Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

BTD is on a plane this afternoon, and I'm busy at work. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

Update: From the Feb. 2010 issue of Reason Magazine: Radley Balko on The Forfeiture Racket: "Police and prosecutors won't give up their license to steal."

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    Nicholas Kristof has a good piece (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    on sexual abuse in prisons in the Times op ed section today.

    A piece about my former neighborhood (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:00:23 PM EST
    Good stuff Dadler... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:34:00 PM EST
    you painted quite the portrait of the neighborhood...and the neighbors.

    I like how your boy Hank handles his business:)


    Nice job. Definitely in the style of (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:34:42 PM EST
    the Reader.  Have you written for the Reader before?

    Thanks K-Dog and Occ (none / 0) (#67)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:34:22 PM EST
    Occ: No, never written for the Reader, thought about it plenty of times, but I was always a scriptwriter when I was making money at scribbling. Except when I wrote grants for a meager living way back in the day. Figure now was as good a time as any.

    You'd love Hank, K-Dog, even though he's living in a literally impossible situation right now. Great guy, solid heart, just been dealt really sh*tty cards in life.


    Heh! (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by otherlisa on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:49:49 PM EST
    This native San Diegan turned Venician thanks you!

    Well done, Dadler (none / 0) (#91)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:53:59 PM EST
    As I expected.

    There's a writer (whose name I cant think of), who writes for Sy Safransky's The Sun, who could be your literary soul brother. Unless it's you.

    Keep 'em comin'.



    Just remember though (none / 0) (#92)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:00:43 PM EST
    that there's already PLENTY of poetry right in that ring..like Blood, Sweat and Canvas and Hell Ten Foot Square :)

    Yes, Colonel (none / 0) (#110)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:25:16 PM EST
    I had wardrobe whip this up.

    Thanks for the read, good to know it works.


    Hey Dadler, (none / 0) (#180)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:15:49 PM EST
    if you have the chance and inclination, you'll be doing yourself a favor if you track down a piece titled The Tailor Shop by Henry Miller (from his book Black Spring). It's about the only realist-memoir prose I've read in the last couple of years that just completely blew me away (of course, it was written in 1934, but I've always been a little slow on the uptake)

    You'll appreciate it, or I dont know writers.


    Great job Dadler. (none / 0) (#99)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:31:39 PM EST
    TY (none / 0) (#111)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:25:33 PM EST
    very much

    I always liked poking around (none / 0) (#168)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:59:24 AM EST
    Normal Heights, but I was always an OB local. Can't believe I walked into Cheswick's on Newport back in Nov. after not being in SD for 6 years, and the bartender looked up asked where I'd been. I've lived all over the US, but only in OB, do the bartenders still know my name.

    Ocean Beach (none / 0) (#178)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:37:14 PM EST
    My nine year-old son's wife lives there.  Best friend, I mean.  But really, make no mistake, they are a dysfunctional married couple.  

    More of the same (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:39:47 PM EST
    This confirms my feelings (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:34:52 PM EST
    that when listening to him speak last night, there was no authenticity that I could perceive in his words or inflection.  It makes the SOTU speech appear to be nothing but a corruption.

    No, no (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:36:43 PM EST
    It's about pomp & circumstance.  Haven't you been reading the other threads?

    but the simulacrum president (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:39:18 PM EST
    is more real than the words  and gestures that make up the simulacrum president...

    or not. Vegas still isn't Paris, and there ain't no real pirates at disneyworld.


    You guys are brighter than that (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:25:45 PM EST
    If you think that people don't make decisions based on emotion, then you are wrong....

    You need to account for that emotion and how appearances can influence others.  You need to know that about an opponent, and you need to know that about your own side, and how well your side comes across...

    If you think the written word is supreme and the pomp and circumstance are irrelevent, you can tut-tut all you like from your perch where only NPR style commentary merits attention.  But the real world will pass you by.....

    Every litigator knows or should know this....If you think a decision is being made just on the written word without subtext, you are a fool....



    Absurd. The quality of a speech (4.25 / 4) (#100)
    by observed on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:38:12 PM EST
    is evident more in the text version than the spoken. For all we know, Lincoln wasn't a very good speaker compared to, say, someone like Obama; nevertheless, his speeches are adjudged magnificent by the text alone.
    It's especially ridiculous to judge the SOTU by the show and not the text, because the glitz is assured in that setting.
    Your shallowness of reading was apparent when you said the most important thing that happened was the Alito business. Really???
    I would say the infrastructure remarks were more important, for starters. And how about jobs?
    Who cares if he got applause or not for his jobs lines? What matters is the level of funding (which appears limited) and its targets.
    I'd say the remarks on nuclear weapons were important and welcome.

    It's much easier to grade a speech by reading it.
    In fact, if more people had done that in 2008..
    oh, never mind.

    And besides, everyone knows that Obama's voice grates on discerning ears.


    Of course, if you set up (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:01:23 PM EST
    a SOTU against the greatest speeches in history, then you get the result you seek.

    The point is about politics now and power now....

    The real bottom line is that this blog is frequented by Obama-haters.  Pure and simple.  Obama won the presidency because he fooled everyone with his unity pony and because he reads the teleprompter well.  So, he is just fluff. Therefore, Obama cannot be praised for how he delivers a speech, because to do so is to praise this awful person who should never have been President....

    That is what is really happening here.  And most can see it....

    As to Alito, I do think that in six months people will still be talking about it because we will be in the middle of a confirmation hearing.....I don't think anyone will remember the details of anything else in the speech.  Not that the subject matter is not important.   Or not that it wasn't an effective speech.

    A SOTU if sucessful can set an agenda, and it is that agenda that will ultimately matter most.  That and the tone, not usually the words, will matter.  People may have embedded in their unconscious a certain view of Obama as leader, strong, or weak or whatever.....Very few SOTUs will ever be remembered.....what it leads to may be.

    Image does not subsitute for substance but it does matter--because it influences people; for good or ill, that is the way it works with human beings.  Is that so hard for you Obama haters to concede?  Wouldn't you concede the point in any other setting?



    How do you define "Obama-haters"? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by cymro on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 10:23:12 PM EST
    Is anyone who is not an automatic unquestioning fan of everything a politician does going to be labeled a "hater"? Is disagreement never permitted? Is there some unstated protocol of polite political behavior that frowns on all criticism as unseemly?  Does this protective standard apply to attitudes towards all elected politicians, or is it reserved for Obama only?

    You are starting to sound like someone who thinks Obama can do no wrong and should never be questioned about anything. That is a very odd point of view for someone who participates in a left wing blog.


    On The Continuum (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:03:32 AM EST
    of political discourse, the endless and (now) predictable loops of criticism of Obama around here these days register as about as meaningful and reasoned as any sycophantic unquestioning defenses of Obama.

    Funny how the two extremes end up sounding exactly the same--as in same old, same old. Nothing useful to see here. Move on.

    Even Jerilyn, hardly an Obamabot, noted this.


    I haven't in this thread (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:42:48 PM EST
    defended anything "Obama" except to say he generally has a good delivery when giving speeches....

    But that you see that as unstinting praise of Obama is interesting....It is binary thinking at its best--you're either fer him or agin him.

    I haven't given my critiques of the style or substance of the speech.....

    Obama haters....Those whose only purpose here is to criticize Obama even on the slightest little thing (and who do not share the values of this site but are here merely for the bash fest.)   Whose every comment about Obama is that he does everything wrong....How they can't even stand the sound of his voice....Basically an extended ad hominem.....sometimes couched in wonderfully rationalizing language but ad hominem still.  Attacking him personally rather than his policies.


    You were the one generalizing: (none / 0) (#181)
    by cymro on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 01:06:27 AM EST
    Referring to something else you may have said or not said "in this thread" is irrelevant when you make a statement like this:

    The real bottom line is that this blog is frequented by Obama-haters.  Pure and simple.  

    If you're going to make sweeping generalizations like that, you shouldn't be surprised if someone objects. I did. Then you claim that I'm viewing something else you said as "unstinting praise". I'm not, and I don't know where you get that idea from. I just object to being labeled an Obama-hater just because I frequent this blog. You are the one engaging in binary thinking here.


    Observed (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:09:14 PM EST
    I look at a speech as if it were a closing argument.....

    If your contention were correct, then a lawyer could just simply read his argument to the jury.  The delivery wouldn't matter because it is the words that matter.  Please don't tell me that you really believe that.

    I have seen lawyers read presentations to the court, and I was told about it happening in a jury trial in a very large case that I was tangentially involved in years ago.  Read the whole masterpiece line-by-line to the jury....

    You cannot believe that that is effective....

    Delivery matters.  Tone matters.  Emotion matters.  

    You judge Obama by the standard of the Gettysburg Address.  That is foolish and an impossibly high bar that no one can clear--but that is the point, right--making sure Obama always fails to measure up.  How about judging it as a politically effective speech....


    The point of mentioning (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by observed on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:54:45 PM EST
    the Gettysburg address is that we have no idea (well, I don't know) how the delivery was.
    And it doesn't MATTER, because we can read it.
    I think the analogy between the SOTU and a closing speech in a trial is not correct.
    The SOTU is a speech where the President lists his accomplishments and lays out his plans; the details you can glean from reading the text are what matter. Obama is already elected---yes, I did notice---so judging his speeches by the standards of campaign oratory, as you do, is misguided.
    I judge Obama's speeches since he was elected by their effect at moving policy, both by influencing public opinion and by the pressure they exert on the members of Congress; honestly, since he took office, I think his speeches fare very poorly by this standard. In the matter of health care reform, for example, how can you judge his speeches and public remarks a success---not just because of the outcome, but also because nothing he stood for in his speeches seemed to matter in the end result.

    But I now invite you to say what convictions Obama created in your mind, to borrow from your analogy. Of what are you confident that Obama will do in the coming year, and does hearing him say it give you more confidence than reading it on paper?
    In the areas of the speech which I like, I can't imagine how the delivery would have affected my impression.


    The Gettysburg Address was just a few (5.00 / 0) (#162)
    by esmense on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:38:27 AM EST
    "appropriate words" that the President was asked to speak after the two hour speech by Everett Everett -- the most notable orator of his time.

    Today, no one remembers what the most notable orator of his time had to say.


    And (5.00 / 0) (#163)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:44:55 AM EST
    According to historians (at least on the History Channel), Lincoln had a nasally, whiny, high-pitched voice.  He also would've had to shout the address to the crowd, as microphones and speakers hadn't been invented.

    We're in a brave new world now (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:05:57 PM EST
    that a Lincoln would've been completely at sea in. The 'front runners' these days are ALL walking mini-corporations of image consultants, consultants for THOSE consultants, pollsters, media go-betweens, K Street go-betweens..

    I just find it laughable that some people seem to believe that (always) their favorite pols have transcended and are exempt from the charge of willing participation in the show biz and propagandizing inexorably connected with the media generated production of American politics.

    I suppose if you really pressed the point, some of those here would be willing to grant that, yes, (the Clintons?) rely on non-verbal cues, symbolism, demograph-targeting-emotional-manipulation etc but that that's ALL Obama does. So it becomes a matter of degree rather than a contrast between 'authentic' leaders and those who rely solely on theater and mystique.  

    It seems to come down to who people decide to give the benefit of a doubt to. A leap of faith.

    There's no Ashokas, Pericles, Jeffersons or Lincolns in the bunch, though. And no possibility for them, imo.


    Since this always goes back (none / 0) (#171)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:32:27 PM EST
    to Hillary, whether spoken or not, let's look at couple of things she did--actually, postive things that I think she was smart to do.

    Her bright yellow jackets....not by accident.  That tested well with women over 50.  I don't think she wears them now--different audience and different image to convey.

    And her campaign disclosures showed she spent some 20k or more on voice lessons in late 2007.  I think that was very smart.  And after I learned that, I listened to one of her debates with Obama on the car radio driving home, and thought how pleasant sounding her voice was.

    If Lincoln were alive today, he would take voice lessons if it would give him an advantage--he was a politician too.


    Lincoln (5.00 / 0) (#172)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:41:17 PM EST
    if he were around today the type of people who dredged up those Jeremiah Wright tapes would've paid off his shrink to get thier hands on his depression history, and HE would've been history.

    And no, that dosnt mean I think Obama is like Lincoln, in case anyone was going to ask.


    Pericles (none / 0) (#174)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:54:05 PM EST
    was an imposing presence....Oratory back then depended a lot on style and projection.....

    Jury trials during classical Athens were messy affairs.  They selected 301, an odd number to make sure there were no ties, citizens and then had the two sides just argue.  No rules, no restrictions on evidence.  Just argument.  Winner by majority vote....

    Lincoln was a dam* good trial lawyer, who reportedly relied on a gimmick or two in his day.....To sanitize him as above politics is to dehumanize him.

    In today's world, Lincoln would have used all the the advantages modern technology would provide....He loved technology and all the gadgety weapons....


    Good post (none / 0) (#177)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:18:28 PM EST
    that's just what the doctor ordered: a little more nuanced CONTEXT around this joint.

    What I notice (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:22:48 PM EST
    is that you seem to miss my point--you in essence ask me to justify my positive view of Obama's speech....And I haven't really given anyone my analysis of the speech.

    My comments were directed to the knee-jerk anti-Obama sentiment that cannot even admit the obvious--that his delivery and sytle are generally good.  

    If you want to talk substance that is a different subject....But it would be difficult because many minds here were made up long ago.

    And how many people read SOTUs?  Really, the speech is meant to be listened to and is written on that basis....Sure, a few academics might read it, but most either listen to it or see news accounts of those who listened to it live.

    It just kills you guys to concede anything to Obama--even things that are innocuous such as he can give a good speech....Would it really be so awful to admit that he is good at giving speeches and then make your substantive critique?  

    Conceding the obvious boosts credibility--the reverse lessens it.


    Obama gives a good speech (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    if you're into "preacher style". Listening to Obama brings back memories of being forced to sit in church on a Sunday morning to be scolded by the man behind the pulpit. I have a much more positive view of Obama's speeches if I read them. But if you say that the style is part of the substance, then I will factor that in. It won't have a positive effect, though.

    So, let's judge it by what you say it was: (none / 0) (#106)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:16:17 PM EST
    Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels."
    --Richard Alan Nelson, A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States, 1996

    Are you guys really that dense? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:22:00 PM EST
    So, you find the most pejorative way to describe effective communication. Propaganda certainly implies a disregard for the truth...

    Of course, substance matters.  Of course, truth matters.  But if no one pays any attention, then you have failed to communicate....

    Good grief, this is so basic....


    The overriding-everything (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:30:44 PM EST
    desire to vent about Obama is what's basic.

    Kind of making your point for you while arguing against it.

    Look at it as therapy.

    Still waiting for the SOS to resign in protest, though. Im sure the announcement will be coming any day now.


    Different issue (none / 0) (#120)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:40:43 PM EST
    And I could turn your statement above on its head to apply to you.....

    I think it's a very realted (none / 0) (#125)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:55:02 PM EST

    And just because I take it into account dosnt mean Im trying to 'defend' Obama, if that's what you're suggesting. Though that's almost always the standard interpretation around here.


    related (none / 0) (#126)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:57:25 PM EST
    I misunderstood your post (none / 0) (#128)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:59:51 PM EST
    So my comment above should be discarded....

    I think I now have (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:52:54 PM EST
    learned how to read your posts...

    You're projecting now. (none / 0) (#114)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:32:26 PM EST
    I offered to analyze the speech based on the characteristics you find so important. appeals to emotion, exciting people to extatic applause or condemnation, and attempting to move the attitude of the group or the community to a certain political agenda.

    In my estimation, just as I said last night, it was a mediocre address. As propaganda, measuring by the metrics of propaganda, such as moving people to a certain emotive approval, it was succesful.

    I was analyzing the content. You've been hammering on the emotional appeal and success.


    "Everyone knows" (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:23:22 PM EST
    isnt the most useful or convincing rhetorical tool a person could use to underscore their point.

    Im tempted to say everyone knows your critique is based more on the same, tired, post-primary hysteria than on a desire to objectively deconstruct Obama's speech.


    So, you use the hysteria angle (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:36:08 PM EST

    sure, there is deconstructing the speech and its effectiveness....and that would be interesting if it were done by those who were interested in objectively discussing that issue....

    I was commenting on the bias of those who can't admit that how one delivers a speech can matter.  It just kills them to say the obvious....because they would have to praise Obama in doing so....

    If you want an objective analysis, I'm game...But the crowd here is not.


    MKS (none / 0) (#121)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:46:57 PM EST
    I got your point, and I concur. I was responding to observed's "everybody knows" comment.

    Heh (none / 0) (#122)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:50:52 PM EST
    Well, oops, what can I say.  Sorry.

    Sher figured it out though--and I didn't.  Too many posts, I suppose....  


    It was a joke, obviously. (3.50 / 2) (#144)
    by observed on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:56:11 PM EST
    But the OFB have never displayed noticeable signs of a humor bone.

    The puma posse (3.60 / 5) (#148)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:26:22 PM EST
    when not chronically offended about eye rolls and shoulder brushes and center-right democrats not named Clinton, have a light touch that's second to none.

    I dont know how I could've missed that one.


    Pardon me? I'M A PUMA (4.00 / 3) (#152)
    by cawaltz on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 10:30:04 PM EST
    I don't recall asking you to speak on my behalf and your charecterization is not only inaccurate, it's offensive.

    I gave you high marks (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:51:13 PM EST
    for pointing out that text is superior because I agree, focusing on content is focusing on content. One of my fave participants "sher" didn't like this post though.  I think it probably has to do with the grating voice and discerning ears part.

    In an ideal world (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:01:26 PM EST
     a lot things should be different....

    Hell ya (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:19:51 PM EST
    Those pirates (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:42:58 PM EST
    aren't real?

    Man, you just depressed me.  I think I need to call in sick to work tomorrow and stay in my pjs all day....


    Has BTD given up... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:42:07 PM EST
    ...on SportsLeft already?  Nothing about Paul Shirley's outlandish statements (racist?) about Haiti/NO, nothing about Tebow's big ball of fail at Senior Bowl practice, no nothing...

    Class act that Shirley... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:00:36 PM EST
    good lord...talk about uncooth.

    Sounds like a born on third base thought he hit a triple type don't he Mile?  Big time.

    Obviously Haitians bear some responsibility for their government and state of their union before the eartquake...as do interfering foreign states...but now ain't the time Shirley, nows the time to feed the hungry and clear the rubble...plenty of time for them (and everybody else) to learn from past mistakes when everybody is on the mend with a full belly.


    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:13:35 PM EST
    ...definately doesn't present himself as a caring, compassionate, informed person.  I was really taken a back at the number of people who supported him on some of my other blogs.  Makes you wonder about humanity.  

    Don't agree with everything he says (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:10:41 PM EST
    but honestly, I still really like Spitzer.

    Dogged (5.00 / 6) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:57:38 PM EST
    I'm impressed with the way he's so doggedly refused to crawl away into a corner with embarrassment but has gotten himself on various TV shows, written articles, etc., about the stuff he really has expertise on.  It takes a lot of guts to do that.

    And I'm glad he's doing it because he really has a lot to contribute to the whole discussion of the financial system's issues.


    The ones with real potential (none / 0) (#57)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:06:27 PM EST
    get stamped out early, or something like that. Can you imagine if he were WH CoS instead of Rahm?

    He would be worse. (none / 0) (#84)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:31:59 PM EST
    I don't think so (none / 0) (#90)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:51:16 PM EST
    His policy sense is much better.

    But his near pathological arrogance (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:29:24 PM EST
    would likely keep him from getting anything done. I think Spitzer knew what to do as Governor, just not HOW to do it.

    That's not saying much (none / 0) (#153)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 11:03:28 PM EST
    Howard Zinn (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:19:11 PM EST
    passed away yesterday.

    If you're a student of or read history Zinn's "People's History of the United States" is essential reading in addition to other sources.

    PHUS tells of the underside of US history that seldom makes it into either popular history works or textbooks.

    Hmmm. (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:03:50 PM EST
    You've been here a whole 10 days and posted 181 times.  THAT is the defination of a chatterer.

    The OFB has renewed vigor (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by observed on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:16:00 PM EST
    today, just because of one speech.
    I think I'm going to take a break too.
    I wasn't commenting on any blog for over a year, and now I've been backsliding for a while. It's a complete waste of time, although a pleasurable one.
    The only reason I started commenting was I wanted to take issue with BTD  about not changing the criteria he used to pick Obama in 2008.
    Now he admits that Obama is not the President he hoped for; I believe that overlooking the experience factor, with all its ramifications, was the mistake.
    Obama's lack of experience has shown in his inability to deal effectively with Congress (unless you believe he really wants to roll over to the Republicans). Also, his lack of an ideological brand hurts him in selling policies.
    Who can identify what Obama stands for? In foreign policy, I think you can argue Obama has a coherent philosophy, but in domestic policy, he seems to be flailing, adrift and at the mercy of his economic advisers.
    Lastly, I think Salo got it right when he said that the infusion of such large sums of money into the candidacy of such a newbie, back in 2007, was a very bad sign.

    Anyway, toodles.
    Nice chatting with some of you people.
    And DA----trying to win every argument on a blog is so 2003. Nobody cares about a person who is trying to be right all the time, least of all when that person isn't.

    Lastly, J's chicken in a pot recipe (with vermouth) is pretty good! I've made it a few times already.

    That is a two way street. (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:57:19 PM EST
    She did call DA a fool.  She did accuse him of being a stalker--and it's not the first time she's played that card around here.  

    Frankly, I find the latter offensive to anyone who's ever had to deal with a real, live stalker.  

    Her GBCR posts when someone has the gall to respond to her comments in manner that she doesn't care for are tired and played out.  

    IMHO, of course.

    Clinton and Obama (4.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Politalkix on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:45:39 PM EST
    BREAKING (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 01:53:56 PM EST

    An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns -- though they seem to be in complete denial about it.
    The study, obtained by Fox News, found that Pashtun men commonly have sex with other men, admire other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually -- yet they completely reject the label of "homosexual." The research was conducted as part of a longstanding effort to better understand Afghan culture and improve Western interaction with the local people.
    The research unit, which was attached to a Marine battalion in southern Afghanistan, acknowledged that the behavior of some Afghan men has left Western forces "frequently confused."
    In one instance, a group of local male interpreters had contracted gonorrhea anally but refused to believe they could have contracted it sexually -- "because they were not homosexuals."
    Apparently, according to the report, Pashtun men interpret the Islamic prohibition on homosexuality to mean they cannot "love" another man -- but that doesn't mean they can't use men for "sexual gratification."
    The U.S. army medic also told members of the research unit that she and her colleagues had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant.
    The report said: "When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, `How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.'"

    Somehow I don't (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:13:22 PM EST
    think Beck, O'Reilly or Hannity will bring this up on their shows....

    ya think (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:24:39 PM EST
    totally true tho.  I have a friend who was married to an afghan man who told me about this years ago.

    imaging my eyes sparkling with a far away look.


    I would watch their shows (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:33:10 PM EST
    if they did bring it up....It would be hilarious how uncomfortable they would be discussing it...

    Very interesting (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:34:39 PM EST
    points to Foucault.

    Several years ago an Iranian (none / 0) (#15)
    by observed on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:57:00 PM EST
    friend told me about an interview he had seen on CNN of an Afghani fighter. I don't recall whether the man was fighting on "our" side or the other, but it was translated that he was looking forward to heaven, where there would be lots of "young girls" for him. In fact, my friend, who could understand the language, said the man was enthusiastically saying there would be lots of young BOYS.

    There's an old Greek joke about a newly married sailor's wife who is failing to get pregnant which I will not repeat, but is similar to your last bit.


    sigh, the research unit didn't do ian adequate (none / 0) (#23)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:22:28 PM EST
    lit review about this area. Common knowledge in sociology and anthropology. Heard and read about this some 20, no some 30 years ago.
    Covered in as diverse specialties as sustainable development, sexuality, community...

    Well, who was it that said there's nothing new under the sun?


    you mean represenatives of our (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:27:43 PM EST
    government dont know their a$$ from their elbow.
    I shocked.

    just got this related on another site (none / 0) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:12:50 PM EST
    the joke told about Kabul in that part of the world goes "why do the birds only use one wing when flying over Kabul? So they can cover their a$$hole with the other one."

    You crack me up (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:30:25 PM EST
    JD Salinger has died... (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:25:38 PM EST
    somewhere (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:30:27 PM EST
    Mark David Champman is weeping

    A new Ras poll has Feingold trailing (none / 0) (#8)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:31:17 PM EST
    Thompson by 4 points. Democrats better getting moving on those job efforts.

    Of course, Tommy T. isn't running (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:26:09 PM EST
    and I doubt he would.  He would have to give up his lucrative post-political career.  This is a silly poll -- but it and much else I am seeing do, as I have said here before, suggest that Feingold could be in trouble against a strong GOP candidate.  And that Feingold knows it, from his (highly unusual for him) constant funding appeals, his recent speeches (I've been to one and read of others), etc.

    We haven't seen one a strong GOP candidate emerge yet -- but then, who thought Scott Brown was a strong candidate until too late?  And some newbies with lots of bucks have registered for the GOP side of the race.  So more useful from this poll are these results as to what a difference a year makes for Obama, if you recall how well he did in Wisconsin:

    President Obama again is somewhat of a drag in Wisconsin: 46 approve of his job performance while 54 percent disapprove. Feingold has a fav/unfav split of 46/47. . . .

    It's really hard for me to imagine (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:36:40 PM EST
    that Feingold could lose. He has a very well-crafted brand of his own.

    Well (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:37:50 PM EST
    2 weeks ago it was hard to imagine a Republican winning the seat Ted Kennedy held for so many years.

    It's going to be a bumpy ride, that's for sure!


    I don't see the situations as comparable (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:39:58 PM EST
    But there's no doubt that there's no such thing as a "sure thing" election.

    Depends on whether Feingold phones in (none / 0) (#40)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:41:40 PM EST
    the last 60 or so days of his campain.

    Probably, yeah (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:45:59 PM EST
    It's hard to imagine he would.

    Hope we don't lose Russ... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:49:24 PM EST
    one of the few brightspots in that congressional cesspool...and one of the very few with a D or R after their name I could stomach voting for.

    Feingold hasn't phoned it in (none / 0) (#63)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:28:54 PM EST
    in his voting record, never missing a vote, nor in keeping his pledge to visit every one of his 72 counties in the state every year.  Figure in the weather, and that much of that is almost Canada, and it's quite a feat.

    Other promises, sure -- he faces unhappiness for pledging to public option but also for not sticking to the pledge.  And that's just unhappiness among Dems.  Do remember it's the state that claims the site of the founding of the GOP.  And still proud of it.  Especially in some counties that have had huge population growth owing to white flight, etc.  


    Maybe not in the Senate, (none / 0) (#49)
    by me only on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:50:38 PM EST
    but in the house there is.  To name two, TN-5 has been in Democrats hands since 1875.  TN-2 has not been in Democrats hands since 1855.  TN-2 has only had two families representing it since 1951.  Even in 2006 the Democrats didn't really bother to have a candidate.

    Well yeah, the House is different (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:54:32 PM EST
    The best test isn't how long one party has held the seat, but rather what percentage of the vote the major parties got in the district in the last few Presidential elections. If one party is routinely breaking about 70%, it would take an earthquake (or a scandal + a hurricane to usher in the other party.

    Dems have many more such seats.


    Well the duration speaks to (none / 0) (#59)
    by me only on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:17:32 PM EST
    the machine in the district.  I live in TN-2.  The Democrats do not run real candidates.  In TN-5 the Republicans haven't seriously attempted to win that seat since the early 70's.  That district is listed as D+3 by Cook.  So it is not like NY-15/16 at all, but the machine there is very strong.

    Remember, it was the closest swing state (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:24:56 PM EST
    in 2004, one of the closest in 2000, etc.  The 2008 election was an aberration, I think -- and, as noted here before, the primary was complicated by so many factors in Wisconsin election rules and traditions (same-day registration, no registration by party so extensive crossover in primaries, etc.) and, as ever in February, awful weather with a near-blizzard in the days before that called off most events by Obama's opponents, etc.  And for history even farther back, few realize how Feingold got elected in 1992 with a wild three-way primary that is stuff of many poli sci studies in the state.

    So -- as for 2009, it also is important to attempt to realize the extent of the anger in the state about the economy.  And it's getting worse, while many states are starting to see some recovery.  Feingold knows this, as -- again -- is evident in his fund appeals and more.  But gosh, I'll be glad to tell him that you're not worried!


    CC (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:29:37 PM EST
    You're not allowed to talk about the primaries.  It upsets some commenters' delicate sensibilities, doncha know?

    Feingold's talk about the primaries (none / 0) (#71)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:45:16 PM EST
    is pretty interesting; I've heard some of it personally.  And we know that pols who do not know the most minute data and most interesting meanings of every election are not pols for long.

    Feingold was good at this stuff long before he ran for Senate.  Some of us have been watching him since he was a state legislator, for a decade.  And some of us knew about him even before; I was told quite the stories by a nigh-100-year-old here of Feingold's fine father, a small-town lawyer.

    And some of us even know that in his own generation, even more interesting in many ways, and a real pioneer, is Feingold's sister.  She is a great asset to him with several influential groups.


    Feingold intrigues me (none / 0) (#136)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:32:34 PM EST
    Why does he not staunchly carry any standard though?  Who is he really?

    I've always admired his (none / 0) (#138)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:37:14 PM EST
    principle, even on times i haven't agreed with his stand. Can't recall any specific right now, but he has seemed one of the most principaled senators.

    He is one of the most principled (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:44:25 PM EST
    but this recent Dem majority could have been a time of continuously pointing out the Feingold amongst the Blue Dogs, and he wasn't.....he was somewhat absent, not like during the Bush administration.  Sheeeeet, after how wonderful he was during Bush I thought I was getting a Feingold world.  And then I didn't get that at all :)

    Spartacus (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:47:41 PM EST
    anyone catching this on starz
    I like it.  but then I make violent video games.

    I watched it (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:59:56 PM EST
    but I'm having 300 flashbacks and I thought 300 was well, really freaky.

    300 (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:26:01 PM EST
    the gayest anti gay film ever made.
    it would play well with the Pashtuns

    One of my husband's friends (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:40:31 PM EST
    kept saying that it was homoerotic. I had to watch it again to understand what he was talking about.  I still don't think I really fully understand wtf he was talking about, but I tried :)  Lots of abs and stuff, but lots of blood and walls built out of dead people...

    oh man are you kidding (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:43:13 PM EST
    air brushed abs.  padded crotches.  oil.
    you need to netflix Meet The Spartans.
    its hilarious.

    Xerxes is played by the fat guy from Borat.
    in fact when he appears someone says 'damn, he looks just like the fat guy from Borat'


    oh (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:44:23 PM EST
    and at the same time completely ignoring the actual homoerotic history of the spartans.

    In the 300, don't the spartans (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:47:25 PM EST
    accuse the persians of being 'boy-lovers?' It was OTT homoerotic.

    yeah (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:53:33 PM EST
    that was a laugh out loud moment to anyone who knows anything.
    you almost think it had to be intentional.

    in fact I have a sort of radical theory about that.
    Frank Miller is a very smart guy.  I can imaging him laughing his a$$ off at the idea of all these one brow cretins loving this movie and not really understanding why.

    I actually have to book 300.  which I think is beautiful.  I had it way before the movie.


    Shhhhh (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:48:12 PM EST
    The Spartans, the Romans, the Brits :)

    I'm still missing something man (none / 0) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 08:07:19 PM EST
    Something nuanced of great import here.  I think it would help if I had someone nearby who could openly admit their gayness at a small dinner or something.  Then I could press them, and they could go out of their way to help me understand fully wtf.  Like you would do for your sister or something.  You can't really expect the Mormon Major on his way to his next post as a General's aide to help me fully understand this Capt. Howdy. That's a stretch in my my ultra straight world full of buff men.  Oh honey, but we have some buff men.

    are you going to watch Godspeed? (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:07:51 PM EST
    The other reviewer on Netflix (mine was one) loved it too---he said the stars had really aligned for that flick.

    Yes, it is on my list (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:12:14 PM EST
    heres (none / 0) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:48:10 PM EST
    Bernanke (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:12:48 PM EST
    Wins re-confirmation 70-30

    I will not provide a link, but Kos felt the (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:32:33 PM EST
    need to post a bunch of iPad jokes.  

    In defense of Markos, (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:39:12 PM EST
    he says "[t]hat's what happens when your marketing team is all male."

    The Times claims that most of the jokes have come from women. Personally, I didn't realize the association until I read about it.


    I think he could have made that point (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:00:24 PM EST
    w/o actually posting all the jokes.

    Eh, I guess (none / 0) (#56)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:04:03 PM EST
    I didn't really read them, though.

    Probably some of the same ones... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:40:48 PM EST
    ...that were being made here yesterday?

    I hold Kos to a higher standard--like (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:47:15 PM EST

    I'm always reminded that (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:51:36 PM EST
    they are trying but they are still dudes, and often subject to dude errors :)

    they do kind of (none / 0) (#51)
    by CST on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 03:53:22 PM EST
    write themselves.

    Yeah, the minute I tried to (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:30:04 PM EST
    come up with shorthand for the most expensive iPad model I knew we were all in for a world of hurt.

    I'm shocked (none / 0) (#149)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:28:10 PM EST
    that they didn't include mine:

    The new upscaled version will be called the "iMaxipad"!

    But yeah, I didn't think of the association until they brought it up either.  But I'm not offended, I'm amused.


    oh! left coasters (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:25:43 PM EST
    have you seen this

    Zsa-Zsa Gabor's husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt is running for Governor of California.

    you have to see the website.
    how much worse could it be really?

    Surely someone jests... (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:27:40 PM EST
    I really dont think do (none / 0) (#68)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:34:37 PM EST
    I have been trying to find out if that is a joke today and I cant.
    I mean it IS a joke but I think the prince is totally serious.
    I guess he figures that if Arnold, a midget, a stripper and Arianna Huffington can do it . . .

    if he does (none / 0) (#69)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:37:41 PM EST
    you can be sure this image will show up in a campaign ad.

    Zsa Zsa Gabor's 9th husband Prince Frederic Von Anhalt was stripped, robbed and left naked by three women on Friday!


    This would be a great joke (none / 0) (#75)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:53:29 PM EST
    if it were not so sad in what it says about a certain huge state, huh?  As in "what do

    Arnold, a midget, a stripper and Arianna Huffington

    have in common?"


    answer (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:04:35 PM EST
    they were all given a chance for 15 minutes as a result of the republicans in california buying an illegitimate election.

    also, is he serious (none / 0) (#72)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 04:47:50 PM EST
    did you get a look at those MEDALS?

    Hey! Give the dude a break! (none / 0) (#82)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:09:22 PM EST
    He wants to overturn prop 8! {grin}

    Something tells me I might be moving to silly season, OY.


    Every night has its dawn (none / 0) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    Old world blue blood bling (none / 0) (#96)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:23:27 PM EST
    and Cuban cigars... I have some time this summer... let me volunteer! I'll work for Monte Cristo's!

    In all honesty... (none / 0) (#98)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:31:04 PM EST
    with a little tweaking to his punitive stance on sinners, his platform is pretty damned sound.  And he'd legalize it...tax the sh*t out of it...but legalize it.  That works.  I'd be hard pressed not to vote for the old kraut.

    Zsa (none / 0) (#89)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:46:17 PM EST
    Zsa utters one of my favorite lines in the film, "Death of a Scoundel" starring George Sanders. She looks at him and says, "You are vicked".

    In meandering reading today (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:39:54 PM EST
    I ran across something I have now misplaced.  Something about the Obama administration preparing to federalize some of the big banks based on something said during the SOTU that is preparing us all for this.  What sayest the TalkLeft hooligans about this?

    Market (none / 0) (#93)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:03:13 PM EST
    didn't have a tantrum and tank today, so I would say he has no intention of doing that.  Bernanke and Geitner strongly defend their actions, I can't believe they would allow this.

    I've been up to armpits (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:05:21 PM EST
    in paperwork I was avoiding so thanks for the rundown

    I sayeth... (none / 0) (#95)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:22:24 PM EST
    in the age of socialized profit, wtf is the difference? Keep Winston Smith busy in his cube...

    I have a dream (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:46:11 PM EST
    I have a dream that toxic assets are suffered by the investors and the little people get business loans that expand possibilities and create jobs and prosperity for all.  I have a dream, and it's probably only a dream.  I never planned on being one of the lucky.  I was pretty sure I was doomed to hoboville.  I think I have survivors guilt

    What (none / 0) (#87)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 05:42:47 PM EST
    would we be saying if GW Bush had taken a moment in a State of the Union address to publicly berate the Supreme Court for a "liberal" decision they might have made?

    I would have said that he was trying to intimidate the Justices.

    I'd say Hallelujah if it meant (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:36:58 PM EST
    there had been a liberal decision.

    What possible power has the president got (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 07:39:40 PM EST
    to intimidate the SCOTUS? That is one of the points of the lifetime appointments, is it not?

    Really! (none / 0) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 11:23:24 PM EST
    The idea that dissing Scalia or any of that bunch would intimidate them is laughable.  (Would that it were possible, but...)

    Yes. (none / 0) (#158)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:21:07 AM EST
    A lifetime appointment is a shield from political pressure - at least it is meant to be...

    But what was the point of Obama's remark?
    To me, the only point was to make some meaningless points with the public. "See, I really am anti-corporate"... yeah, right.

    Finally, it felt like the kind of thing one does if one is trying to incite the public. Get 'em mad. Misdirect their rage from his failure to theirs.

    And - hate to mention it, but Obama took gobs and gobs from corporations who had agendas that are not exactly populist in nature. He did that to get himself elected. And this was before this decision. Is the big issue that some of this new pipeline of corrupt cash will come from overseas? It is to laugh.
    What giant "American" corporations do not already have tentacles in foreign countries... and visa versa?


    It would have depended on the issue (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:48:44 PM EST
    I'm still issue based

    And you'd be right. (none / 0) (#103)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:56:41 PM EST