Thursday Open Thread: Aspen Bound

I'm off to NORML's annual Aspen legal conference. My talk this year: "Getting High With Someone Who Dies: Defending Drug Users Charged With Complicity and Enhanced Penalties in Drug Overdose Cases." Here's the entire agenda, it's a privilege to be included with these impressive lawyers.

I'll be back Saturday night, after the annual Owl Farm picnic.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.(I'll put up new open threads if this one fills up.)

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    I'll be feeling NORML (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Repack Rider on Thu May 28, 2015 at 09:04:07 PM EST
    ...in a few minutes.

    Clean up in Aisle 7... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Anne on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:21:18 PM EST

    That would be a sewage leak in aisle 7 (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:25:33 PM EST
    Feels like (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 12:09:56 PM EST
    I missed something.

    Dennis Hastert (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:12:12 PM EST
    was the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House (1999 to 2007) serving during one of the most critical periods in recent American history--9/11/2001 and its aftermath including managing legislation on new limits to  civil liberties (Patriot Act), authorization to use military force (the Iraq war), and support for the occupation of Iraq.  Hastert during this turbulent period, was also second in line to the presidency.  As 9/11 happened, Cheney was in a White House bunker, possibly a target, and Bush was hop-skipping around the country in accord with attack plans of the 1950s.  

    Clearly, a very important official.  Yet, Hastert has been indicted on criminal charges involving "prior misconduct"--charges shrouded in mystery and stripped of details, at the request, in part, of the Hastert attorney.  The predictable speculation was apparently balanced by the merits of postponement.  

    But, the indictment's reference, to the exclusion of most other aspects of Hastert's extensive biography, of an Individual A, from the olden days when Hastert was a wrestling coach, and both were linked to the small town, Yorkville, Illinois,  does give even the  sinus-impacted blood hound a strong scent.

    And, the mystery is compounded by the fact that Hastert was indicted (Bank Secrecy Act 1970/Patriot Act provisions),  Usually, the person being shaken down is considered the victim, and the one doing the shaking down is the criminal.   And, all to amend for and conceal this $3.5 million  "prior misconduct"  (seemingly, a term apt to personal matters, not to a crime such as bribery, bank fraud, or embezzlement).

    The indictment of Hastert, for me, puts a lie to the argument that is made that high ranking officials cannot be held accountable for misdeeds even after leaving office.  It was said that Nixon, for example, could not be prosecuted after leaving office--it would destroy the country.  He needed to be pardoned--the national nightmare was over. Just wake up, now.

     We would be like a banana republic, it has been said, cannot do it.  Let them go.  And, of course, not only was impeachment off the table for Bush and Cheney, in which the penalty would be for them to lose a nice job, but, also, no indictments could ever be entertained.

     We need closure, except we continue to discuss their deeds to this day. So much for closure. Bur, Bush and Cheney had better not have any "prior misconduct" going on, or they may be in big trouble.

    I guess what I mean is (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:35:13 PM EST
    to bad those other guys didn't have some sexual picadillo since war crimes don't tend to hold the publics attention.

    Not saying Hastert had one.   I'm just sayin.


    Hastert's (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:22:27 PM EST
    Weird call on C-SPAN

    There was an odd exchange between former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and an unidentified C-SPAN caller from his hometown in light of Thursday's surprise indictment that he illegally transferred $3.5 million to a Yorkville resident to "conceal prior misconduct."
    The call came in while Hastert appeared on CSPAN's "Washington Journal" on Nov. 13, a week after last year's midterm elections. The caller identified himself only as "Bruce" from Illinois.

    "Hello, Denny," the caller said.

    "Do you remember me from Yorkville?" he added, before laughing and hanging up.

    CSPAN's host Pedro Echevarria immediately moved onto the next caller and Hastert had no significant reaction to the call than other than indicating he knew "Bruce."

    There's no evidence linking the caller to Hastert's alleged illegal activity, but the strange clip was posted onto the "My-CSPAN" video library by a C-SPAN viewer the day that the indictment was announced.

    Sad (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:28:02 PM EST
    and honestly, if there's one.......

    Yup. (none / 0) (#90)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:57:05 PM EST
    Yep (none / 0) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:11:07 PM EST
    An anonymous source familiar with the case of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said federal prosecutors knew of "prior misdeeds" Hastert committed against potentially several alleged victims that were not included in Thursday's indictment, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

    Don't disagree with a single word of that (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:17:52 PM EST
    but part of me is a little sad if it turns out he has been paying hush money because of some latent unfulfilled need.  If you know what I mean.
    Sad it would be for that.  

    Old fashioned stealing from the poor would be much less complicated.


    Yes, if there is any sad (none / 0) (#73)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:36:11 PM EST
    part of me, it would be the torment that Hastert must have been reeling in since his meeting with Individual A in 2010.  Agreeing to pay off to the tune of, ultimately, $3.5 million is a lot of concealment money.  I will await more information (hopefully, a plea will not be made with a seal, although I do not think this can happen), to determine if I will add to or subtract from, my present modicum of sadness.

    Longer than that I'm thinkin (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:42:03 PM EST
    if what we are tap dacing around happened it was when he was a coach probably many years ago.  
    Probably an actual tormented man.

    Not defending anything.  It would just be sad.


    Meanwhile, the Press, (none / 0) (#137)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:40:26 AM EST
    which did virtually nothing to expose idiotic and misguided Hastert/Bush era policies, at least back when it actually would have mattered, will be all over this story.

    They'll morph from napping newshounds to yapping, overnight.


    Everyone is dancing around the subject. (none / 0) (#113)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:14:50 PM EST
    So, I'll come right out and say it: Yes, Dennis Hastert is very likely a deeply closeted gay man, and the hush money was to maintain the ruse that he was a straight, happily married man. No small wonder why he insisted upon keeping up the façade, given the circles in which he travels and the company he keeps, not to mention his horrible record on LGBT civil rights.

    During the Mark Foley scandal and its exposure of a rather prominent gay group within the GOP House leadership staff, there was brief mention in the media about then-Speaker Hastert living with his chief of staff (who is gay), even though he was a married man. But for some reason, the media decided to ignore it and focus almost exclusively on Foley, whose own public record on LGBT rights was equally bad. So, I think I'm going to rather perversely enjoy watching this unfold. He deserves the attention.

    Let the Schadenfreude begin.


    We were dancing around it (none / 0) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:03:46 PM EST
    ecause it hadn't been reported yet and J doesn't like stories sourced by the kind of thing I was reading earlier today.
    But they made it pretty clear.  

    Should say (none / 0) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:18:58 PM EST
    not that I had seen.

    The LATimes link posted here was the first mainstream press I had seen about it.  But earlier the fringe was buzzing.


    "misconduct" is a broad enough term (none / 0) (#98)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri May 29, 2015 at 04:57:40 PM EST
     to encompass things ranging from serious criminal conduct to conduct civilly but not criminally actionable to merely morally wrong or "inappropriate."

      EDIT: it's now being reported sexual abuse of a student was the conduct.

      Perhaps, the thin silver lining for Hastert is that if his misconduct toward Individual A was in fact criminal, A's resort to blackmail would so taint his credibility as a witness Hastert might not have to worry about being prosecuted for THAT.

      Beyond the sensational aspect is how wonderful it is  that a former congressman (not the most lucrative job in the world) can in a few short years amass enough money as an influence peddler, or lobbyist, if you prefer, to agree to pay 3.5 mill in hush money.


    Yes, "misconduct" (none / 0) (#105)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:43:00 PM EST
    is a broad term.  But, its use is not customarily deployed, in a criminal indictment,to describe charges such as bank or wire fraud or other white collar crimes, not to mention, violent felonies.   Or, is it in common parlance such as Bonnie and Clyde were charged with misconduct involving Oklahoma banks.  My take was that it involved something personal--Brokeback coaching, for example.

    The matter of Individual A is puzzling at this point, and with this amount of information.  Blackmail victims and perps prosecution is tricky.  And, it may be that no blackmail or extortion is involved: Hastert may have bribed Individual A so as not to file a lawsuit or otherwise, in some manner,  bring their past to the forefront.


    Even if true (none / 0) (#107)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:54:39 PM EST
    EDIT: it's now being reported sexual abuse of a student was the conduct.

    Pretty much seems the statute of limitations would prevent any charges being filed. Hastert stopped being a coach at the high school in 1981.


    Probably (none / 0) (#116)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:35:29 PM EST
      but not certainly,  

    Illinois now  has a very convoluted SOL structure but,  even if the current law was applicable it would clearly bar prosecution in illinois. The pre-1984 Illinois law (which would still apply to conduct that occurred before 7/1/84)  was even more restrictive (i.e more defendant friendly, 3 yrs.).

      That though assumes the conduct took place only in Illinois and not a state with a much longer or no SOL for  child sex crimes. That may well be the case but there are states where prosecution would be a legal possibility. Who knows, maybe the wrestling team went to a tourney in SC which has no SOL for any criminal prosecution.

       I should have mentioned the reason one has to wonder about this  is if all Indiv. A has is his own uncorroborated  accusation of long past unprosecutable conduct why was Hastert so deeply worried about him making a public accusation? I suspect most people would view an unsupported accusation of  30+ year old acts with considerable skepticism.


    The S/L may not be the issue here (none / 0) (#118)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:51:06 PM EST
    Right now, I think, the legal aspect has to do with banking regs passed in relation to the Patriot Act.

    What the piercing matter is:  Yet, another modern day version of The Scarlet Letter writ clear.  (Or, perhaps, becoming clear.) The hypocrisy factor ... reportedly involving a male student (a minor?) in a high school where/when Hastert was the wrestling coach a number of years ago.  The hypocrisy of one at the center of the sanctimony during the Clinton impeachment.

     So ... no, the sexual aspects of any S/L may not really matter ... as the issue and lesson likely will be much broader.  As I said elsewhere, the harm & hurt that appears to have led to what looks like hush money amount to what is the real definition of Scandal.


    The banking limitations (none / 0) (#99)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:11:36 PM EST
    As I understand it, the over-10K trigger regarding reporting is fairly direct & fairly automatic ... in the case of Hastert and the patterned withdrawals of much larger sums over a period of time is not a difficult, involved, complicated matter to understand (nor is the direct lie about it to the feds.)

    While I understand the point that you may be trying to make that the Hastert indictment would suggest that pursuing a President (& company)for a false entry into a catastrophe of a war in terms of human and other tolls ... I would only offer that the political intricacies inherent in pursuing former Presidents for political corruption, political lying, dishonest policies--while appealing--have much more national energy-depleting, time-consuming, emotional "nuances" (that even W could grasp), unpredictable turns, unintended consequences than the fairly straightforward bank-reporting matter apparently at center of the Hastert indictment.  Even with the convolutions of potential sexual abuse (a minor?) that are suggested in the emerging reports today ....


    Wasn't the Patriot Act Passed Under Hastert? (none / 0) (#127)
    by RickyJim on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:37:45 PM EST
    Was he "hoist by his own petard"?

    Yes. (none / 0) (#132)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:14:45 PM EST
    "Manhattanhenge" to occur tonight (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Anne on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:35:14 PM EST
    Manhattanhenge, the moment when the setting sun aligns precisely with the street grid in Manhattan, can be seen this weekend.

    Half the sun will align with the grid on Friday at 8:12 p.m., and the full-sun Manhattanhenge will happen the same time on Saturday, according to the Hayden Planetarium.

    On a clear day, the typical resulting effect of Manhattanhenge is a "radiant glow of light" across the skyscrapers and buildings, "simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid," according to Hayden Planetarium.


    And linked in that same article was this interesting headline:

    9 Brains Found Next to Train Tracks in NY

    Nine brains were found along a street in a northern New York village, but authorities say there's nothing to fear.

    The brains are believed to have been part of a collection for educational or research purposes. No criminal activity is suspected. Residents discovered the brains on a street near railroad tracks in Governeur and notified police Wednesday.

    My favorite part of the article?  This:

    Mishaps with preserved brains are not uncommon.

    I mean, who knew?

    I've never even heard of (none / 0) (#80)
    by sj on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:07:31 PM EST
    Manhattanhenge. Would love to see it sometime.

    Have seen it a couple of times. (none / 0) (#125)
    by vml68 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:25:28 PM EST
    Very cool and depending on the angle blinding!

    I must be getting old (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 04:48:33 PM EST
    because it's beginning to feel like the annual Owl Farm picnic comes up about four times a year.

    Jeralyn loves to visit Aspen CG, (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by fishcamp on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:34:25 AM EST
    and she usually stays out at Owl Farm when she's in town.  Looks like some great lawyers will be speaking at the MORML convention.  I used to need several lawyers back in the day.  Now it's several doctors.  Jeralyn chooses very difficult topics and totally stuns other lawyers with her presentations.  She's a superstar lawyer.

    I am watching (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 28, 2015 at 06:11:28 PM EST
    Bloodline right now on Netflix. I watched Frankie and Hope and does anybody have any suggestions about other Netflix original series?

    Hear good things (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 28, 2015 at 06:59:31 PM EST
    about Marco Polo

    okay. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 28, 2015 at 07:06:34 PM EST
    Thanks. I was also thinking about watching Narco I think it's called.

    Orange/black starts again soon (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:15:25 PM EST
    Bloodline is a very dopey story (none / 0) (#47)
    by fishcamp on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:38:15 AM EST
    Ga, but it was shot here in Islamorada.  All the outdoor beach and dock scenes are places we go frequently, which makes it kind of fun to watch.

    The Dennis Hastert thing (none / 0) (#5)
    by christinep on Thu May 28, 2015 at 07:49:59 PM EST
    Other than having the day's big laugh, I was also offended ... remembering Hastert and all the other sanctimonious Repubs who voted to impeach President Clinton in 1997.  The offense heightened as I remembered the Congressman from Florida (Foley?) who, hypocritically, sought male pages for whatever almost routinely; the wide-stance Senator from Repub Idaho (Craig?) and his soliciting situation; and the Repub mayor of Spokane who trolled for boys on the Internet after taking a public posture against gays.

    Since Hastert has long put himself in the public sphere, I have little concern here with lambasting him on a number of levels.  Am I missing something?  Ah yes, I missed the latest iteration that appears to involve the Duggars and their self-righteous Repub supporter, Huckabee.  What is wrong with these people?  It really is more than "the lady doeth protest too much."  Foremost in my mind is the lessor of Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" and the much later "father of political science" Harold Laswell with his observations about sex and the allure of political power.  The only real question I have about these examples at this point: Do these people really believe what they say when they preach about the evils of everyone else OR are they so far gone that they are oblivious to their far worse practices?

    As for Hastert:  Yes, I am making an assumption about the latest allegations in the indictment ... but, what is worth his 1.5M payments over years if it weren't blackmail & if it weren't at a level <in the reported high-school environment> that would be so scandalous as to comply with extortion or other demands over a period of years?  (BTW: Compared to the latest phony scandals re the Clintons pushed by the Repubs and their buddies in some press, these allegations--if anywhere near true--are what would really constitute a "scandal.")

    Last I checked, blackmail/extortion (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Anne on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:58:32 PM EST
    wasn't legal, so I am hard-pressed to understand why the individual who was extorting money from Hastert isn't under indictment.

    Unless...this is one of those things that started as an investigation into financial transactions, and in the process, other crimes were discovered.  And that possibly the person blackmailing Hastert may have made some kind of deal in order for the FBI to resolve these other crimes.

    I would have no interest if Hastert was being blackmailed for engaging in something with another adult that he didn't want revealed; if there were underage individuals involved, then I think that's a whole other can of worms.

    I don't know why, because we really don't know enough for me to feel this way, but I'm starting to get that same ooky feeling I had when we learned about pedophile priests.  I hope, more for the sake of there not being child-victims, that this is not the case.

    I'm also starting to get the feeling that Hastert may decide to shuffle off this mortal coil ahead of schedule.

    This just doesn't seem to be going anywhere good.


    The reports from several sources (none / 0) (#101)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:24:07 PM EST
    Including the Chicago Tribune and LA Times would affirm your suspicion about the involvement of a youth ... in this case, allegedly, a male student at the high school in which Hastert taught & served as wrestling coach before he became a Congressman.  If a high school student, that would involve a minor allegedly abused.  

    If the building reports are accurate, your feeling that more negative is to come could be accurate as well.

    One thing is very clear:  This is what a real, genuine "scandal" would look like ... a lot different in hurt, harm, & consequence than the manufactured time-fluff that has been taking up space in the beltway lately.


    I'm guessing (none / 0) (#33)
    by Repack Rider on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:51:49 PM EST
    ...there is an adult offspring who shares DNA with Mr. Hastert and a former HS senior.

    If I had to guess.  

    It has to be pretty freaking juicy to take down a guy who isn't even in the public eye any more.  We'll know soon enough.  You can't dangle this much bait without someone doing the math and blowing the whistle, if you know what I mean and I think you do.  


    I'm guessing that former (and convicted) (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:32:08 AM EST
    Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards is in the ballpark with a joke he made during his 1983 campaign, "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

    It was not a dead girl... (none / 0) (#81)
    by leap on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:10:28 PM EST
    It was a live boy.

    That (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    didnt take long

    Funny (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:09:20 AM EST
    I suspected improper conduct with one of the wrestling team.

    If you google (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:41:14 AM EST
    as I just did you will find lots about things supposedly known to certain segments of the DC community.

    Not surprising.   Won't link or quote because they are just rumors.  


    that would be my guess, too (none / 0) (#75)
    by ding7777 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:50:06 PM EST
    but $3.5 million still sounds excessive for
    ...there is an adult offspring who shares DNA with Mr. Hastert and a former HS senior


    I guess (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:02:18 AM EST
    we'll find out more sooner or later but I remember all the sanctimonious lectures from the GOP about how "holy" Hassert was back in the 1990's. How he was a member of this religious organization or that one and what a moral and upstanding person he was. You would think the GOP would have learned to quit their sanctimonious moralizing by now but no. No one ever accused conservatives of being smart though.

    Yes - if revenge is a dish best served cold (none / 0) (#61)
    by ruffian on Fri May 29, 2015 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    this one is mighty tasty.

    Prosecutors want more restrictions on Apperson (none / 0) (#6)
    by McBain on Thu May 28, 2015 at 07:55:50 PM EST

    They want Apperson to wear a GPS monitor.  They claim he was released from a mental hospital 3 weeks before he tried to shoot George Zimmerman.  They say GZ had his tinted window rolled up at the time of the shooting.  

    It will be interesting to see what Judge Nelson does.

    "Interesting"? That's it? (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Yman on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:44:39 AM EST
    I was expecting a flood of pro-defense posts premises on your professed "pro-defense bias".



    Hastert ! (none / 0) (#7)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 28, 2015 at 08:04:00 PM EST
    another rascally Republican.
    Individual A and defendant discussed past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier" and Hastert agreed to pay Individual A $3.5 million "in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A," the indictment says.
    Let the speculation begin!

    In the words of the great Republican word-smith, (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by leap on Thu May 28, 2015 at 08:28:13 PM EST
    "Great Republican" (none / 0) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 09:37:06 PM EST
    isn't that phrase obsolete now?

    not if one is being (none / 0) (#15)
    by leap on Thu May 28, 2015 at 09:39:08 PM EST
    sarcastic. Shoulda put that in scare quotes, I guess.

    How about we don't speculate (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 08:23:55 PM EST
    and instead wait for the facts.

    You mean not act like (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by nycstray on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:13:33 PM EST
    Republicans and their bullhorn media? What fun is that?! 😋

    The (none / 0) (#10)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 28, 2015 at 08:48:22 PM EST
    talking heads already are, Anderson Cooper came right out and suggested illicit sex, but you are correct it would be irresponsible of us to speculate. Almost impossible not to though, human nature and all.

    You are correct, of course, CG (none / 0) (#11)
    by christinep on Thu May 28, 2015 at 08:56:02 PM EST
    But, darn it, the irony and the "wouldn't you know" and all is surprising even in this day of non-surprises.  Before I sit back correctly and await the facts, all I can see in my nasty-minds-eye is what kind of issue of the categorical "moral turpitude" would cause one to pay that amount of $$$$ for that long.  Forgive me for leaping so soon....

    The bigger crime (none / 0) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 09:33:36 PM EST
    would have been committed by the person getting paid. Technically, if what people here speculate is true, Hastert is the victim.

    Or both are perpetrators (none / 0) (#26)
    by christinep on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:03:36 PM EST
    Victim? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Repack Rider on Thu May 28, 2015 at 11:17:04 PM EST
    Technically, if what people here speculate is true, Hastert is the victim.

    Hastert is accused of money laundering and lying to the people who asked him about all this cash he seemed to need.  Is he a "victim" of his own acts?

    Whatever the scandal he needed to hold at bay, it must be pretty juicy, and there must be another "victim" somewhere.


    That victim will feel even moreso (none / 0) (#39)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:33:59 AM EST
    once the IRS has wrestled him to the mat over $3.5M in undeclared income.

    Why would you assume it's undeclared income (none / 0) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:23:48 AM EST
    for Hastert? Undeclared income for the recipient makes far more sense.

    I'm assuming of course that Hastert is the victim of extortion/blackmail and foolishly lied to the FBI about the withdrawals.


    "Undeclared income for the recipient" (none / 0) (#68)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:17:43 PM EST
    is what I said.

    The last part (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:21:06 PM EST
    it seems that's is what happened.

    Wow (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 09:54:00 PM EST
    Someone forgot to close the barn door.

    Barns don't stink as bad as gloriad (none / 0) (#27)
    by christinep on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:07:28 PM EST
    Please (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:53:52 PM EST
    That's an insult to the gentle barn creatures!

    On a happer note (none / 0) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:27:42 PM EST
    Donald Trump has penciled in June 16 for his jump in the pool 2016 announcement.

    Jon Stewart (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 12:11:51 PM EST
    has said he may delay his exit from the Daily Show if the Donald makes it official.

    A SITE VIOLATOR if (none / 0) (#34)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:53:13 PM EST
    ever there was one.

    Site violator (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Thu May 28, 2015 at 11:04:47 PM EST

    What could (none / 0) (#41)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:23:34 AM EST
    possibly go wrong?
    "People are also encouraged to utilize (their) second amendment right at this event just (in case) our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack," the event's Facebook page says.

    Let's see if I can guess what this is (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:32:19 AM EST
    without looking.

    I'm thinkin the open carry draw Mohammed event outside a Mosque.



    Give that man a cigar! (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:37:17 AM EST
    Mind the stray bullets in Phoenix y'all...another dueling arsehole contest on the calendar.

    The guy organizing it (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:43:48 AM EST
    videos around, seems like a reeeeeal piece of work.  

    The plane to all wear tshirts that say F@CK ISLAM


    Let's hope... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:48:17 AM EST
    his extremist brothers of another superstition don't take the bait this time, and he wins the arsehole of the day award unchallenged.

    Dude reminds me of Osama Bin Ladin...trying to goad his "great satan" into a fight.

    Sadly, it's usually a successful tactic.  

    Clowns to the left, jokers to the right.


    The Metro responds to hate-monger Geller... (none / 0) (#130)
    by desertswine on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:57:41 PM EST
    The transit system of Washington, D.C. has banned all "issue-oriented" advertisements on buses and in Metro stations for the rest of the year, a decision that comes just two days after a request to run subway ads that would depict the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
    The announcement comes on the heels of a request filed by Pamela Geller, the head of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), to publish advertisements in D.C. that would showcase the winning cartoon from the group's "Draw Muhammad" event earlier this month in Garland, Texas.

    and (none / 0) (#51)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:00:26 AM EST
    Bikers too!

    Any bets (none / 0) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:06:01 AM EST
    on whether any media outlet labels them as thugs?

    I will! (none / 0) (#66)
    by Chuck0 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 12:52:18 PM EST
    I've come to the defense of many of those rounded up at Waco. Not all the bikers arrested in Waco are guilty of anything other than wrong place, wrong time. But these guys are, to quote kdog, 'arseholes'.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:06:23 PM EST
    ...they coincidentally ended up at a biker brawl while heading to a picnic.

    They might not have committed any crimes, but they were there to fight, which is a crime.  Not saying they deserve punishment if they didn't do anything, but please spare us the 'wrong place at the wrong time'.

    Even the cops knew about the brawl.


    This kind of cracks me up. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Anne on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:16:39 PM EST
    If you're riding with the Bandidos or the Cossacks, you're not just out for a scenic ride, anymore than if you're a member of the KKK, you're just in it because you have a thing for Egyptian cotton sheets.

    There are plenty of motorcycle clubs that aren't on the FBI's list of outlaw motorcycle gangs, where people who enjoy riding can get together, plan trips and events and have fun.  


    You don't have clue what your'e talking about. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Chuck0 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:04:03 PM EST
    The gathering at Twin Peaks was a meeting of the Confederation of Clubs. Nearly every state in country has a CoC. Not everyone in attendance was a member of the Cossacks or Bandidos. I know people who were there. I've spoken with them. Not everyone arrested was even a patchholder. Two of the arrested are female. I guarantee that they aren't members of either club. Some of the arrested were members of a antique restoration club. The police just gathered up who they could.

    You wouldn't for a minute speak the same way if the police in Baltimore took everyone into custody at a meeting of the NAACP because a subset decided to start a brawl. The same thing happened in Waco.


    The first (none / 0) (#111)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:09:16 PM EST
    civil rights lawsuit has been filed.

    Your response does not address the (none / 0) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:05:42 PM EST
    question posed in my comment which was whether or not the armed protesters gathered outside of the mosque would be labeled as thugs by the media.

    So far I don't see any media reports describing these armed protesters described as "thugs" unlike the unarmed protesters in Ferguson, Baltimore and various other cities across the nation.


    Would you please cite (2.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Redbrow on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:48:43 PM EST
    Examples of media reports, not including blogs or editorials, that described protestors as thugs?

    I can not find any. Just reports of Obama and Mayor Rawlings using the word thug to describe the violent rioters.



    Why add the qualifiers? (none / 0) (#135)
    by Yman on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:36:03 AM EST
    MO Blue said "media".  Are blogs and editorials not part of the media?

    Summary of usage (none / 0) (#136)
    by MO Blue on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:36:42 AM EST
    According to new data from iQ media, the word "thug" was used a total of 54,671 times across Twitter, online news sites, television, and other social-media platforms from April 1 to May 4. More than half of those instances occurred on Twitter alone.

    Looking at just the top TV broadcast networks, ABC has used the word more than any other network, with 2,523 mentions. That's almost 1,000 more than CBS, which ranked second at 1615 mentions. Fox and NBC followed behind, with 1,324 and 1,069 uses of the word, respectively.

    The show that used the word the most was the "CBS Evening News" With Scott Pelley.
    Use of the word "thug" has sparked a big debate in the U.S., particularly after President Obama himself used the word to describe those involved in the riots. On Sunday, former CNN host Soledad O'Brian urged journalists not to use the term, arguing that it has become the new N-word. Her warning came just after CNN's own Erin Burnett was slammed for insisting that "thug" was the right word to describe the protesters. link

    That doesn't really answer (none / 0) (#142)
    by jbindc on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:59:26 AM EST
    the question at all. It doesn't separate out if people were calling the actual rioters and looters thugs or if they were quoting others who called them thugs, or if they were endlessly focusing on the term thugs in the talking points in the hopes of now making a racial term (up next:  hooligans).  All that study shows is the number of times the term was mentioned in media outlets - there is no context and frankly, is kind of useless to prove your point.

    And since we are taking things out of context, here's the sentence from the HuffPo article you left out:

    Fortunately, IQ Media's research found a silver lining: The term "peaceful protest" was mentioned in the news, online and on social media when referring to Baltimore close to 300 times more than the word "thug" (7,090 to 4,391).

    It does answer the question (none / 0) (#144)
    by MO Blue on Sat May 30, 2015 at 09:22:37 AM EST
    The question was not a request to show a contrast between the number of times the media described the protesters as peaceful protest or described them as thugs. The question was asking for examples of when media reports used the word thugs to describe the protesters.

    Out of curiosity (none / 0) (#104)
    by Redbrow on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:36:47 PM EST
    Do you have any examples of traditional mainstream media labeling any rioters "thugs" other than them reporting that Obama and the mayor called them thugs?

    Out of curiosity (none / 0) (#138)
    by Yman on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:42:20 AM EST
    Is there some reason you want to limit it to "traditional, mainstream media"?  The OP didn't.  The "thug" label tends to be applied by conservatives ... you don't want to exclude conservatives for some reason, do you?

    Just curious... (none / 0) (#53)
    by lentinel on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:30:40 AM EST
    The NYTimes has posted a photo of Bill Clinton, the husband of the candidate for the presidency in 2016, at a charity gala with the following description:

    Bill Clinton agreed to appear at a gala for the model Petra Nemcova's charity in 2014 after Ms. Nemcova offered a $500,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.

    The implication, it seems to me, is that Clinton did something shady... even immoral.

    Is it?
    Was it?

    It wasn't as if he pocketed the dough - and even so - he was appearing at a charity benefit to raise funds for someone who had raised funds, or donated funds, to his charity.

    I am no fan of Bill's.
    But this just reads as another attack - through the side door - on Candidate Clinton.

    Is there any merit to this insinuation by the Times?

    Did you read the article? I did and it (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Fri May 29, 2015 at 10:24:47 AM EST
    made me want to go take a shower.  It just struck me as wrong - not to mention craven - that a charitable organization that bills itself as being devoted to improving the lives and living conditions of underserved people around the world, would not offer up the services of its eponymous founder until a half-million dollars was promised.  I guess Clinton doesn't have a problem taking money for HIS foundation out of the coffers of an organization with a much smaller budget, making it less able to do the good works it purports to sponsor.

    I'm sure it's all technically legal, but the more layers that are peeled back from the world of charitable foundations, and particularly Clinton's, the more rotten it smells to me.


    Amen sister... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:51:51 PM EST
    big money philanthropy and charitable work seems almost as shady as the banking and finance industries or FIFA.

    Nothing is sacred.


    What (none / 0) (#114)
    by lentinel on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:19:32 PM EST
    was confusing to me, was that the charity that gave the half mil to Clinton, also spent (I was gonna say, "squandered"), $363;413 on glitz.
    From the Times:
    She booked Cipriani 42nd Street, which greeted guests with Bellini cocktails on silver trays. She flew in Sheryl Crow with her band and crew for a 20-minute set. She special-ordered heart-shaped floral centerpieces, heart-shaped chocolate parfaits, heart-shaped tiramisù and, because orange is the charity's color, an orange carpet rather than a red one. She imported a Swiss auctioneer and handed out orange rulers to serve as auction paddles, playfully threatening to use hers to spank the highest bidder for an Ibiza vacation.

    The gala cost $363,413. But the real splurge? Bill Clinton.

    I wound up feeling that this world of charitable foundations does indeed have a foul smell about it. I think that Clinton himself has a foul smell about him. But that "Happy Hearts" lady, Petra Nemcova, seemed to me to be a piece of work herself, hence my question of whether this was immoral or unethical on the part of Clinton, or whether this was just business as usual in that strange foundation world - and ultimately just another in the ongoing slime and insinuations aimed at Hillary Clinton...

    I'm still not sure what that article was about...


    It's shady... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:51:35 AM EST
    but so is the NY Times...does that answer your question? ;)  

    If you're looking for honesty you must look outside the law and outside our "institutions".  h/t Dylan.


    What is Shady ? (none / 0) (#86)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:33:09 PM EST
    Rich people donating money, Bill Clinton, what exactly is problem ?

    This is a republican wet dream, not only do they get to lambast the Clinton's, they get lambast people who donate money to help people without it.

    I was under the impression Bill could not run again, guess I need to reread the 22nd Amendment.


    Read up on... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:49:45 PM EST
    the Clinton Foundation's work in Haiti man...shady ain't the half Bro. And  did a great piece on the charity hustle in Haiti, you should check it out.

    From the referenced article...

    Happy Hearts' former executive director believes the transaction was a "quid pro quo," which rerouted donations intended for a small charity with the concrete mission of rebuilding schools after natural disasters to a large foundation with a broader agenda and a budget 100 times bigger.

    "The Clinton Foundation had rejected the Happy Hearts Fund invitation more than once, until there was a thinly veiled solicitation and then the offer of an honorarium," said the former executive director, Sue Veres Royal, who held that position at the time of the gala and was dismissed a few weeks later amid conflicts over the gala and other issues.

    Why would Bill Clinton, or his Foundation employees, shake a charity down for 500 grand to support said charity?  


    Err... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:53:13 PM EST
    Vice did a great piece on the charity hustle in Haiti.  Haitian Money Pit

    Great, Thansk for Answering a Question... (none / 0) (#92)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 29, 2015 at 03:32:24 PM EST
    ...no asked, my comment was in regards to Ms. Nemcova, who as far as I can tell is Czechoslovakian.

    Someone believes there is some quid pro quo.

    Am I missing the fire here, because I don't smell smoke beyond one person's belief.  And there is no referenced article.


    The NY Times... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 03:51:48 PM EST
    article referenced by lentinel...I'll make it easy for ya.

    Here, the smoke is the Clinton Foundation allegedly shook down Nemcova's charity for half a million (and an award, wtf?) just to get Clinton to grace her fundraiser with his presence. And Nemcova's charity has less overhead, and is more focused, that half a million in her charity is more effective in providing actual charity than another half mill in the CGI coffers. If that's not shady to you, I don't know what to tell ya.

    As I said in my reply to Anne, the more I learn about the big money philanthropy and charity circuit, the more cynical I become...and I'm already cynical as f&ck.  


    The way it appears to work (none / 0) (#95)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 04:01:08 PM EST
    can be enough to <as they say> give one pause.  Even Catholic Charities, a very large & fairly effective charitable organization, can almost push the strong-arm with escalating doses of guilt as an incentive ... and, when you give, you get pushed for more & more.  On the one hand, I understand it; I accept that the fundraisers will push as hard as they can to raise money for a cause ...and, for me and in the long run, if definable help and assistance is given to so many in need, I'll deal with it.  

    I understand... (none / 0) (#112)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:14:47 PM EST
    the other hand...but strong arming another charity? I would hope there are limits.  Not to mention involving a former head of state, the kind of pimping of the office we wanted to avoid by giving presidents pensions. Even if "for charity". (Nostalgia tangent...ahh pensions, remember those?;)

    I'm reminded of a line from the HBO show Silicon Valley..."I don't want anyone else to make the world a better place better than we do".

    Or in a word, hubris. The deadliest deadly sin.

    Not to say this makes the Clintons the worst political machine running...better than all of the above in the war racket for damn sure....but let's not deny the apparent (inherent?) shadiness of it. Shadiness of everything involving money and/or power.


    You sound like an innocent, kdog (none / 0) (#123)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:14:19 PM EST
    to consider this "shady."  Or have you been fooling us all along.

    Where you been? (none / 0) (#126)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:36:27 PM EST
    I've been saying for 10 years that checking accounts are shady. Everywhere I look it's shady shady shady.

    The question is, are you so jaded you don't see it?


    There is shady ... and there is shady (none / 0) (#131)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 09:11:45 PM EST
    It helps to tell the difference between what is really a screw job and what is simply a strong-arm to raise funds for charity.  No ... I have little, if any, problem with the NYTimes description ... because it is very much a relative world (and, I don't want to walk around being upset, agitated, or outraged about everything that isn't ideal.)  

    For now, I'm more focused on the guy who once was second in line to the Presidency (Hastert, i.e.) and who allegedly hit on a young male student (a minor?) while, at the same time, professing all kinds of righteousness in the late '90s.  If that is true, the hurt that he caused has lots more consequence--personal & societal--than a bunch of rich people at a cocktail do hustling each other for charity funds.  Whether it is being jaded or whether it is viewing right/wrong on a different scale ... we arrive at a different place, kdog.


    IMO, The real smoke (none / 0) (#140)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:52:12 AM EST
    is in this part of the Times story, paragraph 23:

    One of those schools, operated by the Haitian group Prodev, was featured in the Clinton Foundation's most recent annual report as "built through a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action." The Clinton Foundation's sole direct contribution to the school was a grant for an Earth Day celebration and tree-planting activity.

    The amount of money involved (none / 0) (#56)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 29, 2015 at 10:00:10 AM EST
    and the benefit it supports make it incumbent on everyone involved to manage this appropriately. I don't want a million dollars NOT going to leprosy research because it looks "icky," or, you know, "the Clintons, ooooo.

    On the other hand, because there's a lot of money involved, and the Clintons are involved politically with the levers of U.S. power, every consideration has to be made to establish a firewall between the money, U.S. policy, and the donors.

    For instance, Country "A" wants to gain fishing rights within traditional U.S. coastal limits, and, simultaneously, makes a large contribution to The Foundation. In my opinion, that's a no, no. The entire process may be absolutely as pure as Caeser's wife, but, governments would be involved, as would policy, and, presumably, some of the individual players (President Hillary Clinton?) also. This is where "appearance" really does matter.

    The point really is, all those kinds of situations can be worked out very easily, IF, adults are in charge, good faith is really present, and the participants speak to the public plainly, honestly, and transparently.

    It's not really that difficult.


    Those other countries (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by fishcamp on Fri May 29, 2015 at 10:12:54 AM EST
    better not try fishing here in the Keys where MY fish live.  They have basically eliminated long lining and nets here in the Atlantic, after wiping out the Cod industry.  Foreign fishing boats don't like to come near Cuba, and the nest of Homeland Security fast boats we have.  More fish are available in the much larger Pacific Ocean.

    Just the NYTimes doing a trolling thing (none / 0) (#59)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 11:09:26 AM EST
    As for Clinton, he was fundraising for his charitable foundation ... similar to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (etc.)

    Frankly, after all these years of the NYTimes--once known as & rightfully considered to be the "paper of record"--doing their own scandal-mongering routine where and whenever the Clintons are nearby, most readers find it somewhat stale. Suggestion: A different angle might involve review & analysis as to what charitable causes have been aided over x-number of years by the Clinton Foundation, including the amounts in aid of different international causes ... and, for a more extensive look, the "venerable" Times might endeavor to compare that with other international charities (especially any founded by other politicians in our country.)  Excuse me, tho, because that actual analysis might be so booooring for them.

    And where is Judith Miller & Jason Blair & the gang, again???

    PS, Lentinel .... No, assertive high-level fundraising is neither illegal nor shady. And, yes, the practice does help those in need ... a goal & reality that should be regarded as a good thing.


    This is (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:24:17 PM EST
    nothing more then "lifestyle of the rich and famous" on steroids.

    The glitterati buying their way into the big league:

    She has also mingled her celebrity and charity work, both in ways that benefited the charity and in ways that benefited her personally.

    Trying to keep up with their exes:
    notably the actor Sean Penn, an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Nemcova's who had created his own relief organization and forged a relationship with Mr. Clinton.

    Or maybe they are getting more bang for their buck then first meets the eye:

    Frank Giustra, the Canadian mining financier who is one of the Clinton Foundation's largest donors and also a supporter of Ms. Nemcova.
    At the meeting, Ms. Nemcova signed a memorandum of understanding with the president of the Inter-American Development Bank to finance schools in Haiti.
    In this context getting "hustled" by Bill Clinton is a badge of honor with benefits

    Charity at this level is basically the rich and famous  hustling each other all around the  globe for mega bucks at parties fit for a king. Trying to make this story into some kind of gangland shakedown is total fantasy.


    You didn't read the article, did you? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Anne on Fri May 29, 2015 at 11:27:00 AM EST
    Would that you would do any review and analysis of the issues raised in that article instead of waving them off as nothing to see, move along, trollishness.

    Yes, I did (none / 0) (#93)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 03:38:23 PM EST
    The fundraising world is not what we imagine as youngsters ... unfortunately, it never has been.

    similar to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (none / 0) (#141)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:54:19 AM EST
    A really clueless comparison.  The Gates Foundation is a source of money, not a sink.  Do you have no idea of where Gates got his money?

    So... (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 12:00:19 PM EST
    Not so good economic news out today.

    The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized pace of 0.7 percent in the first three months of the year, according to government data released Friday morning, a tumble for a recovering nation that until recently seemed poised for takeoff.

    The contraction, the country's third in the aftermath of the Great Recession, provides a troubling picture of an economy that many figured would get a lift from cheap oil, rapid hiring and growing consumer confidence. Instead, consumers have proved cautious, and oil companies have frozen investment -- all while a nasty winter caused havoc for transportation and construction and a strong dollar widened the trade deficit.

    The numbers released Friday were a revision of earlier figures that had shown GDP growing in the first quarter at 0.2 percent. Markets had since expected the downward revision, in large part because of recent data showing the trade deficit at a 6½-year high.

    Under a flash flood watch (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 12:22:10 PM EST
    till tomorrow afternoon.  We are sort of on the eastern edge of the "rain event" that's been happening in the central plains and Texas but this whole area is officially no longer in drought.   Very green here.   Lots of fruit on the trees and grapes on the vine.

    That's the good news.  Turn on the tv to see the bad news.

    John Wick (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:55:29 PM EST

    Heard good things so I paid 1.99 on PPV for this.
    So worth it.  It's very good.  I'm not a big Keanu fan.
    Tough for dog lovers.  But the dog is righteously avenged.


    Ps (none / 0) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 02:00:52 PM EST
    the primary antagonist is Reek from GoTs

    Silk Road Sysop "Dread Pirate Roberts" (none / 0) (#96)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 29, 2015 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    send up the river, sentenced to Life without Parole.

    Ulbrict had begged the judge to "leave a light at the end of the tunnel" ahead of his sentence. "I know you must take away my middle years, but please leave me my old age," he wrote to Forrest this week. Prosecutors wrote Forrest a 16-page letter requesting the opposite: "[A] lengthy sentence, one substantially above the mandatory minimum is appropriate in this case."

    The 31-year-old physics graduate and former boy scout was handed five sentences: one for 20 years, one for 15 years, one for five and two for life. All are to be served concurrently with no chance of parole.

    "sent" up the river. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 29, 2015 at 04:43:16 PM EST

    In honor of the NORML conference (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:19:52 PM EST
    What are we smoking?

    Should you be allowed to drive after a hit of pot? Or three? Is a hit the equivalent of a glass of wine or half a bottle of vodka? What about when a bit of pot is combined with a beer or two? How does a police officer judge the sobriety of a person who is high? Right now, people mostly just guess.

    That's wildly irresponsible. According to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, people are now more likely to encounter drugged drivers on the highway than drunk drivers. Hawaii, New Jersey, and Arizona, among other states, have seen increased visits to hospital emergency rooms since approving the use of medical marijuana. Between 2007 and 2012, such visits grew by fifty per cent in Colorado, for example, and that was before the drug was fully legal. Since then, the increase has accelerated.

    Interestingly, it is not that people are smoking more, or even that more people are getting high, but that the potency has increased immensely.


    The joints I rolled as a teen-ager contained about one per cent THC by weight. By the early nineteen-eighties, that figure was four per cent. It's now likely to be closer to twenty per cent. More than that, while occasional smoking seems relatively benign for most adults, there is clear evidence that exposure during adolescence can cause long-term changes in the brain.


    It is a strange country that is filled with people who object to life-saving vaccines, insist on labelling G.M.O.s, protest the use of pesticides that, when used correctly, have not been shown to cause harm, and yet seem ready to smoke whatever a dealer hands them to put in their pipes.

    Our internal dichotomies and (none / 0) (#103)
    by christinep on Fri May 29, 2015 at 05:33:53 PM EST
    inconsistencies are, indeed, interesting.  You raise a challenging point, jbindc.

    I was a rock band roadie (none / 0) (#108)
    by Repack Rider on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:00:27 PM EST
    The odometer on one of the trucks I drove quit at 300,000 miles and I drove it another fifteen years without ever hitting anything, or picking up a moving violation.  We could average 50 mph day and night to any point in the continental US.  Drove coast to coast in 63 hours.

    Rolling a fattie when we pulled out onto the slab was a ritual.  YMMV


    And what year was that? (none / 0) (#109)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:03:32 PM EST
    And mine are not long ago at all (none / 0) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:07:02 PM EST
    Always loved road trips (none / 0) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    many thousands of miles.   Back and forth between LA and AR many many times.   You don't do it without pot.

    Right now... (none / 0) (#115)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:25:34 PM EST
    a strain called Cherry Pie. Indica. Two thumbs up!

    Your revolution is over Lebowski! The prohibitionists lost! I suggest you do what your great great grandparents did, use it to treat many ailments (if not for fun;)


    I would put all the money I have (none / 0) (#117)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:39:48 PM EST
    That my great great grandparents did not smoke weed.  :)

    I know... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:53:34 PM EST
    My Lebanese ancestors did, hashish to be exact...the Irish ones were probably too drunk to know any better;)

    If they bought any tinctures at the ol' pharmacy I bet they drank some weed! Maybe some coke.


    Hand over your cash, jb (none / 0) (#143)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 30, 2015 at 09:10:24 AM EST
    Check out some old herbals.  Queen Victoria smoked it for menstrual cramps.  Cannabis was a common ingredient in patent medicines.  Your great, great grandparents were still using herbals because modern medicine didn't exist.  Maybe they didn't smoke it, but they had it.

    Apperson to use Stand Your Ground defense (none / 0) (#129)
    by McBain on Fri May 29, 2015 at 08:37:21 PM EST
    according to HufPo

    Some people will probably say this is ironic without knowing George Zimmerman never used stand your ground during his trial.  

    Based on what's known, I don't see how Apperson could convince anyone he was standing his ground.  But with Judge Nelson presiding, you never know.  

    I've already seen one person on Twitter... (none / 0) (#133)
    by unitron on Fri May 29, 2015 at 11:44:28 PM EST
    ...making the irony point despite being an attorney who should know better.

    Apperson (none / 0) (#134)
    by Uncle Chip on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:11:01 AM EST
    Apperson's SYG defense went out the window when Zimmerman made that U-Turn to get away from him, and then Apperson made his U-Turn to follow him and shoot at him from behind and through a closed window.

    This defense will go nowhere and will probably be used as evidence for Apperson's subsequent insanity plea.


    Once again (none / 0) (#145)
    by FlJoe on Sat May 30, 2015 at 09:38:35 AM EST
    you are assuming facts not in evidence. You are taking GZ's word about the u-turn and just plain manufacturing them  
    shoot at him from behind
    to fit your narrative.

    My understanding is that invoking SYG requires a  pre-trial evidentiary hearing with the defense bearing the burden of proving the case for immunity.

    While it is hard to imagine what preponderance of evidence what can Apperson can provide to prove SYG, the law says he gets his day in court. You as usual decide all that legal mumbo-jumbo is unneeded and make your usual  unsubstantiated  proclamation of "fact".

    Side question for the experts out there: could Apperson's team subpoena Zimmerman to testify at the SYG hearing or trial?


    Huh (none / 0) (#139)
    by Yman on Sat May 30, 2015 at 08:49:40 AM EST
    Based on what's known, I don't see how Apperson could convince anyone he was standing his ground.

    Nothing demonstrating that self-professed "pro-defense bias"?