Wednesday Morning Open Thread

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    Been following the prop 8 trial (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by magster on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:31:06 AM EST
    on firedoglake's seminal page.  The expert witness' testimony on the history of discrimination against gays in this country was very educational.

    I really like (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:44:54 AM EST
    the wide net.

    Some very explicit calling out of DADT.  


    Question for CST... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:51:06 AM EST
    whats the buzz on the streets of Beantown on the Senate race?  I gotta say, I think the "it's the people's seat" line was a home run for Brown.

    The buzz on the street... (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:16:06 AM EST
    I don't really know, I haven't talked about it much with people, and those I have talked to it's more of a "get off your butt, stop playing video games, and vote" conversation than anything else, since most people I know are firmly on one side or the other.

    I know Brown is making a lot of noise on the national scene, and I think the national republican party would be thrilled to have him - I wonder how much of the $1 million he raised was actually from MA.  I could be wrong, but I don't see/hear the buzz factor here much (also, no matter who wins the State, Coakley will certainly win Boston).

    At the end of the day, I just don't see Brown taking the seat.  He's a fairly conservative Republican.  People always bring up Mitt Romney, but we've had a bunch of moderate Republican governers (he ran as a moderate) - we don't have a single Republican in Washington, and I think the last time we even sent one to the house was in 1996.  It's one thing to balance local politics - an overwhelmingly Dem legislature with a moderate Repub gov.  On the national stage, you gotta shift as far to the left as possible to make up for other states.

    Is Brown good with the sound bites?  Sure.  But I doubt it will come down to sound bites.


    Thanks pal... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:30:35 AM EST
    I was thinking the more he can make the race about Obama and HCR, the better his slim chances...working the anger on the street to his advantage.

    Kdog, I'm in Boston (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by dk on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:52:01 AM EST
    and I think you're right. Liberals in MA aren't happy about Obama's HCR given how conservative it is, so the real danger is that enough will stay home to put Brown over the edge.

    That said, I don't think the "it's the people's seat" stuff is playing around here.  Democrats aren't voting for Coakley because it's Kennedy's seat.  Heck, most Democrats in MA ignored Kennedy last year when he endorsed Obama.  Democrats will vote for Coakley if they feel energized to vote for a Democrat.

    Funnily enough, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just started running Coakley ads here saying how important Coakley's vote is for the HCR bill.  Frankly, I think that ad may backfire here.  


    turnout (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:56:00 AM EST
    will be a key "differential", although maybe not decider.

    Honestly, I think the Brown publicity may backfire for him.  His voters were always gonna show up.  I think this is making the other side less lethargic.


    Thanks dk... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:57:14 AM EST
    I'm probably overblowing the people's seat stuff...its just pretty rare to hear a Repub say something that makes me go "hell yeah bro!".

    They're all the people's seats...as easy as that is to forget sometimes with how the occupants of the seats roll.


    less (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:46:01 AM EST
    anger on the streets here than most places.

    We already have HCR, I don't know how much this bill will really affect us.  Our unemployment rate, while high at 8.8 has actually been steadily decreasing since Sept., so there is a sense that things appear to be improving here a bit faster than most places.


    Interesting... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:54:34 AM EST
    maybe its the blue collar circles I mostly work and roll with here in NY...I hear so much Obama bashing his ears must ring all damn day.

    I think you're right kdog (none / 0) (#43)
    by dk on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:00:51 PM EST
    I'd disagree with CST.  Obama was never really too popular generally in MA to begin with (Of course he won the state because MA doesn't vote for Republicans for President), and I hear a lot of rumblings myself given the conservative direction he's taking the country.

    his approval rating (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:05:42 PM EST
    this summer was 73% in MA - back when his overall was about 63% - but still it was one of the highest in the nation.

    I don't see how discontented rumblings about conservatism will result in a Republican in the senate.

    Are people here thrilled with Obama?  No of course not.  But I don't see what that has to do with Coakley.


    It has to do with Coakley (none / 0) (#52)
    by dk on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:10:59 PM EST
    because to some extent these kind of races are a referendum on people's approval of how the party is doing.

    If Obama thought he was so popular in MA he would probably come campaign for Coakley.  I think he wisely made the decision that coming would do more harm than good.

    Of course his general approval ratings will be high, because this is a Democratic state and compared against a Republican he will always do well.  But I don't think that MA liberal democrats, or even non-liberal Democrats, are particularly excited about Obama's performance.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#56)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:17:01 PM EST
    I just see this as 1994 all over again.  Overblown histeria that's just going to result in higher Dem turnout and another drubbing.

    Still too early (none / 0) (#62)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:22:44 PM EST
    in the year to write this one off as another 1994.  And unlike that year, the situation with HCR is still to be decided.  For Clinton and the Dems, its failure was a disaster.

    Obama though does need to get going about job creation, foreclosures, and still needs to do much more about the perception that he's so far favored Wall Street banks over Main Street plain folks.  Iow, give something to Dems that they can be enthused about.


    I meant (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:51:58 PM EST
    in MA not nationally.  1994 was Kennedy vs. Romney.

    But yes, it's the internet, so we get to make blanket statements about things it's "too early" to know :)


    Obama not campaigning (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:04:26 PM EST
    for Coakley has nothing to do with some fear of not being received well in Mass., which is really absurd.  It's because she's expected to win handily without his help, so it makes no sense for him to take the time.

    Then why is Bill Clinton coming to (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by dk on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:41:24 PM EST
    Worcester?  Because he has nothing else to do?

    Look, I think the odds are obviously in Coakley's favor, but it's also quite clear that the national party is stepping up its activity.


    I've received multiple emails (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:53:25 PM EST
    begging for money. Kerry, Durbin, etc along with the general party ones. My delete button has been handy . . .

    Um, maybe because Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#161)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:18:57 PM EST
    is not the POTUS with 49,000 time-consuming things on his hands and a certain stature to preserve.  (I also suspect he may not make it, given the events in Haiti.)

    It's true the nationals are stepping up their activity.  There's some concern that Dems in Mass. maybe too complacent about this and GOP voters eager for blood.

    But since you're unfamiliar with Massachusetts, I have to tell you that voters there are not impressed with national and out-of-state pols coming in to tell them how to vote.  They may well be the most knowledgeable and sophisticated voters in the country.  Bill Clinton is sui generis in his ability to excite Dem. voters, but otherwise, it's a waste of time and possibly even counterproductive.

    GOTV is what's important in this race, not endorsements.


    Shouldl my unemployed daughter move east? (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:56:31 AM EST
    She may have an easier time (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by dk on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:03:12 PM EST
    finding a job, but it pay enough to cover the rent?  That's a big problem here.

    Too true. (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by byteb on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:49:12 PM EST
    Everything is so much more expensive here.

    If Oc's daughter is in SoCal... (none / 0) (#138)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:48:20 PM EST
    the cost of living is no prize there either, or so I hear.

    Well, looking at the race (none / 0) (#28)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:40:03 AM EST
    from the opposite side of the continent, Brown does appear to be another slick and superficially appealing Mitt Romney, someone running as a stealth moderate to get elected against a not quite forceful enough female opponent, but who would largely tack towards the Repub line once in office then, probably, use his high official standing from one quirky election victory to launch a run at the WH or go for a VP slot on the Repub ticket.

    Almost certainly he's not a true moderate R, as Edward Brooke was.

    I hope the Coakley campaign and the local Dems have their GOTV machinery well oiled for Tuesday.  Otherwise, what with that bogus "libertarian" with the famous (but unrelated) name on the ballot to siphon off enough votes from clueless voters to possibly make a difference, the final outcome for Coakley could be a nailbiter or worse if Dems in MA fail so show up in good numbers.


    My point about Romney (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:53:51 AM EST
    was also about the difference between national and local politics.  Mitt Romney lost to Ted Kennedy by almost 20 points in a very bad year for Dems nationally, when a lot of polls had them tied while rinning for senate.  It's one thing to elect Republicans to state office, where they will have to work with all Democrats.  It's a whole different thing to send Republicans to Washington.

    Granted, Martha Coakley is no Ted Kennedy, but I can see this being a similar result.


    I will never forget (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:08:34 PM EST
    taking a trip out to the Quabbin area-- rural, gritty, most of it-- a couple weeks before that '94 election, when all the polls and the pundits were certain Teddy was in big trouble. But about two thirds of the houses out there, even on lonely back roads, had Kennedy yard signs out, and it was clear then that he was in no trouble at all.

    He was on Fox (none / 0) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:02:12 PM EST
    last night or Monday and every two sentences was making a big pitch for out-of-state money.  Pffft.  "The people's seat" indeed-- just not actual Mass. voters.

    It's the people's seat? (none / 0) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:00:37 PM EST
    Meaning what, that he's "the people" and Coakley isn't?  I doubt that line will resonate with Mass. voters much.  They rarely fall for faux populism.

    Yeah. Hard to believe (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:05:19 PM EST
    that the Big Corporatist nature of the Repub Party and all their various candidates, however they try to position themselves politically, especially after the dishonest Romney experience in MA, isn't fairly clear to even the dimmest of low-infomation voters in the Bay State.

    Still, it's always better to remind people of the true nature of your opponent rather than assuming anything.  I hope Coakley did that in their last debate, and that the campaign keeps hitting hard with their final week's ads.  A little late to be waking up, but I suspect she'll muddle through in the end.


    I f the senate seat that was being filled (none / 0) (#80)
    by itscookin on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:08:52 PM EST
    had been held by someone for a couple of terms, then maybe Brown's statement wouldn't resonate, but many of us resented the sense of Kennedy entitlement to the seat. Coakley was heavily criticized for not waiting to see if a member of the Kennedy family wanted to run before she announced her candidacy. Like the Kennedy clan owned the right of first refusal.

    And btw, if it was true that (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:08:00 PM EST
    "many of us" "resented the sense of Kennedy entitlement to the seat", Ted would have seen his base diminished and been voted out years ago or had a few more close contests at least.  Unless, by "us" you mean hardcore anti-Kennedy Republicans ...

    Now were talking power (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by SOS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:39:08 AM EST
    A group of faith and labor activists and local political leaders is meeting with Bank of America officials Tuesday night in Antioch, California in an effort to force the bank to do a better job of modifying home loans. If Bank of America doesn't right ship, the group says they'll take their money out of the bank.

    "If we don't see results, we will ramp up into a national divestment campaign," said Gina Gates of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Jose.

    I was hoping something like this would catch on (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:43:51 AM EST
    I saw on Colbert that HuffPo is advocating people switching their money from B of A and other megabanks to local banks. It is the only leverage we have over them. Without our money, they have nothing to gamble with, or pay those bonuses.

    It's elegant, simple, immediate and brilliant (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:06:08 PM EST
    I'm doing it with my household moolah but my biz stuff is more complex and will stay put for now.

    Actually (none / 0) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:10:41 PM EST
    they're all making most of their money from speculation these days.  But if their actual consumer banking business falls apart, then they can just become "honest" hedge funds and let the small banks deal with actual banking.  That'd be fine with me.

    I've been with the local credit union... (none / 0) (#96)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:36:02 PM EST
    since I moved to Colorado and got my first "real" job.  Checking/savings, financed a couple of trucks and mortgages through them and have never had a complaint or a problem in twenty-some years.  

    I can't imagine going to a national bank after hearing the horror stories that my Mom collected from working as a teller for US Bank after she retired.  


    Nosey people. (5.00 / 10) (#5)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:44:37 AM EST
    I was just on the elevator and some guy asked me how I manage to stay so thin.  Told him having your colon removed works real well to that end.  

    He seemed a bit taken aback by that answer.  LOL.

    Oh Lord (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    You crack me up!  We used to get horrible stares when Joshua was a baby.  His scoliosis wasn't obvious when he was in a baby carrier and his facial features as a baby weren't very indicative that he had some physical things going on.  His poor clubbed feet though were always in casts for the first two years.  My husband had to come to Fort Rucker for an advanced course that took months, so Josh and I were always out together around Colorado taking care of business. And people used to look at the poor baby with two completely casted legs....sometimes we did colored casts too for fun....and they would shoot me the filthiest looks.  Most of them I'm certain wanted to know what manner of neglect brought this poor child to this.  I cried about it on the phone to my husband and he did not believe me that it was getting that bad.  He came home though and we were standing in line at Target and someone who could have easily been Joshua's grandmother looked at the baby and then looked at my husband like he was the worst vermin on earth.  My husband says, "I only left him out on the deck for a minute to get a beer."

    I learned a looong time ago... (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:16:05 AM EST
    ...not to give a flying f*ck about the looks I get or the comments.  Probably about the time in first grade when the two foley bags strapped on my legs got too full and burst in the middle of class.  Figured out real quick that humor was the best way to deal with the hand that was dealt to me.  

    The beginnings of a class clown...


    When my eldest son was only a couple of months (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by byteb on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:55:03 PM EST
    old, he had to have a cast put on his little leg to correct an in-turning foot. It was summer so there was no need for blankets or long jumpers to cover his legs. The stares seemed endless. I started telling the most obnoxious ones that he had a skiing accident.
    Ppl can  be such idiots.

    You too? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:45:57 PM EST
    I couldn't believe that my husband did that.  My chin hit the floor.  When we were outside I told him that he couldn't say things like that and he said, "The hell I can't".  I love him so

    Agreed. I have one of those (none / 0) (#145)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:33:08 PM EST
    "invisible disabilities" -- well, actually two now -- and they can slow me down, make me need an elevator instead of stairs somedays, etc.  Heading to meetings, I have had rude comments from the exercise fanatics who see me waiting for the elevator.  I let them make me be the one who felt uncomfortable for too long.  Finally, one day, I let one of them have it -- as after all, she was a phy ed teacher.  So she ought to have known about physical disabilities, dontcha think?  (Ha.  We all know all too well that phy ed is really sports, and its teachers are really coaches.)

    Ever since, and seeing my own children and others' children dealing with invisible disabilities but then also having to deal with insensitivities and downright rude idiocies, I speak up.  Because I'm old, and I can do so, as others may not be able to do if dealing with teachers, for example.  Good for you!


    Google in China (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:34:38 AM EST
    Or rather, not in China anymore.  This is pretty big.  Good for them.  Relevant exceprts:

    "we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different.

    First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses...have been similarly targeted."

    "Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists"

    "Third, as part of this investigation ... we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties"

    "These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all."

    Citizens United (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:43:14 AM EST
    Ellie, thanks for the reminder about this "fine" organization and its "charming" antecedents.

    it doesn't sound like the officer did anything more than ask for identification and turned loose those that were able to produce valid ID.

    IANAL but I don't think it is actually against the law to fail (or even refuse) to show I.D. Of course in our modern police state, that may end you in a world of trouble you don't feel like dealing with, and having to fight your case in court, like this guy who went all the way to the Supreme Court:

    The court took up the appeal of a Nevada cattle rancher who was arrested after he told a sheriff's deputy that he had done nothing wrong and did not have to reveal his name or show identification during an encounter on a rural road four years ago...

    A deputy, who was called to the scene because of a complaint about arguing between Hiibel and his daughter in the truck, asked Hiibel 11 times for his identification or his name.

    Hiibel refused, at one point saying, "If you've got something, take me to jail" and "I don't want to talk. I've done nothing. I've broken no laws."


    SCOTUS ruled that he did have to give his name when asked, but not any form of i.d. like a driver's license.

    Depends upon the locality (none / 0) (#47)
    by cawaltz on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:04:39 PM EST
    Some places do have laws on the books requiring you to show ID if asked by an officer of the law. I wonder if the SCOTUS ruling will be utilized to

    Most don't though.

    They definitely try to make your life difficult when you tell them no though(speaking from experience)I swear the singular officer I got played good cop-bad cop all on his own. I don't think he'd ever been told to bugger off before.


    My son and his girlfriend (none / 0) (#116)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:22:41 PM EST
    got stopped one night for some bogus reason, on their way home.  She was driving his car, because he had had a few beers, and she doesn't drink.  The two cops separated them,and asked her if they could search the car.  She said that she couldn't give permission, that is wasn't her car, it was her boyfriend's, and they should ask him.  They did not ask him, and searched the car, anyway.  They didn't find a thing and sent them on their way.  Illegal search?  I would think so.  But some cops seem to want to overstep their bounds, anyway.

    Fascinating article on evolution of Y (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:13:38 PM EST
    chromosone: AP

    Y chromosone is evolving more speedily than remainder of genetic code.

    I have been feeling a little manlier lately. (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    Just a little...

    Supreme Court blocks cameras in Prop 8 trial (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by cymro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:54:56 PM EST
    ... just heard this on NPR.

    Still no Citizens United v. FEC, yet (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:34:25 AM EST
    I fully expect this to be 5:4 for CU, but this long delay is really making me wonder. Is Roberts getting cold feet? Alito?

    Don't forget this sleazy org's original purpose .. (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:00:05 AM EST
    Not to detract from or diminish your attention to the SCOTUS case, but posting this reminder of where this org is coming from:

    As Citizens United Not Timid (get it?), hastily formed to attack (Sen) Clinton as the c-word and to give ALL her partisan, opposition and media rivals and enemies a knee-slapping opportunity to pistol-wing the forbidden word in their discourse.

    Oh, what a joy that was! Now they want to let bygones be bygones and be known as Citizens United.

    Don't let them. (As I recall, there were no equivalent acronyms so widely present in media that (a) used the n* word as an acronym and (b) were as widely cited by any and all haters who wanted in on the action.)


    Just to clarify ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    Citizens United is a different group than the Citizens United Not Timid group founded by scumbag Roger Stone.

    C.*.N.T. not connected to this drive-by scum? (none / 0) (#117)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:25:38 PM EST
    ... Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation that also provided impromptu 2008 Clinton character assassination attempts (Hillary: The Movie)?

    Well golly, Wingnuttia must be a bigger land than I thought, and let's hope they don't meet up.


    Update.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:40:23 AM EST
    on Master Paterson's arrest yesterday...him and some buddies were allegedly shooting some craps when the cops busted up the game...when asked to produce ID cops saw a credit card under another name.  Link

    Another kid got arrested for having art supplies on him...the rest let go at the scene of the "crime".  At least you don't get arrested just for dice anymore, though still illegal.  Just used as the excuse to hassle people and get in their pockets I guess...probably why these types of laws are so tough to get repealed...need reasons to get in people's pockets.

    Perhaps I'm confused but (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Elporton on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:00:11 AM EST
    when a police officer notices the open conduct of an illegal activity and then questions the participants, the only intent of that investigation is to "hassle" them?  And it doesn't sound like the officer did anything more than ask for identification and turned loose those that were able to produce valid ID.

    I'll admit I don't understand why that's objectionable.


    When the "illegal activity"... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:08:42 AM EST
    is a game of dice, then yes, the only point is to hassle the kids. Being asked to produce your papers is a hassle.

    I think its why laws like "illegal gambling" are still on the books...I mean we're talking about a state that advertises scratch-off tickets and lotto games like mad...the gambling can't be objectionable.


    I can't believe they dragged them to (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:06:53 AM EST
    the station for that. Used to be the principle's office and a call to your parents.

    What were the art supplies?


    Markers and paint.... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:10:40 AM EST
    Odds are the kid is probably a tagger, don't get me wrong...but I still think its wrong to assume a kid with markers and paint alone is a criminal, unless you catch 'em in the act of vandalism.

    My cousin Ben (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:27:23 AM EST
    is a recovering Urban Artist.  He Urban Arted Denver for a very long time.  My family likes to promote our artistic expression so mostly we all laughed while my Uncle went to go pay the fines and get him out of jail.  The solution was to give Ben and his best friend a job at the Denver Community College teaching Urban Art.  He became busy then I suppose.  I still don't know how this happened, but I think it had to come down to some backroom brainstorm that the City Council came up with :)  Now he is a tattoo artist and he isn't cheap. He loves to travel to Amsterdam at least once a year to do what I haven't a clue but he claims that tattooing is involved :) He also goes to the Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally every year.  Sets up a tent, and he says that from the moment that he wakes up until he falls down dead before the next day arrives...all he does is tattoo.  He has whole portions of his bod dedicated to specific fellow tattoo artists.  I don't think we can bury Ben the way he is.  He's pretty valuable.  I have suggested that we skin him and make drums for his grandchildren to remember him by.

    Did you see the recent TL sidebar (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:05:08 PM EST
    linking multiple tattoos and mental illness?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:29:26 PM EST
    As if there ever was a hope that I was related to normal people :)

    Does multiple mean 2 or more? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:17:50 PM EST
    Do they have to be large? Include color? How severe? How long after being tattooed before the symptoms begin?

    I love tattoos...only have a medium sized one on the top of my foot, and have wanted to get a second one, just haven't found the time. You know women in their 50's and 60's was recently the fastest growing demographic getting them :)


    I can't retrieve the article and I only (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:21:40 PM EST
    saw the headline, so no details.  A friend's 80-yr. old MIL from IL got a tattoo here recently and wsa the talk of her retirement community.

    I have no tattoos (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:31:37 PM EST
    I keep imagining what they will look like when the skin begins to move South.  I went to school with a morticians son too who used to laugh at certain things that the dead no longer cared if you saw.  It traumatized me :)  Josh loves Ben though and he loves tattoos....OH NO

    Saw a headline recently. Inmates (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:37:15 PM EST
    now tattooing eyeballs.  Since inmates tattoo each other, I found this particularly frightening.  

    No tats either... (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:48:48 PM EST
    my body is a temple, err the outside of my body is a temple...how dare I try to improve on mother nature's fine work?  I won't even get pierced.

    That and moms always said she would kill me if I did get a tat:)

    Here's the kicker...what does moms go and do?  Gets a tat of my pops initials on her breast after he died. The hysterical part is was she was scared to tell me about it...as if she needed my permission...lol.  


    Personally (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:52:30 PM EST
    I think women who want to get a tat on their breasts, should get a griaffe.  That way, as nature (and gravity) takes their course, it will grow from a baby to a full-fledged adult one.

    Or a redwood tree - from a sapling to...well, you get the idea.


    LOL... (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:57:08 PM EST
    In moms case, nature and gravity already took their course:)

    The young woman who did mine (none / 0) (#144)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:27:04 PM EST
    was literally covered in a tattoo. I asked her if she was concerned about that wrinkly future and she said it's pretty unlikely she'd be dressing with revealing clothing when that started to happen.

    Shoulders, ankles, tops of feet...there are plenty of locations on the skin that are less apt to wrinkle and droop with aging.

    :) Why would anyone care that a mortician is likely to laugh at them after they are dead?


    Ah, you must go see photos of Artoria (none / 0) (#146)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:40:57 PM EST
    the famous tattooed circus lady of a century ago . . . who kept showing almost all of her tats for much of the rest of her century.  Yikes.  (See p. 38 for what happened as the century went on, and her tats went south.:-)

    Well, if multiple tats (none / 0) (#148)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:56:04 PM EST
    destroys mental health, she must have been b@tsh!t crazy.



    Prob was a tagger, but (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:30:47 AM EST
    as an artist, I've walked around with plenty of 'suspicious' supplies {grin}

    If this was a first "offense" for these kids, they really should have handled it within the school/parent system. Do they really think that the Gov and his wife aren't going to deal with their son?


    I've been hassled too for having tools of my trade (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:55:11 AM EST
    ... so much so it's been a contributing factor to grounding myself: not traveling at all in 2010 and, if I absolutely must, not traveling by air.

    Much of my work is in multi-media arts and entertainment and I had a nightmarish episode for having a Rai pop song -- Lazrag Saani by Cheb Mami -- in my musical queue. (I vet a lot of music for various purposes.) I noted that the security who listened to the song was bopping along and tapping out the time, and unable to stop till the song was over. (LOL)

    (Just an FYI for the interested: Rai is an Algerian/Fusion musical style that is, to Algeria, as Reggae, Ska and Rocksteady are to Jamaica. Its features are wending, complex vocal styling wending around a basic groove. Like any contemporary styles, it can be poppy and finger-snapping good or a haunting love song, etc.)


    Speaking of Cheb Mami.... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:12:20 PM EST
    one of my favorites is Ana Oualache.

    Ugh. (none / 0) (#46)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:04:33 PM EST
    They're checking our media? They'll find my laptop, um, 'interesting', lol!~

    Apart from the hassle, it was kind of fun ... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:11:14 PM EST
    ... watching security getting into it. Oh well, at least Cheb Mami made a new fan. :-)

    Okay - what's a tagger? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:27:59 AM EST
    Why do you know so much (terminology, and all) about the criminal side of society? I thought you just wanted the freedom to smoke. :)

    We've been having car prowls in our parking lot at night. Lots of innocent people have been subjected to losing things that belong to them, having their vehicles damaged (leading to days of inconvenience while their vehicles get repaired), the hassle and misery of dealing with an insurance claim, and basically feeling invaded.

    Got home last night to notices that some pro-active resident turned in suspicious behavior the night before and the police arrested two thieves in the act of breaking into vehicles and stealing. So, to use your term, "someone dropped a dime" on these nice boys. In this scenario, why is it not okay to bring a little misery to these two people who have caused a great deal more than a little misery on a LOT of innocent people?


    A tagger is... (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:43:50 AM EST
    is a vandal who writes, or "tags", his street name on trains, buses, billboards, anywhere...you don't grow up in Queens and not know what it means:)

    As to your parking lot troubles...I wouldn't call them nice boys, I'd call them thieves.  Now dropping a dime isn't how I would have handled it...laying in wait with a Louisville Slugger is more my speed:)...to try scaring (or worst case beating) some sense into them before sending them to juvie or prison for an advanced degree in crime and punishment.  I realize this ain't a desirable option for others lacking my crazy gene:)

    If the dime-dropper witnessed a theft in progress, I understand calling 911, even if it ain't me move..."suspicous behavior" is a little vague though.  That's how a Prof. Gates happens.


    Thanks :) (none / 0) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:08:36 PM EST
    I may not agree with all your ideas, kdog, but I have to say I have learned more from your comments than anyone else on the internet :)

    Now, why do they "tag" their street name all over town?


    Good question... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    hard to say because I never got into it...I guess its a neighborhood pride & status thing, getting your tag in hard to reach (and hard to wash away) places, noticeable places...with taggers try to one up one another.  That and general rebellion against societal norms...surprised I never got into it thinking of it that way:)

    I put 'em in a different category than graffiti artists...who I consider true artists who often improve the landscape with their work...taggers just more straight-up vandals.  


    Tagging.... (none / 0) (#83)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:13:55 PM EST
    and graffiti go back a reallllllly long way.

    The first known example of "modern style" graffiti survives in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey) and appears to advertise prostitution, according to the tour guides of the city. It stands near the long mosaic and stone walkway and consists of a handprint, a vaguely heart-like shape, a footprint and a number. This purportedly indicates how many steps one would have to take to find a lover, with the handprint indicating payment.

    Now that is wild... (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:36:49 PM EST
    you are always a wealth of information d'wine!

    Yep. And have you seen Lord Byron's (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:39:58 PM EST
    tag at the Temple of Poseidon, at Sounion, near Athens?

    No, I've never been to Greece.... (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:38:54 PM EST
    But I've been to the beautiful El Morro in western New Mexico.  The oldest dated tag is 1605; Juan de Onate.

    Going to Greece is a dream of mine.


    That's a dream worth pursuit (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:46:53 PM EST
    It is absolutely fantastic. We spent half our time on the island of Crete...so incredible. I would love to retire there.

    El Morro: such an amazing national (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:45:12 PM EST
    monument.  Espec. the Ohio doctor who wrote on the wall both going to and coming back from California.

    Tagger = Graffiti artist (none / 0) (#27)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:38:51 AM EST
    In my family we consider them (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:40:50 AM EST
    artists who need very large canvases :)

    In my family (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:18:42 PM EST
    we consider people who deface and destroy private and/or public property vandals and criminals.

    You are right Jim (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:18:39 PM EST
    Unlike your family, my family did not beat the children enough :)

    Ummm. After reading Mark (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:35:40 PM EST
    Salzman's True Notebooks I concluded beating helped produce juvenile delinquents.

    The rod (or belt)... (none / 0) (#102)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:43:30 PM EST
    ...was certainly not spared in my family and while I may have been a handful as a juvenile, I don't think I was any more delinquent than normal.  

    Contributing factor re some. Mostly (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:29:54 PM EST
    minorities.  Father frequently absent and often in prison.  Mom tried.  Poor school attendance and achievment.  Many high school drop-outs. Pretty gloomy picture.

    We didn't have any juvenile delinquents (none / 0) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:40:28 PM EST
    in my family. Only Artists :)

    And one persecuted Artist (none / 0) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:43:36 PM EST
    MT, no matter how you slice it, (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:26:10 PM EST
    destroying someone's property is a crime. And that is what tagger's do.

    Yes, it's a crime. But the punishment (none / 0) (#147)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:46:51 PM EST
    ought to fit the crime.  When we were hit in our neighborhood by young graffiti idiots, it was no fun, I agree.  All those here who think it's art can pay for the paint and take the time to cover up racist obscenities tagged on my neighbor's fence  -- or, worse, the chemicals to get racist stuff off our brick.  And some of the houses they hit were elderly who had neither the ability nor the money to handle this.

    But we did not demand jail time.  We made them do the time to remove it, do community service equivalent to the hours they would have had to work to pay for the paint, chemicals, etc.  But that's because the ones who hit us were caught.  Others who were not caught and painted graffiti all over government property down the street?  We all had to pay for fixing that with our taxes.

    So d*mned if we were going to pay through our taxes for them to get time in juvie, too.


    You guys are so angry (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:32:16 PM EST
    Yes, racist graffiti aimed at my neighbors (none / 0) (#156)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:09:43 PM EST
    makes me angry.  I would be concerned if you would not be angry about it.  It was terribly sad for a fine family and for us all.  They soon moved away, and I never will know how much that incident may have affected that decision.  And I ought to have noted that there also was another incident of anti-Semitic graffiti on the synagogue on my block, and this is a very orthodox group of refugees from persecution in Russia.  I would hope that you would be angry about persecution of them here, too.

    Or perhaps you confuse being angry with acting angry.  If so, please reread my comment about the decision to not push for juvie jail time for the idiots who did this.  If you did read it correctly, than what in the world would you suggest?  No punishment?  WTF?


    There's a dif between racist graffiti/tagging (none / 0) (#160)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:59:23 PM EST
    and street art graffiti. Here, racist graffiti is looked at as a hate crime and investigated. Street art graffiti is art, but still illegal unless permission granted.

    Do I think the artists should just go anywhere and do their art? No, but I would classify them as different than graffiti that hurts people. Kids tagging is generally not visually pretty, imo, but it also stands in a dif cat than racist graffiti.


    If property is defaced (none / 0) (#163)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 09:33:52 AM EST
    whether it is with "art" or racist/vulgar/obscene/you name it remaks.... it is crime. Making the perps pay for and clean is  good partial punishment. Then followed by doing same where the perps haven't been caught for say, 20 weekends, would be better.

    CNN poll shows even split on Obama (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:49:24 AM EST
    . . . but people vote based on the economy, above all.

    Forty-eight percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey said Obama's presidency has been a failure so far, while 47 percent of respondents said the year has been a success.  The poll's release came just eight days before Obama marks one year in the White House.

    The survey indicated that Obama's approval rating as president stands at 51 percent, down 3 points from last month, with 48 percent disapproving, up 4 points from December. . . .

    "Only 44 percent approve of how Obama is handling the economy; just four in 10 give him a thumbs-up on health care, and his approval rating on the federal deficit has plunged to 36 percent. Those are three of the four most important issues on the public's mind today," [the report] said.

    Q Poll (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:43:50 PM EST
    Has him at 45%

    This was the most interesting part:

    By a 47 - 40 percent margin, independent voters rate Obama's first year in office as mainly a failure; 81 percent of Democrats say it's a success and 75 percent of Republicans say it's a failure. Men say failure 50 - 40 percent, while women say success 49 - 40 percent. White voters say failure 54 - 37 percent, while black voters say success 82 - 7 percent.

    Obama's job approval is only slightly lower than his 46 - 43 percent rating in Quinnipiac University's December 23 survey. But it continues a gradual but consistent downward move that began last summer when his approval rating was 59 - 31 percent positive June 4.

    thats some curve (none / 0) (#39)
    by jedimom on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:55:11 AM EST
    he's grading himself on eh? lol, AP reports in another interview yesterday he declined to lower his own grade of B+ on light of recent events, he is sticking with his B+ he says

    Some thing else Obama thinks (none / 0) (#55)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:16:15 PM EST
    he is good at...
    The president said he misses daily, spontaneous interactions while living in a bubble. He said the job is lonely in another way -- the gravity of sending troops off to war or responding to an attempted terrorist attack. "That side of the loneliness of the job is what I signed up for and I actually think I'm pretty good at," he said.

    Wait for the walk back. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:18:15 PM EST
    I don't find that problematic (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:21:51 PM EST
    but this:

    The president said his second-year agenda will be refocused on uniting the country around common values, "whether we're Democrats or Republicans."



    Isn't that just breath-taking? (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:18:31 PM EST
    I saw the headline and just moved on in disgust.

    IOW, if you liked the last year, we're gonna get EVEN MORE of it for the next 3!


    What this tells me is that the chances (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:28:19 PM EST
    Obama is going to be pushed, pulled or dragged to the left are very, very slim.

    So, that probably leaves things in Congress' hands.



    Oops (none / 0) (#11)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:00:15 AM EST
    Maybe he just slipped?

    This is more bad news for Coakley as she can't even answer a basic question about why she gave such a stupid answer during the debate.

    What if Brown wins?  Probably still a long shot but a sign of how bad 2010 will be for democrats.

    Honestly (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:24:34 AM EST
    I am starting to wonder if all the good press for Brown, and bad for Coakley will actually help Coakley more than hurt her.

    If Democrats feel nervous about this race, they're more likely to actually show up and vote.


    Could be (none / 0) (#67)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:35:07 PM EST
    because lets be honest.  All things considered it's pretty unlikely that a dem should loose this seat.

    However Coakley has doubled down on stupidity the last two days with her bad performance in the debate then following up with a trip to Washington to get money from health lobbiests and then having a Democratic political mercenary rough up a reporter.

    Pretty stupid stuff.  

    Brown is the perfect candidate for Republicans.

    Combine these two things and this election is much closer then it should be.

    Basically democrats have to decide if their vote should be a vote for the party or the candidate.  If it comes down to the candidate dems loose.

    Should be interesting.


    I don't think you know either (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:19:56 PM EST
    Massachusetts or these two candidates very well.

    What does that even mean? (none / 0) (#86)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:16:41 PM EST
    Vote for a candidate or a party?  

    How about issues?  Like the fact that Brown is anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-tax, etc...  Would that be a vote against a "candidate" or a "party"?

    All the other stuff is just noise.


    Coakley has run (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:38:52 PM EST
    a bad campaign and Brown has run a great one.

    Pulling my best BTD take the partisan politics out of it.

    The fact that we're even talking about this shows that I'm right.

    I still don't think Brown will win but with her perofrmance the last few days we can still hope!


    umm (none / 0) (#112)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:07:53 PM EST
    you can hope.

    Me, I'll be voting, and not for Brown.  And calling everyone I know to make sure they vote.

    "Campaigns" are irrelevant when you are on the wrong side of every issue compared to the voters.

    And the stuff that excites people across the nation - Coakley's "mis-steps" and Brown's great "one-liners" - does not go over the same way here.


    You mean in the election, right? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:33:22 AM EST
    a sign of how bad 2010 will be for democrats.

    'cause the democrats and their HCR bill, inability to generate job growth, unimpressive efforts on the economy, etc....all while being in the majority are a pretty clear sign of how bad 2010 (and beyond) will be for the working class of this country.

    I never, ever would have believed such a mess could occur under the Democrats had I not lived long enough to see it myself.


    yes election (none / 0) (#65)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:32:32 PM EST
    As a republican who didn't want to read the tea leaves in '06 and '08 I now see the same thing happenign to democrats.

    Obama has over reached and on the the progressive policies he could have used to gain support he's handled them terribly.

    His presidency is a mess right now because nobody is happy with any of his major policies.  

    This is Bush all over again and we all loose.


    Harold Ford (none / 0) (#19)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:25:18 AM EST
    maybe I don't have to worry:

    Right. So, just so we're clear, Harold Ford: you want to run for office in New York. You want people in New York to vote for you. Democrats in New York are the people you are trying to appeal to. And, when asked if you prefer the Giants or the Jets, your answer is that you're better friends with the Tisches than with Woody Johnson, so Giants...? That is an insane answer. That is the answer of a man who has not left his bubble of town cars-to-MSNBC and billionaire Democratic donor friends for six years. Harold: name the quarterbacks, not the owners.

    That's funny. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:35:23 AM EST
    The least he could have done was answer "da Bills!" {grin}

    Can tourists vote in New York (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:50:07 PM EST
    Democratic primaries?  If so, I sure would come up, catch a show or two, enjoy a good meal (maybe, breakfast at the St. Regis) and vote against Ford. In fact, I wonder if I should not enter the primary, after all I have flown over Queens, albeit in a commercial jet rather than a Harold Helicopter. Moreover, I know how to hail a cab on streets other than Park Avenue.  I do fall down, however, in that unlike Harold, I do not have a nice photo in Gucci loafers and  I hold progressive views.  --boy, if there were any serious question about this guy, that NYT interview should have sealed the deal.

    Obama more success than LBJ (none / 0) (#30)
    by Rashomon66 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:43:05 AM EST
    Anyone see this?

    In his first year in office, President Obama did better even than legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson in winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position, a Congressional Quarterly study finds....
    "His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate.
    The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953.  George W. Bush's score hit the high 80s in 2001.

    The key phrase being (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by coast on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:02:53 PM EST
    "where we said he had a clear position".  That limits the votes to what, one or two issues.

    Also, he doesn't take a position (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:49:43 PM EST
    until he sees how he vote is going to go.

    96.7% (none / 0) (#66)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:34:57 PM EST
    would mean that its based on at least 30 votes, with one not going his way.  However, I don't disagree on the point that his preferences in legislation haven't always been perfectly clear.

    Eric Rohmer (none / 0) (#72)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    The great Eric Rohmer has passed away.

    Sad news. Every one of his movies I've seen was an exquisite jewel, sad and funny and deceptively simple, always beautifully shot in a beautiful location.

    For anyone who isn't familiar with his films, I highly recommend "Le Beau Mariage" (don't remember the English title) and "Pauline at the Beach."

    A nice appreciation in Time Out:


    Mayhill Flowers revelation (none / 0) (#73)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Just wondering if the Clintons deserve the same skewering that the Edwards got for recklessly endangering the chances of a Democratic win in 2008.
    I paid little attention to the accusations of Halperin in Game Change, but when a citizen journalist with no real financial reason to lie seems to confirm that Bill had a mistress during the campaign, I must take notice. The same "reporter" who broke the "cling to guns" story in Penn. says she knew and chose not to report this. Of course in the primary there was nothing to gain by disclosing this for anyone but there is no doubt that McCain and his troops would have used it considering the allegations against him and the lobbyist.
    Just curious if anyone sees any parralels?

    Why did you make this your first comment (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:02:07 PM EST

    Just curious (none / 0) (#84)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:14:12 PM EST
    I know there were alot of Edwards supporters or Democrats in general that were very upset with his behavior and the recklessness of it. Taking the chance of becoming the candidate knowing a scandal could bring down his candidacy and the democratic party with it. Commenters and the hosts were very critical of this on here and i just wonder if they see any parralels. This news just came out so I figure this is the right time to ask the question. I am truly just curious how this particular community feels about this. If I am out of line then I apologize but I personally just havent seen the outrage anywhere and wondered why.

    Maybe no outrage because Bill (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:16:37 PM EST
    and Hillary Clinton did not strive during the primaries to make voters believe they had a perfect marriage.  

    Very true (none / 0) (#90)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:24:28 PM EST
    I think that you make a great point. Most of the sane world had realized that their relationship was different then most and how little it mattered in the big picture. Depressingly enough though, we live in a mostly insane world, def. when it comes to the media, and there is no doubt that this could have turned into a tabloid dream for the Repubs. It could have turned a blowout into a much closer race but may not have mattered ultimately,(hopefully) or could have changed the dynamics of the race into a referendum on the Clintons and not on Bush which could have been a disaster.  

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:27:48 PM EST
    the GOP has tried this strategy time and again and it didnt work. So yeah, they are crazy enough to try something like that but I doubt it would work for them this time either. They would sound more and more like the fundamentalist jihadi that they are.

    Bingo (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:28:27 PM EST
    and it isn't fair the country suffers from Clenis fatigue, but it does.  We know what goes on there and with time comes acceptance and as you say....the Clinton's did not make the condition of their marriage vows a voting issue as some candidates did. Bill cheats, Hillary lives on just fine.  She lives on finer than fine.  Votes did not hinge on the sanctity of the Clenis.  Votes for McCain coming out of the Christian Right...that's tricky.  Cheating on a woman who was at your side fighting for health care for the people when she just finds out the cancer has returned and there will be no miracle this time......mindblowing

    Another similarity (none / 0) (#110)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:05:22 PM EST
    Cheating on a woman who was at your side fighting for health care when she is in the political battle of her life for the nomination.(Of course I know that this is nothing like battling cancer, but it is a defining moment in her career and his behavior could have sabotaged that)
     When reading Pres. Clintons book, he made it clear how embarrased and upset Hillary was at the time, so I just cant imagine the frustration she must have felt (if true) that he couldnt control his behavior during the most important moments of her career. To risk your own career is one thing, but your wifes!
    Once again it just seems so reckless, and self absorbed. The same things being said about Edwards and at the least you can say he should have known better when for all we know it was the first indiscretion by Edwards.

    Are you an Edwards apologist? (none / 0) (#139)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:49:09 PM EST
    Or just an old-fashioned died-in-the-wool Clinton hater.  Because, Hammer, that is the way your commentary reads.

    If you dont want to be a hater (3.50 / 2) (#151)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:30:31 PM EST
    and an apologist, dont even THINK about doing anything like using the same measuring stick on the Clintons that you'd use on other pols.

    Site rules.


    The SAME "measuring stick" ... (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:51:31 PM EST
    ... would be fine, just not the convoluted, distorted, alternate-reality benchmarks the Clinton-haters like to use.

    Nope (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:59:41 PM EST
    Look at the words. They strongly suggest the motive.

    Maybe no outrage because .... (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:47:55 PM EST
    .... the Edward's affair has been shown to be true, while the Mayhill Fowler "news" article is a boring, long-winded article about nothing.  She spends nine paragraphs discussing her decision to not write about a rumor, without mentioning a single piece of evidence or even a reason to distinguish it from the hundreds (thousands?) of other rumors about the Clintons.

    BTW - Just curious ... why would try to lend credibility to her evidence-free allegations by claiming she has "no real reason to lie"?  I don't know if she's lying or not, but she specifically cites her book, acknowledging "Notes from a Clueless Journalist is available starting tomorrow as an e-book at Amazon. Yes, I am piggybacking on the renewed interest in the 2008 story that Halperin and Heilemann have stirred."


    No (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:25:43 PM EST
    McCain wouldn't have used it. I would not have helped him and besides so many republicans have thrown so many lies out there regarding the Clintons that frankly no one pays much attention anymore.

    McCain was desperate (none / 0) (#98)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:38:14 PM EST
    Desperate enough to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate with no vetting and very little national exposure to national issues. I wouldnt put it past him or the people around him. I just feel like in fairness to Edwards(who in my view deserved what reaction he got), it is a relevant question. We know how small and pathetic the MSM is and what this revelation could have meant to the party and Sen. Clintons chances. Just seems like a similar situation that no one is talking about.    

    McCain (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:06:59 PM EST
    is friends with HRC, and after he himself was the victim of a smear campaign in 2000, he wouldn't have used it.

    What I found interesting about MF's confession of how she knew about this affair but didn't use it - did anybody else report on it? Did I miss something?  So, her whole sole-cleansing confession may have been all for just getting links to her post.


    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:12:36 PM EST
    just not interested in the prurient details of anyone's personal life - at this point, I just want leadership and good governance.  

    I want people to DO THEIR JOBS, and that includes the media, who need to get their noses out of other people's underwear and back on the smell of rotten job performance, the stink of corruption, the sulfurous odor of back-room deals, conflicts of interest and failures to diclose, the miasma of torture, privacy rights and preventive detention.

    I want campaign finance reform so smart people who want to do good things for real people with real problems won't be forced to co-opt their beliefs to the stinking corporations for the money.

    With high unemployment and almost no signs of life from the president or the Congress on jobs, with more and more people unable to afford basic health care, much less artificially high insurance premiums, with too many people still begging for help with their mortgages, with billions and billions being fed into the maw of the military-industrial complex on behalf of wars that simply cannot and will not be won, I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FIG WHAT, WHETHER OR IF ANYONE NAMED CLINTON OR JOHN JACOB JINGLEHEIMER SMITH IS DOING BETWEEN THE SHEETS.

    Sorry for yelling, but it needed to be said.


    No doubt (2.00 / 1) (#121)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:29:59 PM EST
    I only have one problem with your statement. Personal responsibility does matter! I would love to live in a fairy tale world where your performance mattered more and personal things mattered less, but thats not the case. You just cant get elected or anything accomplished without a certain amount of personal integrity. I was personally upset with Pres. Clinton,(someone who I voted for twice and have doggedly defended on policy matters w/ a few exceptions), not for his indiscretions but for his half truths and misleading statements about them. Politics does matter, whether we like it or not and its not good politics to cheat on your wife and then not be forthcoming during hers or yours campaign. It crippled the last few years of Clintons administration and would have hurt or killed their respective chances in 2008.

    Its interesting (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:57:45 PM EST
    ...how, over the course of several comments and much pushback, that Hammer has shifted from being "curious" to stating his own agenda. My queation: Why so obsessed about the Clintons, Hammer? It certainly couldn't have been for the good economy that existed during the Clinton watch. (And, isn't that what people are focused on. The Clinton-did-it Clinton-did-it thing is more than passe.)

    Well (none / 0) (#123)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:35:01 PM EST
    where was the shouting about Bush's personal integrity. He had none but swore again and again that he did. You are falling into the jidhadi fundamentalist definition of "integrity" which is defining everything under the prism of sex. Once again, people are sick of the crotch sniffers.

    Clinton didn't get outed on the Lewinsky (none / 0) (#136)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:44:19 PM EST
    matter because someone was shattered by his lack of personal integrity - it was entirely political and all about taking a popular president down.

    Sure, you can argue that if he had been faithful, hadn't cheated, there would have been nothing to out, and you would be right about that.  Along with making choices about personal behavior comes the acceptance of whatever consequences flow from it, so in that regard, it was a dumb move on his part.

    But please, stop kidding yourself that this was about anyone's moral code or integrity; it was as political as it is possible to get.  

    If you feel sorry for Hillary, I'm sure Hallmark has a card for that; you should send her one.


    I wish I could give you a 10 (none / 0) (#131)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:49:26 PM EST
    Just for using the word "miasma"

    If we are to believe the book (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by Steve M on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:32:03 PM EST
    (which I wouldn't, naturally) then McCain's spouse was also having an affair, so it would be quite absurd for him to make the campaign revolve around the infidelity of his opponent's spouse.  Of course, why having your spouse cheat on you is a disqualifier for the Presidency is quite baffling in the first place.

    Let's try to remember that in the Edwards case, the candidate himself was doing the cheating.  That's quite a bit more serious.


    Funny (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:22:21 PM EST
    I read the Sarah Palin was a strong contender as choice for VP very soon after McCain was the known candidate. Her being selected came as no surprise to anyone who was really paying attention. McCain is refusing to play the gossip game and will not answer any of the trashy questions. I thought his refusal to discuss these things with Lauer yesterday was priceless.

    Yawn! (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by cymro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:59:23 PM EST
    HnH camp: silence = verification of uncited hooey (none / 0) (#107)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:57:39 PM EST
    Bizarre logic from the book's flak squadron.

    I prefer to strop Occam's Razor on this one: any silence in response to the effort to drive this warmed-over sh!te up the bestseller list is a good sign that the book is beneath contempt.


    Correct (none / 0) (#115)
    by TheHammer33 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:15:09 PM EST
    I would have never commented on this had it been solely reported by HnH. Halperin to me encapsulates everything thats wrong with our political discourse. Yet this claim seems to be backed up by Mayhill Flower, who seems to be a pretty straight shooter.
    In no way do I pretend to know the full details or if its true at all, but now you have two sources,(not including the National Enquirer, which we have Edwards to thank for their newfound credibility) one pretty sketchy, and one a little more trust-worthy claiming this is true. I just thought it was worth discussing the similarities with the Edwards situation and wonder why this hasnt been brought up anywhere. I know this community has a strong Clinton contingent and were particularly tough on Edwards so I thought this would be a good place to see how people feel.

    The Clinton allegation (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:29:35 PM EST
    as to the extra woman, as well as some of the comments attributed to Bill in the book, just haven't been proved yet.  And one reporter seeming to back the former story is just irrelevant hearsay and doesn't prove it until credible evidence and not mere assertion is produced.

    And even then, as another poster noted, the chronicle of Bill's philandering has been gone over by the press (including the NYT in a sleazy bit of reporting-by-insinuation early in the 08 primary cycle, a FP story even) and the people are pretty much not going to be shocked even if it turned out to be true.

    The Edwards, however, ran as a tight, faithful marital-partner team, and with her grim cancer diagnosis, any stories that could be proved about Johnny, a far less known political entity than Bill, fooling around and not only that but having a love child, well that's a different story.


    Hard to beat the Enquirer and Flower as verifiers! (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:36:21 PM EST
    She also just published a book that appears to be a great companion to Game Change for anyone who has a kitchen table with TWO wobbly legs.

    If you really care all that much (none / 0) (#126)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:42:18 PM EST
    I think the comments over at Huff pretty much should clue you in.

    The book even drags Socks Clinton into the mire (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:19:43 PM EST
    ... rehashing the trope about Hillary being caught in flagrante with Socks' veterinarian.

    C'mon everybody, let's ska, El Pussycat!

    Rip it! Hit it! Do it! Move it! Work it!



    Allright, Ellie... (none / 0) (#154)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:36:49 PM EST
    pretend I am a TSA agent and list your complete playlist!!

    Never! You'll have to brave my travel laundry bag (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:59:51 PM EST
    ... first, like all the other TSA drones who did (and lived).

    Methinks my laundry travel bag (none / 0) (#158)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:51:20 PM EST
    will be stuffed with dirty doggie blankets {grin} then they can get off on my other 'stuff'  ;)

    Preferably doggie blankets (none / 0) (#162)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 07:52:11 AM EST
    that have that wet dog smell... :-)

    On Obama's "clinging to guns" comment (none / 0) (#157)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:15:53 PM EST
    Mayhill caught it on tape.  That is why it had impact.  Otherwise, it would have gone nowhere.

    If you don't understand the difference between a story based on evidence and a story based on rumor with no evidence . . . well, just because she is not trained to follow the basic practices of journalism does not mean you have to be so foolish as to not follow the basic logic needed to be a wise media consumer.