Friday Morning Open Thread: X Games in Aspen

Shaun White's snowboarding skills were on full display last night in Aspen at the X Games. Really beautiful to watch, especially in slow motion. He topped the elims and now has set the bar quite high.

I may not like watching traditional sports, like ball games, but I love action and Xtreme sports, including snowboarding . [More...]

It probably comes from my xTreme clients over the years. What I love most about watching them, is the speed and beauty and fearlessness in the execution. Since we now have Sports Left, I put a video up of Shaun White's great run last night at the X Games stovepipe semifinals. The clip shows his run in real time and then slow motion. He won, and has now set the bar quite high. Hope you watch it, it's a good way to start the day.

I won't be posting much on Sports Left -- it's really just for BTD -- but since I do like the XGames and the winter Olympics, you may see a few posts by me. I'm hoping he won't mind if I make a few contributions..

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Sally Quinn outdoes herself (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kmblue on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:03:14 AM EST
    She wrote a column for the WashPo about how Pres. administrations must try to make friends with the right people in Washington.  It is Awesome in its Villageness.

    Not a single positive comment.  

    Search sally quinn at WashPo, column includes the word avatar.  I kid you not.  I won't attempt a link.  

    Quinn doesn't make her ... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:29:51 AM EST
    case very well.  She points out the single-term Presidents who didn't make friends in Washington, but also says the same of three two-term Presidents.

    And the Avatar metaphor is really forced.

    Because aren't the Washington elite more like the guys who invade Pandora, rather than the Na'vi?

    Perhaps she just confused blue skin with blue blood.



    Pls add my Bleccch, 24 eye-rolls and a Sheesh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ellie on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:11:12 AM EST
    Here's a fair use portion of the article, cited and found at:

    washingtonpost.com > Arts & Living > Style

    ... if anyone wants to go there. (Hazmat suits and a thorough full-body soak afterwards in boiling Purell recommended.)

    The dreck below picks up after the Carter era. I was going to bold/emphasize the passages that are especially repellant, but if there's anything positive to say about Quinn, it's that she makes that labor unnecessary. (It would be nice too, for a exacting display of Form meeting Content, if everyone reading this had the Crack Babies font.)

    Administrations should befriend the locals -- they'll need them in hard times By Sally Quinn, WaPo, Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    [...] Since then, Washington has struck out on its own. New administrations have been greeted as warmly as invading armies. The Reagans, at first, tried to engage local Washington, with a dinner for insiders at the exclusive F Street Club, and hosted many state dinners. In the end, though, they drifted toward importing glamorous friends from New York and California, especially in the Iran-contra slog of the second term. The first Bush White House came in with a small coterie of friends and kept to them; no second term (see also, The Carters). The Clintons brought in a whole new crowd, many of them young and arrogant and clique-ish, which created such a competitive social atmosphere that the environment became toxic. In the beginning, advised by bipartisan fixer David Gergen, the Clintons hosted a series of small dinners for the chattering classes; these petered out as the first couple didn't find them useful (or fun). Ironically, President Clinton had given a toast at Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham's welcoming dinner for him shortly after he was elected. He talked about Washington being a place that was obsessed by "who's in and who's out, who's up and who's down." It was as though he were predicting his own tenure: A lot of enemies were made. When the Monica Lewinsky affair turned into a debacle, during his second term, Clinton was impeached partly because of the ill will toward him in the city. After that, the Clintons went underground and very few from the administration were seen out and about.

    By the time George W. Bush arrived, despite the bitterness about the way the 2000 election had turned out, Washington social life was ready for renewal but found none. The Bushes almost never went out and the president was in bed by 9:30, even when they entertained, which was rare.

    When Obama was elected, people began singing "Happy Days Are Here Again." Expectations were over the top. It would be only hours before we would all be dancing on tables. They were beautiful and glamorous, hip and fun. They were the new Kennedys, and Washington would come alive again. They would set a new social tone. Young people would be out every night, partying, mixing and mingling. Members of Congress, who had been sleeping on sofas in their offices and in group houses because their families lived back in the home districts, would start accepting invitations again instead of working for 18 hours, three days a week, and then going home for four.

    It was all a Camelot fantasy. Obama inherited the helm of the Titanic. Many of those he brought in were from past administrations. A lot of his crowd came in from Chicago and stuck together. People are working around the clock, and too exhausted and overextended to go out. The Obamas rarely entertain, except for large events. They are raising two young children and, understandably, prefer to stay home most nights with them, enjoying a family dinner and helping with homework. They have said that going out is such a huge production (sharpshooters, ambulances, decoy limos, motorcades, etc.) that it's almost not worth it. They have hosted only one state dinner. That, unfortunately (aside from the gate-crashers), was used to reward White House staffers instead of being an opportunity to bring in the best and the brightest from around the country.

    Consequently, the Obamas and many of their top advisers have not had the opportunity to circulate and meet the natives. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. One top White House adviser was seen at a gala a few months ago and a local scold snapped, "Why isn't he back at the White House saving the country?"

    You gotta have friends

    So what is the answer?

    Making friends is crucial. I'm only being partly facetious when I suggest that there should be some sort of in-house list where members of the administration (any administration!) are designated to go out a certain amount, in exactly the same way they make the rounds on Sunday talk shows.

    This includes the president! Even senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said this week that Obama "likes the rigor of having a conversation with someone who's going to push him." She told The Post, "There's really no point in him wasting time with people who simply agree with him all the time because it's not going to refine his position, it's not going to enlighten his position." In other words, he'll certainly accomplish some of that once he gets around town.

    Indulge me for a moment on the topic of our cultural bellwether, "Avatar." In the film, the Pandora natives worship the goddess Eywa, who is the spirit that connects them to their planet. If there is such a goddess in Washington, I believe, it is the spirit of community. Those who live here want to welcome new friends. Washingtonians are open and willing to invite newcomers and make them part of their lives. If they can't do that, there is automatically a distance that is created so that if -- no, make that when -- the administration gets into trouble, there is too little sympathy or support.

    When an administration begins to express hostility to those in the community, the Na'vi pull out their arrows with the poison tips and begin taking aim. The rougher things get, the more members of the administration need to reach out, not withdraw. Nobody has ever been able to master this yet. Consequently everyone suffers -- needlessly.

    It would be inspiring to see a new administration understand the simple secret of how to belong to the community. Then, they would never have to hear, as the heroine of Avatar, Neytiri, says to the would-be hero, Jake Sully: "You will never be one of the people."

    whether it's fair use or not (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:02:12 AM EST
    you may only post a short part of an article in comments.  This is way too much. Please just do a short paragraph or two in the future. This is way too long.

    Usually I do go shorter (and always cite/link) ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ellie on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:17:38 AM EST
    ... as anyone here knows, and this actually is fair use.

    It's your site, your rules, so delete it if it's objectionable for some reason other than being unconscionable drivel.

    (Interested parties can go back to the digby link, which has a jump to a Media Matters analysis which jumps to the article, for those who might be missing out.)


    Digby gives context on DC's 'Catfood as Pâté' set (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ellie on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:37:20 AM EST
    Maybe keep the Hazmat suit on a little longer for a related article from back in the day (which must also be read to be believed):

    I didn't realize until now that Maureen Dowd learned everything she knows from Sally Quin. It's as if all the pieces of the puzzle have come together.

    And I don't think we need to look any further to figure out why every White House since Carter has actively ignored her, do you?

    (The Original MoDo, by digby, Hullabaloo, 1/28/2010 08:30:00)

    I just finished reading it (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:31:59 AM EST
    whew.......a new depth of shallow.  It's really strange how the movie Avatar has been used as an example to explain certain realities for whomever is using it.  An aquaintance said a few days ago that she didn't like how they took what we did to Native Americans and made a movie Avatar about it.  She thought that happened so long ago that we should get over it.  It sort of freaked me out because I didn't take that from seeing the movie at all, for me the narrative was more about what always seems to happen in most culture clashes.  She was pretty adamant though that I was wrong and the movie was just a scifi fictionalized version of what happened to Native Americans that is supposed to make Americans feel bad about themselves.

    Why do cartoons hate America? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:03:36 AM EST
    or is it just 3d cartoons?

    Must be 3d cartoons (none / 0) (#36)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:05:53 AM EST
    remember a couple years ago when The Incredibles came out?  Too libertarian for some.

    'Sadly' I'm work-immersed and out of the loop (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ellie on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:02:13 AM EST
    I've got a lot on my plate right now to pay much attention to big trends except in a couple of areas that are hard to resist. (I can barely make it to the toob.)

    The Avatar discussions I've heard are in themselves pretty interesting, though. I don't even need to issue spoiler alerts because it's likely I'll forget them by the time I get around to seeing it.


    At least Mother Nature... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:17:23 AM EST
    ...has blessed our mountains with tons and tons of fresh powder, unlike poor BC who is having to truck it in for the Olympics.  

    Maybe that's why we were able to lure the Snow Show away from Vegas.  Definately a more, shall we say, interesting crowd than the usual convention.

    Jury deliberating on Tiller murder case (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by magster on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:33:40 AM EST
    Judge threw out the justification defense in the instructions saying the suspect was neither preventing anything imminent nor illegal.

    It's either jury nullification or a conviction.  

    Breaking: Guilty (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by magster on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:07:42 AM EST
    Jury deliberated for 15 minutes.

    That WAS fast... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:09:54 AM EST
    Justice (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:10:26 AM EST
    But it doesn't bring Dr. Tiller back to us.  I'll take justice though.  It is all we can hope for now.

    Wait a minute (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:16:05 AM EST
    No comments from anyone about how the cops planted evidence in this case?  About how the prosecutor is railroading this defendant?  How he's going to be unjustly caged?

    it's not like this stuff is made up (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CST on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:23:21 AM EST
    if it didn't happen it didn't happen.  Sometimes it does.

    In this case - he admitted to the killing, he was just trying to argue it wasn't murder because of all the babies he was trying to save.

    The guy walked into a church and killed someone, with plenty of witnesses.  I imagine they had no need to plant evidence.


    Yes, but was he handcuffed, questioned, (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:27:24 AM EST
    detained in a cell, i.e., cage?

    Yuck it up ladies... (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:00:13 PM EST
    I'll pray our chains are never placed on your wrists...they hurt ya know.

    I know I know...good right?


    It is unnecessary force that the (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:22:02 AM EST
    Constitution bans.  Not any force.

    I think anybody... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 07:44:12 AM EST
    who doesn't see oodles of unnecessary force being applied needs some glasses.

    How refreshing! (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:32:54 AM EST
    Usually the mantra around here is Cops = BAD.  Defendant = RAILROADED

    Due process is important (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by CST on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:45:44 AM EST
    there is no indication that that wasn't followed here.

    In terms of general sentancing issues people have, there is almost always a distinction made between non-violent, and violent crime.

    Also, the death penalty is not being sought here.

    I don't think it's about Cop = Bad, so much as recognizing that in an arrest situation the cop is the one with all of the power, so we need to make sure that power is not abused.


    CST, I think you hit it. (none / 0) (#53)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:56:03 AM EST
    The power differential in favor of the prosecution is strong.

    Yes, I understand that (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:12:43 PM EST
    But my comment was more snark about the various commenters around here who always assume the government is corrupt and the defendant is always poor put upon.  Again - Cop / prosecutor = BAD and EVIL, defendant - MISUNDERSTOOD / SCREWED / STANDING UP AGAINST TYRANNY

    Do you have any information re why (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:18:48 PM EST
    DA's office did not seek death penalty in this case?  I would like to know the statutory criteria.

    See my comment (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:25:17 PM EST
    in the thread about this.

    I don't know why they didn't seek the death penalty, but I think I found the statutes for you.


    If you don't like the (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:52:18 PM EST
    "mantra" around here, please find a place that you do. This is a criminal defense site and while opposing views are welcome, chattering and insulting the site's mission are not. You have been posting multiple comments lately that are borderline in this regard. Please feel free to disagree about the topic of the you are responding to, in moderation, and without the sarcasm and belittling.

    Verdict reached already... (none / 0) (#38)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    WICHITA, Kan. - Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of a man accused of killing a Kansas abortion provider.

    It took the jury just 37 minutes Friday to reach the verdict in confessed killer Scott Roeder's (ROH'-durs) trial. It was to be read late Friday morning.

    Roeder has said he shot Dr. George Tiller on May 31 to protect unborn children.

    His lawyers on Thursday failed to make a case for a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. The judge also refused to allow the jury to consider a second-degree murder conviction.

    If convicted of first-degree murder, the 51-year-old faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years.


    Possibility of parole? Unbelievable. (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:20:09 AM EST
    After 25 years... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:49:47 AM EST
    a lot can happen in 25 years...if there is no hope for this sick puppy why not just murder him now like he did that poor doc?

    On second thought don't answer that.


    This man has no conscience. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:57:01 AM EST
    It appears he doesn't... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:59:13 AM EST
    at this very moment...but one can sprout up at anytime....I see no reason why we can't check in on him in 25 years and see if he has seen the light.

    I guarantee he will be born again. Oh wait. (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:02:36 PM EST
    He already is.  

    A lot can happen in FIVE years (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:58:09 PM EST
    but we're dealing here with the OTHER fundamentalism: the one that always needs it's pound of flesh (and blood) to feel better about the bad thing that already happened.

    What, and make a martyr out of him? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:27:23 PM EST
    Make him a hero to the others - and there are others, trust me - who believe they have been tasked with carrying out retribution on "God's behalf" and in the names of the innocent who have been "murdered?"

    Besides, how much sense does it make to consciously kill the man who's in prison because he consciously killed someone?

    It's true that a lot can happen in 25 years, but Roeder doesn't strike me as someone who will ever regret what he did, or not take the opportunity to do it again if he can.


    The parole board... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:36:09 PM EST
    will have the chance to make that determination in 25 years...I tend to agree that this guy is probably hopelessly lost...but the opportunity for parole and redemption is more about us than about him....its about keeping our collective soul as clean as we can.

    They can't apply the death penalty (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:29:51 PM EST
    Kansas law doesn't allow it in this kind of case, apparently.

    From the "No Sh*t Sherlock" column... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:24:22 PM EST
    wages have reached new levels of stagnation...only a 1.5% rise in '09, lowest percentage since we've been keepin' track.

    Somebody tell the landlord, the utility company, the insurance company...sh*t tell everybody.  

    The scary part is this is the "good news", for the lucky ones who still have jobs.

    Yet somehow " 'we' are going to compete" (none / 0) (#71)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:44:48 PM EST
    with economies (and the outsourcers who love them) that rely on child labor, sweatshops and worker bees  going 14 hrs a day for a dollar-an-hour.

    The issue of wage stagnation wont even be on the table at all in a few more years.


    Dollar an hour? (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:04:58 PM EST
    Nah man...we're well on our way to a "Dollar a Day"...and down the stretch they come in the race to the bottom!

    Sure does cost well whole a lot of money
    to live in the land of the free
    so I think I'll go and plant a seed
    grow a marijuana money tree

    - Ryan Bingham, "Dollar a Day"

    I'd follow Ryan's advice, but then I'd have to worry about the shakedown from the crime syndicate I referenced in my link to the story of the million dollar heist in Kansas downthread...they'd take all I got and all my sweet old landlady got...and she's one of the nice ones who ain't raising the rent, can't have that now.


    kdog, you're here too? (none / 0) (#73)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:51:08 PM EST
    I guess your invitation to Davos and the world Economic Summit got lost in the mail like mine did.

    Do you remember those things that employers used to give, what were they called... oh yeh-- 'raises.'

    that was a cute name. When was the last reported siting of one of those? 99?

    I've just spent a fruitless hour on the phone with the power company. Doesn't matter that there were two weeks of record lows set in January. Reminds me of the movie Goodfellas.

    "Oh, you've been in the hospital? F*ck you. Pay me my money."


    I've got an answer to that... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:09:25 PM EST
    "No sir, F*ck You, and try to come down here and collect."  And call me jeff if they try it...lets show 'em a real free market reaction to market forces!  I know a couple electricians who could figure something out to keep the power on too.

    thanks, man. Nice to know somebody's (none / 0) (#78)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    got my back!

    It's the only way... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:22:13 PM EST
    we in the plastic spoon set get by my man...with a little help from our friends.

    I am informed by a hopeful applicant (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:25:29 AM EST
    that 2010 census enumerators will earn about $16/hr. and get mileage, as they must drive their own vehicles.  

    Let's laugh (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:48:18 PM EST
    Thnk you, Dadler! (none / 0) (#85)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:04:37 PM EST
    Reminds me of supper at my big momma's house after some would go to church and others wouldn't. I smile every time I watch this scene. How many roles did Eddie play in this one? All of the adults?

    yep, he played them all (none / 0) (#86)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:33:00 PM EST
    except the kid.

    always cracks me up.


    I heard this morning (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:55:44 AM EST
    that Shaun White hates his nickname from the 2006 Games - The Flying Tomato - and now wants everyone to refer to him as "Animal" because he thinks he looks like Animal from the Muppets.

    Too bad we don't get to choose our own (none / 0) (#23)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:54:39 AM EST
    nicknames. I've been saddled with 'sleepy' since my teens. I worked a split shift... got off at 2a.m., had to be back at work at 11:30 a.m. Folks in the office got in the habit of calling me at 10:30 to make sure I'd be there, and Sleepy Jeff was created.  My friends from that era don't even use my name, just Sleepy.

    Not particularly cool, but it stuck. The flying tomato stuck... sorry dude.


    What went wrong? (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:17:41 AM EST
    A timeline of the thwarted Christmas Day bombing.

    The Christmas Day bombing attempt aboard Northwest Flight 253 touched off a series of blunders that deprived emergency ground crews of critical information and exposed travelers in the McNamara Terminal to danger if another bomb or accomplice had been on board, according to aviation experts and records obtained by the Free Press.

    Did the DEA... (none / 0) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:38:02 AM EST
    ...not get the memo to back off raiding MM establishments or can they just not control themselves?    

    Federal drug-enforcement agents earlier this week seized medical-marijuana samples from a Denver lab that does potency testing for dispensaries, in what cannabis advocates say is an instance of continued official harassment of the medical-marijuana industry.


    I think that memo... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:25:12 AM EST
    was only meant to placate people like us Mile...with a wink and nod to the DEA to keep on tyrannizin'.

    Consider me... (none / 0) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:34:21 AM EST
    ...very un-placated.  

    I couldn't find the link to the story I saw last night, but they also busted an ex-Bronco who is a state certified MM provider/caregiver.  

    Is it just a coinsidence this is all happening at the same time the Leg is working on MM laws?  I think not.  


    It is all they know... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:40:46 AM EST
    bust, harass, & seize.

    No memo is gonna change their core function...we need to pull their funding...the only way.  How to do that under a corporate oligarchy is beyond me...all I can come up with is tax revolt...and who needs a beating and a cage?


    Get ready for TSA... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:42:00 AM EST
    ...checkpoints and screening for railroads.

    An Amtrak passenger who alarmed fellow passengers by talking about terrorist threats on a cell phone was pulled from the train and is being held in Colorado.

    Ojore Nuru Lutalo, 64, was arrested Tuesday on an Amtrak passage from Los Angeles to Chicago. Passengers on the train alerted authorities after hearing the man from Elizabeth, N.J., mention al-Qaida and make threats in a cell phone conversation.


    Oh boy... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:32:08 AM EST
    by the time my beard is grey I think we'll have more checkpoints than Gaza...I see a future where I'll have to cross through 2 of 'em to get to 7-11 5 blocks away for a 50 dollar pack of cigarettes...talk about bleak.

    At least... (none / 0) (#21)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:43:22 AM EST
    ...the bedwetters and the anti's will be happy then.

    Glass half full... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:59:38 AM EST
    that is a plus...no more moaning about how "unsafe" everything is.

    On second thought, are the bedwetters ever satisfied with security?  Even in my imagined dystopian future they'll be crying there is no mandatory anal cavity search at the corner check point.


    Tru dat. (none / 0) (#28)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:10:16 AM EST
    Anal cavity searches for all my friends!

    The only people I've ever seen pulled off (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:51:55 AM EST
    an Amtrak train were Latino in appearance.  

    GDP (none / 0) (#13)
    by AlkalineDave on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:09:05 AM EST
    I Have No Head (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:25:34 AM EST
    for these kinds of things, but the Atlantic dissects the number while also cautioning there'll be adjustments that probably drive it down as happened in the 3rd quarter.

    Some economists fear the (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:53:08 AM EST
    GDP measure at this moment is very faulty since it is just a gross measure of goods and services.  I've read cautions today that the increased activity could be only due to trade shifts.  Krugman calls it an inventory blip.

    See? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:01:50 AM EST
    You know all the terms...inventory blip, trade shifts.

    I owned a small business for 32 years before moving on to the high paying world of mental health peer advocacy (!) and I never mastered the ins and outs of economic legerdemain.

    You rock, girl.


    Yup, it's not as great ... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:38:12 AM EST
    as it looks.  But it's better than alternative.

    I heard the inventory blip caution this morning (none / 0) (#24)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:56:40 AM EST
    on Marketplace, also. Usually a good source of information.

    On another topic, Davos meetings going on, and my invitation isn't here. Guess the pesky post office didn't function properly.


    LOL Land of Hype (none / 0) (#33)
    by SOS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:50:22 AM EST
    The entire banking system at the top is insolvent. They are falsifying and fraudulently overvaluing their assets. Often commercial real estate and securities are carried at say $100 million when in fact real market value is $30 million.

    And the economy is soaring?

    How bout another haircut?


    Hmmm.... (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:01:31 AM EST
    Dems reach out to Lou Dobbs to back immigration reform

    No, I'm not making this up.

    Senate Democrats have reached out to former CNN anchor and prominent illegal-immigration opponent Lou Dobbs in an effort to build broad bipartisan support for immigration reform.

    Winning the support of Dobbs, who became a prominent critic of illegal immigration and proposals to grant amnesty to illegal workers, could provide a significant boost to reform efforts.

    And even though the victory of Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts appears to have diminished the chances of passing far-reaching, controversial immigration reform, Democrats are not giving up.

    Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is spearheading the Democrats' effort to put together a comprehensive reform bill, met with Dobbs on Wednesday.

    Don't miss Glenn Greenwald today. (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:20:58 AM EST
    Old son, 35th verse, but so well written.

    I try never to miss Glenn's posts. (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:45:10 AM EST
    Assume you are referring to the Tony Blair/Iraq War inquiry?

    This paragraph stands out:

    I'm periodically criticized for an "angry" tone in my writing, which I always find mystifying.  I genuinely don't understand why anger should be avoided or even how it could be.  What other reaction is possible when one looks around and sees the government leaders who committed these grave crimes completely unburdened by any accountability and treated as respectable dignitaries, or watches the Tom Friedmans, Jeffrey Goldbergs, Fred Hiatts and other unrepentent leading media propagandists who helped enable it still feted as Serious and honest experts, or beholds the current Cabinet and Senate filled with people who supported it, or observes the Michael O'Hanlons and Les Gelbs and other Foreign Policy Community luminaries who lent trans-partisan credence to it all continue to traipse around still pompously advocating for more wars that never touch their lives?  

    We must look forward, right?  


    For me this ... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:49:17 AM EST
    is the money quote:

    All of this underscores the fact that -- despite how much public debate it has received -- we still childishly, and with moral blindness, refuse to come to terms with the true scope of our wrongdoing when it comes to the Iraq  War.

    And he backs it up well in the graphs that follow.

    Here's the link for those who want to read on.


    This is funny (none / 0) (#47)
    by lilburro on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:35:48 AM EST
    Obama and Scott Brown related:

    It was bad enough that President Barack Obama lost his filibuster-proof margin in the U.S. Senate to a Republican. Now it turns out he also lost it to a relative.

    Genealogists said Friday the Democratic president and the newly elected Massachusetts senator, Scott Brown, are 10th cousins.

    Apparently (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:10:03 PM EST
    Funny (none / 0) (#67)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:14:17 PM EST
    I don't think I remember them ever tracking geneology for any other president before Mr. Obama.

    So (none / 0) (#66)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:13:25 PM EST
    So Obama has replaced Kevin Bacon

    (referring to the 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon)


    In this millennium? (none / 0) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:36:40 AM EST
    "Stonewalling' of DADT repeal (modification?) by the Pentagon and Congress. Gates and Adm. Mullen will be presenting "initial" plans at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee next Tuesday, if not, once again, rescheduled. It was signaled that Mr. Gates will go slowly and that repeal is not imminent.  On the House side, Ike Skelton (D. MO), chair of the House Armed Services Committee continues to express his opposition to repeal. Looks like more WH wine and wiener parties ahead to keep civil rights groups at bay. Moreover, it may be wise for Jon Favreau to keep that part of the SOTU address handy for future recycling.

    Million Dollar Heist in Kansas.... (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:01:08 PM EST
    nice score for the largest crime syndicate in America.

    See Digby's "Obama reaching out.," (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 12:27:48 PM EST
    I was amazed to hear Pres. was going to Baltimore to meet with GOP Congressional leadership.  And he is.

    "Meet with" is (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:40:01 PM EST
    kind of a misnomer.  He went to the regular retreat of the House GOP caucus, made an opening speech, then took questions from GOP reps for another hour or so.

    I am NOT an Obama fan, far from it.  Nevertheless, I was dazzled.  He said stuff I don't agree with, but on the whole, I think I understand much better where he's coming from than I did this morning.


    Good for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:46:28 PM EST
    It actually seemed like he had some passion (at least from reading these comments)

    It's about time.

    "I've read your legislation. I take a look at this stuff. And the good ideas we take," Obama said. "It can't be all or nothing, one way or the other ... If we put together a stimulus package in which a third of it is tax cuts that normally you guys would support, and support for states and the unemployed and helping people stay on COBRA, that certainly your governors would support ... and maybe there are some things in there, with respect to infrastructure, that you don't like ... If there's uniform opposition because the Republican caucus doesn't get 100 percent or 80 percent of what you want, then it's going to be difficult to get a deal done, because that's not how democracy works."

    That's a good example (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:32:06 PM EST
    of the way it went.  His tone was reasonable and polite, but he didn't hedge anything on his own principles-- which I'm now convinced are not grounded in any ideology at all.  It's total pragmatism, and therefore utterly dependent on the guidance of the experts he chooses to advise him.

    I heard some of his speech/discussion (none / 0) (#74)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:53:06 PM EST
    at the clinic today. He was passionate and convincing. I thought, "Why not talk like this at the SOTU?"

    Why? (none / 0) (#68)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 01:14:49 PM EST
    Why did that surprise you?

    Yes, we can finally access the streets (none / 0) (#80)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:27:05 PM EST
    in a multi-block area around the meeting site...had I wanted to leave the office mid-day, I would not have been allowed out of the parking garage.  Well, I always want to leave mid-day, but I resign myself to being here until 5:00.

    If I'm not mistaken, Obama will meet - or has met - with Dems, too, at their own retreat.

    I'd like to hope that Obama is beginning to find himself as a leader (but also hoping he doesn't see himself as the New Ronald Reagan with all that could mean for policy), but then I think maybe his performance today is the equivalent of the sternly-worded letter, which, as we know, is usually followed by the inevitable back-down.

    Guess we'll see soon enough.