Daily Archive: 05/31/2013

May 31 2013

SNAP Multiplier 1.7

From the Mouths of Babes

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: May 30, 2013

Food stamps have played an especially useful – indeed, almost heroic – role in recent years. In fact, they have done triple duty.

Indeed, estimates from the consulting firm Moody’s Analytics suggest that each dollar spent on food stamps in a depressed economy raises G.D.P. by about $1.70 – which means, by the way, that much of the money laid out to help families in need actually comes right back to the government in the form of higher revenue.

Wait, we’re not done yet. Food stamps greatly reduce food insecurity among low-income children, which, in turn, greatly enhances their chances of doing well in school and growing up to be successful, productive adults. So food stamps are in a very real sense an investment in the nation’s future – an investment that in the long run almost surely reduces the budget deficit, because tomorrow’s adults will also be tomorrow’s taxpayers.

So what do Republicans want to do with this paragon of programs? First, shrink it; then, effectively kill it.

Look, I understand the supposed rationale: We’re becoming a nation of takers, and doing stuff like feeding poor children and giving them adequate health care are just creating a culture of dependency – and that culture of dependency, not runaway bankers, somehow caused our economic crisis.

But I wonder whether even Republicans really believe that story – or at least are confident enough in their diagnosis to justify policies that more or less literally take food from the mouths of hungry children. As I said, there are times when cynicism just doesn’t cut it; this is a time to get really, really angry.

May 31 2013

I have been thinking about the 1960’s lately, for some strange reason(s).

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the 1960’s (I was a teenager back then, and I attended a rather large public high school in suburban Boston, MA during those years.  The 1960’s, imho, were a mixed bag;  It was a wonderful time to grow up, especially being a teenager, and the music was really great back then.  The fact that I missed out on dancing to that music due to my social isolation from the other kids bothered me a great deal back then, even though my doctors and my parents pointedly told me (albeit correctly) that I was too emotionally immature to go out with boys.  Yet my lack of emotional maturity also precluded my getting involved in the high-flown, lofty, noble causes of the day;  the Civil Rights Movement (although I was a bit young for that–I was only in Junior High school at the time), the student revolts and the anti-war movement against our involvement in Indo-China, and a whole host of other things that were happening at the time.  

I would frequently cry to my family about my social aridity and isolation, and they’d alternate between being very consoling and having this sort of a “well, it’s your own fault–you have to change.’ attitude, the latter of which I didn’t like.  I look back on it now, and I realize that I never knew what would happen when I got older, and my parents constantly worried about my future, due to my poor grades and poor social skills (although they considered the latter secondary, because I think they probably thought that becoming involved in the various movements back then would help me realize that there are other people in this world who had it tougher, and that I’d become not so turned onto myself all the time.

Yet, I’m discovering a lot of other things about myself, also;  I didn’t really give a shit about academics and getting top grades.  (I basically got a C Average, with afew B’s and even some D’s along the way!)  The only reason that I worked at all was to keep afloat so that I wouldn’t end up graduating with the class below me, something I didn’t want for at least two reasons:

A)  Since I was born early in the year, I was already one of the oldest kids in my grade, and I didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb any more than I already did.

B)  The class below mine was a much more hostile, nasty bunch of kids (that particular class had a bad, bad reputation  for that!), and I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle it.  

As much as I love listening to the music that was played back in the 1960’s, many of the older songs now bring tears to my eyes, partly out of the sweetness of them, and partly due to the fact that, crazy as this sounds, make me tear up due to what I didn’t have back then and what I missed:  Having more of a social life, and more friends.  

May 31 2013

On This Day In History May 31

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on image to enlarge

May 31 is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 214 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1859, Big Ben goes into operation in London

The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen’s Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.

After a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster–the headquarters of the British Parliament–in October 1834, a standout feature of the design for the new palace was a large clock atop a tower. The royal astronomer, Sir George Airy, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, including twice-a-day checks with the Royal Greenwich Observatory. While many clockmakers dismissed this goal as impossible, Airy counted on the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a formidable barrister known for his expertise in horology, or the science of measuring time.

Denison’s design, built by the company E.J. Dent & Co., was completed in 1854; five years later, St. Stephen’s Tower itself was finished. Weighing in at more than 13 tons, its massive bell was dragged to the tower through the streets of London by a team of 16 horses, to the cheers of onlookers. Once it was installed, Big Ben struck its first chimes on May 31, 1859. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker designed by Denison cracked the bell. Three more years passed before a lighter hammer was added and the clock went into service again. The bell was rotated so that the hammer would strike another surface, but the crack was never repaired.

Great Bell

The main bell, officially known as the Great Bell, is the largest bell in the tower and part of the Great Clock of Westminster. The bell is better known by the nickname Big Ben.

The original bell was a 16.3-tonne (16 ton) hour bell, cast on 6 August 1856 in Stockton-on-Tees by John Warner & Sons. The bell was named in honour of Sir Benjamin Hall, and his name is inscribed on it. However, another theory for the origin of the name is that the bell may have been named after a contemporary heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt. It is thought that the bell was originally to be called Victoria or Royal Victoria in honour of Queen Victoria, but that an MP suggested the nickname during a Parliamentary debate; the comment is not recorded in Hansard.

Since the tower was not yet finished, the bell was mounted in New Palace Yard. Cast in 1856, the first bell was transported to the tower on a trolley drawn by sixteen horses, with crowds cheering its progress. Unfortunately, it cracked beyond repair while being tested and a replacement had to be made. The bell was recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a 13.76-tonne (13 1/2 ton) bell. This was pulled 200 ft up to the Clock Tower’s belfry, a feat that took 18 hours. It is 2.2 metres tall and 2.9 metres wide. This new bell first chimed in July 1859. In September it too cracked under the hammer, a mere two months after it officially went into service. According to the foundry’s manager, George Mears, Denison had used a hammer more than twice the maximum weight specified. For three years Big Ben was taken out of commission and the hours were struck on the lowest of the quarter bells until it was reinstalled. To make the repair, a square piece of metal was chipped out from the rim around the crack, and the bell given an eighth of a turn so the new hammer struck in a different place. Big Ben has chimed with an odd twang ever since and is still in use today complete with the crack. At the time of its casting, Big Ben was the largest bell in the British Isles until “Great Paul”, a 17 tonne (16 3/4 ton) bell currently hung in St Paul’s Cathedral, was cast in 1881.

May 31 2013

Civility is just another club…

To beat those you disagree with.

I am not responsible for your perceptions.

You are!

Fair Warning

Posted by John Cole

12:49 am 5/31/13

I fucking give up. If you want to be offended by everything I write and police my language, please fuck off and go somewhere else.

I try to be as minimally offensive as possible, but you know what, you motherfuckers keep shifting the rules. I’m to the point that I have no idea what is going to upset the delicate flowers any more.

At some point, you language police have got to come up with a coherent dictionary for all of us to use, or just shut the fuck up. And then, maybe you should look into intent, take the message for what it was, because if I am public enemy number one, then you losers are going to shit the bed if you ever bust out of your bubble and watch or hear anything outside your little world you have constructed. My goodness, the Marcellus Wallace scenes in Pulp Fiction would probably stroke you out.

So put up or shut up. Give me your PC dictionary so I can be cool and sensitive, or just eat a bag of salted dicks and recognize that not everything said is out of bigotry or malice. Or at least fucking cut me some slack and recognize that should I offend your delicate sensibilities, it was not out of malice. Kapiche?

My god, rap and hip-hop must put you all in the fetal position.

And I don’t even like this dog.

If you post here get used to it.  I don’t care about your pwecious fee fees.  Grow up.

ps. Obama has no balls is just another way of saying he’s a gutless wonder.  I don’t believe it for a minute.  He’s a Neoliberal Republican who gets exactly what he wants.

May 31 2013

Friday Night at the Movies

The Hunger Games Economy


Democrats’ Vision for Economy is GOP-Lite


May 31 2013

Around the Blogosphere

 photo Winter_solstice.gifThe main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

Summer has arrived in the Northeast with temperatures in New York City topping out in the low 90’s with humidity to match and about the same from Washington, DC to Portland, ME. If you think there is relief out doors, nope, no breeze, not even here, right on the ocean.

At Americablog, John Aravosis tells us just how bizarre the weather may be for the Summer of’13:

Also, another Americablog friend, Gaius Publius tells us more about David Koch & PBS self-censorship.

From RH Reality Check comes some welcome news for a 22 year old Salvadoran woman who was denied her request for a life saving abortion just yesterday by the Salvadoran Supreme Court. Let’s hope they abide by the ruling.:

Trevor Timm, at Electronic Frontier Foundation, points out a very important issue in President Obama’s national security speech that was missed by the media:

Why does this article from Jim White, at emptywheel, on Rep. Dana Rohrbacher’s trip to Russia with fellow House Republicans Michelle Bachmann and Steve King to investigate Boston Marathon bombing, sound like a future movie script for Stephen Spielberg?

At FDL’s News Desk, DSWright keeps us informed about AG Eric Holder’s “off the records” meeting with news bureau heads over his policies on journalism, that he may be having in an empty room; and a great video interview with Julian Assange about the possible prosecution of Holder.

Over at naked capitalism, economics and law professor, Bill Black asks:

and Barbara Parramore Speaks About Her Arrest in “Moral Monday Protests” Against Republican Railroading of Extreme Right-Wing Agenda in North Carolina

And the last snarky words go to nemesis‘s post at Voices on the Square about Pres. Obama’s nomination of James Comey, a former hedge fund executive and a former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Why not just bring back George to the Oval Office?