Tuesday Night OpenThread

Open Thread.

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    I'm a very proud... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    ...Uncle today--my nephew (and Godson) passed the Bar in Texas!  He's already the lead on a trial.  I expect great things from him.  

    Wow, Congrats! :) (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:50:23 AM EST
    Thanks! (none / 0) (#47)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:54:40 AM EST
    Nice one Unc... (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:51:35 AM EST
    If I get pinched in Texas, I know who to call:)

    If you get pinched... (none / 0) (#46)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:53:46 AM EST
    ...he's the one that going to be trying to put you in a cage, I'm afraid.  Maybe if you were to name-drop, he'd have mercy on you though.

    Not gonna happen:)... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:59:31 AM EST
    I think I'll just stay outta your nephew's way...duck and cover baby.

    Coming from you stock, I'm sure he'll be one of the good ones...we sure do need more of those, especially down Texas way.


    Speak of the devil... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:13:27 AM EST
    here is prosecutors gettin' one right in Baltimore...calling a wrongful arrest what it is...kidnapping.

    I love this at the link (none / 0) (#56)
    by Cream City on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:47:29 AM EST
    The lawyer for the two officers said there could be a legitimate explanation for what the officers may have done.  "In police work, there are various reasons on why something like this could happen. He could provide information to the police. He could have been a victim or a suspect. The person who was dropped off could have asked to have been dropped off there," attorney Mike Davey said.

    How does Mr. Davey face himself in the mirror?  Is the retainer from the police association really worth it to have to peddle such pap?  Is this why he went to law school?


    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:52:29 AM EST
    but I don't wanna knock a vigorous defense of the accused...no matter how laughable. It is their right, same as ours.

    I'm just semi-shocked and glad a prosecutor called it kidnapping...more equality under the law than I'm used to seeing.


    I understand it in the courtroom (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:02:03 AM EST
    sure, a vigorous defense -- or nonsense -- there.

    But in the court of public opinion, for his own reputation, Mr. Davey could have made other statements on behalf of his clients without embarrassing himself -- and his profession.


    Point taken... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:07:01 AM EST
    authoritarian apologists know no shame Cream...and they are plenty.

    Just look at Lieberman and Peter King and all the apologists in Congress.


    Here in Baltimore, we have a (none / 0) (#64)
    by Anne on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:19:27 AM EST
    morning radio show hosted by the city's former police commissioner and former head of the MD State Police  - Ed Norris - and this morning, he and his morning team were discussing the indictment and arrest of the police officers and the allegations made against them.

    Ed's comment was (not verbatim): "didn't they know this was part of the City's 'Catch and Release' program?  Yeah, the cops catch these guys and then release them outside the city."

    Of course, there is no such program, but he and the rest of the guys were yucking it up - "catch and release" is just so funny, you know?

    Ed's a smart guy, and he has a lot of insider info with respect to the PD and MD politics, and for what it's worth, I do think his prosecution was politically motivated, so he tends to be more than a little cynical about PD goings-on in the city and the state.

    There's never a dull moment, which makes it good radio for the morning commute.


    Giro (none / 0) (#1)
    by me only on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:51:55 PM EST
    Any predictions?

    Any thoughts about Pellizotti?

    Oil Spill: (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:53:42 PM EST
    I just posted a comment in the morning thread
    with an assessment of the oil spill (via The Washington Note) which is incredibly dire, with comparisons to Krakatoa.

    And all they can talk about at Big Orange is that this isn't Obama's Katrina. Who the fack cares!!

    It's maddening that the oil industry's so called (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:58:56 PM EST
    experts seem to have no proven solution for this. And prevention was not done because their cost benefit analysis told them to just take a chance it would never happen. Maybe the cleanup will cost them a year's worth of their record profits. So what? they'll make it up when prices go through the roof. just the cost of doing business.

    Arnold did the right the in California though.


    No (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:31:05 PM EST
    There is a cap, of $75 mil, set by congress (oil lobby) in 1990. The WH is appealing to congress to change it to $10 bil.

    One of those lawmakers, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey is co-sponsoring legislation to raise the limit on damages from a spill to $10 billion from $75 million under the current law, which was passed in 1990.

    digby has more.


    thanks squeaky I did not realize there (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:02:42 AM EST
    was a cap. I should have known better.

    Glad I got a good night's sleep before I learned that.


    At times like this I support the (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by observed on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:14:32 AM EST
    idea of a bill of attainder.

    Soon milllions of gallons of oil will (none / 0) (#23)
    by observed on Wed May 05, 2010 at 12:38:39 AM EST
    get into the gulf current and be carried up the Eastern coast of the US.

    They can't stand to talk about this (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:53:22 AM EST
    They had a war over drill baby drill at Orange, with many siding with Obama and I noticed a few "evironmentalists" gave up their religion.  One month later, we've really drilled ourselves. It is too painful for them.

    We need to dig up Reagan (none / 0) (#51)
    by observed on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:14:38 AM EST
    and smash his remains. The country went crazy on the subject of energy and oil in  the 80's.
    People are still totally clueless, only watching the price of a gallon of gas.
    We need major, major transportation and urban planning overhaul. We need to get people out of suburbs and into cities with efficient public transportation systems.
    None of this will happen, of course.

    It will happen (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:23:00 AM EST
    It won't happen when I went it done because as far as I'm concerned it should have happened two yesterdays ago.  On the last Maher show though it was discussed how inferior we are to the whole world now when it comes to public transportation.  We have no supertrains, we have almost nothing....nothing of superior technology at all.  The whole world has kicked our arses and we are literally living in the dark ages of cool, efficient and quick transportation.

    it's not the trains (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by CST on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:31:19 AM EST
    we don't have, it's the track.

    Even the fast trains we do have in the NE corridor can't go as fast as they "should" because of right-of-way constraints.  Link

    "The Acela trains, which run along the Northeastern corridor from Boston to New York and Washington, D.C., are designed to travel 150 miles per hour.

    But they rarely do because the area's path is winding and its infrastructure is aging. In addition, passenger trains must yield to freight trains traveling the same tracks and slow down at multiple crossings and stations. As a result, Acela's average speed between Boston and New York is 62 miles per hour and 82 miles an hour between New York and Washington, D.C."


    And yet... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:44:01 AM EST
    ...out West we literally gave millions of acres of land to the RR's. And what did we the public get for our largeness?  Not much.

    It is amazing to do title searches and see who still owns the mineral rights to large swaths of Colorado--the railroads.  


    It is interesting isn't it? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:59:19 AM EST
    They own a lot of coal don't they?  And when my family moved to town, they retained ownership of the mineral rights to the ranch they sold.  The new buyer/owners never asked, my grandfather didn't bring it up :)

    Coal, oil... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:15:13 AM EST
    ...natural gas, uranium--they own the rights to all kinds of stuff.  Not to mention some very expensive parcels of property.

    Most people don't even think about the mineral rights when they buy property.  If anything, they're more concerned about the water rights.  A friend of mine found out this out the hard way--his prime mountain acreage West of Trinidad now has several coalbed methane fracking wells sitting on and around it.  With all the attendent roads and infrastructure to go with them.  


    I'm interested in the frictionless (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:56:11 AM EST
    supertrains.  I don't think we have one of those.  A fast train is nice, but how energy efficient is it?

    I don't think we do either (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CST on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:10:01 AM EST
    but I bet they need a special track too.

    The problem in the N.E. is space - there just isn't any.  That's actually a big problem around here just with the commuter rail - they have too many trains on not enough track, so it's really inefficient.  Also with the subway in NYC they planned ahead and built double tracks side by side, one for operations, one for maintenence, so the trains can run all night.  Our subway has only one track, and it stops running around 12:30 - 1:30 AM for maintenence.  I realize this may seem like whining to those with no trains at all, but think logistically what it means to have bars close at 2 but the trains stop running at 1.  It's kind of a nightmare.

    The problem is decades upon decades of poor planning, building highways, and not investing in the necessary infrastructure for trains.  That's not to say it can't be done now, but it's a whole lot harder to do now because of what we've done in the past.  It may be easier actually to build new, fast trains in other parts of the country where they have more space.  But the N.E. is the only part of the country where trains are remotely profitable.  Although that's not to say we shouldn't do it anyway.  It's not like highways make a profit either.


    I'm certain that they need different track (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:46:11 AM EST
    I find the "track argument" something being thrown out there to discourage debate and action.  All these other countries had to put down new track :)  One of our Army friend has a dad who is an Amtrak bigshot in Florida.  I think a lot of these are arguments are inspired by them because he gives me the same arguments whenever he is around.  I think that Amtrak likes its lock on certain overground transportation systems.  We are talking about shaking up their moneytree.

    I just see it more of a logistical thing (none / 0) (#68)
    by CST on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    It's easy for congress to say "invest in some of those new-fangled trains".  It's another thing for them to actually appropriate the money/ right of way/ etc... to make them usefull.

    The bigger problem I have is the "profitability" argument.  Highways never had to make a dime for anyone.  And you could basically put in track most places you can put in a new highway.  But amtrak sure doesn't like the "who cares if it makes a profit" argument.


    Passenger trains... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 05, 2010 at 11:09:31 AM EST
    ...have never, ever been profitable in this country.  When they were plentiful in the past (before Amtrak), they were subsidized by freight revenue.  

    Kind of silly to expect them to all of the sudden turn a profit.


    Mail subsidies also. (none / 0) (#73)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 05, 2010 at 03:19:56 PM EST
    Train service in South England (none / 0) (#74)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed May 05, 2010 at 05:30:06 PM EST
    was great when I lived there, but its expensive.  $20 each way for a 33 minute train ride from Waterloo to Guildford.  Tube passes are around $7/day (zones 1-2).  Single passes are around $6.  Bus is still cheapish though, just takes a lot longer to get around in London with the ridiculous street layout and traffic.  So rail commuting is great, if you enjoy a high salary.  Those lower on the economic totem pole would be spending a significant percentage of their daily earnings on commuting unless the systems were heavily subsidized.

    Prices in pounds (none / 0) (#75)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed May 05, 2010 at 05:31:38 PM EST
    4.7 GBP for a tube pass, 4.20 for a single (when I lived there) and 13 for Waterloo-Guildford.  Exchange rate was $1.90 when I lived there, now more like $1.50

    btw (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CST on Wed May 05, 2010 at 11:18:48 AM EST
    I guess my point about track is not that we can't do it.  It's that we have to be asking/pushing for the right things.

    write more about the business of... (none / 0) (#3)
    by fiver on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:53:57 PM EST
    how we get drug and other offenders out of prisons where they cost the state money and into the work force where they're taxed.  What vested interests would gain from and lose and support and oppose such measures...

    What would a world with decriminalized drug laws (at least marijuana) be like in America?  What vested interests oppose (i.e. alcohol) such initiatives and why (decreased market share)...Does decriminalizing drugs affect other types of crimes' rates? What could our government use the resources of another tax source for? What could our peace officers focus on instead?


    Legalize marijuana and tax it heavily. (none / 0) (#4)
    by observed on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:03:04 PM EST
    The way we treat heroin addicts makes no sense to me: put them on methadone (an opiate) because they are addicted to heroin, another opiate???
    I presume this is because methadone doesn't give as good a high, but it's just amazingly stupid.
    Very few people are going to become heroin addicts. Some sort of legalization/medicalization makes sense.

    Another thing I wonder is if legalizing marijuana could lessen the use of more dangerous drugs.
    I have a reason which is so half-baked I won't share it, but there probably is some evidence on that point by now.


    Not too heavily... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:42:51 AM EST
    with that tax...otherwise the black market will keep the business.

    But don't worry, the state can still make a killing with a reasonable tax rate considering the low cost of production and the high black market prices for premium product.  Just don't go nuts like NY State with their tobacco sin taxes, driving people to the rez for tax-free smokes.


    If, as reported, the feds had the Times Sq. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:26:08 PM EST
    suspect "under surveillance," why the f*uck did they let him board a plan at JFK bound for Dubai--with other passengers already on board?  Cowboys?

    No exit controls in the U.S. (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:06:10 PM EST
    Which is just as well, because they freak me out.

    They flagged him in the final manifest.

    It is interesting that the TSA apparently doesn't run every passenger through the computer. But what it comes down to is that  their job is to keep planes safe, not arrest people being "watched."


    He was put on the (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:13:10 PM EST
    no fly list. shouldn't they stop them before the plane starts taxiing down the runway?

    Odd, isn't it? (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:16:53 PM EST
    Maybe the list he was on wasn't propagated quickly enough.

    But to me it seems like he wanted to get caught from the start. He really did everything wrong.


    He really was pretty (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:31:53 PM EST
    inept . . .

    I find it disturbing that the no fly list doesn't get auto updated seamlessly when names are added. When they get ready to board the plane, the computer at the gate should have cross checked names . . .


    I feel ever so much better after reading (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:38:11 PM EST
    both Holder and Napolitano were confident the FBI knew where the suspect was.  NYT

    Heh . . . . (none / 0) (#20)
    by nycstray on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:53:42 PM EST
    "The law enforcement work in this case was truly exemplary."

    Perhaps before they turned it over to the feds . . . they lost track of the dude and he's able to buy a ticket and board a plane . . .


    All cash. One-way ticket to (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed May 05, 2010 at 12:02:56 AM EST
    Pakistan via Dubai.  Wonder if he had any luggage?

    I'm listening to this this morning (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 07:51:50 AM EST
    and shaking my head.  We have compromised on our civil rights to "be safe" and this is the "safety" we have purchased?  What is the deal?  Are they are all too distracted by the minute dramas in the lives of people doing nothing of import to them in their professions that they are "monitoring" that they will not be able to do their actual jobs?

    Interesting they need to consider policy (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:25:23 PM EST
    Oakland does back up into the hills after all. Always has . . . And that it took SEVEN shots to kill a young trapped deer.

    This just makes my head hurt. I was enjoying watching the deer just last week from my parents east bay backyard. Deer are part of life around here . . . .

    Well, under the heading of (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:09:38 PM EST
    Things You Just Can't Make Up, I will share the names of the three Republican candidates running for the Republican nomination for Coffee County Coroner who seem to be able to afford yard signs.

    John Exum

    Steve Resteivo

    "Boots" Love (How is this person not a Democrat?)

    I don't know what "Boots"' real name is either, it isn't on the signs and apparently "Boots" doesn't give a damn if some misplaced Yankee doesn't know what his/her legal name is :)

    My friend in Chattanooga (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ruffian on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:08:52 AM EST
    says that in her area two guys named Crangle and Gobble are running to replace a guy named Wamp.

    Buwhahahahaha (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:14:11 PM EST
    I did just look up "Boots"' real first name, and it is Ernest.  How in the hell can your momma give you the name Ernest Love and you grow up to become a Republican in this political climate?

    Easy... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:31:56 AM EST
    it's "Love" in the doublespeak sense, as in "Ministry of Love".

    What an idiot (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:10:55 PM EST

    Must not speculate the outcry if (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:21:02 PM EST
    OPD used tasers.  

    They aren't too good with their (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nycstray on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:59:01 PM EST
    tasers either . . .

    I would have been upset if they had tasered the poor thing also. Especially if it was the same officer that took 7 shots at it. I can't believe they couldn't figure out how to properly deal with a deer (with Fish and Game almost there!)


    I was upset.. (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:35:46 AM EST
    that they tasered the kid who ran on the field in Philly...thats a new low.

    Insult to injury...the broadcasters laughing about it as the kid hits the ground, and I quote, "like a bag of onions".

    Where has our humanity gone I wonder...


    It is very unsafe now too (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:43:29 AM EST
    to just be a kid, a regular kid with poor impulse control.  It is particularly unsafe to be a kid or a deer in Jim's neighborhood :)  GET OFF MY LAWN!

    BLAM BLAM BLAM (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:44:10 AM EST
    Bunny Wailer knows what to do... (none / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 11:08:56 AM EST
    Cease Fire...and light the chalice.

    But I guess thats technically illegal.


    PETA would have a say (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 11:27:07 PM EST
    Seriously though, deer run around Aspen neighborhoods and nobody needs to open fire on them with a Glock.  

    Wall Street trying to (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:08:19 AM EST
    prop up the dollar with the help of Standards and Poors by trying to slit Greece's throat at the moment?

    Jesus, now the news says that (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:40:12 AM EST
    if the EU doesn't plug up the Goldman Sachs holes in Greece....it is going to damage our 401ks.  Why?  Because some part of the world would go after creating markets that actually resemble the health of the economies?  Slovakia doesn't want to simply hand Greece the money without evidence they will the right thing with it.  And as the video indicates, the Greek government has lopped off receiving services from anyone other than Goldman Sachs.  If I were Slovakia, I would be saying the same thing.

    I was wondering (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:34:55 AM EST
    What happens if a country goes bankrupt? Does another country eat them up? Will they have to merge?

    Heh! (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:47:32 AM EST
    See The Economist for a new map (none / 0) (#72)
    by Cream City on Wed May 05, 2010 at 12:50:06 PM EST
    of Europe; it's quite funny in a sad way for some.  
    Poland becomes an island, so it can stop having to constantly defends its borders against aggression.

    As for Greece, its location near southern Italy could make it perfect for joining the new country made from that southern half of Italy, Sicily, etc. -- a country renamed Bordello.

    (I don't think that the Vatican, which ends up in said new country, would appreciate the humor.)


    If I was a parent... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:08:29 AM EST
    I'd be more worried about the firearms than the deer...thats nuts.

    In case you aren't aware (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:09:57 AM EST
    deer can destroy a yard. They really love a veggie garden and are partial to young flowers as a desert.

    Bambi is a varmint.

    Jeebus fricken crackers Jim (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:15:31 AM EST
    A drunk driver can destroy my yard....Duh, so can my teenage daughter's last angry boyfriend...he was probably drunk too.  I refrained from opening fire with my Glock :)  Sometimes Jim though, I worry about you.

    If you did that to my yard I might show (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:40:43 AM EST
    you how a short barreled 20 gauge pump with No 4 buck shot works..


    And I didn't say the method of dispatch used met my approval.

    Animal control should have trank'd him and then shipped him to Alabama... He could have taught the native deer how to complain.


    I just hope... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:16:09 AM EST
    somebody is eating the poor deer...least we can do at this point.

    I guess it is the intent of the (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:11:57 AM EST
    "blowing up" and who would benefit.  I can't look up anybody's whazoo and I'm kept in the dark when stuff in the Gulf of Mexico IS blown up.

    Seriously... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by kdog on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:30:26 AM EST
    sh*t...you could call the Gulf of Mexico the latest site of a terror event, and we're all co-conspirators who could be charged with providing material support.

    Who has time to worry about somehow preventing the next loser from loading a Pathfinder full of propane and M88's, we've got real problems that maybe, with a little brainstorming, we could actually alleviate.


    I wonder if, in my state (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cream City on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:08:10 AM EST
    where we are overrun by deer -- often seeing them in my very urban neighborhood -- and often find them overrunning and hitting us on the highways . . . whether these fools would have gotten hit with a ticket.

    That's what happened here when a deer hit my car.  And I stand by that story; I was where I belonged on the highway, and I did not hit the deer.

    Still, I also got hit with a very high ticket for -- wait for it -- deer hunting without a license.

    (That's how the state covers the costs of having to pick up all the roadkill on our highways.  But I was so broke then.  So the cop took pity and told me to stand by the highway and see if someone came along who wanted some free venison for sausage.  Sure enough, it took only minutes.  So no cleanup cost for the state, and the cop tore up the ticket.)