Saturday Open Thread

We have sunshine today, so I'm not going to spend the day at the computer.

For those of you following the Rupert Murdoch news empire misadventures, here's the latest on the resignations of Lee Hinton, the publisher of the WSJ and Rebekkah Brooks, who ran the British papers. U.S. connections to the phone-hacking scandal are growing.

Here's a Kaiser report on the fiscal effect of raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Looks (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 10:56:59 AM EST
    like the entire Mudoch Media empire might be crumbling. I'm so sad....NOT! No organization has contributed to more misinformation in our society than Murdoch's media sleaze organizations.

    Did he have American pols (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:02:20 AM EST
    in his pocket too?

    He spreadeth the cashish around (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Rojas on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:15:22 AM EST
    The goldman rule

    It continues to grow (none / 0) (#29)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 04:03:25 PM EST
    I just got an e-mail that brings Scotland Yard into the fore front also. Bags of evidence they denied having, have turned up.

    Unfortunately Murdock has 40% of the stock. He isn't going away.

    I can't imagine that his tactics are confined to the UK. I just don't believe our Congress has the back bone to find out how shady he is here.

    This sound be a wake up call about the consolidation of the media. No one company should be allowed to have this much power.


    Sen Jay Rockefeller (WVa) has requested (none / 0) (#30)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 04:11:31 PM EST
    a Congressional investigation formally. Additionally: There have been unconfirmed reports that the FBI is looking into allegations first published in UK's Guardian that News of the World "reporters" approached NYC police for private info about 9/11 victims.

    And, you may have heard, Murdoch's closest business ally, Les Hinton (DOW chief and publisher of the Wall Street Journal) abruptly resigned after the market closed yesterday.

    Murdoch is slated to go before a Parliamentary special committee next week. (Meanwhile, today he contritely issues page long public apologies in his UK papers. Damage control, hmmm.)


    Addition (none / 0) (#31)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 04:15:47 PM EST
    'Saw an excellent documentary film--as exciting as any big-time movie--called "Page One: Inside the NYTimes." This film, in a local artsy type theatre, hints at the transition problems of major papers & some of the greedy acquisition non-journalist moguls who buy them.

    Hear Here J... (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by kdog on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:45:38 AM EST
    get your arses outside people!

    About to head out for Day 2 of the music festival, once I finish fueling up on these juevos y tocino.

    Gonna be tough to top Day 1....Hot Tuna was rippin', Bromberg was pickin', Blue Point Summer Ales were flowin' (hence the late breakfast).  But the highlight had to be my boy getting sodomized by a crazy cougar on the prowl during Tuna's set...crazy sh*t.  Good times.  Even the cops were cool, letting people enjoy themselves in prohibited ways without causing a killjoy scene. A little slice of heaven in Patchogue.

    I love rock-n-roll...gimme some more!  

    I'm on a rush folks, life is too good right now, got word from the special lady that her stateside arrival is official, Aug. 18-28, ten sure to be glorious days! Timed perfectly for a trip to Woodstock for another Midnight Ramble at Levon's 8/20, this one will be so special. Yippity Yip Yip Yeah!  I even nailed the bacon perfectly, crisp no fat but not burnt:)  

    May some of this mojo find my TL friends having tough times...sh*ts f*cked up but ya can still find the promised land.  

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:51:34 AM EST
    granted the Administration (DOJ) an emergency order last night (Friday, July 15) temporarily reinstating its original stay of an order that had prohibited the government from enforcing DADT. However, the three-judge panel re-instituted the stay of the injunction "in all respects except one": discharges, discharge hearings, and investigations remain on hold. But the stay allows the military, once again, to stop accepting or processing applications from openly gay women and men.

    Recap: July 6, 2011, the 9th Circuit issued an order lifting the stay of the federal district judge (Sept 10, 20l0) who ruled DADT unconstitutional and ordered an end to enforcement worldwide. The Pentagon said it would comply, but then, on July 11, 2011, the 9th Circuit gave the government 10-days to "show cause" why the Court should not dismiss as moot an appeal seeking to defend DADT (based, in part, on DOJ's own stance on DOMA unconstitutionality and  a need for higher level of scrutiny).  The US Assistant Attorney filed DOJ's response July 14 and 15, asking for an emergency order to reinstate the original stay and permit the orderly process for repeal to resume.  

    The Appellate juges seemed upset that the government provided more detailed information that it did in its prior opposition to lifting the stay, and asked it to supplement its motion by this coming Monday and give the Log Cabin Republicans until 5 pm on July 21 to respond, but gives the government only until noon of the next day for it to respond.     And, the oral arguments on the appeal itself, by the Obama Administration, is set for Sept 1.  It seems that the judges are a little irritated, and politically, it seems as if the weasel mantra, he was for it before he was against it, has been altered to: he was for it while he was against it.

    I shouldn't say this (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 12:59:42 PM EST
    shouldn't say this, but I'm going to say this....Obama is a coward of the 1st order and the worst sort.

    yeah, he is a (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by observed on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 02:01:53 PM EST
    Belled house cat who thinks he is a  Siberian tiger. His braying complaint that Republicans must "compromise"  does give him the donkey part of being a Democrat, if nothing else.

    More like (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Zorba on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 02:53:20 PM EST
    the south end of a donkey going north.

    Speaking of Ike, (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:11:32 PM EST
    there is an interesting description of an often overlooked and untold story of the Eisenhower Administration and that period in America in "The Lavender Scare--The Cold War's Systematic Persecution of Gays and Lesbians." by David K. Johnson (University of Chicago Press). Note of disclaimer, David is a good friend, but I do  believe the reader will find his professorial efforts to be a work of history that resonates with issues alive in contemporary culture.

    Dr.Johnson focuses on the impact of Executive Order 10450 signed by Eisenhower, on April 27, 1953, wherein "sexual perversion" was a condition for firing a federal employee and denying employment to applicants. Homosexuality, moral perversion and Communism were categorized as national security risks. Although Truman set broad standards for dismissal they were considered too weak.

    Senator Joseph McCarthy moved the issue to the top of the national agenda by claiming that a homosexual underground was aiding the communist conspiracy, and along with Senators Wherry (Nebraska) and Lister Hill (Ala), they formed a sub-committee intended to root out homosexuals from government jobs and to keep them out.   Gays were even easier prey than communists they found, since there was no one to protect, or even speak for them (including the ACLU). And few were able or willing to speak for themselves given the times and circumstances.  

    During Ike's 1952 campaign he promised to eradicate communists and other security risks from government and defense industry employment  During his first SOTU, Ike promised a new system for keeping out the "disloyal and dangerous".  Ike's executive order affected not only government jobs, but also, civilian government contractors.  The executive order barred gay women and men from about 20% of the nations jobs, with estimates of government firings of 1500 and resignation of 6000 federal employees. Many businesses and bureaucrats were afraid of being accused of protecting "subversives" that they began to dismiss  gay members.  Most so fired or resigned to avoid investigation when off quietly and remained in the closet, taking up less paying and less important jobs.

    However, one did not: Dr. Frank Kameny,  a WWII veteran who was dismissed as an astronomer in the Army Map Service, fought his dismissal up to the Supreme Court (he lost his petition), but became an aggressive activist forming the Mattachine Society, a group that fought against employment discrimination.  Dr. Kameny was able to observe the downfall of Senator McCarthy, no doubt with some irony owing, in no small measure, to the trio of, Roy Cohen, David Schine and McCarthy and their overstepping with the Army on behalf of Schine.

    Now 86 years old, Dr. Kameny was present during President Obama's signing ceremony for DADT repeal in Dec 2010.

    I am anxious to see ie (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    Obama will achieve compromise in our time

    I'm just anxious (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 10:53:12 AM EST
    This could turn out bad in more than one way, just different victims.

    Apparently, at least so far, the world as (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:01:52 AM EST
    we know it has not ended in L.A. Closure of 405; Carmegeddon.  

    It's just temporary though right? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:02:47 AM EST
    Yep. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:04:04 AM EST
    Have they run the race yet (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:18:49 AM EST
    this morning? Bike against Car against Jet Blue?

    My LA knowldge is flawed (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:30:29 AM EST
    it's only Bike vs Jetblue starting at 10:50PT

    Here are the details:

        CYCLISTS will depart from the intersection of Cahuenga and Chandler Blvd. in North Hollywood at 10:50 AM PST

        Cyclists will be required to follow all traffic laws.

        JETBLUE PASSENGER will ride in a car from the starting point at Cahuenga and Chandler to Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in Burbank, fly Jetblue to Long Beach Airport (LGB), and then take a cab from the airport to the finish line.

        The finish line is the light house at the Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach (adjacent to Aquarium of the Pacific)



    I'm glad that my spouse (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 12:27:08 PM EST
    isn't the jetblue passenger, he gets through airports and traffic at unbelievable speed.  He drives me a little crazy though sometimes when I'm in tow....when he's like that I'm always in tow, sometimes I just want to smell the Starbucks.  He constantly plans ahead for every obstacle in his path, he says that doing that comes from being a pilot.  I want the bikes to have a chance.

    Bikes (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 02:23:12 PM EST
    open huge lead and approaching Long Beach but Jet Blue about to leave the ground on time for the 40 mile flight. Plane passengers have slight edge as the air conditioned bar was open at the airport. Bike riders are dripping sweat.

    That would be his assessment (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 02:32:00 PM EST
    Sweating is a big disadvantage when in transit, bikes should be docked for arriving unpresentable.)  Since I'm chained to the house this weekend and this pureair system he had to go to the store for me.  It usually takes me a few hours to shop because it is like one of my only fun things to do while living here....that's pathetic but true.  Anyhow, he'll probably be gone 45 minutes :)

    A D.C. memorial to Ike (none / 0) (#13)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 11:54:13 AM EST
    on the Mall has been proposed with Frank Gehry getting the design commission.  A near-final design (slide #2) has been presented, which doesn't appear particularly interesting or appealing to the eye, but then some of Gehry's unusual designs take some getting used to.  This one doesn't quite do it for me, and the stainless-steel mesh fence idea, on which various displays will be placed, seems kind of cheap-looking and inappropriate, though strong in its functionality as it could carry a good deal of information.

    The counter-proposal also is uninspiring, much too orthodox classical.

    Of course if we have to put up a monument to a Repub president, I'd much prefer it be Ike than anyone else who served in the 20th C.  And, given the startling rightward drift of the modern Repub Party, it would be a reminder of times when the GOP could nominate someone neither stupid, corrupt nor certifiably insane.


    Transportation/Infrastructure (none / 0) (#15)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 12:29:48 PM EST
    When I look around at the roads (or potholes with surface around them)....

    Question, brodie: Your knowledge-at-the-fingertip about 20th century presidencies, etc. leads me to ask for a general primer about Eisenhower and how he came to drive for and realize the national highway system as we know it. Was it his military background with its planning focus? Were there other big infrastructure dreamers among his chief advisors, friends?  

    'Sure wish we could emphasize that type of building in our country today. I'm a believer in the Biden rails' initiative and the WH early intent to put $$$ toward renewing the transportation sector.


    I'll be interested in Brodie's reply, but (none / 0) (#16)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 12:56:13 PM EST
    know that the interestate act was pushed by Ike as a military measure -- in the Cold War, as means to move troops swiftly in the event of an attack.  He had seen too many troops slogging through mud.

    As if, on this day when we ponder Carmageddon and traffic congestion everywhere.  We know a lot more now about how freeways create more cars on the roads, destroying inner cities while creating more suburbs (also due to Ike's and others' laws that pushed the American Dream, home ownership, with more available mortgages; look where that got us).


    Here's the ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by desertswine on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 02:16:41 PM EST
    "Official" version of Ike and the autobahns.

    Brodie will elaborate, but (none / 0) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 12:57:39 PM EST
    my understanding was that a prime reason for the highway defense program  (Interstate) was to provide a means of evacuation in the event of a nuclear attack.

    Ah yes, indeedy...the days when (none / 0) (#19)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 01:55:38 PM EST
    we kids in grade school hid under desks or in school halls as practice and spent hours on the phone with a best friend worrying how to escape...which roads to take. Your reminder re: Cold War "planning": My friend Carolyn & I decided that our families would meet outside Denver and drive to the mountains to survive an attack. (Remember we were in grade school...though adults were actually "planning" the same thing.) Hoo, hah...that would be the mother of all traffic jams. And, in the background, we would hear the strains of Waltzing Matilda from On The Beach.

    Sorry, had to get to other things, (none / 0) (#25)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 03:14:45 PM EST
    but the official story cited above is a decent account of the interstate hwy system as I understand it.  Especially important was the 1919 Army trip Ike took across country, testing equipment, and seeing whether or how long it would take to cross the continental US.  I think he was appalled at the road situation as of that time, and this gaping hole in the national infrastructure stayed with him into the WH.  He was also concerned about the nuke attack/evacuation situation.

    The only thing I would add is that Ike hadn't originally intended the interstate to cut into inner city areas, but instead stop and go around them in a loop, as with many Euro cities.  Interesting that he didn't find out about what was happening on that front until three years after his bill had passed as he happened to see major highway construction occurring a little too close to D.C. proper.  He was told only then that getting cities involved in the system was the reason Congress was able to pass his bill in the first place, and that now there was nothing to be done to undo that fact.

    Still I think that the interstate was viewed by Ike as his proudest achievement.


    Agreed; destruction of city after city (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 03:28:39 PM EST
    was not his plan; I read that he expected bypasses.  But his typical delegation of how to get legislation done allowed him to ignore the politicking that went on to waylay his law so that urban pols could get a piece of the big money -- urban pols being many Dems who wanted to clear out their inner cities in the North, especially with the Great Migration, so this also broke apart many strong black communities that were becoming political threats.  And big business -- many Republicans -- also saw a lot of money to be made from the demolition of those communities and, of course, the road-building lobby that loved this.

    That's how to get bipartisan support: greed.  

    Had Ike foreseen this and couple the act with funding for the cities, LBJ would not have had to twist so many arms to try to repair the damage done.  But, of course, we still can see the detritus, as by then, the bill was too huge for the cities to cope with the resulting white flight.


    This is but one example (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 04:57:40 PM EST
    of the dangers -- or at best, mixed blessings -- of some of those Big Picture types who make it to the WH and are inclined to a passive governing style that delegates too much to others.

    Which is another reason why we need to look beyond just policy, and who favors which policy, but also to the person, and whether the pol has a track record of being well versed in the issues, or demonstrates such ability in public utterances.


    Sure would be nice, in terms of (none / 0) (#26)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 03:26:59 PM EST
    a major jobs program and getting us out of our economic doldrums, if Obama would start really touting Biden's high-speed rail plan.  Not sure if I've heard any more about it since Joe mentioned it earlier this year.

    Meanwhile back in reality, we keep doing stupid things.  Carmaggedon 405 is just throwing good money after bad, imo, since soon enough, even with the new car pool lanes each way, more cars will be added to the mix to once again clog up the system.  Not much there for L.A. to be proud of really with an expanded freeway.  Big whoop.


    Speaking of Ike, (none / 0) (#28)
    by brodie on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 03:50:36 PM EST
    most of you might be unaware of the very interesting direct descendant, Laura Magdalene Eisenhower (daughter of Susan, Ike's grand-daughter, I believe, the family member who switched from GOP to Indy and endorsed Obama in 2008).  

    Just in the past year or so Laura's been coming out in more public and on YT as a clairvoyant personal adviser and other stuff, including a bizarre personal revelation that I will let you find out about.  Not your typical area of interest for someone from such a prominent American political family*.  But there you are.  Decide for yourselves.

    Back in the political realm, she says that many Eisenhowers these days are either Dem or Indy, not GOP.  She shares her mother's strong pro-Obama views and continues to back him today.

    (* though there is that Laurence Rockefeller prior example, from the 1980s and 90s; yet I believe he refused until the end to put himself out there too publicly, or advocate personally in the MSM re his e.t. interest)

    Turnabout is fair play? (none / 0) (#33)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 05:24:52 PM EST