Saturday Morning Open Thread

2 college bowl game picks - Boise (-6) over Washington and LA-Lafayette (-6) over East Carolina (4 units.)

Also too, Detroit Lions (+4) over Atlanta Falcons.

Open Thread.

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  • More guns and armed teachers will protect us.... (5.00 / 12) (#1)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:19:16 AM EST
    Columbine had an armed guard.

    Virginia Tech had their own police dept.

    Ft. Hood was a military base.

    People are already so polarized on this issue. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MyLeftMind on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:18:04 PM EST
    We don't have to go wild arming the teachers and kids (Readin', Writin', and Shootin') to increase safety. But simplistic arguments against defense aren't helping either. Right now there's too much personal and media bias on both sides of this issue to find reasonable solutions.

    There are plenty of measures we can take to protect our children. I'd start with installing bulletproof glass on windows and doors in schools that already have security systems designed to keep shooters out of the school. Inner city schools have reduced violence by using metal detectors. Sure, it sucks to make a school look like jail, but it sucks worse to lose your kids to a nutcase on a killing spree.

    Dr. Molly, I think we're in agreement on many things, but I've seen weapons save lives as well as seen foolish mistakes create dangerous and deadly situations. I think I know both sides, and I understand that people who are not comfortable using a gun don't want strangers around them with weapons. But simplistic claims that more guns don't help simply aren't true.

    Columbine's armed guard may not have been as brave as Dawn Hochsprung, the Sandy Hook principal who was killed trying to stop Adam Lanza.  Imagine if she had been trained to defend herself and had a weapon available, even it it was just rubber bullets or a tazer and a kevlar vest. She had time to turn the PA on. Could she have grabbed a weapon on her way to stop the shooter? Could she have delayed Lanza until the police came? Maybe she and all the children would be alive today. The Columbine guard just called for help and was told to wait for the swat team. Virginia Tech police may have not done their jobs correctly, since disgrunted student, Seung-Hui Cho, had a couple of hours to changed his clothes and regroup before attacking more students. Professors died that day trying to barricade their classrooms while students climbed out windows. They were shot through classroom doors as they bravely tried to hold them shut. Another professor led his students to a lockable room, then was murdered when he courageously went to try to stop the gunman. Once again, protective equipment and weapons could have saved each of those teachers who valiantly lost their lives defending their students.

    In Grundy Virginia, an ex-student mass murderer was finally stopped when two people went to their cars to get weapons in spite of the fact that guns were banned on campus. Link  
    Here's a principal in Mississippi school who stopped a shooter by retriving his own handgun from his car: Link  

    Your Fort Hood example of why more guns don't help sounds good until you think about what regular daily life is like on a military base. Most military personnel come to work and do their jobs just like the rest of us. Some of them are doctors, others are secretaries, others program computers or work in child care centers. They might be wearing fatigues but they're not packing heat.  

    I hope you and others at TL step away from your personal discomfort with guns and keep an open mind about the right to self defense. We don't have to be a society of gunslingers to have a reasonable and sensible approach to ensuring personal and public safety. In almost all of the school and college massacres, a simple emergency lock down button in every classroom and office could have alerted the authorities and locked every door in the building. Bulletproof glass and impenetrable doors and windows would have left Adam Lanza standing in the hallways unable to murder kids. We have many options, and I don't want to exclude any of them just because people are leery of weapons. If a gun could have saved Sandy Hook's principal, Dawn Hochsprung, then I want valiant administrators like her armed and trained. Because her first instinct was to lunge at the shooter and stop him before he massacred children and teachers. At the very least, she deserved a way to protect herself. Let's not cheapen her sacrifice by closing our minds against anything that might have saved her.

    To help keep the peace during this discussion, here's a link to a song that helps me remember to remain hopeful and not feel so much despair over the world's craziness - Noa's version of Ave Maria.


    My husband is a soldier and he qualifies (5.00 / 5) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:54:22 AM EST
    Expert with an M-16, he is an Apache master gunner, he also surprisingly qualified expert on a SAW machine gun after a brief class on it which I guess is unreal, almost never happens, it is a difficult weapon to learn without lots of practice.

    The military is very concerned now about collateral damage, so engaging enemy has lots and lots of rules around it now.  During active engagement my husband doubts that more than 50% of the bullets are finding the shooters intended mark.  He asks you to consider that the people firing the shots are as weapons practiced as they come.  He asks you to ask yourself where the other 50% are going.  He asks you to also consider the shoot throughs since he has witnessed one bullet wounding more than one person.  He also asks you to contemplate the insanity of a crossfire situation and that are inviting that kind of insanity into your civilization.  He thinks people who think more guns will make us safer are nuts :)


    As I've already said: (none / 0) (#96)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:09:13 AM EST
    More guns aren't the answer.

    the weapons that your husband (none / 0) (#113)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:50:10 PM EST
    is talking about are fully automatic correct?  If so, of course only 50 percent of bullets are missing their target.  This is a different situation where fully automatic weapons are not part of the equation.
    Of course we don't want situations with a lot of crossfire and collateral damage.
    I remember back in 2008 when there was an elderly black man in Chicago who urged a change in their gun laws.  He said he and his neighbors were tired of being sitting ducks just waiting for more thugs to victimize them.  They wanted the right to bear arms for their own protection. It made me think and ultimately to change my mind about people owning guns for defense of them and theirs.

    yes, I think that an armed guard (none / 0) (#114)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:53:51 PM EST
    at the entrance to the school where the window was blown out would have prevented  the death of all those children and staff members.  At least there would have been a chance.  
    If your husband disagrees he should sign on and talk to me himself.  Otherwise I have all the confidence in the world that you can defend your own opinions.

    Oh I can (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:08:45 PM EST
    He has simply had a hell of a lot more weapons experience than I have ever had. I practically don't know what to say during these gun discussions because I have chosen to not join gun culture.  The only scenario I can fathom if someone enters a school shooting is how to get myself and others to cover and that's it.  I have not seen people blown to shreds though by bullets, he has.  I haven't seen innocent people hit, he has.  I am unfamilar with the reality that most proclaim with confidence is a happy healthy reality for the civilians of the United States, and they really aren't either.  You are only all pissed off right now because someone who has lived many of the scenarios you invision as good and fine things and who has seen firsthand how overwhelmingly fallible human beings with guns often are has shot holes in your shining confidence.

    So, can your guard at schools only shoot those trying to shoot out windows?  Is that going to be their only approved scenario to draw and shoot that will avoid wounding the other children around them in crossfire and shoot throughs?  


    MT, your husband has (none / 0) (#122)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    zero experience in a civilian type mass shooting within the US at a school or mall.

    As such his comments are no more valid than anyone else.

    We do know that in actual quantifiable situations, guns in the hands of the good guys has stopped the killers.

    Could someone be killed by mistake? Possibly.

    But possibly is a lot better than the "for sure" the victims at Va Tech, Newton, the Aurora theater and Columbine suffered.


    Got a link (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:49:04 PM EST
    for this claim

    "We do know that in actual quantifiable situations, guns in the hands of the good guys has stopped the killers."

    as it relates to mass shootings the U.S.?


    And not a link to that silly blog (none / 0) (#139)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:20:15 PM EST
    you posted for Yman. An actual link to an actual news story about an actual mass shooting in the U.S.

    Guns in the hands of good guys (5.00 / 4) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:37:48 PM EST
    Are not more accurate than guns in the hands of the most weapons proficient military the world has ever known.  There is not some good guy cloud that drops down from heaven and envelopes you in perfect judgement and accuracy during extreme stress and crisis because you are a good guy.

    My husband has watched fire fights from overhead.  He says you just simply throw your hands up and understand while it is going on that it is a clusterphuck.  Hopefully you can eventually sort it out when one side runs out of bullets.

    I think you are stark raving mad myself, just my opinion.


    Milly (none / 0) (#209)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:50:42 AM EST
    I think i will be siding with JimakaPP here.

    Respectfully, i would submit that your self avowed lack of experiance with firearms does not lend credence to your husband's opinion.  

    I have many years of both Military and Police experiance. Two wars and the Mexican Border as part of them. My specialized unit teams with SWAT and one other for our special ops division.  

    As such, I respond to all major incidents.  

    Police are legally responsible for every round they fire.  (there is a lawsuit attached to every bullet) Soldiers are not.  Yes, I understand "minimizing collateral damage", but it is different.  I flew Marine helos, and have a secondary MOS of 0302 (infantry).  So I have walked in similar shoes as his and I do not see them as equivalent to police situations. We have no "acceptable loss rate" we have no "acceptable collateral" damage, we dont regularly use "suppressive fire" and we cannot be court matialed for cowardice in the face of the enemy.  Both a SAW and his chain gun on his helicopter are area effect weapons.  So are his hell fire missiles...  We don't propose to arm the guards with those either.

    JimakaPP is on the right track.  While a good guy with a gun isn't what always ends mass shootings, it is the most common way. The other reasons are running out of ammo, (Columbine) and a malfunctioned weapon they cannot clear (Tuson and Aurora)

    But on another note, I thank him for his service and your perseverance and patience.  Sincerely.


    Unless of course . . . (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:25:20 AM EST
    Adam winds up shooting the armed guard standing at the entrance to the school . . . remember, the kid knew how to shoot.

    I don't think so. (none / 0) (#210)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:54:24 AM EST
    I doubt the guard would have stood there like Barney Fife when a guy dressed like Lanza was saunters up to the door with long guns.   I think his spidey sense would at least be tingling.  :-)

    Do you know if the entrance (none / 0) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:01:02 PM EST
    where the window was blown out was the only entrance to the school? Was there possibly more than one entrance to the school? Usually there are front, back and side doors to the schools in my area and they have classrooms near the entrances.  

    excellent comment (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:40:39 PM EST
    and I judge it that way because you manage to make your point without being provocative or intolerant. I keep telling my friends in the NRA that they had better join the conversation about what changes should be made because holding on to the idea that there will be no changes made in gun legislation is magical thinking.
    Even a friend of mine, who is a retired Jersey cop and ground zero for "you'll get my AR 15 when you pry it from my cold dead hands", thinks Wayne La Pierre made an ass of himself the other day.

    We disagree completely on guns, MLM. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:26:38 PM EST
    But thanks very much for your nice post, thanks for the Ave Maria, and very Happy Holidays to you.

    Our opinions are not really so far apart. (none / 0) (#26)
    by MyLeftMind on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:29:32 PM EST
    I don't want to let just anyone pack heat. I would trust Dawn Hochsprung to do what's right, and I trust myself because I'm sensible and experienced. I grew up with guns and I'm ex-military, but I have kids so I don't keep guns in my home. Even so, I've taught them gun use and safety in the event there's an emergency and they need to use a weapon.

    The main reason I don't want to ban all automatic rifles is because I don't trust the government to protect us little people if we have a major catastrophe that results in disruption of basic services and food delivery. Within two to three weeks, resources will be depleted in most cities and chaos would ensue. While police and military resources are drawn away to deal with the emergency and protect politicians and other important rich people, regular folks like us will be at risk of those who resort to stealing and even killing for food. Many of them will have banded into groups. Single shot weapons simply not effective in keeping multiple attackers at bay.

    I have a feeling that many people who want an assault weapon ban don't really believe our country could ever come to be in the situation above.


    Speculation about doomsday (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:14:14 PM EST
    should not trump the reality of killing today.

    We have by most accounts some 300 million weapons in this country.   If more guns were the answer, we would be there by now....

    Countries with fewer guns, have fewer gun deaths....


    More guns aren't the answer. (none / 0) (#92)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:52:51 AM EST
    But the right to protect yourself is what's guaranteed by the Second Amendment. I speculate about why we might need to protect ourselves simply because so many people are blind to the reality of what life will be like if push comes to shove...

    If push came to shove, I would prefer (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:27:17 AM EST
    those mobs that you fear who will resort to stealing and even killing for food are not armed with automatic weapons and/or have large capacity magazines.



    They will be armed even if we institute a ban (none / 0) (#100)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:46:45 AM EST
    or the huge tax some here have proposed. Criminals will still be able to stockpile inexpensive ammo because they don't pay taxes on their black market purchases.

    We don't have the luxury of securely managing what comes into this country as easily as other smaller countries that have more defensible borders. We can't even keep aliens from entering illegally. And we have a huge push from the left to not secure the border against people who want to avoid immigration law. I doubt we'll be able to keep out automatic weapons.


    those mobs will be armed (none / 0) (#120)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:22:11 PM EST
    no doubt about that.

    Yeah, it's also considered treason (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:45:03 PM EST
    which is why this entire discussion of taking up arms against the U.S. government is such a f*cking joke. But whatever. You are certainly welcome to your fantasies.

    I do not think the "mobs" (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:56:29 PM EST
    they are referring to are rebelling against the government.

    According to their comments, these "mobs" are coming to steal our food and kill ordinary citizens like you and me.  


    I think their fantasies include (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:23:27 PM EST
    taking up arms against any and all they imagine to be coming for them. Jack-booted thug, soccer mom in an earthquake...

    Not treason, technically, so much as (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:40:49 PM EST
    sedition or insurrection. Treason against the United States is narrowly defined in the Constitution as waging war against the U.S. or siding with the enemy in a war.

    Who will protect me from you (5.00 / 5) (#135)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:11:20 PM EST
    if you run out of food and have the fire power to take it away from me?

    Hear, hear (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:18:19 PM EST
    Wish I could give this comment a "10" because it really demonstrates the mind frame of those pushing the "more guns is better" theory.

    I know our country could come to that (none / 0) (#118)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:17:12 PM EST
    we have already seen it in small doses in places where the social fabric is thin.

    So which do you consider yourself (none / 0) (#132)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:05:49 PM EST
    a prepper or a doomsayer?

    More important IMO is (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:49:08 PM EST
    where the caches of food are stored. Probably need the password too. :-)

    I Agree with your (none / 0) (#89)
    by Amiss on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:11:25 AM EST
     Paragraph about the  lockdown and I see how wwell the double entrance woorks. I honestly believe that the number of weapons a person owns should be limited and ALL semi-automatic and automatic weapon should be bought back and destroyed. I believe also that these "kits" to convert  semi-automatic to automatic should be "encouraged" to go into another business by a certaain time, if they dont co-operate,
    Then they should be punissheed  harshly.

    I think there is a profound mis-perception that "semi-automatic weapon" equals "semi-automatic military-looking weapon originally designed for killing people."

    Of all the people I know who own guns, only a few have "semi-automatic military-looking weapons."

    Semi-automatic weapons run the gammut from a kid's backyard CO2-powered BB-gun to pistols to varmint guns to bird shotguns to hog/deer/elk/etc. hunting rifles to military-looking weapons and probably a few others I'm forgetting.


    It makes more sense (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:35:25 PM EST
    to put a teacher in every gun shop.  And for starters, any adult who discusses crime in terms of "bad guys" and "good guys"  gets extra homework.

    Molly, the Columbine gurard (2.00 / 2) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:50:03 PM EST
    tried to go into the school but was told not to go...wait for SWAT. There is no doubt that if he had engaged them... shot at them... his actions would have kept them from killing many others.

    There have been law suits over this very issue.

    None of the victims at Ft Hood had a weapon. The two who finally stopped the killing were armed police.

    Va Tech... The killer went in and killed and then left. The school was locked down and about two hours later he entered another building killing more... No one knows where he was but he wasn't found. Locking down schools is a very questionable strategy.


    "No doubt?" (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:01:48 PM EST
    Maybe in your mind, but in the real world in which the rest of us live, there is no basis for claiming that if the armed guard had been allowed to go into the school, fewer people would have been killed.

    We simply don't know that.

    It's just as possible that if he had gone in there, more confusion would have ensued, that bullets flying in yet another direction could have added to the deaths and injuries, and one more person with a weapon could have impeded police arriving later, rather than helping them.


    Behavior patterns of rampage killers, (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Tamta on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:23:14 PM EST
    unlike terrorists, usually show that they either kill themselves or quietly surrender once confronted- when emotional dominance is threatened. In the Paducah shooting, the boy allowed an unarmed teacher and prayer leader to approach him and take his gun away.  The Columbine shooters did fire back at police(a more unusual case because it was not a lone shooter), but killed themselves during a lull. The Clackamas shooter made eye contact with someone (who happened to have a conceal carry), took one more shot and then shot himself. The Norwegian attacker was on the phone making plans to turn himself in, however while still launching his attack, and peacefully gave himself up to police when they arrived. I think a lone, armed attacker of this particular type, would have a difficult time establishing emotional dominance over an officer or guard (armed or not maybe). I am not saying all deaths could be prevented by an officer but there may be more survivors and less injured.

    Common sense tells us that if killers are engaged (none / 0) (#116)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:09:46 PM EST
    by law enforcement, or anyone else for that matter, they will be distracted and their plans kill not be successful.

    Now, could there be collateral death and injuries?

    Possibly. But possibly is much better than "for sure."


    "Common sense" tells us THAT? (none / 0) (#163)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:34:50 PM EST
    Dude, you've been watching way too many old movies and television shows. Real life violence seldom plays out like High Noon or an episode of Gunsmoke.  More often than not, it resembles the opening scene of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.

    no reason to believe your (none / 0) (#136)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:13:24 PM EST
    scenario would happen at all.  Concerning Columbine, there is plenty of reason to believe that someone trained in weapons and how to use them would have been able to make a difference with two teenagers who otherwise had no experience, just a lot of defenseless victims with no one to stand in the way of killing them.
    At Sandy Hook, had an armed guard stepped out of that office rather than the principal and having seen the bullet proof vest, shot for the shoulder and then the head....no dead students and teachers. Not having seen the bullet proof vest, two to the chest, one to the head the result is the same.  Yes, someone might have been caught in the crossfire but not 26 someones.
    I am not typing all of this because this seems like a good scenario to me.  It seems horrible.  But you are the one saying it would not make a difference to have armed guards. Clearly it would. But I am wondering from what experience you form your opinion other than the experience of reading other "anti-gun" opinion?
    If you say "we don't know" and what you mean is that you don't know, well then recognize that and learn. Ask questions.  
    I am far from an expert, but I have some knowledge and some experience.  
    Do you know the difference between an automatic and semi automatic weapon? Do you know which bullets will stop with one person and which will pass through and possibly kill a second?  If someone is sideways to you do you know where to aim to kill?  ..... probably not and I am guessing you don't really want to know, but an armed guard does know these things.  Being armed and trained is not just crazy out of control firing and shooting up the walls and windows like in the movies.

    Hmmmm Not so clear at all (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:28:28 PM EST
    To the best of my knowledge the Jefferson County Sheriff's department train their deputies on how to use weapons.

    Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Neil Gardner was armed and at Columbine at the time of the shootings.

    Some accounts state that Lanza was regularly taken to shooting ranges and that he was proficient in their use. What if Lanza was better trained than the teacher?  


    Maybe one of these days, you'll let go of (5.00 / 5) (#157)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:27:33 PM EST
    the death grip you have on making your point, and actually read and comprehend what others are saying.

    There's a big hint right at the beginning of my comment: "No doubt?"

    I was questioning jim's declaration that there was "no doubt that armed guards at the schools would have no doubt that if he had engaged them... shot at them... his actions would have kept them from killing many others."

    In other words, I did not say - as you seem to think I did - that it wouldn't have made a difference, but that no one knows what would have or could have happened.

    You and others always seem to make these assumptions that there will be good or better outcomes if you add more people with guns to the scenario, but consistently fail to consider that it isn't just the outcome of the immediate situation that could be other than as you imagine it, but you also fail to consider the day-to-day effect on the psyches of children going to locked-down schools with armed guards.

    And yes, I am familiar with the fact that many schools already have locked doors and sign-in/sign-out procedures.

    I'm just thrilled for you that you have "some knowledge and experience," but challenging me on mine is kind of pointless, because I don't own a gun now, and don't plan to.  And I don't have to own one or be trained on one to know that guns don't make people smarter, ever - they give people with short tempers, questionable reasoning skills, and an overblown sense of their own power an option for dealing with life's problems that kills people.


    You know what my husband said about armed (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:54:30 PM EST
    Guards at schools, the people doing these things will only prepare for them.  Course he has a sort of broken mentality when compared to the rest of us when discussing the planned killing of others because he has actually done it.  But he's right, everyone who has done these things planned and prepared for challenges.  Some prepared better than others, some experienced more dumb luck than others.

    If the school is too well guarded though, take out a crowded bus stop.  There is sadly more than one way to bring so much pain and suffering to others that you are long remembered if you have the weapon to get it done with.


    Even Republicans can make sense sometimes (5.00 / 3) (#161)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:08:08 PM EST
    Christie makes a similar point:

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Friday said he doesn't think putting armed guards in every school is a sound response to last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

    "In general I don't think that the solution to safety in schools is putting an armed guard because for it to be really effective in my view, from a law enforcement perspective, you have to have an armed guard at every classroom," Christie said while appearing at an event in Newark, N.J. "Because if you just have an armed guard at the front door then what if this guy had gone around to the side door? There's many doors in and out of schools." link

    Guns don't kill people (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    People with access to guns kill people :)

    Strong educated guess (none / 0) (#211)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:08:46 AM EST

    Actually, that was exactly the conclusion reached from studying the Columbine shooting.

    So let's talk about the real world...

    Policy  in every major department in the US is to confront active shooters as quickly as possible.  Never again will we wait for SWAT.

    The shooter(s) have likely planned this for weeks on how to wreak maximum damage before help arrives. Disrupting the plan anyway possible will save lives in the long run.  

    You might want to watch the school cams from the Columbine shooting.  I think the conclusion is self evident after doing so....


    The text of a CNN special has (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:19:08 PM EST
    details of on-site deputy and police response including time lines for Columbine for anyone who wants to read it and come to their own conclusions.

    So, these explanations you've offered ... (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:11:20 PM EST
    ... for our consideration, are they your rationale and excuse to maintain the status quo and do nothing?

    With very few exceptions, i.e., the Tate-LaBianca killings, these sorts of massacres weren't occurring on a regular basis when I was growing up.

    Yet according to Mother Jones, which has compiled the documentation on such incidents over the last three decades, we've had 62 mass murders by firearms since 1982, in which the shooter took the lives of at least four people in a single incident or in a very short period of time, not including his own. With one exception, all these crimes were perpetrated by males, and 45 of them were white. In 49 of these 62 occurrences, the firearm(s) was obtained legally by the shooter. Semi-automatic handguns were by far the weapon of choice, followed by assault rifles.

    The United States comprises about 4% of the world's population, yet we account for 50% of all firearms in private hands worldwide. We have a little less than 300 million firearms in this country, almost one per person.

    Yet while it is true that the number of American gun owners has actually decreased over the last three decades, from 50% of all U.S. households in 1982 to about 32% of households today, the actual number of guns per owner has skyrocketed alarmingly; nearly two-thirds of all firearms are now owned by only 20% of the population.

    And again, while it is also true that the murder rate in this country has fallen over the last decade,  the number of people requiring hospitalization from gunshot wounds has actually risen 47%, from 20,844 in 2001 to 30,759 in 2011.

    The primary reason why that murder rate has decreased is because hospitals have gotten much better at trauma care. 14% of gunshot victims in 2010 eventually expired from their wounds, which is a nearly 10% decrease from ten years earlier.

    Clearly, these numbers underscore what has become increasingly problematic issue in this country, the proliferation of guns and their corresponding concentration in fewer and fewer hands. The status quo is clearly not working, and we are paying very dearly for own stubbornness when we refuse to address the problem in any resolute or meaningful way.



    Why don't we (none / 0) (#95)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:05:45 AM EST
    just keep guns out of the hands of men.

    Why not, indeed? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:01:20 AM EST
    This is one issue where we can note a definite gender gap. Women account for only 10% of all licensed gun owners in this country, and according to the latest polling, 56% of all men are opposed to any further efforts at gun control, while 60% of women favor the enactment more restrictive measures to prevent their further proliferation.

    more people are beaten to death (none / 0) (#142)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:27:14 PM EST
    than shot, also mostly by young men.  The number one cause of death for pregnant women is death by significant other/baby daddy.  With we cared as much about that.  
    What difference does it make if the same five guys own more guns if only one of them is dangerous?  Are the other four more dangerous because they have more guns now?  How do you multiply zero danger of  mass murder?
    BTW, Adam Lanza did not legally obtain those guns.  They were not his.  He stole them from his mother and he killed her with them. She was very tragically blind to her son's mental illness and what it entailed.

    Please. Is there any indication (5.00 / 3) (#178)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:10:33 PM EST
    Adam Lanza had acted in a violent manner in the past.  If so , was his mother aware of those facts?  Same re previous threats of violence.

    But we don't hear about mass beatings, do we? (5.00 / 6) (#193)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:03:22 PM EST
    If Adam Lanza had beaten his  mother to death, because there were no guns in the house, do you suppose he would then have gone on a beating rampage at the school - you know, broken the windows with his hands or a bat, and then gone in and systematically beaten those 26 people to death?

    Or used some other method besides guns?

    And then, what - beaten himself to death?

    I don't.

    If she hadn't had all those guns, there would have been nothing to steal from her, would there?

    But, but, but....


    The facts do not correspond with (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:41:27 AM EST
    your assumptions on Columbine. Your statement:

    There is no doubt that if he had engaged them... shot at them... his actions would have kept them from killing many others.

    Facts: Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Neil Gardner did engage one of them and did exchange shots with Harris. They killed others after this exchange.

    Gardner, seeing Harris working with his gun, leaned over the top of the car and fired four shots.  He was 60 yards from the gunman.  Harris spun hard to the right and Gardner momentarily thought he had hit him. Seconds later, Harris began shooting again at the deputy.

    After the exchange of gunfire, Harris ran back into the building.

    The facts are that (none / 0) (#117)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:14:09 PM EST
    the Deputy was stopped from pursuing the killers.

    They were let go to kill at their leisure.

    The police even let a teacher bleed to death long after the killers had killed themselves... and the county was sued...and rightly so. The idea of the police standing by while killers kill is disgusting.


    So basically what you are saying is (5.00 / 5) (#128)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:47:58 PM EST
    that regardless of the fact that a deputy was on the scene and traded fire with Harris and additional armed police personnel arrived on the scene within minutes of the call for backup, the scene was not handled correctly and too many people lost their lives.

    Lots of heavily armed police trained in the use of weapons were on the scene and the killings happened anyway.

    Yet, one guard or a teacher trained to shoot is sure to handle a crisis situation correctly and all these lives are saved.

    Somehow that seems like really twisted logic.


    It's confederate logic (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by shoephone on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:16:23 PM EST
    there ya go (none / 0) (#146)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:40:10 PM EST
    dumb ass southern republican redneck gun nut logic, right?

    thats not what he said (none / 0) (#149)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:43:07 PM EST
    which you know because you read his comments.  They were told to stand by for the SWAT team which took hours to do what they were there for.  They were pathetic and they should have allowed the original guard on the job to do what he was there for.  He may have lost his life.  That should have been his choice.

    I think I acknowledged his claim that (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:05:35 PM EST
    "the scene was not handled correctly and too many people lost their lives." in my response.

    I did challenge the assumption that a guard or a teacher trained to shoot would handle a crisis situation correctly and all the lives would be saved.

    I do agree that one deputy without knowing the number or locations of the shooters entering the building without backup might have lost his life.


    Guard vs shooter (none / 0) (#213)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:24:44 AM EST
    There is a key difference.

    At Columbine, the deputy was on the outside and wanting to (eventually) get in.

    In the scenario of a guard, the guard is on the inside in the defensive position, and the active shooter is trying to get in.

    Defense has the advantage.  

    Also, 60 yards is an incredibly long shot with a handgun.   Most police only practice to 15 yards and almost none beyond 25 yards.  


    Many changes in how the police react to mass (5.00 / 4) (#156)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    shootings were instituted after Columbine. Before Columbine it was SOP for first-on-the-scene police to secure the area and then wait for SWAT to arrive and form up. After Columbine police, first responders not SWAT, everywhere were trained to charge into the school or church or mall or wherever the shooting was happening, find the shooter and kill or capture.

    Law enforcement looked at what happened at Columbine, studied it and made serious and far-reaching changes. Police in just about every community in the U.S. now receive training in how to neutralize a mass shooter. Nobody stops and waits for SWAT anymore.

    And the police at Columbine were not pathetic. They were doing what they had been trained to do. in that situation. When Columbine made clear that what they were doing was not going to work, law enforcement responded by changing.

    I have many problems with how today's militarized law enforcement conducts itself. The collective response to Columbine, the complete retooling of response training, is not one of those problems.


    Concur (none / 0) (#212)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 03:12:59 AM EST
    Just like hijackers with box cutters will never hit the pentagon with anairliner again...   Those hijacked pilots on 911 were following the accepted training and protocols of the time.   Those protocols have changed.  

    I can remember at the time (none / 0) (#104)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:39:43 AM EST
    I was infuriated that the SWAT team seemed more interested in their own safety than that of the children and staff in the school.  Had they just gone in that one teacher who bled to death would not have died.  I remember the children in the closet being told to stay where they were long after we now know both shooters were dead.  It was totally mishandled.  I agree that they guard should have been free to enter the school at his own discretion.  Obviously he was trained in hand to hand armed combat and could have made a difference.

    As far as Virginia Tech.... I am not seeing the wisdom of having a lot of armed college kids running around campus.  That is a suggestion I have seen many times since the incident. Suppose the shooting started and fifteen or so students took off running with their guns.  No one knowing who the shooter is, they start confronting each other.  I can't figure out how that works.
    So if you do not favor lock down, what should they have done?


    And where would all those guns be kept (5.00 / 6) (#110)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:11:08 PM EST
    during the four nights a week when so many college students are drinking excessively?

    I think that (2.00 / 1) (#151)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:49:44 PM EST
    was more of a comment than a question because I can find no reason for that question given the comment I made.  So why not say what you want to say?  Got guts?

    Ignoring the hostile tone of your comment (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:05:54 PM EST
    I will just point out that I was agreeing with you, Teresa, and reinforcing your comment about college students.  You know, folks don't only comment to disagree; at least, I don't.

    Conservative Outlets Slam (none / 0) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:58:44 PM EST
    'Craziest Man On Earth"

    The New York Post and the New York Daily News tore into the National Rifle Association on Saturday for the gun lobby's bizarre press conference held in response to the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.

    NY Post referencing NRA leader Wayne LaPierre: GUN NUT -  accompanied by NRA loon in bizarre rant over Newtown.

    NY Daily News: 'Craziest Man On Earth"


    and, strangely (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 07:50:14 PM EST
    Ruppert Murdoch owns the NY Post

    Maybe there's hope yet.


    Ruppert Murdoch came out strongly for (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:03:34 PM EST
    an assault weapon ban after Aurora and after Sandy Hook.

    Rupert Murdoch demanded tighter gun control in the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
    Murdoch, who has called for stricter controls on guns before, spoke out on Friday night. "Terrible news today," he tweeted. "When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy." After President Obama's remarks at the vigil in Newtown on Sunday, Murdoch asked again, "Nice words from POTUS on shooting tragedy, but how about some bold leadership action?"
    The News Corp. CEO made similar calls for gun control in the wake of the shooting in Aurora, CO in July. link

    Assault ban in Oz did not have the loopholes ours had and therefore was very effective. From the sounds of it, the legislation that DiFi is proposing has many of the same loopholes which made the prior legislation ineffective.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#75)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:22:31 PM EST
    I think this tragedy may have been the one where critical mass has finally been reached. I don't know what laws can be implimented by presidential fiat, and which require Congressional action. But, I'm sorry to see Washington going home for the holidays without at least an opening action.

    I don't know of anyone who doesn't believe that the "gun show" loophole shouldn't be closed immediately....except for LaPierre, of course.


    The guard exchanged fire with the (none / 0) (#77)
    by Tamta on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:38:38 PM EST
    assailants though not having subdued them, and helped evacuate students possibly saving more lives.

    "Ten numbers the rich would like fudged" (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:40:30 AM EST

    "1, Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs.

     2. Only FOUR OUT OF 150 countries have more wealth inequality than us.

     3. An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.

     4. Corporations stopped paying HALF OF THEIR TAXES after the recession.

     5. Just TEN Americans made a total of FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS in one year.

     6. Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.

     7. The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.

     8. Elderly and disabled food stamp recipients get $4.30 A DAY FOR FOOD.

     9. Young adults have lost TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR NET WORTH since 1984.

    10. The American public paid about FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS to bail out the banks.

    Bonus for the super-rich: A QUADRILLION DOLLARS in securities trading nets ZERO sales tax revenue for the U.S."


    Great post (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by shoephone on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:00:12 PM EST
    #3 does surprise me, though #4 does not -- eg.,Boeing paid nothing in taxes last year, and even received a $600 million refund.

    #'s 7 and 8 just make me sad and mad.


    Reads like a suicide note (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:30:56 PM EST
    Because, right now, it is.

    I saw Skyfall last night. It is (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:51:53 PM EST
    my favorite Bond film ever. It is certainly the only Bond film that left me teary-eyed by the end.

    Daniel Craig and Judi Dench both gave excellent performances. And it was nice to see Ralph Fiennes pop up. People can quibble about whether or not Javier Bardem's performance was a little over-the-top, but when Bardem plays creepy he is really creepy.

    Skyfall is a very serious movie for a James Bond movie. It is well-written. Don't worry, there are all the requisite action scenes including an unbelievable opening chase scene that ends on top of a moving train.

    Skyfall is not a "serious" film in the way that Lincoln is a "serious" film. I mean, come on, we love James Bond, but he didn't save the Union. :-)

    Still, if you are looking for engaging holiday vacation entertainment, this is the movie for you.

    I'm glad you finally saw it and enjoyed it. (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    Even though I had earlier posted last month about the glowing critical acclaim Skyfall was garnering as it premiered in England, I was really astonished by how good the film actually was, too, when I saw it.

    The ending was surprisingly emotional and very moving for a James Bond film, and I think that using Judi Dench's M as the pivot point for the plot was simply a stroke of genius on the part of the screenwriters. They offered that great actress the opportunity to really shine with a standout valedictory performance in a recurring role she had made her own over the last two decades, and she certainly made the most of it.

    Dame Dench will be forever remembered as the prototype and quintessential Bond girl, and I hope that the members of the Academy remember her next month, and will reward her efforts with a well-deserved Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.



    I did enjoy it. (none / 0) (#144)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:31:11 PM EST
    And, sorry though I am to see Judi Dench go, it is the Bond franchise, which means that the characters remain the same, but the actors change.

    Dench really has laid claim to the role of M. In thinking about it, I realized she is the only actor who played M that I remember. I remember all the Bonds, of course, and many of the Bond Girls. The Ms and the Qs not so much. And speaking of Q, I thought Ben Wishaw did an excellent job as Q. I hope he's around for a few more Bond movies.


    I believe Judi Dench played M ... (none / 0) (#169)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:38:30 PM EST
    ... for 17 years and 8 films. I remember an interview she gave with BBC several years ago her late husband quipped when she was first approached about taking the role of M that he thought it would be fun to be married to a Bond girl.

    And from the very first scene she played as M in 1995's Goldeneye, she firmly established her character to James Bond as every bit his superior officer, no ifs, ands or buts about it, that she was a serious woman of substance who was perfectly willing to order him to his death if need be, and that she was never to be toyed or trifled with like she was some bimbo. Is that understood, Mr. Bond? Yes, ma'am.

    Ralph Feinnes, who now succeeds Dench as the new fictional head of MI6 in forthcoming installments of the Bond franchise, will have some awfully big shoes to fill.


    Did it have a scuba scene? (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:16:43 PM EST
    That is part of the Bond forumula...

    No scuba scene, but definitely underwater (none / 0) (#44)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:23:28 PM EST

    I don't like Bond films (none / 0) (#167)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:12:23 PM EST
    I never intentionally watched one in my life.  But I liked Skyfall. I went to see it with the semi significant other because he goes to see movies like Lincoln with me and only bitches a little bit.  He would have like Lincoln if there were more action and less talking, lol.

    Reuters states that Boehner wasn't even (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:17:39 PM EST
    close on getting the votes he needed on Plan B.

    WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Had there been a vote on Republican House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" to avert the so-called U.S. fiscal cliff on Thursday night, it would not have been close. He was probably 40 to 50 votes short of the number he needed to avoid a humiliating defeat at the hands of his own party, according to rough estimates from Republican members of Congress and staff members. link

    Tagg Romney (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:53:43 AM EST
    looking to keep his own name in the news says about his father:

    "He wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life. He had no desire to run."

    He also suggests that it was Tagg and Ann that wanted Mitt to run and be president. Not sure this was his intention but kind of makes Tagg and Ann look like status driven clowns.

    Ohm so THAT'S why Mitt Romney spent ... (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:40:25 AM EST
    "I beilieve in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love."
    - Mitt Romney, who'll always be chasing rainbows (January 2012)

    ... the better part of the last seven years running for the White House, to please his selfish wife and honor the desires of spoiled rotten bevy of kids! Why, what a noble and magnanimous man he is, to have made such a selfless sacrifice!


    That's the biggest crock of hooey I've read in (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by Angel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:49:57 AM EST
    quite some time, and that's saying something.  I do believe that Ann wanted to be FLOTUS, and her husband wanted to be POTUS just as much.  Those two really are perfect for one another. Now, if we can just get them and the rest of their brood to crawl back into their holes....  They are sort of like the Palins, the less we hear from them the better.  

    Could they take Lieberman with them? (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:53:38 AM EST
    Please, pretty please.

    classic (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:14:07 PM EST
    "he didn't really lose because he never really tried".  yeahsureright

    The extent that some men will go to (none / 0) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:13:10 AM EST
    please their wife and kiddies is beyond belief. :-)

    Tagg evidently has never heard the old adage "If you find you have dug yourself into a hole... stop digging."


    Well, the same type argument (none / 0) (#2)
    by Reconstructionist on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:32:53 AM EST
     can be made about gun control, improved mental health care or any other proposed "solution."

     No action or combination of actions will eliminate gun volence but that is not necessarily a good argument for not considering the full range of potential actions which might reduce it.

      There are many good arguments against arming personnel our schools but lack of total effectiveness but I don't tink this is a good one any more thanb  I think the same argument against gun control is a good one.


    No, it can't. Not according to evidence. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:31:16 AM EST
    Well, the same type argument (none / 0) (#2)
    by Reconstructionist on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:32:53 AM EST
     can be made about gun control, improved mental health care or any other proposed "solution."

    You have "evidence" (none / 0) (#20)
    by Reconstructionist on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:50:00 PM EST
      that predicts the (conditional)future?

     and proves that gun control or better mental health care will eliminate school shooting but that increased school security would have no affect?

      That's pretty amazing. Can you give me any stock tips?


    I quite enjoyed this (none / 0) (#5)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:33:09 AM EST
    "Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

    At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"

    "You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."


    It's not about what either of them get (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by shoephone on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    It's about what American citizens get or lose. At this point, very few citizens care about the deal-making, and which political side gets to claim a "win."

    Real lives are at stake, ABG. It continues to boggle my mind that you don't see that.


    If Obama got the revenue for free, (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:56:24 AM EST
    I'm curious as to what Obama got in exchange for the chained CPI ($130 billion) and the additional $400 billion in health care savings that were included in his offer.

    I recall reading (none / 0) (#10)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:48:54 PM EST
     that Obama followed the now patented script: A Democratic insider's take was that "O" provided this unsolicited capitulation and then went before the cameras to tell his exasperated tale of how much HE sacrificed in trying to get a counter offer.

    Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell stated on MSNBC yesterday that Obama's offer to viserate SS & medicare was, "you know, we had to offer the other side something."


    $1.22 trillion is a very big "something" (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:05:46 PM EST
    to offer up in an initial proposal.

    "The White House says the president's plan would cut spending by $1.22 trillion over 10 years,

    That BTW completely invalidates all the stories about what a tough negotiator Obama is this time around. Same old - same old.

    Not sure that "capitulation" is correct word usage since Obama appears determined to force these cuts to the social insurance programs through no matter what obstacles are put in his way.


    Yup, (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:21:46 PM EST
    "ironic" is too benign a word to describe the situation of Obama's determination (obsession) to mangle SS & Medicare while the mean old Wingers not letting him. Even some Republicans are going public with their criticism of the clock world orange tactics of the Tea Party.

    Thank God (2.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:05:38 PM EST
    our current President does not negotiate like great Democratic negotiator-in-chiefs of previous decades that the "traditional Democrats" in TL revere.
    All your tall talk is not going to cover up the fact that traditional Democrats agreed to raising the age of eligibility for drawing SS benefits in 1983, gutting welfare in 1995 and handing over the keys of the candy store to "the masters of the universe" through reductions in capital gains tax (through which the ultra rich make most of their money) in 1998.
    Putting something on the table is not the same as inking a deal. Your favorite Democrats of previous decades have inked rotten deals. BHO has not done anything of that sort yet.  

    You have absolutely no idea of (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:25:37 PM EST
    who my favorite Democrat(s) of previous decades might be or whether I agreed/disagreed with the deals you referenced.

    We do agree on one thing. Initial offerings in a negotiation process is not the same thing as finalizing a deal.



    He didn't sign the ACA? (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:55:49 PM EST
    Your favorite Democrats of previous decades have inked rotten deals. BHO has not done anything of that sort yet.


    Not to mention the fact that Clinton actually campaigned on the issues and followed through on the very issues that you're complaining about, while your hero did just the opposite.  Obama promised one thing and delivered the opposite.

    Try again.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#172)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:45:46 PM EST
    Welfare wasn't gutted in 1995.  People were given a chance to get off it and go to work.  They were supported in that effort. Had Gore taken office rather than Bush and the economy kept moving along in a good direction all would have been well. As it turned out, it was probably for the best anyway.  Without reform, welfare may have ended all together.  The safety net is still there, you just have to be actively seeking a way off of it unless you are disabled.

    Teresa in Pa (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:12:09 PM EST
    You seemed to have internalized the "welfare queen" argument that Republicans spouted.
    Good for you!
    Now, another generation of Republicans want to "reform" the safety net further because they feel that it reduces the incentive for people to work (just like you thought in the 1990s). They are saying the same thing once again-without reform, welfare will end all together-there will be no way to pay for SS and Medicare for younger workers and government should not be in the business of providing healthcare. If people want healthcare, they should just get off their but*s and work and get the employer to pay for it.
    Life seems to have come a full circle.

    The Consequences of Welfare Reform (2.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:38:06 PM EST
    of the 1990s. link
    The great Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, had denounced the welfare reform overhaul of the 1990s as "the most brutal act of social policy since Reconstruction." How prophetic he was!

    Direction of negotiations (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:11:21 PM EST
    Ezra Klein has a chart showing the breakdown by category type for the offers and counteroffers in "fiscal cliff" negotitations. (link)

    On 11/29/12 Obama's offer had $425 billion in stimulous/tax extenders. On 12/17/12 Obama's offer had $175 billion in stimulous/tax extenders. Loss of $250 billion.

    On 11/29/12 Obama's offer had $350 billion in Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/Mandatory cuts. On 12/17/12 Obama's offer had $725 billion in Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/Mandatory cuts. Increase of $375 billion in mandatory cuts to Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid.

    That article reads like a leak (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:19:03 PM EST
    from Boehner aides....The Boehner aides all sound funny and sympathetic, and Obama obstinate.....

    Josh at TPM says it was an interesting read but didn't really sound like Obama....


    Yeah, sounds off to me too (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:55:54 PM EST
    Unless Obama was referring to the fact that the taxes go up in January without any action from Congress.

    My thoughts exactly (none / 0) (#62)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 07:55:44 PM EST
    Sounds like someone took a few too many liberties in stretching poetic license.

    BTD (none / 0) (#12)
    by bmaz on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:00:24 PM EST
    Not sure about the take on the Detroit Kittehs. You sure there are enough of them out on bond to field a team?  Seriously, could see your play if the game were in Detroit, but in Atlanta, the Flacon usually roll big.

    NYT on Kerry nomination: (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:09:21 PM EST
    This snippet is for Lentinel:

    Mr. Obama, his aides said, likes Ms. Rice's blunt style and is in sync with her view of foreign policy, which places a premium on aggressively defending human rights.


    Your snippet (2.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:58:05 PM EST
    may be an invitation to lentinel to drone about drones and "kill lists". However, in the real world, drones as used by the Obama administration have killed a miniscule fraction of innocent people compared to those killed by the actions of previous Democratic and Republican Presidents through firebombing of cities, atom bombs, napalm, agent orange, Cruise missiles, etc and done a world a good.Drones have provided a measure of security to women and children in Afghanistan from murderous people who would like to turn the clock back on time through a very warped interpretation of religion.

    And yet... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by shoephone on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:04:51 PM EST
    innocent people have still been killed. How many? Who cares? But hey, the collateral damage was "miniscule by comparison." So, no worries, it's all good.

    No, I do care (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:20:24 PM EST
    about every single death that occur to innocents. This is the reason I would like to keep more troops on the ground in Afghanistan (which is always the most humane way to address human rights issues). I have said that repeatedly. Unfortunately, those who keep going on and on about the evils of drone warfare are also the most ideologically opposed to keeping any of our troops there.

    So, keeping more (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:49:11 PM EST
    "troops on the ground in Afghanistan" is a more humane way to address "human rights issues"?
    No doubt, you are willing to tell this to the families of the Afghan civilians (including women and children) who were killed by a U.S. soldier last March.
    (Not to mention the abuse of corpses by US soldiers who allegedly urinated on said corpses, which, I admit, although disgusting, is not the same as killing innocent civilians.)
    More "troops on the ground" does not guarantee a "humane way to address human rights issues,"  Politalkix.  It never is.  Troops on the ground, or drone attacks.  Both ways lead to innocents being killed and human rights being abused.  

    Zorba, do you propose no military (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:54:18 PM EST
    action at all?

    We have to act in some situations.....Do you have an alternative way of dealing with terrorists in foreign countries whose leaders will not (or cannot) stop them?

    We could ask the Yemeni government to arrest certain people for extradition here.   Do you really think that would work?


    I do not necessarily propose (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:25:12 PM EST
    "no military action," MKS.  Although, as a pacifist, I would prefer it, I realize that this just will not happen in today's world.  
    But I also believe that we should be more than aware that (and take responsibility for the fact that) "drone warfare" is a no more humane way to deal with "terrorists in foreign countries" than is sending ground troops in.
    I do believe that we are dealing with terrorists who themselves have no problems with killing innocent civilians.  This does not mean that I approve of our country descending to their level.  
    And we also need to be cognizant of the reality that, the more we kill civilians, the more we abuse those who we have imprisoned, and in fact, the more we meddle in their countries, the more "terrorists" we produce.  Does that mean that I do not care about the plight of women in Afghanistan and other Islamist/Sharia-centered countries?  Of course not.  I care very deeply.  I just do not see how killing some of those innocent women and their children, whether by drone attacks, or by our ground troops behaving abominably, is going to help their situation.
    Do you propose that we stay in Afghanistan forever?  Because I will guarantee you, the situation there will deteriorate even farther after we leave.
    And what do we do about the situation of women in our "dear friend and ally" Saudi Arabia?  Do you propose sending troops there, as well?
    I have no good answers for this, but I also think that sending troops in does not always produce the results we would like, and, in fact, often makes the situation worse.

    No, I do not want troops in Afghanistan (none / 0) (#46)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:41:39 PM EST
    or anywhere else in the Middle East.

    I think drones are a replacement for ground troops.  Drone strikes kill fewer innocents than a ground invasion.  I guess that may be an issue of numbers, but the fewer deaths, the better.

    I think Joe Biden had it right about Afghanistan--that we need not occupy the countrym but could go back in with military strikes when we see the Al Qaeda (not Taliban) camps reconstitute.

    Gandhi's way could only work on the conscience of people who at bottom care.  For those who don't, we will need a military to take action when necessary.  


    Ghandi's way (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by the capstan on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:56:35 PM EST
    worked here in the days of MLK--and those thugs in Birmingham were not significantly more caring than the islamists.

    George Wallace is the same (none / 0) (#78)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:57:23 PM EST
    as Bin Laden?

    I would love to live in a world where military action is not necessary.....


    We are going to have to (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:56:47 PM EST
    agree to disagree on this, MKS.  You have your beliefs, and I have mine.
    My way would prefer the way of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., although I also realize that this way does not always work, given the realities of the world.  But that does not mean that I will ever approve of military action, or drone strikes.
    Someone has to stand up and hold our government's "feet to the fire," lest the government devolve closer to......well, let me call it "the dark side," for want of a better phrase.
    I do wonder how people in 50, or 100 years or more, will view our current activities.  Just as we now look back upon imprisoning our own Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War  II.  Just as we now look back upon slavery, and the treatment of African-Americans even after slavery was abolished.  Just as we now look back upon our treatment of and, let's face it, genocidal policies towards, the Native Americans.
    I fear that history will not treat us kindly in this regard, either, and I would not be at all be surprised.    

    There is a fundamental difference (2.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:56:26 PM EST
    We are not conducting drone strikes against all Afghans or Pakistanis or Muslims. Actually, we are trying to help more than 99% of the people of Afghanistan by doing a lot of their nation building. The drone war is being conducted only against a very small fraction of stateless, Islamic terrorists who want to create a medieval, theocratic, fascist society to harm us and even the vast majority of Muslims in the world. How does this compare with our shocking treatment of Japanese-Americans, African-Americans and native American is beyond my understanding! Zorba, you will have to explain this better.

    And YOU (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:18:59 PM EST
    will have to explain to me why you apparently think that, because those strikes are conducted presumably only against what the government ( and you) allege are "stateless, Islamic terrorists," this excuses also killing their innocent wives and children.
    We will never see eye to eye on this, Politalkix, and it is fruitless for me to engage any further with you.

    My Grandfather was a pacifist (none / 0) (#81)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:21:11 PM EST
    and a member of the Oxford Group in the 1930s.  He would tell the story of how he would get on his knees every night and ask God to kill Hitler.  It did not work (this always amused me, as he said this with great umbrage that God would ignore him so.) So he joined the Army and finagled a commission as an officer (his brother-in-law was a West Point graduate) without any military training and served in London as an intelligence officer.   He was always very proud of his photo in his military uniform (the stylish pinks and greens.)

    He was very interesing in later life.  He always wore a beret because he wanted to be French like his wife, my grandmother, or Irish--he was a total WASP and thought it boring...  


    No military action? (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:02:55 PM EST
    Maybe some day.  And I hope we do reach a point as country where war is obsolote and we look back on theses barbaric....

    In the meantime, I think the criticism of our drone strikes is important--not that I agree, but we should never be able to engage in war or drone strikes without having to justify them to skeptics; we should never engage in war cavalierly....and this criticsim of Obama and the current administration is actually helpful.


    On matters of love and war :-) (none / 0) (#83)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:28:16 PM EST
    it seems BHO is very responsible with good boundaries; it is hard for me to imagine him getting cavalier.

    I agree (none / 0) (#86)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:26:30 AM EST
    The argument over drone strikes is still helpful and necessary for us to understand why we are doing them.  

    If we can't respond to such arguments convincingly, then the drone strikes should be opposed.  Much of the Obama criticism is groundless.....I think on this topic, however, we need to have the debate continually.....


    On matters of LOVE?!? (none / 0) (#91)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:43:26 AM EST
    Know him that well do you?

    I'd happily trade a little of his "good (love) boundaries" for some negotiating/leadership skills, but some people have different priorities ... who would they rather "have a beer with", etc.


    mks...just curious (none / 0) (#176)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:59:41 PM EST
    why not Taliban?

    Al Qaeda attacked us (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:41:02 AM EST
    The Taliban did not until we invaded Afghanistan.   The Taliban's reach does not I believe extend beyond Afghanistan.   Al Qaeda is our enemy.....

    While (none / 0) (#50)
    by lentinel on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:23:58 PM EST
    it is understandable in the context of the frenzy of World War 2, we did in fact use the atomic bomb on civilian targets - during the morning rush hour. In Hiroshima, "it is estimated that 100,000 people died instantly,and that 95,000 of them were civilians. Another 100,000 civilians died an excruciatingly slow death from radiation poisoning."

    Putting it mildly, we did not set a great example when it comes to sparing civilians in an act of war. And we're not setting a great example now either.

    As I mentioned, I can't go back in time and undo the combination of frustration, curiosity, righteous anger and military-industrial potential that fostered such an action.

    But, if that isn't terror - I don't know what is.

    Terror is in the eye of the beholder.
    I will add that terror in these days is a way for the relatively poor to completely immobilize and neutralize the weapons of the very rich.


    Politalkix, re: saving innocents (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by shoephone on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:18:13 PM EST
    I see two problems with this kind of comparison to other forms of militarized killings:

    1) The notion that, in order to save some innocents--namely, women and girls--we have to accept killing other innocent women and girls. And other innocent men and boys and well. Is it acceptable to differentiate between innocents in Afghanistan and innocents in Pakistan? The numbers of those killed or injured by drones aren't small.

    TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.

    Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of "double-striking" a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders.

    It also highlights harm "beyond death and physical injury," publishing accounts of psychological trauma experienced by people living in Pakistan's tribal northwest region, who it says hear drones hover 24 hours a day.

    (CNN, Sept. 2012)

    2) We are going to leave Afghanistan. And when we do, the Taliban are going to come raging back and probably take over the country. Karzai has done next to nothing to stop it, and, sadly, we are not going to be able to stop it. It's a military debacle and a moral failing on our part, and the ultimate responsibility for that lies with George Bush and Dick Cheney, who insisted we take our eye off the ball in Afghanistan in March 2003, and invade Iraq, squandering our resources.

    I get where you are coming from on having to swallow our departure from Afghanistan. It took me a long time to get to the point where my feelings of guilt over what will happen to the women and girls of that country was superseded by the unpleasant realization that staying there only drags the inevitable a little further into the future.

    Afghanistan is this country's FUBAR. But the drones there and in Pakistan don't bode well for us. We seem to cause more mayhem with every action we take in that region.


    What alternative do you propose? (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:32:36 PM EST
    So I guess (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:54:36 PM EST
    so I guess he is the best of the killer democrats according to you. We all have our standards I suppose.

    Drones are better than (3.50 / 2) (#36)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:30:51 PM EST
    a ground war, invading and occupying an entire country, or a full blown bombing campaign.

    We do need to militarily engage al Qaeda, and doing so with drones save lives...

    Obama has gained credibility with the killing of Bin Laden.  That has allowed Democrats to avoid the tag of being soft on defense.  Obama has thus been able to withdraw fully from Iraq, without being perceived as "soft" on terrorism.  And we will be out of Afghanistan for the most part in a couple of years.  

    Many here said Obama was surely going to invade Libya.  He did not do so.  The Libya action was fully successful, without invading or the loss of a single U.S. soldier.  We led, but did so primarily with other countries supplying most of the direct involvement--the "leading from behind" a phrase that some aide unfortunately coined, and the Right unfairly lampoons.

    Obama's foreign policy has been very good, and I think he now deserves the benefit of the doubt.  Drones are part of that foreign policy, but it is a far better military option than the others....Yes, it would be better to not have to militarily engage, but we must do so....Obama has found a better way of doing so.


    Armed drones are awful for humanity (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:17:36 PM EST
    They will be in all of our lives in a short amount of time. There is nothing to be proud of about the human ability to devise ways to destroy itself.  Obama, like many people, seems to have very little concern for the long term consequences of making remote control murder by model airplane a widespread and readily available thing. Scratch that, he's a weak piece of sh*t whose attitude is always, "Well, it's just inevitable, so I might as well go along." Classic follower.

    You know what? IMO, If you want to make war, if you think it's worth killing a lot of innocent people for (which we do, don't delude yourself), then you go put your soldier's asses on the line. That is their job: to die and do so happily, because that is certainly how soldiers are treated by the military in service and post service. This is what should make war rare, but instead we look for reasons to make war more prevalent but just more "sanitized."

    No silver linings to any of this, IMO. It's all bad for all parties involved. Murder is like that. There is never justice for it, and it never makes you feel as good as you think it will.


    that's all very idealistic (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:26:24 PM EST
    or something and far be it from me to defend Obama, as everyone here should know by now, but Obama is the President.  He doesn't have the luxury of treating American soldiers lives as equal to the lives of the people in the countries we are militarily engaged in.  Thinking globally and as liberals perhaps we think that way.  But the president is obligated morally and by oath of office to put American lives first, period.  Anything less would be unthinkable.

    That's a GOOD thing (5.00 / 3) (#204)
    by sj on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:31:19 AM EST
    that's all very idealistic
    Idealists are absolutely necessary.  We need them to remember to create boundaries and to remind us to always seek something greater than what we have today.  Accepting the status quo and being a "realist" can so easily devolve into allowing more and more "evil" to creep into our society and our world.

    When did an "idealist" become such an object of contempt?

    And you are not the only person who uses the word derisively.


    How do you figure that (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:48:54 AM EST
    bama has gained credibility with the killing of Bin Laden.

    Credibility with whom exactly?

    Does anyone feel safer with BL gone?

    This killing was more symbolic than anything. For me, it wasn't even a catharsis. It was more like watching a mafia movie.

    And now what happens?
    Do they hate us less?

    I can only give my subjective reaction to the killing of OBL. It was a gruesome affair that chills my bones and makes me feel that we are engendering hate is parts of the world where we are already hated.


    I have never felt not safe (none / 0) (#182)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:41:33 PM EST
    but then I long ago stopped fearing what I can not control.  I had to for the sake of my sanity.  But I did feel a sense of satisfaction when Bin Laden was killed.  I feel that the world is a little less evil.  I think that the people who follow "leaders" like Bin Laden took an emotional hit which they deserve.
    yeah, much as it pains me, whoever is president when Bin Laden gets killed gets credit.

    I have (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:42:27 PM EST
    seen numerous people mentioned as the "mastermind of 9/11".

    If OBL was "the mastermind", who are the other masterminds?

    I don't mind it when a rotten character takes leave of this world.

    I would have much preferred a capture and a trial.

    How do we reconcile the fact that 15 of the 19 were Saudis? The rest were from Egypt and the UAE.

    In short, whether or not the world is a better place without OBL is one discussion. The other discussion is whether our actions toward people in that part of the world caused the hatred that created suicidal hijackers - and OBL was but a toxic symptom.
    I just hope nothing like 9/11 ever happens again.


    So, the implication, it would seem, is (none / 0) (#27)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:35:15 PM EST
    that John Kerry does not place on premium on defending human rights. Or perhaps he is just not as aggressive on the issue as Susan Rice.

    I don't know that, once Rice's background in foreign policy and personal life had been dissected by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I would have supported her nomination. I do know that I am disgusted by how she was knocked out of contention. McCain, who seems to still harbor some very hurt feelings about his 2008 loss to Obama, once again had a hissy fit, joined joined of course by his boy Lindsay Graham.

    And the national press, still enthralled by  the old "maverick", did its usual criminally negligent job of getting the truth of the matter to the American people.


    I should have added snk. (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:48:53 PM EST
    tag. I always find it ironic when our S of Stste admonishes other governments of their responsibilities re human rights while we claim the right to to indefinitely retain w/o trial.  

    I have (none / 0) (#87)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:35:39 AM EST
    no opinion to offer about Rice. Personally, I don't know how these Sectys of State can go around to foreign countries and castigate them for human rights abuses - all the while we are killing our own citizens whom we deem to be suspected of aiding al Q - No trial. And then there's our practice of holding people indefinitely - that's INDEFINITELY - in horrible conditions without bringing charge or trial; Then there's the use of drones with its inevitable killing of the innocent as well as the accused. There's the practice of selecting people deemed suitable for assassination, and proceeding to assassinate them.

    Then there is the mistreatment of returning veterans. It is cruel.
    There is the unconscionable practice of putting young people into multiple deployments. Often more than they can stand. They commit suicide. Many do. Too many do.

    And we are preparing to cut help to those who need it most.
    We are in no position to lecture. But it doesn't matter. No one listens to us anyway.

    But what does the quote have to do with Kerry?


    On NPR this afternoon, an academic (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:58:13 PM EST
    stated the NRA used to campaign for restrictions on guns.  Go figure.

    The NRA used to be about (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:21:36 PM EST
    gun safety and training.....

    I joined the NRA (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:12:45 PM EST
     in the late 50's, early 60's. I thought it was an outstanding organization. It was all about respect, training, and safety. Today's NRA has absolutely no resemblance to the one I joined. Like almost everything else in our society, when the 1% get involved in an enterprise, with their lobbyists and corrupt, Representative buying money, you can kiss the America I grew up in good bye.

    The UW Huskies seem to have ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:19:58 PM EST
    ... developed quite a knack in recent years for failing to hold leads and losing games late. No. 20 Boise State wins its third straight MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, but this time the game was actually close, 28-26.

    I'm actually watching USF vs SDSU (none / 0) (#59)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:55:51 PM EST
    From the Sheriff Center there in Honolulu. Surprised that my Dons are staying with my Aztecs, in a battle of teams whose gyms and arenas I have haunted recently. SDSU seems a bit sluggish, and USF is being scrappy and hanging around.

    Not for long: SDSU 80, USF 58. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 07:35:54 PM EST
    Aztecs are looking tough. Hawaii plays Miami later tonight.

    Too many superior athletes (none / 0) (#108)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:57:52 AM EST
    Better coaching, too, if you ask me. Much more of a Fisher fan that a Walters fan.

    It was just announced that ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:33:25 PM EST
    ... President and Mrs. Obama will be attending the funeral services for Sen. Inouye tomorrow morning at Punchbowl Nat'l Cemetery, and so we've been told that we have to be at the Alapai Transit Center by 7:00 a.m. to go through the obligatory security screening.

    Ugh. That's a whole lot earlier than the "be there by 9:30 a.m." directive we were given two days ago.

    Relax, (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:13:15 AM EST
    skip the service.
    Sleep in.
    Raise a glass to Inouye if you wish.
    Think good thoughts.
    Have a good day.

    I'm an elected party official. (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:27:32 AM EST
    As such, I have certain obligations to those who entrusted me with the post. This is one of them.

    Dan Inouye was literally the last man standing of a profoundly influential group of island politicians who came of age after the Second World War and toppled the ruling white corporate oligarchy, bringing to an end the soft apartheid that had heretofore characterized Hawaii's prevailing social order until they did so.

    If the liberal / progressive spirit is indeed alive and well in this country, it's because brave and trailblazing men and women like Daniel Inouye and Patsy Takemoto Mink carried the torch and led the way. The senator's passing this week marks an end of a very distinct (and highly productive) era in Hawaii politics, and our attendance today both honors his memory and marks that solemn occasion.



    Kinda amusing story at (none / 0) (#126)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:44:29 PM EST
    Slate which, if true, has Obama pulling a Chris Christie, talking at Friday's D.C. memorial service more about himself than about the late senator.

    He was relating a personal anecdote, ... (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:50:07 PM EST
    ... which told of his own roots as a child of Hawaii, and his first awareness as an 11-year-old boy of his own state's Sen. Inouye while watching the Watergate hearings, and inspired by the senator, came to realize the promise of America. Funerals are a time of personal reminiscence as well as of reflection and mourning.

    What was wrong with that?


    If you (none / 0) (#171)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:43:21 PM EST
    really want to know what's wrong, you would have to listen to the entire speech.

    See the link below.


    I read and linked that one (none / 0) (#177)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:09:54 PM EST
    w/o realizing therein was a link to the speech.  Now upon seeing it, let's say it's susceptible to various interpretations depending on how generous one wants to be to O.

    It could fit within the Let Me Tell You More About Me angle suggested by the ABC story, or it could be a well-intended speech well within the spirit of telling how the deceased's life affected the speaker's life for the better, which telling necessarily means talking about aspects of the speaker's life.

    No biggie therefore.  Probably not a Chris Christie moment as it was in a context more appropriate for such personal stories.

    And clearly O is not in Lyndon's league as a world class narcissist.


    I read (none / 0) (#141)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:25:08 PM EST
    the Slate article. A more self-involved person than Obama is hard to conjure up. It links to the Obama's speech. Unreal.

    It didn't stick, but that video of Obama calling the woman reporter, "sweetie" was a clear presentation of the high esteem in which he holds himself. And he got away with it. If some politician had called out to a black reporter, "Hold on one second, boy..." his career would have been over - and rightfully so.

    A further note: This is hard to believe, but on the ABC news page linked to in the Slate article, it refers to, "the funeral of Hawaii senator Daniel "anyway". As Mr. Dangerfield would say, no respect at all.


    The most self-absorbed pol by far, (none / 0) (#155)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:12:58 PM EST
    in my humble, was my good buddy Lyndon.

    Once as president presented a gift to the visiting Pope -- a plastic bust of hisself, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

    Had all the humans and animals in his family named so they echoed his own LBJ initials.

    Suggested to Jackie, soon to give birth, that if it was a boy she name him Lyndon.

    There are also the several stories, almost too grandiose to be believed, where self-absorption merged with self-aggrandizement and attempts at power grabbing.  The attempt, unsuccessful, to become nearly a co-president with JFK, which Kennedy wisely turned aside with no comment.  And the earlier attempt, also a failure, to maintain his Majority Leader position, effectively, while also being Vice President.

    Obama is almost self-effacing compared to that guy ...


    if LBJ (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:40:50 PM EST
    was a buddy of yours then surely you know that he earned his right to be high on himself.  He was a very talented and powerful politician who knew how to get things done.  If he lived a few centuries earlier there would be a Shakespearean play written about him.

    The (none / 0) (#173)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:50:18 PM EST
    style is different. They are different animals.
    One difference that I felt was that Lyndon was more hands-on.
    Not that that was a good thing - the Vietnam war - escalation after escalation - lies - 50,000 American deaths...

    With Obama, I just get the impression that he is in the background - and only comes forward to report what is going on - or to sell us something that has already gone down.

    But Obama has a kind of swagger - you can see it in the "sweetie' video - that is absolutely appalling. The only other pol in recent times that hit me that way was Edwards. He swept into a room as if he were the Prince.

    Lyndon - all I can tell you was that I couldn't stand the sight of him.


    For sure diiferent aminals (none / 0) (#180)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:25:29 PM EST
    Johnson was crude, direct, vulgar in disgusting ways and to an extraordinary degree, and nearly always manipulative and deceptive.  Hands-on style as you say -- literally.  The only pol he didn't physically (or politically) manhandle was John Kennedy, btw. (unless you subscribe to some of those 49-yo ugly rumors ...)

    Hypersensitive and dangerously paranoid too.

    A bully with a borderline personality disorder.

    O is none of that, and his style is more that of the kindly conciliator who wants to get a deal done that day, no matter how far he has to go in the direction of accommodating the other person.

    Almost the anti-Johnson -- he wouldn't dream of manhandling a political opponent, but seems too often to let the latter manhandle him.  

    I'd better stop there -- the negotiations aren't finished, and it's theoretically possible O could prove me wrong.  I wouldn't bet an hour''s pay on it though ...


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:24:57 PM EST
    where we differ is that I don't think Obama lets the "opposition" manhandle him. I think he is the opposition. I don't really believe that he feels that there was much if anything wrong with GW Bush - or Cheney. I don't really feel that he is much at odds with the worst of the republican party either.

    And, this "kindly conciliator" is about to oversee sickening cuts to social programs. ("Kindly" is not the word I would use for his plans for those on his kill list - or for his treatment of those placed in indefinite detention without charge or trial.)

    Lyndon was, for the sake of this discussion, a bully.
    Obama is the pretty face placed on the same bullying.


    It all (none / 0) (#84)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:09:37 AM EST
    seems so surreal.

    Here we are in the throws of two sorts of cliffs. The fiscal one and the cliff over which we are throwing ourselves into conditions which allow and even inspire the mass murder of children.

    So Obama leaves for a vacation in Hawaii.

    He's entitled, I suppose.

    But if I were in the middle of these disasters, I would be in the office 24/7.

    Give the man a break. He always (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:26:57 PM EST
    goes to Hawaii at Christmas with his family and world hasn't ended yet.  

    The world hasn't ended yet? Really? (none / 0) (#123)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:36:42 PM EST
    Are you positive?  I was sure I read somewhere that it ended the day before yesterday.  I had assumed that since then I was just dreaming.

    Oh, well... (none / 0) (#133)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:07:06 PM EST
    if he always goes to Hawaii at Christmas, that's different.

    It does make for a nice contrast though, don't you think.

    We're told that there is a cliff we are about to go over, but..., it's party time. Can't be that much of a cliff.

    Either that, or the fix is in. The deal is done.

    Merry Christmas.


    Oh, good Lord. (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:04:18 PM EST
    President Obama is from Hawaii, and his sister and her family reside here. Further, the Obamas have annually spent Christmas out here for years, well prior to his election as president. Further, he's the president. You honestly think he can't communicate with others about business while on holiday?

    Give your nagging criticism of the man a rest, already. It's often relentless to the point of tedium as it is, and on this day in particular, as he and his wife joined us to say Aloha to a good and decent man and great American, it sounds remarkably phuquing petty.


    Might (none / 0) (#170)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:42:07 PM EST
    I suggest that you cease reading my comments.
    They are obviously a source of annoyance to you.

    I think (none / 0) (#179)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:12:39 PM EST
    what concerns me is that we are on the cusp of a major hit to our entitlements.

    I don't detect the slightest concern from any of our elected representatives.

    It just not seem like a time for a vacation.


    As I recall, (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    Jimmy Carter made it a major point to not be seen vacationing and instead to be holed up in the WH during the Iran Hostage Crisis.  

    Lotta good that did.  Just gave him time to cook up that farfetched rescue mission.

    A few days away from the D.C. RW insanity might help clear Obama's head.

    Though I greatly fear he will return and still be eager to give away the New Deal store.


    True... (none / 0) (#134)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:10:13 PM EST
    What is the point of projecting an image of concern... or that there is a lot of work to be done in the coming weeks before we go over the cliff they have laid out for us. No point whatsoever.

    The deal is done.


    Who is he going to talk to in D.C. anyway? (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:41:54 PM EST
    The town is empty. Maybe some time in the sun and surf of his home state, nestled in the loving bosom of his family, will awaken some latent urge to do the right thing by the people who elected him. A Christmas Miracle perhaps.  :-)

    On a more serious note, there is almost nothing Obama does in D.C. that he cannot do in Hawaii or anyplace else. He carries the WH with him wherever he goes.

    Need to offer Boehner yet another concession? Video phone. Possible "Al Quada leader" found washing his car in Yemen? Order the hit and direct the drones from the comfort of the lanai.

    Why, it's almost like the president never left town.


    Is Boehner still in D.C.? Doubt it. (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:42:56 PM EST
    Nobody is still in D.C. Not Boehner. Not anyone. (none / 0) (#152)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:50:17 PM EST
    Well, nobody with any power to make any decision whatsoever is still in the capital. They've all gone home for Christmas.

    If anything should put an end to this ridiculous framing of our situation as the "Fiscal Cliff" , well, the mass exodus for the home districts should be a direct head shot to the notion that the nation is teetering on the precipice of fiscal collapse.


    That's (none / 0) (#153)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:01:45 PM EST
    what it seems like to me.

    There is no cliff.
    Just something to get us all bothered, while they all take a vacation.

    The deal is done.
    And it is exactly what we all surmised it would be a few months ago  - before the election - when Romney and Obama were saying the same thing, their respective "plans", only slightly differently.

    But Obama, leaving town, cements the impression that the urgency being laid upon us is bogus.

    I could get used to all these 'hats being out of town.
    Let them stay out of town and be replaced by people who are serious.


    The ones who are in DC (none / 0) (#198)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:18:51 PM EST
    are driving around the town drunk. link

    Okay, I'm not known for (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by sj on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:47:57 AM EST
    being his biggest fan, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with him going home for that holidays at this time.  And anyway the "Fiscal cliff" is a marketing tool.  I'd rather they stop talking about it for a while.

    AP is reporting (none / 0) (#90)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:10:21 AM EST
    that Ted Kennedy Jr., is considering running for the Massachusetts Senate seat if Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as the next Secretary of State.

    Ted Kennedy Jr. currently resides in Connecticut but also owns a home in Hyannis, Mass., the home that once belonged to President John F. Kennedy.

    I wonder if that scenario is the one Scott Brown would least like to see on the ballot.

    I'm interested. (none / 0) (#125)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:39:30 PM EST
    Star power might be needed to hold that seat in the special election.

    Ed Markey is okay, but not sure about his campaigning ability nor his statewide appeal.


    Also Markey is 66 yo (none / 0) (#130)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:53:36 PM EST
    which is still ok but not ideal, particularly since Dems have lately had more than a few octogenarian senators, one of whom just passed away and another (Lautenberg of NJ, in his 80s) who is indicating he wants to run again.  Rockefeller of WV and DiFi are either in that age group or very close.  I'm probably forgetting a few others.

    I'd prefer to go younger if possible.


    CST, if you are around please give us your (none / 0) (#166)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:11:50 PM EST
    take on a possible Ted K, Jr. run for Kerry's senate seat. What is the on-the-ground thinking about a possible Ted Jr. vs.Scott Brown matchup?

    Also, I have heard Vickie Kennedy's name bandied about as a possible contender. Anything there that you know of? Who, in your opinion, would be likelier to beat Brown, Ted, Jr. or Vickie?

    And if no Kennedy runs, who else figures to enter the race?

    Also, after his abysmal campaign against Warren, what chance is there of a Scott Brown comeback?


    Outside of political circles, (none / 0) (#202)
    by dk on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:24:41 PM EST
    there hasn't been much talk here yet in MA about the senate race....holiday vacation and all.

    I think it's really too early to tell whether Brown could win.  It will depend entirely on who the Democratic candidate is and how well he/she campaigns.

    While the Kennedys obviously are a well known commodity here in MA, Vickie didn't have a huge public persona while she was married to Ted, and Ted Jr. hasn't lived here in quite a while.  That's not to say that they aren't viable candidates, but they would have work to do in order to define themselves.

    Same goes for the other potential democrats who would run.  The default candidates, of course, are the current House members.  The most ambitious is likely Capuano, but he is the most craven.  Doin't forget that he voted for the non-profit health insurance support bill that contained the Stupac amendment, and recently he went on record in the Boston Globe for being willing to consider voting to raise the Medicare eligibility age.  He came off publicly as very obnoxious to many here when he ran against Coakley in the primary to fill Teddy's seat, and hopefully he stays out this time.  

    MA obviously has a very deep bench of Democrats generally, so if it's not one of the Kennedys, I'm hopeful the machine will come up with an effective candidate to battle Brown (if he runs).  Brown came out of nowhere to win a few years ago, so there's nothing to say that a Democratic can't do the same.  And while Brown has a built in advantage in name recognition, he's also proven to to beatable.  


    oops...of course (none / 0) (#203)
    by dk on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:26:13 PM EST
    I meant the "for-profit health insurance support bill."  Must proofread next time!  :)

    Thanks, dk. Wow, Capuano sounds like a (none / 0) (#206)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:01:23 AM EST
    real d!ck. Hope he doesn't run.

    I usually prefer brunettes... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:21:49 PM EST
    one more (none / 0) (#121)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:22:15 PM EST
    A friend and business partner (none / 0) (#183)
    by brodie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:54:45 PM EST
    is forcing me to go to a showing of Les Miserables on Xmas Day.  Musicals normally aren't my first choice.  Prefer to see Lincoln or the new Bond movie, but must maintain good relations so will take one for the team.

    Plus I understand the singing is all 'live on film" -- i.e. not dubbed later.  That and the usual $5 worth of popcorn might be enough to get me through.

    She's paying, but only for a bargain matinee in lowly Woodland Hills (former home of ex-RW "Dem" Mayor Sam Yorty).  $6 per if she can convince the ticket taker we're seniors (she always tries this).  Typical behavior of my penny-pinching friend.

    Closer to home there's the new Cinepolis Theatre -- where they're charging a throat-clearing $19.50 for this one, a 2 and a half-hour movie, not the play.  Opening week rates, plus it's a ridiculously luxe cinema -- apparently softly cushioned and reclining chairs with waitpersons to bring you your food order and other luxury stuff for the upscale crowd willing to fork over such money.

    I've seen (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:02:51 PM EST
    Lincoln, Life of Pi, and The Hobbit for 5 or 6 dollars each over the last 2 weeks. I should meet your penny pitching partner. But I skip the popcorn.

    What did you think of The Hobbit? (none / 0) (#186)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:11:32 PM EST
    A couple of our friends have seen it, and they both loathed it.

    I had likes and dislikes (none / 0) (#188)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:21:00 PM EST
    with all three. As for The Hobbit, I'm not a fan of a movie that ends in midstory. It can have multiple parts, but at least finish the story line you've created in each one. I did find it entertaining though.

    I didn't see any of The Lord of The Rings so perhaps I'm out of the loop and that was the pattern that was followed in each.


    Did you see Life of Pi in 3-D? And, if so, (none / 0) (#192)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:48:30 PM EST
    what did you think of it?

    I hesitate to see 3-D movies, well, partly because they cost more, but I get kind of motion sickness at IMAX movies, and someone told me 3-D is like IMAX.  

    I loved the book Life of Pi, and have heard lovely things about the movie. I'd like to it.

    So, what say ye, CG? What is your verdict on the movie?

    An aside, the best part of turning 60 was that I am now able to buy senior price tickets at most of the local theaters, mulitiplexes included.


    3-D (none / 0) (#194)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:14:39 PM EST
    was an extra 3 dollars. Not a chance.

    I thought Life of Pi started off a little slow but then was great fun. Since I went into the movie knowing nothing about the script it was easy to accept the story as it was happening on the screen.

    Here is my only drawback with Pi which isn't really fair to the movie. I went to see it the same day as the Sandy Hook shootings, hoping to escape from what was happening and to get my mind off of killing. It worked until near the end when I suddenly realized what likely really took place on the lifeboat, and quickly took away what I would have enjoyed much more on any other day.


    If it hews fairly close to the book I can see (none / 0) (#195)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:20:24 PM EST
    how Pi would not be the pleasant distraction you were seeking. That's too bad.

    I am having a hard time finding a not 3-D version of Pi around these parts. I'll keep looking.


    Although I fully intend (none / 0) (#185)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:10:17 PM EST
    To see Les Mis, because I loved the stage version, for your sake, it's too bad you're not seeing Lincoln or Skyfall, instead.  They're both great (in different ways, of course).

    Think I'll add (none / 0) (#199)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:22:13 PM EST
    Skyfall and Les Mis to my cheap matinee list.

    I am excited about Les Miserables. I love (none / 0) (#201)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:38:44 PM EST
    the play. And I have been waiting for the movie to finally open.  Don't now that i will make it on Christmas Day, but soon after I'll be at the movie theater.

    I love musicals, live theatre and the movies. My parents had the albums of many of the musicals of the '50s and '60s. They were played on the console stereo, those old stereos that were large pieces of furniture.  Broadway is the music of my childhood. Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Camelot, The King and I, South Pacific and my personal favorite West Side Story.


    Musical theater (none / 0) (#200)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:25:43 PM EST
    the way I made my living for awhile and the way I got my union card.  Les Miz, the best of the best musical theater ever written and produced.  Beware Javert.  I like Russel Crowe and will never forget him in "A Beautiful Mind"  but that role in Les Miz should be sung by the most powerful of "bounce it off the back wall" baritones.  Crowe is wrong for that roll and whoever cast him and put him on the spot that way did him no favors.
    Other than that, Anne Hathaway is said to earn every award that is coming her way.