Monday Afternoon News And Open Thread

The 9th Circuit hears challenges to Arizona's immigration law. More here. The LA Times says the judges seemed ready to uphold some parts of the law and toss others. What they didn't like:

the panel also seemed to agree with a lower court ruling that other provisions of Arizona’s law were "preempted" by the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration.

The court appeared likely to reject provisions that would make it a state crime for a person to not carry immigration papers and that allows for criminal punishment of illegal immigrants who seek work in Arizona.

The bombs from Yemen were supposed to blow up in flight, according to John O. Brennan, the White House's senior counter-terrorism advisor.

Prop 19 is counting on a late ad blitz. With a recent big infusion from George Soros, and a lot of endorsements, can it pass? Vote Yes .

Oral arguments are today in Enron's Jeff Skilling's bid to vacate and dismiss 19 counts of his conviction. The Government wants the counts upheld or to retry him. The Supreme Court ruled the honest services theory was no good, so now they are arguing over what counts are affected and what's the remedy. "Skilling was found guilty of one charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, 12 counts of securities fraud, five counts of making false statements to auditors, and one count of insider trading." He got 24 years.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Hit or Miss Stanley Crouch... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:17:47 PM EST
    hits today with an op-ed on drug legalization, Weeding Out the Prohibitionists.

    And in unemployment news, some people are breaking out their chemistry sets to concoct and sell legal highs...now thats thinking outside the box!

    CIA And Modern Art as a Weapon (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:26:47 PM EST
    Long rumored to be true, it is finally been verified that the CIA funded American Abstract Art as a weapon against the commies..

    Short and interesting read


    When I first read the headline (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:48:38 PM EST
    I thought it was that they thought the art had some kind of debilitating effect on people. But in reality it was essentially secretive support of the arts to promote American superiority.

    Today at least, if the right had found out the government was funding the arts, it would have been cut. I wonder how much more money still goes to similar purposes in secret.


    That newspaper article (none / 0) (#18)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:25:19 PM EST
    is from 1995.  Good info, though, and by a writer who went on to make her discoveries into a fine book I read back then, The CIA and the Cultural War.  

    It's sort of a long, 1950s- and CIA in Europe-oriented companion piece to Carl Bernstein's famous 1977 exposé on the CIA and the Media.


    OK (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:57:15 PM EST
    Did not see the date..

    I thought it was old news, but interesting nonetheless.


    yes interesting (none / 0) (#93)
    by ZtoA on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:52:54 AM EST
    ...and, old news. Very old.

    For a state to use art to identify and promote its agenda is very old news. Of course any power player uses art and architecture. States and religions. Realism in the cold war era was 'socialist' and abstraction was 'progressive'. But those political foils and tools have been exposed for some time now. What ever is happening now in the arts is actually rather opaque. Murakami in Versailles is interesting - a dark spirit with a lavish colorful prettiness in a place of beauty with a hidden dark spirit. And all in the service of consumerism and money - the spirits of the day.


    I posted this in the Halloween thread but (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by esmense on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:27:15 PM EST
    I'd like to post it again because I think what happened was charming and just because with all the immigrant and muslim bashing going on its nice to be reminded of some of the more pleasant commonalities of assimilation that all groups face:

    I live in a neighborhood with a Mosque and and a Coptic Christian church. In addition to a lot of young professional couples (most but not all without children), late middle aged couples and elderly widows we have quite a few immigrants from the Mid-East, Ethiopia, India, etc. in the neighborhood. It seems it takes awhile for the immigrant children to convince Mom and Dad that trick or treating is an ok thing. But, in the last few years they seem to have been doing that because some older immigrant children have been showing up -- I think it is a sign of assimilation, and that they're getting old enough to wear down their parents' objections. But last
    night I was surprised and charmed to see a Mid-Eastern family that just recently moved in across the street show up at the door - Mom and three little ones, all in traditional garb (the girls had head scarves) but with shiny new American plastic pumpkins. Their house is owned by an Iranian immigrant who moved here during the revolution decades ago. When he moved to more upscale digs about 15 years ago he turn the house into a rental and often has rented to recent immigrants from the Mid-East. In the case case of this family I think it was the little boy (about 6) who got Mom to agree to the trick or treating -- because he was obviously giving instructions to the others about what they were suppose to do, and was a little impatient and irritated, in that way big brothers can be, when his very tiny little sister got confused and tried to give me candy. She couldn't have been more adorable.

    Just finished reading the new Sy Hersh article (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:55:45 PM EST
    on cyber intelligence/cyber war. It's in the New Yorker. I recommend it.

    Here's what John Robb at GlobalGuerillas.com (none / 0) (#95)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 08:15:47 AM EST
    has to say about the subject:

    I've been in some of the high level discussions on cyberwar the USG is having, and it's a complete mess.  There isn't any structure to the debate and it is being driven by refurbished Cold Warriors that don't understand it (all of them understand the $$ attached to it though).

    Click Me


    Haven't seen it noted here (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 08:01:23 PM EST
    today, so a few comments about the passing of Ted Sorensen who, with all his many major contributions to JFK and his presidency and his level-headed wise advice, especially during the Missile Crisis, probably (in my belief system -- sorry Bill Maher) is going to be advancing to the Next Level.

    No greater presidential speechwriter has there been also, with the possible exception of when Abe Lincoln wrote his Second Inaugural and Gettysburg Address mostly alone.

    TS's recent memoir, Counselor, is highly recommended reading, and one standout eyebrow-raiser is the brief section where he quotes friend Jackie quoting Jack about his real feelings about Lyndon should he ever somehow make it to the presidency.  Then the oft-forgotten near-appointment to head the CIA, thanks to prez-elect Jimmy Carter, scuttled in large part because of TS's military service registration as a conscientious objector.  Oh what might have been in reforming that Agency ... but a nervous JC rather quickly distanced himself from Ted, and the rest is history.

    One minor quibble with the book:  TS for some reason fell for the story, the canard about Ich bin ein Berliner (which TS never wrote anyway) being a grammatical error, which Sorensen goes on to say he takes full responsibility for.  Ouch.  But no such error occurred, as he later (during his book tour) acknowledged to a radio interviewer (which you can find on YT), after being contacted about his book and that passage by a native speaker and teacher of German.  Well, even the great ones can get it wrong, even when there's no wrong to apologize for.

    He was probably the last of the inner Kennedy circle to pass on, unless I'm forgetting someone.  Of course, we're talking almost 50 yrs now since JFK was elected, half a century, incredible as that sounds.  A shame he didn't live to help celebrate that upcoming anniversary, but nevertheless what a great life he had.

    Stay allowing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 08:33:24 PM EST
    to remain in effect has been extended by the Ninth Circuit for duration of the government's appeal.  The two conservative judges voted to maintain the temporary stay they imposed two weeks ago; Judge Fletcher dissented (8-page PDF downloads if you click), in part, to the extent that he would have barred discharges of gay members during the pendency of the appeal, but would not require a change in recruitment policy, etc., during the appeal.  Bottom line -- DADT remains legally enforceable.  No reason to suppose, however, that the new restrictions on discharges imposed by the President and Sec'y of Defense (each discharge must be personally approved by the civilian Secretary of the particular military service branch) won't remain in effect.

    Looks like I read the panel correctly (none / 0) (#78)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 08:52:53 PM EST
    yup (none / 0) (#79)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 09:16:54 PM EST
    Sucks to be right (none / 0) (#84)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:13:18 PM EST
    Kind of surprised (none / 0) (#85)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:38:43 PM EST
    to see you use that expression as if it referred to a bad thing.  I taught my girls (now in their 20s) that the "suck" expression their/your generation uses so much is an anti-gay slur, and not to be reinforced.  Am I off base?

    That never would have occurred to me (none / 0) (#86)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:42:49 PM EST
    I am not personally offended, but YMMV.

    Now I'm curious about the etymology (none / 0) (#89)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 11:27:25 PM EST
    of that expression.  Will do some research in historical slang dictionaries.

    Congrats to the SF Giants! (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 09:34:53 PM EST

    already sent in my Yes vote on 19 by mail ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by nyrias on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:10:47 PM EST
    though i read that it is down in the polls. I am not keeping my hopes up.

    Skilling can rot in jail.

    I think the authority did a pretty good job in intercepting the bombs. Now let's find those who make it.

    Bill Maher (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:45:59 PM EST
    is afraid because the most popular baby name is Mohammed.

    He says he doesn't want to this country to be taken over by Islam in 300 hundred years (but never fear - it isn't about race, it's about religion, he says).

    I was taken aback when I heard him say it live (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:51:30 PM EST
    Seems at least as egregious as what Juan Williams said. I guess he doesn't have to worry, not being on NPR.

    I know he is anti-religion in general, and so am I. Given that, is one religion any better or worse to have dominant? I don't really know, but I guess he has stated his opinion.  


    a few thoughts (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CST on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:02:34 PM EST
    I actually missed him saying that because i was out of the room but i heard the follow up convo.

    • Comedians generally get more leeway with saying outrageous things, as a rule.

    • I was kind of annoyed with the whole "England has sharia law" convo that followed - since they never address the fact that both parties have to choose this in order for it to happen - it's not like England has imposed sharia law on anyone.

    • Bill Maher is funny, but he's not very good at honest political discourse.  Cutting - yes.  Honest - not really.

    • Naming your kid Mohammed is kind of like naming your kid John.  It may be "religious" - but it's also just a name.  A really really common name in many parts of the world.

    I think the point is (2.00 / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:59:32 PM EST
    We aren't seeing the backlash - it's barely even been mentioned.  I think his statement was at least (if not more) offensive than Juan Williams.

    Bill Maher may not be a religious person, but he is always offensive to everyone who is.  The first show I watched of his, he made some rant like that and Ben Affleck called him on it and told him exactly how offensive he was being and Bill Maher was speechless.

    Hey - it's his show, but you can bet if someone like Rush Limbaugh said something like that, it would be covered 24/7 for a week.


    I can't keep up with who is or is not (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:08:46 PM EST
    cranking up the faux-outrage organ at any given time. There is not a religion around that Maher has not offended.

    Limbaugh has already sounded his own alarms at Muslims taking over in Europe, or so I hear from the dittoheads at work. I don't see him taken to task for it.


    Just pointing out the difference in reaction (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:22:14 PM EST
    I agree that Maher should not (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:38:02 PM EST
    be a reporter for NPR.

    Got me giggling (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:41:53 PM EST
    Hear hear

    What difference? (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:55:19 PM EST
    Rush says the same things about not liking Muslims taking over Europe and no one bats an eye anymore. They know what to expect from him, as they know what to expect from Maher regarding religion.

    He's a staunch unapologetic athiest (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:50:25 PM EST
    He is straight across the board about calling all of us who need a God crazy infantile irrational losers :)

    yea right (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:06:05 PM EST
    no one covers Rush anymore - because Rush is always offensive.  And he's said a lot worse, more often than that.  Google it.

    Maher (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:37:04 PM EST
    Maher is consistent in offending all religions....I suppose one could find that offensive....but that is what you get with him.

    He raises points others are afraid to raise....

    Christopher Hitchens and his atheism made him a strong supporter of the Iraq War and Bush's action.

    When one believes that all religion is one form or another of belief in the tooth fairy, insults will ensue...


    Maher is compulsivly "offensive" (none / 0) (#110)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:38:02 PM EST
    though I'm sure in his grandstanding heart-of-hearts he'd like to be thought of more as an iconoclast; but he ain't got enough quite enough game to qualify for true membership in that hallowed category. Though, I will say that he and that Chalabai-Wolfowitz leg humper Hitchens both have a great instinct for sniffing out the ripe-for-splattering-everywhere, lowest hanging fruit..

    Btw, God Is Not Great is, imo, little more than than Hitchen's heavy-handed, bad-boy-at-the-party ripoff and rewrite of Bertrand Russell's much more elegantly written, witty and persuasive, Why I Am Not A Christian and Unpopular Essays, from 60 years ago..



    Yep, and Bill tends to be (none / 0) (#27)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:46:06 PM EST
    as intolerant of religious adherents as some of them are of his atheistic stance.

    Those believers aren't all stupid either, as Bill often remarks.  Nor do all of them, unlike Bill, suggest or imply that they have all the answers.  

    Bill seems rather smugly to have it all figgered out (we're born we live we die we turn to dust end of story that's all there is period and in the meantime just listen to Richard Dawkins talk on the tough questions and try to smoke a lotta dope).  

    Religious skeptics or spiritually-oriented types like yours truly tend to believe another thing about life and the afterlife and reincarnation, but I don't usually try to belittle those who disagree as stupid.


    We'e all got our pet peeves... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:04:20 PM EST
    and sub-groups we like to rag on, aka our prejudices...and we all take ourselves, and others, too seriously sometimes.

    Bill's got his style, nobody needs to laugh along, I happen to find it entertaining.  I'd agree its not the way to change minds, but not everybody is out to change minds (or change their minds), some prefer preaching to/with the choir.

    What gets my goat is when people start talking censoring...I say lets air it all out and say what we really feel.  Tact, kindness, understanding, and tolerance are all virtues...but not requirements.


    I, too, find him entertaining. (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:50:40 PM EST
    As with his film "Religulous" (religion/ridiculous) released in 2008, he does ride his hobby horse at a gallop, but the comedy mostly outweighs the barbed observations.  My take on Bill is that he is not so much intolerant of the various religions that may, in his view, be based on patently absurd or comical beliefs, as he is the imposition of these belief systems on non-believers through the political and legal system.

    Actually, his most recent show turned out to be pretty good although I initially had reservations with the guest lineup of the National Review's angry rightist, Reihan Salam and Fox's foxy Margaret Hoover.

    Often Bill does not handle strong/loud conservative voices well, but with the help of Lawrence O'Donnell (who is better as a guest than host of his own show) these guests were not able to get away with much, including the false equivalency fest of extremes on both sides--attempting to equate, for example, Joy Behans with the Kentucky Fried Stomper. For that matter O'Donnell did call Bill on his baby boy name comment as being worse than that attributed to Juan Williams.


    Well, re censoring: (none / 0) (#46)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:58:32 PM EST
    iirc, Bill's great hero (and recent guest) Dick Dawkins has stated that religion is like a disease (or mind virus or similar) and teaching it to children is a form of child abuse, as I understand him.

    Sounds to me, especially given Bill's own intolerant remarks, that both would be more than willing to engage in a little censorship w/r/t religion should they ever be given the power.

    And I suspect either would play (or already has) the "Don't enable intolerance with tolerance" card.  Neither strikes me as being much in favor of tolerance, or reasonable difference in competing views, or understanding or the like when it comes to religion.  Both have announced it's a toxic aspect of civilization and should be eradicated.

    Apart from his rants against religion, I like Bill and his show.  But does every good looking woman he has on have to be a rightie?


    I'm on the fence... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:34:33 PM EST
    regarding religous indoctrination myself...it could be considered a mild form of child abuse, which is what I think they're on about. Not simply educating children about religion, but teaching religion as absolute truth...at the least I think it is bad parenting.  

    You're right that they would make lousy dictators, we all would...I part ways quickly with anyone when they get to talking censoring or prohibiting religous teaching or thought...thats as crazy as organized religion:)


    My husband (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:55:51 PM EST
    tells people who insist on asking his religion (he has none) that he's a Pastafarian- a disciple of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  That usually shuts them up.  ;-)

    I've got your graven image... (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by sj on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 11:50:34 PM EST
    ... right here

    Very good! (none / 0) (#109)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    I'll pass that along to Mr. Zorba.    ;-)

    I heard Maher (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:32:44 PM EST
    say once that he didn't know and that until about 40 he still had some belief in God....

    He can actually be quite polite to the guests on his show Real Time who are religious....

    I find his comments fascinating....whether I agree with them or not....


    Polite when they're (none / 0) (#53)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:21:31 PM EST
    guests probably, yes, but when they're not there ...

    Hey, I'd probably much prefer a world with no organized religion -- or maybe limited just to Buddhists, Unitarians, and Aetherians.  But as the other groups will likely be around for quite a while to come, best to learn how to live in harmony, and politely request that they not bother wasting their time trying to convert me or get money from me --

    like I try to do with Libertarians -- that greedy group of would-be Republicans who want to get high and get laid (h/t Tom Hartmann), the peculiar bunch of rather self-centered types Bill once tended to quote admiringly.


    Aetherians (none / 0) (#55)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:26:54 PM EST
    Never heard of them...until this post....

    Google sez they worhsip UFOs....Fine by me....As rational as the rest of them...


    A gentle group (none / 0) (#61)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:40:35 PM EST
    founded by a 50s contactee, not at all cultish or dangerous and rather spiritual in positive, other- and Earth-oriented ways.  Basically, live by the golden rule and be of service to others (with the foundational belief that ETs are visiting our planet).

    Just thought I'd throw that one in for some pre-midterm amusement and diversion and, hopefully, education and, of course, ultimately, conversion ...  ;-)


    I'd have to talk to Kucinich first (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:42:44 PM EST
    before converting....

    Dunno about Dennis, (none / 0) (#76)
    by brodie on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 08:03:21 PM EST
    but Elizabeth Kucinich could convert me to just about anything ...

    It's only the greedy bastards... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:36:54 PM EST
    who hate to be told how to live, never been a broked*ck share and share alike type intrigued by libertarianism or anarchism...no siree:)

    I do too (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:31:23 PM EST
    Sometimes he can be rough, and I do sometimes disagree with him, but he will give others the floor and have them on the show.  The most terse I have seen him is with this new breed of Republican.  He fascinates me though too.  I quit watching him when he was Hillary bashing though for awhile.  If Christine O'Donnell ever grows wiser, someone should probably give her his Hillary bashing clips to share with the world years from now.

    Last Hillary comment Maher made (none / 0) (#64)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:45:11 PM EST
    was something like:

    How could you demonize Hillary?  A greater centrist you could not find.  If you hate Hillary, you were molested by a real estate lady...


    That's Bill Maher (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:54:31 PM EST
    I don't expect anyone to be (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:56:20 PM EST
    tolerant of my beliefs though outside of letting me have them, so long as they aren't bullying me and hasseling me.  All during my growing up my father and grandfather could not and would not stop worrying the scab about how more people have been killed and murdered over fighting about who God is or who has the right God than for any other reason.  And it is true. I can handle the truth, and I can have my faith and still constantly be challenged to remember my place with it.  It is my faith, and any time it decides that it MUST BE bigger than that innocent people will die.

    hey (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 08:49:59 AM EST
    what did I tell ya? Dexter has a new girlfriend.

    btw (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 08:50:36 AM EST
    the bathtub shot was not the first time I noticed the Rita resemblance.

    You called it (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:09:28 AM EST
    You always do this too.  Don't you have a friend at HBO :)?  Oh yeah, Dexter is Showtime :)

    My husband does this in the middle of movies often, but you are the first person in my life this accurate on T.V. serials :)


    its been noted that (none / 0) (#100)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:10:22 AM EST
    my thinking like a serial killer is not a surprise.

    It sort of creeps me (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:14:15 AM EST
    that serial killers can have love interests, but many of them have been in traditional marriages and even Bundy had a girlfriend.  The "Iceman" even whacked someone while taking the beagle for a walk.

    I tend to think of Dexter (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:17:51 AM EST
    as more of a superhero.  think about it.  his is the classic superhero story.  found.  raised by strangers one of which becomes his life long mentor.
    he has powers regular people dont have and he lives outside the rules.

    so he kills people.  you think superman or batman never killed any bad people?


    but its great (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:15:49 AM EST
    because she is everything Rita was not.  I couldnt stand Rita.  she was helpless and clueless.  this is the kind of partner Dexter needs.

    she probably wont make it thru the season.
    (hope I am wrong)


    Will she understand the code? (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:19:31 AM EST
    Dexter killed the English girlfriend for killing an innocent.  Rita was killed by a serial killer he was tracking.  Lumen will be killed by someone she is trying to kill?

    or possibly even him (none / 0) (#105)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 09:25:15 AM EST
    if she doesnt understand the code (I think she will) and goes off the deep end.

    I didn't think about Lumen losing it (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 04:27:09 PM EST
    I should probably bet on that now that you have said it :)

    I actually dont think she will (none / 0) (#113)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 05:17:38 PM EST
    and they are writing her in a way to make us think its possible.

    he did make some offhand comment this week about not ever doing THAT again in a reference to getting into a relationship.

    but he needs a relationship.  it makes everything about the series more interesting.


    Fear not Bill... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 03:58:59 PM EST
    we've got too many liquor stores, strip joints, and pigs round here for sharia law to ever get a foothold...its just a name.  We've survived crazy christians, we'll survive crazy muslims...freedom is that powerful.

    What I wanna know about Bill Maher is why did he go all clamshell when Zach lit that doobie?  It felt like a squandered opportunity to show the country we have nothing to fear but fear itself when it comes to the sacrament.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:00:25 PM EST
    Because someone was committing a crime on his show - and the hassle it could be for him and the producers if that was pursued?

    Smoking anything indoors in LA (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:13:33 PM EST
    will get you in trouble...might have reacted much the same to a tobacco cig.

    Interesing dichotomy eh? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by BTAL on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:16:58 PM EST
    CA is probably the most anti-smoking state yet is has Prop 19 on its ballot.  

    Dude... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:34:37 PM EST
    nuthin' beats Amsterdam, where last I heard ya gotta go outside to smoke cigs at the coffeeshop...that never ceases to amuse me.

    Not at all (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:39:23 PM EST
    In private, do what you will....

    Check with other liberal states (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by BTAL on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:06:02 PM EST
    where even on your own patio/deck and within your own apartment/home you cannot smoke.  VA and MD have cases to that effect.  

    I remember a locality... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:39:22 PM EST
    or two in Cali trying to ban smoking within  private residences, if your private residence was an apartment or condo. As well as other parts of the country.

    Bill admits... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:33:09 PM EST
    to the same "crime" (lol) every week...that can't be it.

    The potential hassle I could understand, but its a live show, no putting out the fire at that point, why waste the moment?

    I know its asking a lot, but if Bill had hit that sh*t that woulda been legendary.  It kinda looked like Zach was expecting some help from his friends and they hung him out to dry...that was sour.


    I think the woman (none / 0) (#23)
    by CST on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:37:58 PM EST
    from Fox News was thinking about it :)

    She was... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:44:27 PM EST
    no doubt, that wide grin was a dead give away...and she did accept Zach's pass, but did not partake.

    Zach's face got so beet red...I felt so bad for him, I wanted to jump through my screen and be his wingman.


    Yeah, I don't think he expected to surprise them (none / 0) (#33)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:58:08 PM EST
    that much. I really think that it is because no one has seen anyone smoke indoors in a public place for 20 years there.

    I'm sure you would have been a great wingman! Too bad you weren't there.


    Ruffian my friend... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:17:24 PM EST
    if I was in that Southern California studio audience you'd be talking to the 2nd link in a chain reaction.

    Now do you mean to tell me nobody is smoking at the Black Crowes show in LA?  No smoking law is gonna eradicate all indoor smoking, there are certain iron-clad unwritten rules in the outlaw tradition to abide.

    Farewell tour, seeing 'em Thursday!  Acoustic and Electric sets. Indoors:)


    he got all clamshell (none / 0) (#111)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:45:52 PM EST
    in Religulous as soon as someone called out the messianic underpinnings of Zionism in the film, as well. Even Maher isn't THAT "equal opportunity"..

    I didn't get upset (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:42:53 PM EST
    He's an equal opportunity religion basher.  He bashes the crap out of Buddhism too.  It is only my path though, he does not have to be on it and there is no government takeover design like there is for Christianity or Islam that makes me want to force him to agree with me.  He will simply have to come back as a toad or an anal cyst or something :)

    Mystery novels for MT. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:54:13 PM EST
    If you are a fan of mystery/cop novels, MT, I recommend the books by John Burdett. They are set in Bangkok and feature Buddhist monk and police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep.

    The first in the series is titled Bangkok 8. So far there are four books in the series.

    They are fascinating for many reasons: Thai culture and politics, especially at the lower end of society; how Buddhism is woven throughout that culture; the compare/contrast that is drawn between east and West.

    Sonchai is my new favorite detective. I was so taken with Bangkok 8 that I immediately went to the library and got the other books.


    I will try them (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:58:33 PM EST
    I tried reading Phillipa Gregory recently because my daughter loves her writings....and they just aren't me.

    Be nice to dogs (none / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:40:39 PM EST
    There were really nice in the last life....

    Most days (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:00:14 PM EST
    I tend to think that being born a dog might actually be the final step before possible enlightenment.  To put it simply, they are usually better people than we are.

    Nothing better than a loving dog with a (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:24:17 PM EST
    sense of humor.

    Write in Ajax (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:07:57 PM EST
    for those races where you want to make a protest vote.

    Add you own last name....so he has two names.

    Ajax was our wonderful friend for 10 years...

    I wrote in his name for local DA and Sheriff last time....

    I think there are some races I have no clue on and will write in Ajax again....If I can get 20 or so people here locally to write in his name (with my last name) it could make the papers, especially if it is a local race....


    We write in family members (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:54:46 PM EST
    who are quite delighted to discover that they snared a vote!

    a number of years ago.... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by ZtoA on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:10:33 AM EST
    a friend decided that a traveling Buddhist Monk should stay at my place in my guest room, so, that was OK with me. He was really interesting and we got to be friends. He was born in Tibet and escaped with his mother and little brother, but his mother made them stay in Nepal for one year to acclimate to a lower elevation even tho it was dangerous. In the long run it was very good for their health. I took him to the Japanese Gardens and noticed him doing something at the koi pond. He was blessing the fish.

    A conversation between Maher and (none / 0) (#96)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 08:24:04 AM EST
    the Dalai Lama would be interesting.

    Do you have a Buddhist temple near you in Alabama-land, Tracy?


    Jerome (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:17:37 PM EST
    Armstrong is predicting a loss of 60-80 seats in the house tomorrow. Ouch!

    Jerome doesn't have any special knowledge (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 04:41:26 PM EST
    But if Gallup is right, he won't be far off.

    I think (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:06:26 PM EST
    that's what he is basing it on though I have generally found Gallup to overly enthusiastic towards the winning team so to speak. I mean didn't he give Obama a larger margin in '08 than he got?

    I'm looking forward to the Speaker fight (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:00:38 PM EST
    Why would the new 'party of change' pick Boehner? That will be fun.

    Senate could go too (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:42:32 PM EST
    Washington--Patty Murray can't crack 50% and Rossi is within a point or two or better.

    West Virginia--Manchin could very easily lose.

    California and Boxer winning would not be enough....

    Let the wackos rule!


    Thank Dawg I moved to wine country . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:55:19 PM EST
    here's hoping 19 passes also. self medication seems to be approp at this point {grin}

    I may have to come to medically visit (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:02:39 PM EST
    door's open :) (none / 0) (#52)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:19:27 PM EST
    But the GOTV efforts in Nevada (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:16:17 PM EST
    could be worth the 4 points Reid may be behind.

    I was part of the GOTV effort in Nevada the weekend before the election in 2008.  It was awesome....They had some 30 offices in Las Vegas alone.  They turned over every rock for Democratic votes.  

    Nevada was Obama's firewall in 2008.

    The "office" that I reported to was a dentist's office that they were using for the weekend.  No phones....All these guys with laptops and broadband access.

    Obama won Nevada by 12 points--which was insanely high.  Usually Nevada mirrors the national popular vote--Kerry lost Nevada by 3 points in 2004.  Obama won nationally by 7 in 2008.  So, Obama overperformed in Nevada in 2008 by 5 points.  

    If Obama can get that kind of GOTV for his friend Harry, it is still possible for Reid to win.


    From your keyboard (none / 0) (#66)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:53:47 PM EST
    to the Nevada Board of Elections offices...

    Other recent polls (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:38:40 PM EST
    show Patty is ahead.

    It's going to be tight, but I have a hard time believing she will actually lose this race. Of course, strange things are happening in the U.S., and I could be proven wrong. With Washington's mail-in ballots not required to be postmarked until tomorrow, the vote counting could go on for a week or two -- in which case, I expect Dino and his GOP henchmen to pull the same voter fraud nonsense they pulled in 2000, when he lost the governor's race. I would not be at all surprised if they took this one to court too.

    That 2000 vote fraud cr*p, and Dino's loss, was the straw that broke the WA State GOP's back: they retaliated by using the BIAW and Doc Hastings as emissaries to Karl Rove, and that's when John McKay our U.S. Atty got sacked (because he didn't push for further investigation of the "vote fraud" case). A very dirty business, to be sure.

    Interestingly, Jenny Durkan, the lawyer who succesfully represented Gov. Gregoire in that case, is our current U.S. atty.


    Note to self... (none / 0) (#65)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 06:51:53 PM EST
    never again forget to budget yourself funds to go out Election Day Eve...I'm on my 3rd robocall.

    Any campaign manager who budgets for robocalls should be fired immediately...make it a human being or don't call.  Way to make people dislike your candidate!

    Note to kdog (none / 0) (#70)
    by BTAL on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:14:11 PM EST
    locate where the post-election parties are being held then:

    •  watch the early returns.
    •  choose whether you want to score (like the wedding crashers) at a winners party or if you want to get the bulk of an unused open bar at a losers party.

    Agree, the night before, get the heck out of dodge if you don't want to be harangued.

    I got push polled last week for a (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:28:27 PM EST
    Demo... calls so far about 11 to 10 in favor of the Repubs.

    I got (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:32:40 PM EST
    push polled for the Deal Campaign. I guess it all depends on where you live. I just answered every questions with Deal is a sleazebag and a crook. It was easy.

    Fear of loss of control influence LV numbers (none / 0) (#81)
    by Politalkix on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 09:58:00 PM EST
    Gallup indicates that 67% of Republicans think that it matters a great deal which party controls Congress while only 53% of Democrats feel the same way.
    Democrats may just be more laid back about sensing impending dangers or are lesser control freaks.

    Why (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:05:32 PM EST
    would democrats think differently after the last few years?

    I think what it comes down to (none / 0) (#83)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:12:13 PM EST
    is that the Republican base is simply older and richer.

    (Though I will grant that it can be hard from the available data to tell which is the dependent variable).


    Ha! (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:45:31 PM EST
    Well put.  Those research theory and methods courses of yours were worth it, at least for me, just for the laff from reading your last line.

    It sure is helpful (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 10:52:00 PM EST
    to know a little bit about that stuff. I mean, how often does a television presenter announce that "independent voters are shifting to . . . ," never realizing that today's "independent" is yesterday's Republican/Democrat/Whig?

    I think that's true. The older you get the (none / 0) (#108)
    by esmense on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:52:37 AM EST
    more you hope for economic security and the more affected you are by economic developments. You know you don't have time to make up for your losses, and that you are getting more vulnerable and more likely to find yourself dependent on others and affected adversely by their actions.

    On the other hand, even though the world may look bleak to 20 year olds, they have their life ahead of them, enjoy the natural optimism of youth, expect that they will be able to help make change, and still expect that good things are ahead for them personally. Unlike their elders, they have nothing, yet, to lose.

    My Dad turned 18 in the fall of 1932, the worst year of the Great Depression. His stories of that time were always about the injustices that happened to other people, the suffering he observed, not the suffering he felt. The truth is, even though his middle class parents lost almost everything, the Depression was a pretty exciting time for him. It gave him freedom that he might otherwise not have so easily enjoyed -- an excuse to leave his small town and middle class expectations behind, an excuse to roam the country and see the world, an opportunity to genuinely engage with others on real and important issues, and, eventually, a feeling that he and his contemporaries had not only triumphed over hard times, but, in the process helped make a better world.


    Looking for a 5 pt win or a 15 pt win? (none / 0) (#92)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 12:50:11 AM EST

    good luck with that (none / 0) (#106)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 10:18:00 AM EST
    Post-midterms, Republicans would be foolish to think they no longer need Sarah Palin. Tunku Varadarajan on how they can use her to keep the party's base pumped up--while convincing her not to run for president.

    why the "gap" (none / 0) (#107)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 10:37:43 AM EST
    doesnt mean that much:

    First up, the champeen of Delaware:

        Vice president Joe Biden is urging fellow Delaware Democrats to get voters to the polls for the midterm elections.

        Biden headlined a Democratic rally in downtown Wilmington on Monday evening that drew about 200 people.

    And in the other corner, the Challenger No One Takes Seriously:


    Tea party activists are trying to energize conservative voters to propel Republican Christine O'Donnell to a victory in Delaware's U.S. Senate race.

        More than a thousand people gathered Sunday at a rally in Wilmington to cheer on O'Donnell and GOP House candidate Glen Urquhart, another tea-party-backed candidate.

    are they going to get her elected?  no.
    people line up on the freeway to see a car accident but they wouldnt vote to put one in the senate.