Thursday Morning Open Thread

I wonder if there will be a new episode today in the Real Housewives of Tampa. (h/t Mike Ditto.) Don't socialites lose standing when their friends find out they are broke? I wonder if the parties are over.

Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes had to have his court date continued. He's been hurting himself at the jail, slamming his head into concrete cell walls, and had to go to the hospital.

Mitt Romney figured out why he lost the election (snark):

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee told top donors in a conference call Obama followed the "old playbook" of offering big-government largess to win votes from specific interest groups, "especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people," The New York Times, one of two newspapers on the call, reported.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Here's an interesting article about Jill Kelley (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Angel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:27:00 AM EST
    and how she tried to use her connection with General Petraeus:  getting TransGas Development Systems a no-bid contract with her compensation being a 2% commission which could have amounted to a fee in the tens of millions of dollars.  


    The FBI has a citizens academy? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:02:23 PM EST
    Does it make you an honorary G-man?  What the hell?  Is everyone who is supposed to be serious trying to make themselves look sort of silly?  

    What kills me in this article is she's trying to (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Angel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:27:07 PM EST
    pass herself off as a lobbyist for South Korea!  I can get you a no-bid contract, just give me 2% of the deal.  Love that the company president said she didn't know squat and he had essentially wasted his time and money.  

    FBI Citizens Academy: wonder what it costs to get into that.  


    I see Jeralyn snagged your find :) (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:59:07 PM EST
    I want a 2% commission. (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Angel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:00:19 PM EST
    Now THAT is how to social climb. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:18:09 PM EST
    Jill Kelley, Paula Broadwell et al., may not exactly be the sharpest axes in the woodshed, but they sure know just enough to be dangerous.

    As oppsed to the government largesse Romney (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:24:00 AM EST
    promised to corporations, I suppose. These people make me sick.

    McCain is so determined to get to the bottom... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by magster on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:39:10 AM EST
    ... of Benghazi that he missed a classified briefing on Benghazi to criticize Obama and Rice for hiding information on Benghazi.

    Our last two presidential GOP nominees have proven again within the last couple of days how morally bankrupt they are.

    This is typical of McCain (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:59:32 AM EST
    Saw the video clip this morning and I have to say that I really respect Obama's public statements on this
    If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.

    That was followed by video of a whiny Mr. Maverick saying "we're not picking on anybody..."

    Oh, that Mitt...he's got that bottom lip (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:01:33 PM EST
    pushed out so far it's a wonder he hasn't fallen over; petulance and pouting is just so unattractive, but I guess that's the flip side of believing one is entitled to something like the presidency.

    Damn those urban voters, huh?  And after all the efforts to keep them from voting, too.  ::shaking head::  What a shame.

    I guess there's nothing left to do but call the "waaahmbulance," and have this poor sport taken directly to the nearest Level 3 Political Trauma Center that isn't already at Code Red and filled up with all the other "victims."

    I hope it's the last we see of or hear from him, and I most especially do not want to see him standing next to Obama at a podium with Obama announcing that he's appointing Mitt to something-or-other to show how much he wants to "work with" Republicans.  Maybe the John MCain-led campaign against Susan Rice will have Obama re-thinking his knee-jerk impulse to reach out to the other side, but my guess is it just makes him double-down on his efforts.

    Some 350 economists have reached out to Congress, with the message that austerity in the midst of a weak economy is a really dumb thing to do (I can only bring you this short snip I got from Think Progress, because the jobsnotausterity website is blocked for me here at work):

    Yet too many in Washington are fixated on cutting public spending to balance the budget, not on how to put people back to work and get our economy going. There is no theory of economics that explains how we can deflate our way to recovery. Businesses are not basing investment decisions on how much Congress cuts the debt in 2023. As Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Greece have shown, inflicting austerity on a weak economy leads to deeper recession, rising unemployment and increasing misery. [...]

    The budget hawks have the sequence backwards. Public outlay for jobs and recovery come first, growth is restored, and revenues follow. Budget cuts in a deep slump lead only to a deeper slump.

    Not that the austerity-is-wrong message hasn't been stated over and over again, every time talk turns to cutting the deficit and cutting spending and "strengthening" the safety net- maybe one of these days, before it's too late, that message will be received and taken to heart, but I'm not optimistic.

    Too Late (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by sj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:23:54 PM EST
    I hope it's the last we see of or hear from [Romney], and I most especially do not want to see him standing next to Obama at a podium with Obama announcing...

    In the same press conference when Obama stood up for Rice:
    He said he still plans to reach out to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, to get ideas on improving the government and the economy. And, yes, he must work better with Congress.

    I didn't mention it up-thread because I wanted to have at least one comment where I could approve of what he did without adding some sort of caveat.  But he just seems to be kind of a caveat magnet.

    From the transcript: (none / 0) (#34)
    by Farmboy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:53:20 PM EST
    THE PRESIDENT: And my hope is, before the end of the year, though, that we have a chance to sit down and talk.  There are certain aspects of Governor Romney's record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful.

    Q    Such as?

    THE PRESIDENT:  Well, to give you one example, I do think he did a terrific job running the Olympics.  And that skill set of trying to figure out how do we make something work better applies to the federal government.  There are a lot of ideas that I don't think are partisan ideas but are just smart ideas about how can we make the federal government more customer friendly; how can we make sure that we're consolidating programs that are duplicative; how can we eliminate additional waste.  He presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with.  So it would be interesting to talk to him about something like that. There may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle-class families that I want to hear.

    So I'm not either prejudging what he's interested in doing, nor am I suggesting I've got some specific assignment.  But what I want to do is to get ideas from him and see if there are some ways that we can potentially work together.

    That wasn't a "reaching out" statement; It was a "Those Detroit players sure are nice guys" comment from the coach of the Giants.


    Okay (none / 0) (#35)
    by sj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:57:50 PM EST
    How is this not reaching out:
    But what I want to do is to get ideas from him and see if there are some ways that we can potentially work together.
    From your quote.

    Pleaze... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:31:27 PM EST
    Not everything a politician says, is what they intend.  He takes a couple swipes at Romney, so it's pretty hard for me to think he means any of it.

    The one example he has is the Olympics, that is certainly a swipe.  From a stones through away from the Presidency and Obama praises him the Olympics.  He could have used his Governance or Bain, but no, he picked his least powerful position.  And surely Obama knows about the budget issues and how Mitt resolved them by throwing money at it.  Not exactly what the next year is going to need.

    Do you really think Barry is going to ask any republican about how to make the Federal Government, the one they hate, more customer friendly ?  That part had me cracking up, like Bush asking Gore to help streamline the federal leasing of gas & oil reserves.


    Very true (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by sj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:44:56 PM EST
    Not everything a politician says, is what they intend.
     And just because you and I think the Olympics comment is a swipe that doesn't make us right (although I think we are).  

    But frankly what O says doesn't usually matter to me at all.  The exception being when he is clearly telegraphing his intentions as he has on Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid since 2007.

    The "customer-friendly" description didn't crack me up at all.  Over the last 20 years citizens have become "customers", and people with addresses to receive mail and passengers on public transit have become "consumers."  I don't care for making that concept part of the common lexicon one. little. bit.

    But that's just me.  Even though he has telegraphed this possibility, I'll wait a bit and see how invested he still is in PPUS.  But based on his comments here -- mere days after the election -- I don't have a lot of optimism.  To me it looks as though he's already giving away any "progressive" mojo he may have accidentally acquired.


    I Don't Doubt That... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:52:08 PM EST
    ...it's his forte, but my point was that speech doesn't prove anything.

    And sorry you didn't find the humor in the other statement, but surely you know it was a swipe at all republicans.  And maybe, even a statement that we are going to treat people with the same respect businesses treat their customers instead treating them like undesirable burdens.

    Who knows, but I do know that the speech was in no way an open arms invite to Mitt.


    We'll see (none / 0) (#52)
    by sj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:05:18 PM EST
    I hope you're right.  But we'll see.

    Grammy tribute to Whitney Houston tomorrow (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:03:49 PM EST
    My bro-in-law just sent me the following message about the show, where he'll be performing on Sax and maybe flute, so check it out:

    THIS FRIDAY, November 16 @ 10:00PM on CBS, I'm honored to be a part of the Grammy tribute to the great Whitney Houston. With Ray Chew Live at the helm, I'm joined by Ernie Fields Jr, Jerry Moore, Dan Fornero, John Fumo, Artie Reynolds, Tony Pulizzi, Russell Graham and many others in the orchestra for this heartfelt tribute to an amazing talent. Yolanda Adams & CeCe Winans join Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Usher, for the one-hour special that will celebrate Houston's life and artistry through performances & interviews with various artists paying homage to the six-time GRAMMY winner, and will include Houston's own most memorable performances of her career. Hosted by L.L. Cool J, this will be a night to remember. The show will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on Nov. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

    Jon Walker Asks (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:49:20 PM EST
    So Do Democrats Actually Want to Govern or Not?

    If Democrats don't change the Senate rules at the beginning of the next session it will mean they believe having a go-to excuse for broken promises is more important than having a semi-functioning government system. It will be a telling moment to determine if Democrats are serious about governing or they just really like playing the part on TV.

    And Gen Allen's emails to Kelley (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:55:06 PM EST
    Have been described by one investigator as the email version of phone sex.  So conduct unbecoming, he's done too now.  

    More proof that (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:12:16 PM EST
    gays having marriage rights is not the real threat to heterosexual marriages.

    there's no arguing with (none / 0) (#57)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:18:47 PM EST
    people who think we'll be smitten by tidal waves, plagues of locusts, and golden tablet shortages if gay people get married..

    Someone Will Figure Out How to... (none / 0) (#60)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:51:35 PM EST
    ...blame them for this entire debacle, along the lines of god's wrath for letting queers in the military.

    You know what's queer in the military? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:35:16 PM EST
    Generals who charge into battle on the high horse of family values, while using their e-mail to talk smutty to women who are not their spouses or significant others.

    A twofer (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 06:50:24 PM EST
    Zaid Jilani caught this from Conrad when he was asked if raising the Medicare age should be cut as part of a Grand Bargain:

    I wouldn't want that to be the starting point, but as part of an overall package, that's balanced and fair. Given that we now have exchanges to purchase insurance because of the president's health-care reform law, it makes it much more acceptable, much more reasonable, over a long period of time to gradually increase the age given that people are living so much longer.

    Maybe it's just Conrad. Nope

    On Capitol Hill, it isn't clear how strenuously Democrats will resist cutting entitlements. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) said he and others were open to changes as long as they were done in a measured way and were part of deal that included tax increases. Mr. Van Hollen also said changing Social Security and increasing the Medicare eligibility age above 65 should be part of negotiations.


    The twofer: Dems sticking it to seniors and giving people another reason to hate Obamacare.

    These Dems are actively hostile (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:49:19 PM EST
    towards people over 40. Seriously. If a member of the press were to ask one of them whether they have ever heard of age discrimination in hiring their puny heads would explode.

    I'll vote for this! (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:47:46 PM EST
    Romney, doubling down on his "Dems win because people (i.e., moochers) get free stuff from them" theme, says to major donors in his post-mortem conference call that the Democrats should run in 2016 on giving people free dental care as a part of Obamacare.

    I'm down with that!  I could use some dental work right now - a couple of my teeth are acting up - and I really can't afford it.  It's probably cheaper than a couple months of the Afghan war....

    And, thinking back to when I was a kid, I remember how my dad's union contract (he was a machinist) included dental care for him and the whole family.  And, miracle of miracles, the world did not end.  How about that?

    I remember when I had dental insurance (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:09:25 PM EST
    and didn't have to pay for it. Non-union at that! I think before I started working my Dad's insurance also included it for the family.

    I could dig some free eye care :)

    On a serious note, dental care is very important and, imo should be included in plans aka as yearly checkups etc.


    especially now that it's clear (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:40:32 PM EST
    dental problems are linked to heart problems and other major health issues.

    Josh has developed astigmatism in one eye (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 03:29:59 PM EST
    It is 20/50.  The doctor said most usually choose to not correct for it because they compensate with their good eye and don't wear their glasses.  Josh wants to correct for it though.  Doctor was afraid his glasses would fall of though because his scoliosis pitches his head downward.  So we found some sport frames with a cool band instead of the ear grips.  Even with Tricare Prime still $130 out of pocket.

    Let me know (none / 0) (#97)
    by CoralGables on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:06:32 PM EST
    if they ever think contacts or lasik will help the astigmatism. I was told lasik likely wouldn't help mine and contacts would make me miserable but I haven't asked in years.

    Interestingly enough, (none / 0) (#99)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:40:34 PM EST
    when I had my cataract operations, the surgeon was able to also correct my astigmatism.  I have been wearing glasses since I was 6 years old, with a vision of 20-400 minus.  After my cataract operations, I have 20-20 in one eye, and 20-40 in the other, no astigmatism, and I do not need glasses for everyday, or for driving (I passed my driving vision test with no glasses).  I only need reading glasses now.  Don't know about lasik, though.

    We didn't discuss LASIK since he (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:08:44 PM EST
    Is still growing.  When he was four his vision was fine.  As he grows it may continue to change.

    I can have the lasik done again, if I wish. I had it done about 15 years ago.

    Another oil rig explosion (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 05:21:38 PM EST
    in the Gulf off the coast of Louisiana.  Two missing.  Eleven others flown to hospitals, and four of them are in critical condition.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two who died, and with the injured and their loved ones.  
    I want to say so much more about this, but it is not the time.
    Peace be unto all who are affected by this.

    This doesn't look good. (2.00 / 1) (#78)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:59:57 PM EST
    The next commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is prepared to testify that he wants to see a robust U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, as U.S. and Afghan negotiators began formal work on that troop presence Thursday in Kabul.

    Gen. Joe Dunford will be the sole nominee appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning. President Barack Obama has chosen Dunford to succeed Gen. John Allen to lead the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

    I am not supposed to be critical of our exalted leader, but this looks as if another promise is about to be eviscerated.

    All this money.
    Our human resources.
    Our financial resources.
    All these people.
    All these soldiers.
    All this death.

    How does this differ from what dumbarse Romney would have done?

    I don't (none / 0) (#90)
    by lentinel on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:12:14 AM EST
    quite understand what you disagreed with in this post, Magster.

    One of the distinctions drawn between Obama and Romney during the campaign was that Obama was promising an end to the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, (good), while Romney was hedging and using phrases like, "depending on the conditions on the ground", and other similar ones, (bad).

    This is one of the issues meant to differentiate between the two candidates.

    Now, Obama is nominating someone, just weeks after the election, who is proposing that we retain a "robust" number of forces after 2014.

    To me this is disheartening. 300 million dollars a day, and countless lives are invested in this nightmare. And, to me, it is a reversal from what he said during the campaign and the debates.
    Maybe Obama was only giving the impression that he was going to withdraw forces by 2014, but nevertheless, the impression he gave was that his plan was different from Romney's, when in fact it wasn't and isn't.

    Do you disagree?


    Sorry. (none / 0) (#91)
    by lentinel on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:18:57 AM EST
    This should have been addressed to Mcat

    Nothing but excuses from Romney and Ryan. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Angel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 06:59:27 AM EST
    Romney - it's the 'gifts' Obama gave his voters.  Ryan - it's because the 'urban' people voted.  They are ignorant fools if they don't face up to the truth about the who's and why's of the voting populace.    

    These statements go way beyond excuses (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:20:39 AM EST
    And at least we now know which part of Romney is real - the part that is a total horses a**.

    I think you may (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:44:32 PM EST
    malign horses and their anatomy-- in part or in whole.  Romney seems to learn nothing, from the repeat of his "47 percent assessment" of Americans to the fact that someone other than his funders may be listening in and be ready to report. But, then this seems to be his one, unshakable core belief.

    During the same call, Romney summed up his retro-thinking when he said, " And so now we're looking and saying. 'O.K., what can we do going forward?  But frankly, we're still so troubled by the past, it's hard to put together  our plans for the future." And, as his big idea for his close-knit group of fund raisers to stay "connected" he proposed creating a "newsletter."  


    Or...it will be even easier (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:50:11 AM EST
    In 2014 to shed more of these fools.

    So we are all getting checks in the (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:48:37 AM EST
    Mail from Obama for doing nothing?  How delightful, can't wait.

    MT (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:17:46 AM EST
    Here's some breakfast reading for you from Time.

    Points to Broadwell for her original idea for a birthday present.


    I haven't decided (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 02:22:15 AM EST
    what to make of this yet; I still just think it's sad more than anything else.  Barring any further national security implications, that is (which seem to be getting ever more remote with each new tawdry detail, perhaps that is distraction but with no idea where to start, what could be the truth, really).

    All that said, with this from the Time article, I just have to laughhhhh and laughhhhhhhh because there are no alternatives and it seems so unserious:

    "A lot of power comes from moral authority," says former CIA boss Michael Hayden, "because you are asking people to do stuff that is really on the edge legally and politically, and they have to sense that you're the guy they can trust."

    This guy, this Bush lackey of all people, is going to tee off on Petraeus about moral authority?  Where did he derive his moral authority from exactly?  His white American husband/fatherness while we waterboarded brown people?  His willingness to help everyone down the rabbit hole into total moral international treaty violation f*ckedupedness?

    And of course let us make not a peep in our prestigious Time magazine about the resumes of Mukasey and Hayden and their moral authority or lack thereof.  

    In sum, straying is worse than torture.  Welcome to America.  Wow.


    It's just devastation isn't it? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:44:44 AM EST
    If Petraeus gets his family life squared away, I know he's going to try to make up with the American people.  He reminds me of Clinton in how he must be loved and respected for some kind of service.  I don't see how Broadwell ever recovers or Kelley.  Broadwell may be spending a lot of time trying to not do time.  Kelley doesn't seem to possess mental stability. General Allen doesn't have the personality to recover himself if he falls over this, and he mishandled this too.  Why?  Why did he do that?

    It seems as if Petraeus (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:32:38 PM EST
    is insecure,  the Washington Post reported he recently surprised guests at a DC dinner when he arrived to speak wearing his medals on the lapel of his business suit jacket.  Certainly Army regulations permit retirees to wear their medals on occasions of ceremony and social functions of a military nature, but it does seem curious for such an occasion.  The security clearance of Ms. Broadwell has been suspended, and Ms. Kelley is no longer permitted to enter MacDill Air Force Base "with a wave", as she has for years.  Now she must get  approval and sign in at the visitor's gate.  Good judgment seems to have been in short supply in Tampa.

    Who isn't insecure at times? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:45:16 PM EST
    I don't know why he wore his medals.  Maybe he' s insecure, maybe somebody asked him why he wasn't wearing his medals at the last social function and that made him feel stupid, maybe someone asked him to wear them for a photo opportunity.  All overachievers and underachievers seem to share a common trait though, insecurity in some form or another.  Insecurity is a great motivator.

    I don't have a problem (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by sj on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:03:11 PM EST
    with him wearing his medals on his suit jacket.  It's a little ostentatious but so are giant diamond rings and had a guest arrived with such a jewelry piece the Washington Post would hardly have looked askance.  

    Just sayin'


    They are his medals (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    He did earn them.  

    That would be all we need... (none / 0) (#12)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:19:33 AM EST
    ...to have Lance and his "idol with feet of clay" problems dragged into this story as well.

    The last actual government checks I got (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:23:12 AM EST
    were from George W. Bush and HIS OH MY GOD AREN'T YOU SO LUCKKKYYY!!! tax rebates.  Then again apparently you have to cut a check to make people notice, so go figure.

    You (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:52:53 AM EST

    You haven't got your Obamaphone yet?

    What? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:03:26 AM EST
    Are you mad because Petraeus is testifying today and because he has been fighting to defend the CIA actions in Benghazi you already know there is no scandal?  Don't take it out on me.

    Yet another wingnut myth (none / 0) (#71)
    by Yman on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:52:48 PM EST
    The program you derisively refer to as giving out "Obamaphones" was started by the Reagan administration, expanded under Clinton, and began providing cell phone service under the Bush administration.

    But "Bushphone" doesn't have the desired effect ...


    Well, getting that check sure beats ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:45:39 PM EST
    ... having to pimp my daughters out before I can afford to buy some weed and and a bottle of Boone's Farm.

    Frankly, our outrage is simply lost on this guy, he's totally clueless. But you know what really bothers me about all this marginalizing trash talk from the GOP's failed nominees?

    It's that 48% of voters still punched their tickets for the Romney & Ryan Traveling Shuck'n'Jive Show.


    Change (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:00:04 AM EST
    So much for those who expect the Republicans to change.

    Now we know how the huge military budget is used.

    Just learned from (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:11:15 AM EST
    my aunt that my cousin worked with Gen. P's at one time. Had nothing but praise for him and his leadership abilities. He's pretty torn up about all this.

    I am honestly (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:28:40 PM EST
    Sorry for your cousin right now.  Many people who have worked with Petraeus love him a lot.  This too shall pass.

    What are leadership abilities? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:42:30 AM EST
    As a person who has never been led, never wants to be led, thinks being led is often a death sentence, I'm really curious what people who appreciate being led mean by it. Seriously, if it's not clear by now, Petraeus is just a very ordinary guy with a very minor league understand of his own psychology, which means what he understand about others is very limited. It merely speaks to how truly incompetent our "best and brightest" so often are in the most human of skills. And how pitifully willing we are to settle for so little from those same people, then praise it as something great. Meanwhile, truly great people toil in obscurity every day far away from any battlefield. Our deification of all things military is a horrendously self-destructive quality, and it is killing a vital part of our national imagination, if any is left at all.

    I think Eugene Debs may've still (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:37:44 PM EST
    said it best: a people who can be led to the Promised Land can be led back out again.

    Watch the parking meters.


    proofreading is a dullard's best friend (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:43:21 AM EST
    Sheesh I suck.  

    Well (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:07:45 PM EST
    I really can't answer your question as this information comes second hand to me.

    He is a human being but not ordinary in some (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:37:51 PM EST
    Ways.  Just like President Obama is not ordinary or Bernie Sanders or either Roosevelt along with slews of other people. They are people willing to be out front and lead others and deal with the scrutiny.  They are willing to take on extra responsibility and the risks that go with that.

    You also have a brother serving within this framework.  And there will always be a form or system to provide national protection.   I think you understand it, but you don't like it.  And this is your right and fine too.


    he's dead on.. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:03:57 PM EST
    the dead wood, the sick romanticization, the rampant lobbyist-crooked pol-contractor fraud with it's revolving door. The waste of resources. The longterm psychological effect on society of an institution in which the idea of unquestioningly following orders is elevated to an IDEAL..

    Juxtapose all that with a historical background of the appalling carnage and utter waste of the last 100 years, and whats to look up to, be led by, or admire?  



    Then why is it still here? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:11:06 PM EST
    Every organized first world nation and some second world has a military, ours has many allies, we all work together usually.  We've all been working together a whole big bunch under Obama.  The social structuring of our military is up to date and fairly common too.  You have more weapons than most and more people in uniform than most and your nation spends more money at it....but that's it.  The basic organization and principles are commonplace and global.

    Pose a useful question (3.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:09:58 PM EST
    as you certainly know that most will agree that we need a military.

    Many of those nations you note have corrupt military.  That is not a useful answer, as now, so do we.

    So, the military cleans up itself, admitting the problems rather than reacting defensively and raising deflective questions, or it gets cleaned up by others.  Now, that suggests useful questions.


    All people are corruptible it would seem (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:04:23 PM EST
    Our government has been corrupt at times and we do away with that, police forces, educations systems.....it would seem the real answer continues to be seek and demand accountability.  Bring down those who abuse power in a very public manner. And I named no nations....and our NATO allies are not notoriously or overly corrupt.

    Just demonizing your military only leads to the freakshow Republicans laying claim to being the national security party, because Liberals and some Democrats want to pretend they don't need this military thingy and the responsibility that entails.  And when something really horrible does happen to us from time to time Democratic and Liberal leadership is steered away from by frightened voters because if you listen to us talk you can't trust us to seriously defend anything.  We sound terrified of even the prospect.

    We have a Democrat President who has demonstrated he is not afraid to manage the military and military matters and I thank the Gods for that.

    Have you noticed the military unwilling to clean this up?  Because I haven't.  I have seen the opposite.  You want to know where the military is dragging its social feet in cleaning chit up?  The issue of rape.


    No, I haven't noticed the military (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:21:20 PM EST
    unwilling to clean this up.  I only have noticed you taking this tack, and you usually represent the thinking of at least some in the military.

    Elsewhere, I see Panetta putting more priority on the military taking steps on ethics issues, and I don't see resistance and defensiveness among others in the Defense Department, either, on the level of yours.  So is this a split between leadership and the ranks?  or just you (and your spouse)?  I dunno.

    Of course, I do know that the military has made many promises to clean up other gendered messes since Tailhook, at least, and enough progress has not been made.  But those are different, if related, issues about far different behaviors.  I would think that getting the military to stop using email like candy could be cleaned up faster.


    Ha! People (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:49:16 PM EST
    Post all sorts of anti military hyperbole here and I'm unjustly defensive after awhile.  That's rich.  Things are posted here that nobody would say to Panettas face in public or anybody serving or their family members.  Because people would have things to say right back to them in public and they would be scrutinized very publicly.and there would be a face to put with what was said.

    Yeah....and I've been arguing that none of this should be dealt with and nobody should take a fall.  Yeah, that's me in a nutshell.


    Well, the active-duty and vets in my family (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:13:40 PM EST
    are furious and feel dishonored.  And you can bet that the vets would say it to Panetta's face.

    In my family, the military sorts are not defensive at all.  Maybe it's another of the Alabama things.


    The military has had a slew of problems (none / 0) (#69)
    by caseyOR on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:19:02 PM EST
    with high-ranking officers of late. So much so that Panetta has ordered a Pentagon investigation into the problem.

    Petraeus and Alen aren't alone. Officers in various positions of authority at different places around the globe are in big trouble. Among them are:

    The deputy commander of the storied 82nd Airborne Division was relieved in May in Afghanistan and is now facing criminal charges that he sexually assaulted or engaged in adultery with five women. Last month, the commander of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Persian Gulf was relieved for "inappropriate leadership judgment" and is under investigation by the Navy's inspector general.

    On Tuesday, Panetta demoted the former four-star commander of the military's Africa Command and ordered him to repay $82,000 for taking lavish or unauthorized trips with his wife.

    Another inspector general probe this fall castigated the three-star commander of the Missile Defense Agency for creating a toxic work environment, describing his style as "management by blowtorch and pliers."

    In terms of the size of the officer corps, these men a drop in the bucket. Still, the hold positions of power in some significant areas. I doubt the Pentagon is thrilled that this action has become necessary.

    Full WaPo story here.


    You have over a 1,000 Generals currently (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:44:19 PM EST
    Serving.  I wouldn't call it a SLEW. Because of who they are they are accountable and very reported on, but let's not pretend that we have more corruption than any metropolitan police force because Generals make the headlines.

    I had to go to the graduation today of the latest Army Warrant Officers.  This class was an older class, average age was 32.  Warrant Officers are technical experts and you have to turn in a packet and try to get chosen and beat out others trying for it.  They graduated them in rows of six and two women were standing next to each other.  They were not young either but it is hard to tell age sometimes when people are that physically fit.  After you are acknowledged, your family if there is allowed to come up and put your new boards on your uniform, your new rank.  That was when I almost started crying because one woman's children came up, one son and one daughter and both were in uniform and both staff sergeants.  The other woman was being tended to by male members of her family in uniform.  The real clincher, all these people were black. The United States needs to see that photo but it isn't mine to show off, it is theirs.  But don't tell me how trashed and phucked the military leadership is because some things they do better than anyone in this country.


    I didn't tell you how "trashed and (5.00 / 4) (#73)
    by caseyOR on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:59:24 PM EST
    phucked" the military leadership is. I believe I noted that the officers cited were a drop in the bucket of the officer corps.

    As to whether the military is more or less corrupt than any metropolitan police corps, well, if your goal is to simply be less corrupt than the average metro police department you have set yourself a very low bar.

    Let's not forget that the U.S. military presents itself as a bit of a paragon of honor in our country. Military PR efforts have for a very long time worked to portray the military as more upright and honorable than the general population. So, yes, based on what the military itself has been telling me my whole life, I expect them to be significantly better than any metro police department.

    There are multitudes of good and honorable people serving in the U.S. military. And the ones who are trashing these good people are the officers who abuse the power their rank confers.  


    More news you can use (none / 0) (#13)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:10:01 AM EST
    The birthers are going full steam ahead with their plans to impeach Obama because...we still don't know where he came from or who he really is...!  

    In addition to the "crime" of closing Guantanamo (which ain't happening any time soon) and plans to give amnesty to all illegal aliens (?), the UN is going to be given authority to tax U.S. citizens. Really!

    The impeachment imperative: (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:12:43 AM EST
    "Our only recourse now is to move forward with the full impeachment of President Obama. We suspect that Obama is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and that there may be grounds for impeachment as is laid out in the constitution. Further, he may not even be a U.S. citizen because nobody, I mean no one, has seen an actual physical copy of his birth certificate. Impeachment is our only option. And Republicans are already considering Obama investigations. As the nation's most effective conservative group we are launching the official impeach Obama campaign."

    This is the (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:42:11 AM EST
    kind of cr*p that made me bang my head against the wall when Obama was preaching PPUS. It's like deja vu with these morons. Lather rinse repeat. I'm sure they can dredge up some charges from the 90's to throw in the mix too.

    About the only thing (none / 0) (#28)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:30:08 PM EST
    the wingers haven't tagged Obama with is being a drug mule for the Medillin cartel. But he might think that's another opening to working bi-partisanly.

    The Right started doing (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 02:51:59 PM EST
    serious, organized outreach to the seriously unbalanced and just-plain-stupid in the nineties with all that Scaife-funded, Fox-enabled lunacy about Arkansas drug dealing and Ron Brown and Vince Foster being murdered..

    Rep Duke Cunningham, I think it was, said at one point that Clinton had been initiated into the Communist Party by Senator Fulbright..

    And we're supposed to support these people's right to carry concealed weapons..


    Let me guess... (none / 0) (#85)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:39:12 PM EST
    ...they just happen to be willing to accept financial donations to assist them in this effort?

    Guy Fieri responds to scthing NYT review (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:55:15 AM EST
    Agenda? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:38:42 PM EST
    -- go after a celebrity chef that's not a New Yorker that's doing big concept in his second month.

    I find it interesting that part of the defense is that it's in it's second month. Should we never eat at a new restaurant because they haven't got it right? At which month should we consider it safe? Will he hang a sign when it's safe to get a decent meal at this one?


    Which is worse? Leaving the reader with (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:16:30 PM EST
    the impression that the reviewer had this experience on one visit, or saying, "on our first visit, we found these problems; on the second, we found the same ones from the first time, plus some new ones," so the reader knows this wasn't just one bad, "off" night?  

    If I were Fieri, I don't think I'd emphasize that the reviewer was there on multiple occasions, because if the reviewer couldn't find anything nice to say about the place after four visits, chances are that no lessons are being learned that would lead to improvement.  Strikes me that the reader could also draw the conclusion that management figures most of its clientele is from tourists who aren't ever coming back anyway, so why strive for a better experience?


    When I read the review (none / 0) (#59)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:33:02 PM EST
    I thought he had ordered multiple items off the menu, and perhaps had a guest or 2 so they could have a large sampling. Much worse that he went 4 times, lol!~ I totally missed that without GF saying so.

    Thing is, when you work in the TS area, you do sometimes hit these places at lunch or after work if you have a med size group and need to please different wants of the diners. AKA, a PC food place for folks to go who don't necessarily socialize together unless work is involved (and many times it's open invite, so there is no head count). I don't think a Matinee Wed crowd will keep them open if they are truly that bad. Regs on the square won't rec them with all the other options either. And tourist do ask!


    Obama (none / 0) (#25)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:05:56 PM EST
    visited portions of New York City that were ravaged by the hurricane several weeks ago. That's a good thing, I think.

    He visited Staten Island, hard hit.
    He flew over Queens, NY. I wish he had walked the streets a bit in Queens, where so many minorities have been impacted.

    The question I have is about money.
    Will the Federal government be forthcoming with the funds necessary to rebuild New York.

    Sometimes I think, yes... maybe.

    Then there is this:

    Mr. Cuomo (Governor of New York) had earlier announced that he would request $30 billion in federal aid for storm-related expenses, including everything from repairing bridges, tunnels and subway lines to paying emergency workers' overtime costs. The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said aboard Air Force One on the way to New York that the administration had no specific response because it had not received details of the request.

    That response gives me the same old sinking feeling I had from the days of W. and his mealy-mouthed slippery press secretaries.
    What details could they possibly require?
    Couldn't Carney be a wee bit more sensitive - or at least try to make people feel that help was on the way - rather than give a bureaucrateze response that infers to me - fahgettaboudit.

    NB: $30 Billion is about what we spend in Afghanistan every three months. (Pentagon estimate: $300,000,000.00 a day.)

    Another perspective for your nota bene (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:24:24 PM EST
    on the $30 billion is that it approaches the amount of money gone missing or unaccounted for  in the Iraq war--according to the Pentagon it can't account for $15 billion in payments for goods and services or the missing billions of Iraq money in US custody that the inspector general concluded may have been stolen.

    You Assume FEMA... (2.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:13:00 PM EST
    ...has the funds, not just NY, but the entire region is going to ask for a lot of money.

    If they don't, it is November, Congress has to approve additional funding to FEMA and that could be a nightmare.

    So maybe they are trying to figure a couple things before they commit, like how much is everyone else going to ask for and where it's going to come from.  I get that you need to bash Obama, but really, they haven't even received the request and you are already dropping GWB bombs ?


    You (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:26:54 PM EST
    are under a misapprehension.

    I have no "need" or desire to  "bash" (whatever that means) Obama.

    I do have a need to be aware of the way that our government, local and federal, has been treating us for many decades.

    I was suggesting that Carney could have been a little more compassionate in his response. People in New York, which the president was visiting, are still digging out from the disaster. In some communities, power was restored only a few days ago.

    Obviously, Carney can't "commit" to distributing funds.
    But he could have said something general about doing whatever they could to get the funds necessary to help people get back on their feet. Saying, "the administration had no specific response because it had not received details of the request", is heartless mumbo jumbo. The specific detail is that the governor of the State of New York estimated that it would take 30 billion dollars for the State to repair the damage done by the storm. Carney could have just said that he was sure that the President would do what he could to see that he got what he needed.

    I think you sometimes forget that this website is called, "TalkLeft". It is a progressive website. It is issue oriented. Mostly it supports candidates from the Democratic party because the alternatives appear to be disastrous. But it is not "TalkDem", or "TalkIncumbent".


    So You Comparred This Administration... (2.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:45:53 PM EST
    ...to Bush's because Carney wasn't compassionate enough, got it.  

    All you do is complain about Obama, and like this, it always amount to a hill of beans.  Today that hill consists of 'heartless mumbo jumbo'.

    Do you really think any of the state aren't going to get the money they request ?


    You (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:02:26 PM EST
    may not be aware of it, but Barack Obama is the current president of the US. He is also the titular leader of the democratic party.
    As HST is said to have said, the buck stops with him.

    This titular leader and president picked Carney to be his press secretary - just as he kept on Patraeus - just as he bonded with Timmy Geithner - just as he bonded with Rick Warren. I don't know why. I don't care why. But these people are among the most prominent faces of his administration;

    Although I registered as a democrat, I see no need, and feel no pressure to praise a democrat for behaving like a republican;

    Methinks you are a wee bit more partisan than I.

    If Obama is active and effective in getting needed aid to New York I will be among those to praise him for it. But I make no assumptions about what will transpire.

    And - I reiterate - I think what Carney said really stunk.


    Got All That... (none / 0) (#92)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:53:46 AM EST
    ...and you still...
    Compared This Administration to Bush's because Carney wasn't compassionate enough.

    I don't know who is more partisan, you say you are a D, but all your posts are Obama bashing, and like this one, aren't about anything in particular, just that you wanted to cuddle and Carney just left, and now you are hurt, and that is Obama's fault.


    Oh, really. (2.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:29:07 PM EST
    lentinel: "I have no 'need' or desire to 'bash' (whatever that means) Obama."

    Well, then you've sure had me fooled. Tell me, when was the last time you said something complimentary about President Obama?

    Dogs bark, the caravan passes.


    I'll (none / 0) (#72)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 04:55:33 PM EST
    compliment the object of your affection when I am moved to do so.
    At present, for me, he remains to be a combination of W's third term combined with someone the current description of someone who is "better than Romney".

    Since when is it obligatory to praise a government official?

    You really have a right-wing streak.


    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:44:27 PM EST
    someone whose job it is to communicate with the media and by extension, the public, to do a better job of responding to the question.  Carney could have, for example, said that while they didn't have any hard figures yet, it was important for those in the region and affected by the disaster to be assured that the government would do what it needed to do to rebuild and get people, and businesses and the local economy back on their collective feet.

    It's really not that hard if I can figure out how to say it, is it?

    In spite of the constant reminders of the "looming fiscal cliff," we all know that the government has an unlimited ability to borrow and that it has never been cheaper to do so, so taking shelter in the arms of "we don't even know if FEMA has the funds" is really kind of insulting to the average person's intelligence.


    Government borrowing... (none / 0) (#87)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:53:08 PM EST
    ...isn't the issue, it's whether the House of Representatives, where all spending bills have to originate (The Constitution says so), actually appropriates the funds.

    FEMA may be able to juggle bookkeeping entries to divert money out of their paperclip fund or somewhere else from money they've already been allocated, maybe the executive branch can juggle word definitions to divert monies from other approved expenditures by other departments, but at the end of the day Obama can't go out on his own and borrow the money in the government's name, the Congress has to act to authorize that borrowing.


    If you think for one minute that the (none / 0) (#89)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:29:20 AM EST
    Congress isn't going to appropriate sufficient monies for Sandy relief, you must be smoking something.  Granted, it's possible they will use it as leverage to make cuts somewhere else - more and more a standard tactic - but there's no way they risk the political fallout from denying aid to the area.

    I'm quite aware of how the process works, and that Obama, all by his lonesome, does not have the power to allocate and appropriate funds, thank you; my larger point, in case you missed it, is that all this hysterical talk about the fiscal cliff and the burden we're passing on to future generations is in service to an agenda, and not the truth.  Sadly, that agenda does not and will not serve the economy or the people well.


    Agreed... (none / 0) (#93)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:06:31 AM EST
    ...my point was it's hardly worthy to blame Obama because an underlings lacks of empathy and sure as hell isn't worthy of a GWB comparison.

    I think you are a bit whack if you think this isn't going to get wrapped up in the entire fiscal showdown.  The right is going to want something, seems far more likely they will cave at this point, but they have to at least grandstand and they just might do what they do best, stand firm especially if they can wrap this into the budget and use the numbers against Obama.


    remember U.S. District Court Judge Pratt (none / 0) (#29)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:37:24 PM EST
    This week Stephanie Rose was sworn in as the new U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Iowa. Senator Tom Harkin commented on the legacy of Judge Robert Pratt, whom Rose succeeded. I didn't realize that Pratt was a longtime critic of mandatory sentencing laws for non-violent drug offenses. He was the judge whose sentence of probation (not 30-37 months in prison) for one offender led to the Gall v. United States Supreme Court case.

    Cool map showing how Obama won. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Angel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:07:08 PM EST
    Here's something sweet. (none / 0) (#76)
    by Angel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 05:18:40 PM EST
    Boy abandoned as a newborn gets to meet firefighter who saved him 10 years ago.