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This 'kick the can down the road' phrase is killing me

12/21/11 05:39PM

I'm sure an expert in the field of word manipulation has tested the spin value of "kick the can down the road" very carefully for maximum blame-casting, but it's driving me crazy that it's not really a phrase. In American English we can kick something down the road, and we can play kick the can, but "kick the can down the road" is not a thing.For the record, kick the can starts out like hide and seek, with one person as "it" and everyone else hiding. Depending on how you play, "it" has to find you and either tag you or shout your name and touch the can before you do, thus putting you in jail. read more

Michael Griffith.

25 years later, Howard Beach still resonates

12/21/11 04:35PM

With a teacher for a mother, I knew the names Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman and Marcus Garvey quite well at a very early age. But still, my sheltered childhood didn't become a race-conscious one until I heard Michael Griffith's name.I was in the sixth grade when he died, 25 years ago Monday. Mr. Griffith and two other young men went into Howard Beach, Queens, seeking help for their broken-down car. An argument with some teenagers escalated into a full-on assault at a local pizzeria, and Mr. read more

Robert Frank chart by way of Ezra Klein

Chart: The sweat of your brow

12/21/11 03:02PM

Ezra Klein today runs a year-in-charts post that's purely the excellent. It includes the Toil Index, by the excellent economist Robert Frank. Basically, it shows why it's so hard for working people to live decently these days. Working families are running faster and faster just to afford the same things their parents enjoyed, namely decent homes and decent schools for the kids.This is the same territory Elizabeth Warren began mapping in the early 2000s, with The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. The thesis from Ms. read more

Holiday inn

Holiday inn

12/21/11 01:58PM

This is the great, great bar where we filmed some of the latest msnbc commercials. It's called Johnny's and it's on Greenwich Avenue by the old (closed) St. Vincent's hospital.I think in the ads, it looks like Johnny's could be in Anytown, USA.But seeing it dressed up for the holidays?  Seeing its holiday hours?Ah, that's the pure holiday wonder of NYC. read more

Braveheart running

12/21/11 12:30PM

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) this morning tried to bring up the Senate's bill for extending the payroll tax cut.  Republicans split the scene, leaving Congressman Hoyer at the mic. "You're walking out, you're walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle class taxpayers, the unemployed, and very frankly as well, from those who will be seeking medical assistance from their doctors," Mr. read more

Occupy the holidays

Occupy the holidays

12/21/11 11:57AM

"We're not sending a holiday card this year" -- posted by DJ Jaffe of Mental Illness Policy Org and found on Facebook.(How to send us stuff.) read more

Road worriers

Road worriers

12/21/11 10:40AM

Attention: America: New Hampshire Republicans would like everyone to know how NOT Massachusetts their state is. According to the Newburyport News, "Six GOP lawmakers want the Department of Transportation to erect signs along every unmarked road leading from New Hampshire into Massachusetts, stating: "Warning: Massachusetts Border 500 Feet."The Live Free or Die Republicans insist the signs are necessary because various laws and statutes are so different in the two states. Still, it's clear no one has passed a law curbing snotty passive-aggression.Said Sen. read more

Morning Maddow: December 21

12/21/11 07:46AM

Happy almost-solstice! Don't forget to google "let it snow."Looks like we're not the only ones to notice Boehner is bad at his job.And the Wall Street Journal editorial board calls the GOP fight over the payroll tax a "fiasco."Gary Johnson is dropping out of the GOP race and running as a Libertarian instead.California courts are redefining the meaning of "parent."Reuters on who will be running North Korea.Infrastructure!How do you say "awesome" in Yiddish? read more