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Campus Chatter – January 2, 2013

January 2, 2013

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Campus Chatter – January 2, 2013

Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)

Mercurius became the first pontiff to assume a papal name, John II, today (533). Also, Georgia ratified the U.S. Constitution (1788), the British Institution of Civil Engineers was founded (1818), Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier hypothesized that planet Vulcan accounted for the eccentricities of Mercury’s orbit (1860), Secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door Policy to promote trade with China (1900), 6000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested and held without trial in the second Palmer Raid (1920), the 33 members of the Duquesne Spy Ring were sentenced to a total of over 300 years in prison (1942), Luis Muñoz Marín became the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico (1949), President Richard Nixon signed a bill lowering the speed limit to 55mph to save gasoline during the OPEC embargo (1974), “Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe was arrested (1981), the North American Blizzard dumped 14″ of snow on Milwaukee and 19″ on Chicago en route to Michigan, Ohio, Ontario, and Quebec (1999), and the Stardust probe gathered samples near Comet Wild 2 (2004). And 12 miners died in an explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia (2006).

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Good morning! ::hugggggs::

46 Responses to “Campus Chatter – January 2, 2013”

  1. NCrissieB Says:

    Yesterday on Campus

    Morning Feature – Winning Progressive with Celebrating 2012’s Progressive Victories
    Furthermore! – The Squirrel with Watching the Coconut Drop and other New Year’s Eve Traditions
    Midday MatineeTuesday’s Tale: I Resolve….
    Campus QuestionWill House Republicans’ tantrum yesterday finally end the false equivalence meme?

    Today on Campus

    Morning Feature – Winning Progressive with Comments on the Fiscal Cliff and More at the New York Times
    Furthermore! – The Squirrel with Robots, Deficits, and Skynet
    Noontime News at noon
    Midday Matinee – addisnana with The Trapeze Artist
    Campus Question at 6pm ET
    Our Earth at 8pm ET – Wheat Genome Decoded

  2. winterbanyan Says:

    Good morning.

    After some extremely distressing days, it seems the majority of Americans will not open their first paychecks of the year to discover a huge tax bite. They will however discover their social security has risen again to standard levels, thus costing a median family about $1K/yr. As usual, this change will have the most impact on those at the lowest end of the wage scale, like the many, many in our country who earn minimum wage. I note this only because the very wealthy, who will receive Social Security and the largest retirement checks, are still capped on the amount of income on which they are taxed.

    I will also say that I am not sorry this disaster was averted, although the childishness and idiotic ideology of the GOP was on full display for the entire world. Unfortunately, tea party types who are still screaming that spending cuts are the only solution are now going to miss the huge shock of finding out just how much they depend on that spending. For them no lesson will be learned.

    Unless the sequester hits in two months with the debt ceiling negotiations. I for one am fed up enough to hope that Obama says: No debt ceiling raise, no change to the sequester. Period.

    But then I am cranky from an unnecessarily stressful few days of worrying about whether idiots would actually prevail and hurt the many in favor of their power games. I will probably get more reasonable again.

    Hugggs to all.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      The $20/week return to pre-payroll tax holiday rates should not hurt individual families too much, but it may cause our economy to contract by a fraction of a percent. The theory behind that 2% payroll tax holiday was to find an amount that was too small for families to really notice – and thus save or use to pay down bills – but still large enough that families’ spending it would offer some economic stimulus.

      The question is whether our economy is now growing well enough that this lost stimulus won’t create enough drag to trigger a demand contraction cycle. Most of the projections I’ve seen suggest that ending the payroll tax holiday – which was always intended to be temporary – will have a minimal effect on both individual families and on the overall economy. I hope they’re right.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • winterbanyan Says:

        I don’t think this burden will be onerous on median income families. I mention it because I believe it will be harder on those making lower incomes. When you’re on minimum wage, a 2% tax hike is noticeable. However, I don’t object.

        But if you really want to save social security, the income caps on those make more than $110K/year need to be removed. Reagan raised the cap as well as the rate. We can raise the cap. Just sayin’.

        Otherwise I’m glad this particular version of disaster was averted after one of the ugliest displays I’ve ever seen – one which happened behind closed doors but was still ugly. Americans should not have been hovering on the Fiscal Cliff at the very last minute because ideologues couldn’t deal with it rationally in the past 17 months. That’s my gripe.

        And now we have three more curbs coming up.

    • Gardener Says:

      I guess I never bought into the disaster scenario…….. Have been mildly amused through the whole shebang……. Yes, the R’s look foolish and short-sighted. No surprises there…….. ;-)

      I think the real shame is that our side was apparently unable to include a debt ceiling rise in the deal. This will only give the R’s another hostage situation…….. :sad:

      • winterbanyan Says:

        I’m glad you were able to be amused by the whole thing. You’re a well-balanced sort of person, aren’t you. :) I’m glad to know you.

        As for the debt ceiling, well, the sequester got moved forward to the same time period, so I think that gives us plenty of leverage. We shall see.

        How’s HMG doing?

        Hugggs!

        • Gardener Says:

          She claims to ignore the pain in her ear, but I want to speak with PW about calling our Doc and making sure that they are doing everything possible for her. I’m thinking it can’t be good to have an ear infection for so long!

          We have to balance any sort of intervention with our wish that she be as independent as possible, and handle her own medical issues…….

          Thanks for asking!

      • NCrissieB Says:

        To get the debt ceiling included in this agreement, Republicans would have demanded Chained CPI, raising the Medicare eligibility age, or some other plum concession. I guess President Obama and the Democrats decided they would rather take their chances on another round of negotiations than give in on Social Security or Medicare.

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  3. Norbrook Says:

    Good morning! It’s currently 1 degree here, and there’s a light dusting of snow on the ground. Occasional flurries throughout the day, with a low temp of -9 tonight.

    I see that the House passed the Senate version, and it was only after the teapublicans threw their conniption fits and gummed up the works for hours, along with a little intramural backstabbing. :cry: As bad as I thought the Republicans would be after the 2010 elections, they’ve proven themselves to be even worse. One of the things in this legislation is that it extends out the previous farm bill, because the House couldn’t get the new one done, or rather onto the floor for a vote.

    This sort of “on the deadline or a little past it” tightrope act has been going on since they took office, and it’s ridiculous. Hopefully, the media is catching on. Unfortunately, I don’t see it changing in the next two years.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      The media are definitely catching on, Norbrook. Indeed they’re already priming stories about the next set of fiscal cliffs, which they’ve dubbed “March Madness.” :roll:

      The problem is that, still, most mainstream outlets insistently report it as “Why can’t Democrats and Republicans work together?” or “Why can’t President Obama work with Congress?” … rather than “Why do Republicans insist on trying to block anything that would help the economy?”

      I hoped last night’s House Republican temper tantrum – and even House Republicans conceded that’s what it was – would end the false equivalence meme. But from what I’ve read this morning … most news stories still frame it as “both sides” refusing to compromise. :roll:

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • winterbanyan Says:

      My, you are cold!

      I agree with you: yesterday was about the Tea Party having their conniption fits because they weren’t going to get their way. The entire country was hanging in the balance while they ranted, and in the process leaked just enough to scare anyone who was paying attention.

      And yes, there was backstabbing. Cantor came out of it looking even uglier (is that possible?) They were attempting minority rule by a very small minority. We’d better change this in 2014, because we can’t keep doing these tightrope acts.

      They are making us ungovernable, and unfortunately, the rest of the world sees it, too, which undermines us in ways most of us can barely fathom.

      But I’ll stop ranting now. For now. ;)

      Stay warm, Norbrook!

      • trs Says:

        The problem is Can’tor’s district will keep sending him back. He represents some of the reddest areas of Virginia.

        • Norbrook Says:

          If I were in charge, I’d be out right now recruiting a Blue Dog, and lining up serious funding to make him have to really struggle to get re-elected. Heck, I’d even be (ahem) “encouraging” a few Republicans to primary him ;-)

          • Jim W Says:

            The district is so “red’ that it votes 60% for Warner. The right “Blue Dog” can knock him out.

        • winterbanyan Says:

          We may not be able to get rid of Cantor, I agree, but maybe we can defang him. Unfortunately I hear irate Tea Partiers are calling for a third party, and threatening to get rid of all those who voted for this bill.

          Well, they might. Either one also might result in the loss of GOP seats….

      • Gardener Says:

        Do you suppose that those who, for one reason or another, didn’t vote in the 2010 mid-terms have learned their lessons?

        Me neither!

        • Norbrook Says:

          Given the smell of burning hair wafting in from the emoprog sites, I doubt it as well. :roll:

          • winterbanyan Says:

            Great line, Norbrook. I guess there are certain people who just never learn.

          • addisnana Says:

            I checked redstate last night. They are in full meltdown and talking about a third party that is fiscally responsible in their definition of that and primaries for the traitors that voted yes. Burning hair doesn’t begin to describe some of them.

            • Gardener Says:

              One of my RW pals is really disgusted per his Facebook posts. I added, “Did you hear about the angry old white man shortage?”

              Then later, on a post he put, “I am surrounded by idiots,” and I added, “You’re at a Tea Party meeting then?”

              I sure hope I’ve helped him! ;-)

            • Norbrook Says:

              Some of the Republicans who voted for it were on their way out the door anyway. ;-) Others, like the NY Republicans, aren’t all that worried about “purity” at the moment. The “pure ones” were sent packing after they went all pure during Hurricane Irene. ;-)

  4. trs Says:

    Morning, folks. Currently 32 here, with an expected high of 34. Going up into the mid 40′s for the weekend, and no snow forecast for the next several days.

    Once again, I got called in to bail out sound for a show I did not design. I went in late yesterday afternoon and fixed all the sound issues (I hope). They had a rehearsal last night, so I should find out today if there were any problems.

    Iriti, Kidlet, and I are headed to a woodworking show in Baltimore this weekend. Iriti’s job is to say “No” when I’m looking at tools for sale. I also want to go take out the gate in front of our driveway at the land. It needs to be removed for trucks to get in. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good anyway – it’s strictly decorative.

    • Norbrook Says:

      I hope you’re charging them for the bail out. :lol:

      • trs Says:

        I’d love to, but it’s all volunteer. I stopped doing community theatre about 15 years before I moved here. Maybe I should have stuck with that, but it takes a while to get established in an area.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      Did you decide on your slab yet for your shop? Or whether to do the whole job at once? And how big are those gates? Can you remove them without killing yourself?

      So iriti says no to the the tools? ;) Good to have someone along like that when you’re drooling over things you are passionate about.

      Thanks again for the offer of a phone. I finally solved my problem, and can once again receive calls from family members, but your offer was so appreciated. You’re a good soul.

      Extra hugggs!

    • Gardener Says:

      Say t, do you have any ideas on shop vacs? Mine broke finally, and our S-I-L and I could both use one. I told him to check around and I’d buy one for him too. He says Shop-Vac brand is rated highly……. What say ye?

      • trs Says:

        Shop-Vac is good, and easy to get filters, etc. for. Any shop vac has a limited lifespan just because of the nature of use/abuse it will get. However, I’ve had good luck overall with Shop-Vac.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      I’m glad I didn’t have any coffee in my mouth when I read this:

      Iriti’s job is to say “No” when I’m looking at tools for sale.

      :lol: :lol: :lol:

      I’m also glad you were able to sort out the theatre group without investing dozens of hours…. :)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  5. addisnana Says:

    Good Morning. If for some reason you are curious as to how individual Representatives voted last night here’s the roll call from the clerk of the House.

    I am sorry that in this display of legislative chaos the House couldn’t get to voting on aid for the victims of Sandy.

    Okay…on to the next cliff. I figure 2013 can be named the “year of the cliffs.” If it was scenic bluffs along the ocean or majestic mountain peaks I might be fine with it. The idea that governing is little more than lurching from crisis to crisis, all self-imposed is preposterous. CSpan may have a future as the real reality TV channel.

    • LI Mike Says:

      I am sorry that in this display of legislative chaos the House couldn’t get to voting on aid for the victims of Sandy

      .

      I received an email this morning from a Dem friend who signed off with, “A concerned grandmother.” Her grandkids live in the hardest hit areas in Queens. Her email requests a donation to the local school her grandchildren attend.

      Still a lot to be done here. NYS, NJ, Conn could use some help…soon.

      • addisnana Says:

        That is sad Mike. One might just think that no Republicans were hurt by Sandy. It’d be nice if Gov. Chrisite gave them all a New Jersey scolding.

      • NCrissieB Says:

        I too was upset to hear that House Republicans couldn’t squeeze in time to vote on disaster relief for those hit by Hurricane Sandy. I guess when you’re busy throwing a temper tantrum it’s easy to lose track of time….

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  6. Gardener Says:

    Good morning!

    We have 16 degrees and a clear sky. Earlier, there was enough moonlight to work outside. There’s still 3″ of snow. Beautiful…… Woke up around 4 and came downstairs, fired the stove. It’s fairly toasty in here right now. Went back to bed, but no sleep, thinking about what’s to be done today, I guess. Mebbe will catch some zzzzzz’s in the shop later……. I’m glad it’s Saturday again, and I don’t have to be anywhere.

    I think the UP has finally “pulled the pin” on me, no calendar! Luckily I have a very nice one from the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR that will do just fine, thank you.

    Have a decent day, and be careful out there!

    Best, G

    • addisnana Says:

      Does UP refer to the Union Pacific Railroad and did they stop sending you calendars? I only use the one on my computer or my phone. Paper calendars are a memory for me, but I do miss the photos.

      • Gardener Says:

        Yes ma’am, that’s right…… Without a paper calendar I’d be loster than what I am now……. ;-)

  7. LI Mike Says:

    Good morning,

    So, there are about 80 House Republicans who aren’t totally crazy. Who knew!
    :?: :o
    The knuckledraggers will, no doubt, be as recalcitrant and impossible as ever during the next 2 months. Not looking forward to the entitlement cuts that are headiing our way.

    Because of that Overton window thing and corporate media, the progressive solution to budget deficit fixes never make it past an occasional interview with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.

    Meanwhile, jobs, what jobs.

    • addisnana Says:

      Jobs? Jobs? What an interesting concept, Mike. More people working means more revenue. You’d think that even if most of the Tea Party missed econ 101 that the concept of jobs might have somehow seeped into their understanding.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      After my earlier rant, I have resumed a more hopeful air. Mainly because we got shepherded through this mess by Obama and Biden. May their success continue.

      As for jobs… yeah, that kinda got lost in the fray again, didn’t it? :(

    • NCrissieB Says:

      The Squirrel will have something about that this morning in Furthermore!, Mike. Plus the Terminator. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  8. addisnana Says:

    Mercurius became the first pontiff to assume a papal name, John II, today (533).

    I’m smiling at this. The first one is named John II? Must have been a John I someplace in the first five hundred years.

    • LI Mike Says:

      Reminds me of a book I read by Garry Wills, “Why I’m a Catholic.” I was curious as I was having thoughts along those lines, too, given the pedophile disaster.

      Anyway, Wills basically tells the story of the Catholic Church through the history of the Popes. Yikes! What a group! At the end he says, in a nut shell… good eschatology. We live in an intermediate world, good things yet to happen. O.K. But thanks for the pope history. I think.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Pope John I was actually named John. His successor, Felix IV, was actually named Felix. Mercurius, who came along 7 years after John I died, assumed the name John II because his given name honored the Roman god Mercury. He apparently thought that would be inappropriate for a pope.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::