's cheaper and easier to just order.
   3924. BDC Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4328804)
I think having MFA programs employ writers is a strange but reasonably effective subsidy to buy writers time

Most people are untroubled by the way this situation plays out in other artistic fields. A huge number of professional artists and musicians make all or most of their artistic earnings from giving lessons (including, of course, in graduate programs that train people to teach in graduate programs). It may be that there's just a different attitude toward art or music, or that the average person experiences a work of art or music (some reaches of abstract or conceptual art excepted) and thinks "I could never do that; even if I don't want to pay money for it, I bet that artist or musician learned something in the course of their training." Whereas most people are convinced they could write a novel without any preparation at all.
   3925. hokieneer Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4328805)
Yep. I've completed my Christmas shopping without a single trip to a mall or any other brick & mortar store. I'm never going back. I can't. I won't.


We've always did both online and brick + mortar stores in years past. This year, something for everyone on the list was just easy to find on Amazon, a few clothing online stores, and even Sams Club for a play "house" for our son. We purchased for each other offline just to keep the gifts a surprise. So I did spend about 2 hours in the mall and Kohls this year (after some scouting ahead online). I have no desire to go into the physical retail world anymore than that this time of year.
   3926. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4328807)

Most people are untroubled by the way this situation plays out in other artistic fields. A huge number of professional artists and musicians make all or most of their artistic earnings from giving lessons (including, of course, in graduate programs that train people to teach in graduate programs). It may be that there's just a different attitude toward art or music, or that the average person experiences a work of art or music (some reaches of abstract or conceptual art excepted) and thinks "I could never do that; even if I don't want to pay money for it, I bet that artist or musician learned something in the course of their training." Whereas most people are convinced they could write a novel without any preparation at all.


Pretty sure you just described virtually every English major in the country that stopped at a BA....

/raises hand
   3927. spike Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4328808)
I just yesterday signed up for Amazon Prime

I've had it for a year - quite useful. The movie selection is good not great, but if you stay on top of the short term adds it's acceptable. I am getting a Netflix subscription from a relative so it will be interesting to compare.
   3928. BDC Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4328809)
I suppose I should add a disclaimer that I occasionally teach creative writing – though in an undergraduate minor, not an MFA program. And also that I never took a creative-writing course. I'm one of the people who just up and started writing without training, thus one of the people I'm complaining about :-D
   3929. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4328814)
Is there any evidence that Lanza's father or brother were helping his mother with him in the months/years leading up to the killings? Specifically the father. I've not seen any. Was the father at all involved, or had he simply checked out?

In the days before the massacre, the mother of Adam Lanza was pushing her loner son to leave the Newtown home that provided his refuge from reality, a family friend told the Daily News Wednesday.

“He sat in his room playing video games for hours and hours,” the friend said. “She thought the best thing was for him to get out of the house and into the world. To interact with people a little bit.”

But the 20-year-old rejected the idea and stopped speaking to his mother, the friend said. Nancy Lanza and her youngest son hadn’t talked for three days before he fatally shot her Friday morning and then murdered 20 children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Nancy Lanza had brought her son to a psychiatrist as he became increasingly anti-social — spending endless hours in his room by himself.

When the mother pressed the issue of moving away, “he didn’t want to leave,” according to the pal. “He didn’t understand why she wanted him to go out into the world. She told me she couldn’t reach him — and she was worried.”

A recent attempt to take Adam on a southern vacation ended with his refusal to accompany his mom, who was also suggesting that he needed to get a job or perhaps start college.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/exclusive-mind-newtown-killer-article-1.1223612#ixzz2FWwKuiGn

   3930. The Good Face Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4328815)
Are your urban, suburban, or rural?

For certain folks that I knew wanted specific item X, I did it all online... but everyone else that I had actively had to 'shop' for - I still like hitting up indie bookshops, record stores, and curio type places. I'm in the heart of Chicago, though - so that sort of shopping is essentially walking a few blocks.

I'm absolutely done with malls and big box B&Ms;, though -- not so much out of any consumer activist tendencies, but just because that's precisely the sort of thing that's cheaper and easier to just order.


Urban. I am always shopping at various local merchants, and occasionally not so local ones if I encounter them in my travels around the city, but my days of going to malls or big box stores during the holiday season are done and gone. And good riddance to them.
   3931. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4328817)
Are your urban, suburban, or rural?


I am urban - 10-15 minute train ride from downtown Boston.
   3932. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4328821)
Urban. I am always shopping at various local merchants, and occasionally not so local ones if I encounter them in my travels around the city, but my days of going to malls or big box stores during the holiday season are done and gone. And good riddance to them.

My dad told me the best present for him for Xmas is a Target gift card.
   3933. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4328822)
Sometimes you just have to go to a big box store - they're probably the most efficient place if you're going to "showroom."
   3934. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4328825)
Here's a thought-what if the cost of internet service already included royalties? Say the revenue from that pot went to whichever sites you visited/downloaded the most?


So, you want to funnel more money to the porn industry?
   3935. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4328829)
The porn industry is interesting in that it is a driver of the economy that nobody in polite society talks about.
   3936. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4328834)
for those of us who choose to/feel compelled to buy our spouses jewelry, that's one gift I doubt I'll ever go 'online' shopping for no matter what type. I also enjoy a healthy automatic 'discount' (a dent in their outsized margins I'm sure) at one local jewerly store as I've been a regular, as has my wife's family.

otherwise I admire Amazon quite a bit and am always impressed at their service during the rare times where things aren't working out with the product.
   3937. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4328835)
The porn industry is interesting in that it is a driver of the economy that nobody in polite society talks about.


Well, really - it's an especially interesting case study in media and distribution channels.... from videotape to physical digital to the internet -- 'polite media' would be in a lot better shape if it had paid more attention to the porn trends. Time and again - it's been the early adapter and also most adept at how to monetize the next big thing, rather than fight it out of fears of cannibalization.
   3938. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4328836)
Is there any evidence that Lanza's father or brother were helping his mother with him in the months/years leading up to the killings? Specifically the father. I've not seen any. Was the father at all involved, or had he simply checked out?


Not really. Looks like the father had checked out. Agreed to cut a big yearly alimony check, signed over all responsiblity for taking care of the kid to the mother. Moved out, no indication of much/any contact with the kid. Perhaps too busy helping GE scrimp on its tax bill.

Not exactly what we'd want to see from America's fathers. (Standard caveat re additional info applies.)
   3939. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4328837)
PC games helped push the need for better video cards and more ram, while porn helped push the wider bandwidth and video compression techniques.
   3940. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4328847)
PC games helped push the need for better video cards and more ram, while porn helped push the wider bandwidth and video compression techniques.


Which makes Leisure Suit Larry the patron saint of the modern age, I guess...
   3941. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4328851)
Most people are untroubled by the way this situation plays out in other artistic fields. A huge number of professional artists and musicians make all or most of their artistic earnings from giving lessons (including, of course, in graduate programs that train people to teach in graduate programs). It may be that there's just a different attitude toward art or music, or that the average person experiences a work of art or music (some reaches of abstract or conceptual art excepted) and thinks "I could never do that; even if I don't want to pay money for it, I bet that artist or musician learned something in the course of their training." Whereas most people are convinced they could write a novel without any preparation at all.


I read slush for a few different literary magazines from 2001-2012, reading about 40 mostly god-awful stories a month for all that time. What struck me is that the people who mentioned an MFA program in the cover letters wrote god-awful fiction that was very similar to the god-awful fiction written by other MFA products, while the non-MFA types tended to write god-awful fiction that was often at least unique. I firmly believe in the teaching of writing, but I think that undergraduate minors and serious adult ed courses and serious writing groups and so forth are a lot less likely to produce the endless parade of mediocre samey-samey stories in either free indirect or semi-naive first person, on one of about four subjects -- dying parent, dying child, addiction, or bad post-breakup behavior.

Yeah, we need to teach writing. I just think that the endless explosion of MFA programs is bad for the art form.


   3942. hokieneer Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4328854)
for those of us who choose to/feel compelled to buy our spouses jewelry, that's one gift I doubt I'll ever go 'online' shopping for no matter what type.


I bought my wife a pearl ring off amazon for her birthday this year. I had EXTENSIVE input from her in terms of design, pearl quality, etc.. not only because I was buying jewelry online, but I had never bought any pearl jewelry before. The quality of the ring is great, decent craftsmanship, and the clarity of the pearl and diamonds are honestly better than I expected. I got it for about $100-150 cheaper than what I would have spent on one at a local owned or chain store.
   3943. Tripon Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4328857)

I've had it for a year - quite useful. The movie selection is good not great, but if you stay on top of the short term adds it's acceptable. I am getting a Netflix subscription from a relative so it will be interesting to compare.


Netflix blows Amazon Prime's lineup out of the water. For me, if I had to have something, its either Netflix for the largest streaming library by far, or its Hulu Plus for their current tv show library. But Hulu has ads, even on the Hulu Plus version, and you can watch the free version on your laptop. While Netflix is 8 dollars per month regardless. Both though are blowing through so much revenue that will have no choice but to raise rates in the coming year.

Something underrated is Youtube on TV. They got their act together and released their app on the PS3 and Wii/Wii U, and it makes watching old TV and obscure current TV shows that have no hope of generating revenue easily assessicble.

Like doing a drinking game to Legends of the Hidden Temple, or watching the Canadian/UK version of Dragon Den. (US version is Shark Tank.)

Although there's a certain annoyance factor with youtube showing a 90 second ad for a 30 second clip.
   3944. Greg K Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4328864)
Something underrated is Youtube on TV.

Channel 4 seems to put Peep Show on youtube immediately following new episodes. It's great!
   3945. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4328865)
Here's a thought-what if the cost of internet service already included royalties? Say the revenue from that pot went to whichever sites you visited/downloaded the most?


Way too Big Brotherish. I might download a zipped file called "hp.zip" that might be all of the Harry Potter novels or might be a manual for my Hewlett-Packard printer or might be pictures I took at my friend Hester Prynne's wedding. The only way my ISP knows what is what is by opening the file and scanning it. A royalty scheme requires the ISP to act like the secret police in a fascist state. That's coming anyway; no need to hurry it along.
   3946. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4328879)
Way too Big Brotherish. I might download a zipped file called "hp.zip" that might be all of the Harry Potter novels or might be a manual for my Hewlett-Packard printer or might be pictures I took at my friend Hester Prynne's wedding. The only way my ISP knows what is what is by opening the file and scanning it. A royalty scheme requires the ISP to act like the secret police in a fascist state. That's coming anyway; no need to hurry it along.


I'm with this -

ISPs suck... the less control they have over anything, the better.
   3947. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4328882)
To bring the thread back on topic, we need to address whether Amazon should sell guns. (They don't, surely.)
   3948. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4328884)
As much as I am going to miss B & N, there is no way I will miss stores like Best Buy when they go out of business. I used to work for a company that did business with them and outside of Fry's electronics management, they were the most arrogant bunch of people that I have ever dealt with. Its amazing in a way that a company that used to be the 800 lb gorilla in the electronics world is going the way of the dodo bird.

also I order a ton of stuff on Amazon but hope that something comes along to offer them some competition.
   3949. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4328885)
I bought my wife a pearl ring off amazon for her birthday this year.

If anyone remembers, my plan to purchase my GF a cleaver for her birthday morphed into a Christmas present. Ordered from ebay! What could possibly go wrong?
   3950. Tripon Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4328887)


also I order a ton of stuff on Amazon but hope that something comes along to offer them some competition.


Your best hope is that Ebay revamps the way they do business and gets rid of all the scammers that plauge the site. Its just way to easy to make a fake listing and get a sucker to give you a lot of cash, especially for some of the 'rare' stuff like old collectable video games.
   3951. hokieneer Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4328889)
To bring the thread back on topic, we need to address whether Amazon should sell guns. (They don't, surely.)


Back when ebay first started, there were firearms & drug paraphernalia. They were very unaware or intentionally lax to what they allowed to be auctioned.
   3952. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4328890)
The porn industry is interesting in that it is a driver of the economy that nobody in polite society talks about
.

yeah but its been taking a beating (no pun intended) as you can pretty much watch anything online or go to once of those piratebay websites and download content for free.
   3953. just plain joe Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4328895)
Which makes Leisure Suit Larry the patron saint of the modern age, I guess...


Is LSL still around? I used to have "Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards" BITD. Although that day must have been 20+ years ago.
   3954. Steve Treder Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4328899)
So, Jeffrey Toobin, are you saying you really weren't a big Bork fan?

Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along.


   3955. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4328917)
What's your point? That I need a semi-automatic weapon to protect myself from the miniscule possibility I am ever confronted by someone with a semi-automatic weapon?

Yes.
If someone wants to confront you with a semi-automatic weapon, odds are that you'll be shot long before you get to reach for your own weapon. If someone wants to confront you with a semi-automatic weapon, you've probably lost that fight the moment they got their hands on that semi.

Guns do not play defense.
   3956. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4328921)
From NRO:
Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
So, you know, b!tches be weak. If only a big strong man were around for them.
   3957. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4328923)
Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

From the wiki on the Ft. Hood massacre ...

Army reserve Captain John Gaffaney attempted to stop Hasan by charging him, but was mortally wounded before he could reach him.[26] Civilian physician assistant Michael Cahill also tried to charge Hasan with a chair, but was shot and killed.[27] Army reserve Specialist Logan Burnett tried to stop Hasan by throwing a folding table at him, but he was shot in the left hip, fell down, and crawled to a nearby cubicle.[28]
   3958. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4328927)
I'm one of the people who just up and started writing without training, thus one of the people I'm complaining about :-D

I once got a nasty email from a journalism major who wished to inform me how angry he was that people "like me" were getting jobs that real journalists should be getting.
   3959. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4328931)
Army reserve Captain John Gaffaney attempted to stop Hasan by charging him, but was mortally wounded before he could reach him.[26] Civilian physician assistant Michael Cahill also tried to charge Hasan with a chair, but was shot and killed.[27] Army reserve Specialist Logan Burnett tried to stop Hasan by throwing a folding table at him, but he was shot in the left hip, fell down, and crawled to a nearby cubicle.[28]

Yeah, but how do you know they played high school football? Or were husky?
   3960. Steve Treder Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4328935)
Yeah, but how do you know they played high school football? Or were husky?

They sound like slim-shouldered chess teamers, if you ask me. Feminized, for sure.
   3961. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4328940)
I once got a nasty email from a journalism major who wished to inform me how angry he was that people "like me" were getting jobs that real journalists should be getting.


My college was too small to offer a journalism degree; I wouldn't have gone after one anyway. I think I took one journalism class, but only because I needed a second summer course to stay qualified for work-study. By then, I think I'd already interned at the small local daily (or was doing so that summer). I'd definitely already served at least one semester as editor of the school paper.
   3962. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4328941)
Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.


He would have shot them? Or are we to assume the 12 year old boys should have been given guns?

By the way, if any of you are on Twitter, I recommend following FreeRepublicTXT - just actual posts by actual commenters from the self-proclaimed "Premier Conservative Site on the Net".
Here's a few just from today:

"The blacks have their own magazines, television networks, and colleges. It's likewise with the mexicans. Nothing similar exists for whites."

"Breitbart was the only person who understood how to fight their control of the culture. His death was the greatest tragedy of this century."

"The black population thugs will form into flash mobs all of the cities and they will burn them down. Be prepared for this."

"If women were in charge, ournation would be in a far worse situation. Considering the utter stupidity women displayed in the elections."

"I don't like being a slave to a tyrannical government any more than a Lybian or Syrian rebel does."

   3963. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4328943)

"The blacks have their own magazines, television networks, and colleges. It's likewise with the mexicans. Nothing similar exists for whites."

"Breitbart was the only person who understood how to fight their control of the culture. His death was the greatest tragedy of this century."

"The black population thugs will form into flash mobs all of the cities and they will burn them down. Be prepared for this."

"If women were in charge, ournation would be in a far worse situation. Considering the utter stupidity women displayed in the elections."

"I don't like being a slave to a tyrannical government any more than a Lybian or Syrian rebel does."



Are we supposed to guess which ones Kehoskie, Ray & various other BTF right-wingers posted?
   3964. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4328945)
I once got a nasty email from a journalism major who wished to inform me how angry he was that people "like me" were getting jobs that real journalists should be getting.


Did you at least offer him lodging in mom's basement?
   3965. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4328948)
If someone wants to confront you with a semi-automatic weapon, odds are that you'll be shot long before you get to reach for your own weapon. If someone wants to confront you with a semi-automatic weapon, you've probably lost that fight the moment they got their hands on that semi.

The whole idea that a hero with a gun, or a few husky ex-high school footballers, are going to stop spree shootings (*) is nothing more than pure middle-age, country-fried fantasy.

The Onion captured it well in its story headlined, "South Postpones Rising Again For Another Year," to wit:

Though Southerners are overwhelmingly in favor of rising again, few were able to provide specific details of the rising-again process.

"I don't know, I reckon we'll build us a bunch of big, fancy buildins and pave us up a whole mess of roads," said Bobby Lee Fuller of Greenville, MS. "I ain't exactly sure where we're gonna get the money for that, but when Johnny Reb sets his mind to something, you best get out of his way."



(*) Or "resist" the arms of a "tyrannical" US government.
   3966. zonk Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4328951)
The Onion captured it well in its story headlined, "South Postpones Rising Again For Another Year," to wit:

Though Southerners are overwhelmingly in favor of rising again, few were able to provide specific details of the rising-again process.

"I don't know, I reckon we'll build us a bunch of big, fancy buildins and pave us up a whole mess of roads," said Bobby Lee Fuller of Greenville, MS. "I ain't exactly sure where we're gonna get the money for that, but when Johnny Reb sets his mind to something, you best get out of his way."


Heh... that's clearly back from the Onion's golden age:

"Either Southerners will start improving themselves, or they'll be sold to middle-class Asians as pets."
   3967. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4328952)
#3956: This is from Charlotte Allen (which is probably all you really need to know), and it's not only a crock, but it's untrue on basic facts. There WERE adult males present on the school campus, at least one teacher and one aide. The school is also a K-4 school, not a K-6 school, so it's highly unlikely there were any 12 year olds there.

-- MWE
   3968. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4328953)
Army reserve Captain John Gaffaney attempted to stop Hasan by charging him, but was mortally wounded before he could reach him (...)


Back in 1995 in Chapel Hill we had a schizophrenic law student (Wendell Williamson) who shot a couple of people and was then jumped by an ex-Marine bartender who rushed Williamson as he was reloading his M1. The bartender wasn't shot by the perp, but the cops managed to hit him in the shoulder.
   3969. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4328954)
Completely laughable. The GOP damaged the country's credit rating for political gain; it raised the filibuster to performance art levels; it has been singularly intransigent, and was specific, that wrecking Obama's presidency was more important than acting in the country's best interests. Nothing comparable has occurred on the Dem's side, and yet you'd have us believe that, really, both sides are equally at fault. What a joke.


That's a real great way to win an argument you've got there Jack, that is a small step below this - "YOUR SIDE IS EVIL, YOU ARE IN IT ONLY FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL GAIN! MY SIDE IS RIGHT! GO CRAWL INTO A GUTTER AND DIE!"


So, providing inarguable concrete examples is somehow no better than random, all caps ranting?

Uh, right. Try again.



edit: or what Johnny, spikez, and Bitter said in 3814, 3815, and 3816. Running out of cokes here...
   3970. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4328958)
I once got a nasty email from a journalism major who wished to inform me how angry he was that people "like me" were getting jobs that real journalists should be getting.


When I was going to college, I remember getting chastised from a professor of Journalism. This was because I had not framed my question correctly in asking for paperwork I needed for an assignment. Needless to say I am not a big fan of that profession.
   3971. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4328959)
"The black population thugs will form into flash mobs all of the cities and they will burn them down. Be prepared for this."


Flash mobs?!?!?
   3972. Chicago Joe Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4328962)
Way too Big Brotherish. I might download a zipped file called "hp.zip" that might be all of the Harry Potter novels or might be a manual for my Hewlett-Packard printer or might be pictures I took at my friend Hester Prynne's wedding. The only way my ISP knows what is what is by opening the file and scanning it. A royalty scheme requires the ISP to act like the secret police in a fascist state. That's coming anyway; no need to hurry it along.


Maybe it could be semivoluntary, like a tipjar? Or controlled by ip address? The money's already being spent, in my concept-it's just a matter of how it's split up.
   3973. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4328963)
Flash mobs?!?!?


Obviously, they'll organize them using their free Obamaphones!
   3974. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4328964)
"The black population thugs will form into flash mobs all of the cities and they will burn them down. Be prepared for this."

Flash mobs?!?!?


Yep. All dancing to "Beat It".
   3975. Greg K Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4328986)
Flash mobs?!?!?

To be fair, Flash Mobs are the vilest form of human activity, no matter what the ethnicity of the participants.
   3976. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4328992)
It's a hell of a lot better than your "argument," you don't really have a response to what he said, do you?

I think what Jack said will immediately shut down any productive discussions with the 'other' side. If democrats take no ownership in the ######## the country is in and blame it all on the GOP nothing will get better.


When the 'other' side has gotten themselves to the point where they are largely unwilling to meaningfully move or negotiate it's very, very important to acknowledge that and remain thoroughly aware of it.

Further, if the 'other' side in the discussion on health care is Jim DeMint, no productive discussion is going to occur--that's something else worth being very clear on. If the 'other' side in the gun control 'negotiation' is Louis Gohmert, and therefore nothing productive is possible, don't you think it's important for all adult, responsible parties to be aware of that?

Obama wasted a lot of time and energy appealing to a GOP that had no interest in productive compromise. This year's GOP is at least as intransigent as v2008 and v2010. Are you proposing for the sake of a nonexistent amity Obama continue to pointlessly negotiate those policies anyone paying any attention at all knows the GOP isn't budging on? Shouldn't he be focusing his efforts more productively?

As for how we've gotten to where we've gotten, pretending it's equally on both sides doesn't make sense, and leads to bad policy. Pretending that the economy fared equally under Bush and Clinton means you can't distinguish between the effects of their respective policies. I would agree that pretending Clinton didn't make a contribution to the economic debacle of 2008 is disingenous, but nothing I wrote in the OP precludes acknowledging that kind of thing. You can pick up your ball and go home when I have the nerve to point out the GOPs pervasive intransigence during Obama's first term, but that does go precisely to my point.

There are times in history when one party is primarily responsible for some of the country's biggest problems. This is one of those times.

No, but when was the last time you won an argument by telling the other person it's all their fault and that their beliefs are in fact so ridiculous as to be laughable?

Again, when something is ridiculous, it's important to point that out. On gun control, Democrats should be delighted to work with Republicans interested in any change in the status quo, while at the same time noting that the vast majority of Republican politicians have zero interest in change.

It's clear that I'm not currently in negotiations with Michelle Bachmann, trying to get her support for the UN's treaty regarding disability, and if I was I'd avoid characterizing her ridiculous position as "ridiculous", but there's no comparable call on this board for me to be polite to Bachmann.

What is it, in fact, you're suggesting? Since Democrats are going to need Republicans, especially in the House, to cooperate in passing legislation meant to lessen gun violence, which Republicans do you think they should be aiming to work with?

With regard to rationally negotiating with the comparatively more tractable Iranian government on nuclear proliferation, which Republicans should the administration bring into the fold to enhance that effort?

In the matter of treating the deficit sensibly, as something that needs addressing, but is in no sense any sort of crisis, what Republicans would you like to see the administration in talks with?
   3977. BDC Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4328998)
I just think that the endless explosion of MFA programs is bad for the art form

Or as Flannery O'Connor said, they don't stifle enough young writers :) I was a nonfiction editor on a journal for a while, and the problem with the "MFA piece" is not as visible there, probably because programs haven't been around long, comparatively, and also the field is so diverse, with lots of niches and wings. There's definitely an "MFA novel" though: episodic, subdued, set in a family that doesn't understand one another, with the tormented protagonist fixing to break away into – well, sometimes literally into an MFA program. There's a phenomenon that writing teachers struggle with: the piece that's been workshopped to death, so that it looks like every other piece.

As others have said, the dynamic isn't really new (there were a lot of bad sonnets in Quattrocento Florence for some of the same reasons), but it's dispiriting; a novel that's come out of a good MFA program, with good blurbs from all the right people, can be predictably awful in ways that scholarly work with similar pedigrees usually isn't.

I forget how to link this back to politics at this point. I guess fiction has a lot to do with how we perceive the world and act on those perceptions. And Amazon, which has transformed the economy, was originally for the most part a fiction-distribution system?
   3978. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4329014)
Which is going to lead to an increase in e-book piracy (it's already growing rapidly).

You'd think that eventually e-book piracy will be a massive problem. An epub file is likely to be 1 mb or smaller, so bandwidth concerns are trivial. And because most people don't buy a huge number of books a single lost sale is a much bigger deal in the book world. And unlike musicians, writers don't have alternate sources of income. A band can make up for lost sales revenue by treating pirated music as an advertisement for a live show. A writer can't do anything at all similar.
Color me very surprised that books aren't tied to the devices they're being viewed on. If you don't have that code, the book can't be read, and that code is something you've paid for. It works for, say, the NYT. It works for video games purchase through Steam. It seems easy to do, so what am I missing?

   3979. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4329019)
set in a family that doesn't understand one another

Why, again, I find Franzen's work - and plenty of other modern work - so unbelievably tiresome. Your crappy dysfunctional fictional family is almost always very boring. Books with no likable or redemptive characters at all are so unbelievably tiresome to me.
   3980. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4329022)
The porn industry is interesting in that it is a driver of the economy that nobody in polite society talks about.

The best example of trickle-down.
   3981. GregD Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4329029)
I read slush for a few different literary magazines from 2001-2012, reading about 40 mostly god-awful stories a month for all that time. What struck me is that the people who mentioned an MFA program in the cover letters wrote god-awful fiction that was very similar to the god-awful fiction written by other MFA products, while the non-MFA types tended to write god-awful fiction that was often at least unique. I firmly believe in the teaching of writing, but I think that undergraduate minors and serious adult ed courses and serious writing groups and so forth are a lot less likely to produce the endless parade of mediocre samey-samey stories in either free indirect or semi-naive first person, on one of about four subjects -- dying parent, dying child, addiction, or bad post-breakup behavior.
The Dec 6 London Review of Books has a fun letter (scroll down) on this:

Why is it always the same story?
The university is surely Fredric Jameson’s point of view, but is he writing about what he knows (LRB, 22 November)? Does he read the American fiction cobbled together in the workshops that are the subject of Mark McGurl’s The Programme Era, by writers who’ve come after Philip Roth, Raymond Carver and Joyce Carol Oates? Jameson’s account of McGurl’s triads and dialectics doesn’t explain why the first sentences of so many stories in the Best American series follow the same formula. Start with the words ‘when’ or ‘after’; mention the first name of a character; dangle a pronoun with no antecedent; drop one heavy symbol or allusion; and use vaguely abstract phrasing to lay out a fairly banal situation. Here’s the first sentence of Maile Meloy’s story ‘Demeter’, about splitting child custody, in the 19 November issue of the New Yorker: ‘When they divided up the year, Demeter chose, for her own, the months when the days start getting longer.’ It’s odd that so many students told ‘find your voice’ so often find the same one.

Frank Jackson
   3982. Morty Causa Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4329042)
The New Yorker has been getting some flak on its presently nondescript style for some time now. It has always had a tendency, since the time of the inimitable Thurber and White, to try to render everyone's prose style alike (unless your J.D. Salinger, I guess), which is not bad if the standard is Mr. Thurl and Andy White, but the mediocre crew that now controls its content and zeitgeist, are increasingly second-rate and lifeless.

They need to get back to using Thurber, White, and De Vries as the standard, or find their long lost heirs. Something along the lines of De Vries opening one of his finest novels thusly serves as an example: "Charles Swallow was taking a bath, and as was his custom on such occasions, he had undressed before climbing into the tub. Man is a creature of habit, but there was more to it than that."
   3983. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4329043)
If you believe in academic freedom go support an untenured professor from right wing witch hunts.
   3984. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4329045)
Your crappy dysfunctional fictional family is almost always very boring. Books with no likable or redemptive characters at all are so unbelievably tiresome to me.


Spaceships or dragons. Otherwise, you bore me.
   3985. Greg K Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4329057)
I'm reading Vanity Fair right now. The self-conscious narrator is pretty fun so far.

Oddly enough I have the Reese Witherspoon movie to thank for picking it up. That adaptation was so awful it convinced me to read the book just so I could properly appreciate how terrible an adaptation it is.
   3986. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4329063)
Is Reese Witherspoon a dragon or a spaceship?
   3987. SteveF Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4329072)
I'm reading Vanity Fair right now.


I'm reading Of Human Bondage. It turns out the title was a little misleading.
   3988. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4329078)
Ah, Robert Bork. Nixon's henchman.

Iirc it was 1987 when a Bork ruling upheld the right of a corporation to force women workers to either be sterilized, or be fired. Free contracts freely arrived at, eh?

No clear marital right to privacy, either, apparently.

The historical re-writing of exactly how bad for America Reagan's presidency was can't gloss over the utter contempt you have to have for rights when you try to put Bork on the Supreme Court. Imagine Bork on the Court for the last quarter century.

Bork not only was on Romney's Judicial Advisory committee, he headed it, and would have continue to head it during a Romney presidency. I missed that before tonight. Amazing.



   3989. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4329089)
I'm reading Of Human Bondage. It turns out the title was a little misleading.


"Books are useless! I only ever read one book, "To Kill A Mockingbird," and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin, but what good does that do me?"
-Homer Simpson
   3990. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4329094)
I hesitate to go this way, but my GF just got a bottle of Woodford Reverse as an Xmas gift. I'm not really a drinker, but does it belong in the decanter of a discerning gentleman's bar, or should it be re-gifted?
   3991. tshipman Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4329118)
Woodford is good bourbon. Great in a Manhattan.

So, from a link from Wonkblog:


Regarding Boehner's Plan B:
ATR is now able to make its determination about a legislative proposal related to the fiscal cliff. ATR will not consider a vote for this measure a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.



So, for those keeping track at home: voting to extend tax cuts to all those below 250K is a tax increase. Voting to extend tax cuts to all those below 1,000K is not a tax increase. So if it were ever in doubt that Grover Norquist was a whore, you just found out what the price was.
   3992. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4329120)
So if it were ever in doubt that Grover Norquist was a whore,...
No, there was never any doubt. Norquist is well-paid by wealthy Americans to look out for the interests of wealthy Americans. It's what he does. It's all he does.
   3993. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4329129)
"Books are useless! I only ever read one book, "To Kill A Mockingbird," and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin, but what good does that do me?"
-Homer Simpson


Especially if you yourself are a man with a yellow, curvy butt.
   3994. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4329135)
Color me very surprised that books aren't tied to the devices they're being viewed on. If you don't have that code, the book can't be read, and that code is something you've paid for. It works for, say, the NYT. It works for video games purchase through Steam. It seems easy to do, so what am I missing?


Video games are complicated pieces of code, so you can easily embed DRM in a way that will render it useless.

Books are just text. Some readers fancy it up, but every other book format is very simple to open and copy.
If you wanted to try and be silly and put a password-protection level of security, all you need to do to see the last time that was attempted with a new form of media (09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0).
   3995. Tripon Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4329137)
A deal with happen, and the stock market will claim victory.
   3996. zenbitz Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:25 AM (#4329152)
It's good bourbon. I would say firmly betwixt Maker's Mark and Knob Creek.
   3997. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:37 AM (#4329189)
Cf the Nate Silver link Andy posted, there's this:

http://lewrockwell.com/slavo/slavo83.1.html

Regardless the somewhat creepy source, if 40% is even close to right (and I didn't see anything in Silver's info by glancing that necessarily contradicts it) about ownership of guns among Democrats then I don't see how anything gets done even with Newtown. OTOH, hysterical gun-grabbing in the wake of Newtown is still an easier route for Obama (and one much closer to his heart) than what he should be doing, which is taking more money from rich people and entities by kicking congressional Republicans in the teeth in re: the budget and taxes.

I think Andy's right that only a strictly enforced national gun policy has any chance of success, but then such a policy would also be the most illogical and unfair because (ignoring constitutional issues about which, I'm sorry my liberal friends, the other side is on safer ground ) what's right and proper for one area is completely inappropriate or even insane in another. I'm no rightwinger or gun nut, and I'm not a hunter though I have no moral problem with hunting, but I own a .17 rifle, a .22 Walther bolt-action rifle my paratrooper grandfather took from a dead Nazi and shipped home, and a P-64 Makarov pistol. I plan on getting a 20 gauge shotgun when I can. All this is lame stuff for my area, btw. Anyway, I might not need exactly what I have, but in my area in my situation I need some type of gun to protect my property, pets, and maybe even my person.

I'd say my income is probably somewhere in the lower quarter to tenth of Primates, depending on how many scholarship students are on the site these days. As per the info in the Rockwell link, gun and ammo prices have skyrocketed because of bedwetting gun nuts who panicked with Obama's first election. So I can't complain about that. But the first proposed law I've heard of in response to Newtown is the one in California which, among other things AFAIK, introduces a licensing fee on gun ownership -- IOW, a REGRESSIVE tax. I'd probably be able to pay it if it happened here, but it would be a real hardship for others. I totally get liberals' tribal hatred for poor red staters, (though the prohibitionist mindset of the extremists baffles me, being so religious and drug war-ish and, well, illiberal) but c'mon. Is this what y'all really want?

EDIT: Oops, Silver's data does contradict it. Oh well.
   3998. Lassus Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4329208)
But the first proposed law I've heard of in response to Newtown is the one in California which, among other things AFAIK, introduces a licensing fee on gun ownership -- IOW, a REGRESSIVE tax. I'd probably be able to pay it if it happened here, but it would be a real hardship for others. I totally get liberals' tribal hatred for poor red staters, (though the prohibitionist mindset of the extremists baffles me, being so religious and drug war-ish and, well, illiberal) but c'mon. Is this what y'all really want?

I think it probably is really about guns. If the liberals really wanted to bankrupt the poor red-staters, out of pute venom, I'd imagine there would only be about a thousand easier ways.
   3999. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4329221)
If the liberals really wanted to bankrupt the poor red-staters


There are many things Liberals can be accused of, but that is not really one. We may want to create a nanny state which suffocates all innovation and free spirit, destroy freedom, impoverish the rich, banish Christmas and all religion and many other heinous act, but not that.
   4000. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4329224)
If liberals wanted to bankrupt red states, they could just stop sending them subsidy payments through the federal government.

Woodford is a quality bourbon. Not top-top shelf, but certainly a worth place on the bar.

Pritchards small batch is my personal favorite. Particularly their rye.
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