Monday Afternoon Open Thread

Big Tent Democrat is in trial this week. I've posted some news items, but will be busy the rest of the afternoon.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    re: Presidential pardons (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:15:13 PM EST
    You have probably read Peter Matthiessen's (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:26:45 PM EST
    excellent book 'In the Spirit of Crazy Horse' on the subject. Made a believer out of me. Total travesty of justice.

    great, great, GREAT American book (none / 0) (#51)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:51:16 PM EST
    And as I recall it sat on the shelves for years because of government lawsuits against it.

    Isn't it wonderful? (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:49:35 PM EST
    Great story, writing, point of view. It is on my top five list. I didn't know about the lawsuits. I didn't come upon it until the paperback edition.

    Sen, Voinivich opposed to tax cut extensions (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:07:23 PM EST

    Isn't it "bipartisanship" when Sen. Voinovich agrees with Prof. Krugman? Mr.President, please listen!

    Well (none / 0) (#41)
    by lilburro on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:15:05 PM EST
    Voinovich would vote against what Pres. Obama originally wanted as well.

    On the tax issue, digby's post is good today.  If Voinovich and Obama want to reform the whole system they might want to take a look at that little slice called corporate taxes...


    The other shoe: I predict that (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:59:57 PM EST
    rank-and-file Republicans will not fall in line. Democrats will make further concessions.

    Has anyone read posts by Cream City (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:14:35 AM EST
    lately? I've been spotty on the site for about 6 weeks, but I've noticed her absence. A couple of other formerly frequent posters, also.

    did I miss something? the Talkleft  equivalent of a pie fight?

    Comment in response to this (none / 0) (#145)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 28, 2010 at 11:02:02 PM EST
    referring to another commenter's posts has been deleted. That commenter has not been around and cannot respond and I have repeatedly asked that commenters not dredge up old comments of others.

    Many regular commenters absent themselves for a while, due to real life issues, ennui or whatever. Some leave permanently, many more return at some point.


    I hope BTD is neither convicted nor (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:21:24 PM EST
    foreclosed on from the trial.

    Have you/would you drive to Ensenada (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:28:58 PM EST
    from San Diego at present?  Trying to decide whether to do so just before Christmas.  

    Haven't done it for many years (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:38:15 PM EST
    but I would risk a lot for those lobsters at Rosarita Beach. I have not heard about that route being unsafe, but I'm not in the area.

    Mexican government is advising (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:55:38 PM EST
    ex pats returning by road for the holidays to travel in convoys.  

    Well, that would settle it for me (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:32:28 PM EST
    I'd stay stateside and live to eat delicious lobsters another day.

    Ortegas at Puerto Nueva now has a (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:46:56 PM EST
    restaurant in Hillcrest here.  Pretty good.

    mmm...that was one of the most memorable (none / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:07:06 PM EST
    meals I've ever had. Sooo good. I'll have to try the Hillcrest branch next time I'm out there.

    I really miss California Mexican food. From what I've had in the few trips to Colorado Mexican isn't the same, and forget about it in Florida. I have no idea which is more authentic - all I have to go on is 3 or 4 trips to Mexico, but I like the California style the best.


    oops, editing problems above (none / 0) (#47)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:08:56 PM EST
    but you get the point. I've had more than a few trips to Colorado - lived there for 14 years! I liked the Blue Bonnet in Denver the best. That seemed closest to California style to me.

    mmmm.... the Blue Bonnet (none / 0) (#49)
    by sj on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:38:10 PM EST
    Or my one of my favorites:

    La Loma on West 26th for a sit down with Margaritas.  Or for handheld bean and adobado burritos I would drive to Taqueria La Frontera in Thornton.

    That's what I miss most about Maryland.  Heck, at this point I'd settle for an Armadillo restaurant.


    LOL (none / 0) (#68)
    by sj on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:05:38 PM EST
    I speak from personal experience (albeit from 30 years ago) in noting that you can pretty much count on being picked up by the local authorities if you've obviously been playing One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor! at Hussong's or the Bahia, and are out in the street yelling "Who's got the big one? I DO!!!" to random female passers-by - and the public fine is pretty stiff.

    The times they do change :)


    The problem is the section of Tijuana along (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:09:23 AM EST
    the border fence before the toll road.  The La Playa area, sought of the throughroad and the fence is the heaviest hit by cartel/Federales violence.  Ensenada and toll road are fine--no guarantees--but usually ok.

    busy doing the peoples business (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced a bill Thursday aimed at stopping WikiLeaks by making it illegal to publish the names of military or intelligence community informants.

    If you haven't read (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:37:55 PM EST
    Glenn today, you might want to.  Not just because it's excellent, as always, but because I think it's important that as many people as possible consider the implications, scope and effect of allowing much of the media and far too many elected representatives to continue to normalize what is an increasingly authoritarian approach to government:

    Just look at what the U.S. Government and its friends are willing to do and capable of doing to someone who challenges or defies them -- all without any charges being filed or a shred of legal authority.  They've blocked access to their assets, tried to remove them from the Internet, bullied most everyone out of doing any business with them, frozen the funds marked for Assange's legal defense at exactly the time that they prepare a strange international arrest warrant to be executed, repeatedly threatened him with murder, had their Australian vassals openly threaten to revoke his passport, and declared them "Terrorists" even though -- unlike the authorities who are doing all of these things -- neither Assange nor WikiLeaks ever engaged in violence, advocated violence, or caused the slaughter of civilians.


    But that sort of legal scheming isn't even necessary.  The U.S. and its "friends" in the Western and business worlds are more than able and happy to severely punish anyone they want without the slightest basis in "law."  That's what the lawless, Wild Western World is:  political leaders punishing whomever they want without any limits, certainly without regard to bothersome concepts of "law."  Anyone who doubts that should just look at what has been done to Wikileaks and Assange over the last week.  In this series of events, there are indeed genuine and pernicious threats to basic freedom and security; they most assuredly aren't coming from WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.


    Just to underscore the climate of lawless initmidation that has been created:  before WikiLeaks was on many people's radars (i.e., before the Apache video release), I wrote about the war being waged on them by the Pentagon, interviewed Assange, and urged people to donate money to them.  In response, numerous people asked -- both in comments and via email -- whether they would be in danger, could incur legal liability for providing material support to Terrorism or some other crime, if they donated to WikiLeaks.  Those were American citizens expressing that fear over an organization which had never been remotely charged with any wrongdoing.  


    All the oppressive, lawless policies of the last decade -- lawless detention, Guantanamo, disappearing people to CIA black sites, rendition, the torture regime, denial of habeas corpus, drones, assassinations, private mercenary forces, etc. -- were designed, first and foremost, to instill exactly this fear, to deter any challenge.   Many of these policies continue, and that climate of fear thus endures (see this comment from today as but one of many examples).  As the treatment just thus far of WikiLeaks and Assange demonstrates, that reaction -- though paralyzing and counter-productive -- is not irrational.  And one thing is for sure:  there is nothing the U.S. Government could do -- no matter how lawless or heinous -- which (with rare exception) would provoke the objections of the American establishment media.

    I've had to make a point of avoiding the news, just because there is almost nothing they are reporting on these days that isn't serving someone or something other than the public; it is so dishonest and so manipulative that I sometimes believe I can actually feel my blood pressure rising.

    I think we are marching a little faster to our eventual destruction.


    I like to read Greenwald but (none / 0) (#30)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:45:47 PM EST
    I like Greenwald's writing and agree with much of what he writes.  Here's the but.... I happen to be partial to consistency in thought and action.  Doesn't GG claim to still support extremely conservative Obama? and his re-election?  

    GG railed against Bush and voted against him.  Obama is the same (and worse in some instances) as Bush.  GG rails against Obama yet will vote for him.  The day he states he won't vote for Obama, and follows through, is the day I purchase his book.


    Well, here's how I look at it: (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:32:01 PM EST
    does how Glenn did or didn't vote invalidate what he's saying?  Is he not accurately describing what is happening with Wikileaks?  Is he wrong that the government is becoming more and more authoritarian?  Is he wrong that the media is just mouthing whatever the government instructs them is permissible?  Is he wrong that the administration, in its zeal to go after whistleblowers, is instilling fear designed to keep secrets that maybe shouldn't be kept?

    What Glenn chooses to do in the voting booth is his business, just as what you or I do is ours.  Do I stand on higher ground because I didn't cast any vote for president in 2008, or should I not be allowed to "complain" because I sat that vote out?  

    I have read many a blog post and comment that railed against policies and politics that ended with, "but I will still vote for him if he runs in 2012," so where does that leave us?


    Were you responding to me (none / 0) (#48)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:37:35 PM EST
    Is he wrong?  uh, what part of I agree with much of what he writes by passed you?

    If someone claims that Obama is operating a regime that is more authoritarian than Bush and then votes for Obama that would make that person part of a serious problem.  A person who acts in contradiction to stated beliefs or feelings.


    Has GG sd. anything w/i recent (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:53:45 PM EST
    memory stating he will support Pres. Obama for re-election?  If so, I missed it.

    Don't you feel safer already? (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:36:19 PM EST
    yeah (none / 0) (#9)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:43:39 PM EST
    this is a slippery slope.

    I was thinking about this and making "fake pot" illegal.  does anyone else think they will just make new chemicals that do the same thing?  maybe already have.  and then they will have to make THEM illegal.  or maybe they will just try to make anything illegal that makes you feel good and be done with it.


    I realize the ostensible intent (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:57:45 PM EST
    is to protect the informants, not me. Wish they had showed such concern over Valerie Plame's exposure.

    The major corp for which I subcontract sent out a bulletin telling their employees not to even look at the wikileaks web site at home. Well, any web site can potentially have classified information on it. That is why we are trained only to read something marked 'classified', if we happen to come across it,  if we have a 'need to know'. Total BS directive, aimed at intimidating people.


    The thing is, can't the federal government (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:13:52 PM EST
    figure out who downloaded the classified info?  My office could do this.  Why can't the feds?

    I think they already know it is (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:09:31 PM EST
    the guy they already arrested for giving wikileaks the video earlier this summer.

    In my view this is pure intimidation to keep people from reading the information on wikileaks, which for the most part is not classified information.


    I mean on the part of the corporation (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:11:37 PM EST
    The three amigo senators are trying to create other offenses they can throw at the likes of Assange.

    funny (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:39:49 PM EST
    Stephen Kings list of the best TV of the year:

    1. Morning Joe - "good talk for the politically inclined"
    2. Boardwalk Empire
    3. SpongeBob SquarePants - "always witty and often fall-on-the-floor hilarious"
    4. Sons of Anarchy
    5. Dexter
    6. Damages
    7. The Event - "clever, suspenseful drama"
    8. Breaking Bad
    9. The Walking Dead - "21st-century rarity, appointment TV"
    10. Friday Night Lights - "a lot of love and honesty has gone into FNL and it shows

    Dexter should be #1 and obviously I dont get his #1 but other than that . . . .

    Hmmm. My next call today is to cancel (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:54:15 PM EST
    cable.  Not baseball season and the Padres mgt. is infuriating me.

    Or not. $30 to cancel. $30 to re-up! (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:31:13 PM EST
    move up a package or two (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:37:47 PM EST
    and you might start liking it.

    I will--when I am less mobile and (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:55:00 PM EST
    have invested in a large screen, state-of-the art TV.  At present, my only TV is a Sony wireless--which has a smaller screen than my laptop.

    As part of the deal to (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:53:08 PM EST
    extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for several years, President Obama no doubt will get, in return, a Republican green light on START, DADT, the Dream Act, and, of course, unemployment benefits.  Pretty smart wheeling and dealing I must say.

    when you say it all at once (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    like that it makes me a little dizzy

    That sound you hear (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:58:37 PM EST
    is the grinding of my teeth.

    Oh, no doubt at all, I'm sure! (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 01:59:27 PM EST
    He is a shrewd bargainer!

    Narcissistic personality disorder (none / 0) (#17)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:08:16 PM EST
    no longer a disorder? It is all about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wooohooo!

    Very timely. I have almost finished (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:15:34 PM EST
    reading "Saul Bellow's Letters."  His oldest son, Gregory Bellow, a psychologist, spoke at a panel in memoriam of his father.  Gregory Bellow did not hesitate to label his father a narcissist.  

    I know it's not the same thing, but (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:20:28 PM EST
    I feel that arrogance is quite functional in many highly intelligent people. I don't mind someone who is arrogant, as long as they have the goods.

    Oh, I agree. But almost every letter (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:26:40 PM EST
    is predominantly Bellow spouting off about some criticism of his work, either by the correspondent or someone else.  And alot of detail and complaint (although he denies he is a complainer) about his physicial and psychological ills.  

    Actually, I am enjoying reading the letters as Bellow does "have the goods." What a marvelous writer. I miss him.


    Apparently, DSMV 5 will lose (none / 0) (#27)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:34:45 PM EST
    up to five disorders. Which others are on the chopping block?

    The others (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by lilburro on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:08:40 PM EST
    from PsychCentral are "Paranoid, Schizoid, Histrionic and Dependent Personality Disorders."  More on each disorder (and some funny/interesting discussion) at Jezebel.

    Ty. Like my learned colleague, (none / 0) (#53)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:22:39 PM EST
    I tried to find the info in the APA site.

    APA may not be the (none / 0) (#75)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:34:44 PM EST
    organization involved if you mean the American Psychological Assn.  DSM is prepared by the American Psychiatric Assn, and its designations are used by all the insurance cos.  

    Google isn't my friend on this topic. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:55:53 PM EST
    APA website on DSM 5 doesn't seem to disclose this info.

    narcissism: the new normal (none / 0) (#76)
    by kempis on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:35:44 PM EST
    I wonder (none / 0) (#21)
    by lilburro on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:23:33 PM EST
    about the sources of this article and think this might just be Matt Bai offering his opinion, but:

    The body of Mr. Obama's writing and experiences before he became a presidential candidate would suggest that he is instinctively pragmatic, typical of an emerging generation that sees all political dogma -- be it '60s liberalism or '80s conservatism -- as anachronistic. Privately, Mr. Obama has described himself, at times, as essentially a Blue Dog Democrat, referring to the shrinking caucus of fiscally conservative members of the party.

    In a 2005 blog post that may be as valuable as either of his books in identifying the inner president, then-Senator Obama castigated his own party's ideological activists for their attacks on Democratic senators who had voted to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice. "To the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, `true' progressive vision for our country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward," Mr. Obama, who voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts, wrote then.

    Interesting that Bai highlights the diary promoted by BTD in 2005.  A diary that is now somewhat painful and humorous to read...

    And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans).

    There's a better word than pragmatic (none / 0) (#23)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:30:47 PM EST
    for people who reject the actual, stark ideological divisions in this country in favor of a mushy pragmatism---idiots.

    I guess it isn't too surprising DK (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:32:56 PM EST
    fell all over itself supporting candidate Obama.  Other examples:  Tester, Webb, et al.

    It may not be the goal of the (none / 0) (#26)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 02:34:32 PM EST
    Republican ideologues that poor people starve, poor women miscarry or die from pregnancy complications, and people with no means die before they are able to draw on Social Security---but I doubt it. Anyone who does not understand that the Republican values are explicitly inimical to social welfare at a core level is ignorant of history---the kind of person who would say that FDR really screwed up in his first hundred days (as Obama did).

    Why be Dem? (none / 0) (#34)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:06:52 PM EST
    Nauseating part is the premise that centrist Dems should be free to reject the liberal/progressive agenda (why be a Dem? but that's beside the point) so that Repubs can be free to ignore their base.

    Yeah, a decade of Bush delusional ideology being continued by free-market bankster worshipping Obama is working so well.  bwahaha!

    and weird to see DK pushing this guy when he was writing that crap, and the comments...  They were worming for the guy in '05.


    W's approval ratings are going up. (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:09:26 PM EST
    Must be true.  I read it on the internet!

    Adm. Mike Mullen will go to S. Korea (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:07:55 PM EST
    to let S. Korea know we support them.  Makes me  nervous.


    Interesting statement (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 03:55:17 PM EST
    "We've got to make sure we're coming up with a solution, even if it's not 100 percent what I want or 100 percent what the Republicans want," Obama said.

    emphasis mine

    He mentions himself and the republicans.  For those of you saying he lacks leadership, look no further.  What he wants and what the republicans want.  I assume this to mean he is speaking for the entire democratic party.  

    For those of you critical of his negotiation skills, you should take a closer look at how hard he is squeezing the republican party.  We will give you 800bn in tax cuts over ten years to the richest Americans(but will only authorize the first two years and will capitulate again then) if you give the Americans who are struggling the most about 350/week for another 26 weeks.

    Where are all the deficit hawks?  

    Investing, not shopping....

    I don't see how... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:33:32 PM EST
    unemployment isn't extended again, all that money gets spent shopping, trickling up.  I mean how many golden geese can ya kill?

    Good to see ya bro...hope all is well out in Chicago.


    Re primary challenger to Pres. Obama, (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:50:15 PM EST
    this is very interesting.  Wondered when an AA leader would speak up.  Former MLK advisor calls for primary challenger

    That was an amazing article (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 04:57:09 PM EST
    You can just feel the heaviness in his heart as he wrote it.

    Went to read it-- (none / 0) (#54)
    by the capstan on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:31:05 PM EST
    and checked out the comments.  I found this (not representative of most) and a couple more by the same commenter: "I'm saying categorically that you do not know what you're taling about simply because you're buying into anti-obama propoganda coming from the left. That the information you're relying on is no more accurate than Faux News. That you are blindly believing is simply because it's coming from the Left.

    The HCR was largely more liberal than the one he actually campaigned on. That is an unarguable fact. It is the largest regulation of a major industry in our history. If it was such a gift why did they spend billions to defeat it and why are they STILL spending billions to tear it apart?

    While i do not agree with his decisions regarding former Bush officials, it is certainly an understandable position.

    Whether you like it or not, no President has passed more progressive legislation since Johnson. That's an unarguable fact. If the left succeeds in its mad quest to tear this president down, you'll never see another progressive agenda passed in 60 years (if then)."

    Sounds like one of our recent commenters.


    I see that ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by sj on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:32:53 PM EST
    ... we noticed the same thing.

    Obama Defender (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:31:53 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure the Obama defender in the comments at that site is some one that we regularly see here as well.  Under a different handle.

    someone "angry"? (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:39:21 PM EST
    I don't know who that Obama defender is . . . (none / 0) (#60)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:44:57 PM EST
    but he is making sense!

    Seriously, why is it that the concept of multiple Obama defenders is just completely unacceptable?  I post at a number of sites that range from super liberal to moderate and inevitably when two strong Obama defenders post to closely to each other, the sense is always that there has to be one person posting under two different names.

    I have never been able to figure out whether I should be offended when someone assumes that.  At one point someone told me that there is no way there were two black men defending Obama in an "articulate" way on the same website.

    That kind of rubber me the wrong way for some reason.

    I say all of this to say: not it.

    I post everywhere under the [___]Black Guy handle (angry, liberal, happy, mellow, etc.).

    But I like that guy's style.


    Dang (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:47:09 PM EST
    I just read all of his comments and that dude sounds exactly like me.

    I was going to give you guys hell for claiming that that was me, but I actually had to make sure that I hadn't posted something in my sleep.

    That guy's been copying my style on the web.


    yes, indeedy (none / 0) (#66)
    by sj on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:00:09 PM EST
    almost verbatim.

    So I guess you should either be flattered or incensed.  


    Yeah (none / 0) (#58)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:38:51 PM EST
    This is about how I thought it would be.

    Obama couldn't do the impossible but he should have tried.  He's not a democrat, progressive, owner of cajones, leader, etc, etc.

    All I know is that my taxes aren't going up and in the short term, the republicans were willing to play chicken with my taxes not going up (and unemployment benefits) because they have nothing to lose.

    If resolution of this is a path to DADT repeal, START and other initiatives, it'll be worth it in my book.  If we get nothing else we want, then maybe he deserves some criticism.

    The GOP knew that he was not going to let taxes go up on the middle class in 2010 and knew that the country has never let benefits expire when unemployment was over 7.6% and thus they knew that he'd be the responsible one.

    As we've heard time and time again, there is no logical negotiations with terrorists.  Either people get blown up or you concede if the terrorists are secure enough.

    All of this talk about what Obama could have obtained on taxes is BS.  

    Either the tax cuts all failed or the tax cuts were extended for all.  The terrorists were going to accept nothing else.

    Tax cuts all failing is better for the economy (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 05:57:01 PM EST
    in the long term than having them all extended. But that is too hard to explain to people, so they don't bother trying to weather the political storm of temporary tax increases for the middle class. I say temporary because it would be done in January, and made retroactive.

    Kick the can down the road. exactly what will improve the bargaining position in 2-3 years?


    Hmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:00:07 PM EST
    Your main concern is that your taxes aren't going up?  Know who else shares your concern?  The Republicans.

    If resolution of this is a path to DADT repeal, START and other initiatives, it'll be worth it in my book.


    (wipes tears from eyes)


    What the GOP knew (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:29:06 PM EST
    ...is that Obama has been a pushover from day one, and this would be no different.  Were Obama inclined to confront power with truth, then he'd have at least fought hard and publicly for a round or two, tried to get SOMEthing out of a public debate in the media, because HE WOULD HAVE HAD LOGIC AND REASON AND MORALITY ON HIS SIDE. But, once again, and apparently not bothering you, which is fine, Obama chose not to stand his ground and do a little rhetorical and marketing battle, but instead he made sure the Republicans knew that he was going to work even harder at appeasing them.

    Sorry, I can't buy that this president is really that "progressive" at all.  He shows not the slightest inclination to fight passionately for ANYthing except endless and generally conservative compromise. Take this tax/unemployment benefits deal.  If a good compromise means everyone is unhappy, then you really think the Republicans are unhappy about any part of it?  They gave away nothing and got everything they wanted.  Progressives had their entire position abandoned with hardly a whisper of opposition (just like with HCR). Because Obama, I would assume, thinks the class warfare card being hurled at him would just be too unpleasant to bear. Either that or he thinks the issue not worth fighting for, that the wealthy deserve to be handed this money, despite so many people just scraping by, and despite the FACT that the country will be in worse shape because of the selfishness of too many of the wealthy.  Which again leads one to ask: when WILL Obama fight for "the people"? When? I, and millions of others, are waiting.

    But you think differently.

    And so it goes.



    Has Obama ever said that Reagan (none / 0) (#77)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:35:58 PM EST
    made any mistakes?

    He'd hate to have to come up with one (none / 0) (#82)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:56:57 PM EST
    FDR's mistakes are much easier for him to lay out.

    If Obama (none / 0) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:25:48 PM EST
    and the Dems were smart they could have done this before the election so I really don't feel any sorrow for anybody at this point.

    What bothers me (none / 0) (#87)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:43:44 AM EST
    is the Democrats in charge continue to treat the Republicans not as terrorists, but as totally normal people.  They're never called out, so they get what they want.

    We have a tax deal! (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:12:22 PM EST
    We need a pep rally and a group hug!

    Brushing past Democratic opposition, President Barack Obama announced agreement with Republicans Monday night to extend expiring tax cuts for all Americans, renew jobless benefits and grant a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes for millions.

    The emerging agreement also includes tax breaks for businesses that the president said would contribute to the economy's recovery from the worst recession in eight decades.

    Obama hearts Reagan (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:20:32 PM EST
    Trickle down baby, trickle down.

    Has Obama ever made (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:44:02 PM EST
    a secret of his admiration for Reagan?  

    As far as I'm concerned, the President's dissing of the issues of the 1960s was a dead giveaway to me that progressive ideas were not that important to him.  Let's see....what were the issues of the 1960s? -- civil rights, the War in Vietnam.... To me the underlying issues are very relevant today.


    Obama's pro-war and (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:50:21 PM EST
    pro-dictatorship policies are worse than his voodoo economics.

    Worse for whom? (none / 0) (#105)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:27:50 AM EST
    I think his economic policies are disastrous for this entire nation.  

    You know what else trickles down? (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:22:04 PM EST
    Or rather, rolls down hill?

    BTW, based on this experience (none / 0) (#72)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:24:44 PM EST
    and some others, I am beginning to think that lame duck sessions are just a bad idea in general. You never really get what you want, and bad things can happen.

    Very sad news, Elizabeth Edwards has cancer again (none / 0) (#78)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:40:39 PM EST
    Does not sound good.

    NYT link

    Sounds quite grave (none / 0) (#80)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 06:45:05 PM EST
    spread to liver and recommendation of no treatment.

    Citi bank profit (none / 0) (#83)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:11:51 PM EST
    Taxpayers could get a $10 billion bonus as the government sells off its remaining shares of Citigroup. The government paid the equivalent of $3.25 a share for its stake, and Citi closed today at $4.45 a share.

    That is one bailout that has paid off handsomely for the government

    if this guy runs against Obama (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:39:40 AM EST
    I would be worried if I was Obama:

    Gov. Gary Johnson: I Smoked Marijuana from 2005 to 2008
    The former New Mexico governor and likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate talks to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

    he is one of several that could come out of nowhere in spite of declarations that there is no one out there who could challenge Obama.

    ftr (none / 0) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:40:22 AM EST
    I'm pro-choice, I support gay unions, and I want to cut defense spending drastically

    As for as pols go... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:13:51 AM EST
    hard to not like Gary Johnson...long time drug war critic.  Could easily see myself voting for him.

    Drug war vs. economic policy. (none / 0) (#90)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:16:17 AM EST
    That's a tough choice for me... civil liberties versus wage slavery.

    I wish we could have a candidate who'd address my issues and concerns on both.

    Or I wish I was one of those kingmakers with enough juice to say, "end this thing."


    well (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:19:20 AM EST
    Obama is not exactly sloppin over with progressive economic policy either.

    Advantage (none / 0) (#93)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:21:33 AM EST
    Capt Howdy. Still your serve.

    heh (none / 0) (#94)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    I seriously think this guy could be a threat.  
    new face.  new ideas. successful western governor.

    cutting the defense budget drastically and stopping the war of drugs, if only what he could do by executive order, is some change I could believe in.


    He definitely sounds like (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:43:18 AM EST
    someone who would not make it out of the primaries!

    he sounds (none / 0) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:49:35 AM EST
    like an indie to me

    Absent a better hand... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:34:05 AM EST
    I certainly wouldn't sneeze at a fairer deal.

    And if forced to choose I'll take great individual freedom over cradle to the grave socialism every day of the week. I'm not sure they can even co-exist, every socialist state seems to demand too many civil liberty/pursuit of happiness concessions in exchange for the health care/economic security.

    Though I'd like to think a balance could be found where we have great freedom and a more equitable distribution of wealth./economic security....that balance has yet to be found.


    I keep saying "New Deal," (none / 0) (#98)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:47:56 AM EST
    but from the end of WWII to the 1973 oil embargo income inequality wasn't so stark, and the difference in quintiles was lower. Now the rich were still rich, but just not as filthy rich as now. CEO compensation didn't usually run to the millions for big companies.

    Now one thing to remember, though, minorities and women were left out of much of the progress that occured, so there's no glorious perfect past. However, maybe it's time for a "Newer Deal." Take care of SS, medicaid for all, and decent education through a 4-year degree if desired. That ought to be worth a wing of B 1 bombers or a submarine or two.


    Or even call it... (none / 0) (#102)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:13:47 AM EST
    "New Priorities"...the only thing more whacked than the deal right now is our priorities.

    Heh, campaign slogans abound (none / 0) (#103)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:21:25 AM EST
    Like from George Lopez:

    "Why you crying? Get your priorities straight!"

    "Don't be a WATB! Priorities!"

    the list could easily go on. Excellent point concerning priorities, though.

    Most of the younger folks I come into contact with in my courses have decent directions, it seems, decent priorities. Just like us, their world does center on them, but a bigger picture isn't out of the question, nor is altruism.

    for instance, an 18 year old who has become the surrogate mother for her brother's infant daughter because of a divorce, or wanting to open group homes or orphanages for foster children, kind of on the Boy's State model.

    There are folks wanting to do the next right thing, but the political/governmental trappings just says, " go for it, good luck." Not even lip service for help.

    Rambling again.


    Ramble on my brother... (none / 0) (#106)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:43:16 AM EST
    Part of our problem is we believe our own hype...that we're the richest bestest country on earth, as if by divine right or some such nonsense, as if constant dilligence is not required.  Constant questioning, experimenting, reflection, & dilligence is required.  An open mind is required...or at least half a brain.  

    Paging CST... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:20:12 AM EST
    jesus h. christ your boys beat the snot out of us last night...that was embarassing.  Congrats.

    I guess when you're as good as Tom Brady you can endorse Uggs:)...made our vaunted defense look like a Div III school.  I still feel like I wanna puke.

    I wasn't gonna mention it (none / 0) (#95)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:32:05 AM EST
    my condolences.

    I almost felt bad that they kept playing the way they did.  But I think it was a) for the fans and b) because they don't know how to turn it off.  I've never seen Gillette that riled up.  It was a cold, windy, monday night in December and Foxboro isn't exactly known for it's rowdiness.  But there was something in the air last night.


    Nah... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:50:30 AM EST
    they were sending a message to the Jets...I think it was after the score that made it 38-3, Brady was fist-pumping/talking trash directly towards the Jets sideline...your boys were letting us know who is still the top dog.

    I just hope we get a rubber match for a chance to redeem ourselves.


    that too... (none / 0) (#101)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:58:58 AM EST
    Maybe a mix of both.

    The one thing I'm really excited about is how young the Pats are - and Sanchez.  I'm sure they'll face off again, whether it's this year or next, and it will be big.  They're probably only going to get better.


    And 6 picks... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:23:24 AM EST
    in the first 3 rounds of the next draft...curse you Belicheck, curse you!!!

    so I recorded the game and watched it after they went to bed. I think my jaw is still on the floor. About mid-way in the 3Q it was pretty clear the Jets D had basically given up. Although as bad a night as Sanchez had, he still showed flashes of brilliance and composure that speak well of his future.

    I missed the flashes you saw... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:37:41 PM EST
    I saw an overwhelmed deer in the headlights rookie...hopefully just for one bad game, it happens to the best of 'em, Peyton Manning even.

    pretty sobering (none / 0) (#107)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:55:30 AM EST
    its been a bad year (none / 0) (#108)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:59:20 AM EST
    and it ends with the most depressing christmas parade ever.

    spend the whole city budget on a stupid baloon and then . . . .

    Interesting article (none / 0) (#110)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:41:49 AM EST
    in the Globe looking at diversity (or lack there of) in Boston.  Link

    Segregation is still a huge issue here.  The perception people have is that of poor race relations.  In a way I almost feel as if it is a self-fullfilling prophecy.  The city has made great strides in terms of attitudes and obvious barriers.  The problem is... there is still a reputation.  And I think that reputation prevents black professionals from wanting to live here, and in turn makes that community very small and isolated - and the repuation of it being a hard place to live becomes true.  That's not to say that there is no discrimination, there is still a systemic divide, but the white part of the city has also changed drastically in the last 10 years or so - and it's not the same entrenched culture that it was.

    Unfortunately, there is still a huge lack of diversity and that makes life harder for those who do break the mold.  So I'm not surprised people don't want to live here, but it's sad at the same time, because I feel like at this point it's more of a numbers issue than rampant discrimination - which was not the case 10 or 20 years ago.  I guess that's the price you pay.  There's not a whole lot of jews in Germany these days either.

    IMO (none / 0) (#111)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:44:26 AM EST
    more than reputation.  I always said Boston was the most racist city I ever lived in.

    however (none / 0) (#112)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:45:42 AM EST
    I also got the feeling that its not just about race but just as much about class.  in other words they held in just as much contempt for being southern white trash.

    depends a lot (none / 0) (#116)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:11:24 PM EST
    On what your circle is.  I think you were in a very specific Boston bubble.

    In the 90s (and to a lesser extent today) there was a pretty serious class divide among white people too.  But the Boston brand of lower/middle class irish/catholic crowd was big enough that they were more or less accepted by the "ivy league" upper class - whereas others (black people, hispanic people, southerners) were not.

    Meanwhile the lower/middle class white people here were mostly just racist.  And that's not a dig on lower/middle class irish/catholics, it's just a fact.  Obviously this does not apply to everyone, but it was certainly a systemic cultural issue.  And that is the culture that is disappearing.

    I think the class divide still exists.  But black professionals and people like the governer could break through that - in theory.

    Disclaimer, I'm not saying that a class divide is better/worse than a racial divide.  I'm just trying to talk honestly about how things are here.


    to it's "blue blood" legacy.

    money talks pretty loud (none / 0) (#120)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:48:38 PM EST
    wherever you are, but in a small city there is less ambient noise

    and there is some serious money here


    Ya. I think Boston has a "blue blood" (none / 0) (#123)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:37:34 PM EST
    legacy, tradition, social structure, whatever, that goes back 100's of years...

    yep (none / 0) (#124)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:39:58 PM EST
    you nailed it

    absolutely (none / 0) (#126)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:08:11 PM EST
    but - I would also caution that while that is the side outsiders/implants/visiters/to an extent college students are most likely to encounter, it does not, in any way, represent the whole.

    The "Good Will Hunting/Departed" version of Boston was just as real and probably more pervasive for a while.  But it's not something you saw unless you lived it.  That's the part that's really changing.  Catholic churches/schools are shutting down left and right and demographics are changing.  But while I was growing up here, and pretty much since the 30s, it was a HUGE part of the culture.  Probably more influential (culturally and politically) at the time than the "blue bloods" - which are a distinctly different group.  

    I mean, Whitey Bulger's brother (Whitey being the irish gangster/mob boss Jack Nicholson of the Departed was based on) was president of the state senate from 1978 until 1996, at which point he went on to become president of UMass Amherst, until he resigned in 2003.  And just to be clear, there is every indication that this man was close to his brother.

    That being said, while one culture is fading, the whole "blue blood" thing, not so much...


    Probably so. (none / 0) (#127)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:20:42 PM EST
    My dad grew up in Boston, the son of a Catholic Italian immigrant dad and a Catholic Irish Immigrant mom.

    They were uneducated. My grandfather was illiterate. They told my dad to work hard in school and he ended up going to Tufts (before and after his WWII service) on a full scholastic scholarship.

    Harvard, however, rejected him, as he says, for being a "niggling little minority." That may just be his perception, however.

    My impression is that Harvard, and much of Boston's "elite," were really WASPy "blue boods" back then, though I really don't know.


    yes (none / 0) (#129)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:49:30 PM EST
    The WASPy "blue bloods" were the "financial elite" and held a lot of financial power.  But they were not the only power brokers.

    Especially when you look at politics.

    The blue bloods have the money, and the fancy degrees, and the economic power that goes with it.  But Boston is rare in that it is not only the major economic center of MA, but it's also the state capitol, so there is a very large and influential political culture here.  And the "blue bloods" have not had most of the political power - which is vast.

    For example, most of the financial elite are Republicans.

    And... there is a third power group that we haven't really discussed which is the former communists/college students of the 60s/upper-middle class/movers and shakers.  These are the people you are more likely to see round the halls of Tufts, BU, BC, the hospitals, running the unions, running non profits (of which there are many), etc...

    People like your dad, who maybe grew up not so well off but got an education, or people who came for an education and stayed - so they aren't part of the entrenched blue blood culture, but they blend in fairly well (which is not quite the same as mixing).  The so called latte-liberals if you will.  These are the people (along with a lot of foreigners) who are replacing the old-school catholic culture.


    Very interesting. (none / 0) (#138)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:45:56 PM EST
    How do you know the political leanings of the financial elite in Boston? Are there studies?

    All I could find is this blog discussion.


    no (none / 0) (#139)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:03:39 PM EST
    In fairness, highly anecdotal.

    But.... its not exactly a large community.  And while im not a member.  I do know some.

    I would say the upper-middle/ rich (new money) tend to be dems.  Whereas the wealthy (blue blood) tend to be republican.


    wiki (none / 0) (#143)
    by CST on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 10:07:59 AM EST
    "Boston Brahmins are upper class Yankee families with a distinctive life style...

    Politically they were successively Federalists, Whigs, and Republicans."


    They aren't as powerfull anymore - there is too much financial/tech money competing - although I would wager a good chunk of that demographic is conservative (fiscally) as well


    When I lived there in 1990 (none / 0) (#141)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 01:26:00 AM EST
    it was a shock to me how racist it was. I was lucky enough to go to school with people from all over the country and all over the world  and it was wonderful to have that diversity. And then... I went to work in the restaurants and all I can say is.. it sucked. Racial and class divides right there in the kitchen every single night. And the Irish Catholic blue bloods were the most bigoted of all--they hated everyone equally.

    I lived in Jamaica Plain, just up the hill from the Brendan Behan pub. That part of the neighborhod was nicknamed "Jamaica Spain" because of all the Cubans who lived there (and who really looked out for me, one of the only saving graces.) Sad to say, but between the professor who sexually harassed me and the creepy bigots I had to deal with at work, the Boston experience was a very negative one for me. I don't miss it at all.

    Oh, and my boss at the restaurant was purported to be a mobster, but that's another story...


    yea (none / 0) (#142)
    by CST on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:19:32 AM EST
    that's the part of the city that's fading fast.

    Although fyi, "blue blood" and "Irish Catholic" are distinctly different groups.  You are talking about the latter.

    Came across this article from 1999 that talks about the decline of these older cultural groups - mostly about the decline of the old money/blue blood crowd for the tech/professional class which is another really huge game changer that I completely forgot to mention earlier, and probably the biggest "change" influence today.  Started in the 90s.

    This is the key point:

    "a sense that the old Brahmin monopoly on financial and social power, like the Irish monopoly on political power, has given way to something more open and complex."

    Today it's no longer just a sense.  It's happened.


    Oops, you're right: not "blue blood" (none / 0) (#144)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 05:15:56 PM EST
    I meant to write "blue collar."

    more complicated than that (none / 0) (#113)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:46:55 AM EST
    I don't deny that the reputation has been earned.

    It's not the same city it was 10 years ago.


    but (none / 0) (#114)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:47:29 AM EST
    to be clear, that was 1990 - late 1993

    what has been seen (none / 0) (#115)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:49:42 AM EST
    sharks with laser beams (none / 0) (#118)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:52:49 PM EST
    jumped to my mind immediately.

    Can't wait to see them on the Trail (none / 0) (#140)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:52:58 PM EST
    in 2012 . . . Oy.

    it may be the NY Post (none / 0) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:09:34 PM EST
    but he has himself a point

    The left is apoplectic that their savior would turn around on them and adopt Bush's most "draconian" tax policies that "only favor the rich."
    If they were frustrated before, now they are palpably angry and publicly voicing their disillusionment with Obama.
    Without those voters rocking with enthusiasm, Obama could not have won in 2008.
    Now, ask yourself this question: How many people do you know who voted for Obama in 2008 but now express regret about the vote or reservations about his leadership?

    Probably plenty.

    Now ask yourself this: How many people do you know who voted against Obama in 2008 but have since been won over?

    Probably not a single one.

    All that math adds up to a very lonely number: One, as in One Term.

    WaPo (none / 0) (#122)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:18:09 PM EST
    Although his liberal supporters are furious about the decision, President Obama's willingness to extend all of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts is part of what White House officials say is a deliberate strategy: to demonstrate his ability to compromise with Republicans and portray the president as the last reasonable man in a sharply partisan Washington.

    he may find being the last reasonable man is like the sound of one hand clapping.


    Because of course his image is more important (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:42:32 PM EST
    than anything else. Unbelievable. PPUS for the sake of PPUS and nothing else.

    It's an interesting case. (none / 0) (#125)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:57:29 PM EST
    Do convicted criminals deserve to watch television? And can it actually be torture hearing the same movies all the time?

    James Poulin, an inmate at the Brevard County Detention Center in Florida, has filed a lawsuit complaining that he's being tortured by the people running the jail because he's forced to watch the same movies over and over again.

    Poulin didn't complain about the sounds of the bullets or explosions in the war movies mentioned. Instead he decided to focus on the screaming of the dead eyed kids in The Polar Express. Once can only imagine how they haunt his dreams.

    He likened the repetition of the films to "Chinese water torture"

    "I hear those little kids screaming through my brain. All night long I can hear them. I can close my eyes, but I'm still going to hear them over and over and over."

    The Perfect Crime Scene (none / 0) (#130)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:01:53 PM EST
       Let's say you, heaven forbid, are charged with a crime. The Constitution itself (Article III, Section 2 for those who wish to look it up) requires that the "Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed." Pretty straight forward. The 6th Amendment requires that the jury must be "of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed." Again, pretty clear. The only confusing part, unless you're a lawyer, is probably the term "district."

        The U.S. Federal Courts are divided into zones called "districts" which correlate almost perfectly with states themselves. Connecticut has one district: the District of Connecticut. New York has four, using ordinal directions, e.g. "Southern District of New York" which includes Manhattan, the Bronx, and six counties in the state. Wyoming has one, as well, which includes the entire state -- and, in addition, the parts of Yellowstone National Park which are in Idaho and Montana. And that's where the perfect crime scene appears.

        So that crime you're charged with? Imagine you committed it in the part of Yellowstone which is actually in Idaho. Where would your jury come from? It would have to be from the state (Idaho) and district (the District of Wyoming) in which the crime was commited -- in other words, from that same part of Yellowstone which is in Idaho. The population of that area?


    Interesting stats from the DNI (none / 0) (#131)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:56:45 PM EST
    With regards to recidivism of former Guantanmo detainees:

    As of 1 October 2010, 598 detainees have been transferred out of Department of Defense (DoD) custody at the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) detention facility. The Intelligence Community assesses that 81 (13.5 percent) are confirmed and 69 (11.5 percent) are suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer. Of the 150 former GTMO detainees assessed as confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities, the Intelligence Community assesses that 13 are dead, 54 are in custody, and 83 remain at large.

    On 22 January 2009, the President signed Executive Order 13492, calling for a comprehensive interagency review of the status of all individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay. Every decision to transfer a detainee to a foreign country under this review was made after a full assessment of intelligence and threat information. Since the implementation of Executive Order 13492 and under the enhanced interagency review process, 66 of the 598 detainees noted above have been transferred. Of those 66 individuals transferred since January 2009, 2 are confirmed and 3 are suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities

    "Reengaging." Was it established (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:59:22 PM EST
    ever "engaged" before they arrived at Gitmo?

    25 percent is lower than the (none / 0) (#134)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:02:18 PM EST
    recidivism rate for those convicted of crimes in the US, when examining index crimes.

    Yep (none / 0) (#135)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:16:15 PM EST
    The national average rate in the US is around 50%.

    Yes. But that wasn't my question! (none / 0) (#136)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:17:21 PM EST
    Don't know the answer (none / 0) (#137)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:19:00 PM EST
    not shocking (none / 0) (#133)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:00:50 PM EST
    cruelty begets cruelty

    If anything I'm surprised it's only 14%

    But you can't imprison people for the crimes they might, one day, commit.