Wednesday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

< Dems Move On to Nevada and South Carolina
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    In other news, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:50:03 PM EST
    ... the Central Valley's resident Russian stooge, phony dairy farmer and conservative rabbit hole diver who's self-inoculated against the prospect of public embarrassment, is angry that House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff isn't biting on the GOP's latest baseless conspiracy theory.

    FISA abuse is a conspiracy theory? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 11:20:08 AM EST
    Who knew!  The IG report seemed to settle the fact that the Carter Page warrant was fraudulently obtained.  

    Here's something a little different... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 09:04:08 PM EST
    the world's largest firework.  Congrats Colorado.

    Saw an article about that (none / 0) (#23)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 10:20:33 PM EST
    I can't find now that said they plan to break the record next year.  Might have to take a road trip if I remember.

    With the current Roger Stone debacle (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 12:16:06 PM EST
    it is now quite clear that not only can orange jesus shoot someone on 5th ave in NYC and get away with it, but so can his cronies. This country is now officially being run by mobsters. Nuff said.

    Trump has even (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:07:53 PM EST
    criticized the citizen who served as Jury Foreman. Now, the juror will be subject to Trumpian thugs.
    And, the resulting intimidation and intended breakdown of another institution.

    (Captain, hope your procedure was unremarkable.)

    It was (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:11:08 PM EST
    Thanks for asking

    Trump was not the only one (none / 0) (#43)
    by ragebot on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:47:27 PM EST
    who criticized the foreperson.  She was a hard core dem who had posted anti Trump comments on FB during the trial.

    On the basis of this Stone's lawyers are asking for a mistrial.  I have seen a couple of talking heads agree that a mistrial is a possibility.

    Hard to disagree that posting anti Trump comments on FB during jury deliberations is not a smart thing to do; especially for someone with a law degree.


    The foreperson (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 08:00:50 PM EST
    disclosed her prior activity as a Democratic activist in a pre trial juror questionnaire.  

    Stone's lawyers knew she was a Democratic activist.   They should have used a peremptory challenge on her, or challenged her for cause.

    Moreover, most people hate Trump.  And were not Stone's convictions pretty far afield from Trump?


    If she disclosed her background (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Peter G on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 08:13:16 PM EST
    on her questionnaire and did not lie in answering any of the lawyers' follow-up questions during the jury selection process, I do not see how this is going to upset the verdicts. As for posting to social media during deliberations, I had a high-publicity case where a member of the jury tweeted during jury deliberations, in a kind of weird and cryptic way, but did not disclose any secret contents of the deliberations or state that he had pre-judged anything. The judge concluded that the defendant had not suffered any unfair harm (even though the juror's conduct violated the judge's rules and admonitions) and dismissed our motion for a new trial.

    Juror 1261 (none / 0) (#106)
    by ragebot on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 11:46:57 PM EST
    is discussed in this blurb

    Questions 34 and 35 specifically ask about her prior knowledge or opinions of the Stone case, which she referenced on social media. It is hard to believe that she disclosed these public statements in her answer and was not questioned about them.
    If this information was withheld by Hart, it raises a question about the veracity of her testimony and, more importantly, the fairness of the trial.
    It certainly seems Hart had no place on the Stone jury. The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that the "minimal standards of due process" demand "a panel of impartial, indifferent jurors." Hart's record suggests little that is impartial or indifferent.

    I read the transcript of her answers and am not sure if they crossed the line; but at best she was evasive and denied she knew much of anything about Stone after she had dissed him on social media.  The fact that she was a lawyer makes it look even worse.


    Trump is (none / 0) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 07:20:48 PM EST
    the one that matters in this judicial terrorism.  It is not unexpected that Stone's defense attorneys will---act to defend him.  A good face-saver, too, since the defense attorneys, like the prosecutors, had opportunity to reject potential jurors that they sensed would not be able be a fair juror.

    No charges to be filed (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    against Andrew McCabe.

    Well that is good news (none / 0) (#73)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 07:38:48 PM EST
    I'm not going to read anything more positive than just good news for him into it. But it is nice to have one injustice put aside. Wish he could get his pension back.

    Aloha, Florence Puana (1919-2020). (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 01:28:29 PM EST
    The victim of a financial fraud perpetrated by her own granddaughter, now-former Honolulu Dep. Prosecuting Attorney Katherine Kealoha, and her granddaughter's husband, now-former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, which was at the center of the biggest public corruption scandal in Hawaii history, was 100 years old.

    To be honest, her final years were not happy ones. But thanks to the dogged efforts of Peter G's old friend, U.S. public defender Alexander Silvert of Honolulu, she's left this life knowing that her truth was ultimately allowed to prevail publicly in a court of law, and that she and her son Gerald were finally and fully vindicated.

    May Auntie Flo rest in peace always.

    Hope people are listening (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 12:31:02 PM EST
    And I'm pretty sure they are

    Stacey Abrams "absolutely" intends to run for president sometime in the future, but she told "The View" that she would be willing to be running mate for this year's Democratic nominee.

    The former Georgia gubernatorial candidate had previously said she wasn't interested in being vice president, but now that she's ruled out a 2020 presidential run she "would be honored" to accept the No. 2 job.

    "It would be doing a disservice to every woman of color, every woman of ambition, every child who wants to think beyond their known space for me to say no or to pretend, `Oh, no, I don't want it,'" she added. "Of course I want it. Of course I want to serve America. Of course I want to be a patriot and do this work."

    I just came on here to post after reading that. (none / 0) (#109)
    by vml68 on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 12:54:19 PM EST
    altruistic (none / 0) (#110)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 01:10:29 PM EST
    Gets hard to define new when you have 60 billion dollars.

    I'm not naive enough to think he did not have a long range plan but I think when someone gives lots and lots of money to lots of things you care about it's safe to think you have some shared idea of what is good and bad.

    In this, what I'm perfectly ready to accept is a long range, plan he has donated 100s of millions to her and planned parenthood and climate science gun control and to Emilys List and organizations to help elect minorities and on and on.

    And best of all he says he will do this even if he is not the nominee.

    You know what?  I'll take it.

    But I agree.  Picking her would be brilliant and more importantly be a winner.  I really think it would.


    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 07:17:31 PM EST
    Federal Judges Group Calls Emergency Meeting

    February 17, 2020 at 7:11 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 77 Comments

    A national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting Tuesday to address growing concerns about the intervention of Justice Department officials and President Trump in politically sensitive cases, USA Today reports

    The president of this group, who called (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 09:13:44 PM EST
    the emergency meeting, is one of our favorite federal judges here in Philadelphia. A Bush appointee, btw.

    Is this as unusual (none / 0) (#119)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 09:16:04 PM EST
    As it sounds?

    Yes (none / 0) (#120)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 09:41:42 PM EST
    it seems to me.

    This is interesting (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 02:38:36 PM EST
    I am 4 hours into colonoscopy prep.  8:15 tomorrow.
    Everything seems to be coming out fine.

    Here's the thing.  My brother is driving me.  So I have been texting him and talking with him a lot the last couple of days.

    This is my evangelical Trump loving brother.  We were just talking and he brought up Bloomberg.

    What do you know about this guy.  What do you think.  We actually discuss politics in my family quite a lot.  

    He's an interesting guy.  He said.  

    Bloomberg is leading in at least some polls in my state.

    We vote Super Tuesday.

    Bloomberg (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 09:49:27 AM EST
    is on my ballot here in California.

    California, for the first time, mails a mail-in ballot to ever voter automatically, and in person voting will be allowed for three weeks.

    I have had my ballot for about a week now. I will hold it until the Universe moves me to know who to vote for.


    Ditto. I haven't peeked to (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 04:12:54 PM EST
    see if Bloomberg is on the ballot.

    Just peeked at my Colorado ballot (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 07:56:43 PM EST
    (YAY! I have a Colorado ballot!!!)

    and there are still 17 people on there, Bloomberg included. So if it does not look close I can throw a vote to someone I like better than Bernie or Bloomberg. If it matters I think I have to go with Bernie. The 'buying an election' thing really bothers me. I'm ok with it if it knocks out Bernie before I vote though. I have no principles.


    "No principles" (none / 0) (#81)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 08:29:13 PM EST
    I laughed at that one--at first.

    But how much would we give up by backing Bloomberg to get rid of Trump?  Bloomberg as winning candidate is different than four years of Bloomberg as President.

    But, light me on fire if you insist, I could well vote for Bloomberg.   This current rampage of Cheeto in using the DOJ for personal purposes is just way too much....


    I think the crazier things get (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 06:21:06 AM EST
    The more it helps Bloomberg.  And I don't think we are even close to the bottom yet.

    If there even is a bottom.


    In my case (none / 0) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 08:52:20 PM EST
    I would have to look at the senate opportunities. We have 2 seats up for grabs in November. And since it's likely that Bernie would drag down our candidates and Bloomberg has gotten endorsements from people that know the landscape here in GA I would have to go with Bloomberg.

    I'm not sure if he knows (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 02:48:36 PM EST
    About Bloomberg and guns.  We will find out tomorrow.

    Good luck with your colonoscopy.. (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 02:48:37 PM EST
    the worst part is drinking all of that disgutbusting joy juice.

    You know (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 02:52:53 PM EST
    This is not my first rodeo and these guys are doing it differently.  No disgusting whateverthehellthatis

    4 dulcolax and then massive doses of miralax (which is pretty inoffensive) in whatever you want.  I'm doing strawberry lemonade poweraid

    Also I asked her if I could include vodka in my clear liquids.  She said she recommends it.  So I'm good.  Heading for a early bedtime.


    FWIW (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:35:13 PM EST
    This apparently  did not work that well.  Unsurprising since it was so easy.  Relatively speaking.  In the notes I got it recommended more severe prep next time.



    The best part (none / 0) (#5)
    by jmacWA on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 02:56:07 PM EST
    is the anesthetic... I always ask to see if I can take some home :-0

    I have a standard instruction (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 03:00:45 PM EST
    That usually gets a laugh

    I have a much higher tolerance for drugs than I do for pain.


    My last colonoscopy was performed.. (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:38:55 PM EST
    by Ming the Merciless.

    Then you have not had one recently (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 09:33:42 PM EST
    Do your future health a favor and go back and get another. The prep is annoying, for sure. But the anaesthesia is so good now that you have no idea it is even happening.

    Off into twighlight (none / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 01:40:57 PM EST
    I was told I started asking who was who standing over me, and who was over in the corner, etc., and that I said you always "need to know who the players are."

    Worse than the taste is the results (none / 0) (#92)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 04:35:47 PM EST

    The jet propelled power pooping is so bad you need a seatbelt on the commode to keep from flying off.

    Polls (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 04:36:31 PM EST
    I did not know this until my brother told me




    I see this (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:03:38 PM EST
    as a consequence of Biden's 2017 trash Hillary tour.

    That and 3 glossy (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:06:12 PM EST
    Bloomberg per hour for the last couple of months

    As I have posted many times (none / 0) (#10)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:12:49 PM EST
    RCP is my go to site.  For some time it has been Biden/Sanders or Sanders/Biden in most states including CA which is the big prize.  A single poll showing BLoomberg jumping to a lead could be a sign of things to come; or it could be an outlier.  The trends at RPC show both Sanders and Biden losing support while Bloomberg is gaining.  But both Sanders and Biden were more than double Bloomberg's support so that is a huge jump.

    While I don't think Biden will be able to match Sanders total I doubt he will get out before the convention which means he will take away a few delegates from all the other middle of the roaders.

    Sanders is the only candidate I see who will not mount a big 'stay in your own lane, bro' add blitz.


    Smolett (none / 0) (#11)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:20:36 PM EST
    indicted on six counts by grand jury.

    In other news Avenatti's trial goes to the jury; he could be facing 42 years behind bars.

    Adding up all the theoretically available (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 09:30:38 PM EST
    maximum sentences and then saying that the defendant "faces" that much time is just misleading nonsense. It is not a plausible prediction of the actual sentence in the case, as you know from our discussions of the Stone case over the last day or two.

    And Roger Stone (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 05:26:50 PM EST

    What a country


    Judge Jackson has discretion re sentencing (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 06:05:31 PM EST
    Barr recommends.  Defense counters. She decides.

    Roger Stone has not walked (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 09:31:23 PM EST
    and is not going to walk.

    I thought the (none / 0) (#24)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 10:21:50 PM EST
    Capt was talking about Stone walking as a result of a pardon of commutation from Trump.

    or (none / 0) (#25)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 10:22:56 PM EST
    commutation; not of.

    I was (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:47:54 AM EST
    Yes, Stone probably will walk. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 01:27:55 PM EST
    I appreciate your continued optimism in the system's self-correcting capacity but as adults, we tend to rationalize in the face of ominous situations and this time's no different.

    The blunt truth of the matter is that Donald Trump's and Bill Barr's pudgy little thumbs are definitely on the scales here, and congressional Republicans are cheering them on. Sadly, we're now watching our democratic institutions finally begin to buckle under the weight of prolonged and sustained attacks from the far-right.

    These institutions do not have built-in self-defense mechanisms in place. Rather, they depend entire upon the goodwill of a majority of citizens to uphold the rule of law and stand up for them in times like these.

    If the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate showed us anything last week, it's that we can't keep looking to others to stand in our stead and defend democracy for us while we watch "The Price is Right" and "Wheel of Fortune." The citizenry is now the last line of defense here.

    There's no way that Trump's going to let Stone go to prison, because that's the best way to keep the full story about Russian collusion from coming out. Same thing with Mike Flynn. So, the question now posed to us by Trump and Barr is this:

    "So, what the f*ck are you going to do about it?"



    I have seen (none / 0) (#21)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 09:55:08 PM EST
    ...so much hysterical conservative reaction to Smollett's misdemeanor that I must be missing something about it.

    He committed a crime in which he was the only person injured. It's a false police report, an offense which doesn't usually include prison time.

    This is like the time Wynona Ryder got caught shoplifting. A stupid minor crime by a person with name recognition. Why does anyone outside his immediate family even care?


    As the (none / 0) (#22)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 10:18:49 PM EST
    link explains there were six counts; every time LEOs question you and lie it is a different count.

    The reason people care is it cost over $US200,000 to investigate the case.  After the city sued Smollett and got a judgement for that he counter sued and has not paid.


    So I was right? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 11:50:42 AM EST
    Not much to it.

    He owes the city and he has the money to pay. He's the only one injured. A half dozen misdemeanors do not amount to prison time.

    What makes this a cause celebre?

    Why does ANYBODY care about this fool?


    Are you part of the 1% (2.00 / 1) (#44)
    by ragebot on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:50:13 PM EST
    Anyone who thinks there is not much to a $US200,000 fine sure has a lot more money than most of us.

    To be fair (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 02:05:03 PM EST
    you seem to be the most agitated by the whole Smollett affair of anyone here on TL.

    Just the opposite (none / 0) (#45)
    by ragebot on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:51:57 PM EST
    I am not agitated at all; but the reactions to the news seems to agitate a lot of other posters.

    No argument at all (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:57:44 PM EST
    my comment was to Repack.

    The Michael Avenatti verdict is in. (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 02:55:33 PM EST
    "Your Honor, we the jury find the defendant incredibly guilty."

    (Sigh!) LOL. What a hot mess he turned out to be.


    Very sad, if you ask me (none / 0) (#72)
    by Peter G on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 05:18:58 PM EST
    Avenatti showed uncharacteristically good judgment in choosing his counsel for this case. A really terrific defense attorney. Very smart, and a heck of a nice guy, too.

    Query: logout functions on my iPhone. (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 12, 2020 at 06:15:47 PM EST
    But is touchy on iPad.  Why?

    Watched Parasite last night (none / 0) (#29)
    by McBain on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    Am I the only one here who didn't care for it that much?  I wasn't really interested in any of the characters.  The plot twist was OK but, for the most part, I was bored.

    I have been enjoying a couple documentary series...
    The Pharmacist on Netflix about the opioid problem
    McMillions on HBO about the McDonald's/Monopoly scam.  

    You're likely in the minority. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 02:25:00 PM EST
    Which is perfectly fine, because I can appreciate that not everyone is going to like "Parasite." I felt much the same way about last year's Best Picture winner, "Green Book," which I found to be both painfully cliché-riddled in its presentation and paint-by-numbers predictable in its outcome, whereas others simply fell head-over-heels in love with the film. There's really no accounting for personal tastes when it comes to movies.

    Speaking for myself only, I believe "Parasite" challenges our traditionally two-dimensional views of social class distinctions and struggles. There are those of us for whom this is clearly an uncomfortable topic for public discussion. Director and screenplay co-author Bong Joon-Ho further compounds that by introducing the often-unsettling concept of nuance to that particular issue.

    For those whose minds are pretty much fixed and rigid on the subject of class struggle, regardless of whether they're to the left or right of the political spectrum, it doesn't surprise me at all that "Parasite" can be a rather difficult film for them to watch.

    One of my friends who's quite conservative found it very hard to contemplate the film's premise, a misanthropic and nihilist world where social boundaries are pretty much impenetrable rather than permeable and fluid, and where the idea of upward social mobility is but a grand illusion for an overwhelming majority of people. Another friend of mine whose politics are firmly leftist dismissed the film outright as nothing more than socio-economic revisionism, for what she ultimately saw as its ham-handed attempt to engender sympathy for the wealthy.

    And that's because it's left to us as the audience to determine for ourselves which family is parasitic and which is host, the hardscrabble Kims or the wealthy Parks. Or perhaps, Mr. Bong asks, we might consider the probability that we can all be a little of both, and that perhaps we're all ultimately the victims of a soul-corrupting capitalist system that all too often casts people as its winners or losers by the sole virtue of one's own pedigree and birthright.



    It should not have won best picture (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 04:47:37 PM EST

    Neither should have "Green Book." (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 12:41:09 PM EST
    But they both did, with the obvious difference being that of the two, "Parasite" was actually good.

    Almost embarrassed to admit (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 01:18:08 PM EST
    I have not seen Greenbook.  It's on my DVR and thanks.  Maybe today.  But I really do love both main actors.  Love.

    I also absolutely agree with the academy that The Shape of Water deserved to win.  I'm in a minority there it seems.


    Win some lose some


    I really liked "The Shape of Water." (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 02:31:48 PM EST
    I don't know if it necessarily deserved to win an Oscar for Best Picture, but I certainly didn't have a problem when it did. It's a very good movie.

    Personally, I believe Oscar nominations are actually a much better measure of worthiness for movies, actors and other affiliated professionals, than are the actual Academy Awards themselves.

    There's no shortage of otherwise acclaimed films, performances and accomplishments that have been slighted on Oscar night. (See "Citizen Kane," "Dr. Strangelove," "Chinatown," "Brokeback Mountain," &etc.) But if one looks to the nominations themselves, I think one tends to have a much better indication of what people really thought about certain films.



    I'm even more embarrassed I have not seen (none / 0) (#75)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 07:42:00 PM EST
    either of those two yet. One of these days.

    What would you have picked? I was (none / 0) (#74)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 07:41:15 PM EST
    pulling for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. But I loved Parasite and was not mad that it won. To me the best thing about both films int heir own way was their originality. I had no idea what was going to happen.

    I loved the craftsmanship of Little Women too, but it is not like there were any surprises in store.


    I was rooting for Joker (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 06:18:09 AM EST
    Minority I know

    But I expected OUATIHW to win.  Or maybe 1917.  But the buzz started to be undeniable there at the end for Parasite.  


    Joker might be the one that holds up (none / 0) (#87)
    by McBain on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 09:51:30 AM EST
    Hard to say at this point.  Out of all the films nominated, OUATIH is the only one I'm planning on seeing a second time.  

    If Dr. Sleep had a better ending it would have been one of my favorites of 2019.  


    Director Greta Gerwig did a marvelous job ... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 05:20:10 PM EST
    ... at presenting an often-told 150-year-old literary classic in a fresh light. "Little Women" didn't win any Oscars, but it certainly deserved its many nominations and is well worth seeing.

    Another film I thought was sadly overlooked this year is Roman Polanski's "J'Accuse" (aka "An Officer and a Spy"), which was first released in Europe late last summer and recently received 12 Cesar nominations in France, including for best picture and director.

    Now, I fully realize that the 86-year-old Polanski is persona non grata in many quarters for obvious reasons which need not be repeated and rehashed here, and that U.S. studios have sought to avoid fostering controversy in our country by not bidding on the film's distribution rights.

    Further, the director's recent unfortunate comments regarding the matter, in which he intemperately analogized his latest film with his own present-day circumstances, are no doubt making it next to impossible for some people to separate the man from his art.

    Nevertheless, I'd argue that Polanski arguably remains a great filmmaker who can still tell a powerful story. And for that reason, I believe "J'Accuse", the director's timely and compelling recounting of France's now-infamous L'Affaire Dreyfus (1894-1906) -- a major military scandal and political crisis which ultimately became a public referendum in that country on injustice, anti-Semitism and moral standing -- deserves a fair viewing, because it serves as a cautionary tale for our current times.



    Let's not airbrush Polanski. (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 08:36:59 PM EST
    The BS is getting so deep (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 04:51:09 PM EST
    Save the watch.  The wallet is gone.  I really don't know what to think about this

    Is Lindsey Graham worried Donald Trump is about to fire Bill Barr?

    On Thursday, during an interview with ABC News, Attorney General William Barr stunned observers by seeming to criticize President Donald Trump, saying that he should stop tweeting about ongoing criminal cases.

    It's (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:22:32 PM EST
    all kabuki. Just like the Mueller report Barr is trying to set up a BS narrative that he is totally independent.

    He will point to this to insist that he wasn't influenced in any way by the WH in any matter, no matter what the evidence shows.


    My first response too (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:32:12 PM EST
    But I wonder if it was cleared with the Shi+gibbon?

    It sounds an awful lot like blasphemy

    You almost wonder if Barr is beginning to look at his "legacy" with some alarm.

    That said, why he would decide this now is unclear.  That ship, you could say, has sailed.


    Exactly. Bill Barr's a behind-the-scenes guy. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 12:48:32 PM EST
    But thanks to Trump's irrepressible tweets, he's once again looking like Paul and Linda McCartney on the cover of their "Band on the Run" album. That's really what this is all about.

    Ix-nay on the itter- tway (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 12:54:07 PM EST
    I got this

    Barr must have gotten a lot of pushback (none / 0) (#41)
    by Peter G on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:38:32 PM EST
    from a lot of the career people he depends on, demanding that he take a stand against political interference in ongoing cases, particularly involving attacks on the judge (which could backfire). And threats to or retaliation against a juror are a very serious crime that no professional prosecutor would tolerate or excuse.

    Yes (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 05:42:39 PM EST
    But as far as I can tell it changes nothing about the interference and attacks and threats.

    So maybe he thinks lip service (boy has that term taken on a new meaning) is enough?


    Trump (none / 0) (#47)
    by NoSides on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 06:05:17 PM EST
    just siphoned 3.8 billion dollars from money allocated by the congress to the pentagon to the construction of his mishugina border wall.

    He had done this already, and it seems to have gone by with relatively little notice.

    In an interview on "Democracy Now" - Ralph Nader called Trump the most impeachable president in history - and mentioned this action, the unilateral diversion of funds allocated by congress for a specific purpose - as eminently impeachable - no question about it. He mentioned many other actions about which he felt there was no question - and questioned why the Democrats were going actions about which there might be some questions of fact or interpretations of facts and, at least in Alan Dershowitz's mind, were not impeachable even if proven.

    And now, it is too late.
    Trump is still in office - and the one most damaged by the inquiry into dealings with the Ukraine would appear to be Mr. Biden.

    Oh. My. Gawd. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 12:51:00 PM EST
    You mean, Ralph Nader's still alive?

    For once, in, literally, for ever, (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 12:57:44 PM EST
    you and I have had the same reaction to a comment.

    One can't help noting (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 01:16:30 PM EST
    for a bunch of crotchety old futzers, how free and easy folks are with the ageist wisecracks around here.

    Maybe you should try putting down the Hawaiian Sensimilla for awhile and think about getting involved in a little activist work yourself, Donald. It'll you make you more regular if nothing else.


    ... which, coincidentally, is roughly the same amount of time since Ralph Nader was probably last truly relevant from a public interest standpoint.

    The difference between us is that I don't repeatedly appear on the media to call attention to myself. And I certainly didn't run for president in 2000 on the publicly-stated but egregiously wrongheaded premise that there wasn't not one iota of difference between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush.

    Nader is an egotistical blowhard who actually caused serious political damage to our country that year, which in my opinion more than negates whatever good he may have accomplished by his book "Unsafe at Any Speed," which got General Motors to pull the Chevrolet Corvair from production 53 years ago. He became a public folk hero due to GM's initially ham-handed response to his charges, which included having him tailed by a private investigator.

    And truth be told, a subsequent study by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration ultimately found that the Corvair was really no more unsafe than any other car back in 1965. Hell, the VW Beetle was actually more of a public hazard than the Corvair. (But then, all cars in the 1960s were unsafe by today's contemporary standards, given that federal law didn't even require auto manufacturers to install seat belts in vehicles until 1968.)

    Nader of course attacked the NHTSA's findings, but an independent panel of engineers selected by the National Academy of Sciences subsequently upheld the report as valid. So even that singular accomplishment of his, like so many other windmills in this latter-day Don Quixote's self-absorbed life, proved to be overstated.



    Which reminds me (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 04:52:18 PM EST
    a gust of hot air from the South Seas would be just what the doctor ordered these days on the shores of Blue Ontario..

    I'll note in passing though that one thing Nader doesn't do is talk and write about himself and his resume, unlike some others who seem to live to flog others with them at every opportunity. And at painful length.


    He's already long been capitalizing on his singular accomplishment for decades. And if you can't handle a fact-based retort without further invoking personal insults -- which, I would note, I had refrained from doing to you -- then I'd suggest that you shut the windows in your Midwest homestead rather than suffer any further from the chill, because the cold appears to be making you awfully cranky.

    (Incidentally and FYI, situated as we are at about 20 degrees north of the equator, Hawaii is really not "the South Seas." But I can see how you might have gotten that confused since to you, all those thousands of Polynesian islands apparently look alike, as probably do their respective indigenous peoples as well.)



    Had a girlfriend with a Corvair... (none / 0) (#70)
    by fishcamp on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 04:34:08 PM EST
    Very cool car.

    Of course you did! :-) (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 07:43:11 PM EST
    Unsafe at any speed, no doubt! (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 07:45:40 PM EST
    And likely photo evidence. (none / 0) (#105)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 08:39:13 PM EST
    I briefly had a boyfriend (none / 0) (#96)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 04:51:42 PM EST
    With a Jaguar- an older one.  It was cool looking.  

    I won my future wife's heart with (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 09:05:39 AM EST
    a six-year old 1967 Volvo 122S. (Somehow, I never knew that in Europe this model was called the "Amazon." Quite appropriate, in that it required that I have a girlfriend with upper body strength (along with brains and beauty) who could help push-start it while I popped the clutch.) A big step up from my first car, a 1963 Dodge Polara (with push-button transmission on the dash) that my grandfather passed down to me.

    The wall (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 07:41:37 PM EST
    that the wind blew over. ROTFLMAO. The wall is now up there with Carnival Barker Clown as defining phrases for Trump.

    True, but they (none / 0) (#50)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 07:47:46 PM EST
    are tearing up Apache lands....beautiful desert....

    Well, (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 08:18:24 PM EST
    if it was up to me they wouldn't be there at all. However it's kind of a defining moment for the Trump presidency that his glorious wall is blown over by wind. And unfortunately with Trump there's always a ton of collateral damage. Look no further than kids in cages.

    Democratic Senators (none / 0) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 03:09:26 PM EST
    call on Roy Cohn knockoff, William Barr, to resign as Attorney General.  Since Barr indicated that Trump's tweets made doing his job "impossible", it would seem to follow that he would resign on his own.

    Two of the nine Democratic Senators are presidential primary candidates-- Senator Warren and Senator Sanders.  The other Senators are Blumenthal, Markey, Murray, Merkley, Van Holden, Wyden, and Hirono.  Unsurprisingly, Senator Klobuchar was not among those calling for Barr's resignation.

    Surprisingly, Fox's Lou Dobbs lost it over Barr's criticism of Trump, suggesting that Barr is a part of the "Deep State". Obviously, Lou did not get the memo.

    Why is it unsurprising (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 04:17:12 PM EST
    Sen.Klobucher did not join?

    My view of (none / 0) (#91)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 03:32:24 PM EST
    Senator Klobuchar is that she is cautious to a fault. Not bold, rather dependent on focus groups and polls to tell her what to think.

    Moreover, her "surge" has occurred without much vetting, more out of an unexamined search for a viable candidate in the middle lane in view of Biden's fading prospects.

    Biden, when presenting his ability to work with Republicans, was considered out-of-touch. Senator Klobuchar who boasts of her ability to work and win with Republicans, is considered bipartisan.

    Unlike Senator Kamala Harris, her prosecutorial background is not often considered nor is her AA support. Senator Klobuchar's record on approving Trump's young right wing judges should be looked at as well.  And, her earlier support of Trump's border wall, or a fence, may now have changed but that is unclear.  Senator Klobuchar's boost came, largely, from her New Hampshire debate--effective but, for me, rekindled stories of her temperament. And, that Midwest/grandfather in the coal mines story is wearing thin. She is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law which she does not often add to her biography.


    Does anyone else love Schitt's Creek? (none / 0) (#79)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 08:12:03 PM EST
    If the only great thing about it was Catherine O'Hara doing This it would still be a great show. Don't let the silly title and off brand cable channel (PoPTV) throw you off like I did for years. Go to Netflix and catch up. This is the final season airing now.

    Both Eugene and his son Daniel are amazing. His daughter is in it too playing a waitress. Annie Murphy who plays Daniel's sister is so funny and adorable. They have adopted a lot of the same mannerisms and play off each other perfectly.

    Eugene and Daniel Levy I mean (none / 0) (#80)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 08:12:55 PM EST
    I love (none / 0) (#82)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 08:38:34 PM EST
    that show. Don't ask me why but I do. I watched all that was on Netflix and then I had to wait for the next season to come out. The whole crow episode was hysterical.

    It is just so crazy and heartfelt at the same time (none / 0) (#84)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 14, 2020 at 09:40:47 PM EST
    Love the characters and performances. And Alexis's wardrobe and Moira's wig collection.

    War of the Worlds (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 11:37:49 AM EST
    this starts tomorrow on EPIX

    It looks very good

    Hottest January evah... (none / 0) (#90)
    by desertswine on Sat Feb 15, 2020 at 03:10:14 PM EST
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday that January 2020 has been the hottest ever recorded in 141 years of climate records.
    The NOAA report showed that January 2020 marked the 44th consecutive January and the 421st consecutive month with nominal temperatures above the 20th-Century average.
    The Earth's global land and ocean surface temperatures were the highest on record at 2.05 degrees above the 20th-Century average, surpassing the record previously set in January 2016, NOAA said.

    Debate over airline seat etiquette (none / 0) (#93)
    by McBain on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 09:55:42 AM EST
    The debate about whether it's a jerk move to recline your economy airline seat has begun raging all over again following a recent incident on a Jan. 31 American Eagle flight in which a fed-up passenger punched the seat of the woman in front of him to get her to put her seat back in the upright position.

    No one has ever asked me if they could recline their seat in front of me.  I had one person complain when I did it, which I thought was odd but maybe I don't know the unwritten rules since I don't fly very often? If it is inappropriate to recline your seat, then why is it an option to begin with?  

    Because the airlines (none / 0) (#98)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 04:58:30 PM EST
    Obviously want people punching, screaming, and fighting on board.  ;-)

    That's because most airline seats ... (none / 0) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 06:20:56 PM EST
    ... have been manufactured to recline, whereas the amount of space between those seats is entirely an airline's discretion.

    Hawaiian Airlines has recently solved that problem on its interisland flights by outfitting all of its Boeing 717 jet aircraft, which the carrier uses exclusively on those routes, with non-reclining seats.

    Since the time we're actually airborne on interisland flights in Hawaii runs from 20-25 minutes (between Honolulu and Maui or Kauai, or between Maui and Kona or Hilo) to 35-45 minutes in length (between Honolulu and Kona or Hilo, or between Kauai and Maui or Kona), it's really not much if any of an imposition on passengers.



    Cats (none / 0) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 01:46:35 PM EST
    Just curious if anyone saw this .  It's not something I would pay to see.  It always sounded like the worst idea ever.  I can't believe it was made.  I expect careers ended.

    The movie musical "Cats" has officially ended its theatrical run and the numbers are rather dire.

    The film has closed out with just a $27.1 million gross at the North American box-office over its eight-week run. In addition, it earned a further $46 million overseas - pushing its global total to $73.5 million.

    With a production budget of $95 million, the movie would've needed to make at least $250 million to break even and cover its costs, P&A spend and exhibitor cuts. How much the whole endeavour will cost Universal is unclear at the moment.

    After I saw the trailer (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 04:56:54 PM EST
    when it first came out, I thought it looked creepy and awful.  So did everyone else I talked to.    Nobody was planning on going to see it.
    No wonder it lost money.

    Almost certainly not (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 03:29:38 PM EST
    The careers of those responsible for it.

    I remember (none / 0) (#100)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 05:26:58 PM EST
    when it was a hit on Broadway. I never had any desire to see it. One of the ladies I worked with went to see it and described it as just a bunch of people dressed as cats singing. Any clips of the play I have seen did not make me sad that I missed it either.

    My wife and I saw 'Cats' in New York. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 06:24:21 PM EST
    Having found it exceptionally tedious and long, I'd agree with your co-worker.

    I'll be honest, I would prefer Bloomberg pick (none / 0) (#111)
    by vml68 on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 01:41:21 PM EST
    Kamala Harris, Castro or Booker over Abrams. While Bloomberg (unlike Bernie) has not had a heart attack, at least as far as we know, he is still in his late 70s. So, I would prefer someone with a little more experience in government in the #2 slot.

    Bloomberg has given a lot of money to causes that I care about but he has also given money to and supported Republicans, so I do have mixed feelings. Against anyone but Tr*mp, he would be a non-starter for me. I just don't think we can afford to be #Never(Bernie/Biden/Bloomberg/Pete) in the general.
    Leaving the ladies out because I have not seen any, "I'll skip the top of the ticket if it is Warren/Klobuchar".
    #NeverGabbard is the only one I agree with.

    I think she probably said that (none / 0) (#112)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 01:53:12 PM EST
    Because she was asked the question.  I think she was asked the question most likely because it Bloomberg's time in the barrel and the question was inevitable given the large sum of money he gave her.

    The thing is, there are plenty of reasons to give her that money other than the obvious one that she needed and deserved it that do not include getting her to be the VP

    Bloomberg knows as well as, probably better than, anyone the work he has to do in communities of color.   He has been doing it.  Every-f'ing- where.  From a training and support system fir young candidates of color that produced his flock of young black mayoral endorsements to the Greenwood Initiative .

    I have said for a long time I think it would be Kamala

    I still do


    PS (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 02:45:51 PM EST
    While I agree Kamala or one of the others might arguably be a better pick for the office of VP I think Stacy would be a knock it out of the park pick for the CANDIDATE of VP.  She is a superstar with no baggage who would instantly legitimize him the way no one else I can think of would.

    So yeah, it's possible.  It's just my first reaction to the donation was not as much necessarily a thing t get her to be VP as part of a larger plan.

    I've been suspicious ever since Kamala quietly slipped out the back door the same day a bunch of her high profile supporters endorsed Bloomberg.


    It Should Be Mentioned (none / 0) (#114)
    by RickyJim on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 04:53:53 PM EST
    that the things that Bloomberg has said and done, for which is is currently being criticized, are exactly the kind of stuff that will woo Trump's base to switch from Trump to Bloomberg.

    Silly comment, show your work (none / 0) (#115)
    by ragebot on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 05:11:24 PM EST
    Every talking head I have seen say Trump's base voted for him in spite of the womanizing and the like.  Not to mention a large portion of Trump's base are strong 2A guys and Bloomberg's position will not only turn off Trump's base but lots of rural independents and rural dems.

    While Bloomberg's stop and frisk and tough on crime positions might appeal to Trump's base the fact that Bloomberg has done a 180 on them means they are not attractive at all.


    Perhaps for different reasons (none / 0) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 06:25:55 PM EST
    Yeah. Kind of a silly comment.

    As far as I know Bloomberg is not and has not been accused of assault or any kind of inappropriate touching.  
    Admittedly I have not looked that hard but as far as  the news stories I know of it's all about creating an unpleasant workplace by SAYING inappropriate things.

    A foible I am familiar with.  And have some personal experience with.

    There is little comparison with what Trump is accused of.

    As far as I know

    Second I don't actually think most of them like Trump because of the things he's accused of but in spite of them.

    They don't give a shi+.  Not really the same thing.