Monday Night Open Thread

President Obama is going to Tucson tomorrow. Jared Loughner had his first court appearance in federal court in Phoenix. The New York Times has a profile of his attorney, Judy Clarke. (Mine is here.)

Outgoing Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, a former District Attorney, has granted a pardon to Joe Arridy, executed in 1939, on grounds he likely was innocent. Additional reason: Arridy was mentally disabled, with an IQ of 46.

[A]n overwhelming body of evidence indicates the 23-year-old Arridy was innocent, including false and coerced confessions, the likelihood that Arridy was not in Pueblo at the time of the killing, and an admission of guilt by someone else. In addition, it would be unconstitutional today to impose the death penalty on anyone as intellectually disabled as Arridy.

Arridy spent 18 months on death row, always smiling and always playing with a toy train. He requested just ice cream for his final three meals and stepped into the gas chamber still grinning like a little boy.


“Granting a posthumous pardon is an extraordinary remedy,” Gov. Ritter said. “But the tragic conviction of Mr. Arridy and his subsequent execution on Jan. 6, 1939, merit such relief based on the great likelihood that Mr. Arridy was, in fact, innocent of the crime for which he was executed, and his severe mental disability at the time of his trial and execution. Pardoning Mr. Arridy cannot undo this tragic event in Colorado history. It is in the interests of justice and simple decency, however, to restore his good name.”

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Did u all see this? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:53:59 PM EST
    The Tea Party Nation and the far right are crying about the left making hay out of the tragedy in AZ.  But THIS isn't "opportunistic" at all, is it?  This is an OUTRAGE!

    And now for something a bit (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by dead dancer on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:07:27 PM EST

    Or maybe spirograph would be a nice break.

    Oh man (none / 0) (#23)
    by sj on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:35:00 AM EST
    that spirograph is cool.

    We few, we happy few, (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:33:01 PM EST
    we Band of Brothers. War Eagle.

    Congratulations to Jeff, MT and (none / 0) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:49:21 AM EST
    all the other Auburn fans. A tough end to the Ducks' season.

    Pitchers and catchers report next month.


    I got in so much trouble last night (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:40:09 AM EST
    When Oregon scored their last touchdown a little whoop escaped my lips.  This wasn't a whoop where I was rooting for Oregon, it was a whoop acknowledging a great play...a really great play.  The people on the other sofa crusted me off.  I apologized...a lot.  When they immediately ran the two pt conversion in, I mumbled wow and that doomed me.  After that Joshua called me Miss Oregon, and no explanation of admiring excellence could redeem me.

    And worst of all, my husband looked at me and says, "Honey, we can't afford to have this thing tied up....kids need to go to bed for school."  AS IF my whoops from a sofa in the woods of Alabama were the one thing in the universe that Oregon lacked, and the possibility of them getting one to come out of me is what pushed them over the goal line......TWICE.

    I tried to smooth my whoop over, but it would not be condoned last night :)  When I tucked Josh in for bed I told him that I was glad that his team won and he said to me that he was sorry that mine didn't.  It was hysterical, but I dare not laugh about it unless I am alone right now.


    You'd better check Craig's list and eBay (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:11:16 AM EST
    to see if Joshua is selling one of your kidneys.

    Whoop! It was a great game (none / 0) (#13)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:02:35 AM EST
    Lower scoring than most figured it would be, but those kids played a tough game.

    The confidence in each moment (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:07:24 AM EST
    that both teams displayed through the whole game with the constant pressure was astonishing to me.

    I was relying on my Blackberry to find out (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:12:55 AM EST
    what was happening after tutoring.  Got the last touchdown and 2 pointer.  But how the heck did Alabama so quickly get in position for the winning field goal?

    Their quarterback was taking (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:17:54 AM EST
    a lot of what used to be considered undesirable risks with his own quarterback hide.  He was going to win, and if there wasn't anyone sufficiently open he ran the ball himself.  He does that anyhow at times, but I saw him willing to take a hit last night during that last drive.  He even put his head down and drove into one hit :)

    Auburn players are so big. (none / 0) (#49)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:49:07 PM EST
    The Ducks are small and scrappy. The Tigers, well, they are huge. Even the Auburn QB  is bigger than most of our linemen. Ducks just could not overcome the size deficit.

    As you now know, MT, watching the Ducks play football can be pretty thrilling and gasp-inducing. What they lack in size they make up for in some very creative ways. Still, the victory came down to size, and the Ducks didn't have it.


    I get in trouble for whooping (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 11:40:55 AM EST
    But the way that the Auburn line could stop their running ball had my husband jump up off the couch one time and tell them to stop trying to run the ball, just pass it.  But I AM the Oregon fan :)

    "Execution" is such a neutral term (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by pluege2 on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:23:03 AM EST
    call it what it is: State-sponsored murder, regardless of whether or not it is conducted on an innocent person. It is indecent and all all citizens of the state partaking of the heinous act are dirty until it is eliminated.

    here are the facts:

    people are born with the inalienable right to be alive.

    no one has any right to kill another human being - ever.

    State-sponsored murder is pre-meditated murder - plain and simple. It is suitable for only for the most craven, violent humans.

    Giffords (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:32:08 AM EST
    is reported to be breathing on her own...a 100% survival rate, says her doctor.  My fingers are crossed.

    Pardon me while (none / 0) (#1)
    by the capstan on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:41:24 PM EST
    I go throw up!  My daughter's IQ is just a bit less than that.  I was only 6 when that execution took place, but even these years later, it seems as horrid as what the Nazis did to retarded children in Germany.

    Parenting Models (none / 0) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:35:04 PM EST
    Who scored top on international tests (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:12:36 AM EST
    Well, gee that would be Asian Americans.

    Yes, the US scored 12/13 overall but if you looked at the breakout demographics, Asian kids were top, white kids 3 or 4. So, pffft.


    I don't understand your reply (none / 0) (#17)
    by ks on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:31:36 AM EST
    When I first read it, I thought the article was going to be the latest empty d*ck measuring nonsense regarding standardized testing but instead the article is one remarkably obnoxious mother braying about the supposed superiority of her parenting methods.  In that context, your reply doesn't make sense to me unless you're using the scores on international tests as "proof" of something which, if that's the case, is just a bit silly.

    The article was typical WSJ (none / 0) (#26)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:02:11 AM EST
    In case you weren't aware, the WSJ hates American and European workers and looked like an opportunity to try and show how westerners are 'less than'..... the woman's piece was her comparison of how the Chinese (Asian) are somehow better at parenting than westerners.  

    I was pointing out that academically, it isn't true.  (Yes, we are failing our hispanic and african american children) but Asian Americans and whites score high on international tests.

    If Asian Americans and white Americans score higher academically than Asians from Asian countries, they must be doing something right.

    If we would do better by our current minority students, we would score better nationally.


    Ah I see what you're saying now (none / 0) (#39)
    by ks on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:34:05 PM EST
    Fair enough

    Seems like (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:33:22 AM EST
    there's a happy medium in there somewhere.  My parents (especially my dad) was strict about grades.  We were an all-girl family, and there was never a question that we were all going to college because my father was not going let us grow up to depend on some man to take care of us -we were told from young age that we would go to college and get a degree that we could make a living at (no "basket weaving" majors would be allowed).  We were praised when we deserved it, encouraged, grounded when the grades were not up to par (I got grounded for a B once, but after a day or two, I wore the old man out!), but they were serious about school.  

    That being said, they also encouraged us to fully develop and to explore clubs and groups and to participate in a wide variety of extracirricular activities (with the caveat being, that if the grades suffered, the activities went bye-bye).

    Seems like providing an atmosphere that encourages and demands good performance in school with an atmosphere that allows a child to explore passions is the best way to raise a child.  But what do I know?  


    The one thing I think the author really misses (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:52:42 AM EST
    is that individuality in kids also means individuality in parents.  I'm willing to bet no one does it just the way she says in her article.  And different things work differently on different people.

    It also assumes that everyone judges "success" the same way.  This article IMO leaves very little room for less financially-driven definitions.

    Frankly, I don't necessarily find anything wrong with how she does it.  I just don't find anything particularly right about it either.  If it works for her that's great.  That doesn't mean it's the only way.  The fact that the whole article screams of self-congratulation is just... funny to me.  Everyone thinks their own kids are the greatest thing since sliced bread.


    You're right (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:45:16 AM EST
    about what "success" is - but when I read that article, all I could think of was how I felt sorry for those kids who are more than likely grow up to be socially awkward and my guess (not a scientific one, to be sure) is have issues with things like anxiety in never being able to live up to perceived expectations.

    I hope I'm wrong.


    Oy (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:50:27 PM EST
    Everybody seems to be sharing that. . .

    Oy indeed (none / 0) (#15)
    by ks on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:16:18 AM EST
    What an awful article.  The author gives new meaning to the words smug and arrogant.  The parenting models in her household seem to be a noxious blend of the "worst of both worlds".

    the photo alone screams (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:37:53 AM EST
    smug and arrogant. I can't believe I actually read the whole thing . . .

    I know, right? (none / 0) (#34)
    by sj on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:12:35 PM EST
    What I concluded (none / 0) (#16)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:26:52 AM EST
    was that the parents probably are headed for divorce over differences in parenting.

    ahahaha (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:01:45 AM EST
    That's hilarious.

    And that author clearly never met my parents.

    Here is an alternative point of view.


    How is her model (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:37:57 PM EST
    not mental and emotional child abuse?

    Dexter victims (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:09:53 AM EST
    "O" (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:12:35 AM EST
    According to the publishers, the novel due out later this month is "about aspiration and delusion, set during the presidential election of 2012 and written by an anonymous author who has spent years observing politics and the fraught relationship between public image and self-regard. The novel includes revealing and insightful portraits of many prominent figures in the political world - some invented and some real." The cover will feature two prominent ears around the letter "O."

    And the unnamed author "has been in the room with Barack Obama and wishes to remain anonymous."

    Joke Line strikes again?

    It does sound ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by sj on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:37:25 AM EST
    ... right up his alley, doesn't it?

    This is sick (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:49:51 AM EST
    Guess who plans to protest the funeral of the 9 year old girl killed in Tucson?  You guessed right - the Westboro Church.

    Apparently they are protesting because she is being buried from a Catholic Church, and they strangely believe that God hates Catholics.

    What hateful, despicable people.

    they are scraping (none / 0) (#38)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:14:17 PM EST
    the bottom of the despicable barrel arent they

    I didn't think (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:00:22 PM EST
    They could get more despicable.

    Never say never, I guess.


    I was wrong (none / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 05:55:13 PM EST
    The Arizona legislature passed the law today that would prohibit protests at or near funeral sites.  I'm not sure if this will withstand constitutional muster, but the little girl's funeral will be long over by then.  But the Westboro group has gone yet a bit further:

    The Westboro Baptist Church said Monday it plans to picket Thursday's funeral for Christina Taylor Green because "God sent the shooter to deal with idolatrous America."

    300 feet. Where does the Westboro (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:04:24 PM EST
    group get the money to travel to all these funerals?

    I had the same question (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:08:11 PM EST
    I think it's great that volunteers are signing up to be "angel wings" to block the protestors from the view of the family.  If I was in Tucson, I'd be down there too!

    I got to "talk" to an "angel" (none / 0) (#57)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:12:16 PM EST
    on another blog, a Tucsonian who is going to the training tonight to block the Westboro idiots. The Tucsonians seem to be organizing fast and well.

    I told her that she will be marching for millions of us.  

    (And yes, they appear to know that the law may not withstand the courts but also hope that the Westboro idiots will not get an injunction in time for this week.)


    Interesting Wiki article. But doesn't (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:24:52 PM EST
    answer the funding question.  Note case pending before SCOTUS.  Wiki

    Here's some info. Lawyers! (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:29:27 PM EST
    Justice Kagan's (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:12:30 PM EST
    first opinion, Ransom v. FIA Card Services.  A bankruptcy case, if you really have an interest or insomnia.

    good idea? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:12:39 PM EST
       Relegated to the minority, Democrats are hinting they might vote against raising the ceiling to force the GOP's hand.

        Democrats relegated to minority status in the House say Republicans are now the ones responsible for raising the federal debt ceiling and are hinting that they might vote against it to force the GOP's hand.

        "It is up to the majority to get this bill through; they can't duck the responsibility," Financial Service Committee ranking member Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told The Hill on Friday


    Might have to go through (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:59:54 PM EST
    The Blue Dogs:

    Blue Dog Democrats remain deeply frustrated with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's leadership and are signaling they are ready to break ranks and cut deals with Republicans.

    In an interview with Roll Call last week, the leadership team of the fiscally conservative group talked about its vision for the 112th Congress -- and its frustration over how Pelosi ran the 111th.


    Blue Dogs have already started having informal discussions with Republicans in the hope that they can help forge bipartisan deals like they did between President Bill Clinton and the GOP after the 1994 Republican takeover.

    "We have an opportunity that's the same opportunity the Blue Dogs did with welfare reform," said Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), who co-chairs the Blue Dog Coalition's political action committee and replaced retired Rep. John Tanner (Tenn.) as one of the Democratic Caucus' chief deputy whips. "They were the bridge and they were the group that held that together in a bipartisan way to make it happen."

    Matheson said it is too early to say which issue will be this Congress' equivalent of welfare reform, but he noted that creating jobs, helping small businesses and reining in the deficit are areas on which the Blue Dogs intend to focus.

    Blue Dog Co-Chairman Mike Ross said the group can be the bridge between the parties in a grand deficit-cutting compromise.

    "We would welcome an opportunity to work with this new majority and the White House on developing a responsible plan to put us on a path toward restoring fiscal discipline and accountability to our government," the Arkansas Democrat said. "We think we're the perfect group to do that."

    You mean you can't (none / 0) (#42)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:12:09 PM EST
    read....what is that, anyway?  Turkish?

    either that (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:17:52 PM EST
    or my dyslexia is reeeeeeally bad today.

    poodle got the blues (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:44:33 PM EST
    Tucker, our one and a half year old Schnoodle, plays the piano and sings along at least 3 or 4 times every day. In spite of all of his practicing, he really isn't getting any better at it.

    So cute, Captain! (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:51:12 PM EST
    I also liked the "Kirby the Poodle" duet with Tucker.

    also (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:56:06 PM EST
    These are adorable (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:37:05 PM EST
    I love the "pets doing cute things" videos.  Some nice day-brighteners for a cold, dark, snowy day.  Thanks!

    how did we exist (none / 0) (#48)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:46:02 PM EST
    before the internets

    Booze to cheer (none / 0) (#50)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:02:28 PM EST
    ourselves up.  The internet is healthier.    ;-)

    Friends and I were talking about that last night (none / 0) (#59)
    by Raskolnikov on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:28:01 PM EST
    And for some reason I remembered this clip, which will ALWAYS bring a smile to my face: O'Reilly freakout

    "I can't do it...we'll do it live.  We'll do it live!  We'll do it live!  F*ck it!  We'll do it live!"


    Dr. Murray bound over on invol. manslaughter. (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:05:03 PM EST