Monday News and Open Thread

President Obama just held a news conference on ISIS. I only caught the last 10 minutes. He said we would continue what we've been doing, and that we can't defeat ISIS militarily, we have to defeat their ideology.

Update: The part of his speech I missed: "We will do more to train and equip the moderate opposition in Syria." I think that's a waste of resources -- there is no "moderate" opposition.

In Iraq news, the Iraqi military dropped a bomb by mistake on Baghdad, killing and wounding civilians. Iraq says its Russian fighter jet malfunctioned, releasing the bomb.


The South Carolina Senate voted today to take down the Confederate flag.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has filed a motion for new trial. It's a "placeholder" motion and does not contain specifics.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Egypt Bans Reporters' Use Of ISIS Terminology
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    The Europeans, particularly (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 04:42:23 PM EST
    Mrs. Merkel, seem to be trapped in amber.  While the financial  crisis of Greece now presents no good solution, there are less bad ones.  But, the European financial wizards are set on punishing the "predatory borrowers" of Greece.   And, they do not like the Greek government.

    Greece has had to meet debt commitments even though its economy is in a depression--not the best of times for more austerity.  In Euro zone's best interests, steps need to be taken to get Greece back on track.  

    The bailout creditors should make the debt more manageable, spreading out re-payment as well as providing more debt relief.

    The economics and the politics are aligned--forcing Greece into a position that prompts a rise in extremists (with over 25 percent unemployment), is not going to pay the creditors.  Stable economies in Europe are also of interest to the US--not a bright idea to wait and see what happens, Although  no doubt Congress will be happy to provide military assistance should that be useful (e.g. Ukraine).

    My thoughts, from a previous Open Thread: (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 05:46:57 PM EST
    Paul Krugman, who's clearly aligned himself with the Greek people in their confrontation with "The Troika" (the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank), likens Angela Merkel, et al., to a medieval doctor who demands that his patients acquiesce to being bled repeatedly, regardless of current conditions and circumstances, and heedless of the potential adverse consequences:

    "[T]the campaign of bullying -- the attempt to terrify Greeks by cutting off bank financing and threatening general chaos, all with the almost open goal of pushing the current leftist government out of office -- was a shameful moment in a Europe that claims to believe in democratic principles. It would have set a terrible precedent if that campaign had succeeded, even if the creditors were making sense.

    "What's more, they weren't. The truth is that Europe's self-styled technocrats are like medieval doctors who insisted on bleeding their patients -- and when their treatment made the patients sicker, demanded even more bleeding. A 'yes' vote in Greece would have condemned the country to years more of suffering under policies that haven't worked and in fact, given the arithmetic, can't work: austerity probably shrinks the economy faster than it reduces debt, so that all the suffering serves no purpose. The landslide victory of the 'no' side offers at least a chance for an escape from this trap."

    I agree with Krugman on this one. The tough austerity measures adopted by Greece thus far at the EU's behest, which were supposedly intended to spur its economic reform and recovery, have instead mired that country in its eighth consecutive year of economic contraction, one which is fast approaching free fall. The Greek economy shrank by 23% between 2008 and 2014, and anemic or no economic growth has been projected for 2015. And the country's public workforce has shrunk correspondingly by 30% during that same period.

    Unemployment in Greece more than tripled in the subsequent five-year period following the first implementation of austerity measures in 2007-08, rising from 7.7% in 2008 to 24.3% in 2012, and the nation's long-term unemployment reached 14.4%. And in a country where access to medical care is linked directly to one's employment, the austerity regime imposed upon the Greek people by their creditors has left nearly one million of the country's 11.2 million citizens with no access to healthcare whatsoever.

    Indeed, the startling collapse of the once-admired Greek public health system, which is entirely due to a lack of requisite funding, has created a devastating domestic health care crisis of rather tragic proportions. Rates for infant mortality, HIV infection and suicide have soared. Even malaria, once all but eradicated in Greece thanks to the public health sector, has since made a startling rebound.

    Clearly, there is little if any likelihood that a small nation like Greece will ever be able to repay its enormous $313 billion debt to its foreign creditors. And to a great extent, those creditors themselves are responsible for having encouraged the profligate spending policies which led to Greece's massive indebtedness in the first place. Debt relief has to be a real and substantive part of any economic aid package to that stricken country.

    To insist otherwise, and instead demand that the Greeks implement even more draconian austerity measures, as Chancellor Merkel and her allies are doing here, is at once morally reprehensible, fiscally irresponsible and politically reckless. Is she soon going to peddle the same snake oil to the much larger countries of Spain and Italy, whose own economic recoveries have been hampered -- if not hamstrung -- by the fiscal austerity bandwagon that's still all the rage in conservative financial circles?

    Because despite what its advocates are claiming, there is very strong evidence that these austerity-based policies have been entirely counterproductive to conservatives' own publicly stated goals of restoring economic vitality in the wake of the 2008-09 economic recession. While financial institutions which precipitated that severe economic downturn with their own reckless and misleading banking practices were bailed out, it's been citizens themselves who've taken it on the chin, having had to absorb the resultant costs of those bailouts.

    More importantly, we need to remember that it really wasn't all that long ago when Europe was a seething caldron of conflicting nationalist ambitions, which produced the sort of destructive rivalries that twice plunged the world into catastrophic world wars during the three decades between 1914 and 1945, and which resulted in nearly 80 million people losing their lives.

    And in that regard, we should further realize that it was the insanely punitive fiscal policies imposed upon the German Weimar Republic by the Allies in the wake of the First World War, which eventually prompted the political ascendancy of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, who quite simply availed themselves of the political opportunities presented to them by the Great Depression, the effects of which had hit Germany particularly hard.

    Politics and economics are not mutually exclusive social disciplines, because working class resentments and nationalist fervor have shown a remarkable tendency throughout history to become intertwined and take firm root during times of economic distress, dislocation and hardship.

    NATO and the European Union, borne from the ash heaps of that 30-year disaster, offered Europeans of all nationalities a real opportunity to move beyond the often petty but entirely deadly squabbles that have plagued their history, and into a more enlightened era.

    It would be a shame to see that this pan-European and trans-Atlantic alliance collapse, due primarily to the willingness of Germany, far and away the EU's largest and most prosperous member, to once again throw its weight around the continent, much as it has in times past.

    All this does is reaffirm for many European skeptics -- whose numbers included more than a few former East Germans -- the very real fears which were first expressed by them 25 years ago, when they publicly doubted the conventional wisdom of allowing for Anschluss, the reunification of the German Democratic Republic (East) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West), in the wake of the Warsaw Pact's collapse.



    As long as we are talking about Germany (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 06:14:41 PM EST
    and war debt, let us not forget the enormous amount of German debt that was forgiven following WWII. Greece, by the way, was one of those countries who forgave German debt from the war. Perhaps Germany should repay that money now.

    As Thomas Piety said in an interview In Die Zeit:

    ZEIT: But we Germans have already reckoned with our own history.

    Piketty: But not when it comes to repaying debts! Germany's past, in this respect, should be of great significance to today's Germans. Look at the history of national debt: Great Britain, Germany, and France were all once in the situation of today's Greece, and in fact had been far more indebted. The first lesson that we can take from the history of government debt is that we are not facing a brand new problem. There have been many ways to repay debts, and not just one, which is what Berlin and Paris would have the Greeks believe.

    "Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations."

    A larger excerpt from this interview can be found at Digby's place.


    That's true. (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 06:52:59 PM EST
    Under President Truman's Marshall Plan, NATO countries at the 1953 London Conference agreed to forgive 50% of Germany's outstanding debts, with the rest was restructured so that the country could repay it over a much longer period of time. In fact, those debts were still being paid off as of a decade ago.

    Even Greece, which saw its pre-World war II population reduced by 8% due to the April 1941 German invasion and subsequent three-year occupation, forgave 50% of the debt Germany owed that country.

    What was good for Germany in 1953, ought to be good for Greece in 2015.



    More on the rise of Germany under Ms. Merkel: (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 03:36:16 AM EST
    Wall Street Journal | July 6, 2015
    Greek Crisis Shows How Germany's Power Polarizes Europe - "Under the glass Reichstag dome in Germany's parliament last week, left-wing opposition leader Gregor Gysi lit into Chancellor Angela Merkel for saddling Greece with a staggering unemployment rate, devastating wage cuts, and 'soup kitchens upon soup kitchens.' The chancellor, sitting a few steps away with a blank expression on her face, scrolled through her smartphone. Ms. Merkel's power after a decade in office has become seemingly untouchable, both within Germany and across Europe. But with the 'no' vote in Sunday's Greek referendum on bailout terms posing the biggest challenge yet to decades of European integration, risks to the European project resulting from Germany's rise as the Continent's most powerful country are becoming clear."

    Donal Trump Tweet (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 04:03:55 PM EST
    #Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because he is married to a Mexican woman.

    It has been deleted, but this guy...

    I keep reading that his supporters are basically saying they love the guy because of his business sense and that he says what most people are thinking but are too scared to say in a PC world.


    Two things about that (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 04:24:33 PM EST
    its what more people than you think would say privately and Trump is doing the likes of Cruz and Huckabee a huge favore by making them look less crazy by comparison.  Meaning they are not literally howling at the moon.

    In other news beautiful women can't be funny but rich guys can definitely be stupid tools.


    Trump really (none / 0) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 05:10:48 PM EST
    has his hands full trying to make the likes of Cruz and Huckabee look less crazy.  Scott Walker is trying to eat wedding cake and not have to bake it--his sons are "disappointed" in Dad's opposition to the Obergefell ruling, calling for an amendment to the US Constitution.

     Sort of like when Barbara Bush indicated that she was pro-choice to soften George HW Bush's pro-life position (when he became a presidential candidate).   Walker may be able to make this work with his Joni Ernst Iowans, but, then, again, they may fault him for being a bad parent, what with those progressive family values and all.


    Trump also got into a twitter war (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 08:00:41 AM EST
    ... with one of the writers from Modern Family.  Not a good idea to try to take on someone who writes for a living.

    They (none / 0) (#4)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 05:05:57 PM EST
    don't even try to hide it any more. 5 unspoken rules for covering Hillary
    The Clinton rules are driven by reporters' and editors' desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family's political empire.
    . What the hell are they teaching in J school these days?

    Is this journalism or big game hunting? "Fk the ethics we are going to bag a black rhino". Like addicts they can't help themselves,

    As a reporter, I get sucked into playing by the Clinton rules. This is what I've seen in my colleagues, and in myself.

    started with Nixon (none / 0) (#22)
    by thomas rogan on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 09:48:13 PM EST
    Every journalist wants to be like Woodward and Bernstein.  This is nothing new.

    That was actually journalism (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 09:58:12 PM EST
    Today's approach is more reminiscent of the Miami Herald and Gary Hart.

    And further, Woodward's and Bernstein's ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 02:05:39 AM EST
    ... entire investigation was premised upon a very real crime, namely the attempted break-in and bugging of Democratic National Committee HQ at the Watergate Hotel & Office Complex by Nixon's political operatives, whereas the relentless pursuit of Bill and Hillary Clinton has ultimately proved to be nothing more than a 24-year-long snipe hunt.

    FYI, your link doesn't work. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 03:18:50 AM EST
    Lee Bright (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 05:18:07 PM EST
    SC state senator. I think this is the same guy that said the people in Charleston who were murdered stood in line and waited to be shot. Great going SC on having this moron as one of your state senators.

    I presume he was one of only 3 no votes (none / 0) (#12)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:04:42 PM EST
    The SC Senate voted 37-3 (with 6 not voting) this afternoon to move the bill along to take down the flag. They will vote again tomorrow and you should expect the outcome to be the same.

    The House will likely take it up on Wednesday.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:15:52 PM EST
    I never thought the senate would not vote to take it down. It's the house that's always been the big question mark to me.

    He is worth watching (none / 0) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:13:24 PM EST
    if you like Sunday morning money grubbing TV evangelists. He's currently in the wrong business.

    I especially enjoyed "And then Friday night I watch the White House be lit up in the abomination colors"

    He was on a holy roller roll.


    What a sad dark world (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:28:25 PM EST
    a person must live in to call rainbow colors "abomination colors"

    ... same-sex marriage to this attempt to relegate the Confederate flag to the state museum. What a piece of work!

    That's what Jim doesn't understand (none / 0) (#29)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 05:26:36 AM EST
    Gay marriage protects us from sharia law coming to this country.

    Mondriggian, why are you bringing me (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 08:54:58 AM EST
    into a comment that I have not responded to??

    It is clearly baiting.

    Even worse, it is untrue. I have posted time again that I support gay rights, including marriage.

    So if you want to attack a position I support, fire away. But you are just making things up.


    Where did I say you don't support (none / 0) (#33)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:03:17 AM EST
    gay marriage?

    You are clearly baiting (none / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:44:11 AM EST
    19 minutes after I respond you jump back.

    The question remains. Why have you brought my name into a comment that I haven't responded to??

    I have and do support gay marriage.

    I have noted that CAIR, a Muslim organization that was named an un-indicted co-conspirator by the Feds, opposed an attempt by OK to establish a law blocking Sharia from OK courts. Obviously you don't oppose a law that you don't want implemented.

    By connecting the two you establish a false premise.

    Everyone knows my positions on the two subjects. Please quit picking a fight.


    I didn't I needed your (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:53:41 AM EST
    permission to mention you, Jim.

    Be sure to mention gay marriage to the jihadi lurking under your bed tonight, and see what happens.


    Kill me (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:56:09 AM EST
    It's the Reason... (none / 0) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:53:10 AM EST
    ...I made a conscious choice years ago to never have children.  If they were my kids, they would be locked in closets on a regular basis.  So instead of going to jail, I just decided I don't want them.

    No you don't (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 11:13:18 AM EST
    but you were baiting.

    And you continue.

    Be sure to mention gay marriage to the jihadi lurking under your bed tonight, and see what happens.

    Dear Gawwwwddd! (none / 0) (#51)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 12:07:10 PM EST
    Jim complaining about "baiting".

    From the master ...


    Pro tip (none / 0) (#52)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 12:17:19 PM EST
    When fishing for jabberwocky no bait is needed, they will eagerly impale themselves on any shiny object.

    He made me laugh. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:30:30 PM EST
    All I could think is he's doing a great job rounding up votes for Hillary because it's all over social media.

    He's deliverance on steroids.


    Tiny little short fingers (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:33:18 PM EST
    you know what that means

    Extra small gloves? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 07:53:59 AM EST
    You know what they say Pee Wee..... (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:01:17 AM EST
    .....big feet, big boots.

           - Cowboy Carl (Lawerence Fishburne)


    I really love (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 06:11:05 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:01:49 PM EST
    this is who we are?  Really?


    When Josh Joseph went to visit his friends Darren and Hayli Frank in Spring, Texas, there was no way he could ever have anticipated the kind of hateful actions they would be subjected to as a result. Josh is black, and the Franks are white. No big deal, right?

    Darren Frank owns a Chevy truck valued at $50,000. He parks the truck in his driveway. Always has. And it had never been a problem until his friend Josh came to visit while looking for a job in the area. When the family awoke the morning after Joseph arrived, they found it spray painted with some of the vilest, most hateful things you can possibly imagine, including "n****r lovers" and "KKK."

    Welcome to Murica, Cap'n, ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:10:09 PM EST
    ... and the home of real Muricuns. Nathan Bedford Forrest would be so proud.

    Say what? (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 07:15:07 PM EST
    Iraq says its Russian fighter jet malfunctioned, releasing the bomb.

    So...The Iraqis are buying fighter jets from...Russia?

    Probably with our tax money.

    Gotta love it.

    Thanks for everything, W.

    The NYTimes says.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 06, 2015 at 09:39:18 PM EST
    Challenging Bernie Sanders could elevate his candidacy, but the current path requires Hillary Rodham Clinton to put faith in caucusgoers who once jilted her.

    I dunno, but I think if the Times were describing what happened to, say, Howard Dean, they would say  he had been "abandoned" by caucusgoers, not "jilted".

    Just my two cents.

    prefer love (none / 0) (#24)
    by dominiquedumas2015 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 01:55:51 AM EST
    Why make war so that love is much easier. Frankly, I will never understand. Nevertheless, in politics, there are no strict rules or convenience. Everyone serves its ideology. Nah, that's my opinion. To each to see what seems to him best for his own life and his country? As I always say, life really worth living. http://www.evaps.fr/.

    Site violator. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 03:03:26 AM EST
    From France.

    Willie Horton Redux... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:04:22 AM EST
    Get used to this ugly mug y'all, we'll be seeing it in campaign ads for the next 16 months.

    Though I guess there is still time for ISIS to win back the Intercontinental Election 2016 Boogey-Man Championship Belt.  

    I Think Donald... (none / 0) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:19:37 AM EST
    ...is putting republicans in a tight spot with immigration.  It's a tight squeeze to denounce his comments while supporting closing the border.

    He is not doing the GOP any favors in regards to our southern border.  His latest:

    "This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States," Trump said Monday. "In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government."

    The 2016 Republican presidential candidate said that Mexican drug cartels are using immigrants to smuggle heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs into the United States.

    "The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border," Trump continued.


    For (none / 0) (#36)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:32:09 AM EST
    the short term this will be a feather in the Donald's cap and an albatross around the neck of the rest of the Republican candidates. At this time the Republicans wish the whole immigration issue(and Trump) would go away.

    I don't know... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 09:58:38 AM EST
    I think all the Republicans will be kicking the immigrant dog plenty, and will be happy to play Willie Horton.

    They just won't be as blunt as Trump, they'll be more careful with their words while basically saying the same tired sh*t in a brand of bland pc Orwellian Newspeak.

    Or better yet for them, let the Citizens United sugar-daddies say it for them while kissing the "good latino" babies on the trail.  


    Republicans (none / 0) (#44)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:18:18 AM EST
    will never give it up completely, it's just their nature. However, thanks to Trump's fog horn blast, they will have to tune their whistle to a much higher pitch. I agree that they will probably leave much of it to the Dark Money Orchestra.

    Thanks to Trump and Dylann Roof a couple of the Republican's greatest hits have been yanked from the playlist, at least temporarily. Their rabid fans will be disappointed to say the least.

    Their style has been cramped.


    Don't forget marriage equality... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:44:19 AM EST
    another lost wedge issue...it's hard out there for divisiveness pimps!

    But I don't put it past 'em to find/exploit new wedges...Democrats too, for that matter.  Ya know Clinton would rather talk about the wedge issues than what her Wall St. buddies have been up to.  It's a much easier road to the White House defending immigrants than banksters and grifters.


    Bill Cosby (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:04:49 AM EST
    in the coverage of this I heard that the case the testimony now making the rounds is from was "dismissed with prejudice".

    Or something like that.

    What does this mean exactly?

    Means they can't file another claim (none / 0) (#45)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:23:55 AM EST
    For the same civil case.

    Within legal civil procedure, prejudice is a loss or injury, and refers specifically to a formal determination against a claimed legal right or cause of action.[2] Thus, in a civil case, dismissal without prejudice is a dismissal that allows for re-filing of the case in the future. The present action is dismissed but the possibility remains open that the plaintiff may file another suit on the same claim. The inverse phrase is dismissal with prejudice, in which the plaintiff is barred from filing another case on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicata on the claims that were or could have been brought in it; dismissal without prejudice is not.

    Res judicata

    In the case of res judicata, the matter cannot be raised again, either in the same court or in a different court. A court will use res judicata to deny reconsideration of a matter.

    The hits just keep coming (none / 0) (#43)
    by CST on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:15:28 AM EST
    "The Obama administration on Tuesday will announce an initiative to help low- and middle-income Americans gain access to solar energy, part of a series of steps President Obama is taking to tackle climate change, according to administration officials."

    IMO, every public housing development in the country should be equipped with solar panels.


    Not such a lame duck.

    First measures: (none / 0) (#50)
    by Palli on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 11:14:31 AM EST
    Every new building should be
    • built with solar collectors if conditions of site allow it
    • all roofing material should be white or light grey
    • parking lot footage laid in impermeable material should be less than 20% of parking space required by municipal planning laws
    Good beginning to common

    SC Confederate Flag Bill (none / 0) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 07, 2015 at 10:42:55 AM EST
    moves to the House this afternoon. The Senate voted 36-3 this morning to take it down.

    It would take a 60% vote in the House to add any amendments. It will be attempted, but unlikely to be successful. It needs a 2/3rds vote for the bill to pass which should happen easily.

    There will be more no votes than there were in the Senate but taking it down should still pass before the weekend by a vote in the area of 93-12 with 15 or so not voting.