Friday Morning Open Thread

The eagle flies on a Friday, if you have a job that is.

This is an Open Thread.

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    No news on nominee (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:37:44 AM EST
    Dr. Regina Benjamin yet.

    I have to wonder if the Republicans will smarten up before her confirmation hearing.  

    Probably won't be any for a while (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:44:55 AM EST
    Congressional recess starts around this town this afternoon (if not sooner)

    Wonder if the confirmation (none / 0) (#6)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    will be before or after the health care/insurance bill.

    If it's before, the pols will be trying to score points during the hearing.


    Good luck (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:43:31 AM EST
    Chris Dodd.  Diagnosed with prostate cancer.  They caught it very early.

    I wish him well too (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by shoephone on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:19:47 PM EST
    And I'll bet that right now he's very relieved to have his gold-plated, taxpayer-subsidized medical coverage.

    I think "Cadillac Plan" au currant... (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:22:58 PM EST
    I wish him well (none / 0) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:48:19 AM EST
    Why do you think such a thing even made the news?

    He's a senator (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 11:54:21 AM EST
    at least it's not his love life

    Not this time, anyway. n/t (none / 0) (#7)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:11:02 PM EST
    Seems "slow news day" is (none / 0) (#8)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:13:04 PM EST
    more significant. With privacy laws as they are, only he could have put this story out there.

    I think (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:09:36 PM EST
    his office released a statement

    Sure, with his okay (none / 0) (#22)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:53:56 PM EST
    and after he told them all the details. It just falls in my "don't need to know" category.

    p.s. (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:41:42 PM EST
    Sorry, I suppose that was a bit unnecessary.

    MT's favorite general, (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:21:38 PM EST
    Stanley McChrystal, preparing to ask for more troops for Afghanistan:

    The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is preparing a new strategy that calls for major changes in the way U.S. and other NATO troops there operate, a vast increase in the size of Afghan security forces and an intensified military effort to root out corruption among local government officials, according to several people familiar with the contents of an assessment report that outlines his approach to the war.

    Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who took charge of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan last month, appears inclined to request an increase in American troops to implement the new strategy, which aims to use more unconventional methods to combat the growing Taliban insurgency, according to members of an advisory group he convened to work on the assessment. Such a request could receive a chilly reception at the White House, where some members of President Obama's national security team have expressed reluctance about authorizing any more deployments.

    Senior military officials said McChrystal is waiting for a recommendation from a team of military planners in Kabul before reaching a final decision on a troop request. Several members of the advisory group, who spoke about the issue of force levels on the condition of anonymity, said that they think more U.S. troops are needed but that it was not clear how large an increase McChrystal would seek.

    "There was a very broad consensus on the part of the assessment team that the effort is under-resourced and will require additional resources to get the job done," a senior military official in Kabul said.

    A request for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan could pose a political challenge for Obama. Some leading congressional Democrats have voiced skepticism about sustaining current force levels, set to reach 68,000 by the fall. After approving an extra 21,000 troops in the spring, Obama himself questioned whether "piling on more and more troops" would lead to success, and his national security adviser, James L. Jones, told U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan last month that the administration wants to hold troop levels flat for now.

    I'm sending him one (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:43:22 PM EST
    It was part of the deal we made, that if he started listening to me I would send him a troop :)  We also have troops pulling out of Iraq earlier than previously scheduled.  Color me a little more content at the moment with existing combat situations.  Still don't like the things McChrystal did for a previous administration but that looks pretty tough toenails now.

    Has the study Obama requested re (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:41:27 PM EST
    U.S. goals and plan for Afghanistan ever been published?

    I would be surprised to see one (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:49:29 PM EST
    At least one that gave much detail about how we will actually pursue goals.  I suppose we are fresh out of any college thesis done by any General that we could put up there as our plans :)

    Transcript (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:13:46 PM EST
    Do you mean this?

    I am interested in reading the report (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:37:09 PM EST
    the President refers to in your link.

    Oh (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:52:38 PM EST
    Maybe the thing to do is apply for enough security clearance to read the report. My guess it that it is classified, you know all those generals, cia people etc added sensitive info to the strategic report.

    The transcript is quite detailed. Not enough for you, or is your thinking that Obama's resolve in Afghanistan and Pakistan is likely to not reflect the information gathered in the strategic report?


    Who knows? That is why I'd like to (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:53:44 PM EST
    read the report for myself.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:55:25 PM EST
    I agree 100%. Unabashed sexism. Not funny and he should be fired. Funny thing is he will more than likely get a bonus for that remark.

    I know really! (none / 0) (#39)
    by Idearc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:58:13 PM EST
    I don't understand why some poster here find that funny.

    Did they go full born PUMA and become Palin-Republicans?


    No (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:59:56 PM EST
    You are hearing from the libertarian section, free speech and all...

    Irrational hatred and fear of strong, smart women (5.00 / 6) (#38)
    by shoephone on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:56:39 PM EST
    will be with us for eternity. Milbank and Cillizza are merely today's creepy examples. We can expect more snickering from the Blogger Boyz.

    regarding 'Giving Cover' (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:00:04 PM EST
    NPR this morning had a story on Republican opposition to Sotomayor. If you're like me, you noticed that all of a sudden guys like Charlie Crist were opposing her on the grounds of gun rights. No accident:

    The Senate Republican leadership has pushed hard to round up votes against her. One top aid to GOP leader Mitch McConnell confirmed that McConnell, at a meeting of conservative groups, asked the National Rifle Association about scoring the Sotomayor vote as a key vote hostile to gun rights. The aid conceded that in asking the question, McConnell was promoting an unusual step that the NRA then took.

    So here we have McConnell directing the NRA to give the Republicans a reason to vote 'No'.  When did the NRA stop even  pretending to be an independent organization?

    Terminated US Attorney (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 05:18:04 PM EST
    nominated by Obama for same post.  See sidebar.

    Sen. Franken doesn't place nice to T. Boone Pickens.  See Huff Post.

    Single payer to get floor vote, says Pelosi (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by lambertstrether on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 08:35:46 PM EST
    Time to put on the pressure (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 08:39:45 PM EST
    now, when Congress gets home for summer recess.

    And time to thank those who put on the pressure within Congress to make this happen -- I read that our Rep. Tammy Baldwin was a big part of it.  You go, girl.


    For you I suggest a Get-A-Grip Pilsner (1.33 / 3) (#29)
    by Rojas on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:44:41 PM EST

    Heh - Even BTD agrees with me (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Idearc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:54:58 PM EST
    Even BTD agrees with me with his front page post,
    "Bringing Sexism Into It"

    Geez, I though this was a Hillary site, no?

    If you think calling Hillary a B*tch is funny, then you're sick.  Not even Tweety called Hillary a B*tch.


    To the extent this has become a fan site (1.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Rojas on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:24:56 PM EST
    I'll keep my comments to myself.
    But to the extent that the Clintons damaged this country in the area that this blog is dedicated to, hell, the incarceration rates speak for themselves. There is a sickness surrounding them and this whole era of us vs them mentality that was their particular talent to exploit.

    Nothing to do with Fan Site (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:56:59 PM EST
    Do you think that it is cool to use a racial slur to describe Clarence Thomas just because you either disagree with his rulings or think he is a bad SC Judge?

    Your ducking the issue by suggesting that the reason commenters here are offended by Milbank's remark is because it is a fan site, is absurd, and quite transparent guise for supporting sexism.


    You mean like Uncle Tom? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Rojas on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:11:54 PM EST
    The Clintons are "Sick" (none / 0) (#44)
    by Idearc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:30:03 PM EST
    Wow  -  I had no idea this site had gone full Palin.

    Knock off the troll ratings. (none / 0) (#45)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:34:33 PM EST
    Why? (none / 0) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 09:14:48 PM EST
    That's a troll if I ever saw one.

    6 in an afternoon... (none / 0) (#73)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 09:54:15 PM EST
    ...is a bit much, no?  Is BTD at troll--or andgarden or kdog?  

    i'll just point out (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:56:33 PM EST
    that the beers used in jokes about crowley and obama had no negative connotation with respect to their race.

    and the beer used in a joke about a woman had a very negative connotation with respect to women.


    Using truth and reason with mysogynists (5.00 / 6) (#41)
    by shoephone on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:00:40 PM EST
    is a pointless exercise.

    i am hopeful (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:01:33 PM EST
    some progress can be made on this issue.

    Well played sir.... (1.50 / 2) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:49:12 PM EST
    well played...lol.

    It has rained here for the past three days (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:22:21 PM EST
    We needed it badly.  I should probably get a life though instead of using the rain as an excuse to blog all day.

    The sun is shining here... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:28:12 PM EST
    ...finally!  We set a record low high of 63 degrees yesterday.  Hopefully we'll get back to more seasonable weather so I can get back up to the pool.  And not freeze when I go to the Cubs/Rockies game next weekend.

    How is the walking going?


    Well I've had some time off :) Heh (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 12:41:00 PM EST
    I got a new puppy too.  She is just totally the chit.  She is a puppy from Carmen Battaglia.  He is in the middle of rotator cuff surgery, both arms, and he just wasn't physically capable of starting a new dog for the ring so I have been trusted with her.  If I screw this up just forget about me :)!  She has been my walk pal.  Rain here is serious rain.  It's like a pouring sheet of water.  One plus, it is sort of warm and after you get wet you don't get cold and your teeth don't chatter in the summer here like they do in Colorado.  This is serious rain though and serious lightening and thunder, even when compared to those fabulous storms coming at you over the Rocky Mountains.  The thud that follows a lightening strike here is the difference between arcing 110 and 220.  It scared me to death at first, and now it is oddly comforting to me like a thunderstorm in Colorado used to be.  There are still night storms here that I just can't sleep through because the strikes are so ungodly loud though and the light is so bright.

    Agree on the Florida lightning (none / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:48:15 PM EST
    Shakes the house like the Colorado version never did. There is so much more rain in the storms too. You can get soaked to the skin in a matter of seconds. In Colorado it was already evaporating as it fell.

    We've got a nice storm brewing up here in Orlando. Came home early from work today and am watching the sky from my sofa.


    It has been such a strange Summer... (none / 0) (#50)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:01:45 PM EST
    ...unlike any I can remember here.  We've had storms that rival any that I can remember from back East.  Rain for days, torrential downpours, lightening that knocks you off the sofa--plus the hail and tornados...

    They've brough back more than a few fond memories of my days as a flatlander.  


    That's what I've been hearing from friends (none / 0) (#52)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:03:51 PM EST
    Definitely an unusual summer out there.

    Enjoy the Cubs/Rockies game. Those are usually high scoring affairs!


    I will... (none / 0) (#54)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:09:46 PM EST
    ...going with a whole bunch of friends, so it will be one big party at the ballpark.  And no matter who wins, I'll be happy.  

    Double rotator cuff surgery! (none / 0) (#55)
    by Fabian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    WTH does he do for a living?  My brother had one shoulder done and he's done construction for most of his life.

    Good luck on the puppy!  My son is bugging me for a new dog, off and on.  His little brother needs to be more well behaved though.  I can't be training two critters at once - unless I use the same commands and expect the same responses!


    You can! (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 05:38:45 PM EST
    And once you get past the one word commands, you can move to phrases. Dot responds to "what do we do?", "have a seat", "go to your room/bed/etc" "where are your manners?" and a few others. I started doing the phrases as a joke because people on the streets react too funny to a dog who listens to basics, so "conversation" was just beggin' to be done  ;) It also kept her interested in the training she already knew.

    In workplaces, I do subtle positive training on the worst offenders {grin} Who knew dog training would come in so handy?


    So, so true (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 05:56:46 PM EST
    My grandfather lived in a small town outside Duluth, MN. He had 4 beautiful Norweigan horses that were very small in height, and he and my grandmother treated them like children. He'd get them all decked out in the fine harnesses and plumes, hitch them up to a buggy and go do his banking through the drive-up windows. He barely used the reins, just talked to them. They'd be walking at a regular pace, and he'd said "go ahead, you can run Suzie (she was the lead horse)" and she'd pick up her pace until they were almost keeping up with traffic (side street).

    He once threatened to build a covered wagon and come out to visit us in Seattle. :)


    I plan on cart training the Dot (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 06:54:11 PM EST
    so I can use her at the farmer's markets and such when I get to CA. She can start working for her dinner! I would have loved to see your Grandfather with his horses! How fun!

    Hmm, covered wagon?! Now that may be the way to move the 4-legged crew out west, lol!~


    He is a college professor (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 09:00:57 PM EST
    has bred and trained GSDs all his life, but is also an AKC all breed judge and AKC delegate.  He has written a couple of books as well and articles for various magazines.  He has been a best in show judge for the Eukanuba.  He likes Joshua a lot, roots for everything fine and wonderful that Joshua can and will do.  He thinks Joshua should become a teacher :)  And perhaps he will.  Carmen is a very very warm, wonderful natured, likeable man......sort of like the best dog you ever had :)  He never stops though.  He is an energizer bunny sort of person and is in the middle of a new book being printed right now along with everything else.

    Best in show judge? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Fabian on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 04:35:22 AM EST
    No pressure there.  No pressure at all! ;)

    I'm taking this puppy (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 11:12:51 AM EST
    to her first show in a few weeks.  He will be judging the working group, and I too will be judged :)  Her coat needs to be in, which means she's been sprayed down daily and back brushed.  Her toenails need to be short meaning they have been regularly trimmed and the quick hasn't grown out.  She needs to have an idea of what she's doing on the end of the lead and she needs to be in very good physical condition.  The nice thing about this dog that I can say, and that is a testament to forty years of his breeding, is that her genetics have made all of this pretty easy except for the toenails :)

    Baucus on Sotomayor (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:28:47 PM EST
    He has "no idea" how he'll vote at her confirmation hearing.

    "He has 'no idea' " (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by shoephone on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:57:19 PM EST
    That phrase seems to sum up Baucus quite succinctly.

    Good for Sen. Warner though. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:44:40 PM EST
    Wow. Is this supposed to be (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:02:00 PM EST
    a challenge to Obama?

    After reading Glenn Greenwald this am (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 01:45:27 PM EST
    I was thinking:  he could never be a front pager at DK because he doesn't reside in the US of A.  

    And also because..... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 02:10:17 PM EST
    ....he scores highly on rationality, logic, and integrity.

    Opera/football news: (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:51:41 PM EST
    Hey, good for him! (none / 0) (#71)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 09:18:03 PM EST
    What did he sing in the Onegin, do you know?  I don't think he was M. Triquet, so maybe Onegin's second or valet in the duel scene?  (Trying to remember the minor tenor parts...)

    Here's the result of my "Keith MIller" (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 01:06:42 AM EST
    search on Met website:  metopera

    Well, that's helpful of them! (none / 0) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 01:11:59 AM EST
    Grrr.  OK, so we don't know, except that he must not have been in the first cast.  I'm too lazy to go look up my DVD, but I assume if he'd been first cast, they'd have that on the list.

    Good for him anyway, for being able to recognize and respond to the incredible high of making powerful music out of your own body and for just shrugging off the ragging he surely got from just about everybody for being turned on by it and persuing it.


    I've never heard of a singer learning (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 01:34:57 AM EST
    an aria from a DVD, not being able to read music, and landing a part in an opera.  

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 01:54:47 AM EST
    Singers tend to be the worst at reading and general musicianship skills. Many great opera singers learned their parts by rote.

    Joan Southerland, Pavarotti, and many others did not read music but learned their parts by rote. Certainly true regarding many singers I worked with in music school, beautiful voice, great musicality, but terrible musicianship. That's why they need coaches, among other reasons.


    That's why they need accompanists (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 10:45:13 AM EST
    who make very little money.

    A Couch? (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 04:21:51 PM EST
    Are you referring to her sex life?

    If so, not terribly effective in terms (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 04:25:25 PM EST
    of career path to sing at the Met.

    Glad to hear it. Beverly Sills is (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 06:16:01 PM EST
    a woman for whom I had a great deal of admiration.

    All singers (none / 0) (#90)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:49:45 AM EST
    with professional careers have voice coaches.  What you hear in your own ears as a singer is not what the voice sounds like.  Some also make use of music coaches to work with them on interpretation.

    Twaddle (none / 0) (#89)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:47:05 AM EST
    Somewhat true 50 or more years ago, hasn't been the case for a long time.  You cannot have even a good local small-time career as a singer without first-rate musical skills, never mind being able to read music.

    $2 billion added to... (none / 0) (#48)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 03:57:41 PM EST
    ...cash for clunkers program.

    The House has voted to rush an additional $2 billion into the popular but financially strapped "cash for clunkers" car purchase program.

    The bill was approved on a vote of 316-109. House members acted within hours of learning from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program was running out of money.

    I like the prompt response to (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:08:37 PM EST
    encourage what is working. Bodes well for Obama's method of trying different things and see what works.

    True enough. (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:19:01 PM EST
    Although, I wonder how long this will last--considering the last billion lasted all of 6 days or so?  Good timing though, with it being end of model year time.

    I wish I could trade my '04 gas guzzler in and get the rebate, but it is too new to meet the requirements and I really don't want any debt hanging over my head.  


    Love to trade my '95 Jeep (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 09:21:28 PM EST
    clunker, but I can't afford a new car even with the discounts.  The trouble with these tax credits is if you're low enough income you don't pay that much in actual fed income taxes (just the blasted SS is huge enough if you're self-employed and have to pay both halves), they do you no good whatsoever.

    Money lasted 3 days. Started Monday (none / 0) (#67)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 08:37:35 PM EST
    of this week (not Obama signing the bill, but when it went into effect), used up almost all of it by the end of the day Wednesday, Congress found out about it Thursday -- yesterday -- and fixed it today, before heading home for summer recess.

    See, Congress can get things done when it wants to do so.  Let's just remind them of that. . . .


    I like my clunker... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 09:14:50 AM EST
    still getting from point A to point B, and I'm a big believer in getting full use out of material goods before replacing them...I'll drive this sucker till the wheels fall off, then buy another clunker.

    I understand that people gotta buy new sh*t constantly for our economy to function (which is why its malfunctioning)...but it just seems like a fools way to live, encouraging materialism,  greed, and waste. There's gotta be a better way...wouldn't it make more sense to just give some money away without the caveat of throwing away what may well be a perfectly good clunker?


    Padres trade Peavy to WS (finally) (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 04:53:58 PM EST
    for four minor league pitchers.  

    Energy and Commerce (none / 0) (#64)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 06:04:41 PM EST
    is going to have a bill to report out pretty soon.