Tuesday Morning Open Thread

You may have missed it but there is an election in Massachusetts today. The weather. Bad news for Coakley, Zogby predicts Coakley win.

At Sports Left, boxing, PEDs and the Pacquiao-Mayweather contretemps are the topic this morning. Also see Thom Hauser's great piece on the subject.

Via Atrios, Harold Ford continues to amuse:

The interview - granted under the condition that the questions be limited to his rationale for running, and not issues - comes at the end of a rocky first week of buzz surrounding his potential candidacy [. . .] "This race isn't about feet, it's about issues," he said of ribbing he has taken on the web and elsewhere of his regular pedicures.

(Emphasis supplied.) This is an Open Thread.

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    The whole Harold Ford thing is very amusing (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:30:47 AM EST
    I find it hard to believe he will get elected in NY when he could not get elected in TN, where his family has been powerful for years. I guess he figures his enemies did not move to NY with him. Unfortunately his own ineptness did.

    I'm actually embarrassed (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:32:06 AM EST
    for Harold Ford.  Dude - shut up and go back to your cush job at Merrill Lynch.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:52:01 AM EST
    I'm tired of our senate seat being used as a springboard for national stage flashbulb seeking Dems...NY needs and deserves representation too, someone who understands our concerns and issues...not someone who is only concerned with furthering a nationwide Dem agenda.



    someone (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:54:18 AM EST
    should really tell people like Ford about this think called video when they decide to change their positions on this like gay marriage and abortion in mid stride.

    Heh. A pol is a pol. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    Actually, I sort of like Ford running in NY.  After his marriage, there's no chance he would win an election in TN again anyway.

    Perhaps Ford's trying to get the OFBs to become FFBs and vote for him.  I guess there's always a chance it might work.


    So Schumer (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:58:22 AM EST
    must not make you happy, either -- the one who, for the sake of the party's national agenda, pushed so many candidates who also could not get elected in New York.  (I used to be a bit enamored of Schumer, but the more I saw of his DNC picks, and the more I know now of his backstabbing, I weary of his duplicities that have not served the rest of us.)

    Don't get me started... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:07:31 AM EST
    on that schmuck Schumer...native NY'er he may be, but he'll carry water for the party to our states detriment all day long and twice on Sunday.

    Instructive; thanks (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:13:20 AM EST
    -- as the more I read, the more I agree.

    ditto (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:33:03 AM EST
    but I hope he runs cause I want to see him lose.  again.

    I was at a very private fundraiser for (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:05:04 AM EST
    Him.  He disgusted me. His anti gay stance was more than the lame "I am against gay marriage, but for equal rights refrain", that we get from so many nationally aspiring Democrats. Though half the room did like him and wrote him a few checks.  

    We had him for years and years (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:16:46 AM EST
    in a safe Congressional seat out of Memphis plus his family has spent more time in a Federal court room than a frog does water.

    So you guys keep him. We don't want him back.


    More on Harold Ford (none / 0) (#152)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:27:22 PM EST
    This is surreal. He is just too dumb to be in any kind of office. I suspect M-L is on the verge of firing him.

    in non election news (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:05:21 AM EST
    dont we love that Avatar has made 1.6 bill and is now second only to Titanic in gross?
    not to mention that it won the globe for best picture AND director.
    it a crazy world we live in.

    Cameron now has pubescent bookends.  with Avatar he has done for teenage boys what he did for teenage girls with Titanic.

    if it wins the oscar I will be pi$$ed.

    oh my (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:10:06 AM EST
    I was unimpressed by (none / 0) (#33)
    by Fabian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:18:37 AM EST
    some reviews.  So I poked around the internet.  The most common complaints were weak acting, clumsy dialogue and two people said they fell asleep during the movie.

    When it comes to opinions, you can always find a wide range.  When it comes to actually falling asleep during a movie....wow.  The only times I have fallen asleep during a movie was the midnight showing of Chariots of Fire (college) and Science Fiction and Horror movie marathons.  (also college)


    I am proud to say (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:26:49 AM EST
    I have not seen it yet.
    I have been loath to see it in 3D since its three hours long and the glasses sometimes make me want to puke.

    I just like being the one person in 10 who has not yet seen it.


    Well, if you're going to see it... (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:53:08 AM EST
    you might as well see it in 3D. Some of the 3D effects are very good, and basically, that's all this movie has. The story is a 13 year old boy's fantasy. I would have said "wet dream" but Jessica Alba's not in it.

    Zoe Saldana is... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:56:56 PM EST
    One of this 32 year old boy's fantasies:)

    Sometimes I fall asleep in movies just to (none / 0) (#50)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:44:36 AM EST
    escape if it is too loud and aggressive and I feel like I am being assaulted. "Babel" was one of those. Hated that thing.

    I'm getting a kick out of the... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:23:37 AM EST
    hub-bub about the big crowd favorite scene (especially in the foreign market) where all the Marines get slaughtered...this has some people upset with Cameron apparently.

    Any thoughts on the scene from those who have seen the film? I haven't.


    the right has gone totally (none / 0) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:29:01 AM EST
    bonkers over the "leftie" slant of the movie.  generally enough to make me want to see it.
    if you google you will find many right wing rants.

    also I read yesterday there is a sex scene removed from the movie that will be put back in the DVD release that involves tails.

    I will see it before it goes away.  sort of a job requirement for me.


    I haven't seen it either (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:30:53 AM EST
    And I have no excuse: 3D IMAX is a 10 minute walk.

    I have to admit (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:39:43 AM EST
    in you position I would have gone.  there no IMAX even close to here.

    I would say see it there if you can.  thats what everyone tells me.


    The idea is Blackwater (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:29:30 AM EST
    rather than Marines I think.

    No one seemed upset when I saw it.

    It's a movie for crissakes.


    That what I heard... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:31:25 AM EST
    they aren't real Marines, they're mercs, but are called "Marines".

    Supposedly its getting a standing O in some theaters overseas.


    I don't think they are called Marines. The (none / 0) (#65)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:07:50 AM EST
    main cahracter is called a Marine though, because he was one before his injury,

    I'll give the right wing reveiw... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:02:01 PM EST
    Great Movie!!!!

    I always tell my wife when she gets worked up about something like this "love the art, not the artist".

    The dialogue is terrible, the messaged is mixed and muddled and really pretty stupid but who cares?!!

    The look, the action and the overall concept are groundbreaking and amazing.  I was totally engrossed in another world and as someone who grew up with Star Wars it was awesome.

    On Monday Cameron was on Oprah and said it took him a few days to write the general outline of the script.   I surprised it took that long.  

    The main bad guy refers to his Men/women as "Marines" so that is what the fuss is but who cares.  Its the future, not now.  Maybe global warming does cuase us to travel light years into space to collect special rocks and there are giant blue very human like people with some kooy energy religion, and we cloan beings identical to them and they somehow teach us how to...etc...e tc.... it's a movie!!!!

    When someone makes a stupid anit war movie or a stupid global warming documentary then sit it out and raise your complaints.

    When they make weak references to their political beliefs but have to hide them inside a 3-D special effects bonanza then take a chill pill and enjoy the rest of the movie that is pretty awesome.

    The real message was to be respectful of other forms of life.  Be they plant, animal or humonoid.


    I saw Precious last night (none / 0) (#40)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:29:52 AM EST
    and after seeing that it seems criminal it didn't win more at the GG.  How can a movie in animated 3D express more human emotion than the actors in that film?  Impossible.

    I'm scared... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:32:38 AM EST
    to watch "Precious"...seems like a film that is so depressing it will haunt me...but I doubt I will be able to resist for long, too good to pass up I hear.

    We saw it Thanksgiving weekend. It is very bleak (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Angel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:44:31 AM EST
    but well worth your time and money. Mo'Nique (or however her name is spelled) was phenomenal, the devil personified.  She deserves the Academy Award for that performance.  She was riveting, absolutely riveting.  I'll rent it and watch it again when it comes out on DVD.  Go see it.

    there is a certain optimism at the end. (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:10:15 AM EST
    you would like it. lots of courage in the movie.

    I think you will like it (none / 0) (#52)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:48:29 AM EST
    Precious as a character has a lot of spirit.  And the way they show what she's thinking in the movie is really awesome.  Plus she breaks at least one law kdog!  :P

    No really I had more fun than I thought watching it.


    I need to get on it... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:16:54 AM EST
    Thanks guys for the encouragement.

    Totally agree. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:47:35 AM EST
    That movie was the most incredible thing I've seen in years.

    I watched some of the Golden Globes and I couldn't understand the same old insider club thing going on - Tarantino, Scorcese, etc - when there was this.... astounding new movie that blows everything else away.

    That performance by Mo'nique was unbelievable.


    Have you read the book? Should I? (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:08:43 PM EST
    No, but I want to now. (none / 0) (#106)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:32:06 PM EST
    that is one of several (none / 0) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:38:00 AM EST
    including the Hurt Locker, Public Enemies, Moon, District 9 and several others that should have won before the blue cats.



    Moon was interesting. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by observed on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:03:40 AM EST
    I thought District 9 was one of the worst movies ever. It's heavy-handed, ugly, unpleasant to listen to, annoying from the shaky camera fakumentary style. It makes no sense and is full of actual racism of the director (against Nigerians, etc.) along with the leaden allegory about apartheid. The acting is non-existent, and the accents nearly impenetrable.
    It makes the heaviest 1950's social realism seem light-handed.

    I cant imagine what (none / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:12:06 PM EST
    you are talking about.  it was a great allegory for racism.  and brilliant.  also mostly improvised so perhaps your take on the acting.

    It's a love it or hate it film, (none / 0) (#131)
    by observed on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:11:17 PM EST
    First of all, I think allegory is lame in general.
    Mainly, the movie made no sense at all to me.
    That plus its visual and auditory ugliness made it very unpleasant.
    To each his own.
    Go to Netflix and most of the reviews are glowing, but many are like me, thinking this belongs on a worst 1 list of movies.

    I haven't seen it yet either (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:41:36 AM EST
    for a variety of reasons. Watching Cameron on the GG's did not make me want to see it and feed his ego/bank account. Think I'll spend my time and money on some of the smaller films that need it and are more to my taste anyway.

    the only reason I would see it is for the effects, but I'll wait until they use that tech to tell a well written story.


    I've never been a fan of the big blockbuster (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Angel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:54:15 AM EST
    movies, haven't seen Titanic, never saw ET...missed a whole bunch of those movies because I always gravitate to the indie films and offbeat stuff.  It's just who I am and what I love.  So I won't be seeing Avitar.  The Academy Awards are always interesting for me because the majority of the nominees are from movies I never saw.  lol  Still, I usually end up seeing at least one of the films that gets nominated - such as Precious, this year - and I will go see an actor that I love such as Judith Dench.

    Is Judy Dench in Avatar? (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:09:59 PM EST
    Not that I'm aware....lol if she is. (none / 0) (#158)
    by Angel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 08:32:08 PM EST
    he must have loved (none / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:49:42 AM EST
    beating out his ex-wife (Hurt Locker).



    I cant shake the feeling (none / 0) (#101)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:58:34 PM EST
    that there was some sort of make-sure-the-investors-recoup-their-money fix in with Avatar, just as Im almost positive there was with that overladen, monumentally overrated pos Titanic.

    There should be another category for (none / 0) (#85)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:38:11 AM EST
    Avatar, maybe, "Special Effects in Story Form", but it is not a movie, and, hence, should not get best movie award.

    exactly what I said (none / 0) (#103)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:09:12 PM EST
    best mindless effects romp

    I think eventually there might be one (none / 0) (#111)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:01:18 PM EST
    Just like there is now a category for animated features.

    Oh, and the Zogby thing (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:20:54 AM EST
    God help us all. . .

    Boy, is the media rooting (none / 0) (#1)
    by magster on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:29:34 AM EST
    for Brown today.  

    And, Haiti is beginning to lose its ratings appeal.

    One more reason (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CST on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:46:25 AM EST
    to hope Coakley pulls out.

    I am seeing the same thing (none / 0) (#5)
    by kenosharick on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:40:19 AM EST
    MSNBC basically called the race last night.

    That gives Coakley a chance (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:44:48 AM EST
    they called the NH primary for Obama the night before too.

    yeah (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:52:51 AM EST
    Todd on msnbc at least mentioned that last night.  I hope some other network replays last nights Hardball if she wins.

    the other thing I loved was their explanation of "what happens now" if she loses.
    they had it all figured out.  they will just "make the house pass the senate bill"



    Well, upsets make (none / 0) (#6)
    by dk on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:41:43 AM EST
    for better ratings, right?

    Good thing the election (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:54:48 AM EST
    isn't in Kentucky.

    ...'I'd have thought in the past that if Charles Manson ran against a Republican in Floyd County he would win,' says Bartley [Keith Bartley, Floyd County's Democratic chairman]. 'But Charles Manson could beat Barack Obama here right now. Thousands of miners out of work, the entire local economy in the tank. But he's got a couple of years where he could turn this round. If he does that he could win. If he doesn't, Charles Manson could come in and win.'"

    if Brown can win in MA (none / 0) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:57:37 AM EST
    it not a surprise Manson could win in KY

    Shee-it gang... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:17:35 AM EST
    I'd be hard pressed not to pull the lever for Manson against a run of the mill D or R at this point.

    surely you jest (none / 0) (#62)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:04:49 AM EST
    Not really... (none / 0) (#74)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:12:31 AM EST
    its not like he'd win or anything...and if Charles Manson got 15% of the vote as a third party candidate it might be the wake up call Team D and Team R desperately need.

    but he is such a deep creep (none / 0) (#76)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:16:52 AM EST
    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:20:10 AM EST
    My bush doctor or my mailman running would be a no-brainer, I'd pull the lever with pride...Manson I'd at least hesitate...but I think I could do it unless he was polling exceptionally well...it is that important in my eyes.

    ha (none / 0) (#90)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:53:16 AM EST
    Spent the weekend (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 09:54:54 AM EST
    with all my parents old union buddies.  They are NOT happy with the health care compromise that lets them off the "excise tax" hook and not everyone else.  Especially since they are all single payer supporters.

    It was kind of sad actually.  These were some of the most fervent Obama supporters I knew in 2008, the ones that got really wistfull over his election, more than any of the younger folk.

    They are not happy now.  And they feel as though their generation has failed us - for not leaving something better behind.  One of them even asked me why anyone my age would ever be a Democrat.  To which I responded, "Bill Clinton and George Bush", also, we do not take kindly to the social battles of the religious right.  

    Everyone is pulling for Coakley today, but there does seem to be a sort of depressing resignation to it all.

    Yes, they failed us (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:06:06 AM EST
    -- us older voters, too.  I can understand the naivete of the young, but I continue to wonder about what must have been in the water that made so many of my older and usually savvy (former) friends go so batty about Obama.  I kept hearing the McCaskill sort of line that it was the "turn" of the young to have their pick for the presidency.  Any voter of any age who so yields to others then deserves what they get.  But I don't.

    I don't think they failed personally (none / 0) (#59)
    by CST on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:03:25 AM EST
    At least they never stop fighting.  Not on healthcare, not on taxes, not on gay rights, not on anything.  Whether it's a Dem or Republican in charge.

    I know exactly why they were so wistfull, and I can't fault them that.  It was the first black president - after living through and fighting all the battles.  They would've been the same way with the first female president.

    As for "deserve what they get", sure.  After all, they have already bargained themselves good healthcare, good retirement, and decent wages.  They deserve all that without a doubt, but are rightfully worried about everyone else.  

    With regards to the generational stuff, I personally feel that if my generation wants that stuff it's on us to stand up and demand it.  Not sit back and wait for you guys to deliver.


    this is interesting (none / 0) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:01:23 AM EST
    The George Voinovich who made Fellow OH Senator (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by steviez314 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:13:45 AM EST
    Sherrod Brown come back from his mother's wake to cast the 60th vote for the Stimulus, instead of doing the honorable thing and voting for it himself as a substitute?

    Not likely.


    I speculated on that months ago (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:09:33 AM EST
    The answer is: not in this political environment, he isn't.

    you think Obama picked this particular (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:10:48 AM EST
    day to give people like Michelle indigestion?

    I can't access the page (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    but I don't think Malkin knows much of anything.

    Oh, no. A GOP switch (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:12:16 AM EST
    would only give more resolve to the most rightward Repubs, firing them up even more for fall elections.  Are even more losses then really worth all this to barely pass such a bad bill now?  It is not what the working class and middle class need in this worsening economy for them.  We need a jobs bill.

    Other thoughts (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:13:45 AM EST
    I am already hearing from people today telling me to go vote for Coakley.  People I didn't even know were politically active.

    This is weird, since I'm usually the one making calls and sending texts on election days.  I still have my personal list of friends and family to call tonight.

    I know we all live in our own personal bubble.  But in my bubble, turnout will be high.

    she id going to win (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:15:43 AM EST
    I think.  I think they were pretty sure of that when Black Eagle went north.
    at this point if she loses or wins by a nose the MSM meme will be the same.

    and (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:16:51 AM EST
    he will humbly take all the credit.

    well (none / 0) (#88)
    by CST on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:47:22 AM EST
    my unscientific facebook poll is 100% pro-Coakley.

    I like my bubble...  Hope it doesn't burst.

    Projected high turnout.


    C'mon coppers... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:29:40 AM EST
    ya couldn't cut the guy a break considering the circumstances?  Jesus H.

    US blocks Caribbean nations from aiding Haiti (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:40:11 AM EST
    From Trinidad Express

    THE CARIBBEAN Community's emergency aid mission to Haiti, comprising Heads of Government and leading technical officials, failed to secure permission Friday to land at that devasted country's aiport, now under the control of the United States.

    Consequently, the Caricom 'assessment mission', that was to determine priority humanitarian needs resulting from the mind-boggling earthquake disaster of Haiti last Tuesday, had to travel back from Jamaica to their respective home destinations..

    On Friday afternoon the US State Department confirmed signing two 'Memoranda of Understanding' with the Government of Haiti that made 'official that the United Stateas is in charge of all inbound and outbound flights and aid off-loading...'

    Asked whether the difficuties encountered by the Caricom mission may be related to reports that US authorities were not anxious to facilitate landing of aircraft from Cuba and Venezuela, [Jamaica's] Prime Minister Golding said he could 'only hope that there is no truth to such immature thinking in the face of the horrific scale of Haiti's tragedy...'

    I don't understand... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:56:07 AM EST
    why they won't just airdrop food and water if the airport is so backed up and the roads so f*cked up.  I understand the concerns of violence, but people are f*cking dying violence or no violence, airdrop food and water till the island is covered in food and water.

    me neither (none / 0) (#57)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:58:34 AM EST
    That's the same way I felt about Katrina. Just drop what they need now!

    they would kill each other (none / 0) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:03:39 AM EST
    by the thousands.

    You'd rather die of thirst? (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:08:00 AM EST
    I mean if I was in that spot I'd rather get murdered by some thug hoarding water than lay down and die of thirst...at least with the former you've got a fighting chance, and there is always the chance the better of humanity will prevail.  A longshot is better than no shot.

    Well, maybe YOU would have a fighting chance (none / 0) (#112)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:03:23 PM EST
    Most women and children would not.

    Whose first dibs... (none / 0) (#114)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:12:35 PM EST
    do you think I'd be fighting for ruffian?  Surely there are Haitians who would do the same...I gotta say this "we can't airdrop because of violence" strikes me as kinda racist.

    If the Hamptons got hit with a disaster and there was no way to get supplies in by land or sea, you bet your arse nobody would hold up a massive airdrop campaign because of a fear of rioting amongst the Hamptons summer set.


    well its not racist in the least (none / 0) (#120)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:29:17 PM EST
    it would be the same at this point if this was happening in Levittown.

    but I have seen quite a few machetes on the news.
    can you imagine the video.  and who would be blamed.
    the pilot probably.


    I don't know man... (none / 0) (#123)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:35:45 PM EST
    I hear what you are saying, but if the alternative is people literally starving/thirsting to death...its worth a shot.  And its a shot we'd be willing to take in Levittown if push really came to shove and the aid simply was unable to be accompanied by riot police.

    Hopefully the pros can overcome the obstacles down in Haiti...its just one fubar situation.


    if I was making the decisions (none / 0) (#124)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:48:31 PM EST
    I might be with you but I understand the reluctance.

    on another topic (none / 0) (#125)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:49:42 PM EST
    did you see the video yesterday of the woman who was pulled from the rubble only yesterday and instantly burst into song.

    video (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:13:36 PM EST
    Check it out later w/ sound... (none / 0) (#136)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:18:05 PM EST

    Thanks, Howdy, that vid made my day n/t (none / 0) (#144)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:38:38 PM EST
    I think that could become (none / 0) (#146)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:51:52 PM EST

    Sadly, violence and exploitation inevitably happen (none / 0) (#137)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:20:28 PM EST
    ... in any area of strife, regardless of the ethnic or cultural makeup of the population.

    That's whether it's a natural disaster or a man-made one like war. Desperation tends to bring out the best and worst in human nature; hard to predict what I'd dig up in myself if went deep enough under the same dire circumstances.


    best and worst (none / 0) (#140)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:27:39 PM EST
    see video above.

    I lover her response to the reporters question at  the very end


    Very true... (none / 0) (#142)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:36:57 PM EST
    you never really know till you're put to the test.

    Yes, the videos of men shoving (none / 0) (#128)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:59:18 PM EST
    women and children aside are so sad.  These are not typical of Haitian men, I'm told by my friend who is one.  These are the guys from the gangs that ruled Port-au-Prince and escaped prison in the quake.  They are grabbing supplies to sell them at inflated prices.  

    Some reports have it, though, that gang warfare in that city actually is down from the everyday level.  Apparently, it was a city you had to know well to stay safe -- but now, all those markers and boundaries and more are gone.


    I'm with your friend... (none / 0) (#132)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:12:59 PM EST
    I gotta believe for every p.o.s. throwing a woman or child aside there are 100 men giving the first bottle of water they get their mitts on to a child, a woman, an elderly person.

    I gotta believe it, call me naive.


    not if they dropped enough for everyone. (none / 0) (#67)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:08:19 AM EST
    they're killing each other now for the tiny amount that's being dispersed.

    exactly (none / 0) (#69)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:08:29 AM EST
    take the current issues with people looting and fighting at aid stations then multiply it by 1000.

    exactly (none / 0) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:29:55 PM EST
    There have been airdrops (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:11:29 AM EST
    and we're doing more now, despite the danger of more rioting and injuries, as in the scrambles we have seen.  There seems to be constant reassessment daily, based upon encountering ever more difficulty in less dangerous means of distribution.  

    An airport with only one runway, without a taxiway (offshoot) and not strong enough for larger planes and capable even on its best day of only a couple of dozen flights and now run by air controllers on laptops on a card table on the tarmac . . . a port so damaged that it is unusable, so we are trying to get equipment down there to dredge another one . . . few and poor roads blocked by collapsed buildings and corpses -- we can't just drive over the dead . . . it's all just a series of setbacks.  This is a worse situation than NOLA, where most had evacuated, where we could get there on the ground on good roads, and where it was in the U.S. so did not need international permissions and negotiations.

    I think you have been to Caribbean islands, too?  Then you know how slow the going can be even on a good day.  And Haiti has not ever had good days.  Its government was not good even before this, all about power, and what is left has been more than reluctant to share that power as crucial days went by.  That our Secretary of State actually had to go there to get an agreement is indicative.

    I do share frustrations with word of confusion from the constantly changing priorities, from aid to security, from rescue to recovery, etc.  There does appear to have been too much emphasis on planning and efficiency, from fear of the sorts of reports that always come about inefficiencies -- and add to it all that a lot of the people and equipment we otherwise could send already has been sent to two wars.  We are stretched for military medical specialists for Haiti, I read.


    stretched for military medical specialists (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:29:12 AM EST
    and the solution to this is to block Cuban military medical specialists?

    Yes, that is an example (none / 0) (#95)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:16:29 PM EST
    of egregious idiocies under U.S. control of this situation.  I hope that intervention occurs to tell the military that this is not flag-waving time.

    Well, Cuban passports are inherently (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:56:57 PM EST
    suspect now re terrorism.

    Glad to hear... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:23:11 AM EST
    airdrops are happening, last I had heard Gates had put the kibosh on airdrops.

    The obstacles are enormous, you're so right...I was just thinking there is no shortage of bottled water or MRE's in the US...airdrop till Haiti is literally blanketed in food and water...if some goes to waste so what, it would still pale in comparison to the food and water we waste everyday on the regular here in the US.


    Kdog (none / 0) (#83)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:29:28 AM EST
    you should volunteer to go down and show usaid and the military how it is done.  I am for airdropping stuff.  How about if some people are killed by the pallets for the airdrops?  Squashed flat like an ant at a picnic.  The zones have to be scouted out.  

    Last thing they need... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:39:40 AM EST
    is another knucklehead getting in the way Wile...but point taken, it is very easy to criticize, difficult to do something.

    There's a lot of bottled water there (none / 0) (#97)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    along with other supplies in Haiti now, stuck at the airport -- because in addition to the blocked roads, Haiti has just about run out of fuel for trucks (supplies there either in crushed tanks or with fuel pumps needing nonexistent electricity, etc.).  So we are trying to put priority on getting fuel there, too -- to complaints of more delays for other aid flights -- but thus, the resort to airdrops, dangerous as they are.

    That's the latest I find.  Google news is my friend.


    Oh, and about fuel for airdrops (none / 0) (#98)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:23:58 PM EST
    do keep in mind that planes and choppers use a lot more than trucks, and every airdrop means need for more fuel. . . .  As some of us know, life on an island even in the easiest of days is intricate.

    Closer to refuel, restock in Cuba and Jamaica (none / 0) (#135)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    than the US.

    MSF/Docs and others are deploying fm Panama City (none / 0) (#139)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:26:36 PM EST
    The reach and experience of the "big" aid orgs really make the most of donated $$$ in extreme situations like Haiti.

    And now another 5.8 aftershock (none / 0) (#102)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:03:48 PM EST
    today, latest in dozens of them that would qualify as fairly major quakes, if they weren't following a 7.0.  And this one spread to other islands in the Caribbean.  That quake fault is blowing.

    They could drop individual/family packets too (none / 0) (#110)
    by Ellie on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:54:53 PM EST
    Limiting rioting, violence, hoarding and the rise of strife-lords.

    As I mentioned in a Haiti thread, the packets (usually) contain:

    • meals ready to eat (combining water and nutrition); the water is clean and cuts down on disease
    • thermal wraps
    • basic first aid, hygiene items
    • fuel source, light, matches
    • dust mask

    Low flying aircraft can service a huge swath of population.

    Yep they (none / 0) (#81)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:26:45 AM EST
    need another mission to assess what is needed.  Why not use the US assessment?  Why not land another aid aircraft rather than a plane load of vips to walk around and get their picture taken?

    plenty of flights for US pols (none / 0) (#84)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:30:39 AM EST
    to get their pictures taken.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#86)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:38:33 AM EST
    I am sure the military wanted them there.  How much people's time did the SOS take up?

    Look, that we had to send (none / 0) (#96)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:18:10 PM EST
    the Secretary of State, for pity's sake, to get the Haitians to admit that they could not handle the airport ought to tell you something.  That Obama could not even get the Haitian president to get on the phone for three days was the reason for sending the SOS.  Are you following this or just reacting?

    Following this (none / 0) (#119)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:24:15 PM EST
    of course.  I actually spent six weeks in Haiti during the Clinton Admin.  I do know for a fact that the US is better than this than any other country or group of countries around right now.  The posturing by Caribcom or what ever is just a bunch of "hey let me get my picture taken showing concern" stuff

    Makes sense... (none / 0) (#122)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:30:21 PM EST
    pols are pols, international edition.

    Accodring to Chuck Todd... (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 10:58:01 AM EST
    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:05:12 AM EST
    Actually, that entire piece was difficult to understand.

    I'm just the messenger...(n/t) (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:06:32 AM EST
    What's the message? (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:08:59 AM EST
    I could not make heads or tails of it.

    Piece? It was more like Tweets. (none / 0) (#68)
    by steviez314 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:08:21 AM EST
    And Anthony Weiner (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:00:31 AM EST
    Says HCR is "dead" if Brown wins tonight.

    "I think you can make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead," Weiner said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

    Weiner, one of the House's more progressive members, said "it's going to be very hard" to ask members of the House to vote for the Senate bill - what some believe would be a likely scenario if Democrats lose the Massachusetts Senate seat. ...

    "I'd have a very difficult time doing that," Weiner said about voting "yes" to the Senate's bill.

    Don't worry though (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:09:28 AM EST
    we'll get a better more progressive bill in 2025 or so, and until then the 30 million without health insurance can suck it up.

    Suppose that's true (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:15:49 AM EST
    What's your point? It's not the commenter's fault that Coakley is in trouble.

    Its not I'm just (none / 0) (#79)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:21:10 AM EST
    getting a bit frustrated that after today things like Cap and Trade and Health Care Reform are dead, and after 2010, Obama will probably reform welfare and win in a landslide- he's going to repeat Clinton- incremental progress on social justice, gay rights, etc at this point, and even though he faced much greater challenges than anything Clinton faced when he entered office in 1992, I still hoped for more.

    The 30 million (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:59:56 AM EST
    without health insurance, are going to be "sucking it up" with a lot of the bill that will probably be voted on.  So will the millions who already have insurance.

    It's a lose-lose proposition with whomever wins.


    Quake hits Cayman Islands (none / 0) (#99)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 12:51:05 PM EST

    Seems that little damage has occurred but what is going on in that part of the world??!!!  It was a 5.8!

    Heard a geologist explain it all last week (none / 0) (#116)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:15:45 PM EST
    The fault that went last week had pressure building on it for about 200 years. Now that it has shifted, everything around it will be shifting too. There are likely to be many quakes in that 5-6 range in the next year or so.

    May have been the one I saw (none / 0) (#130)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:04:20 PM EST
    too, very clearly explaining that the less frequently a fault erupts, the larger the quake will be.  The one I saw gave as another example the New Madrid fault in the Midwest, saying it could be next to blow, as it has not done in a major way in 150 years or so.  That caught my attention, as I live near it! and have read a lot about that last quake, which had huge impact.  (The Mississippi River was massively moved by it, reconfigured with new channels, etc.; can you imagine the impact at the end for NOLA again now?)  We get a wee tremor every few years but apparently are living on borrowed time along our fault line, too.  

    In other news (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:12:34 PM EST
    Greenwald has an interesting post from a couple of days ago about Cass Sunstein's 2008 proposal to spy on people online:

    In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government.

    Come clean jb... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:34:51 PM EST
    you're in deep internet cover sent by Uncle Sam to TL to talk some pro-prosecution sense into us, aren't you...the jig is up!

    You found me out (none / 0) (#108)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:41:02 PM EST
    I'm scared for my job, though, as I seem to be failing all over the place.  I'm sure I'm going to get a call from my superiors any minute now!  ;)

    Tell your shadowy bosses... (none / 0) (#109)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    what the Dude told the Big Lebowski..."complicated case, lots of ins and outs"...that should keep the checks comin' for awhile still:)

    Yep (none / 0) (#113)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:12:21 PM EST
    I think I'm close to cracking you any day and bringing you over to my side.  If I do that, I know there's a promotion and corner office with my name on it.....

    Hold up on picking... (none / 0) (#115)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:14:28 PM EST
    out your taxpayer funded designer office furniture jb...I'm holding out hope to make a double agent out of you!

    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#117)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:17:58 PM EST
    I have to say, converting you has been quite the challenge - frankly, with my job right now, it's the only thing that is mentally challenging me, so I appreciate the fact that you're one of the more difficult cases!

    If this doesn't work out, however, maybe I could get a job as a hotel bed warmer?


    LOL.... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:22:26 PM EST
    I don't know 'bout anybody else, but I check into a hotel and the bed looks slept in and feels warm, I'm calling the front desk for fresh linens or checking out!

    Keep on keeping on. (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:59:13 PM EST
    Oh boy... (none / 0) (#134)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:14:52 PM EST
    Uncle Sam has you two working in shifts, doesn't he?

    Despite Jeralyn's opinion of me, I (none / 0) (#138)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:21:04 PM EST
    haven't been a prosecutor since 1989 and am now an inactive lawyer.  So I am more of an observer.

    I was just joshing... (none / 0) (#141)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:34:45 PM EST
    calling you a secret agent Oc...my opinion of you is best of anonymous internet buds.

    Besides, I don't believe in background checks...everybody starts with a clean slate with me:)


    I know, I know. I have again (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:37:56 PM EST
    resolved to stay out of the criminal law posts here.

    Oculus (none / 0) (#145)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:39:47 PM EST
    You and I seem to be out in the wilderness on this....

    Only fair girls... (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:52:31 PM EST
    most everywhere else but Talkleft and my crib I'm two blocks past the wilderness catching the ferry to Crazytown.

    No comment. (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:58:50 PM EST
    Speaking of the justice system (none / 0) (#153)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:28:29 PM EST
    DoJ is reporting the arrest and indictment of 22 executives and employees of the military and law enforcement products industry on charges of bribing foreign government officials, against the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    Twenty-two executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement products industry have been indicted for engaging in schemes to bribe foreign government officials to obtain and retain business, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips for the District of Columbia; and Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division . Twenty-one defendants were arrested in Las Vegas yesterday. One defendant was arrested in Miami. The indictments stem from an FBI undercover operation that focused on allegations of foreign bribery in the military and law enforcement products industry.

    The 16 indictments unsealed today represent the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals in the history of DOJ's enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a law that prohibits U.S. persons and companies, and foreign persons and companies acting in the United States, from bribing foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. The indictments unsealed today were returned on Dec. 11, 2009, by a grand jury in Washington, D.C.

    Sounds like... (none / 0) (#155)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 05:04:44 PM EST
    22 people perhaps forgot to bribe/kickback domestic officials:)

    I'll tell ya in my current business nobody would get any sales if they weren't giving out sports tickets or fancy dinners or all expenses paid trips to seminars and sh*t.  Whats the difference?  It's not fair, it's not adhering to free market principles...sure.  But a crime punishable by up to 5 years? Up to 20 for money laundering?  We really do give out them years like candy don't we?


    Well (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 05:26:28 PM EST
    While bribery is illegal in general, it is illegal to give anything that could be considered a gift, payoff, kickback, etc. to a foreign official to gain favor or business.  These guys are accused of giving 20% commissions to a member of the government of an African nation.

    Bottom line - don't give anything to a foreign official.


    Sunstein puts me in mind (none / 0) (#149)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:09:26 PM EST
    of R.D Laing's story about mental hospitals treating  patients suffering from acute paranoia by observing them through one-way mirrors.

    Dontcha' just love the "liberal" wing of the anything-to-be-useful-to-power tribe? They can do these things because, of course, they know better than us; and it's for our own good.

    Did she go to the U. of Chicago, too?


    Sunstein (none / 0) (#150)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:15:17 PM EST
    is a man

    More or less (none / 0) (#154)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:39:07 PM EST
    may he choke on a tuna sandwich. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

    Robert B. Parker, author of the Spencer (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:01:52 PM EST
    novels, died.  Really good audio book listening whilst driving.  

    Oh an Eric Segal, author of "Love Story ["love is never having to say you are sorry"], has died.

    Parker (none / 0) (#156)
    by daring grace on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 05:06:17 PM EST
    Oh, no!

    The height of formulaic, but so readable and fun...and even better for a series writer: prolific.


    I just discovered these guys (none / 0) (#151)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:24:31 PM EST
    so they are probably old stuff.
    but I think they are very cool.  now I want to see the stage show.

    they have quite a presence on YouTube.

    Nothing Else Matters

    Sounds of Silence

    thead now closed (none / 0) (#160)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:53:28 AM EST