Tuesday Night Open Thread

I've been really busy at work and I'm not sure when it will break. I know there's a lot of news, from the Patriot Act renewal to the latest in the Chicago terror trial.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall says he will vote against the Patriot Act extension unless critical changes are made.

There's also the DWTS finale, the final performances on American Idol and The Voice. Go Lauren.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Kathy Hochul wins in NY-26 in time (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:18:15 PM EST
    for tomorrow's paper. And the margin is too big to attribute to a spoiler effect.

    Dems really could take back the House next fall.

    The NY Times has a good report even now (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by christinep on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:53:42 PM EST
    Apparently, the District has been in Republican hands for 40+ years, and is one of the most conservative in the state. And, Democrat Hochul specifically latched onto the Medicare issue, and it became the dominant issue in the campaign. Three cheers for the Democrat from NY 26, the new Congresswoman. <Heh, heh...thanks Paul R for all the help.>

    There's only one other district (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:55:59 PM EST
    in the state that Democrats haven't held since 2008: Peter King's NY-03.

    In the midst of the celebration (none / 0) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:31:38 AM EST
    do look up Hochul's positions on this and that.  She's the doggiest of blue dogs.  Yes, good that this happened, but she's not going to vote with the Dems. in Congress on very much.

    In particular, she made a stupid issue (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Wed May 25, 2011 at 05:55:34 AM EST
    out of Spitzer's drivers license plan. So she's no good on immigration. Other than that, she seems like a pretty standard Democrat.

    Reviewing all of these answers, she's clearly the best candidate.


    Good point, gyrfalcon (none / 0) (#30)
    by christinep on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:39:14 PM EST
    Clearly, she will represent a conservative district...and, reason would tell one that she will have some tight-rope walking to do. Recall that when Sen. K. Gillibrand represented a fairly conservative to marginal district in NY, she represented them (aka "centrist" approach.)

     For the most part, I believe that elected officials of anything should endeavor to represent their constituents...and, square that with conscience when the direction of the voters & of the elected person do not match. But then, I would guess that mismatch should not happen for every vote and that, if the elected official wants help & $$$ from the party she/he represents in future (read: Hochul cannot expect to abandon the party too often--esp in critical votes--or she won't realize necessary party largesse when it is important to her) some practical accomodation about vote-splitting will obviously be made.


    To be clear (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 28, 2011 at 01:07:49 AM EST
    I'm not intending criticism of her.  As you say, that's the nature of her district.  Just raising a cautionary flag that having yet another Blue Dog in Congress doesn't help with the things that you and I care about all that much.



    the DCC says (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:32:36 PM EST
    DCCC: "Today, the Republican plan to end Medicare cost Republicans $3.4 million and a seat in Congress."

    Nancy Pelosi says that this race (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:52:05 PM EST
    sends a clear message that will echo nationwide: Republicans will be held accountable for their vote to end Medicare.

    Yes but will the Dems throw the (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 24, 2011 at 10:09:42 PM EST
    Republicans a life line on Medicare?

    Is it possible that Democrats will squander the political advantage on Medicare that they just regained over Republicans?

    At his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) confirmed what aides in both parties have been telling reporters: Cuts to Medicare will be on the table in deficit and debt limit negotiations, led by Vice President Joe Biden.

    After arguing that Democrats made significant headway toward extending Medicare's solvency with the health care law, Hoyer said, "Do I believe that there are other things we can do related to Medicare? The answer is I do. I'm not going to get into articulating each one, but my expectation is they will be under discussion by the Biden group."
    But there are any number of ways to cut Medicare spending without "fixing" the Medicare debt problem -- from means testing, to raising the retirement age, to reducing reimbursement rates, and so on. Not all of them constitute benefit cuts, but many of them do.

    If a grand bargain on spending includes Medicare benefit cuts that both parties buy into, it will further expose the shambolic nature of the last two years' politics. But more to the point, it will blunt Democrats' ability to run against the House Republican vote to privatize, and, yes slash Medicare. And it will hurt Senate Democrats, many more of whom will be up for re-election in 2012 than will their Republicans colleagues. Their opponents won't have Paul Ryan's budget to answer for -- but they will have the Dems' vote for the deficit grand bargain, and the Medicare cuts therein. link

    IMO, that will only happen (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Tue May 24, 2011 at 10:10:49 PM EST
    if Obama insists.

    obama is insisting, (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by observed on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:14:40 AM EST
    In his faux spineless way. He didnt mention medicare in his congratulations. The message is starkly clear

    Medicare costs (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:30:17 AM EST
    have to be addressed somehow.  It's a far more serious problem than SS.

    And it's a VERY long way from tinkering with the program to turning it into "vouchers." I seriously don't think this is a political problem at all.  The GOP hoist themselves on their own petard (or noose, if you like) the Ryan plan.


    The Republicans will have (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 25, 2011 at 08:54:29 AM EST
    no qualms about equating a "Democratic tinkering" with Ryan's coupon scheme.  And, a swell "bipartisan" cutting deal would blunt that profound political edge demonstrated in the New York race--a sure-fire way for the Democrats to co-habitate that petard.

    It is true that Medicare costs need to be addressed, but that means addressing the nature of health care costs.Moreover, Medicare has been more than tinkered with as a part of the Affordable Health Care Act, with claimed economies expected  to the extent that it will finance about half ($500 Billion) of the new health act.  Also, the Health Care Act has provision for studies and pilot projects intended to address escalating health care costs.  The urgency is not so great that we cannot await, at least, preliminary outcomes of these and other steps being taken.


    New rapture date has been set... (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue May 24, 2011 at 10:25:10 PM EST
    Oct. 21. I'm miffed because Auburn plays LSU on the 22nd.

    Like you have a chance :) (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:36:22 AM EST
    Of being raptured that is :)

    you know me too well, hehehehe! (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:03:43 PM EST

    Is Palin running for president? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Tony on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:31:16 PM EST
    It sure looks to me like she is.

    Doubt it (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:37:26 PM EST
    she's so last year. She may come out with a movie but a new book by her ex-aide just hit the bookstores "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years,"

    He  accuses her of playing the victim card and says the prospect of her in higher office is terrifying.

    We can forget about her.


    FWIW, I've seen a couple interviews (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:32:44 AM EST
    with him and he's not particularly credible or even articulate.  I wouldn't count on this book doing anything more than fire her up, frankly.

    Yes, and the Republican presidential (none / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 25, 2011 at 09:02:37 AM EST
    line-up is so puny it will surely fire her up.  Even Trump is re-considering his decision--so his story goes.

    Nah (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 09:21:59 AM EST
    Jeralyn's right.  Palin's done. The Republicans know that almost all of their declared candidates out there are jokes.  Pawlenty and Romney are really the only two serious candidates that would stand a chance (especially since Mitch Daniels is out), unless a dark horse suddenly appears.

    Palin has been nothing since the whole brou-ha-ha after Congresswoman Giffords' shooting in January.

    She's toast and would be foolish to try and get in now, as she is a butt of every joke.


    Pawlenty (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 25, 2011 at 12:46:15 PM EST
    pardoned a pedophile so that he (the pedophile) could open a child care center and was later convicted of molesting his own child. Pawlenty is done.

    Despite what most people around here think, I think Romney is going to be the nominee simply by attrition. The stuff that keeps coming up on the GOP presidential wanna bes is going to make the majority of them fall by the wayside sooner rather than later.


    I think it will be (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:03:48 PM EST
    the Mitt-ster too.  Been sayin' it for months, even when many argued with me.  He sure can fundraise, and despite his issue with health care in Mass, he can speak credibly to business and economic issues, and he can win the social conservatives back by talking "values" (of which he shares many, although I don't think all, that some of the evangelicals do).

    Those that are mad will come back to the flock.  After all, "where else are they gonna go?"


    And speaking of.... (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:10:25 PM EST
    I think she'll try (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:36:58 AM EST
    Cute animal pictures of the day (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:58:18 PM EST
    Aaawww ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Nemi on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:25:39 AM EST
    But the kiwi, only a few days old, already looks quite delusional, the poor thing. Life can be so overwhelming. ;)

    I just watched the PBS Frontline (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:39:00 AM EST
    on Bradley Manning.  I did not know until this morning that Assange had edited the video from Iraq.

    French finance minister (none / 0) (#21)
    by Nemi on Wed May 25, 2011 at 07:01:45 AM EST
    Christine Lagarde, as expected, announces her candidacy:
    Lagarde bids for IMF top job.

    And Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, as expected, protest the convention of choosing yet another European for the post.

    Sheriff Joe (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 09:03:46 AM EST
    PHOENIX -- Three employees of America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff have been arrested in a drug and human trafficking case, authorities said Tuesday.

    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said a deputy and two female detention officers at the sheriff's largest jail facility were among 12 people taken into custody and accused of being in a Phoenix-based international drug smuggling ring.

    One of the detention officers, Marcella Hernandez, told authorities that she is eight-months pregnant with the child of Francisco Arce-Torres, the alleged drug ring's leader who court documents say is also a member of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel.

    Rest of the Story

    Guess Arpaio was too busy chasing the poor through the desert to know what was going under right under his nose.  Unbelievable.

    Lovely. Just lovely. (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed May 25, 2011 at 12:28:20 PM EST
    What a clown.

    Sarah Palin (none / 0) (#27)
    by lilburro on Wed May 25, 2011 at 12:35:16 PM EST
    is going to debut a two hour feature film about herself.  OMG...I am so excited.  This could be the most hilarious movie of the year.

    NYPD Strikes again... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:07:42 PM EST
    open your wallet taxpayers.

    A weird one too...arrest the wrong teen for "cyber bullying" a teacher, drag her outta school in handcuffs, held for 24 hours...find the real culprit and they aren't even arrested?  WTF?

    And a diplomat's daughter no less...yes India, I'm afraid this is how we do...evacuate your citizens while you still can!  

    AZ shooter not competent to stand trial (none / 0) (#34)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:42:42 PM EST
    according to the Yahoo news. Although I'm not a psychologist, his youtube videos were quite disturbing and I wondered about his competency.

    It's like a mind meld thing we have going, jeff (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:46:42 PM EST
    But this doesn't mean he was crazy when he (allegedly) shot all those people - just that he cannot assist in his defense at this time.

    Jared Loughner (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 03:43:51 PM EST
    This is for (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:17:19 AM EST
    Jimppj: The Ryan plan voucher amount is 5K.