Tuesday Morning Open Thread

Now that progressive bloggers have decided that President Obama needs to have his potential failure on health care reform rationalized, I wonder if the Obama team is considering throwing the "Left of the Left" a bone on the torture scandal.

I certainly would be quick to step up to become an apologist for Obama if he would get behind the idea of a Truth Commission (See? I do not even need actual prosecutions. I am a cheap date.)

This is an Open Thread.

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    The President supports a college football (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:11:48 AM EST
    playoff.  Isn't that enough?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:12:44 AM EST
    I demand action!

    Someone else from the West (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:31:51 AM EST
    was whining in my vicinity the other day about BYU getting ripped off.  It is unfair, but it was only BYU :)

    Is it a ROBUST college football playoff? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by steviez314 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:36:34 AM EST
    Doesn't matter, since it is non-essential anyway (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:55:51 PM EST
    He supports it, but he'll happily enjoy the season without it.

    i guess i'm an expensive date. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by cpinva on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:12:35 AM EST
    i want prosecutions, where crimes were committed. it's the only possible way to even start to restore our national honor. if it was good enough for lying about a bj, certainly it's good enough for torturing.

    Weak Tea, Indeed (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by The Maven on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:49:16 AM EST
    Count me among those who are disgusted by the idea that the most we can expect is going after the Lynndie Englands and Charles Greniers, while effectively enshrining the Yoo-Bybee standards as the appropriate legal threshold.  Thus, the creators and endorsers of these abhorrent policies, who are just as responsible -- if not moreso -- for violating our treaty obligations under, say, the Convention Against Torture, get off with a free pass or at most a stern scolding.  To anyone with a real concern for the Constitution and the rule of law, that should be as unacceptable as health care "reform" with individual mandates but no public option.

    As Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch recently said, "An investigation that focuses only on low-ranking operators would be, I think, worse than doing nothing at all."  What Holder is doing is exactly the kind of half-measure the administration seems to excel in, one that in the guise of being a reasonable compromise satisfies no one but gives the Beltway media class plenty of additional fodder of a controversy to chatter endlessly about, all the while giving their standard tut-tuts and analyses of which side is "winning" or "losing" (and paying no attention to the underlying issue at stake).

    And how long will it be before much of the rest of the world catches on to the realization that Obama is just barely inching away from the Bush-era human rights standards that made us something of a pariah nation?  To call our present course disheartening is a major understatement.


    No fall guys allowed (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:06:39 AM EST
    I'm not a cheap date either. I just don't want another episode of Abu Grah, where only the bottom links of the chain suffered. I want to see the people that authorized it and signed on to it are brought to light.

    Disregard for the law of the land should never be applauded or condoned. If these laws were so bad that they felt the need to ignore them, then they should have worked to change them.


    An apologist on health care (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by masslib on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:39:22 AM EST
    for a truth commission?  Count me out.  But, then, I can not afford private, for-profit insurance.

    The Daschles, to name just two. (5.00 / 7) (#42)
    by oldpro on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:23:30 AM EST
    Mkes me laugh to remember all the challenges to the Clintons as corporatist lapdogs.  If Bill let the camel's nose in the tent, Obama let in the whole damn caravan.

    That it's all about him? (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by oldpro on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:07:00 PM EST
    Anyone who still thinks that Obama is a progressive by any stretch of the imagination is delusional.  Hell...he's not even my kind of Democrat.  Looks like a thinly disguised bluedog to me.

    now now (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:01:27 PM EST
    he's not a lobbyist(that would have been illegal).

    He's a consultant(and a worm).

    Isn't it swell how one word change can allow a former Congressperson to skirt rules?


    Jonah Golberg - moron (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    I mean, we all know that right?
    but justifying torture because it is used on 24?

    I haven't read the IG report yet, I've just seen a few write ups and excerpts around here and other places. Without getting into the substance of the controversy, I'm doubting that there will be a lot of popular outrage over any of the allegations of abuse. Right or wrong, I think the average American assumes that some rough stuff goes on behind the scenes and that's okay. One reason for that assumption is that Hollywood tells us so every day.

    Wow, Hollywood also tells me that some (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:33:07 AM EST
    people age in reverse.  We also did go and see 'District 9' as a family.  Afterwards my husband and son were so excited to have shared this movie with the women of the family as it had deep meanings for them.  Mostly though all I can remember are body fluids all over the place, in every frame.  But I wonder what politically 'District 9' tells me is okay to do to others?  How much immaturity is okay to express before you don't get to play with the big people anymore?

    People in Hollywood (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:50:38 AM EST
    also fly (even without drugs) and can shoot little bits of spider web and swing between buildings.  

    Leave it to Jonah Goldberg to make perfect sense -- but only in the minds of other idiots ;-).

    Of course, in Hollywood, people also trade consciousness with children, and maybe that is the reason for Jonah's behavior.


    The quote from Goldberg reminds me (5.00 / 5) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:06:09 PM EST
    of Rosen's hit piece on Sotomayor.  "I haven't actually read many of her opinions, but here's what I think anyway."

    He's right. The culture and mindset (none / 0) (#76)
    by oldpro on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    of Americans is measurably affected by movies and television, whether reality-based or not.

    '63, '64, '65, '66...deja vu all over (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by oldpro on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:15:03 PM EST

    Where oh where is the discussion about the escalation of the 'good war' in Afghanistan...eight years after it began?


    Cash for Clunkers Whining Watch (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:05:24 PM EST
    Headline in Orlando Sentinel this morning. Front Page,mind you:

    With Clunkers Kaput, Dealers Wait for Cash

    The press let 8 years of government incompetence at best and criminality at worst go by with nary a wimper, but oh boy are they watching now.  

    This is just a taste of things to come if bad health care policy is enacted. Whatever health care reform gets enacted has to work. No mandate without the public option - that simply will not work. At least this the cash for clunkers "scandal" will die when the dealers get their cash. A health care debacle will last forever.

    I don't object (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:49:47 PM EST
    to the waiting for the checks...they're working with the federal govt for gawl's sake.  What did they expect?...

    I don't think the C for C program has done anything for long term auto sales, just consolidated a bunch of sales into a 3-week period.

    We'll have to decide in 3-6 months if the program was a success or if it was just another short term auto industry bailout.


    And FYI (none / 0) (#102)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:50:41 PM EST
    Soon there will be an appliance stimulus, wherein people get cash for buying Energy Star appliances.

    My thoughts exactly. (none / 0) (#98)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:32:57 PM EST
    Holy Joe Strikes Again (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:44:56 PM EST
    from stinque.com

       In a statement, the deeply conservative Connecticut senator, who has in the past expressed his support for waterboarding, said that Attorney General Eric Holder's decision -- which already has drawn criticism for not going far enough -- "will have a chilling effect on the men and women agents of our intelligence community whose uninhibited bravery and skill we depend on every day to protect our homeland from the next terrorist attack."

    From Lieberman's statement:

        These public servants must of course live within the law but they must also be free to do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from now a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was authorized and legal.

    And Panetta wants to leave now (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:10:34 AM EST
    I keep getting a certain vibe also that the military is saying it needs Bush era rules to operate by.  If we Go Wild on Torture, will McChrystal stay in this game or will we be looking for a new commander in Afghanistan soon?

    See you later Leon (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:13:27 AM EST
    I would have fired him the momemnt he threatened to resign.

    Hell, Obama has John Brennan chomping at the bit for the job . . .


    the rumors (none / 0) (#16)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:39:51 AM EST
    are his replacement is already being looked at.

    I would think the issue is internal turmoil over the (ridiculous) promise that no one from the CIA would be prosecuted.  

    I actually don't understand at all what Holder is doing here.  Certainly not politically.


    Clarification (none / 0) (#49)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:36:54 AM EST
    I thought the Military Act gave immunity on torture charges to members of the military? What about the independant contractors? How can we find fault with one group and accept it from others? This is why we need to go after the top tier that set the program in motion.

    I don't think the CIA is considered military (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:44:47 AM EST
    Still unclear (none / 0) (#56)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:48:32 AM EST
    I know, but torture is torture regardless of by whom. I just wanted to see if my memory has gone missing! My question was:

    Does the military have immunity after the passage of the Military Act?

    Where do independant contractor's fit in?


    It doesn't state (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:57:55 AM EST
    that contractors are protected but I would be reluctant to argue that they couldn't be covered.  I suppose that it could be argued that certain people working in certain capacities for certain entities should be covered under it too.  It is probably something for a court to decide if push came to shove and contractors were charged.

    This site claims that the CIA is (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:08:04 PM EST
    immune, is a contractor CIA or just working for the CIA?

    Thanks (none / 0) (#99)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:34:57 PM EST
    With so many things being thrown as us on a daily basis, my mind sometimes hits overload!

    Is this really Obama? (none / 0) (#6)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:18:15 AM EST
    I get the feeling Eric Holder has been doing the heavy lifting here.  He seems clearly uncomfortable with some of the information he has received.  Which is fine by me, I'm glad he is on the team.  I guess it doesn't really matter where it comes from so long as it happens.

    I guess (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:27:31 AM EST
    it would still be nice it Obama would get behind something that we on the left consider important.

    since we elected him.


    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:35:25 AM EST
    although with him, I'm not really sure what "behind" means.  He says he thinks a public option is the best way to control costs, and that he "supports it", but by all appearances, he is also working against it.

    So I guess I'd rather have the "gee I don't really want to do this" speech while actually going ahead and doing it anyway.


    I think you are right (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:36:52 AM EST
    I think its Holder thats doing this.

    It SHOULD be Holder who is doing this. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by steviez314 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:40:03 AM EST
    He is the head lawyer for the United States not the President.

    Frankly, I'm happy that the DOJ might be doing things independently of the WH, without being pressured one way or the other.  It's about time.


    yes Holder is doing a good job (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:42:01 AM EST
    so we should congratulate HIM on it.

    prepare for (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:45:24 AM EST
    incoming right wing disinformation blitz

    Having read the CIA report in its entirety, I am struck once again by how humane our treatment of captured terrorists was intended to be, and generally was.

    Did we hold Holder responsible (none / 0) (#22)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:52:10 AM EST
    for the DOMA support written by the Justice Dept- or was that on Obama? Because it seems odd that all the credit (for things we support) would go to Holder, but all of the blame (for things we oppose) would fall on Obama.

    I agree with this point (none / 0) (#25)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:56:34 AM EST
    inasmuch as this investigation is a positive step, Obama should get some praise.

    Yes, it's coming from Obama, (none / 0) (#103)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:58:38 PM EST
    Holder works for him.  Obama's the boss.  He sets the agenda.  

    I don't like the timing of this.  I fear Obama is trying to distract us from the disastrous health care bill that is coming by throwing this our way.  


    this release has been (none / 0) (#105)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 02:01:35 PM EST
    coming for a long time.  I dont think the timing of this has anything to do with health care.

    the release date has been known for a while, no?


    Good! (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:14:54 PM EST
    I dunno (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:56:42 AM EST
    But I get the feeling that Holder is more personally involved in this case than the other.  It's not always black and white.

    That being said (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:02:01 AM EST
    Yea, kudos to Obama for letting this play out.  I thought I said that, but obviously it was overshadowed by the other.

    But really, I like Holder on this a lot, I feel this is personal to him, that was the main point of this for me.


    right (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:39:06 AM EST
    I guess I'm down to "at least he's not getting in the way"

    I'd take that for HCR too.


    The left elected Obama? (none / 0) (#24)
    by BigElephant on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:55:52 AM EST
    The left elects no one except the mayor of S.F., and that's if they're lucky.  

    I hate to tell you this but he's President of the United States.  Not the President of the left.  Throwing the left a bone is no better than throwing one to big business.  I support neither, although both happen.


    Define (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:11:34 AM EST
    "the left"

    I think that is a big problem around here.  Generalizing.  I have no idea what group of people you are referring to.  People who generally vote Dem?  People who live in cities on the coast?  People who consider themselves "liberal"?

    All of those groups are pretty big.  And they all elect politicians, even ones outside San Fransisco.


    I was using the other guy's/gal's term... (none / 0) (#87)
    by BigElephant on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:52:41 PM EST
    Yes I realize that (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by CST on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:01:33 PM EST
    I still don't know who you are referring to.  I assume Capt Howdy is referring to the people who voted for Obama and tend to be Dems.  If that's who you are referring to, than your statement is wrong, the left does elect people, specifically Obama.

    I could be wrong about both of your assumptions.  That's why I asked who you were thinking of when you wrote that.  Since I imagine you can't read Capt Howdy's mind any better than I can, I thought you had made some assumption on the definition of "the left".  I'm just asking what that assumption was.


    nothing to read (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:08:51 PM EST
    minds a blank but I think it is undeniable that the left elected Obama.

    sure he got some middle of the road votes but thats not what put him over.


    The left doesn't elect... (none / 0) (#119)
    by BigElephant on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:49:46 PM EST
    at the national level.  Neither does the right.  Both vote effectively as blocks negating their power.  The left and right make it possible for the middle to elect the President.  

    If the left elected the President then we wouldn't have had George Bush in office for the past 8 years.  If the left elected the President then we every President would run to the left (why go to the center in the G.E. if the left is where the election is won).

    It's simply not.  Every single person involved in presidential campaigns will tell you that.  It's not rocket science.


    Uh yes the left and right (none / 0) (#121)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:03:55 PM EST
    do elect their politicians and then basically they "sell" those candidates to the middle.

    It isn't anyone on the left side of the aisle's fault that your "salesmen" chose to stay home.

     No one has argued the left elected George Bush, the right side of the aisle did that. They did it by convincing the middle that he had a better vision or by selling his ideas as their philosophy.

    It's also another reason why your particular brand failed so badly. A badly bungled war(which McCain still supports) and tax cuts(which he also ran on keeping) were not exactly a legacy the middle wanted to build upon.

    Now it's the left side of the aisle's turn.


    Odd response... (none / 0) (#126)
    by BigElephant on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:28:12 PM EST
    Who are you talking to?  I'm neither a McCain supporter, nor on the right.  I'm largely what people would call very liberal.  The difference is that I'm not so self-absorbed to believe that it was due to other liberals that Democrats win presidential elections.  

    While I have relatively little faith in the intellect of most people, I also don't believe that the right or the left is all that effective at selling anything, other than bad talk radio.  I give a lot more credit to the center in how they decide who to vote for.  

    And if this is congress is an example of the left side's turn, then it won't be a long turn.  

    But I think is symbolic is the thinking of many liberals.  The rest their hope on elected officials, rather than carry the weight themselves.  You can read it here in this blog.  They'll admonish Obama for not delivering on a pink pony.  Never realizing his job wasn't to get you a pink pony, but to give you the clearing so you could make it happen.  But most liberals don't take the opportunity and instead sit idly by, complaining in blog comments.  Or daydreaming of another candidate who is actually gold-plated that would have cured cancer.  


    Well that's swell (none / 0) (#128)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:41:33 PM EST
    that you give them a whole lot of credit.

    I'm not feeling that forgiving over the Iraq war and the myriad of other things the middle weighs in on in between bouts of American Idol. More often than not alot of them are uninformed which is exactly why the only things they appear to know about issues is whichever side is "selling" the better talking point.

    Exhibit A


    The glaring number of people who believed Iraq and 9/11 were linked.

    Exhibit B

    People who believe the death panel fib

    http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/poll-nearly-half-of-americans-believe-death-panel- falsehood/


    Don't get it twisted... (none / 0) (#129)
    by BigElephant on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 05:04:03 PM EST
    I don't give the center a lot of credit.  I just have less faith in the lefts ability to sell than the center's ability to discern.  

    At this point we're arguing over whose the most ignorant or ineffective.  At this point I think my position still stands that the left is simply not effective, big, or powerful enough to win elections.  And if the center is being sold to, it's not the left that's doing it.


    guy (none / 0) (#90)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:58:21 PM EST
    Pardon me? (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:58:31 AM EST
    Yes, it was the LEFT that elected Obama. The right side of the aisle was pouting and decided to stay home in fairly big margins once McCain became the nominee.

    "Elections have consequences" (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:16:11 PM EST
    and so do older white voters on the Right who stayed home, as noted above.  That's life in a democracy. . . .

    Of course, "the left" is finding out that primary elections have consequences, too. :-)


    Elections do have consequences... (none / 0) (#86)
    by BigElephant on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:51:10 PM EST
    but it's not meant to be punishment or gifts to select groups.  Elected officials have an obligation to all of their constituents, not just those that happen to vote.

    Really (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:54:24 PM EST
    because it seems to me that quite a few things were "gifted" during the Bush administration.

    Everything from oil companies to the upper echelon who Bush called his donors were rewarded with tax breaks.

    If you don't vote, don't be surprised when you get ignored.

    Democracy requires participation.


    Hope springs eternal (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:15:57 PM EST
    Someone should have mentioned that to Bush and the Republican's during their 8 yr stint. Bush corrupted every agency in the government, bankrupted the country, and never worried about the "whole" country. His only concern was his conservative base and not upsetting the Evangelicals.  

    We were constantly reminded that elections have consequences. I certainly hope that that still holds true.


    The sad thing is (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:06:17 PM EST
    the wrong candidate looks to have been chosen.

    The one we have is all about appeasing Republicans while throwing the people who elected him under the bus.

    For the record I could have gone on for hours with all the giveaways Bush and his supporters got during the 8 years he was President. I just picked a link or two to prove my point.


    as for punishment (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:08:31 PM EST
    tell that to the people who had their social programs cut to give the rich those tax cuts or the veterans or quakers who got spied on because they did not support the war.

    Your comments are not grounded in fact.


    Gifting and the GOP (none / 0) (#95)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:12:59 PM EST
    GOP oil company gifting (none / 0) (#96)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:17:03 PM EST
    i hope he's more (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by cpinva on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:48:35 AM EST
    than just "uncomfortable",

    He seems clearly uncomfortable with some of the information he has received.

    i want him disgusted, sick to his stomach, that these actions were carried out in his and our names.

    geez, i should think the republicans would be outraged, that americans were committing the same kinds of atrocities that they constantly accused red china and the soviet union of, in the bad old days.


    FWIW, Holder was fairly widely (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:27:41 PM EST
    reported to have been exactly that, disgusted and sick to his stomach when he got the detailed reports.

    I do love (none / 0) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:48:47 AM EST
    the whole if any of Obama's deputies do something poorly its his fault (which is right I would argue) but if any of them do something we support its them on their own, its an interesting way to read things- Put it this way if Obama gets maligned for things like the DOMA "support" and the slow closure of Gitmo (rightly on the former on the latter NIMBY hypocrites are slowing this dramatically) then he should also get credit for things like this.

    I only base what I said (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:22:30 AM EST
    on Obamas own actions on this.  he has said over and over he wants nothing to do with it.

    maybe that bull and he is just playing good cop to Holders bad cop but I tend to believe if it was left to him this whole thing would go away.


    I'm a cheap date too... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:28:12 AM EST
    Assuming Obama flames out on HCR, just put a leash on John Law and I'll lay off the p*ssin' and moanin':)

    Would Mexico's new approach, no (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:53:28 AM EST
    prosecution of those carrying small amounts of any substance, suffice?

    Ugh what will all these law dog bubbas (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:00:37 AM EST
    do with their lives then around here?  If they eat anymore junk food than they already do they won't even be able to get their hands around their tazers.

    Oh, for gawd's sake, MT. Sgt. Crowley (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:03:55 AM EST
    was quite fit.  Don't generalize.

    I was talking Bama Bubbas (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:17:31 AM EST
    Not Boston Bubbas :)

    Ah, Alabama... (none / 0) (#64)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:02:06 PM EST
    Where the spirit of the Hatfields v. McCoys lives on...

    Two Alabama families that had been fighting for years turned their feud into a full-scale riot Monday outside a small-town city hall, with up to 150 screaming people hurling tire irons and wielding baseball bats. Eight people were arrested, and at least four were hurt, Trooper John Reese said. Two were taken to hospitals. The town's police chief was hit in the head with a crowbar but was OK.

    The two- or three-year-old feud apparently prompted a fight earlier in the day at a high school, after a window was shot out of a home Sunday night. Then, "all hell broke loose" later in the day, said Sgt. Carlton Hogue of the Perry County Sheriff's Department.



    Gods of Carnage to the nth degree. (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:03:59 PM EST
    I don't consider Sgt. Crowley to be (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:03:00 PM EST
    a "bubba," if that means a shoot before you think law enforcement officer.  

    An anti-authority gal... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:21:20 AM EST
    after me own heart...I love ya kid, I really do:)

    LOL (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:03:15 PM EST
    I got stopped while walking when we first came here. I still remember telling the nice officer about the obesity epidemic and pointedly looking at his gut area(which was quite large)when explaining to him the merits of walking. It still rankles that they can stop pedestrians for no apparent reason to question them and run their ID(which they do to check for outstanding warrants).

    It seems fairly un-American (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:09:06 PM EST
    to just stop random people on the street and run their names. I think I would raise a ruckus with elected officials if I were subjected to that.

    Imagine if they stopped (none / 0) (#77)
    by Fabian on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:22:14 PM EST
    random motorists just to run their names?  

    Easier to justify stopping a motorist (none / 0) (#80)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:25:49 PM EST
    Without cause? (none / 0) (#104)
    by Fabian on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:59:11 PM EST
    Just driving down the street, minding their own business?

    Road blocks do exactly that (none / 0) (#106)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 02:03:03 PM EST
    Where I live they set up drunk checks and check 600 cars over 4 or 5 hours.  They usually net a couple, two drunks, while inconveniencing ALL those people and hold up traffic for miles,

    Do they do ID checks (none / 0) (#113)
    by Fabian on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    and outstanding warrant checks on all the sober drivers?  I think not!

    SCOTUS (none / 0) (#84)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:42:58 PM EST
    Upheld stop and identify laws in 2004.


    The court is more right leaning then it was then so I suspect it would still be considered consttutional.


    Outrageous (none / 0) (#85)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:46:56 PM EST
    You were skaing on thin ice. (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:04:50 PM EST
    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:40:42 PM EST
    I was quite cooperative if a bit snippy. I find being uncooperative generally just makes the process longer.

    Some of the police in the area appear to have some pretty active imaginations too. When I was walking home from work one of them opined that I could be a disgruntled ex employee who dressed up in my old uniform to vandalize my former work space.

    Another was more candid and admitted they do so because they can and do catch people on outstanding warrants(another inequity for poor folk since they don't necessarily have the means for vehicles).


    Just curious (none / 0) (#115)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:41:29 PM EST
    Do you think it wrong for people who have a warrant outstanding for their arrest be arrested??

    I think the (none / 0) (#125)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:14:24 PM EST
    practice that catches them is unfair. If I decide to walk to Barnes and Noble instead of drive, it allows the police to  arbitrarily decide to stop me even if I am doing absolutely nothing wrong. I don't agree that walking is anymore suspect in behavior then driving though.

    The SCOTUS didn't agree though back in 2004. It was more left back then. The chances of that opinion being overturned is probably slim to none even with a really good arguing attorney.


    this is scary (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:38:59 AM EST
    hopefully it will be another false alarm.

    Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Swine flu may hospitalize 1.8 million patients in the U.S. this year, filling intensive care units to capacity and causing "severe disruptions" during a fall resurgence, scientific advisers to the White House warned.

    Swine flu, also known as H1N1, may infect as much as half of the population and kill 30,000 to 90,000 people, double the deaths caused by the typical seasonal flu, according to the planning scenario issued yesterday by the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Intensive care units in hospitals, some of which use 80 percent of their space in normal operation, may need every bed for flu cases, the report said.

    Campuses are getting dire warnings (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:09:32 AM EST
    and making plans for serious and extended course disruptions, even campus closings.  Faculty are being told to revise syllabi now, even if printed already, to include the latest statement just sent  on what students are to do in such an event.  

    And I'm heading soon to a workshop on how to put more of my courses online with voiceovers to PowerPoints.  Cool techie stuff, huh, Capt Howdy?  But horrors, we might have to forgo final exams and modify grade formulae for course completion.  I know that students would be soooo disappointed.

    Interesting, though, that all the dire warnings are about flu epidemics among students.  There seems to be little concern about same among faculty and other instructional staff -- even though it is the traditional student age group that is to be targeted with flu shots, while we oldsters are to wait, as we are alleged to be immune.  Yet the people I know (several) who have had this flu are oldsters.

    Hmmmm, get out the tin foil; I detect a plot to cut Medicare and Social Security costs by just letting us boomers drop dead of hog flu -- and preferably prior to the final exam period.


    Btw, it's also interesting (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:13:53 PM EST
    to see campus exercises such as determining which courses are "essential" and which are "non-essential."  For those of you who are students, that can mean curricula that are requisite for licensing and the like are essential, but the rest apparently are just to employ profs and grad student TAs.

    So if you're still flexible on your fall schedule of courses, and you would like to see your fall semester shortened to end in mid-November (the probable inflection point, from what I can figure from these cryptic campus messages) -- switch to "non-essential" courses.  In the event of a campus closing, such courses may be considered done! or as one campus puts it in prescribing what faculty (and thus students) are to do in such courses:  "Do nothing." :-)


    New high risk groups (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Fabian on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:25:05 PM EST
    for fatalities & complications are pregnant women and obese people.

    We do need more data to confirm this and I'd be overjoyed if we don't log many data points in the coming months.


    Yes, 15% of fatalities so far (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 05:14:40 PM EST
    in the U.S. were pregnant women.  I just was with a pregnant colleague in the workshop on taking at least some coursework online with voiceovers and such.  She already was planning on doing so with the last few weeks of her courses, owing to her due date.  I told her that the prospective peak-epidemic date that I sniff out from stuff I'm finding about campuses planning for curtailing the semester -- campuses with med schools doing research on this flu.  I suggested that she figure on getting away from the germ swarm, college students, a lot sooner.

    Of course, again, pregnant women will have priority to get the flu shots -- but October may not be in time for many of them or at a problematic time in their pregnancies.  And frankly, as the flu-shot testing is not really going to be complete by the time the shots start, I don't know that I would want to get them.  I'm old enough to recall problems in the past. . . .


    The thought had occurred to me. What (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:15:25 AM EST
    better way to save Medicare and Social Security from going under due to insufficient funds.  No death panels needed. But that would be conspiracy theory.

    yeah (none / 0) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:20:01 AM EST
    the age thing is a little odd.  I was reading that the supposed immunity we have comes from the 1918 flu and other variations that floated around in the early 50s.  

    I was pretty young then but I dont remember having swine flu.


    Didn't "they" decide (none / 0) (#43)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:23:55 AM EST
    that youth were a whole lot more susceptible to the current swine flu.  We oldsters have had other flus that share characteristics with this flu, making us somewhat immune so we don't get as severe of cases. (Of course, older-oldsters are the exception to this, because of their weakened immune systems).

    CC, if you are of an age, as I am, we (none / 0) (#48)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:35:36 AM EST
    were exposed to a swine flu or H1N1 back in the late 60s or early 70s. We have some level of resistance, based on that exposure.

    I had it then, and there are a few days I don't remember because of delerium from the temperature.

    Younger folks who have never had a 'swine' flu are at greater risk for serious complications, according to flu wiki than older (not elderly, but older folks who were exposed to other flus of this type.

    I agree that it's very odd that faculty and/or classroom instructors, are not in the high-risk group, though...


    this is what it says (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:41:23 AM EST
    in that bloomberg piece:

    The H1N1 strain is genetically related to the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed an estimated 50 million people. Variations of the Spanish Flu circulated widely until about 1957, when they were pushed aside by other flu strains. People whose first exposure to a flu virus was one of those Spanish Flu relatives may have greater immunity to the current pandemic, Shaw said.

    I don't recalling having that flu then (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:56:47 AM EST
    although I do recall some discussion of it among adults -- but I was sick with so many other things then, who knows?  As I noted, I know several people in my age group who now have come down with the swine flu (officially diagnosed and all, as we are in one of the worst cities for it), so I have to wonder how truly widespread is this immunity.

    And exposed as teachers will be to the target group this time, it seems odd that we are to just wait and see if we got a variation half a century ago.


    The interesting thing about flu (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 02:23:58 PM EST
    is that it has an 8-segmented genome.  Each time the virus replicates in your human host cell's nucleus, the 8 segments are exported into the cell cytoplasm. There, they're repackaged into new virions (viral particles), at which time, they typically kill your cell and leave.

    If you happen to be infected by 2 different flu viruses at the same time, the genomes of those two viruses can be combined, thus creating a brand new flu virus.  This recombination-caused mutation is greatly why yearly flu vaccines are required.

    It's possible that even though you've never contracted the swine flu per se, you've contracted an influenza virus containing one of the 8 genomic segments that are included in a past swine flu, thus providing some immunity.  And scientists theorize that this immunity is greatly why the current swine flu disproportionately affects people younger than 24 (including college kids).

    Here's a web site that gives you some idea how reassortment of the flu viral genome works.

    Linky goodness

    Stay healthy!


    And the vaccine unavailable (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:19:23 AM EST
    until the predicted peak of infections in October.

    So far as I know, I've never gotten a regular flu shot myself, and I don't know when if ever I've actually gotten the flu. I guess it's possible that I don't feel the impact more than a normal cold.


    I always get regular flu shots (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Cream City on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:32:40 AM EST
    as soon as I can, as a classroom of hundreds of students (and with the usual lousy ventilation) is just a swarm of germs (and pheromones, of course:-).  The coughing of dozens at a time can drive me mad, trying to retain the focus of my lecture (while also doing all the techie things we must do these days, clicking on PowerPoints and pushing lighting switches and manipulating microphones and more).  The mom in me means that I bring cough drops in my book bag not only for me to toss to the crowd. . . .

    Until I made shots a regular practice, I used to get flu -- and complications, like bronchitis and repeated pneumonia and other awful infections -- every year, once past that youthful immunity or just better rebound-and-recovery ability.  Lucky you; enjoy it while it lasts.


    All I can say (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:36:58 AM EST
    is that if I had had symptoms like those typically described for the flu, I would have been first in line for a vaccination the next fall. Two weeks bedridden? I don't understand how anyone who has any responsibilities in life could possibly weather that.

    It happened to me ONCE (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 02:06:35 PM EST
    And I never missed another flu shot.  The flu is horrible, you can't imagine that you could feel that bad, for that long.  There were times when I thought I'd just have to die because I couldn't get up to do anything.  And I was young, around 35, and VERY healthy!  

    Complications... I had (none / 0) (#51)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:37:36 AM EST
    pneumonia followed by bronchitis from January to May this year, but was never diagnosed with the flu...

    Flu symptoms (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:42:06 PM EST
    You would not mistake for an ordinary cold, unless you get incredible whoppers.  A bad cold is a bad cold, but ordinary flu knocks you flat on your back usually within hours of the first symptoms.

    The last time I got the flu was many years ago.  Luckily, I was visiting my parents at the time.  I went to bed feeling a little icky, and somewhere in the middle of the night was so acutely miserable with muscles aching all over my body that I staggered downstairs to lie on the couch, where I could push my back up against the cushions.

    My dad discovered me there in the AM, sick as a dog.  He solicitously asked if he could bring me an English muffin for breakfast, and answering that question felt so impossibly difficult that I burst into tears.  This was no more than 12 hours after I first started feeling not so hot.


    "I certainly would be quick (none / 0) (#36)
    by my opinion on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:18:45 AM EST
     to step up to become an apologist."

    Is this really the way you want to be portrayed?

    BTD (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:42:14 AM EST
    LOL! You are on a roll with your humor lately. Cheap date ha ha!!!

    Q for all you sport fans.... (none / 0) (#78)
    by vml68 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 12:23:18 PM EST
    Does the Dept of Homeland Security usually set up camp at sporting events(football/basketball games)?

    That golf thing... (none / 0) (#109)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 02:37:06 PM EST
    still giving you fits pal?

    I've never seen Homeland Security, at least advertising as Homeland Security (man that agency name still gives me the creeps:).  I have seen security in suits, who knows who they worked for.


    LOL... not giving me fits, yet! (none / 0) (#114)
    by vml68 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:38:30 PM EST
    While walking the pup this morning was really suprised to see a Homeland Security van parked on the walkway. I was expecting the Jersey City PD and other security but not DHS. So I was wondering if it was normal for them to be at sporting events (I don't know,since I don't go to any!). I thought their job was terrorism watch not crowd control... :-).

    Anyway, the practice rounds started today, so I am not expecting the crazy crowds till official play starts on Thursday and I am off to Maine starting Saturday so I will avoid the weekend madness.

    The funny thing is normally the security guards at the golf course are very vigilant about anybody stepping on to the grounds(with an initial membership fee of $500,000, I guess they want to maintain their exclusivity). A few weeks ago they threatened to prosecute someone we know who stepped onto the grounds to look at the course and he was just a few feet inside the gate. But today, my boy decided to bless the event by doing his business by the course and as I was walking by with his "gift" in hand, I was invited onto the course to deposit the package in the trash can by the 13th hole. I don't know who they thought I was but I was pretty amused.


    Maybe there is your answer... (none / 0) (#120)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:52:17 PM EST
    a 500k membership fee?  I'm sure some members must have some friends in high places!

    You shoulda put your boy's business in the 13th hole...payback for disrupting the whole god damn neighborhood:)


    Just being able to pay the (none / 0) (#124)
    by vml68 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:14:01 PM EST
    initial membership fee is not enough to get you in the door....you also have to have the right "references/sponsorship"!
    Considering it cost almost $150 million to build (apparently one of the most expensive golf courses in the world), I guess they have to recover their costs somehow!

    You shoulda put your boy's business in the 13th hole

    I thought you wanted me to keep a low profile and avoid getting into situations that would require you to bail me out... :-)


    I know that some of the Wall Street (none / 0) (#127)
    by vml68 on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 04:29:10 PM EST
    bigwigs play here and I know that Eli Manning is a member.

    I'm sure some members must have some friends in high places!

    My theory is it might be because there will be quite a few people coming and going by boat/yacht and also by helicopter and since we are so close to the Statue of Liberty and with the proximity to Wall Street too, maybe they are being extra vigilant.


    need a laugh (none / 0) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 01:26:14 PM EST
    kdog (none / 0) (#110)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 02:44:13 PM EST
    Thanks J... (none / 0) (#116)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:43:00 PM EST
    I'll check it out later when I get outta this cube and can give it my full attention.  

    The hot water economy was booming today, sold a sh*tload of heaters and I'm spent...need my post-work pick-me-up and chill-me-out:)


    sweet (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 03:47:09 PM EST
    it is a long read............

    Well worth the read... (none / 0) (#131)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 08:48:45 AM EST
    Clinton makes an early attempt at sensible change appointing Brown and quickly changes course...then even G-Dub makes noise about sensible change and quickly changes course, d*ck so far from Obama...makes you wonder who exactly puts the screws to our leaders once they attain power to keep them wilfully deaf, dumb, and blind.  Aside from Chris Dodd and his helicopter connections.

    Rand Support (none / 0) (#132)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 08:58:43 AM EST
    and Denny Hastert?  Strange bedfellows indeed.  I am beginning to think we will never again have a sensible drug policy.  I don't know if you watched The Wire but the Boston approach was sort of like a season on the Wire.  They had a district called "Hamsterdam" where they sold rather openly and no one went to jail unless there was violence.  Sounds like it worked in Boston,....

    The Wire... (none / 0) (#133)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:17:28 AM EST
    was the best dramtic portrayal of the drug wars failure that I've ever seen...a huge fan.

    I'm afraid you're probably right...whether it is politics/geopolitics, or deep-rooted corruption, or our addiction to law & order punishment...sensible federal drug policy will never happen unless the federal government collapses.  State and local are our only hope at positive change.


    That... (none / 0) (#134)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:20:35 AM EST
    ...and politicians that are more invested in doing what is right as opposed to getting re-elected/serving their own self-interests.  

    A high standard... (none / 0) (#135)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:47:06 AM EST
    for the dirty business of politics.

    Even when you elect such a rare animal, the machine grinds them to pieces within weeks...look at Clinton, appointing Brown and then caving .


    I know. (none / 0) (#136)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 10:07:12 AM EST
    Those kind of politicians went out of style a long, long time ago.  

    One can only hope that somewhere down the line we get enough of those rare animals elected to do the job--whether on the local, state or federal level.  

    The chances are slim and none, but one has to have some sort of hope to hang on to.  


    Hope to hang on to... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 10:21:10 AM EST
    and there is hope to be seen the local/state level...cities directing law enforcement to make possesion a low priority, the innovative programs mentioned in the R.S. piece...one of those instances were bigger is not better, the feds are hopeless.