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"Please! Press 1 now to speak to a stimulus specialist...."

(Message just heard on my answering machine.) Well, er, I'd love to, but....

Tell me it's not a great country! Read below the fold...

Sarah's picture

Survival Skills: Minimalism

Thread: 

All right, I want to change the subject. The USDA has renamed its "food stamp" program again -- now it's called SNAP. The budget is so Spartan it's almost unbelievable considering what a family's ordinary costs are. It still doesn't give a recipient help feeding Fido or Fluffy, or keeping one's dishes or hands clean -- at least, not directly.
Anybody know if you can get baking soda with food stamps? Read below the fold...

Administrivia

Since we seem to be in super-double-bonus meta mode lately, herewith some details on administration:

1. New account approvals are glacially slow. That's because they're time-consuming; I have to weed out the Russian spammers, check the email addresses to see if they show up on the Viagra sites, and so on. And then there's the work of weeding out the trolls who make it through the process when that's done. They are processed in the order received. The upside is that the slowness of the process also weeds out people who aren't committed to the site. Read below the fold...

vastleft's picture

Don't you wish you'd thought of that?

When we busily tried to solve the I/P problem, we neglected the genius option of more Israeli settlements!

What could possibly be/go wrong? Read below the fold...

About those Republican "good ideas"....

Can anybody come up with one?

And by "one," I mean, well, one (1).

If so, what is it?

NOTE Yeah, OK, Ron Paul, getting rid of the empire because it's wrong and we can't afford it. How about two (2)? Read below the fold...

SMS cellphone browser for Africa

This could turn out to be a very big deal, empowering a lot of the world.

Many more cellphones have SMS (for text messaging) than have HTTP (for fancy web pages), especially in emerging markets like Zone 5b.

Say, I wonder if we could use it? Instead of iPhones, say? Read below the fold...

Rational vs. Radical Progressives

Interesting schema from 538; go read. Like all schemas, nobody fits neatly into all the categories. But the peroration caught my eye:

But if someone wants to marshal an army to fight a battle of wills while playing fast and loose with the truth and using some of the same demagogic precepts that the right wing does, I am not particularly interested in that. In fact, I think it is acutely dangerous.

Who could take exception to an innocuous proposition like that? Read below the fold...

vastleft's picture

Are there any Sirota hate-stalkers with a little free time?

Real-life calls, so I don't have time right now to properly consider David Sirota's post about how progressives who are critical of Obama are marginalized as "dangerous."

Sounds like a worthy topic. Looks like Niki is in, and Jessica is back inside the mirror. (No Heroes spoilers please, I'm a season behind!)

FYI, background on the post title. Read below the fold...

If only the czar knew

McClatchy:

Rep. Mel Watt is used to dealing with constituents who need help with government agencies.

But once Congress passed a $700 billion bailout of the banking system, some people started turning to the Charlotte Democrat for help with the private sector. They've asked him to assist their appeals of rejected loan applications from banks that collected federal bailout money.

Seems fair. Why not? Read below the fold...

vastleft's picture

Response to Jane Hamsher, re: the 2008 Primary "pie fights"

Jane writes in comments:
Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Single payer miscellany

State single-payer bill passes its second test in Senate

SF 118, the Minnesota Health Act, which would guarantee health insurance
for all Minnesotans under a program called the Minnesota Health Plan, passed out of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Comm-ittee by a party-line vote of 7 to 3 on Feb. 10. The lopsided vote was a sign of the growing support for the single-payer approach. This is the first year since 1991, the year single-payer legislation was first introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, that a single-payer bill has cleared two committees in the Senate. The bill has never been heard in the House. It will get its first hearing in the House on Feb. 25.

Read below the fold...

Yawn

[To be clear on sequence, the post you are now reading is a response to this post at TC which is a reaction to material mostly in the comments to VL's original post, which, ironically enough, was meant to elicit a discussion that would have been, if anything, a defense of the PUMAs. Oh well. --lambert] Read below the fold...

Naked Capitalist: Obama to neuter bank pay restrictions

Great post, go read.

Remind me again why we're trying to keep these guys on? Read below the fold...

gqmartinez's picture

Sunday Book Review

Welcome to Sunday Book Review. Because reading is the basics for all learning. But also because a good book is a great way to, well, get away. In these times, getting away is good for the soul and good for our sanity. Why book reviews? I can't live up to our friend Truth Partisan's ability to lead into these reviews, but I'll give it a try. I'm more likely to read books recommended by folks I respect and trust and have some understanding of their personality. Though most of us here at Corrente don't know each other personally, we probably have a reasonable understanding of each other. Read below the fold...

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