the thing that i find most striking about this map, is the wide geography of the "canada" dialect. it goes from ontario all the way to british columbia. the only other dialect with that much territory is "the west", but the western dialect seems more compact than the sprawling dialect that spreadsacross almost all the anglophone areas of southern and western canada.
compare that with the packed northeast of the country. i live roughly in the middle of "the atlantic midland" and i can't drive more than an hour in any direction without crossing over into a place with a different dialect. how did canadian dialect stay so homogeneous? and why do dialects tend to have a larger area the farther west and south you go from new england?
i think booman is right. if tom coburn supported no-strings disaster relief after the oklahoma tornadoes, he probably would have probably taken as much heat for hypocrisy as he will for insisting on offsets. so even though it looks like he is dicking over his own constituents this time, going the other way wasn't a necessarily a better choice for him.
that's assuming that coburn only cares about political calculus and doesn't give two shits about actual people.
i almost wrote a post last week arguing that harry reid should use the nuclear option immediately because the democrats have little to lose. it's called the "nuclear option" because of the expected retaliation from the senate minority if the senate majority eliminated the filibuster. the idea is that if the majority took away the filibuster from the minority, the minority would grind senate business to a halt using every means at its disposal to make sure that nothing got done. because it is assumed that no one in the senate wants the senate to do nothing, eliminating the filibuster with a majority vote was called the "nuclear option," evoking cold war deterrence to assure that a drastic move like the end of the filibuster never happens.
the problem is the assumption that no one in the senate wants that body to grind to a halt is incorrect. the republicans are doing that already. what can they do to retaliate to the end of the filibuster that they haven't done already? in fact, eliminating the filibuster would at least remove one of the things the republicans already use to obstruct legislation and nominations. so in that sense using the nuclear option would help unstuck the senate.
anyway, the reason i started thinking about that post i never got around to writing last week, was this backandforth about the consequences of the nuclear option. jonathan bernstein specifically rejects the conclusion i reached that the republicans are already at maximum obstruction, but he still thinks eliminating the filibuster is worth it because the GOP might not follow through with their threat.
i actually think that the biggest reason that senate democrats have not gone nuclear yet is not the threat of retaliation by republicans. it's the notion that they might some day be back in the minority and they want to preserve the filibuster for themselves.
sometimes heads must roll, even if they are not the right heads. the commissioner of the IRS in august 2011, when the alleged greater scrutiny of tea party groups happened, was douglas shulman. shulman was a bush appointee (which casts a bit of doubt on the idea that the scrutiny came from the top) who left office in november 2012 when his term ended. after shulman left, steven miller became acting commissioner. now he is the one who is taking the fall for the scandal.
it is pretty ridiculous that we give tax exemptions to political advocacy groups posing as charities. i just don't know how we could change the policy to make it better while still preserving tax breaks for real charities. any line between "political advocacy groups" and a "charitable organization" is going to be fuzzy, and if the IRS got more zealous in investigating those organization, it just opens the IRS up to charges that it is politically motivated.
i frankly don't understand why so many people want to declare hillary clinton to be the 2016 democratic nominee for president at this point. i personally can't say i have a preference for clinton or anyone else because i don't know the field i'm choosing from yet. is there any point to declaring her the front runner at this point? why discourage other people from throwing their hat in the ring?
not that i am against hillary clinton. it just seems really early to start talking like this about anyone.
sometime in or around 1994, while i was a law student, i visited some friends in southern california. one day we all went to disneyland. fairly early in the day, we saw a kid being pushed by in a wheelchair by his father. this was only a few years after my sign language phase and i had not yet forgotten all my signs. after i saw the kid signing to his dad, i signed "hi" and the next thing you know we had made a new friend and we all wandered around the park together for most of the day.
which turned out to be an added bonus. before that day i was not aware people in wheelchairs (as well as everyone with them) get to bypass the lines for rides and go right to the front through a special handicapped entrance.
it was great! in some box somewhere i have one of those overpriced photos of me and the kid screaming our heads off as we went down a water flume.
with all this parsing between "terrorism" and "act of terror" going on, i'm looking forward to the day when conservatives go back and review the speeches of george bush to find out all the times that he didn't call an attack "terrorism." for example, remember when the golden mosque of samarra was destroyed and president bush said,"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act of terror"? it turns out, bush was covering up the fact that is was terrorism. i guess we all missed that scandal back when it happened.