Thursday Morning Open Thread

The 11 Show, starring me, today at 11. Topics for today: The debt ceiling is unconstitutional, the GOP's orderly surrender on the fiscal cliff, and more.

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Open Thread.

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    Interesting guest post at (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:15:02 AM EST
    naked capitalism on "The Obscenely Rich Men Bent on Shredding the Safety Net."

    A few highlights:

    New York magazine calls it a "Mass Movement for Millionaires." The New York Times' Paul Krugman sums up the idea: "Hey, sacrifice is for the little people."

    The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a huge, and growing, coalition of powerful CEOs, politicians and policy makers on a mission to lower taxes for the rich and to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid under the cover of concern about the national debt. The group was spawned in July 2012 by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, architects of a misguided deficit reduction scheme in Washington back in 2010. By now, the "fixers" have collected a war chest of $43 million. Private equity billionaire Peter G. Peterson, longtime enemy of the social safety net, is a major supporter.


    The fixers are often vague about their mission, and they tend to speak in coded language that conceals their actual goals. Let's have some blunt talk about what the fixers want to do and why they want to do it - talk you're unlikely to hear in mainstream media supported by corporate advertising.

    1. "Fix" means cut: When they say "fix" Social Security, they mean cut Social Security.


    2. "Reform" means rob. When the say "reform" the tax code, they mean "make taxes even lower for the rich."


    3."Bipartisan" means all of the rich. Fix the Debt is a pro-business ideological movement pretending to be a bipartisan group of concerned citizens.


    4. "Concern" means covet. [this is a really good section]


    5. "Fiscal conservative" means economically confused.


    6. "Strip-mining is not leadership." Fixers present themselves as magnanimous, responsible leaders doing what they believe is best for the country. But that's a tough sell when you're advocating policies that mainly benefit...yourself.

    Well worth reading in its entirety.

    Really good article (none / 0) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:36:30 AM EST
    I thought about posting it. Glad you did.

    The change in the meaning of select words is IMO right on.


    A new socialist is born ;o) (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:25:01 PM EST
    KRAUTHAMMER: Kristol's turning into a Socialist... He's the Secretary of the Treasury sitting right over there. Worker's champion. link

    Wow this is great. Even a Republican can earn the designation of a socialist if he doesn't stick to bat sh!t crazy rhetoric all the time.

    What's Plan B? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:29:57 PM EST
    President Obama made public comments to this effect in front of the Business Roundtable. And various other commentators have reported it. But it's turning out to be far more important than the jousting over tax rates that President Obama is saying flatly that he will not negotiate under any circumstances over raising the national debt limit.

    White House Spox: No Constitutional Workaround To Ignore Debt Ceiling

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday the Obama administration does not believe the 14th Amendment gives the President the ability to ignore the debt ceiling, Reuters reported. link

    Curious to know what is Obama's plan B when the Republicans "Just Say No."

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:18:24 PM EST
    Obama should absolutely do.....nothing.

    It's way past time the Public gets a taste of what living under Republican "Leadership" looks like.


    I agree that "doing nothing" could (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:37:26 PM EST
    be an option but I doubt that Obama would agree.

    It is my understanding that Moody's and Fitch are already threatening to downgrade U.S. sovereign debt in 2013. According to reports, their decision will be based on development of a "credible" long-term deficit reduction plan and how Congress addresses the next debt ceiling deadline. IMO Obama will be willing to cut a deal, even a bad deal, to prevent that from happening.

    Once again, that is my opinion and I would be very glad to be proven wrong.  


    Certainly, (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:06:49 PM EST
    I don't have any way of knowing for sure what Obama will do under Republican intransigence vis-à-vis the debt ceiling. But, Past is not always Prologue, and he does seem to display a little more backbone now, after the election. I guess what I'm doing is giving my advice, not looking for an answer.

    Now, as to the rating agencies, and their possible downgrade:

    When S & P knocked down America's rating slightly a few months back we have to understand what they were saying. Many people took great offense at the downgrade and claimed that the USA was just as strong as its always been. They took the downgrade personally. But, S & P wasn't saying America was weaker "empirically." It was saying the "System" by which we solve our financial problems was flawed, and, if not corrected, would bode badly for the future. Basically, I think, they were saying the Republican's dangerous political game of fiscal Russian Roulette was no way for a Financial Powerhouse like us to be conducting our economic programs.

    That is also why, the day after the downgrade, interest rates actually fell, not rise as many thought it would. S & P wasn't saying America suddenly became economically weaker. They were firing "a shot across the bow," a warning, that if we didn't learn to play together better, down the road it would hurt us badly.  

    And, BTW, I saw a poll yesterday (NYT, I think) where the question was, "Who would you blame if we fell off the Fiscal Cliff? Obama, or the Republicans?

    I don't recall the exact numbers, but they, overwhelmingly, would blame the Republicans.

    Debt ceiling, Fiscal Cliff, very similar.

    Obama's got the wind at his back.


    Very good article ABG... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by fishcamp on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:50:35 PM EST
    Maybe you've been in Purgatory long enough but it's up to the boss.  Good luck.

    But you are on at 10 too dude (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:01:08 AM EST
    With David

    Yeah (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:06:51 AM EST
    I chime in a lot.

    It makes it a bit more interesting (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:29:53 AM EST
    If your auditory skills are your weaker input.  Sometimes I lose track of David's voice after 20 minutes because I'm cleaning and hunting dirt.  It changes the sounds up a little and gets me back in the sound game again and the discussion.

    Does Waldman have a deep, (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 11:20:12 AM EST
    resonant voice?  (I'm still trying to ID one of the yakkers  on election night.)

    Has DK radio addressed Ms. Middleton's "extreme morning sickness"?


    David's voice is mid-range (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:40:24 PM EST
    Armando's is deeper and he speaks a little more slowly.  It is a good contrast when they talk together.  Winkk has a deep radio voice.  Justice is mid-range.

    "The Blue State Suicide Pact" (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:50:10 AM EST
    "Perhaps the greatest irony in all this is that the Republicans, largely detested in the deep blue bastions, are the ones most likely to fall on their swords to maintain lower rates for the the  mass affluent class in the bluest states and metros. If they were something other than the stupid party, or perhaps a bit more cynical, they would respond to the President's tax proposals by taking a line from their doddering cultural icon, Clint Eastwood: make my day."

    Resignation? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Amiss on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:09:28 AM EST
    Heard on news that one of our favorites, Jim Demint resigned. Also, Who the He!! does Chris Christie think he is after years of other states having to rebuild on their own, wanting us to pick up the entire pricetag from Sandy? Looks like he, like many other republicans want their bread buttered on both sides.

    Demint will resign in January to become head of Heritage Foundation.

    Interesting....will Nikki Haley appoint herself (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:15:50 AM EST
    to the Senate to replace him? will have to look into SC rules.

    She can (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:18:07 AM EST
    but the hint is that she won't

    well technically no (none / 0) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:19:49 AM EST
    she resigns with the agreement her next in line for the Governor, Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, appoints her to the Senate

    Seems like (none / 0) (#31)
    by indy in sc on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:47:13 PM EST
    Rep. Tim Scott appears to be the early favorite for the appointment.  He just won re-election of his seat by a large margin and is very popular among the tea party and other ultra-righties.  Doesn't hurt that he would be the only black senator at a time when the GOP is trying desperately to show that they are not a whites-only party.

    Nominating Rep. Scott would certainly ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:11:17 PM EST
    ... lend credence to the Republicans' oft-repeated assertion that they're not bigoted and prejudiced because one of their best friends is colored.

    Somehow, "Jim DeMint" and (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    "think tank" don't really go together; I can't imagine Jim De Mint being responsible for anything worthwhile coming out of the Heritage Foundation.

    But, on the bright side, maybe now we know where it is the rats go when it's clear the ship is sinking.


    It"s (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:32:22 AM EST
    a misprint.

    It's a "stink tank".


    Hee,hee! (none / 0) (#18)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:43:07 AM EST
    An appropriate venue for Jim "Demented."

    me either (none / 0) (#23)
    by Amiss on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:09:45 PM EST
    No way, no how does he appear to me, at least, a think tank type of person, for sure not thi king of anything good for the good of the whole country.

    That's just great. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:14:20 PM EST
    Now, Sen. DeMint can devote his life wholly to the study of anachronistic reality and its proper function in the parallel universe.

    More fun stuff from the Republican Party (none / 0) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:17:48 PM EST
    A Republican source in South Carolina tells TPM Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is considering filling Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-SC) Senate seat with Chad Walldorf, owner of the Sticky Fingers regional chain of barbecue restaurants. link

    Walldorf (none / 0) (#55)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:57:52 PM EST
    is on the SC Board of Economic Advisors, was deputy chief of staff to Gov. Mark Sanford, and also served in the Reagan White House's Office of Political Affairs.

    And if he plays along with Stephen Colbert he obviously has some sense of humor.

    The downtown Sticky Fingers on Meeting Street was a regular stopping point with my daughter when she was young.

    As South Carolina goes I'd guess him as a Republican to the left of DeMint so we could do worse.


    I thought it amusing that (none / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:28:53 PM EST
    a politician had the words "sticky fingers" associated with his name. This definition from the urban dictionary was what first came to mind rather than sticky fingers from barbecue sauce.

    sticky fingers: One inclined to steal everything within reach, as if their hands were covered with glue

    I hear that term, and ... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:38:10 PM EST
    ... I immediately think of the Rolling Stones' 1971 album of the same name. "Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields, sold in a market down in New Orleans ..."

    You will like then (none / 0) (#61)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:49:19 PM EST
    that a framed album cover of the aforementioned vinyl LP hangs on the wall at every location.

    Mo Blue...good point that didn't even cross my mind as I've just always known it as a place for Sunday afternoon lunch.


    Is it the original 1971 cover ... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:56:27 PM EST
    ... with the real zipper? If so, then that's way cool, and the politics of the owner / CEO can be temporarily forgiven.

    After their 1972 double album "Exile on Main Street," I'd have to say that "Sticky Fingers" is probably my second favorite Stones release of all time.


    I wasn't aware of a restaurant by that name (none / 0) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:04:19 PM EST
    until I saw it in the post stating that he might be chosen as a replacement for Demint.

    Then again, I wasn't aware that the Rolling Stones had an album by that name either until I went searching for the exact urban dictionary definition. I probably listened to the music from that album but while my mind seems to retain bits of really obscurer information, it does not retain things like album titles.    


    The two songs from "Sticky Fingers," ... (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:49:35 PM EST
    ... the ninth Stones album and the first to be released under their own label, with which you would probably be most familiar are "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses."

    Another fairly well-known tune from that album -- which was not a hit at the time of release, but one that has been covered by a number of other artists such as Steve Earle and Guns'n'Roses over the ensuing years -- is "Dead Flowers," a rather dark song which did not receive much if any airplay in 1971, in large part due to its obvious reference to heroin use and casual sex:

    "Well, you're sitting back
    In your rose pink Cadillac,
    Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day.
    I'll be in my basement room
    With a needle and a spoon,
    And another girl can take my pain away."

    Definitely familiar with Brown Sugar (none / 0) (#70)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:12:49 PM EST
    and Wild Horses. Don't recall hearing Dead Flowers.

    "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'"... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:10:44 AM EST
    is THE Jam on that record...Keith & Mick Taylor at their ancient art of basket weaving best.

    Also partial to "Sway"...Its just that demon life has got me in it's sway


    I'm (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:30:51 AM EST
    sure that somehow the story got garbled, but the way it has been reported it is now legal to "purchase" pot, but it is not legal to sell it.

    Anyway - it will be interested to see if the justice dept. storm troopers swoop down on Washington and Colorado - forcing its charmingly antiquated moralism upon the citizens of those lucky States.

    There was a report on NPR (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:41:51 AM EST
    about the Washington law.  Apparently, the state is gearing up to license and regulate sellers of marijuana, so it seems that in Washington at least, it will be legal to sell marijuana.  If you're appropriately licensed.  The report didn't say anything about casual sellers- I assume that is still illegal.
    Users of medical marijuana are upset, though, about the new, strict standards for "driving under the influence" of marijuana, according to the NPR reporting I heard.  They feel that, as daily users of marijuana for medical purposes, they'll essentially never be "legal" to drive.
    I'm too lazy to Google a link- this is just what I remember hearing on NPR.

    I've little sympathy for stoners, (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:08:02 PM EST
    clogging up the streets driving at twenty or thirty mph under the limit, letting people cut them off without even a raised finger, grinning instead of raving and raging at their fellow drivers.

    Sorry Mr. N.... (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:52:19 PM EST
    I shoulda waited another hour and let the happy wear off completely before running those errands...I will make sure to be speeding, tailgating, & road-raging flipping birds like normal next time;)

    Seriously though (cue broken record), the answer is to repeal all driving while impaired laws and replace with the catch-all reckless driving.  What do I care if the reason somebody ran a red light is booze, reefer, pain pills, fatigue, or changing the radio station...reckless driving covers all.  And we can stop dragging people through the system who blow .00001 over an arbitrary BAC and are no threat to nobody.


    correcto kdog... (none / 0) (#40)
    by fishcamp on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:06:23 PM EST
    down here we have 42 bridges to cross while driving the 115 miles of the Florida keys and our problem is a bit different.  People can be driving normally at 45 or 55 mph until they get to a bridge and slow waay down to look at the ocean or bay water.  Most accidents are on the bridges caused by these looky loos who probably aren't stoned yet because they just got off their airplane.  Then they get to their island of choice, score some weed, have a few rum runners and it starts going downhill fast.  We also have BUI's...boating under the influence.  The torture never stops.

    You get those pics I emailed you, KDog? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:05:36 PM EST
    Just curious.

    They are crappy, but... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:06:23 PM EST
    ...my email has been spotty lately, just want to make sure stuff is being received.

    Yes sir... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:11:36 AM EST
    received indeed, much obliged, and better than I would snap...I'm the worst photographer ever.

    Good deal (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:32:24 PM EST
    Can't blow those non I-phone cell pics up very well. Blurry as all hell.  Still, gotta love those tiny gyms.

    I don't know, Mr. Natural. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:29:14 PM EST
    I happen to think that it might actually be a good thing for stoners to drive at 30 mph under the speed limit in your community, particularly if everyone else is otherwise barreling down city streets at 55 mph, raving and raging at their fellow drivers.

    Because if that's the case, then I would strongly suggest that your city council consider passing an ordinance which would provide for the mandatory use of bongs by anyone who's seated in either the driver's or front passenger's seat.


    Personally, I have little sympathy (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:45:19 PM EST
    for drivers (very frankly, mostly the elderly) who putter along way below the speed limit and seem totally oblivious to other drivers.  Not to mention the fact that they seem to wait in driveways or cross streets until you are almost on top of them before slowly pulling out in front of you.
    And I speak as someone who is rapidly approaching Medicare age, myself.  I have also told my kids, if I ever start driving like this, they are to take my driver's license away from me.
    I also have little sympathy for the distracted drivers who run red lights or cut people off because they are texting or talking in their cell phones.  I witnessed a red light runner just this morning, who was busy looking at her cell phone, rather than paying attention to the light.
    And I have little sympathy for drivers who tail-gate, dangerously weave in and out of traffic, or do other things that endanger other drivers because they are "in a hurry."
    Why not just use the "reckless driving" laws to stop all of them, as kdog suggested?

    We had the state of NJ take my dad's (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:09:12 PM EST
    license away.

    Texting and talking on cellphones while driving is illegal here in CA, and well-enforced too, as I can attest to.

    As someone who has been, occasionally, in a hurry, I happily let drivers in a hurry go past me. No skin off my nose.

    Anyway, there seems to be a train of thought on this thread (not you) that MJ-impaired drivers are no less safe than - or, even more safe than - non-impaired drivers.

    This thought is pretty ill-considered, imo.


    Well, all kidding aside, ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:27:55 PM EST
    ... driving under the influence is still driving under the influence, regardless of whatever your preferred intoxicant happens to be.

    When you imbibe, you shouldn't drive. You may think you're fine when you get behind the wheel, but you're actually engaging in reckless driving and eventually you're going to get caught -- that is, if you don't either kill or injure yourself or someone else first.

    I'm glad to hear you had the state repeal your father's driver's license, if he was no longer able to drive safely due to the infirmities of advancing age. That's certainly not an easy thing to have to ever tell a parent or grandparent, and unfortunately, there are lots of people who'd prefer instead to avoid an unpleasant discussion or painful confrontation.

    You're to be commended for first broaching the subject and then following through. The life you saved prospectively was probably that of your own father.



    Thanks, but... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:37:23 PM EST
    ...he didn't know we ratted him out, and never will.

    That's probably for the best. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:16:21 PM EST
    My late grandfather was a very sharp man with very good reflexes well into his senior years, but as he grew older, he became increasingly irritable whenever he was behind the wheel and caught up in traffic. Problem was, nobody ever wanted to bring it up with him, because that old man had both a temper and a sharp tongue, and he was not at all shy about wielding them whenever it suited his purposes.

    One day, he became very impatient in heavy traffic one day while driving westbound on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, and he impulsively drove up onto a (mercifully empty!) sidewalk to get around all the cars and make a right turn onto Hill Ave. to head back home.

    (And since this is across the street from Pasadena City College, this also happens to be one of the busier intersections in town. Why he didn't just cut through the Jack-in-the-Box parking lot on that corner is beyond me.)

    Unfortunately -- for him, anyway, and not for the rest of society -- he did it right in front of a police officer sitting at the intersection, who quickly pulled him over and cited him on two counts of negligent and reckless driving, which required him to appear in court. My grandfather pleaded guilty and paid a hefty fine, but the judge allowed him to keep his driver's license.

    After a family discussion amongst my mother, aunts and uncles, it was left to my mother, the baby of the family and the proverbial apple of her father's eye, to tactfully finess the idea with him that perhaps at age 91, it was time to hand over the keys and start letting someone else do the driving.

    But while he predictably refused to give up his license, he surprisingly agreed to greatly limit his time behind the wheel to grocery shopping at the neighborhood Von's or to their doctor's visits (both short distances of less than a mile on lightly traveled streets), and to allow others to chauffeur him and my grandmother the rest of the time as necessary -- and he kept his word.



    Texting and talking on cell phones (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:19:30 PM EST
    while driving is illegal in Maryland where I live, too.  But there does not seem to be much enforcement here, since it happens all the time, unfortunately.

    You've got it right, Zorba. (none / 0) (#39)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:05:43 PM EST
    It is now legal to possess 1 ounce or less of weed in Washington state. Larger amounts are legal if they are in baked goods or in liquid form. It remains illegal to sell or grow weed. It is also illegal to smoke it in public or to drive while impaired.

    The state liquor control board, along with agriculture and public health officials, have until December 2013 to establish rules for the growing and selling of pot.

    So, basically, for potentially the next year one's dealer remains an outlaw and one's garden remains off-limits as a weed farm. Still, if your dealer doesn't get busted, once you have made the purchase you are legal.

    Lots of talk here about Oregonians crossing over the mighty Columbia to indulge their habits. Of course, such Oregonians would need to imbibe of the herb before crossing back over the river to Oregon. Take a designated driver, Oregonians.


    And also as of 12:01 a.m. PST ... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:27:30 PM EST
    ... this morning, concurrently with the legalization of marijuana possession under one oz., full marriage equality for same sex couples became the law in Washington state.

    The good folks at West Seattle Blog were on hand at the King County Administration Building in downtown Seattle to fully document the happy -- and historic -- occasion.


    Isn't pot legal in Oregon too? (none / 0) (#41)
    by fishcamp on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:20:37 PM EST
    In fact I thought Portland had the first marijuana bar in the nation.  Not sure how it works but I think you have to be a member and I'm also not sure where the pot comes from.  Will the infamous OLCC control the Oregon pot too?

    Medical marijuana is legal in Oregon. (none / 0) (#42)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:40:02 PM EST
    Just regular old smokin' it for fun weed is illegal. So many people, we are told, have MM cards here, and enough of the "right" people are horrified by that,  that the state jacked up the fees to get an MM card dramatically in an effort to curb the proliferation of MM users.

    In fact, just this past election, a legalize weed ballot measure was defeated here. It was very sloppily written which made it easy for opponents to attack it. I think the Washington bill passed in part because it set out in the ballot measure exactly what the limits would be, established a measureable limit for DUI, and, of course, had Rick Steves of PBS travel show fame as a frontman for legalization.

    While busts here lack the notoriety of the big MM busts in California, the feds do bust large grow operations in Oregon, usually in the fertile crescent that is southern Oregon.


    Seems strange to me (none / 0) (#43)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:41:28 PM EST
    that it still remains illegal to grow your own in Washington, as long as you are not selling it or giving it to others.  And that it will apparently remain illegal to grow your own, even after Washington establishes the licensing requirements.
    On the other hand, I must say that I do not have a problem with any laws that restrict driving while impaired, whether you are impaired for reasons of ingestion of alcohol, marijuana, legal prescription drugs, or even if you are impaired by lack of sleep, or any other such reason.  If you are not at top form, for pity's sake, don't drive.  If you don't care about your own life, have some concern for others, at least.

    All about the benjamins, Zorba. (none / 0) (#58)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:32:59 PM EST
    If you are growing your own weed, and so not buying it from a state regulated dealer, you are also not paying the state taxes on said weed. And that will not be tolerated.

    Well, (none / 0) (#59)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:37:40 PM EST
    there certainly is that.  Money for the government trumps everything, after all.

    NYT on Costly Obamacare (none / 0) (#12)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:31:13 AM EST
    Explain the difference between... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:10:10 PM EST
    ...the fiat currency we use -- which is created out of thin air whenever it needs to be (see trillions created on a dime, pun intended, to "save" the economy -- and popcorn.  And why we should allow it to control and destroy us.

    HINT: you can actually eat popcorn.


    That is an excellent post (none / 0) (#14)
    by sj on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:35:16 AM EST

    Whoops (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:37:37 AM EST
    This was supposed to be a reply to Anne's comment #6.

    David Dayen leaving FDL (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:54:21 AM EST
    See here:

    I want to share some news. I am going to be ending my association with FDL News Desk. My last day will be December 21, two weeks from tomorrow.

    This was an agonizing and difficult decision that I made over the course of many months. Those of you who have been kind enough to read my scribblings for the past three years (or, for the real old-timers who go back to Hullabaloo or Calitics or my original blog D-Day, eight) deserve at least an explanation for this, and so I'm going to try and provide one.

    Let me start by telling you that this has nothing to do with the fine people at Firedoglake, from Jane on down to the editors and moderators and backstage folks. I have nothing but respect for what this site has been able to build and sustain through a challenging time in media, particularly for ad-supported liberal blogs. FDL has long carved out a niche as a destination for in-depth information relegated to the back pages, if at all, of most news outlets, combined with an activism arm that takes that information and actually transforms it into action. Jane has been extremely generous and patient with me as I attempted to contribute to this in my meager way, and I couldn't be happier with how things turned out. Together we accomplished a good deal. And I'm sure the site will continue to accomplish much more.

    No immediate plans, other than trying to figure out what he wants to do and in what capacity.

    Adopt a Drone: (none / 0) (#21)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:00:12 PM EST
    Apologies in order? (none / 0) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 12:13:40 PM EST
    Some may have thought that the Republican House was out of another century, but, really, they are "thoroughly modern millies!"  

    The word "lunatic" will be stricken from federal law under legislation passed by the House on Wednesday (it passed the Senate last May) and now is on its way to the president.  The action is to remove language that has become outdated or demeaning--there is no record of which argument was most persuasive.

    The legislation cites one instance in banking regulation that refers to the authority of a bank to act as a "committee of estates of lunatics" on guardianship. It is a toss-up as to which is more surprising, this recognition of 21st century understanding of mental disease and illness, or that there is a banking regulation.

    The vote, however, was not without its dissenter, Rep. Gohmet (R. TX), who said "not only should we not eliminate the word 'lunatic' from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy, we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington."  

    From our "Your Own Private Idaho" file: (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:04:53 PM EST
    Retired antivirus software pioneer-turned-self-styled international fugitive from justice John McAfee has been arrested in Guatamala City, and charged with entering Guatamala illegally from Belize, where he's wanted for questioning by authorities investigating the apparent murder of McAfee's neighbor who had, only one week prior to his death, filed a complaint with the local city council about the wealthy eccentric's behavior.

    Last April, Belize police arrested McAfee and charged him with unlicensed drug manufacturing and possession of an unlicensed weapon, an arrest which which McAfee later claimed was prompted by his refusal to donate money to a local official. He has since made claims online to having been "persecuted" by Belize authorities.

    McAfee initially made over $100 million when his software company initially went public in 1992. However, his personal fortune had apparently dwindled to about $4 million over the ensuing two decades, due in large part to bad real estate deals, failed business ventures and bond investments with Lehman Bros. He moved to Belize five years ago to shelter his remaining millions from U.S. taxes, and was living in a beachfront estate on Ambergris Caye.

    Belize authorities are saying that McAfee is not a suspect in his neighbor's murder. Stay tuned.

    Update: (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:56:04 PM EST
    John McAfee has been hospitalized in Guatamala City, where authorities say that he's suffering from symptoms related to stress and possible hypertension. They also said that they plan to repatriate him to Belize.

    A new first for Republicans in the Senate (none / 0) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:12:41 PM EST
    McConnell Filibusters His Own Bill To Lift Debt Limit

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wanted to prove on Thursday that Democrats don't have the votes to weaken Congress' authority on the debt limit. Instead they called his bluff, and he ended up filibustering his own bill.
    "The Republican leader objects to his own idea," Reid declared on the floor. "So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill."
    Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) scoffed at that notion that a senator would ask for a vote on a bill in good faith while requiring that it be "filibuster-proof."

    "This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal," he said. "I don't think this has ever happened before." link

    With BTD permission (none / 0) (#50)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:29:56 PM EST
    ABG, since your post may be ... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:50:48 PM EST
    ... deleted by Jeralyn because long web addresses skew the site and you didn't use the hyperlink button, I've taken the liberty to do it for you:



    Gracias (none / 0) (#53)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:52:05 PM EST
    It may be deleted anyway.  Not even supposed to be posting here.

    FWIW (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:24:37 PM EST
    BTD should reconsider his ABG Ban.

    Quoting Voltaire:

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

    And, by the way, ABG, how will we know we're "right" if we don't have you to show us what "wrong" looks like?

    "BRING BACK ABG!!!!"


    I'm not going to get into that. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:58:33 PM EST
    That's strictly between you and TL management.