Thursday Open Thread

Busy day here. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I wish BTD were available to post on (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:35:41 PM EST
    the tax deal.  Looks like people who pay FICA won't be paying as much under this deal--temporarily.  Digby is convinced this is a means to say--look--Social Security is broken and we need to "fix" it.  

    The prevailing feeling is that once the (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 08:42:21 PM EST
    FICA tax is reduced, it will never go back to the existing rate and will therefore, make the argument that SS is seriously underfunded (i.e.broken) valid. This will provide the means to achieve the goal of reducing benefits and ultimately eliminating the program.

    In addition (none / 0) (#11)
    by waldenpond on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:17:09 PM EST
    the ability of states to borrow is hampered with Obama's goal of bankrupting CA and IL and wiping out their pension funds and the loss of credits to those under $40k are getting tax raises.

    Here's a handy-dandy chart of our fearful leader in action pushing the oligarchy go-cart downhill (weeeee!!!! look ma, no breaks!) to hasten the decline of the middle class.  Note what the Repubs ask for and what Obama gives them.... Obama doesn't think they are being greedy enough.  Shovels aren't enough, break out the wheelbarrels....

    Faster, faster, faster, more, more, more

    PS... Biden tells the House Dems this is the deal, take it or leave it.  Looks like Biden is upset he may not get his.


    It sounds like... (none / 0) (#40)
    by sj on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:28:19 PM EST
    ... they decided to leave it.  So Biden has been lying low and this is what he surfaces for?  Just wondering how he would have accepted such a message from the WH to the Senate when was a Senator.  What an a$$.

    Now, if only they can hold firm.


    I said the same thing yesterday (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 10:57:31 PM EST
    a few times at Orange and one Obama worshipper requested that I be HR'd for lying and hyperbole :)

    Watching the news right now and it looks like a full on revolt is underway.  The media tried to at first say that the house was mostly upset because they were left out and they tried to make it sound like this was about a bunch egotistical cry babies earlier today who would fall into line quickly once they felt acknowledged enough.  Tonight though, Howard Fineman said that behind closed doors three different Democratic House members used the "F" word to describe either the deal or how anybody could have come up with that POS.  And that being confronted by Joe Biden only made matters worse and made House Democrats more angry :) It looks like a full out revolt and its about time!  I wish BTD was here too to write about it.  He probably would have posted about how earlier today some "journalists" could only claim this was about a House being snubbed and that it seemingly had nothing to do with the policies.


    Goolsbee is taking on Rachel tonight (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:10:53 PM EST
    Kick his whining kick the can down the same old road cuz I'm a coward at heart a$$ Rachel.

    And she's doing it (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:11:09 PM EST
    Poor Austin (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:12:13 PM EST
    He admits he isn't a legislative strategist......buwhahahahahaha.  No $hit baby!

    She just cracked him over the head (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:15:21 PM EST
    with his admission that he isn't a legislative strategist when he was trying to tell her that what the House Democrats want isn't realistic :)

    Now he says that the package would be good for the economy.  I think that Austin and Obama are afraid that the markets could "dip" if the rich went on the record as having to pay their way again.


    The Obama economic team has already (none / 0) (#78)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:44:23 PM EST
    proven they don't know what the h#ll they're doing when it comes to the economy. Remember that little stimulus that was going to save us? Remember how Geithner and Summers were sure unemployment would peak at 8%?

    Now Summers is telling us that if this tax deal does not pass we will see a double-dip recession. Why on earth would anyone believe him?

    This tax deal is bad for United States, very bad. The very small short term gains are far outweighed by the mid and long term destruction it will bring.

    Congress should just say NO!


    My husband was listening to the (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:57:27 PM EST
    Summers story and he said that he now wants a list of what won't blow up or fall from the sky to go with the crazy insane screaming about how stuff will.  He wants the big picture, no more shock doctrine.  They do this over and over and over again and only care about propping the markets up, and those markets are no longer a reflection of economic health....they are only smoke and mirrors if every time the rich have to be accountable for anything or to any law it will obliterate the markets from the planet.

    Mr. MT is right. (none / 0) (#81)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:02:23 AM EST
    Really not much to add to that. I say call their bluff.

    I wish BTD were available to post on (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by rdandrea on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:41:23 PM EST
    Urban Meyer's resignation.

    I am sure (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:48:27 PM EST
    Jim is comforted:

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's Clemency Board has posthumously pardoned singer Jim Morrison of The Doors for his 40-year-old conviction on indecent exposure and profanity charges.

    Outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist requested the pardon Thursday. The Clemency Board unanimously granted it.

    There was a major article in the Sentinel (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:11:32 PM EST
    this morning. Apparently the surviving Doors claim he never really exposed himself at all, and fan's accounts are mixed.

    One of the many facts I've learned from Keith Richards' memoir: Mike Huckabee pardoned him a few years ago for a charge in Arkansas.  Another fact: a 97:3 pure heroin:glucose cut is ideal.


    Um, make that 3:97..... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:12:50 PM EST
    unless you want to die.

    remindes me of this (none / 0) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:22:11 PM EST
    its a viral promotion for a new movie called "Limitless"

    creepily real

    NZT- The Clear Pill

    Now there's a sort of viral promo for the film. It features Bradley Cooper more or less in character as the pitchman for a wonderdrug called NZT, aka `the clear pill.' The drug can reportedly solve almost every problem known to man by allowing humans to access their entire physical and mental potential. But...there are a couple of possibly troubling side effects. Just a couple. Check out the promo after the break.

    Good thing I saw this post. (none / 0) (#41)
    by coast on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:31:24 PM EST
    That was close.

    Hey Ruffian... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:23:23 PM EST
    our hero made the paper today, The Human Riff may have killed an orchid, but by all accounts he was a total gentleman doing it, and he signed the grave.

    Ha, great story (none / 0) (#71)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:13:27 PM EST
    He does have a rogue's charm. In listening to his book I'm beginning to see him as the uncle I never had. One minute he is waxing rhapsodic about learning open G tuning on the guitar, the next teaching me how to cut smack. Then he is ragging on the other uncles that we all still love despite their foibles. I am liking this book WAY too much. My brother reminded me that Keith is rather like our older half-brother that died way too young - did not have Keith's luck. Maybe that's the psychic connection.

    He's the keeper of the code. (none / 0) (#72)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:52:51 PM EST
    Someone not to be crossed!

    I believe (none / 0) (#52)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:30:35 PM EST
    that was at the old Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove. It was originally used as a hanger for Pan Am seaplanes, then for concerts, and also as an arena for the old Floridians of the ABA.

    Please allow me to introduce myself ... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:35:21 AM EST
    ... or, Sympathy for the President.  Apologies in advance for length.

    Reading Americablog after Obama's presser was funny.  Oh my god.  He really believes this crap.  He won't fight.  He thinks he's being pragmatic by caving!  Well, duh, guys and dolls.  He never lied about it.  He thinks left and right are equally wrong.  He thinks you make progress by getting everyone around a big table, listening to their ideas, and bringing everyone to a happy golden mean - with him at the table.  That's the critical part.  He said that.  His aversion to conflict was presented as a SELLING POINT.  Not like that nasty, partisan Hillary.  And now he's getting a ton of crap from his former allies for doing, or trying to do, exactly what he said he was going to do exactly the way he said he was going to do it.  In a way, I don't blame him for being pissed off.  

    Obviously his approach hasn't worked, and he really doesn't get it; he's lost.  That shouldn't be a surprise either.  It was obvious during the primaries that he didn't get the economic crisis, health care policy, the political terrain, the opposition he would encounter, the robber-baron (you might even say crypto-fascist) nature of the modern Republican party.  He didn't get that his own Blanche Lincolns and Ben Nelsons would betray him.  I think this mostly got buried during the GE because the economy had collapsed, and McCain/Palin got it even less - or just didn't care.

    Now it's clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,  here I am, stuck in the center left with ... nobody.  I'd like to primary this President, oppose him from the left, shoot down this crappy tax bill, and send a message to the Republicans: don't bother negotiating with this President because he can't deliver.  I was never a true believer anyway, and any support I had for the guy was, and is, conditional.

    But me and whose army?  Former pro-HRC compatriots at places like the Confluence who long ago went stark raving mad?  Those who think things have to get worse before they'll get better, so let's make them worse? (Jesus, people, do you realize that approach usually results in dictatorship? That to a horrifying degree FDR and the New Deal rather than Charles Lindbergh or worse was a matter of luck? That we're already dangerously, frighteningly close to "worse" and not a scintilla of resistance has appeared?)  Kos and similar who stopped at nothing - at no slimy, disgusting thing - to get The One the Democratic nomination, and have now turned on Him?  I'm sorry people, but you are all clowns and jokers, and I don't think I'd join you in crossing the street.

    Strangely, I still have hope that Obama can be The One.  Help us, Obi-Wan Obama, you are our only hope.  Heal our wounds and bring us together.  Do it by intoning, in that fake preacher voice that so wowed your gullible fan base in those heady, idealistic days of 2008, the following magical words:  "I will not seek, nor will I accept, my Party's nomination for another term as your President."  That would be change I could believe in.  

    House Dems Reject the Tax Deal (none / 0) (#3)
    by smott on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:46:46 PM EST

     From CNN:
    -- Defying President Obama, House Democrats vote not to bring up tax deal he negotiated with GOP in its current form.

    I wonder - when the House changes hands and the Repubs pass it to the Senate - would the Dems filibuster their own Pres' deal?

    It would be pop-corn worthy....

    Minor concession (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by waldenpond on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:19:23 PM EST
    I expect after their little kabuki to let the people know where they stand (don't look behind the curtain) they will demand a minor tweak to the estate tax and then pass it.  Yawn.  Dems aren't even original at this point.   Craven.

    good (none / 0) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:59:33 PM EST
    but it probably means we will not get DADT repealed or anything else.

    Collins reminded Reid that Republicans don't want to debate anything until the tax issue is resolved.

    If Joe and Jane Blow... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:14:22 PM EST
    taking home $600 a week in Dec. 2010 suddenly only have $575 or so to take home on Friday 1/7/11, which ever party they prefer to blame is gonna get their clock cleaned in 2012 across the board...absent a Bush-esque stimulus check sometime in 2011 to make up the difference anyways...and that might not even be enough for those with $2 left after the bills are paid.

    They will more likely adjust the withholding (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:07:46 PM EST
    rates and most Joes and Janes won't get a tax refund.

    Most of them didn't notice or remember they got a tax credit two years ago.

    Just cranky today...


    probably (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:15:37 PM EST

    As a current 6 and change... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:26:27 PM EST
    take home guy, I'm not gonna be happy...might be back on the (gasp!) regs...especially with gas and heating oil on the rise rise rise thanks to the Wall St. gamblers.

    And when the health insurance co. jacks their rates in 2011, that'll be another couple bucks off the take home.

    But it's the people in my bracket who have mouths beside their own to feed I'm worried about...sh&t I don't know how they do it now.


    London protests (none / 0) (#16)
    by waldenpond on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:45:00 PM EST
    What do you think of the protests?  Let me be clear, I don't want a hair on the royals heads touched, but I'm all for trashing their car.  It would be ideal if they weren't in it but the authoritarians will make sure they are fine.

    In the US, blackwater would be trotted out if the wimps in the US ever stood up for themselves.


    All for it... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:16:33 PM EST
    non-violent always preferred of course, but it's not easy being a King or Ghandi, especially with how riot police can roll.  

    And no doubt, they take their citizenship and rights more seriously over in Europe...and have the concessions from their paymasters to show for it.  


    Here's a particularly.. (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:54:08 PM EST
    heinous case of the law used as a weapon in a personal vendetta...with the law all too happy to play along.

    Just for you (none / 0) (#8)
    by republicratitarian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:10:33 PM EST
    I was trying to find a top ten list I heard this week of the new TSA slogans that didn't make the cut. I couldn't find it, but I found this one from JB&B, enjoy

    Top Ten Funny Police Quotes

    1. "The handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them awhile."

    2. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

    3. "So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"

    4. "Yes Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"

    5. "Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."

    6. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

    7. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."

    8. . "Life's tough. It's tougher if you're stupid.

    9. "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."

    And the Number One funny police quote...

    "Just how big were those two beers?"


    I love #3. (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:32:53 PM EST
    Ms A has stopped cooperating? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:58:50 PM EST

    Anna Ardin, one of the two complainants in the rape and sexual assault case against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, has left Sweden, and may have ceased actively co-operating with the Swedish prosecution service and her own lawyer

    One source from Ardin's old university of Uppsala reported rumours that she had stopped co-operating with the prosecution service several weeks ago, and that this was part of the reason for the long delay in proceeding with charges -- and what still appears to be an absence of charges.

    Moving to the West Bank (none / 0) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:37:25 PM EST
    certainly suggests she's not cooperating with the investigation.

    Spamming solution (none / 0) (#7)
    by waldenpond on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:10:04 PM EST
    I wonder.... you can lock down items once full (200 comments or so) so comments can no longer be made... is it possible to lock down items based on date?  That way spammers can't try and hide their garbage in old items?

    Ron Paul (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:50:35 PM EST
    Will chair the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee in the next session of Congress.

    Paul vowed in an interview with The Hill last month that as chairman he would shine a light on the Fed's policies, which he called opaque and destructive. If necessary, he would be willing to subpoena Fed officials to come testify before his panel, he said.

    Paul has introduced legislation in the past to abolish the central bank, and pushed hard in a failed effort to include a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that would require a complete audit of the Fed's operations.

    Bachus said the committee's first priority will be to "end the taxpayer funded bailout of Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac]."

    I like it (none / 0) (#18)
    by republicratitarian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:52:10 PM EST
    Turn a light on and watch the roaches scurry for cover.

    Me too... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:34:14 PM EST
    but time will tell who sends who scurrying.

    World's youngest judge (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:00:46 PM EST
    Now voting on DADT repeal (none / 0) (#22)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:43:42 PM EST
    Either there is a deal or it's dead. Which is it?

    ask (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:45:19 PM EST
    president Collins

    Pryor--yes (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:47:46 PM EST
    Collins has not voted yet.

    Mancin and Murkowski-no (none / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    This vote will fail.

    Manchin?  West Virginia hates gays, I guess.

    Snowe, no.


    Collins-aye; Lieberman and McCaskill talking (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:00:25 PM EST
    to her and Murkowski just now on Senate floor.

    Graham now kibitizing with this group on floor (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:02:55 PM EST
    Don't tell me the vote fails because of Manchin....

    that would (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:06:37 PM EST
    be perfect

    Brown voted no (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:14:21 PM EST
    Just as he voted against confirmation of Kagan.

    Fails 57-43 (none / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:05:52 PM EST
    Can't even get crumbs (none / 0) (#34)
    by waldenpond on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:10:11 PM EST
    from this Senate.

    All Dems except Manchin (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:16:13 PM EST
    and Collins vote aye....

    Brown apparently was hiding as a coward on this vote....


    Dear Scott Brown (none / 0) (#55)
    by CST on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:42:29 PM EST
    eff you.

    Good for Collins for doing the right thing I guess.

    Sorry gays, you'll have to wait for civil rights because rich people don't have enough money


    Blanche Lincoln just showed up (none / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:40:45 PM EST
    on the floor well after the vote on DADT repeal and another bill by Leahy for the 11 victims of the BP oil rig fire (which failed too)....

    Lincoln said she was really sorry that she missed the vote--but wanted to note for the record that she would have voted aye on DADT repeal....

    Shaheen who is chairing the Senate, smirked at Lincoln....Shaheen when she gaveled the body to order after the failed vote on DADT looked furious, smoldering anger....

    So, Dems could not get to 58 because Lincoln had better things to do, and Manchin hates gays?  Even Collins voted yes....


    With all Dems and Collins only one (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:43:53 PM EST
    more Republican vote was needed....and Brown and Murkowski have publicly stated they favor DADT repeal....

    from hot air (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:53:46 PM EST
    Is this truly the end of DADT? Maybe not: Lieberman just announced that he'll introduce a standalone bill to repeal it instead of tucking it away inside a larger defense bill. I'm not sure what that'll achieve, though. Even if Collins and Lincoln sign on, you still have the problem of getting Brown and Murkowski to break their pledge to ignore all other business until after the vote on taxes. Maybe Liebs is thinking that they can delay the vote on his bill until after the tax vote? Brown and Murky could afford to be sticklers about allowing multiple amendments on an omnibus defense bill, but on a targeted bill like Lieberman's, they might acquiesce. He's calling their bluff, potentially. Will they cave too? There's plenty of political cover available to do so: According to Gallup's latest, the public supports repeal ... 67/28.

    Maybe Lieberman was lobbying (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:06:13 PM EST
    for the vote on a new bill when he was kibitzing on the floor with Collins and Murkowski.....

    Lieberman is quite the mystery....Good on this but so tweaked on other things.


    Vote could be as early as Saturday (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:11:15 PM EST
    The Vote (none / 0) (#51)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:23:20 PM EST
    would have been held open for Lincoln had she been the 60th. For 58 it didn't matter. I believe she was stuck in a dentist's chair. She's a yes moving forward.

    Bull Connor, Strom (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:59:25 PM EST
    Thurmond, George Wallace, Lester Maddox--and these now join that pantheon of shame and infamy:

    John McCain, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski,  Olympia Snowe and Joe Manchin.....

    Blanche Lincoln is neither hot nor cold and shows up late......What Circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno will she inhabit?


    will she inhabit? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:02:53 PM EST

    but she will have Bubba for company for draggin her sorry a$$ across the finish line


    Speaking of hell-- (none / 0) (#53)
    by the capstan on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:30:37 PM EST
    Regarding Elizabeth Edwards funeral, this:

    Westboro Baptist Church, known for its protests at servicemembers' funerals, plans to protest for 90 minutes until the service begins. The protests typically speak out against homosexuality. Westboro's announcement of the picket also claims that God hates Edwards and that she is dead because she thought she could control God.

    What circle should they inhabit?  How about a 'Snake Pit' for insanity?  Is there still a charge called 'public indecency' or has that been trumped by 'freedom of speech.'  What would happen to me if in front of 1600 Penn. Ave. I charged a certain someone with pandering, fraudulent advertising or stealing primaries?


    TPM says Collins not on board--vote (none / 0) (#24)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:46:00 PM EST
    will fail....That may be it....

    great (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:50:45 PM EST
    Late Update: This may be it for DADT repeal. "I don't know what more we can do," a Senate Democratic leadership aide tells us

    Are you surprised? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:14:14 PM EST
    I was not. I was surprised at the fact that it might pass.

    Of course, there are other ways around this but Obama certainly won't take them.


    TSA Subjects Indian Ambassador To US (none / 0) (#48)
    by republicratitarian on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:10:23 PM EST
    Wow.... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:28:21 PM EST
    "Let me be frank, this is unacceptable to India. We are going to take it up with the government of US that such unpleasant incidents do not recur," Krishna told reporters outside parliament. He said that there were "certain well-established conventions, well-established practices as to how members of diplomatic corps are treated in a given country".

    I hear ya Krishna, it is unacceptable to most of America too.  Janet says take a boat.


    Although, in my recent experience, (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:34:23 PM EST
    sooooo many people are subjected to much more extensive searches than people flying into or out of U.S.  

    Interesting... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:40:46 PM EST
    who were the worst offenders you witnessed?

    We had to walk through regular (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:45:03 PM EST
    airport metal detector to enter hotels.  Then patted down and "wanded."  I'd say the Indians leave few stones unturned.  For good reason, post Mumbai.  The hotel security also checks under the hood and trunk of each vehicle before the driver can drive onto the grounds and the vehicle is also kind of "wanded" with a long handled gizmo.

    Gracias.... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:59:14 PM EST
    old-school moderately invasive pat-down or the new-school gropers paradise?

    Krishna maybe needs to get off his high horse...I think I'm convinced many of the world's manageable problems stem from the plague of different rules different fools.  So you're a diplomat, I'm an astronaut, we're both human beings...ya know?


    Royal Wedding souvenirs (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:19:13 PM EST
    Trial lawyer question: (none / 0) (#54)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:38:29 PM EST
    I am reading one of John Grisham's books, and in it, it mentions that a certain character is a 'certified trial lawyer.' Call me ignorant, but I had never heard of a 'board certified trial lawyer' before. How important are these certifications?

    Is it like board certification for surgeons?

    Here's a link (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:56:10 PM EST
    News to me (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:05:34 PM EST
    No one here pays much attention to the ABA...

    The State Bar of California--different issue.

    The premier qualification (here) is to be a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.


    I didn't know it either (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:14:44 PM EST
    But I found the link.

    Maybe Grisham was referring to a speech pattern - was it the character saying someone was a "certified trial lawyer," as in the lawyer was "the real deal" I wonder?


    Jb, in this case, it was the 3rd person (none / 0) (#69)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 07:57:45 PM EST
    so and so was a certified trial lawyer... among other accomplishments, as though that were separate. That's what stuck, even 100 pages later!

    State of California (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:59:36 PM EST
    has a few certifications.  One for appellate work, tax work and a couple of others....It's for narrow areas/specialties.  You can still practice in the area even if you don't have the certification.

    I don't think I have ever met anyone certified in anything...after 20+ years.

    Grisham is from Mississippi, and who knows, they may have a certification as a "trial lawyer" there, but it sounds bogus to me.  

    Informally, being known to actually try cases is a plus....not earth shattering...


    There are so many lawyers who (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:35:56 PM EST
    label themselves "litigators" but aren't.

    Thanks, folks. (none / 0) (#62)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:24:12 PM EST
    I looked it up in the innertubes, but still wasn't clear. Seems like a status type thing, but it's real.

    I must say (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:59:09 PM EST
    If you were going to fight with cops in riot gear today, it was a pretty good idea to load christmas bulbs with paint and then nail them in the shield on their face.  They can't see a damn thing then.

    Such ingenuity.. (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:36:12 AM EST
    gives me hope for the human race...if we ever figure out how to get along we're gonna go places as a species...big if though:)

    why am I starting to feel (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 08:44:39 AM EST
    that this is a kabuki and that it is all going to pass before the holidays?

    the tax bill, repeal of DADT, START, not sure about the DREAM act.

    but I have this "feeling" that is all may happen.

    maybe its the holiday season.  or maybe I am coming down with something.

    Health Care Act Ruling expected soon (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 08:45:04 AM EST
    Randy Barnett of The Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting post about how the upcoming ruling in Virginia on the constitutionality of the individual mandate might also affect other parts of the bill - such as the requirements put on insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.  

    The WH concedes that if the mandate gets tossed, so does the pre-existing requriement.

    From a fact sheet passed out at the WH briefing yesterday:

    If the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act's individual responsibility requirement ultimately prevails, it would mean that provisions preventing health insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions would also be invalidated by the court because the two are inseparably linked. If insurance companies are required to cover those with pre-existing conditions, who are potentially more expensive to cover, without requiring everyone--both sick and healthy people--to have insurance, premiums will increase rapidly. Similarly, other provisions - including banning insurers from discriminating based on health status, age and gender - would also fall.

    is it me (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 08:47:38 AM EST
    or is this really sad?

    Why I'd rather my daughter marry a rich man than have a brilliant career

    The new breed of intelligent, jet-set housewives really do seem to have it all...

    Lots of false arguments in there (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:55:59 AM EST
    Does anyone really believe this?
    Of course, there are still some stay-at-home mums who spend their days dusting the mantelpiece, but these women would be seen in the new pecking order as having failed miserably.

    I have known several women who, while not married to rich husbands, did not work while the children were young, and did their own housework, etc. No one I know saw them as miserable failures. I think writers of articles like this need to get out more.


    I read that (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:02:19 AM EST
    Sad and shortsighted.

    oh boy... (none / 0) (#107)
    by CST on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:26:37 AM EST
    "have it all"?

    Somehow I doubt that.  All I know is, if it were me, and I didn't have a job, and I didn't have to do work at home, and all I did all day was go shopping, do my nails, and take the occasional Spanish class...  I would be bored out of my mind.

    I understand that it can be stressfull to have obligations.  But frankly, being useless is way worse.

    Ambition is not just about money/status/power, it's about purpose.  Whether that purpose is career-oriented or home-oriented doesn't matter so long as it exists in some form.


    Put it that way... (none / 0) (#110)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:51:53 AM EST
    I need to get a sugar momma cuz I could get down with some of that action...leisure is my purpose.

    I hear your opinion quite a bit..."I'd be bored if I didn't work"...can't relate.  I have no trouble finding leisure activities to keep boredom at bay...there are far too many places to see, books to read, albums to listen to, movies to watch, Talkleft debates:)


    I like leisure (none / 0) (#111)
    by CST on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 11:11:20 AM EST
    and travel, and wasting time as much as the next person.  I'm hardly a workaholic - evidenced by my time spent blogging.

    But I'll never forget the couple months I had between college and a full time job (I was even working a little bit part time).  Great for the first month.  After that it got really old really fast.


    I've never had a prolonged... (none / 0) (#112)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 11:20:12 AM EST
    period without working to really test it...except maybe for the year when I gave the music thing a go...thats when I was doing day-labor with the immigrants and odd-jobs for food money.  

    Some of the best times of my life, aside from having no money all the time...thats what got old, not all the time on my hands...that was awesome.


    in 2003 (none / 0) (#113)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 11:31:50 AM EST
    I finished Scooby Doo, got my unemployment going, got a home equity loan and took almost a year off and renovated a house and property I had in LA.
    it was really really fun.  
    I would love to have another year off to renovate the house I am living in.

    both those situations (none / 0) (#115)
    by CST on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:16:03 PM EST
    are when you had projects or hobbies though.  SOMEthing that you were doing, where you could show progress through your day, or where you were engaging with others.  A reason to get up.

    In fairness, I'm sure a lot of women who marry rich men have that too (see Melinda Gates).  But that doesn't seem to be the lifestyle that this article is idolizing.

    On a side note, I always thought that if I did make a lot of money or marry rich I could be one hell of a philanthropist.


    are you pi$$ed enough to vote for Ralph? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 08:51:15 AM EST
       "He has no fixed principles," Nader said, of Mr. Obama. "He's opportunistic -- he goes for expedience, like Clinton. Some call him temperamentally conflict-averse. If you want to be harsher, you say he has no principles and he's opportunistic."

        "He's a con man," Nader continued. "I have no use for him."

        "I'm not foreclosing the possibility [of running]... There are just other things to do," he continued. "And it's time for someone else to continue. I've done it so many times. When I go around the country, I'm telling people they need to find somebody."

    Not a chance (none / 0) (#87)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:01:04 AM EST
    as a former fan I can now say I have little to no respect for him.

    It is time for somebody else (none / 0) (#99)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:42:31 AM EST
    I agree with him there. Ralph is a no-go in my book.

    Nah (none / 0) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:15:41 AM EST
    I'm going to vote for Bernie Sanders.

    Not a chance (none / 0) (#94)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:18:36 AM EST
    there either. I don't vote for candidates that assist in throwing an election into the hands of far worse candidates.

    You can vote for whoever you chose (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 11:53:56 AM EST
    I don't vote for people who legislate against my interests. Bad legislation and policies are bad legislation and policies whether they are passed by Democrats or Republicans.

    Electoral college means that MO will go Republican in 2012 no matter which person I chose. If Obama could not win MO in 2008, there is about a .01% chance of him winning in 2012.


    I like Bernie too (none / 0) (#95)
    by brodie on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:24:45 AM EST
    one of the few smart and forceful Dems out there who isn't constantly mumbling, fence-straddling, apologizing, backpedaling, and backflipping.  

    A shame though that the word socialist is such a poisonous discussion-stopper in this country.  If it weren't, I'd want to strongly encourage him to run in 2012.  

    Maybe with fellow socialist Lawrence O'Donnell as his VP.  ;-)


    I like Bernie three (none / 0) (#109)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:38:57 AM EST
    and I like Vermont politics more than the politics in any other part of the country. A Bernie Sanders run may not get much traction nationally, however a Wesley Clark-Bernie Sanders Independent ticket can definitely get some mileage (or atleast pull the Democrats towards the left). Someone like Sherrod Brown can appeal to the left and Independents and be able to win a general election but not a Democratic primary.

    For once, I'm in (none / 0) (#93)
    by brodie on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:17:25 AM EST
    agreement with Ralf.

    Especially the last part.

    I think his last hurrah was 2000, and that left some bitter feelings among disaffected libs, even lefty-left types.

    Time indeed to find someone else.  

    (btw, while I agree on O, has Nader ever been satisfied by any Dem prez?)


    When all (none / 0) (#96)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:25:08 AM EST
    you do is whine and complain, the value of what is spoken is greatly diminished and usually ignored. That's where Ralph now finds himself.

    probably true (none / 0) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:31:50 AM EST
    but it would be fun to see him go up against the republicans.

    He was incredibly (none / 0) (#105)
    by brodie on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:02:58 AM EST
    difficult to work with back in Carter's time, even after Jimmy brought into his admin several of Nader's "Raiders".  Turned out he didn't want to work for 75 or even a 90% good bill -- he wanted 100% or nothing.

    I think David Halberstam's doctor brother (they and the Naders grew up in the same small CT town) had a quite perceptive take on the young Nader way back in the 60s (relating to how he was able to afford so much foreign travel back in a pre-dereg time when it was quite expensive) and who might have been covertly backing him.


    Ralph (none / 0) (#119)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 01:39:28 PM EST
    and Francois Marie Arouet wouldn't have made a good team.

    It wouldn't take many (none / 0) (#116)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:27:23 PM EST
    Obama won by 7.2% in 2008.  Barring any really bizarre events that either favor him or hurt him, if he wins in a two-person race, the margin will be much closer - I predict if he wins again, it will be by not more than 3%.  Throw in Nader (or some other 3rd party), and Obama loses. Nader got 2.75% of the vote in 2000 (and he wasn't on the ballot in many states). I assume he could get that again (or close to it).

    Would make for a very long election night for the Obama team, regardless.


    Nader will never (none / 0) (#117)
    by CST on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:37:27 PM EST
    get that much again.

    It would take someone else.


    In 2012 (none / 0) (#118)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 12:39:46 PM EST
    a 3rd party or Independent run would gather a percentage of votes that would be similar to what Ross Perot gathered in 1992, not what Nader got in 2000.

    I was being conservative (none / 0) (#120)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 01:45:36 PM EST
    If you will pardon the pun.

    Snowe and Collins (none / 0) (#89)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:04:24 AM EST
    both came out in support of the START treaty this morning.

    this morning (none / 0) (#90)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:04:44 AM EST
    as in Friday morning

    see (none / 0) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:12:32 AM EST
    comment #83

    Charles the Krauthumper (none / 0) (#98)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:37:21 AM EST
    Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 - and House Democrats don't have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?

    David Brooks (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:42:36 AM EST

    The fact is, Obama and the Democrats have had an excellent week. The White House negotiators did an outstanding job for their side. With little leverage, they got not only the unemployment insurance, but also an Earned Income Tax Credit provision, a college scholarship provision and other Democratic goodies. With little leverage, they got a package that could win grudging praise from big-name liberal groups like the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for American Progress.

    Moreover, Obama has put himself in a position to govern again. The package is popular. According to the most recent Gallup numbers, 67 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats support extending all the tax cuts. Higher numbers support extending the unemployment insurance. Obama is reminding independents why they liked him in the first place.

    He only needs to work on two things. He needs to explain his method better than he did in his press conference. It is entirely consistent to support a policy and be willing to move off of it in exchange for a greater good or a necessary accommodation. That's called real life.

    Although (none / 0) (#101)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:45:09 AM EST
    Strangely Jonah Goldberg brings up You-know-who:

    But there's one more possible reason for his dyspepsia. This week Obama lost his argument with Hillary Clinton.

    It's largely forgotten now, but during their lengthy primary battle, the two committed liberals' greatest disagreement wasn't over policy or their shared disdain for George W. Bush. It was over their different visions of the presidency.

    For example, in a Nevada debate, Obama admitted that he wasn't a particularly organized person. But that was OK because the core role of the president shouldn't be organizational but inspirational. "It involves having a vision for where the country needs to go . . . and then being able to mobilize and inspire the American people to get behind that agenda for change."

    Pshaw, responded Hillary, the president is really a "chief executive officer" who must be "able to manage and run the bureaucracy."

    This disagreement was symbolized by their respective role models. Obama likened himself to Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, inspirational leaders who led through rhetoric. Clinton sided with Lyndon Johnson, the guy who spun the shining words into actual legislation and got it passed, often on a bipartisan basis.

    The debate played itself out by proxy in liberal magazines and in snippets of speeches and short outbursts on the stump, with most liberals siding with Obama over Clinton. Some even suggested she was a racist -- or at least race-baiting -- for daring to suggest that all he offered was the ability to give a good speech.

    But even some of Obama's biggest fans admitted that his devotion to the magical power of words stemmed from the fact that he had little else going for him. "Barack Obama could not run his campaign for the presidency based on political accomplishment or on the heroic service of his youth," David Remnick wrote in the New Yorker after Obama won the general election. "His record was too slight. His Democratic and Republican opponents were right: he ran largely on language, on the expression of a country's potential and the self-expression of a complicated man who could reflect and lead that country."

    Fast-forward to this week. Obama's undisciplined diatribe against the "purists" in his own party who oppose compromise amounted to an abject admission that Hillary was right all along.

    He lost that particular argument long ago (none / 0) (#103)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:48:01 AM EST
    Wake up Jonah.

    And so the jujitsu begins... (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 09:45:46 AM EST
    whereupon the Republican policy that Obama "won" becomes what the Republicans blame on him going forward.

    It would be funny if it weren't so predictable.


    This is exactly the reason (none / 0) (#106)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:14:57 AM EST
    why every Democrat should distance themselves from this Obama-GOP tax bill by not voting for it. Even if they are not principled enough to vote against it, they should do so for self-preservation. The Obama-GOP tax bill will be attacked not just from the left, but from the right (more viciously for increasing deficits by borrowing from China) after it passes.

    "Stimulus" to the to 2% ... (none / 0) (#121)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sat Dec 11, 2010 at 04:31:15 PM EST
    ... doesn't count.  Shrinks the number a bit.