• comment on a post Towards A New Approach on Cuba over 5 years ago

    ...but that was 20+ years ago, back during the Cold War.  

    Treating Cuba the way we've treated them only made sense in terms of ensuring that the USSR didn't use Cuba as a weapons platform, and punishing them for choosing to be in the Soviet orbit.

    Now the Soviet Union and the Cold War are ancient history - you've got to be in your mid-20s to even barely remember all that.  Our way of life represents FAR more of a threat to Cuba than theirs does to us.

    Maintaining the embargo, and all the other sanctions, has more the feel of holding a grudge than anything else.

  • Chevrolet comparison with Toyota cheaper, better warranty, but 1 mpg less. Does one mpg make a gas hog?

    You're comparing one Chevy car with one Toyota car.  A comparison at a lower level than one manufacturer's entire fleet (weighted by sales) compared to another's, is bogus.

    With respect to reliability, it's simple: there's no American car I can buy, and plan on its still being reliable after 200,000 miles.  But when my wife and I bought our current Honda Accord back in January 2000, we knew we could count on that.  (It's at 181,000 now, and doing fine.)

    You are living in 1970 not 2008. That's a huge part of the problem.

    The Hummer H2 didn't exist in 1970.  Nor did the Lincoln Navigator and all those other elephantine SUVs.

    adb67: Fact is the UAW are getting pay and benefits that are well above what toyota and honda are paying their workers. Anyone know honda or toyota workers? I do. They love the companies they work for, feel they receive good and fair pay and benefits and both their companies are doing well.

    Most of the difference in employee compensation is legacy costs - paying pensions and health care for retired American auto workers.  The auto workers chose to pay past auto workers less at the time, and give them future benefits instead.  The workers are still owed the money.

    And building cars is capital-intensive, not labor-intensive.  The difference in labor costs, even including all those legacy benefits, comes to about $800 per car - but the American manufacturers have to price their cars at ~$2500 less than Japanese cars, on the average, in order to compensate for the perceived quality difference.

    So the penalty that the auto workers labor under due to labor costs is ~1/3 of the penalty they've brought on themselves due to a long history of making cars that just plain weren't as reliable.  (Maybe the cars they're making now are just as good, but it'll take consumers awhile to believe it.  Only time can fix that problem.)

    Finally, even if the UAW lowered their labor costs to parity with the Japanese manufacturers, what's to stop Honda and Toyota and Nissan from lowering their wages too, once the UAW makes concessions on theirs?  Why, nothing.  And that's what they're gearing up to do, too.  The workers at the Japanese factories in the U.S. make good money because of the UAW.

  • comment on a post The Trouble With The Auto Bailout over 5 years ago

    The deal requires certain things by 3/31/09 and 12/31/09.

    It's Bush's deal.  He created the requirements with nothing more than his authority as President.

    By 3/31/09, Barack Obama will have been President for ten weeks.  Anything Bush did that depended only on his authority as President can be undone or modified by Obama once he is President.

    So even if the deal required the automakers to construct and launch a rocket to Jupiter by 3/31/09, and even if it required that every UAW member to be aboard that rocket when it launched, it wouldn't matter.

    Those requirements only have meaning if Obama wants to keep them.  And there's no reason to expect that he will.

  • on a comment on Ain't I A Person? over 5 years ago

    I don't know about brother and sister, but quite possibly.  Older guy marrying a child?  Surely.  One man having several wives?  All over the Old Testament.  Solomon had 300 wives, and an additional 700 concubines.

    Not to mention, any definition of marriage that encompasses all major cultures over the past 5000 years includes all of the above.  What paternalistic culture hasn't had child brides?  That happens in some places even now, I believe.  The Latter-Day Saints practiced polygamy here in America for most of the 19th Century.  And it hasn't been any 5000 years since brother-sister marriages were normal behavior among Egyptian royalty.

    The guy's either an idiot or a liar, or both.

  • comment on a post A Spit In The Eye over 5 years ago

    From the vid: "Every culture for 5000 years, and every religion for 5000 years, has said the definition of marriage is between one man and a woman."

    The Biblical patriarch Jacob had two wives and two concubines.  King David of Israel had a few wives.  King Solomon of Israel had 300 wives and 700 concubines.  And so forth.

    More recently, the 19th-century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints allowed one man to have several wives.  Had no idea that happened over 5000 years ago, did you?

  • If Elway's the GOP candidate, all he has to do is stay within 6 until two minutes before the election, then do his patented two-minute drill, scoring 7 points as time runs out and winning the game election.

  • comment on a post MN-Sen: Franken Camp Says He's Ahead By 10 Votes over 5 years ago

    I mean, gimme a break.  If the recount in a precinct is missing 133 ballots, then it can't possibly either confirm or correct the original count.

    Therefore the original count would have to be the final count for that precinct.

  • comment on a post CA-04: Charlie Brown Concedes over 5 years ago

    We need to be organized for when the districts are redrawn after the 2010 Census.  

    We need to push the message that while there's nothing wrong with safe Democratic districts, there's such a thing as TOO safe - that anything beyond about D+15 PVI is a waste of Dem votes, since no Republican holds a seat that's more Democratic than D+7.

    In California, we have CDs with PVIs of D+38, D+36, D+36, D+33, D+30, D+27, D+25, and five more of D+20 or more.  We need to be ready to lean on a Dem legislature to redraw the districts to spread some of those Dem votes around, so that some of those R+5 or R+7 districts become D+2 or R+1 - something competitive.

  • comment on a post Senate Mandate Perspective over 5 years ago

    And that's if Norm Coleman holds onto his seat.  That's hardly a mandate for centrist government.

    Assuming Norm wins:

    48.5% of Americans are represented by two Dem Senators, or a Dem and a Dem-leaning Independent.
    24.4% of Americans are represented by two GOP Senators.
    27.1% are represented by one of each.  So split that 50-50 between the parties: 13.55% to each.

    Dem: 48.5% + 13.55% = 62.05%.
    GOP: 24.4% + 13.55% = 37.95%.

    If Franken wins, that would change to

    Dem: 62.9%
    GOP: 37.1%

  • comment on a post Meet The Press Settling For Gregory? over 5 years ago

    'Non-denial denial' alert!

    Again, here's that quote:

    "I don't know where they are getting this. We have nothing to announce."

    Do they say that Gregory won't host MTP?  No.

    All they say is that they (a) don't know who HuffPo's source was, and (b) whatever plans they may have, they aren't ready to make the announcement yet.

    Sheesh, Todd - you've been doing this gig long enough to tell whether something intended to have the appearance of a 'denial' actually denies the pertinent facts.  This is NOT a denial.

  • ...can believe in!

    Pumpkin pie absolutely has to have that dark richness of cloves.

    But you're right about 2 pumpkin pies being as easy as 1.

    The recipe on the back of the can of Libby's pumpkin is really pretty good, though I advise a heavier hand with the cinnamon, ginger, and especially the cloves than their recipe calls for.

    Have you ever used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk?  I wound up doing that the other day because I noticed when I got home that that's what the guy at Trader Joe's had grabbed for me when I asked if they had evaporated milk.

    Because the condensed milk is sweetened, cutting back on the sugar by maybe 1/3 is a good idea.  But I really liked the difference in taste and texture.

  • on a comment on The most accurate pollsters over 5 years ago

    You beat me to it.  At this point, Obama's margin is just under 7%.  A poll of 1000 voters has a MOE of just over 3%.  And the only final polls outside the +5 to +9 range were Gallup, Zogby, and Battleground-Tarrance.

    What this says is that polling is getting quite good.  Making a big deal about rankings within that +5 to +9 envelope is stupidity.

    If Jerome wants to say something about the quality of R2K's polling for Daily Kos, they did lots and lots of polls in addition to the daily tracker.  There's a pile of data there if Jerome wants to come up with a solid conclusion.  Either he's simply lazy, or he's not interested in coming up with such a conclusion.

    Either way, it's intellectually dishonest of him to equate R2K with Zogby on the thin basis he's provided.

    My estimation of Jerome has done a nosedive this year.

  • It's not like R2K didn't do a flock of state polls as well, both for the Presidential race and for Senate and whatnot.  How'd they do with those?  (That's an honest question - I haven't looked.)

    If you're going to equate R2K with Zogby, then do your homework.  Zogby sucks across the board.  I've yet to see any evidence that the same is true of R2K.

  • comment on a post Home Depot Founder: Give Republican Or Get Shot over 5 years ago

    "For those of you who have remained resolute in your belief that things will turn around eventually, I urge you to close your eyes, take shallow rapid breaths, and begin freaking out immediately," Bush added. "At this point, anyone who isn't scared to death needs to wake the fuck up--because we're screwed here."

    The president then picked up the telephone from his desk and hurled it through the Oval Office window.


  • on a comment on 2010-2011 Redistricting Project over 5 years ago

    That was a very informative diary - you've clearly looked at the IL map a good deal more than I have!


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