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AdLib On December - 16 - 2010

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With over 13,200 comments on O/T, we have to do a little house cleaning and begin a new and improved O/T Post. The sever, right now, has to retrieve all of them, each and every time. Every 13,000! Whew!!

However, this time there will be rules!! Read carefully!!





You know the rules, now follow them! Please?

Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.

The following questions were taken from the 2008 Civic Literacy exam.

Take the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) Civics Quiz

Categories: Time Out for OT

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

640 Responses so far.

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  1. bito says:

    Happy New Year, K’es ❗ ❗ ❗

  2. bito says:

    May this be a good sign for the New Year

    January 1, 2011 03:49 GMT

    North Korea calls for end to hostility with South

    SEOUL (Reuters) -- North Korea on Saturday called for an end to confrontation with the South, urging dialogue after one of the most violent years on the divided peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War. Tension between the rival Koreas has risen sharply after the North shelled an island in the South near their disputed sea border, killing four including two civilian residents.

    The rest, not so good.

  3. bito says:

    Got a chuckle from this Matt Yglesias tweet:

    Not sure why House GOP is bothering with constitution, when everyone knows Sotomayor & Kagan base their rulings on sharia.


    • kesmarn says:

      We women might stand a better chance under sharia law than with being left to the tender mercies of the GOP RW Constitutionalists, b’ito! 🙂

      And — yes — I did miraculously get sprung, after we sent a few folks home to celebrate. I’m on a borrowed computer with a crushingly slow connection, though… 🙁

      • bito says:

        k’es, Did you hand out extra ‘meds’ tonight for the New Year, ya know, some of the good stuff? 😆

        • kesmarn says:

          b’ito, we just un-wrapped ’em all and put ’em in a big candy dish on the table in the nurse’s station.

          Grab a handful and see what happens! 😀

          • bito says:

            MMMM, Just like M&M’s!!
            Who ate more, the RN’s or the patients? 🙄

            • kesmarn says:

              We wish! Unfortunately that “hypocritical”-sorta nursing oath demands that someone must be more or less sober at all times. Florence Spoilsport Nightengale!!

              Oh — and you may have deduced, correctly, that I made it home with nary a scrape.

              And — to Khirad — yes, our meds are indeed chock full o’ vitamin V goodness! Makes ’em wanta/hafta come back for more.

              Now — I really must shower off and hop to bed…wabbity fast. (The sound of the pounding rain in these 50 degree temps will lull me to sleep.) Happy New Year once again!

            • Khirad says:

              Well, an early New Year’s to you then, as well bito!

            • Khirad says:

              I do hope they’re fortified with real Vicodin flavor. 😆

            • bito says:

              Happy New Year, Khirad, I won’t see midnight. It is 31 in town right now.

            • bito says:

              No Khirad,



            • Khirad says:

              Oh no, not these, I hope.


              I can get sick gorging myself on these in no time.

            • kesmarn says:

              Or those pretty, pastel-colored after-dinner mints…

            • bito says:

              Oh, fond memories of my month in ICU…. wait a sec…. maybe, they weren’t so fond. 😆

  4. javaz says:

    Here’s a feel good true story.

    My husband’s family hated me,

    Now imagine me -- being me -- and the family hating me.

    It was when my husband’s daughter died, and she was mine, that’s when everything changed.

    I still cry -- I miss my step-daughter, and especially remember when she called me mom for the first time.

  5. Chernynkaya says:

    A good column today from Frank Schaeffer:

    Obama’s Critics Owe Him a New Years (Fact-Based) Apology

    We find ourselves in the position of survivors of a shipwreck clinging to a life raft. President Obama is that “life raft.” Our young president is leading us at a time of extraordinary peril. He and we face overwhelming challenges including two wars and a financial crisis he had dumped into his lap by fools….

    Be patient, realizing that the challenge facing our country is unprecedented because it combines economic, social and military problems coalescing into one of the most toxic periods of history any president has faced. And President Obama is facing this moment well.

    • Khirad says:

      “President Obama’s Lefty critics look more and more like petulant teenagers who are too small to admit that they are wrong.”


      And, I see those very people came out to protest his article! 😆

    • bito says:

      While I support his POV, I can think of better examples than Krugman and Rich to pick as major critics of the President, perhaps the owner of the site he posted this on might be a good start.
      I don’t read Krugman daily, perhaps I have missed something, many economists feel a need to put more money into the economy and Krugman has often listed the limitations placed on the President from doing so.

  6. Questinia says:

    A wife sleeping with her husband


    • Khirad says:


    • javaz says:

      Q, such a sad photograph, but something everyone should view as a reminder of war.
      We’re so insulated from the wars and the military and their families.
      I think it’s less than 1% of the population that serves and the MSM rarely covers the war or the cost of war on the troops and their families.
      Very sad.

      • Questinia says:

        The above picture was from the NYT, javaz. We are instead deluged with the horrors of weather by the MSM. Why is weather all of a sudden always so disastrous?

  7. Khirad says:

    In Their Boots -- No Religious Preference

    It’s super good. I can’t believe Huffington Post recommended it.

    This Afghanistan veteran confronts his own prejudice against Muslims by talking to Muslim veterans.

    It was pretty moving. The triumph of the human spirit and self-reflection, plus the courage to confront that which makes you uncomfortable.


    • Questinia says:

      Yet in the military overall Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Buddhists are prejudiced against. Why? Because the military is evangelical.

      • Khirad says:

        Their blood will never be worth as much as those “clean” and “purified” by the Holy Spirit. Didn’t you know the Prince of Peace makes the best soldiers. Screw this guy and his mom:


  8. bito says:

    I bring this short blog post up not so much for it but the comment
    Fortunately, making a statistical error on live TV is not a capital offense

    Political pundits do this way too much. They look around at their immediate surroundings and assume it is an accurate reflection of society. I mean Jesus, how many David Brooks columns were launched from a five minute conversation he had with a Home Depot employee while he waited for his lawn mower to be brought up front?

    😆 ain’t it the truth?

    • Khirad says:

      I’ve been without the MSNBC for a month now. So, forgive me in asking: what’ did Tucker do (this time)?

      I thought he was banished to Hasbeenistan, or whatever he calls that thing — the Daily Crapper, or whatever.

      That comment was too funny, and too true. They do tend to -- I don’t know a better way to say this -- circle jerk it.

      They never really get out there. That’s what I think Joe Klein tried to do. I still don’t know how much he really succeeded or not. One person I do know that cuts through the glass cage, is Matt Taibbi.

    • kesmarn says:

      It don’t doubt it a bit, b’ito. But I suspect Brooks probably wouldn’t even bother to talk to the Home Depot employee, don’t you?
      Would he even go into a Home Depot? Purchase his own lawn mower? Wouldn’t he be likely to have a lawn service (staffed by “invisible” Mexican immigrants)?

      Am I getting too cynical?

      Maybe his columns are more likely to be launched by a five minute conversation with Tucker Carlson while waiting for the elevator?

      Maybe I should go to bed and take my crankiness with me? 😀

      Either way, he and his fellow pundits are out of touch, to say the least!

  9. kesmarn says:

    Truthout has an interesting review of Jeff Sharlet’s latest book: “C Street: the Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy.”

    (C’lady has mentioned his 2008 book, “The Family” as a great source of info on the religious right.)


    Though a review in The Washington Post calls Sharlet’s thesis of an America without contraception or public schools “almost unhinged,” the recent rise of the Tea Party since “C Street’s” publication and legislation such as unemployment benefits held hostage to tax cuts for the wealthiest American cast doubt on whether we can dismiss the threat posed by the actions of the Family to positions such as gay rights, religious freedom or the separation between church and state.

    This brings us to one of Sharlet’s central points in the book: how do we hold lawmakers accountable who believe they have a divine right to rule?

    • bito says:

      Hey, k’es, That is a good quote from the review from a great site. It used to be my go-to-site. Their outrage at the Iraq war by Scott Ritter opened my eyes wide to the lies of the Bush administration before the invasion.
      The perversion and depth of C-Street in governance is a tad scary. Why did Mr. Ensign escape his escapades within the GOP with nary a scratch??
      Their gospel reminds me of what your son said about the money changers in the temple.

    • kesmarn says:

      OK. Now they need to come up with a durable, edible form of this stuff. A nice mushroom omelet made from packing material…yummmmm.

    • bito says:

      Way Cool, j’avaz, I love TED. They do some great things.

      • javaz says:

        The fungi/husk compound is also a fire retardant.
        Besides being better for the environment and not using oil, the fungi/compound doesn’t burn like Styrofoam.

        It burns slowly, very, very slowly, so imagine the possibilities and lives saved if it is used as insulation in planes, homes, mobile homes and trailers, and maybe even vehicles and perhaps someday on future space stations.

        People would have a much better rate of survival during crashes, or electrical fires, if the insulation didn’t ignite and people were given the time to flee.

        American ingenuity on display and I do believe the two men responsible for developing the fungi/husk replacement for Styrofoam are only 26 years old!

  10. boomer1949 says:

    Sorry I’m a little late, but speaking of the weather here in the Buckeye State…

    Right Now Next 36 Hours
    Fair Tonight Tomorrow Tomorrow Night
    Cloudy Cloudy T-Showers
    Fair Cloudy Cloudy T-Showers
    44°F 37° 53° 44°
    Feels Like: 41° Low High Low
    Past 24-hr:
    Precip: 0.21 in (est.)
    Snow: 0 in Chance of Precip:
    20% Chance of Precip:
    20% Chance of Precip:
    From SE at 5mph Wind:
    SSE at 11 mph Wind:
    S at 14 mph Wind:
    SSE at 12 mph
    Humidity: 85% 80% 78% 82%
    Dew Point:40°
    Pressure: 29.96 in Steady Pressure
    Visibility: 10.0 mi
    UV Index: 0 -- Low — 1 -- Low —
    Time Until Sunrise: 13 hrs 30 min Sunset: 5:16 pm Sunrise: 7:54 am Sunset: 5:17 pm
    Through 12am: Mostly cloudy with temperatures steady in the low 40s. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Overcast. Low 37F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Overcast. High 53F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Rain showers in the evening then thundershowers overnight. Low 44F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

    ***Edit*** Out and about this afternoon sans coat!

    • escribacat says:

      We are having our first snowstorm of the season down here in Denver/Boulder. Hooray!! It’s been dry as a bone for months, and warm too.

  11. bito says:

    I posted about Rep. Ryan and the new “cut-go” but here is a couple of new twists to the budget from ThinkProgress.

    Proposed House GOP Rules Give Rep. Ryan ‘Stunning And Unprecedented’ Power To Shape Budget

    That’s not all, however. As National Journal reported today, “a little-noticed detail in the new rules proposed by House GOP leaders would greatly increase the power of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee.” Indeed, under the proposed rules, if the House and Senate do not agree on a budget resolution (a distinct possibility with a divided Congress), Ryan will be able to unilaterally set spending levels that are binding on the House, and any attempt to lessen the impact of these cuts can be ruled out of order.[….]
    Once Rep. Ryan places in the Congressional Record discretionary funding limits set at the [2008] level, they will become binding on the House, and any attempt to provide funding levels that allow for less severe cuts will be out of order.

    Not sure if the T-Partiers will go along with this, some want to go back to 2000 spending levels.

    H/T The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    • Chernynkaya says:

      …in the new rules proposed by House GOP leaders…

      Well, that would certainly be troubling! I wonder if the GOBP is floating that idea in response to the Senate considering reforming the filibuster rules? Separate branch, true, but the Repubs stick together, whichever house of Congress. I can see them doing that not only for power, but to take revenge on the Dem Senate. Do you know if the House rules allow that sort of change?

      • bito says:

        Cher, it may have some to do with the senate, but it has more with their hypocritical “austerity/deficit” rant. The cut-go anly applies to deficit spending on social programs but not deficit ballooning tax cuts or military.
        Yes the house convenes every 2 years as a “new body” (all reps having just stood for election) and can write new rules. The senate is usually convened as a “continuing body” (only 1/3 are new members) and keep the old rules. This may be different this year because of the filibuster reform and they may also convene as a “new body.”
        Back to the new house rules, these rules are quite draconian and are the wet dreams of Reagan/Stockman idolizers. “Starve the beast” and trickled on. They seem to, conveniently, forget that under Reagan taxes were raised 3 times and the deficit and debt exploded.

  12. javaz says:

    It’s snowing!

    Can you believe it?
    It’s really coming down, too, and it’s sticking!
    I think we’re around 1867 elevation.

  13. bito says:

    New poll showing 78% of Dems want President Obama reelected. Where does this talk of a primary challenger come from in the media and from purists?

  14. AdLib says:

    Having some technical issues still, thanks for bearing with us. The posts and comments from the last several days are now appearing but while restoring those, our web host has mistakenly removed comments made yesterday.

    Hoping to resolve all of this today, your understanding and patience are very appreciated!

  15. kesmarn says:

    I knew there was a reason or two why I love Jennifer Brunner, Secretary of State of Ohio!

    Even though the Repubs are about to swoop in shortly, look at what she managed to get passed before they do!!

    This is a direct antidote to Citizens United — at least in the State of Ohio. Let’s hope others follow suit!

    Here’s how these new rules will empower Ohioans:


    We’ll be able to know that a campaign ad has been paid for by a corporation, nonprofit corporation or labor organization, how much has been spent and whom they paid for the ad for or against a candidate or committee. They’ll have to disclose it.

    We’ll know in a campaign ad, itself, that it has not been authorized by a candidate or committee, and we can go to the website of the corporation, nonprofit corporation or labor organization to learn more about who is issuing the message. It must be in the ad, or a media outlet can’t run it.

    We’ll be assured that corporations and businesses owned 20% or more by foreign citizens are not trying to influence Ohio elections, because under the rules, they can’t.

    We’ll be assured that corporations, individuals and businesses that have been awarded state or federal money through our state within the last year, are not influencing Ohio elections with independent expenditures, because they can’t.

    We’ll have teeth in the law to go after corporations, nonprofit corporations and labor organizations and the candidates and committees they support who break the rules and coordinate their efforts.

    • bito says:

      k’es, all of these are great, I just hope they have a time limit on them. Even the FEC has good rules, but the complaints and enforcements are often revealed months, if not years, after the elections. In this age the information should be posted immediately. IMO

      • escribacat says:

        Yes, it should be in the ad itself, and not in tiny print! Just like the disclosures required of the drug companies … “Side effects include losing your house, losing your job, losing your retirement benefits, losing your medicare coverage…”

    • kesmarn says:

      Sorry — meant to put that in blockquotes, but somehow it didn’t go, and I can’t seem to get the “Edit” feature past “Loading”…

      But the whole 5 points are quoted from Jennifer Brunner’s email. Credit where credit is due!

  16. boomer1949 says:

    She really, really needs to put a lid on it. Of course, the more she babbles, the more she “refudiates” her IQ.

    Sarah Palin Attempts To Explain ‘Refudiate’ Gaffe

    Amid the familial banter that took place on Sunday’s episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” the former Alaska Governor went beyond criticism of conservationists to explain the much ridiculed genesis of her faux-word, “refudiate.”


  17. kesmarn says:

    Truthout has an article on an Arizona law going into place on 01/01/11, banning ethnic studies:


    Schools are allowed to teach about the Holocaust, for example (any incidents of oppression), but not about ethnic solidarity.

    HB 2281 contains an exemption for teaching students about episodes such as the Holocaust; genocides; and “the historical oppression of a particular group of people based on ethnicity, race, or class.” In essence, combined with the provisions noted above, this means that students of a particular group can be taught about their history of subjugation, but not about their spirit of solidarity; they can focus on their decimation, but not their emancipation. This sinister portion of the bill strives to reinforce pain at the expense of pride, encouraging young people to internalize the oppression delivered by the dominant culture and make it part of their self-consciousness as “other” in a world whose norms are built on the inherent superiority of the master class. Thus, the law seeks not only to prevent the teaching of histories and values that might empower marginalized people, but further endorses the transmission of destructive episodes and ideologies that can only serve to increase the group’s collective disempowerment.

  18. bito says:

    This is hard to follow, but it does give a good look into the large banks. And why am I excited about reading part 2? 🙂

    In Defense of the Dodd-Frank Resolution Authority, Part 1

  19. bito says:

    One of the “Young Guns” of the GOP.
    How does pro-choice, anti-Christian Ayn Rand fit into the GOP?

    Paul Ryan And Ayn Rand

    “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” […]

    The core of the Randian worldview, as absorbed by the modern GOP, is a belief that the natural market distribution of income is inherently moral, and the central struggle of politics is to free the successful from having the fruits of their superiority redistributed by looters and moochers.

    More from Jonathon Chait on Paul Ryan
    Paul Ryan And The Republican Vision

    • kesmarn says:

      The last paragraph in Chait’s article raises unpleasant memories of one of the most troubling aspects of the Reagan presidency. The man was just so devastatingly charming and so terribly genial that it very successfully masked what was in reality a brutal, murderous agenda if you happened to be poor.

      The rise of Ryan is a sign that the possibilities for bipartisan cooperation on domestic issues are, at the moment, essentially nil. This point is obscured by the figure of Ryan, a cheerful and courteous man who gives every sense of wanting to deal in good faith. But his goals, which are now fully the goals of the conservative movement and the Republican Party, are diametrically opposed to the liberal vision of capitalism shorn of its cruelest edges. His basic moral premises are foreign, even abhorrent, to liberals. He seems like a person you’d like to negotiate with, but there’s nothing to negotiate over. Ryan is waging a zero sum fight over resources on behalf of the most fortunate members of society and against everybody else.

      • Khirad says:

        Darn you, that’s the paragraph I was going to point out, too, until I see it’s been here all along.

        Why did I read the whole thing again? Just kidding.

        It was neat to see the graph about how little is redistributed, and to who.

      • bito says:

        Agreed, k’es, he is a smooth operator, however I do think the Dem leadership is on to him. The challenge will be the media. Much of his plan has some quite benign sounding title name to them, but when the facts and figures are analyzed the plan is quite destructive to everybody but the very top. And we all know how well the tube-heads are with facts and analysis.

    • Khirad says:

      Speaking of, I was recently very disturbed to find out that the founder of Wikipedia is a Randist and an Austrian School guy. He credits Wikipedia with Hayek, whereas I see it as anarchistic syndicalism.

      But, I’ll never understand how they reconcile Ayn’s blunt atheism and sexual views with the GOP ‘values’.

  20. bito says:

    Just because I liked this photo
    The VP and Dr.Jill at Walter Reed during Christmas.



  21. javaz says:

    Oh no!
    President Obama is giving Manhattan back to the Native Americans!



    You can’t make this stuff up!

  22. bito says:

    Not sure if this is good analysis or not, but it is something to ponder:

    The head of the National Association of Secondary School Principals took a closer look at how the U.S. reading scores compared with the rest of the world’s, overlaying it with the statistics on how many of the tested students are in the government’s free and reduced lunched program for students below the poverty line. Here’s what he found:

    * In schools where less than 10 percent of students get free or reduced lunch, the reading score is 551. That would place those U.S. students at No. 2 on the international ranking for reading, just behind Shanghai, China which topped the ranking with a score of 556.

    * In schools where 75 percent or more of the students get free or reduced lunch, the reading score was 446. That’s off the bottom of the charts, below last-place Greece’s 483.

    Money matters and countless studies have demonstrated a link between parents’ income and students’ test scores.

    The Economics Behind International Education Rankings

    • javaz says:

      B’ito, and here is an article about substandard education, which helps drive jobs out of the country —

      Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria worries that the trend could be dangerous. In an article in the November issue of the Harvard Business Review, he says that if U.S. businesses keep prospering while Americans are struggling, business leaders will lose legitimacy in society. He exhorted business leaders to find a way to link growth with job creation at home.

      Other economists, like Columbia University’s Sachs, say multinational corporations have no choice, especially now that the quality of the global work force has improved. Sachs points out that the U.S. is falling in most global rankings for higher education while others are rising.

      “We are not fulfilling the educational needs of our young people,” says Sachs. “In a globalized world, there are serious consequences to that.”


    • kesmarn says:

      I think there’s got to be a valid correlation there, b’ito, don’t you?

      But leave it to some of our school systems to take info and run in the wrong direction with it. Because she was a single mom, my daughter’s (solo) income was enough to qualify for free/reduced lunches at school. The system happens to be in a reasonably affluent suburb and they are passionate about trying to keep an “excellent” rating with the State, since property values depend upon it. (They lost it, anyway.) So they automatically put all the free/reduced lunch kids into remedial reading classes in the third grade. (Seriously, no other criteria.)And we all know what it’s like to have a kid be required to leave regular classes and go to “special ed.” Imagine their surprise when at least one of the “remedial” kids scored 2.5 grades above her level in reading before any “intervention” had even begun. They made her stay in, regardless.

      Like you, I totally believe in having accurate data. Getting school systems to accept it and use it in the right way…wow, that’s the hard part.

  23. Chernynkaya says:

    What would YOU do? It really made me think, but I think these two wonderful guys did a great job. Watch this video from the New York Times and see what you think.

    How fabulous would it be if the Post Office sent random letters to each of us, and we fulfilled them? To me, that is what we are supposed to do.


    • kesmarn says:

      Wow, Cher, that’s inspiring. And the love between those two guys is impressive. The best part being that they share their love with the world. That’s when you know it’s the genuine article.

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