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Tipping point

Ah, who the hell cares? Can’t we all just go live on the moon?

Four rules

For managing an effective progressive coalition, by Gaius Publius. This is a GREAT piece.

Heartening news

I’d like to see more stories like these. After all, we have no trouble stealing pension funds to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, so why does everyone have a problem with this? Assuming they actually use the money for schools, that is:

Out of nowhere, Santa Clara County officials have yanked $30 million in tax funds promised for the San Francisco 49ers’ new Santa Clara stadium, saying they would rather spend the money on teachers than install “little televisions in the back of stadium seats.”

The 49ers and Santa Clara city leaders strongly and passionately object to the move, saying voters had specifically earmarked redevelopment funds to the stadium and that the county has no right to keep it. Lengthy court battles are likely, launching a rare soap opera in a stadium debate that has been mostly peaceful — and supposedly long over.

[…] The 49ers and Santa Clara officials will be busy this week reviewing how to respond.

The funding grab came Friday by a new board that oversees property tax from redevelopment zones. It was so unexpected that Santa Clara leaders argued it was done in violation of public notice laws.

The Newsroom

There was a classic Adam Sorkin speech in the first five minutes of “The Newsroom”, HBO’s newest series. It sure got my attention!

Healthcare Act

Digby looks back at her reaction to the passage of the deeply shitty healthcare bill. Yeah, pretty much what I said, only more words.

We are so very shocked

Aren’t you? To think that our Congress members would personally benefit from their positions is just unthinkable — if you’re a moron. No, the real shocker is that it’s perfectly permissible under Congressional “ethics” rules:

One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found.

The lawmakers bought and sold a total of between $85 million and $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before them, according to an examination of all 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions contained in computerized financial disclosure data from 2007 to 2010.

Almost one in every eight trades — 5,531 — intersected with legislation. The 130 lawmakers traded stocks or bonds in companies as bills passed through their committees or while Congress was still considering the legislation. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, 68 to 62.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) reported buying $25,000 in bonds in a genetic-technology company around the time that he released a hold on legislation the firm supported. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) sold between $50,000 and $100,000 in General Electric stock shortly before a Republican filibuster killed legislation sought by the company. The family of Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) bought between $286,000 and $690,000 in a high-tech company interested in a bill under his committee’s jurisdiction.

The trades were uncovered as part of an ongoing examination by The Post of the intersection between the personal finances of lawmakers and their professional duties. Earlier this year, Congress responded to criticism of potential conflicts of interest by passing the Stock Act, which bars lawmakers, their staffs and top executive branch officials from trading on inside information acquired on Capitol Hill.

Truth No. 2

Dixie Chicks:

Tropical Storm Debby

Flooded Phillies’ Bright House Field in Clearwater:

Let him fly

It took a while to understand the beauty in just letting go.

The Dixie Chicks:

Shut up and drive

Chely Wright:

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