Morning Must Reads: October 31

In the news: Syria's chemical weapons facilities; the NSA; the Fed; President Hillary Clinton; the Red Sox; what's prettier in print

  • Share
  • Read Later
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB), dressed up for Halloween as Sen. Joe Biden, shakes hands with the real Senator Biden (D-DE) before the start of a hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington October 31, 2007.

  • “Syria has rendered its declared chemical weapons production facilities inoperable, the organization in charge of overseeing the nation’s chemical weapons disarmament said Thursday. The declaration is a milestone in an unusual international undertaking that aims to completely destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal by the middle of next year…” [WashPost]
  • “The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world…” [WashPost]
    • “Over two dozen privacy laws have passed this year in more than 10 states, in places as different as Oklahoma and California.” [NYT]
  • “Employing unusually sharp language, the U.S. on Wednesday openly criticized Germany’s economic policies and blamed the euro-zone powerhouse for dragging down its neighbors and the rest of the global economy.” [WSJ]
  • “Federal Reserve officials emerged from a two-day policy meeting with their signature easy-money program intact and no clear signal about whether they would begin pulling it back at their December meeting or continue it into 2014 during a leadership transition at the central bank.” [WSJ]
  • “All of the female Democratic senators signed a secret letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton early this year encouraging her to run for president in 2016…” [ABC]
    • “President Obama asked Hillary Clinton to stay on for an extra year as secretary of State after he won reelection.” [Hill]
  • Prettier in Print
  • The Red Sox win it all [Boston Globe]
  • Happy Halloween!
598 comments
sacredh
sacredh

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to work I go.

sacredh
sacredh

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. We didn't have a single trick or treater, again. Every year we put up the outside decorations, turn every light on and even put a sign in the yard asking kids to PLEASE stop. The houses are just too far apart to make it worth their while to stop. our son and his wife to be stopped in, but they weren't feeling well and left after an hour. We gave them two bags of candy. Nap time before work. Good night folks.

Sue_N
Sue_N

And I am out, kids. I need to make one last effort to find a wig for Halloween. Otherwise, I'll be spray painting my hair again, and ick.

jmac
jmac

"Two out of five babies are playing Angry Birds right now."

I had an angry birds bandaid on the other week - and kids were commenting on it right and left.  Who Knew?  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Is this what the GOP means by Free Markets?

An Arizona utility commissioner is asking for all the key players in a debate over a solar energy policy in the state to reveal any additional secret funding of nonprofits or public relations campaigns. The probe comes after Arizona Public Service, the state's largest utility, admitted last week that it had been secretly contributing to outside nonprofits running negative ads against solar power.

As The Huffington Post reported Friday, APS recently admitted that it had lied for months about paying the 60 Plus Association, a national conservative organization backed by the Koch brothers, to run ads against current solar net-metering policy. APS is currently pushing the Arizona Corporation Commission to roll back the policy, which allows homeowners and businesses with rooftop solar energy systems to make money by selling excess energy back to the grid. Solar proponents say that the policy has facilitated a solar boom in the state, and that changing it could have a huge negative impact on future growth.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

All hope is not lost.

'The Daily Show' Sent A 'Gay' Couple To Alabama And Mississippi, And The Results Might Surprise You

After finding out that statistician Nate Silver hadn't actually visited Alabama or Mississippi before he projected they would be the last states to approve gay marriage, "The Daily Show" sent Al Madrigal down south to see if he was right.

Using hidden cameras to follow two stunt men posing as a gay couple, Madrigal was able to capture surprisingly positive reactions from the locals in Mississippi, the last state to ratify the 13th amendment to end slavery, and Alabama, the state that "still has segregated sororities."

As it turned out, not only was there a lack of homophobic backlash to the couple, but a lot of folks celebrated their love (and even an engagement in a waffle house) right along with them. Your move, Silver!

MementoMori
MementoMori

http://revolutionary-mindset.tumblr.com/post/65569279801/sapelo-island-georgia-its-a-culture-struggling

Sapelo Island, Georgia — It’s a culture struggling to survive. Fewer than 50 people — all descendants of slaves — fear they may soon be taxed out of the property their families have owned since the days of slavery.

They are the Gullah-Geechee people of Sapelo Island off Georgia’s coast, near Savannah. This small, simple community is finding itself embroiled in a feud with local officials over a sudden, huge increase in property assessments that are raising property taxes as much as 600% for some. 

Many say the increase could force them to sell their ancestral properties. “Sapelo being the only intact Gullah-Geechee community in the country that’s left, that is a part of history. It will be a shame not to preserve””That’s part of the American history. That’s part of what built this country,” said Charles Hall, 79, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who was born under a midwife’s care in the same home he lives in today.

McIntosh County’s decision to reappraise homes on the island sparked the problem.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

Good night.  I missed the fun below with collie.

Jerk his chain tomorrow for me, ok?

AlistairCookie
AlistairCookie

@jmac My five year old is playing Angry Birds literally right now as a reward for good behavior.  ;)

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DonQuixotic That reminds me, almost time to get a costume on my Fiance's Pomeranian. Count Barkula will be making an appearance shortly.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@DonQuixotic Now, that's cute!

We tried to put a costume on our dog last year. He tried to eat it. This year, hubby put a cape on the other dog (acquired since last year). Dog #2's name is Krypto, so of course he needed a cape. Dog #1 tried to eat that.

So they're both just going to be dogs for Halloween.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@DonQuixotic 

The bullies and the bigots have an outsized influence. They stand out and are aggressive.

Most people are fair and try to play nice.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@MementoMori 

I was reading a rather long article on this yesterday while I waited at the airport for my flight.  As I understand it there are two things worth noting:

1) This was kicked off (the property value increase) because residents were selling their valuable land bit by bit to developers and moving out.  Many others in and out of the area warned them that this would inevitably be the result of that but they did so anyways.

2) Their land has a lot of freaking value now because of that.  Yes their property taxes are going through the roof, but they could also sell that land for hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars based on the size of the estates.  I understand that this is their heritage and that's a rather ghoulish assessment, but it's not like they're being made homeless if they're forced to sell.

The bigger story from all of this I found was how underdeveloped by the state this area was.  There are many services that the state hasn't been providing them that they should be - particularly for this property tax increase - and hopefully even if this tax increase is forced on to them the state of Georgia will at the very least have to throw them a bone.

collioure
collioure

@MementoMori  

I've had an interesting moment learning about these people.

This is hardly their only community in the coast.

Times marches on, I think.

Why can't they sell and move?

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I won't be up until late afternoon (I hope). Again, it's good to see you back and my best wishes.

collioure
collioure

@fitty_three @sacredh  

53, now that you no longer need it as much, let me predict that Obamacare is going to become quite unpopular and may bring down the Democratic majority in the Senate next year.  The upheavals in people's lives and medical care will not be tolerated by the populace.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@TyPollard My experience indicates the majority of people everywhere have gay or lesbian relatives. It's a fact of life now. The bigots are pushed back by family.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@DonQuixotic  Yes, the people could sell their property for a substantial profit. The question is: Should they be forced to sell due to rapid increases in property taxes?

I'm not a big fan of using property taxes for gentrification. 

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori

"Why can't they sell and move?"

The empathy of the rightwing - as long as money is to be made, all other things are secondary.

collioure
collioure

Third Grade, I posted a prediction, not an objection.  In any case I never objected to those programs.

The problems with this one are gigantic and they're off to a horrid start.  We're starting to learn how many tens of millions of Americans will lose the insurance Barry said they could keep.  It's a recipe for a giant train wreck.

It's one thing to raise taxes for a new program.  It's quite another to start d*cking with people's lives.

Get ready for another change election.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@retiredvet @TyPollard 

Statistically it's improbable (or close to impossible) that anyone in the US isn't related to or doesn't have a friend that's gay, whether they know it or not.  If the GOP and their dim-witted base could freaking wake up and realize that I think a lot of these issues would die out overnight.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @Tero @MementoMori @DonQuixotic

"You just earned an A in name-calling"

You may not like my style or what I have to say, mon ami, but one thing you can't say is that I've showered you with childish name-calling. You've called me a "moron", and an "idiot"  among others. I challenge you to find an instance where I've used grade school epithets towards you. About the worse thing I've called you is a "rightwinger". And if the shoe fits...

So, congratulations, collie. You've earned an F in History and an A in looking foolish and immature.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori @DonQuixotic

You do know that in most family movies that makes you the mustache-twirling villain trying to evict the kind old lady and her children from the orphanage, right?

We no longer focus on what's right, only what's profitable.

collioure
collioure

@MementoMori @DonQuixotic  

I don't agree.

They have attractive choices.  Their people are up and down that coast.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori @DonQuixotic

"No one is forcing them to sell'"

A 500% property tax increase when you're living near the poverty line disagrees with you.

Please try to avoid such simplistic statements when you post here.

You're welcome.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@DonQuixotic @MementoMori 

I guess I've seen this too often in cities, too. A neighborhood or community gets ignored for years. Suddenly a developer gets an interest. Money starts getting invested. Property values skyrocket and the first folks to get pushed out are the one's who lived through the tough times before things got better.

I know the invisible hand of the Free Market is supposed to smack people around in this case, but it still doesn't feel quite right when people have to move because they're property taxes got jacked up by 500%.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@MementoMori @DonQuixotic 

No, they shouldn't, of course not.  

They aren't however entirely blameless in the creation of this problem.  Their community has been slowly eroding and selling off the land and with the new development moving in the State has finally started to notice them. It's sad, and it should be rectified (and there is legal recourse they can take against the state for the ridiculous hike in tax prices, which they're looking into), but I feel less sympathetic for these people when they not only have a way out of the mess but they helped contribute to it to begin with.

tl;dr - it could be worse, and it probably will be resolved. Honestly I'm more angry at the state for failing to provide basic services over all these years to them.

collioure
collioure

@MementoMori @collioure  

I use the names that describe the President accurately wrt his many failures.

I advocate common sense positions.  I doubt many are right wing.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori 

No, it doesn't

Your prolific use of rightwing memes and near-constant advocacy of rightwing positions, however, does.

And I don't run around pretending I'm not something I am. I'm a liberal and I'm not ashamed of it.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori

"Rightywing - what a stupid remark!"

Oh, that's right - you're not a rightwinger. I can't imagine why I keep forgetting....

collioure
collioure

@MementoMori @collioure  

Rightywing - what a stupid remark!

Their whole nation is not at risk.

This particular group of 50 could sell and be better off elsewhere on the coast.