Re: Can We Get Some Better Appellate Judges Nominated And Confirmed?

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Geez, how many famous judges named "Scheindlin" are there?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 5:35 AM
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Some days it just doesn't seem worth gnawing through the leather straps to get out of bed.

You are funny.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 5:48 AM
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Nah, Emo Phillips is. It just felt appropriate this morning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 5:57 AM
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Wasn't voting for Obama both times supposed to solve this problem?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 5:59 AM
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Help me lawyers- isn't the point of an injunction to prevent harm that can't be reversed if the decision goes for the plaintiffs, if there's any chance the plaintiff's could win- i.e., shutting down over 100 abortion clinics which would then lose their facilities and employees and would be unable to reopen even if the law is overturned? Is the 5th circuit saying that's not irreparable harm, or are they saying that there's no chance they could win?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 6:06 AM
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5 The standard isn't no chance they'd win. For a stay, it's that success is likely. And yes, the 5th Circuit found that the state's success was likely on appeal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 6:17 AM
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On stop and frisk, is this court ruling going to affect much in the long term. Very soon, NYC gets a new mayor who ran against it, right? Why go all out so you can frisk black people for another three months? Is it just fear of setting a precedent (once people find out you can be protected against unreasonable searches, everybody will want it) or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 6:31 AM
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Why go all out so you can frisk black people for another three months?

What's the word for a question that contains its own answer?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 7:56 AM
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Incidentally, if anybody wants to support women in Texas who have been affected by the Fifth court's ruling* consider donating to the Lilith Fund. I have just done so.

From their website, "Your financial donation to the Lilith Fund goes directly to offset the cost of a safe and legal abortion for someone who otherwise couldn't afford it."

* Imagine, if you will, the experience of someone who had an appointment scheduled to get an abortion today, only to find out late last night that the clinic would be shut down. I can't even wrap my head around what that would feel like -- what would do? If they are able to schedule an appointment at a different clinic it will inevitably be expensive -- requiring more travel, and more time off work.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 8:51 AM
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Don't read this unless you need to raise your blood pressure.

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/947B9C4D8A1E54E785257C16004E80C9/$file/13-5069-1464136.pdf


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 9:42 AM
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Is that a letter to the editor or a court decision? "Behemoth" "trammels" "Horns of an impossible dilemma".


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 9:48 AM
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It's been years but I still can't quite believe that Janice Rogers Brown is on the DC Circuit. It's like finding the worst judge in America (well, tied for worst with many others) and then deliberately promoting her, step by step. Which I guess really is what happened. Ah well, the majesty of the law and our legal system.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 9:55 AM
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8: quanswer


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 9:57 AM
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11. The angriest dog in the world is channeling my reaction. As it so often does.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 9:59 AM
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12 -- The decision to abandon the filibuster of her nomination was one of the great political fuckups of our time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 10:03 AM
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20 years, tops, before my old friend from undergrad is an appellate judge and rules that the federal eminent domain power is unconstitutional.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 12:31 PM
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Isn't eminent domain power in the actual plain text of the constitution?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 12:41 PM
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The argument is that the Takings Clause was intended to constrain the government's power within unorganized territories and DC, where it otherwise had considerably greater powers than usual.

I think originalism is a wicked and foolish doctrine, but then, my view doesn't matter; law profs' and judges' views do.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 12:53 PM
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18 -- It's not the dumbest constitutional argument ever, I guess. But maybe in the top 50.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 1:05 PM
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A little bit more about the impact of the Texas law:

"It is a sad and dark day for women in Texas; we have regressed backwards about 30 years," Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president of Whole Women's Health, told ThinkProgress in an emailed statement. Three of the five clinics that she runs will now be forced to close.

"The courts have given us no choice but to roll out our contingency plans for the discontinuation of abortion services in our McAllen, Fort Worth, and San Antonio facilities, effective immediately," Hagstrom Miller explained. On Thursday, her staff began calling patients in the McAllen and Forth Worth communities to let them know that they would not be able to receive abortion care at those Whole Women's Health locations. "This is heartbreaking for us on many levels," she added. "Women who need our care will now have nowhere to turn, and the staff and physicians in our clinics now face furlough and likely unemployment."

...

The Lilith Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides direct financial assistance to Texas residents seeking abortions, anticipates that many people across the state will wake up today to find their upcoming appointments canceled.

"We are spending this morning calling clinics to find out which ones of them will remain open, and which will be closed. We'll also be following up with our clients who have appointments at the clinics who are closing to find out how we can help them reschedule appointments at other clinics, and what kinds of assistance they'll need," Lindsay Rodriguez, Lilith Fund's president-elect, told ThinkProgress. "Some will have to travel."

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 1:09 PM
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So the next shiny new law in Texas will be outlawing third parties from providing financial assistance or transporting people across county lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. Because freedom (and if a woman receives assistance to pay for abortion expenses, she'd better report it as taxable income and expect an audit.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 1:46 PM
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21: Because freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
And freedom, that's what Texas wants for me...


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 1:51 PM
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21: I don't see how that passes constitutional muster. I bet it either doesn't pass or gets struck down at the first challenge.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 1:56 PM
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23: Yeah, I don't see how it could possibly be constitutional to make it illegal to help someone do something that is not itself illegal. Of course, that won't stop them from trying.

And how the hell would they even begin to try to enforce such a law? Roadblocks and checkpoints at the county line?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 2:08 PM
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11: Yeah, finally had some time today, so was running over here with "Two years after our decision Seven-Sky v. Holder, 661 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2011), we are asked to revisit the behemoth known as the Affordable Care Act." Holy Pandora's Box, Batman!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 2:19 PM
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Btw, I'm going camping so I'll be out of pocket all weekend.

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Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 2:28 PM
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25.last: Is this a bridge to far for Kennedy? Or even Roberts? But then I guess the sovereign rights of corporations language in the Constitution dictates this result.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 2:29 PM
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26: With small children? Good luck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 2:34 PM
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Jesus, I really shouldn't have looked at the link in 11. Yes, being forced to buy an insurance plan that will pay for your employee's sinful choices is exactly the same sort of coerced agency as requiring an Amish family to send their own children through high school.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 6:48 PM
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That was sarcasm, in case it wasn't clear.

I look forward to the successful lawsuits from Quakers demanding that they be exempted from paying for Defense Dept. expenditures.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 6:50 PM
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What about a Christian Scientist business owner who refuses to buy his employees any medical insurance at all?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 1-13 6:55 PM
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Any chance of en banc working in this case, possibly keeping Kennedy from getting his mitts on it?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 10:37 AM
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29, further to 11: I was just looking at that both here and here. Just catching up on it now. Yeah, I can't see how this isn't a huge slippery slope.

Dunno what en banc means in this context. (I have a code; my dose is all stuffed ub and I keeb sneezing.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 11:01 AM
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What is this word "ukase", I ask myself. From the ruling:

The contraceptive mandate demands that owners like the Gilardis meaningfully approve and endorse the inclusion of contraceptive coverage in their companies' employer-provided plans, over whatever objections they may have. Such an endorsement--procured exclusively by regulatory ukase--is a "compel[led] affirmation of a repugnant belief." That, standing alone, is a cognizable burden on free exercise.

ukase: an edict of the Russian government. Which has apparently entered into the (American?) English lexicon to mean anything which is, basically, a government regulation.

Um.

Reading further in the DailyKos piece, from the ruling:

The government cites several concerns to bolster its claim that the contraceptive mandate serves a compelling interest (or interests), but its recitation is sketchy and highly abstract.

Okay, this made me laugh. Who is this person writing this?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 11:38 AM
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Appellate decisions are rendered by a randomly selected three-judge panel. En banc refers to a reconsideration of a case by the full complement of judges, which can then reverse the panel's decision.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 11:40 AM
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The rest of the DKos piece really is worth a read.

I haven't backtracked to see just which other members of the circuit court agreed with this portion of the decision. But okay, Judge Harry Edwards dissented.

First, the Mandate does not require the Gilardis to use or purchase contraception themselves. Second, the Mandate does not require the Gilardis to encourage Freshway's employees to use contraceptives any more directly than they do by authorizing Freshway to pay wages.

The religious precept in play is apparently that under Catholic doctrine, "instructing or encouraging someone else to commit a wrongful act is itself a grave moral wrong." The ACA requirement to provide employee health insurance coverage for contraception does not in any way amount to instructing or encouraging employees to use it.

Am I wrong in thinking that this decision is a bunch of complete gobbledygook?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 11:56 AM
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No, you are not wrong. To 32, I think no, there just aren't the votes. The current version of the DC Circuit is ridiculous.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 12:20 PM
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35: Thanks, LB. I really do have an awful cold, so my attention span has been a little limited. Thanks for explaining.

On preview, 37: Huh. So that current nomination of Millett to that court -- the one that's currently being blocked by Republicans -- is really, really important.

I knew that. It's good to witness what's at stake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 12:32 PM
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To carry on just a bit more: the anti-regulatory spirit -- essentially a libertarian sentiment -- on the rise in the Republican party (and among some neoliberals) is really a problem, and I'd like to see it called out.

That Rep. Marsha Blackburn, was it (yes, R-Tenn.) who called out Kathleen Sebelius over the ACA, analogizing it to forcing people to drink out of a stem glass when they might prefer a Solo cup, should have been answered thus:

Dude. Do you also want people to be able to eat food and drink water that's contaminated? In the name of freedom? Are you against government regulation in any form whatsoever?

Of course Sebelius was not at liberty to reply in that manner, but I'd really like to see this form of interrogation gain some traction.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-13 1:00 PM
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Imagine, if you will, the experience of someone who had an appointment scheduled to get an abortion today, only to find out late last night that the clinic would be shut down.

The UK basically functions with very few intermediary institutions - for anything that matters, it's the central government, and then everybody else. This is a problem. The USA, meanwhile, seems to give really inordinate arbitrary power to all kinds of people. I know the idea is that they are meant to check each other, but in practice it seems to just vastly increase the numbers of pols who can fuck things up on a whim.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11- 3-13 5:13 AM
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40: Yeah, but at least we don't have the Queen on our money that's totally by design. It also makes it possible, if you have decent intermediaries, to blunt the effect of bad decisions made on the national level. Also, there are differences between the way that works, state by state, so you can move to another state if you don't like the way things are run locally. I dunno, just seems like the normal trade-offs you're going to have whenever you set up a government. All of which are illegitimate.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 3-13 12:00 PM
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All of which are illegitimate

You had us worried there for a sec.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11- 3-13 12:16 PM
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I love 41 so much I actually do want to marry it. Or at least merry it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 3-13 12:25 PM
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Related to 41, a Mike Konczal post explaining a recent paper on "The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011-2012". Related because about state-level legislative moves.

That piece also links to something called the Powell Memo, from later Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell in 1971. Fascinating; I'd never heard of it before, but it apparently set the stage for the founding and funding of numerous conservative think tanks and other institutions dedicated not exactly to conservative ideas per se, but to promotion of a corporate agenda.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-13 12:43 PM
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the Powell Memo, from later Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell in 1971. Fascinating; I'd never heard of it before, but it apparently

I'm surprised you hadn't seen that*, I feel like I've seen it a couple of places, and I know it's come up in Harper's before.

For example, looking quickly, I found this exchange from in which Jane Hamsher asks Rick Pearlstein about it, in the context of Nixonland and he replies, "I'll be dealing more with the Powell Memo . . . in my next book, on the years from 1973-80. I never found much evidence that it was influential at the time it was written. But I think it definitely struck a [nerve] later on."

That matches my sense -- that it's acquired more significance in retrospect, as a way of describing actions which were not necessarily motivated by the memo, but which fit it's argument.

* I realize this is always a potentially obnoxious thing to say since, of course, it's always easy to not run into something.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-13 2:56 PM
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A quick bleg to those who know about health insurance and all that. Is there a quick description of when it's better to take Gold coverage plus a small Flexible Spending Account versus Bronze coverage with the required/suggested Health Savings Account if the amount you're putting in from each check is relatively similar?

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Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 8:19 AM
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How many utils do you get from having a greater choice of doctors?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 8:21 AM
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Alex-- what system have you been most satisfied with?

It's strange how much of this is culturally embedded. I'm always horrified when I hear that Ontario amalgamated Ottawa or Toronto, but it's not exactly a rational thing. I come from New England where towns and cities are strong. In other parts of the country counties are where the action is and there is unincorporated land. Here, even in a rural area you are in a town and you cross from one town into another. Our counties basically just run the jails (not prisons) and courts. So the idea of having a State tell a town that it's going to merge with another one just horrifies me, but it's probably irrational on my part. (Except that I find it strange that there is a lot of farm land in the city of Ottawa, and I think that the urban dwellers in Toronto have been mushed together with people in suburban and exurban areas who get to vote in their mayoral elections and don't share their values. So then you wind up with Rob Ford. Maybe I'm not being so irrational on this one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 8:35 AM
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46: How much do you hate dealing with FSAs? I hate them a lot, because I'm terrible at keeping track of things like that and I've lost money a couple of times by not spending it. If you don't hate them, or if your spending is such that you wouldn't expect to need to use it really at all, I'd go with the gold plan. Honestly, for the same monthly nut, I can't see a reason to go the other way -- I just have an irrational hatred of FSAs.

(If you're healthy, and you have more money than you can otherwise put in tax-sheltered investments, the bronze/HSA plan might be a good idea. But I don't think the latter clause of that applies to all that many people.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 8:40 AM
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46 and 49: You can now roll over some of your FSA money into the next year (a few hundred). I have regular normal health insurance with no deductible, but I still use an FSA to pay for therapy. A true HSA builds up over time as in many years, because it's pairs with a plan with a higher deductible. In investments you could lose all the money and be up a creek, but there's nothing to stop you from putting it into a bank account.

I hate this sort of thing, because I think that the best advice for Thorn might be contrary to the best policy.

That is it would go something like: Get a bronze plan with an HSA. That way, if you're healthy for a while you'll have money saved up for when all of the plans get really crappy. Of course, this is bad, bad, bad in terms of risk sharing for society.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 10:37 AM
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50 was I, and I previewed that at least once too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 10:37 AM
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I'm not really sure what I want. My regular inclination is to go gold because then if anything awful happens I'll be covered as much as I can be, but that means I pay a lot upfront to have that marginal reassurance. Our FSA is easy because it computes automatically and just sends me checks periodically, which is great. It sounds like the HSA could be set up to do the same, but the HSA sounds more annoying plus is maybe not great public policy. I'm kind of thinking I should choose the silver plan, put a little in the FSA, and then blow the difference on gin and chocolate, though that would undo my recent weight loss pretty quickly.

I just hate everything about signing up for coverage, even though I'm grateful my options are good. I also had to do my annual review self-assessment for work and signed Selah up for daycare today. So maybe tonight I won't be sobbing about my inability to amount to anything again.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 10:57 AM
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45: That matches my sense -- that it's acquired more significance in retrospect, as a way of describing actions which were not necessarily motivated by the memo, but which fit it's argument.

Ah, thanks Nick. As for not running to the Powell Memo, I don't know, I vaguely feel as though I remember something like that, but if so, I never did tag it with its proper name.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-13 11:21 AM
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WTF is this shit? The Constitution says that ratified treaties are the supreme law of the land- if there's a direct conflict the Constitution rules (e.g. can't repeal an amendment by treaty) but the power to enforce a treaty doesn't need to have the specific topic of the treaty enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Alito said that in recent decades treaties had dealt with all manner of things, a development the framers of the Constitution could not have anticipated.

Fucking hippies with their "living constitution" and "the framers couldn't anticipate" bullshit.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:07 PM
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What a fact-pattern, though:

The case arose from the actions of a Pennsylvania woman, Carol A. Bond, when she learned that her husband was the father of her best friend's child. Ms. Bond, a microbiologist, spread harmful chemicals on the friend's car, mailbox and doorknob, inflicting a minor injury on the friend.
After local authorities decided not to pursue the matter, federal prosecutors charged Ms. Bond with using unconventional weapons in violation of a law based on the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty concerned with terrorists and rogue states.

Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:23 PM
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I actually don't find the conservative position here all that crazy. No one doubts the federal government has the authority to outlaw "real" chemical weapons; the question is whether it has the power to do so in the incredibly broad fashion (e.g., extending to the sort of thing this woman did) that is necessarily implied by this woman having been successfully prosecuted.

... then again, I've never been entirely reconciled to the idea that the federal government just has a general criminal police power. I look forward to Roberts and Alito overturning Raich haha just kidding.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:36 PM
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I'm fine with specific interpretation of the statute as too broad, that it goes beyond the wording of this particular treaty. But they're arguing that the subject of treaties need to be an enumerated power.
We may have signed a treaty with the British Empire, but the 10th amendment says that I still have the right to be at war with them- the Constitution enumerates the declaration of war to Congress, but not the power to declare wars over!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:42 PM
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56: I dunno, I think the conservative position shows a certain over-eagerness to use a silly case like this as a pretext to make major Constitutionally-significant changes. Just say the prosecutor was an idiot and leave it at that.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:44 PM
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54, 57 -- The usual general rule (I know exactly zero about this treaty, or the facts of the case, and are too lazy to look them up) is that unless a treaty is clearly intended to be "self-enacting" in terms of regulating domestic conduct, it doesn't become law regulating domestic conduct unless Congress has specifically enacted a law based on the treaty. That is, a general prohibition on something contained in an international treaty won't become suddenly enforceable as domestic law unless the treaty makes clear that it is intended to do so.

As for 56.2, you can take your libertarian bullshit and shove it up your fucking ass. Oh hey its our good old fashioned friend federalism saying that the federal government can't ban or regulate domestic chemical weapons. What an awesome principle generally, and that's definitely not covered by the commerce clause.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:50 PM
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I think there is implementing legislation- don't know what statute but Ginsberg says at the beginning, "...the implementing legislation seems to largely copy the words of the treaty without adding anything."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:54 PM
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56 was probably the fever talking.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:54 PM
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So I can use chemical weapons so long as I stay in Pennsylvania.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 5:58 PM
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The cool thing about chemical weapons is that there's no possible way they could have an effect on interstate commerce. I mean sure that sarin gas cloud is shutting down the port but hey look over there it's freedom.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 6:20 PM
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Ha, I just sent the argument transcript to LB asking what she thought of it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 6:22 PM
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57: No, it really is about whether the implementing legislation was broader than necessary for implementing our obligations under the treaty, and at the same time intruded on powers traditionally reserved to the states. Nobody's arguing (in this case) that treaties need to be the subject of a separately enumerated power. Alito had some semi-coherent things to say about what he thinks are limitations on the treaty power--that it can only extend to stuff the other states parties have any business caring about, basically--but I don't think anyone's arguing 57.2-3.

59.last/63 is the obvious, correct answer to this case, but the government didn't assert it below and when I think it was Kagan brought it up today Scalia started screaming about waiver, so he's clearly looking for an opportunity to do something stupid here.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 6:39 PM
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I didn't think the SG did as good a job at trying to win Breyer as he might have done.

Who is paying Clement?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 6:49 PM
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I am a bit concerned that VA is still too close to call.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 6:51 PM
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Virginia's gubernatorial race is a classic in the "I wish they both could lose" genre. There are few figures in American politics that I find more loathsome than McAuliffe. I suppose Cuccinelli is one of them, though it's a very close thing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 6:57 PM
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waiver

I really am not going to read anything about this [so why am I commenting? the deep mysteries of procrastination] but I'm not really clear on how the waiver doctrine alone allows the Supreme Court to strike down an otherwise constitutional act of Congress. The woman was apparently convicted of a crime. The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction over her challenge that the law was somehow unconstitutionally enacted. But now the Supreme Court gets to strike down as unconstitutional a law passed by Congress that is otherwise constitutional only because the government's lawyers didn't argue in their lower-court briefs one specific good argument in favor of its overall argument that the statute is constitutional? That seems bizarre.

I guess the Supreme Court could overturn her conviction specifically but not deem the statute generally unconstitutional, and allow the government to make the commerce clause argument as to constitutionality in other cases involving the statute. But that also is pretty much the definition of ridiculously activist judging, reaching out to decide an unnecessary* point of law, in a case that's both striking down an act of Congress and interfering with executive branch in an area of importance for foreign policy. But it's not like that's stopped these guys before.

* (unnecessary because the conviction would have been otherwise proper under a properly enacted law).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:05 PM
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Also, you can tell I'm currently working on a state court matter because I left of the "s" in Court of Appeals.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:12 PM
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The Court of App Seal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:13 PM
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I like how the sidebar right now has this thread's title asked again and again as a question, with one lonely Moby Hick comment in the middle, answering it with the clearly correct: "No".


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:23 PM
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Yeah, I held my nose when I voted for McAuliffe. 88% of the votes are in and still no call. The Libertarian is doing better than 5%.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:34 PM
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I love the NYT. They're calling it for De Blasio with De Blasio 1515 Lhota 676. Not unexpected.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:38 PM
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Boston.com calls the mayoral race for Walsh.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:40 PM
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And Marty Walsh wins in Boston. I'm good with that.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:41 PM
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Curse you Kreskin with your supernatural skills.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:41 PM
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God I really really really hope Obenshain and Cooch lose. Tired of their brand of dysfunction and bullshit; ready for slimey ol' Terry.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:45 PM
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I've seen convincing analyses showing that McAuliffe is going to win. Something about late districts and Obama was the same way in 2012.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:46 PM
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It's over in VA. but much too close, and does not look like Dem will pull out Att. Gen. I expect much ballyhooing about Obamacare making it be close*. Seems to have been a "base" election with both sides exceeding expected margins in their stronghold areas.

*Alternatively as close as it looks and very strong NoVa for McCauliffe, probably a decent case to be made that shutdown swung it the way it is going.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:48 PM
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Looks like Libertarian is under-performing polls, wonder if was Repubs coming home?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:49 PM
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Looks like Libertarian is under-performing polls

We'll be back. As I've always said in my own original words, "we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."


Posted by: Opinionated Rand Paul | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:52 PM
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Looks like Libertarian is under-performing polls, wonder if was Repubs coming home?
After Ron Paul's command performance, certainly? pppft. Sick of it.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:53 PM
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md 20/400, looks like you'll get the creepy right-winger as your new Attorney General. Yuck. At least you probably won't have him AND Cuccinelli, though.

Detroit will have its first white mayor in four decades.

In very good news, IL is going to pass gay marriage.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:53 PM
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looks like you'll get the creepy right-winger as your new Attorney General.

Just when you thought your non-reproductive sexytimes were safe! Snatched! From the jaws of depravity!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:55 PM
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84.1: My extrapolations have Herring coming up about 10K short. No idea if there are "hidden" blocs of votes like absentees of the like, however.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:55 PM
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Exit polls said four of ten VA voters IDed as Dem, three of ten as R. Pretty good for VA.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:56 PM
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86: I think you're right. The remaining votes to report are in very blue areas, but I suspect the deficit is too big, and absentees shouldn't skew Dem for any reason I can think of.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:58 PM
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86: Ah, but just saw on Twitter that Wasserman is saying Herring might do it (from Cook Political Report and quite knowledgable on this stuff). So we'll see, but I can't see where the votes would be coming from.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 7:59 PM
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89: And Daily Kos Elections guy thinks not--and he is pretty good as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:02 PM
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88: Wasserman says absentees are the wild card. Only Dem skew would be if they are disproportionately NoVa (even if so, probably not as Dem as general vote there).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:05 PM
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Sleazeball beats Lunatic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:06 PM
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Voted for the douche, it was important.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:07 PM
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No Cooch. Good. Obenshain. Not good. I really hope Herring manages to win. (And the Reverend looney tunes is not goign to be the LT.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:33 PM
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Did people not realize that Obenshain is basically the same guy as Cooch?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:36 PM
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They had heard some disturbing stuff about Cooch, but the magic of the R beguiled them.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:38 PM
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95: After the creepy ads with his daughter, how could they not?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:39 PM
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94: Me getting "onanist" in online Boggle just now, priceless!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:40 PM
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Soon, even typing it will risk prosecution in VA.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:41 PM
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God's will be done.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:42 PM
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98: Didn't know boggle was also a one-player game.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:43 PM
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101: Actually it's when you spill your tiles on the ground.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:44 PM
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102: That's why you should use two hands.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:46 PM
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Or a Tamar, if you have one handy. So to speak. Biblically.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 8:50 PM
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And there are those counties in Colorado that are voting on whether to secede. Not sure how that would help them, and it would ruin the state's simple rectangular boundary.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:02 PM
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I think there's something in the constitution about not being able to form states out of other states without the whole state voting yes.

Anyway, this guy came in 4th for a city council seat. Flag was too small, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:11 PM
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Or a Tamar, if you have one handy. So to speak. Biblically.

"Tamar" means "date palm" in Hebrew.

So poor Onan got in trouble for spilling seed a palm date rather than in a date palm.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:16 PM
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Yeah, I think Congress also has to approve. Does the fact that it's never gonna happen make it a stronger symbolic gesture when they try anyway? "How much do we hate you liberals? THIS MUCH."


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:20 PM
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Looks like absentees are coming through in AG race. down to 1K margin.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:23 PM
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Where are you getting your numbers, JP?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:30 PM
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WaPo website, and from twitter from Wasserman @redistrict


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:34 PM
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earlier was looking at Va state site, but it seemed further behind...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:36 PM
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And someone else on Twiter was saying Obama got an additional .9% margin after election night counting. So probably not going to know tonight.

McAuliffe now up 2.4%, so outside of zone of dispute.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:42 PM
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So it's Norfolk, Newport News, and Suffolk? Quick arithmetic suggests that Herring should pull it out*, no?

* This method in honor of Cuccinelli, I expect.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 9:52 PM
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114: I think we are past the point where that is reliable, since it is more absentees and other odds and sods more than the few full precincts that are out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:05 PM
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Daily Kos elections saying 8 of the 11 Colorado counties voted to secede. Also saw am article saying residents not taking vote all that seriously.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:13 PM
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When I first heard about the Colorado secession thing, my first thought was "North Colorado? That's the most liberal part of the state!" But of course that's the point; it's the rural/exurban counties closest to Denver that feel most threatened by it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:15 PM
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It's the NE. The part that is more Nebraska/Kansas than Colorado. But, yeah, not the Colorado Springs nutjobs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:21 PM
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http://missoulian.com/news/local/missoula-city-council-incumbents-keep-seats-joined-by-liberal-newcomers/article_3e88da5e-4698-11e3-b8b5-001a4bcf887a.html

Drink em if you got em.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:22 PM
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And DKos corrects to 5 of 11.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:23 PM
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It's the NE. The part that is more Nebraska/Kansas than Colorado.

Ah, okay. None of the (admittedly few) articles I've read has explained exactly which counties it was. Still, I think my point stands.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 10:34 PM
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Semi-on-topic: an acquaintance at The Other Place--a "left neoliberal" hedge-funder in the Yggles mold--angrily posted about how he hopes that de Blasio realizes that it's the working poor, not those rentier union employees with their pensions, who really should be the objects of his egalitarian concern, and who desperately need cheaper housing and transportation, so can't we just agree on the pressing need to abolish rent control, build more luxury condos, and destroy public sector unions?

I must have stared at that post for 20 minutes. This guy genuinely believes himself to be an egalitarian, he's extremely smart, and it just depresses the fuck out of me that: 1- I have no arguments that can pierce that neoclassical econ shell, and 2- almost everyone with real power in the Democratic party thinks exactly like he does.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 5-13 11:59 PM
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If you're going to be spending that much time at The Other Place you should ignore that guy and join the sex-map party the rest of us are having.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:07 AM
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He literally argues in favor of building more luxury condos?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:13 AM
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More condos, fewer hospitals, yes. These are literally the policies he believes will help the worst-off.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:16 AM
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So he wants to turn the hospitals into condos, or what?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:22 AM
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Well, allow the market to operate freely, which means, yes, turning hospitals into condos. This increase in supply at the high end will trickle down into lower prices for everyone else, because supply and demand.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:29 AM
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The only argument that works for someone like that is shaming, and it works slowly. Point out that by a funny coincidence the policies he always advocates to "help the poor" actually help the rich, and then wonder if he actually wants to help the poor at all. Incredulity also works -- the way to help the poor is by closing all of their hospitals? Interesting.

You're probably not actually looking for advice, but I guess I'm just in the mood for a fight. Teo's here. Alaska sucks. The Anasazi didn't have the wheel because of cannibalism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:30 AM
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Shame isn't on the table, because I'm not structurally situated to do any shaming--I've got neither social nor epistemic authority here. That's what was the source of my distress, to a large degree: the realization that, most likely, everyone he looks up to or considers a reliable authority is probably operating from within the same paradigm.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:36 AM
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I do actually basically agree with the interpretation of the housing market that 127 comes out of, which is of course also one of Yglesias's hobbyhorses. That said, there's obviously a need for hospitals as well as housing, and the idea that increasing amounts of space will need to be used for healthcare in the future is actually another Yglesias hobbyhorse. It's worth noting, as well, that de Blasio's positions on housing and development issues in general are Yglesias-approved.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:41 AM
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On the other hand, I don't really want to fight Walt about this or anything else.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:42 AM
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The thing is, you can't talk sensibly about NYC housing policy without looking at demand, or rather effective demand, which is to say the fact that rich people have too much fucking money. Moreover, the NYC housing market isn't just one market--there's a luxury housing market that's very much drawing from a global demand curve, and even the professional class housing market is looking at a national demand curve. Treating demand as fixed--really, as sacred--is a gigantic lacuna here.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:54 AM
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No, no, let's you and him fight.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:55 AM
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Trapnel, the only way to win an argument is to actually make the argument. De Blasio won among poor people because they know their self-interest better than someone who gets his ideas about economic development out of a textbook.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 1:03 AM
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Moreover, the NYC housing market isn't just one market--there's a luxury housing market that's very much drawing from a global demand curve, and even the professional class housing market is looking at a national demand curve.

Right, this is an important difference between the NYC housing market and those in most other cities, which people like Yglesias tend to totally overlook. That said, increasing supply should still help with the problem, in combination with other policies to address the demand side. Converting hospitals to condos doesn't sound like a very sensible way of doing this to me, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 1:03 AM
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I heard a Parisian complain about the same thing about Paris. I guess London has the same problem too.

Here's the economic mumbo-jumbo argument. Empirical research has shown that big cities like NYC have higher economic output because of agglomeration economies -- having lots of people live close together allows them to share tacit knowledge. As Alfred Marshall said, "When an industry has thus chosen a locality for itself, it is likely to stay there long: so great are the advantages which people following the same skilled trade get from near neighbourhood to one another. The mysteries of the trade become no mysteries; but are as it were in the air..."

This only works, though, if it's actual people living close together. If the NYC housing market is tied up by Saudi or Russian oligarchs who own a condo for their two-week Christmas shopping trip, then this destroys this opportunity for economic growth.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 1:14 AM
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This only works, though, if it's actual people living close together. If the NYC housing market is tied up by Saudi or Russian oligarchs who own a condo for their two-week Christmas shopping trip, then this destroys this opportunity for economic growth.

Only if the supply is fixed, though. If you keep building condos faster than the Saudis and Russians can buy them, there will still be space available for local residents too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 1:19 AM
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So the NYC government should build extra condos for poor people.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 1:55 AM
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Sure, that would be one approach.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 1:56 AM
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re: 137

In London, at least, the supply of houses consistently fails to meet demand.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 2:47 AM
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Herring up by 616. If only it were 50 more the religious nuts' heads would explode.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 5:03 AM
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The gun people were really fired up for Cooch. They were/are convinced that he was the savior and that the Dems are going to take their guns. (Impossible given huge advantage of Repubs in Gen Assembly.)

I really thought Cooch would lose by more, but he had the pro-gun and pro-lifers fired up.

Nobody focused much on Obenshain and Herring sadly.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 6:30 AM
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American Creed FTW: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/230761041.html

All in all, things went pretty much how I expected/wanted last night. My friend who was running a non-serious campaign for minor office came in last, but that really wasn't much of a surprise, and I doubt he expected to do a whole lot better. It will be interesting to see how the new powers a City Hall work with each other and the rest of the government.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 6:33 AM
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141: Herring up by 616.

Unfortunately per Wasserman there seem to be 3 or 4 wingnut precincts out which should shift the preliminary result to the R by a few hundred (in fact AP has him now down by 154) . But as points out, it's all provisionals, recounts and odds and sods from here on out--which traditionally break Democratic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 7:51 AM
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I'm not an expert, but I do know one, and I don't think NYC actually has enormous problems with restrictions on housing supply -- if there's one thing you can do there, it's to build up, not to mention the absolutely huge swaths of the Bronx, Queens, etc that are all transit-accessible, etc. I don't think it's substantially height limits or preservation ordinances or whatever that are artificially capping housing supply in NYC much (maybe with some local exceptions like parts of Brooklyn). The housing shortage in NYC is largely caused by insane disparities in wealth in the City, global demand for some spaces, and the fact that it just is really difficult and expensive for basic obvious reasons to build new construction in a city as dense and crowded as NY.

That argument works much better for San Francisco, where a development moratorium has basically turned it into rich people island, and, maybe, Washington DC (though here I think good old too many eggs in the Van Heusen Yggles probably overstates his case, and also ignores MD and VA and Anacostia).

And, in any case, this issue has precisely zero to do with public sector unions.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:01 AM
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Also also, it seems insane to just expect that in a modern, already built City housing markets will just automatically clear satisfactorily once the magic of the market goes to work. Which doesn't mean that development restrictions arent often super stupid but does mean that you have to actually, you know, think about these things instead of just spewing recycled Econ 101 from the Van Heusen you don't quite fit in.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:12 AM
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Does the stuffed shirt argue that New York has series restrictions on supply?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:25 AM
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Especially since people have known that urban worker's housing is a market failure for a hundred years or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:28 AM
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Are Van Heusen shirts even all cotton? I'd hate to have a high-rise building designed by somebody in polyester-blend shirts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:28 AM
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I have mixed feelings about NYC rent stabilization. I'd hate to get rid of it without replacing it with some other way to make housing affordable for the middle class, but there are certainly perverse results; my mother doesn't need to be living alone in a two-bedroom apartment, but she couldn't get a one-bedroom in anything like a comparable neighborhood at anything like the same rent, so she's never going to move.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:38 AM
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You know, in most of the country, a two-bedroom apartment for one person doesn't seem particularly extravagant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:41 AM
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A sad bit of anecdata on the Manhattan market as viewed by a real estate agent from the experience of a relative selling a very well-located place (and nice but small) in the Village. Said agent was delighted that the buyers were a wealthy (not global super-rich) couple from exurban New Jersey looking for a city pied-à-terre rather than a someone wanting to live there. "There are few fewer problems qualifying for a mortgage." (But an undoubtedly accurate assessment.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:45 AM
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Sure, and in most of the country my apartment doesn't look palatial for four people. But in NY, Mom's in an apartment she couldn't afford at market rates, that's being subsidized for her through a Rube Goldberg system. If there were a sane method of making housing affordable under conditions where demand wildly exceeds supply, it'd put families of four in the two-bedroom apartments, and put Mom in a one-bedroom.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:49 AM
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What about a progressive housing subsidy that becomes a luxury tax at the high end?
I find the phrase "empirical research has shown" unconvincing when applied to economics. I don't doubt information sharing is a factor, to some extent, but there are so many advantages to density that I can't imagine they've controlled for them all.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:50 AM
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150: Similar (although kind of reversed) considerations precipitated a marital break-up (that admittedly was going to blow sky high over something else if not that) for the family member in 152. Married, living in small rent-controlled 1BR. Child comes along and although prior agreement of need to "upgrade," spouse in the end cannot bring self to leave the very good deal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 8:56 AM
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But in NY, Mom's in an apartment she couldn't afford at market rates, that's being subsidized for her through a Rube Goldberg system. If there were a sane method of making housing affordable under conditions where demand wildly exceeds supply, it'd put families of four in the two-bedroom apartments, and put Mom in a one-bedroom.

I've been mulling this over for a little while, since seeing x trapnel's question and here's what I've arrived at -- somebody tell me if I'm on a productive line of reasoning.

1) One of the big differences between owning and renting is predictability -- you can't be kicked out on somebody else's schedule, and somebody can't raise your rent (there are of course costs of ownership that can increase, like property taxes, but it's still pretty different).

2) Laws that give a tenant protection against eviction or rent increases give them some portion of the benefits of ownership (without the ability to transfer those benefits -- which is part of what makes the system feel Rube Goldberg-esque).

3) At a first approximation people who own property are wealthier than people who don't, and in NYC, people who have desirable "pseudo-ownership" rights are going to be relatively well off. This is why I support phasing out the mortgage tax deduction. On the other hand, there is value to property ownership and I think there is a place for policies which encourage ownership (or, in this case, create pseudo-ownership rights).

Doing away with rent controls would return what I'm calling pseudo-ownership rights from the current tenants (relatively well off) to the actual property owner (almost certainly much wealthier) which would clearly be a redistribution upwards. Therefore you would need to demonstrate significant benefits to the poor to argue that it would result in, overall, a redistribution downward.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:02 AM
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Well, right. I wouldn't want to get rid of rent stabilization without something that would provide equal or greater benefits to poor and middle-income renters, and that's never going to happen. It just seems like a lousy system that's only worth holding on to because there's no political way to replace it with something else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:08 AM
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So, rent control is Obamacare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:09 AM
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154: In social science, you can never literally control for every possible other explanation. We live in a fallen world.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:09 AM
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Stupid IRB won't let you isolate children on an island and raise them according to a research protocol.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:11 AM
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The O Henry twist to the story in 155 is that the person in question is an actual Silas Marnerian miser (I think the only one I've really known) and one result of holding on to the rent-controlled place is that he did not use his overwhelmingly sufficient funds to purchase real estate in Lower Manhattan in the early '90s. (Even he now recognizes this as an own goal.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:28 AM
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159: Sure, that was overbroad. My guess as to an explanation for most of the effect is that high earners and wealthy corporations like to take residence in desirable places to live. This raises rents and wages for everyone else. By what evidence or theory do they go with the scenario that higher densities of, say, retail workers allows them to share trade secrets raising their productivity and, consequently, wages.
Disclaimer: I'm aware my half-assed theories may not withstand scrutiny. I accept full responsibility for my blowhard persona.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:30 AM
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New York's cost is a really tough problem to solve. Halford's right that Manhattan's not like SF where you just need to make it easier to build and things would get better quicker. On the other hand, if more of Brooklyn were at the density of lower Manhattan that'd go a long way to lowering prices.

I support huge taxes on rich people, or perhaps more directly, huge taxes on valuable land in NYC as a good way to raise revenue. But I'm not convinced that it would really do anything about the problem of cost in New York. The rich people are rich enough to swallow any tax increase with a chance of passing.

I'm not sure what really would help... Requiring people to build more small apartments in new buildings? Better integration of Hudson County into the city? Increased density in Queens?

The only thing I can think of that would definitely work is increasing crime.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:30 AM
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163.last: If done right, that could be quite progressive.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:32 AM
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Actually, what about filling in the East river?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:32 AM
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159: Woah, so your counterproposal is that the rich really are job creators and the rest of us are just lucky to be around them?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:34 AM
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165: That sounds like a lot of work compared to other options.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:36 AM
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166: More that they have to pay people enough to provide them services despite the high rent or commute.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:51 AM
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161: Did you ever find a baby to leave at his doorstep?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 9:56 AM
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169: ...um, any further discourse on the whole topic would be too black comedic and revealing (and if identified hurtful to semi-innocent parties).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 10:11 AM
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I'm not sure what really would help... Requiring people to build more small apartments in new buildings? Better integration of Hudson County into the city? Increased density in Queens?

Decentralized public amenities? Again, thinking about Mom, she'd hate to move to a more affordable part of the city because all her stuff is in Manhattan below 110th. Central Park, the ice rink in Bryant Park, the nice city pool and gym four blocks from her apartment (Asher Levy, for anyone who lives near 23d and the river. Check it out.), all the museums she goes to and so on and so forth.

I don't know exactly how you do this, but public investment in stuff people would want to live near (or public policy encouraging private investment) in underpriced localities seems like it could do a lot to take pressure off Manhattan. And of course anything possible to speed up the subways.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 10:12 AM
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If I were fantasy dictator Mayor Teraz Kurwa I'd get rid of all the fucked upness of property tax value assessment and make it actual real value, make the property tax progressive and double or triple it for units that don't serve as primary homes, whether rental or owner occupied, tighten rent stabilization income rules a bit while making it universal and with automatic but temporary complete vacancy decontrol (i.e. all new tenants automatically pay market rent), and eliminate all height restrictions along the avenues and the big E-W thoroughfares in Manhattan with similar stuff in much of the rest of the city with the exception of narrowly defined historic districts, and begin a massive mixed income public housing building program.

I want the rich people with their nice juicy tax checks living in their multimillion apartments in Manhattan and its Brooklyn annexes. I don't want the ultra rich with their barely used pied a terres. They don't pay taxes and take up a scarce resource. I don't want developers focusing on building skyscrapers with fifty twenty mill apartments rather than two hundred five mill ones. I do want more overall square footage. And above all I want to milk the rich at the maximum sustainable tax rates.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 10:30 AM
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I think I'm willing to sign on to everything in 172.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 10:44 AM
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I'd get rid of all the fucked upness of property tax value assessment and make it actual real value, make the property tax progressive and double or triple it for units that don't serve as primary homes

This, I love. I like the rest of it pretty well, although I think Manhattan's tall enough that it doesn't hurt to give some consideration to letting some light get down to street-level, into the parks, and so on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 10:46 AM
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174: I think Rush had a song about how you're wrong.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 10:48 AM
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public investment in stuff people would want to live near (or public policy encouraging private investment) in underpriced localities

I have my fingers crossed in negotiations on a Midtown apartment, which before I started the buying process I had no idea would be a possibility for me, and if it doesn't work out it's going to be hard for me to get excited about Upper Manhattan again, though I'll manage since of course I'm lucky to be able to buy at all. But anyway, one of the biggest reasons for that is that there are so few decent-by-my-standard gyms here (there is one: the Harlem Y). I don't know what kind of city funding YMCA's get, if any, but they are both gyms and community building institutions and if the city could do something to assist with building more of them (Washington Heights Y!) I would be happier to stay here and just suck up the 60-90-to-120-if-coming-home-late-at-night travel time to Brooklyn.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:12 AM
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+ -minute


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:13 AM
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I have a 50 minute commute, if I walk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:22 AM
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"double or triple it for units that don't serve as primary homes"
That's sort of the case here for moderately priced apartments (not houses because there's no such thing as a single family house in the city that's moderately priced.) You get a primary residence exemption that's equivalent to knocking the first ~$200k off the assessed value, so if your place is worth $400k you're paying half the property tax if it's owner occupied vs. rental/second home. That's sort of progressive because cheap enough owner-occupied residences approach no tax, but of course it doesn't make the $600k 3BR apartment a family might want that much more affordable (our tax rates are already pretty low anyway.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:24 AM
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The city could certainly build more rec. centers/pools and so on in the non-downtown area. The pool Mom goes to has a respectable weight room, and it's essentially free -- you pay $150/year. I suppose there's the Riverbank pool -- I don't know if they have a gym as well. But that's the only city facility of the sort I know in upper Manhattan, and it is built on a sewage treatment plant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:28 AM
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The Bronx has nice, huge parks, as I learned while staring at a precinct map during the last NYC mayoral primary. Maybe even an indoor pool.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:33 AM
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For me, it's no good unless there are good classes included with the membership fee and I think they take their yoga program seriously. The Y's I've gone to also have a warm, happy, diverse vibe to them. The people going to their pottery classes and their swim lessons and their AA meetings are all intermingling. There are kids running around and shrieking and wrinkly old ladies you can talk body image with in the sauna. A rec center really doesn't substitute for what it offers. MOAR Y.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:33 AM
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I'm fine with swimmers and alcoholics, but I don't want to mix with potters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:40 AM
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192: Well, they're religious charities so they're better funded than public facilities. Spend enough money on a rec center, and it'll be clean with nice classes as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:41 AM
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But you're right about how nice they are. There's a Y in the fifties where I used to lift weights and daydream about taking classes in my copious spare time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:44 AM
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182: The Y's I've gone to also have a warm, happy, diverse vibe to them {e.g. ...}

Gosh that sounds great. It's what I liked initially about training at a physical therapy place: people of all ages and races, working on a wide variety of things, at different paces, and open about it.

On the De Blasio win, have people seen Edroso's report on the people who are really crabby over the electorate's choice? It's the 'someday you'll be sorry, just you wait, you'll see, then you'll be sorry' gambit. Quite amusing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:47 AM
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Is the YMCA even vaguely religious anymore? I know they haven't dropped the "C" but beyond that is there anything?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:50 AM
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186.last: I was particularly charmed by the claim that we were letting ourselves in for massive terrorist attacks that would have been prevented by the Bloomberg/Giuliani method of policing. Because that was so effective last time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:53 AM
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187: The ones I know are YMHAs, and they're still distinctly Jewish -- not in any kind of an exclusionary way, but they have religious stuff going on, and they have boards and fundraisers that tend to be affiliated with the local congregations.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:54 AM
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Sort of vaguely on topic, back in the thirties a delegation from the YMCA met with Admiral Horthy, dictator of Hungary. His initial greeting to them included saying how wonderful it is to meet with a nice anti-Semitic delegation. Not sure if they were or weren't, but in Hungary a non narrowly religious group with 'Christian' in its name equaled 'we hate Jews'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:54 AM
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190: These code words are interesting. In America for the last 30 years, an organization with the word "Family" in its name means "We hate gays". "Pride" means "We love gays". "Life" means "God hates contraception". So other organizations with names like this, but do not fit these patterns, are frequently misinterpreted.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:58 AM
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189: We have the JCC, which I've always called the YMJA. Which nobody else ever takes up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 11:59 AM
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I'd never known about the YMHA's, but I guess it makes sense that that's what the "92nd St. Y" is. Here too we just have JCC's, including one that my church met in for a while.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:02 PM
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apostrophes begone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:02 PM
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I never heard of a YMHA before this thread. That is better than YMJA in terms of pronunciation and body-letter formation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:05 PM
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My father lived at a YMCA when he first came to the big medium-sized city from the country in the late '40. From Wikipedia: In 1940 there were about 100,000 rooms at YMCAs, more than any hotel chain. My observation is that some big city downtown YMCAs (and some other favored-locations ones) flourished in the late 20th century while most others became crumbling hellholes (I could be way off on small rural towns). But my mother's insistence on me getting my recreation salt of the earth style* meant I got to observe the crumbling firsthand at two local establishments.

*Which I now look back on with semi-fondness--for the one day camp, the bus's first stop was a local grocery store parking lot where we all ran out and picked up coupons and scratch-off game tickets for the counselor before heading to our day's destination.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:09 PM
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I think (and this is pure speculation) that they're H rather than J because they originated in a pre-WWII assimilationist time; not religious particularly, but providing facilities for secular as well as religious Jews who were going to be socially excluded elsewhere. So, "Hebrew" for the ethnic group, as opposed to "Jewish" for the religion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:10 PM
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197: Organization and name go all the way back to the mid-19th century, apparently.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:14 PM
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Election wise it looks like Herring is down close to 1000. There does seem to be some question whether there is a bloc of Fairfax County absentees outstanding or not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:18 PM
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It's too bad the Colorado bid to reform income taxes to a two-tier system (make more, pay more) in order to change school funding mechanisms failed. It was a good idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 12:35 PM
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199: Been kind of fun to follow the Virginia AG race counting through the day. They are getting "canvassing" adjustments now and is basically replicating the patterns from the vote counting--as it seems the results come in somewhat of the same order mor eor less, so Obenshain peaked at nearly 1,200 up earlier today, but right now the Virginia SBoE site has Herring up by 32 votes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 4:01 PM
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201: Ah, but Wasserman think that may be due to a 700+ vote error. Oh, the humanity. (They actually have a .csv file you can download shows all of the changes--when I looked at it it was 1300+ entries long.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 4:09 PM
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Who is this Wasserman character, and why does he keep shitting on my dreams?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 4:12 PM
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Cook Political Report guy. But last night, he was the only one who thought Herring could even get it this close--most everyone else (including my "no local knowledge" extrapolations) had him falloing thousands of votes short.

But, yes, right now it seems Herring down ~700. But more canvassing results to come!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 4:16 PM
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200: That Amendment 66 is a fascinating scheme. Its failure is no fun, but my interest is piqued by its having been proposed. (And it would have been a helpful data point in the schools-funding back-and-forth I imagined I might fall into by opining on Facebook about New York State's casino amendment.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 4:42 PM
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The Texas Senator who is so moderate that he might get a Tea Party challenge is worried that former ACORN employees might be helping people navigate the ACA. (Yes, I understand how the latter is partly in reaction to the former.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 5:26 PM
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Tia-- I didn't realize you were in NY. I thought you were in the Midwest now.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-13 5:44 PM
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