Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

It's a busy work day for BTD and me. Here's an open thread, all topics. welcome.

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    John McCain (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by lilburro on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:11:05 PM EST
    does his good deed of the decade:

    McCain added: "We did not learn Abu Ahmed's real name or alias as a result of waterboarding or any `enhanced interrogation technique' used on a detainee in U.S. custody. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed's real name, his whereabouts, or an accurate description of his role in Al Qaeda."

    The senator continued: "In fact, not only did the use of `enhanced interrogation techniques' on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on Bin Laden's courier, Abu Ahmed; it actually produced false and misleading information. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed specifically told his interrogators that Abu Ahmed had moved to Peshawar, got married, and ceased his role as an Al Qaeda facilitator - which was not true, as we now know. All we learned about Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti through the use of waterboarding and other `enhanced interrogation techniques' against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the confirmation of the already known fact that the courier existed and used an alias.

    If only the administration (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:21:58 PM EST
    had spoken so clearly about it. kudos McC!

    Yeah (none / 0) (#13)
    by lilburro on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:45:33 PM EST
    the argument has now been reduced to "once you beat the sh*t out of someone, you can't say that that didn't have an effect on what they revealed."  Which is much of the reason why we are having reservations about trying these detainees in federal court - because that kind of interrogation is illegal.

    I'm glad McCain requested this information and Panetta provided it.  It is the clearest account we have so far of what happened, intelligence-wise.

    I'd be willing to guess that the WH wants to steer clear of controversy on this.  And that they probably didn't have all their ducks in a row on the chain of information earlier.  I am actually fine with them not taking the opportunity to crow on this.  Hopefully the facts will come out and we'll have and easily win this argument in 2012.


    Ugh! I used to have respect (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:50:44 PM EST
    Then he decided to just be a dirtbag under Bush and working with the Republican party and base after Bush.  I'm glad he did this, but seriously John WTF man?  Did you want to do one last decent thing before the dirt hit the lid of your coffin or what?

    Hypocrite at best (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:58:50 PM EST
    Didn't he raise a stink about Bush's torture bill and then vote for it?

    I'm glad he spoke out. Now maybe someone will believe it's true.


    It's something like this: (none / 0) (#59)
    by brodie on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:09:06 PM EST
    he's not going to have to position himself for another run for president since that's out of the question, and he's now safely past the "decent interval" period following his recent re-elect.

    So, now he feels it's about time to re-emerge as the mavericky kinda sane moderate voice of the GOP, even if it's still too soon, for the moment, to actually use the word "maverick" to refer to himself.

    Could be, as he eyes the final chapter or two in his political career, that his next project is to try to re-make his image more in the Goldwater mold -- the highly respected elder statesman of the party who increasingly in his final years spoke out against the creeping RW trends in his party as his own politics went, or seemed to go, more and more moderate.  

    Or that might be wishful and rather naive thinking on my part -- McCain doesn't strike me as the straight-shooting Barry G. type quite yet ...


    It is good that McCain spoke (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:35:41 PM EST
    the truth to torture, but, to me, it is sad that anyone needs to have validation from McCain.  I am not ready to fawn over his mavericky moderatism or illusions thereof. Other than making some insecure liberals and invested media types feel better, it is unlikely to move many Republicans.  The stakes for  the merits of torture (aka enhanced interrogation) are just too high politically and legally for them.  On this matter, the Cheney wing of the party will say that this is just McCain ranting for us patriots to get off the lawn.

    McCain has credibility (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:41:57 PM EST
    on the subject, having been a POW himself.  That's why I think it's important when he speaks out on torture topic.

    No fawning from this desk -- (none / 0) (#75)
    by brodie on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:00:53 PM EST
    and I've never been a fan.  Not even in the official Maverick McCain days when the MSM was swooning over him, apparently including normally non-stupid people like Jon Stewart and Bill Maher.  Something about the corp media's worship of him that made me skeptical that the guy was for real -- and it turned out my suspicions were on the mark.

    A real shame about McCain, who came awfully close in the last few yrs to completely destroying his credibility as he lurched from the center to the far right for personal-political reasons, because with a firmer character and principled attitude about the need for the US to always draw the line clearly against torture, he could have been the great moral leader for his party and possibly led them away from certain dark corners that party was and still is seeking.  Instead, he turned into just another do/say anything to get (re)elected pol.


    Yes, Jon Stewart (none / 0) (#84)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:59:23 PM EST
    played a big hand in McCains's political resuscitation.  As mentioned by another commenter, Stewart offered a devastating portrait of McCain in keeping with his highest standards for such take downs.   Guess Jon finally figured McCain out.

    With respect, I've always found this (none / 0) (#131)
    by sj on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:31:50 AM EST
    thinking to be absurd.  McCain was always corrupt.  

    he could have been the great moral leader for his party

    That ship sailed in the 80s with the Savings and Loan crises.  From the article:

    In 1989 Phoenix New Times writer Tom Fitzpatrick opined that McCain was the "most reprehensible" of the five senators.

    On the other hand, his party is so very corrupt that I suppose he could be a "great moral leader".  But that's only by comparison.


    Yes he had his S&L scandal (none / 0) (#143)
    by brodie on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:56:45 AM EST
    which is a black mark against his record.  My comment wasn't so much McCain as great moral leader for all purposes, but more specifically on the issue of torture.  He just wasn't consistent and firm enough in denouncing it when Bush was in office when most of it occurred.  Recall that he seemed to be busy trying to suck up to Junior and the RW of his party so as to position himself for the 2008 race.  Then he felt he had to go even more rightward for his re-elect to the senate against a mouth-breather.

    All lost opportunities to stand up for what is right and put the torture advocates in his party to shame.

    Now, with a Dem in the WH and with his re-elect safely behind him, only now does he come out with a strong statement against torture.  How convenient.  I'll take it of course, but he missed a chance to stand strong when it might have mattered more.


    Okay (none / 0) (#172)
    by sj on Sat May 14, 2011 at 02:35:11 AM EST
    Thanks for the clarification.  Makes sense.

    The only people who have ever seen (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:07:01 PM EST
    McCain as a maverick are Demos and the media.

    I voted for him because he isn't Obama but he ran the worst campaign on recent memory.


    Did you see the Jon Stewart riff (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:01:05 PM EST
    on him last week? Brutal. Maybe it got to him.

    I did not see it (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:44:26 PM EST
    will have to put it on the "too see" list since I bet my DVR dumped it.  I'll check it though to make certain.  I have it set to only save 5 Dailyshows and then to dump the older stuff.  Thanks for the tip.

    The people who know disagree with (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:12:40 PM EST
    McCain re what was learned.

    I thought (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Zorba on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:20:07 PM EST
    the exact same thing, Donald.    ;-)

    I wonder if John McCain has (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:44:29 PM EST
    anymore credibility than anyone else in the GOP on this?  One thing we do know though Jim....John McCain knows what it is to be tortured.  And like anyone who survives such extreme soul altering trauma, you are marked for life and you track the progression of what has forever scarred you better than everyone else who has remained untouched.  With that in mind, I think John is much more believeable than anyone else on this.  And when they were torturing everyone, he was a part of the party doing that and he was sitting on all the right committees privy to access and knowledge.

    True story about McCain (1.33 / 3) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:03:35 PM EST
    knowing about torture.

    I just don't see waterboarding, sleep depreciation... as torture.


    Maybe you don't see that because (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Anne on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:18:21 PM EST
    it's not being done to you; easy enough to distance yourself and say it's not torture when it's being done to some nameless, faceless person thousands of miles away.

    And that's the reason we need to have rules and laws - we can't just leave it to the judgment of others.


    Actually I worry more about US citizens (1.50 / 2) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:00:07 PM EST
    than I do terrorists.

    Sorry if that offends you but that's just the way I am.

    BTW - Someone on TL a few years ago said that torture was anybody doing anything to you you didn't want done.

    No terrorist likes to be confined so I guess we need to let them go.


    And I actually worry more about (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Anne on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:12:03 PM EST
    my own government than I do about terrorists.

    "The purpose of terror is to terrorise." (none / 0) (#108)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:58:15 PM EST
    I have the capacity to worry about both (none / 0) (#165)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:12:30 PM EST
    Like scary Socialists (none / 0) (#169)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:47:47 PM EST
    elected to the Presidency?

    That's hilarious (none / 0) (#132)
    by sj on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:32:04 AM EST
    coming from you.

    BTW - Someone on TL a few years ago said that torture was anybody doing anything to you you didn't want done.

    You say a lot of things on TL as well.  Do you think you speak for our hosts or your fellow guests?


    If I remember correctly (none / 0) (#163)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:08:03 PM EST
    it was from Repack Rider...at one time an active commentator of the far Left persuasion.

    And I was speaking for no one. Just noting what someone said.


    That someone said it here (none / 0) (#168)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:46:12 PM EST
    doesn't make it the definition for all time.

    Waterboarding is not torture? (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Yman on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:25:34 AM EST
    Guess it depends on whether it's being done to "us" or "them", right Jim?

    I guess that means it's you, Dick Cheney, and a couple of others against 150 years of American precedent and all of the Judge Advocate Generals, among others who actually know what they're talking about.

    BTW - 'Sleep "depreciation"'?!?

    Is "sleep" a long-term asset for depreciation purposes?


    Gee, I wonder why the U.S. govt. (4.67 / 3) (#114)
    by shoephone on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:03:06 PM EST
    considered waterboarding to be torture when the Japanese did it -- and put them on trial for it. I wonder why it was outlawed under the Geneva Conventions. I wonder why we are still wasting our time responding to Jim's silliness.



    Now, now, PPJ (none / 0) (#129)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:27:23 AM EST
    has been through a lot these past few weeks, Obama acting as any American patriot would and not as a Kenyan usurper would drive lesser 'social libruls' into shrieking insanity.

    I come back to allow you to demonstrate (none / 0) (#164)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:10:43 PM EST
    your total lack of knowledge, inexperience about the world outside of government and nasty disposition.

    And you do a good job!

    You might say I am here to serve.



    And you do serve (none / 0) (#170)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:52:44 PM EST
    the cause of stupidity quite well here, PPJ.

    your total lack of knowledge

    Unlike know-it-alls, like PPJ.

    inexperience about the world outside of government

    Good mind-reading act, PPJ, as usual.

    nasty disposition

    That's pure projection, PPJ, you're the one who comes across as cranky, grouchy, and unable to take criticism here,

    and those are just your good points.


    BTW, this is also what (none / 0) (#171)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 07:38:28 PM EST
    McCain said about the subject:

    I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti -- the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden -- as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed's real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.

    Ouch (none / 0) (#177)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 01:00:00 PM EST
    If you mean it remains an open question (none / 0) (#64)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:27:15 PM EST
    that is true, from the last paragraph of the LAT article:

    "Some of the detainees who provided useful information about the facilitator/courier's role had been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques," Panetta wrote. "Whether those techniques were the 'only timely and effective way' to obtain such information is a matter of debate and cannot be established definitively."

    Protecting (none / 0) (#105)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:44:23 PM EST
    his former charges?

    Gotta leave that torture door open . . . (none / 0) (#74)
    by nycstray on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:58:02 PM EST
    This whole thing may actually have to do with (none / 0) (#79)
    by christinep on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:34:35 PM EST
    "the people who know." Like McCain maybe...in Vietnam maybe. Remember, possibly.

    On the issue of McCain, well who knows where he ever was or is on most political issues or.... But, on the matter of being one who knows, where it hits close to home, where the memory is seared so much that personal & political positioning cannot even change, on the matter of torture & McCain now, I think we just heard from one of the real "people who know." We heard from one who has been there.


    If you watched the news you would know (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:01:08 PM EST
    who said what.

    If you watched the news you would know (none / 0) (#94)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:01:08 PM EST
    who said what.

    Actually I think you (2.00 / 1) (#162)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:04:34 PM EST
    prove my point that you don't understand the moral implications in not doing everything possible to protect your fellow citizens.

    Do you really think that the last thought of someone dying from radiation sickness from a "dirty" bomb will be, "Well thank goodness we didn't waterboard anyone to try and prevent this."


    "Dying from a dirty bomb"? (none / 0) (#166)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:17:34 PM EST
    Too bad you don't know what you're talking about, as usual:

    What are the biggest dangers of a dirty bomb?

    Just as with a conventional bomb, there will likely be a number of deaths and injuries resulting from the explosion. However, very few people are likely to die from radiation.

    If it is no more effective than a conventional bomb, why would it be used by a terrorist?

    Terrorists realize that our society has an inherent fear of radiation. They believe that using a dirty bomb, therefore, will cause tremendous psychological harm to our society and possibly result in widespread panic. There would certainly be casualties in the event of this type of attack. The economic damage would be significant because the access to the explosion area would be hazardous, and the cleanup costly. By
    educating ourselves about how to prepare for this type of attack, however, we can reduce the damage that would result from public panic.
    How likely is an attack?

    While terrorists may have access to all of the ingredients needed
    to make a dirty bomb, the problem remains that assembling them can
    be lethal. Handling many types of nuclear materials can cause burns on the hands and body, and making a dirty bomb without some type of
    shielding from the radioactive material can cause death due to concentrated radiation levels.
    To make and transport an "effective" dirty bomb (that is, one that would
    cause high casualties and large amounts of radioactive material to be released) safely would require a lead container or shielding that makes it nearly impossible to move. These factors make it extremely difficult to make dirty bombs that are capable of spreading large amounts of lethal radiation.

    Dirty Bomb Facts

    I think you should warn us about the jihadis waiting under our beds at night, PPJ, for your next fear-mongering post here.


    Like Rep. Peter King? (none / 0) (#107)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:55:58 PM EST
    %$#&$Y##((*&&&^ (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jjc2008 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 07:33:30 AM EST

    give it a freaking rest.  The "people that know" LOL
    Who?  Chicken hawks Cheney, Rove, Bush?   The liars, the greed mongers?


    The front page headline made me laugh (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:15:33 PM EST
    "Newt's Dirty Little Secret"

    WASHINGTON -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is set to defend his state's health care law from conservative critics in a high-profile speech on Thursday. But Romney is far from being the potential 2012 Republican presidential contender with the most politically problematic record on health care.

    That title likely belongs to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who announced his White House aspirations a day prior to Romney's address.

    In his post-congressional life, Gingrich has been a vocal champion for mandated insurance coverage -- the very provision of President Obama's health care legislation that the Republican Party now decries as fundamentally unconstitutional.

    This mandate was hardly some little-discussed aspect of Gingrich's plan for health care reform. In the mid-2000s, he partnered with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) to promote a centrist solution to fixing the nation's health care system. A July 22, 2005, Hotline article on one of the duo's events described the former speaker as endorsing not just state-based mandates (the linchpin of Romney's Massachusetts law) but "some federal mandates" as well. A New York Sun writeup of what appears to be the same event noted that "both politicians appeared to endorse proposals to require all individuals to have some form of health coverage."

    kdog (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by jbindc on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:27:25 PM EST
    I must apologize to you.  I am now in like/lust with someone who, ah, shares one of your favorite hobbies.  I don't like it, but it amazingly has been easy for me not to judge - he can do what he wants.  He doesn't involve me, but he lets me ask all the questions I want.

    Mea culpa, my friend.

    I always said... (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:09:18 PM EST
    if ya spent a week at mi casa you'd see enjoying a spliff ain't no big deal...and certainly ain't no crime.  We're just everyday people.

    Good luck with the new romance pal...and don't be gettin' jealous of Mary Jane, it's a different kind of love affair, not a competition:)


    Raise Your Hand (none / 0) (#6)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:29:37 PM EST
    If you would pay US American dollars to know what he hobby is.

    [Hand raised]


    Hahaha! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by lilburro on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:31:57 PM EST
    I don't think it is all that outré...but perhaps jb will correct me if I'm wrong!

    I think (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    Anyone who's been reading here for a while will figure it out!

    Why pay when you can guess correctly (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:33:08 PM EST
    for free? There aren't many possibilities!

    You really don't know? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nycstray on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:33:39 PM EST
    rhymes with (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by CST on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:59:03 PM EST
    smokes pot

    Now, maybe he's a music lover! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by ruffian on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:02:17 PM EST
    Or the only other guy... (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:10:24 PM EST
    over 25 without a checking account:)

    party pooper (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by sj on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:10:34 PM EST
    there was still some fun to be had left in there... :)

    your a$$ is funny (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by vicndabx on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:12:16 PM EST
    :) lol

    I'd take your money (none / 0) (#12)
    by sj on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:40:29 PM EST
    but then I'd just feel guilty :)

    Just read for awhile -- enlightenment awaits...


    Probably not lack of checking account. (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:54:33 PM EST
    lol (none / 0) (#17)
    by sj on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:59:42 PM EST
    ... I'm thinking no...

    Just for you ABG... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:33:03 PM EST
    I'll admit one of my hobbies is raggin' on Obama...but thats not the hobby referenced.

    As you already know I'm the local stoner...or at least the stoner who won't ever shut up about the glory of the sacrament, and the sin of its prohibition.

    It's the main reason I can't be a Democrat...I know where I'm not welcome:)


    kdog (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:09:03 PM EST
    Ahh I see.

    Good hobby.

    (Or so my friends tell me, of course.)


    One can certainly do worse... (none / 0) (#159)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 01:00:28 PM EST
    for recreation.

    I'm just dying to find out if jb's new beau will convince her to dip her toe into the beautiful green waters:)


    My dad does and I don't (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    I hate being stoned, I'm so fecked when I'm stoned.  My father is more human though, its weird.  I might be skidding my face along on the carpet but he's fine, makes sense and everything, laughs much more, is a kind lad.  To each his own.

    A friend of mine (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by lilburro on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:00:14 PM EST
    becomes incredibly productive.  Elle has an article about women who use it (very successfully) to manage anxiety.

    I say just legalize it and get over it.  It really can't be more harmful than cigarettes.


    And considerably less harmful (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:19:36 PM EST
    than alcohol.

    Link? (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:38:11 PM EST
    Here you go (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Zorba on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:05:27 PM EST
    Link 1
    Link 2 (Look particularly at their references under "Alcohol vs. Marijuana," numbers 19-25.)

    Dear God (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:12:11 PM EST
    Well I'm still sticking to wine and martinis.  The stuff they have now is nothing compared to the stuff that caused me to be able to know exactly what the padding under old shag carpet smells like.

    Ruby Tuesday's has this new martini called a skinny lavender lemon drop.  I think it is Citron, fresh lemon juice, a little sweet and low, and a tiny bit of sweet and low on the rim of the glass.  It is served with this little mesh basket of lavender tea that infuses into the drink and turns it lavender too.  I love it, and all the cancer causing agents in the little nasty dab of sweet and low too :)


    Anything (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Zorba on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:51:35 PM EST
    done to excess can be harmful (like food-just Google the numbers for the rising obesity problem in this country).  Heck, you can even drink too much water, although water intoxication is very rare, except in infants.  Moderate drinking probably won't harm you- in fact there is evidence that a glass of wine a day has beneficial effects.

    yum (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by sj on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:34:00 AM EST
    that sounds really good.  I think I'll find me a Ruby Tuesday's this weekend.

    Excerpt from link 1: (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:46:30 PM EST
    The Lancet article was co-authored by David Nutt, a professor and Britain's former chief drug adviser, who caused controversy last year after he published an article saying ecstasy was not as dangerous as riding a horse.

    But riding a horse on X.... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:18:00 AM EST
    could potentially lead to inter-species erotica charges...so if you're x'ing, don't be an equestrian, and if you're equest-ering, don't be x'ing:)

    There is a huge difference too (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:52:14 PM EST
    In my father's case in how the two substances affect him.  He is a head injury survivor.  As he ages alcohol has a horrible affect on him, he's not a nice lad....and can even get very emotional and then violent based on the emotion that he cannot contain.  No such problems if he just sticks to weed.  There is an anxiety that he has always had after the head injury too that is getting worse for him as he ages.  Nobody can tell me that there is anything safer for him to medicate with in dealing with this.  Everything else they could give him to deal with it is probably addictive and would be degrading to his condition much more than what he is doing now.  I told him if he ever had any problems legally, I would fight for him, and I would.  I love him and he has been through enough.

    If Poppa MT... (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:23:07 PM EST
    is ever up north, you know where to send him...it would be an honor.

    Everyday People


    I'll send him :) (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:54:31 PM EST
    You would die laughing....two of a kind!  He used to go to those Freemen meetings too sometimes in Colorado Springs and give my grandparents the frenzies before the Freemen got too Wild West. He has some eccentric traits mixed in with distilled brilliance.  Because of my father I have read all of Gerry Spence's books, my dad gave me my first.  And I also read Ironweed because my dad gave it to me.

    Ever hear of (none / 0) (#106)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:47:50 PM EST
    L-Theanine?  or in combo with GABA? -- both over the counter....

    In treating anxiety? (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 12:11:48 PM EST
    I just read some on it (none / 0) (#176)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 15, 2011 at 12:41:05 PM EST
    I get my coffee addiction from that side of my family.  My dad and my grandfather both drink/drank a lot of coffee.  Coffee contains Theanine wiki says.  My father's head injury wasn't just a concussion or something along those lines though, attempting to treat my father with such substances is like trying to treat one of the soldiers coming back with traumatic brain injury with it thinking that a nutrient can cure some severe physical damage.  The damage is just too severe for simple nutrient treatment to make the differences they really need.  My father was in a coma for awhile because of his accident and the swelling of his brain.  Such people have real physical tissue brain injury, their thoughts can be disordered at times because their brain tissue has suffered becoming physically disordered.  And because the world is still very dog eat dog, from what I've seen of my dad when he gets confused he feels very unsafe around all of us....probably for good reason, he risks being institutionalized by the good citizens if he gets too confused.  I really think it is better if my dad just goes home and smokes a big fatty.  He calms down, feels like being confused sometimes is okay and not the end of the world, and the good citizens experience a calm grinning man.

    where art thou summer? (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by CST on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:37:43 PM EST
    for serious.  The weather this spring has been beyond cr@ptastic.

    I am ready for the beach, and sunblock, and fried clams, and lobster rolls, and quohoging (sp?), and digging for steamers, and eating fresh mussles that I picked up off the side of a rock cuz they just sit there waiting for you to eat them.

    I know you're sad that the Celtics lost, God, especially to those heathens in Miami, but that doesn't mean you have to keep crying on us.  Also, 55 degrees and "partly cloudy", while nice in March, is no longer acceptable for more than one or two days in a row.

    It was here (none / 0) (#28)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:44:43 PM EST
    We've had three days of warm weather! Next week it's back to 50 again. Chicago. Maybe the warm we have will travel east. But with the warm, we've had rain every day.

    Not summery... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:56:47 PM EST
    but spring like here south on I95...heres hopin' it works its way up to Beantown...with summer soon behind.

    And that gas prices come back to earth so we can go places...f*ckin' gamblers, bet on horses and cards and NBA playoffs like normal human beings, and leave fuel alone!

    I mean ya know its bad when ya see 4.13 a gallon and slam on your brakes to fill up, thinking you're getting a "bargain".


    $4.70 here! (none / 0) (#37)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:59:59 PM EST
    Get gas at the Jersey shore (none / 0) (#47)
    by Yman on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:37:27 PM EST
    ... on your way to AC - $3.85 seems to be the cheapest @ here.

    Here, too - Maryland (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:00:31 PM EST
    Blue skies, temps in the 70's - the kind of weather where you just want to live outside.

    One more day like that tomorrow and then rain for most of the next 5 days.  Good for the garden, bad for one's mental state...

    Am pondering a day off tomorrow so I can have at least one day outside - then, with the weekend, my house will be happy to get a real cleaning, which I've been neglecting in favor of living for as many moments in this glorious weather while it lasts.


    since we're sending you (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:58:02 PM EST
    the Heat, maybe you could send us some of your heat in return :)

    Also - please beat them.  I really can't stand LeBron.


    Hard for me to dislike (none / 0) (#55)
    by brodie on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:59:32 PM EST
    LeBron, especially after he almost single-handedly dispatched the Celtics the other night.  He even has some human and endearing qualities to go with his freakishly amazing basketball skills.

    I mean mainly the Cleveland situation and finally finding a solution to that -- and going about it in a rather clumsy and publicly embarrassing way.  Then there's still the unfulfilled expectation of LeBron delivering the first of many championships for his team.  

    That's a lot of pressure on one person's shoulders.  But it could turn out a little like MJordan, who needed 6 or so yrs before getting his first, or Wilt Chamberlain who got a couple after years of frustration.

    I'm also always amused to consider the possibility put out there by some mischievous person that LeBron James is really the reincarnation of James Naismith, inventor of basketball.  Some obvious similarities in facial features.  Ya never know ...


    why do you think (none / 0) (#124)
    by CST on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:26:50 AM EST
    I hate him so much?

    Although not gonna lie, his tenure in Cleveland didn't help him much either.

    Nothing quite like sports hate.  The only reason I'm rooting for the bulls is because they're playing the Heat whom I hate slightly more right now.  After that, they should also feel free to lose.

    I'm just glad the Lakers and Knicks are gone too.  If we can't have the title, it better not be anyone on my "hate" list either :)


    Plenty of sports hate (none / 0) (#145)
    by brodie on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:12:25 AM EST
    here too.  I've got a Sports Hate List that's starting to approach the length of Nixon's Enemies List.  Not proud of it, but there you are.

    As for the Lakers, the less said about this year the better.  Except that w/o them in the Finals or even the semis, we are down to no team remaining west of the Rockies, and the two teams repping the West -- OKC and Dallas -- are from reactionary red states that are politically at least more South than West.  That's just pathétique.  Unacceptable.

    I might even root for an Eastern team this year, probably for the first time ever.  Haven't decided whether I'll continue to reward the Heat for whupping the Celtics, or cheer for the underdog Bulls who will probably need all the fan support they can muster going up against all the Heat's superstars.  


    The last two days we have had (none / 0) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:56:14 PM EST
    weather in the low 90s and high 80s here. Too hot for this time of year. Would really, really like some spring days where the temp is in the 70s and sunny. Too much rain and not enough nice spring days.  

    As a Heat fan (none / 0) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:56:28 PM EST
    I can tell you that it has been summer in heathen land for the last 8 weeks. A high in the upper 80's everyday and plummeting to the mid 70's at night.

    Bring your sunblock. The Heat is en fuego.


    Lebron... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:59:21 PM EST
    found a clutch shot, finally!

    But it was only the conference semis CG...plenty of time to resume his role as the anti-Robert Horry in the conference finals:)

    90's kdog would have a heart attack, but I'm saying it, "Go Bulls!"


    I liked where summer was going here (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:01:58 PM EST
    This has been the coolest spring since we moved here and I was loving it.  I chaperoned a school trip yesterday to watch the Montgomery Biscuits play the Chatanooga Lookouts and suddenly it was a 100 degrees.  Today is not nearly so hot, we have been completely rebuilding the flower beds on the front of the house so I KNOW.  Whatever God was in charge of yesterday is in deep doo doo with me.

    It is here in Orlando. Already 95 (none / 0) (#43)
    by ruffian on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:06:16 PM EST
    I'm over it already.

    We've got it here in VT (none / 0) (#115)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:36:16 PM EST
    it's been glorious all week, but we earned it because the previous whole month was almost unrelievedly dank and overcast and drizzly to rainy.

    Donald Trump's University Sued for Fraud (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:55:52 PM EST
    Really, you can't make this S up.

    Last year, the real estate mogul's school was forced to change its name from Trump University after the New York Department of Education took issue with its title, claiming the word "University" was misrepresentation. At the time, Trump was marketing his seminar program as an "Ivy-League quality" school.

    But a current class action lawsuit against the learning institute--now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative--begs to differ, the Huffington Post reports. The program continues to face accusations it's nothing more than a scam preying on individuals hoping to make it rich in the real estate business, purporting to make participants into "apprentices" of Trump and offer insider secrets.

    More Here.

    Trump doing something shady (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:01:29 PM EST
    I'm shocked!

    Heard a good discussion about 'for profit' (none / 0) (#46)
    by ruffian on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:21:47 PM EST
    colleges on NPR today. I didn't know about all the shady practices some of them do, such as targeting marketing to Veterans to get the GI Bill money, and then not delivering on their educational promises. Really disgusting.

    Saw an article today--maybe LAT-- (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:45:45 PM EST
    about institutions of higher learning, both public and private, accepting megabucks donation in return for teaching Ayn(sp)Rand.  

    There seems to be some (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by brodie on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:48:28 PM EST
    Ayn Rand revival, according to some very favorable book sales figures cited by Michael Shermer, of the Atlas Shrugged novel since 2009 (Tea Party related?), and now we have the movie.

    Shermer, btw, publisher of Skeptic Magazine (a favorite of many on the left, particularly the anti-religious and anti-conspiracy types) apparently likes Rand and her philosophy (and so should liberals, he sez) as well as Atlas Shrugged the novel and now the new movie.

    For me, Shermer's favorable review clinches it that I will not be going to see this movie ...


    Old news apparently: (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:01:04 PM EST
    Buwhahahahahaha (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:00:57 PM EST
    I just checked my facebook, ahhhh...looks like one of my Conservative friends couldn't handle my facebook wall with that Redstate Update video on it plus probably a few other things that I've had up recently.  But I only have notifications that someone posted something on my wall twice, whatever it was they then removed :)  Look dude, don't suffer...unfriend me if you can't take the heat :)  I don't think it is going to get any better anytime soon :)  But he didn't :)  Glutton for punishment

    P.S. about that other military family (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:11:12 PM EST
    who was dealing with American Express charging them 50% interest on new purchases because they were two days late paying on their bill, and they have a child that they must travel for too for surgical procedures and then wait for reimbursement.  American Express just phoned them and removed late fees and something about giving them 0% interest on any existing balance....so this is a revolving credit account, I didn't know what sort of credit card account it was before this.  My friend "L" doesn't take anything lying down and she sicked that Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act on them and it was applicable.  Sooooooo all you peasants.....enjoy your fees that will never touch my preciousness cuz THIS IS SPARTA!

    You know what (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:45:57 PM EST
    though? It could spawn a lot of things because the FHA came into being simply because of the VA loans that were available only to veterans.

    I'm hoping you are right (none / 0) (#173)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:04:48 AM EST
    That's why I'm vocal about what we are getting and what is available to us.  First of all it is really unproductive on an economic level and unfair on a democracy  and human beings level.  And Secondly, it is really damned creepy....as if our leaders are really creating a Sparta type culture.

    I just saw a really chubby Army Ranger (none / 0) (#174)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 14, 2011 at 07:05:38 AM EST
    I think we need to break out the spray on abs!

    President Obama has asked Congress (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:24:24 PM EST
    for a two-year extension in the term (beyond the ten-year term he will have served) for FBI Director Robert Mueller. The major reasons stated for the extension ae for continuity and stability of the FBI at this critical time.  Mueller was appointed by Bush and began his term one week before 9/11.

    Director Mueller did the right thing when he, along with Acting Attorney General James Comey offered to resign if the Bush White House overruled the DOJ finding that warrantless wiretaps in domestic cases were unconstitutional.

    This having been said,  it may never be a good time for a replacement, sort of like the arguments heard that resulted in having to give J. Edgar Hoover life tenure.  A fresh look at our war on terror, given the rapid changes occurring and contemplated, would seem to outweigh the continuity.  Stability should not be dependent on any one director.   But, this is probably a decision the president wants to defer to after the election.

    LA Times article about India's increasing (none / 0) (#11)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:34:19 PM EST
    ties to Afghanistan:

    With a high-profile political visit and a promise of more aid, India moved Thursday to cement its ties with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai -- overtures that are all but certain to raise hackles in Pakistan, which has long sought to limit Indian influence here.

    At a time when the regional balance of power has been roiled by the killing of Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideaway by U.S. forces, India's visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also lent support to the Karzai government's efforts to strike a peace deal with the Taliban, the Islamic movement that Pakistan helped create and nurture.

    India's Diplomatic Ties with Afghanistan Worry Pakistan

    Ensign matter referred by ethics comm. (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:57:06 PM EST
    to U.S. DOJ:  LAT

    Hope they pursue (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:38:31 PM EST
    the "support" and "collaboration" given to the Ensign affair by Senator Tom Coburn (R. OK).

    Coburn R Not OK (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Anne on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:47:44 PM EST
    Coburn R dangerous.

    [sorry - extra glass of wine tonight!]


    For those (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:13:44 PM EST
    that are a combination of law/baseball/Bonds case geeks, I give you

    Did Bonds Obstruct Justice?

    courtesy of The National Law Journal.

    Justice must first be sought... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:28:59 PM EST
    for justice to be obstructed, so it defies the laws of physics for Barry Bonds to have obstructed justice.

    Then again, much of our man-made law flies in the face of natural laws:)


    "[D]efies the law of physics"? (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:39:53 PM EST
    Please explain.

    P.S.  How about the pitcher receiving stem cell treatment.  Sounds very suspicious eh?


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#60)
    by CoralGables on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:10:28 PM EST
    Tiger needs a Dominican trip.

    I'm no physicist...:) (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:40:18 PM EST
    but my logic is ya can't obstruct something that is not in motion...the feds weren't after justice, just a couple pounds of flesh.

    So at best Barry obstructed a witch hunt...not justice.


    Lying may not be noble... (none / 0) (#120)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:26:03 AM EST
    but I can't call it a crime when the state is allowed to legally lie to you all day long and twice on Sundays during an investigation...totally unfair in any universe.

    Either everybody has gotta be honest during an investigation, or we have a liars free for all...anything less is different rules different fools in my book.


    Not to mention (none / 0) (#99)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:34:19 PM EST
    His head doubled in size.  I don't know of any body building program that does that!

    Arnold Schwarzenegger's (none / 0) (#142)
    by The Addams Family on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:55:26 AM EST
    His head doubled in size. I don't know of any body building program that does that!

    his head got so big, he thought he should be governor of California



    British Election (none / 0) (#25)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 03:29:57 PM EST
    England's Liberal Democratic Party lost it's shirt in latest election.

    Analysis of the election showed that the Conservative voters stuck together because the party upheld it's principles.

    The Liberal Democrats crashed and burned because they compromised rather than standing up. Their followers felt let down.

    Are we getting a glimpse of 2012?

    There is such a thing as principle (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by mmc9431 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:00:56 PM EST
    The point of the article was to emphasize that people respect their politician when they stand firm on their party principles. I agree with that.

    When you have Senators, such as mine (Durbin) willing to sell out S.S and Medicare or my Congressman (Lupinski) who is totally opposed to womans rights there is a problem.

    These have been core values of the party since I first voted back in the 60's. There are things worth standing up for and drawing a line in the sand over.

    FYI: I consider myself a very rational and sane person. But I will not accept the premise that I have to accept whatever is thrown my way because the alternative is worse. I would prefer to work to try to get real Democrats elected.


    Where do you draw the line, Donald? (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Anne on Fri May 13, 2011 at 06:56:11 AM EST
    When do you decide that continually accepting and voting for mediocre-to-execrable candidates just because they have (D) after their names is its own brand of insanity?

    Yep, that other guy is always gonna be worse, so, best that we keep voting for the least worst, eh?  

    Sorry, Donald, this kind of the-boogeyman-is-going-to-get-you tactic, the it-will-be-all-your-fault guilt-tripping, does not work on me anymore.  Yeah, you'll tell me how short-sighted and doctrinaire I am, talk about my tunnel vision and all that other bad stuff, make sure to throw me a complimentary bone so I know that you do admire my passion, but feel I am not channeling it properly...but here's the bottom line: I'm not voting for crappy Democrats anymore.

    Both of these parties are headed in the same direction, Donald - it's just a question of which one is going to get where it wants to go sooner - and honestly, voting for Democrats because they aren't going to ride us off the rails quite as fast is a really terrible reason to vote for them.


    I'm starting to disagree with this statement (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by sj on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:36:54 AM EST
    and honestly, voting for Democrats because they aren't going to ride us off the rails quite as fast is a really terrible reason to vote for them.

    Maybe my life is telescoping, but it sure seems to me that the ride off the rails is running even faster these last two years.  O can propose things as a Dem that would get pushback hard if he was an official R.


    Oh, without question the ride has (none / 0) (#149)
    by Anne on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:31:13 AM EST
    picked up speed in the last two years, and that has a lot to do, I think, with Dems more or less ending the pushback when the conservative policies and agenda started coming from a Democratic president, and the conservative Democratic caucus continued to grow and support a more conservative agenda.

    So much for a majority having its privileges, huh?

    The only reason the Dems won't get quite as fast to where the GOP is also headed is because the Dems are taking the scenic route - engaging in this kabuki of "compromise" and "cooperation" that the GOP doesn't ever bother with.


    I'm with MMC on This One (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:53:55 AM EST
    Elections are short term.  We keep bending and bending to the point of breaking and all of a sudden cutting social programs is acceptable, global warming is not discussed, wall street is in the past, and the wars rage on nearly unchecked, possibly even adding a third.

    I understand that there has to be flexibility, but there is a point right before my principles break, that I have to say enough is enough.  Right now is getting pretty hard to differentiate R's from D's in Congress by comparing their voting records and that is a bunch of BS to me.

    Oil companies getting billions in subsidies, multi-billion dollar companies paying nearly nothing in taxes, the companies that collapsed the economy raking in zillions, bill/millionaires getting extended tax cuts, and our leadership thinks going after heat for the poor is the best way to save a couple bucks.  

    That to me is a direct result of your philosophy, which allows a lot of bad behavior because deep down they understand that D behind their name will keep them in power.  Without consequences for un-partyesque votes, they will always follow the money, and your advise is to shut-up and remember the guys over there will be worse.

    I'll take the short term hit if it means the next crop might think twice before befriending a BigOil or Wall Street lobbyist, or supporting tax cuts for kazzilionaires, or that global warming is too hard a fight.


    Yes sir.... (none / 0) (#123)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:22:14 AM EST
    nothing ventured nothing gained...we should be willing to accept the short term risks of Brand R power for a brighter tomorrow with a party that will finally address the madness you describe..."cut home heating aid to save a few bucks", well said, it is true lunacy.  

    May I add "teachers make too much money!" and "speculators serve an important purpose" to the list of lunacy.


    We Could Write A Book... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:29:09 AM EST
    ... with examples of this non-sense.  Houston just canned 250 firefighters, 1500 teachers, and property taxes are lower than 5 years ago and we don't have a state income tax.

    I remember when Bush was in charge and blind party alliance was viewed as something bad, now the opposite, we must keep Obama in charge or else...


    I'd love to be able to vote in a primary... (none / 0) (#150)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:36:04 AM EST
    but my state has closed primaries...and I'll be damned if I'm signing up with one of the two lunatic outfits we're indoctrinated to believe are the only choices.

    I've been off the lesser of two evils train since 2000, with a Kerry '04 relapse I am utterly ashamed of myself over.  Other than that slip, I've actually been proud to cast votes...the rest of the country should try it, it feels really good to vote without holding your nose.


    Primaries can be rigged! (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:05:51 PM EST
    Trying to dump my rep Lupinski is close to impossible. He got his seat handed to him from his Dad and they are a very connected family in Cook Cty IL.

    The problem is that the national party continues to dump money on him to defeat any challenger in spite of the fact that he fought them about the Iraq funding and anything that has ro do with woman's rights.

    He's in a guaranteed Dem district. There's no need for a blue dog or Republican lite here but DC doesn't want to rock the boat.


    To be sure... (none / 0) (#157)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:52:56 PM EST
    the money game makes free and fair primaries and elections almost impossible...whoever raises the most during primary season usually wins, and by the time they are sworn in there is hardly a shred of 'em that hasn't been bought.

    At the end of the day the voter still has the power though...but seeing past the rigging and the propaganda and the framing that its always a two-horse race and only a two-horse race is not our strong suit as an citizenry, apparently.  

    Bottom line it's our fault for buying it all hook line & sinker, ya get the government you deserve.


    People in countries with multi-party democracies (none / 0) (#151)
    by Politalkix on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:43:02 AM EST
    also vote holding their noses. kdog, you should be ashamed for being so naive :-).

    Nader for President... (none / 0) (#152)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:51:49 AM EST
    Jimmy Mac for Governor...pulling those levers smelled like Pineapple Express friend...but my sense of smell could very well be skewed by Brand R and Brand D stankin' so bad.

    Texas has different priorities (none / 0) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:22:38 PM EST
    They need those dollars to fund auto racing.

    Texas, which may balance its budget by firing thousands of teachers, plans to commit $25 million in state funds to Formula One auto racing each year for a decade.

    Four years after motorsports' most popular series left the U.S., Texas investors including Clear Channel Communications Inc. co-founder B.J. "Red" McCombs are building a 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometer) track to bring the event to Austin. Comptroller Susan Combs has agreed to pay $25 million for races through 2022, a subsidy questioned by critics and lawmakers as the state cuts costs to close an estimated $15 billion two-year deficit. link

    IOW, f@ck educating kids, the obscenely wealthy want the state to fund their investment.


    Texas Ain't Gots... (none / 0) (#161)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:42:21 PM EST
    ... the market on stooopidity, but we are trying.

    Sports venues are almost entirely financed by taxpayers at the expense of someone or some program(s) that most definitely need the money more than sports fans.  From my pocket to wealthy pockets via the tax man.

    It's just amazing how much the rich complain about the very government that has made them wealthy.


    Alternatives still exist (5.00 / 0) (#122)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:14:54 AM EST
    If offering constructive criticism of one's party become paramount to aiding and abetting the enemy, we're all in trouble.

    The original post offered insight as to why a particular party lost the last election by such a wide margin.

    With 18 months to go and primaries to be run throughout the country, I think it's way too early to throw in the towel and resign ourselves to be marched off to the right.


    Your president standing firm (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:53:49 AM EST
    Oh, wait.

    President Obama urged members of his party Wednesday to avoid declaring absolute positions in the debate on increasing the federal debt ceiling, a day after House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said that tax increases were "off the table" as part of any agreement.

    In an hour-long session with Senate Democrats at the White House, Obama told his former colleagues not to "draw a line in the sand" in negotiations, said Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.). Showing an unwillingness to compromise, Obama said, would not only limit the ability to reach a deal with Republicans but could also have a negative impact on financial markets. link

    This is in response to Republicans being free to take revenues off the table and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell telling President Obama on Thursday that he must agree to cut spending on federal agencies over the next two years and make significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid as part of a deal for raising the legal limit on government borrowing. Everything and anything is up for grabs so that there is no "negative impact on financial markets."


    It will be a tough sell (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:19:31 AM EST
    I don't believe Obama realizes the reprocussions of a Democratic president, (signing a bill to cut S.S. and Medicare), will have on the party.

    At least LBJ knew he was signing away the south when he signed the Civil Rights Act.

    What will this do to the party?

    Seniors still represent a big chunk of the voting public. They're the ones that will still go out to vote whether it's ten below or a hail storm!

    There's also the voters that have parents that rely on these programs to answer to.


    I was just about to post my comment, (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Anne on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:22:50 AM EST
    when I saw yours...I'd say this is in the "great minds think alike" category - no self-flattery intended!

    Well, it looks like the Dems are getting ready to be rolled again - or maybe they don't actually have to "be" rolled, they just reflexively drop to the ground and do it - and you know what that means: more right-leaning policy, more pain for those who have no more to give and more protection for the wealthy.

    The president met with Republicans yesterday to ask - ask - them to compromise on the debt limit legislation.  Now, what does "compromise" mean to a Republican?  "Stand strong until the other guy gives in - we won't have to wait long."  What does the GOP think when the president makes the request?  "Oh, goody - we've got it in the bag."

    Mitch McConnell says: spending reductions - no tax increases.  See what you read between these lines - bold has been added to give you a hint:

    From the LA Times:

    McConnell countered in Thursday's meeting by laying out the contours of a proposal to earn his vote, and presumably that of the other 46 Republican senators: immediate budget caps over the next two years that press down discretionary spending, followed by eligibility changes to the Medicare and Medicaid health programs over the next five to 10 years and beyond. And no new taxes.

    A White House source said the GOP senators made it clear that they were not exclusively pursuing the House-passed plan to privatize Medicare and shift more costs to seniors.

    Eligibility changes...hmmm.

    Not "exclusively" pursuing a privatization plan...more hmmmmm.

    And speaking of getting rolled, meet the Roller-in-Chief:

    Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), a former governor, said that when he pressed Obama on reducing rising Medicaid costs, the president responded by suggesting that was an area they could explore. "It was received well," Hoeven said.

    So...who here still thinks there isn't a move afoot to screw with social safety net programs?  With the quality of life of those who already have so little - anyone?  Bueller?

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the "moles" in this game of "Whack-a-Mole;" no sooner do we, the public, manage to save them from the chopping block than our esteemed representatives are determined to whack them.



    I took (none / 0) (#134)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:32:42 AM EST
    that pew quiz and I came out as a "disaffected" voter though I don't agree with many of the categories they put me under like "social conservative" WTF??? I'm certainly not a social conservative but I would say that I'm definitely disaffected in the larger sense due to this kind of behavior.

    You know what, Donald? (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by sj on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:50:47 AM EST
    That insane clown posse is eventually going to regain the Executive.  It's inevitable.  It's just as true that they will inevitably lose it again.

    If the Head Clown(R) is in office next term, will it be as easy for congressional Dems to nod wisely and agree to weakening SS and Medicare?  Maybe after O, it might.  I don't know, but I don't believe so.

    I've always had an aversion to clowns so I expect that means I probably won't be going to the circus at all next year.  I'll just have wait and see which Clown is leading the parade.


    Key words: (none / 0) (#81)
    by vicndabx on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:46:52 PM EST
    "stuck together"

    Any Comments on the Scrushy/Siegelman Reversal? (none / 0) (#44)
    by msaroff on Thu May 12, 2011 at 04:17:51 PM EST
    It's only a couple of charges, but it's a start.

    I still think that the prosecution stinks to high heaven.

    I've (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:28:27 PM EST
    been cruising the Ga political blogs today and found it surprising that some in the GOP actually want the Evangelicals to have "their" candidate win the nomination so that said candidate can then lose and then they can point to that loss as to why they shouldn't control the GOP anymore.

    They're sorry. (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:07:29 PM EST
    Afghan Girl Killed in Raid on Wrong Home

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- NATO officials apologized for a raid that also killed the 12-year-old girl's uncle, who was mistakenly thought to be a Taliban leader.

    They apologized.


    Our bad (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by ruffian on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:32:44 PM EST
    Someone is going to have to explain to me why these innocent lives are worth less than any American innocents that would be killed in terrorist attacks we are supposedly preventing.

    Al Queda is mad (none / 0) (#125)
    by CST on Fri May 13, 2011 at 09:42:23 AM EST
    that Americans killed Bin Laden.

    So suicide bombers kill 80 people in Pakistan today, apparently mad that the Pakistani government "allowed" the U.S. to kill Bin Laden.  We don't actually know it was Al-Queda, but they're taking credit for it, so they certainly want people to "blame" them.

    Note to Al-Queda - this is how you lost Iraq, blowing up locals because you're mad at people thousands of miles away.  Idiots.

    The news this morning... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:36:51 AM EST
    said the Taliban took responsibilty, fwiw who knows.

    All I know is Pakistan is getting a lesson in when playing both sides of the fence goes wrong...we're pissed and threatening to pull bribe money, and Taliban/AQ/AQAP/Pick your set of lunatics are pissed about the cooperation with the great satan, as two-faced a cooperation as it is.

    As always, Joe and Jane Blow just trying to work and get by suffer for it all.


    I don't know (none / 0) (#133)
    by Dadler on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:32:16 AM EST
    Might be the same way we lost Iraq, too.  Doesn't really seem to be too many "winners" anywhere right now in Warville.  'Cept maybe Charlie Sheen, in his own mind.

    for sure (none / 0) (#136)
    by CST on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:35:24 AM EST
    Although I guess I'll just add that I think that's why they didn't go after Bin Laden with a drone this time.

    So I have hope that we're learning from our mistakes.  Al-Queda clearly is not.


    work gripe of the day (none / 0) (#130)
    by CST on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:31:38 AM EST
    My company recently put out a survey asking people how they felt about benefits etc...

    The overwhelming response was that there is not enough vacation time/holidays.

    So today they sent out a follow up newsletter that basically says - according to a survey of the "northeast and south atlantic regional engineering firms" we are "average".

    Here's the problem - we do not compare ourselves to the entire east coast, we compare ourselves to the boston region.  A place where a strong labor movement has been in place for decades fighting for these benefits.  I know for a fact that I have less vacation time than just about everyone else my age with a full time job around here - no matter what industry they are in.  So no, showing me a survey saying that we are average once you include firms in Atlanta, etc... is not gonna cut it.  There's a reason I chose to live here and not in South Carolina or wherever, and one of those reasons is an expectation of a certain quality of life that has been earned by workers in the region.  It sure isn't the weather or the cost of living.

    Yes I realize in a poor economy this may come off as whining, but pushback has to start somewhere.

    Ain't whining at all (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Dadler on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:35:45 AM EST
    Not when you put it in the context of what has been given away to the financial masters.  If you're "just" a worker, raise hell as often as you need to.  Too much fear and complacence in the workforce.  The American worker, labor in general, has been very well domesticated, to its detriment.

    I've been wondering (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by sj on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:58:09 AM EST
    how your son and his band did at the Giants/Diamondback game.  I hope he had a great time.

    Too true... (none / 0) (#140)
    by kdog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:44:07 AM EST
    having mouths counting on you for food, and ten bucks to your name till next payday, will make a mouse out of the best of 'em.

    Throw in some propaganda blaming teachers and other middle class public servants for stagnant private sector wages and bennies, while the ownership society steals the store, or the old standby whipping boy the immigrant...once the stepped-on worker buys any of that garbage its all over baby...we've lost.


    Herb Kohl is retiring (none / 0) (#146)
    by jbindc on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:13:09 AM EST
    Feingold v. Ryan? (none / 0) (#155)
    by Anne on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:16:02 PM EST
    Unless Ryan has designs on even higher office - perhaps as VP on the 2012 GOP ticket?

    I have to say that Paul Ryan taking his anti-entitlement shtick to the Senate would be a scary thing, indeed.

    Kind of like Invasion of the Body Snatchers...


    I've already received a (none / 0) (#156)
    by nycstray on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:41:54 PM EST
    "Draft Russ Feingold" email from 21stDems.org

    Probably (none / 0) (#158)
    by jbindc on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:56:22 PM EST
    A very prescient call.  I don't know much (or anything, really) about Wisconsin politics, so this guess seems like a good one.