Wednesday Open Thread

Busy day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Greetings TL'ers.... (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:24:47 PM EST
    Back from paradiso de la huasteca potosina...sweet baby jesus it was all it was cracked up to be and more.  The special lady grows more beautiful everytime I see her, and her company more enjoyable...I guess frolicking in cascadas, rios, lagos, y sierras doesn't hurt the romance vibes.

    Reality is a helluva buzzkill, but Jimmy V and Al Kooper paying tribute to Mike Bloomfield tonight will take the edge off. And a surprise belated birthday present from my sister, a trip to Mountain Jam this weekend for a Govt. Mule Levon Helm tribute set amongst many other musical gems.  

    Hope all is well with the crew, and ya didn't miss my particular flavor of knuckleheadism too much;)

    Good news for you (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Rojas on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:33:27 PM EST
    This month, a federal judge in New York dealt a blow to "stop-and-frisk," a policy that resulted in 685,000 recorded police stops in 2011. Eighty-five percent of those stopped were African American and Latino, mostly youths.

    In her written decision, Scheindlin said the alleged constitutional violations result not from the actions of rogue officers, but from a policy handed down from the very top.

    Opinion is here (none / 0) (#97)
    by Rojas on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:01:04 PM EST
    Plaintiffs now move for certification of the following class:
    All persons who since January 31, 2005 have been, or in the future will be, subjected to the New York Police Department's policies and/or widespread customs or practices of stopping, or stopping and frisking, persons in the absence of a reasonable, articulable suspicion that criminal activity has taken, is taking, or is about to
    take place in violation of the Fourth Amendment, including persons stopped or stopped and frisked on the basis of being Black or Latino in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the
    Fourteenth Amendment.12
    Because plaintiffs satisfy the legal standard for class certification, their motion is granted.

    Courtesey of Grits


    Nice one mate! (none / 0) (#156)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:54:00 AM EST
    Nice to have some good news to come home to...up until you turned me on to that sweet nugget, I was under the impression all that went down was people shooting, stabbing & eating each other while I was unplugged.

    People shooting each other... (none / 0) (#159)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:04:26 AM EST
    has apparently become the local sport in Seattle these days.  Very sad.

    But!  If everyone was armed, we wouldn't have these problems!11!

    I sure hope the eating faces thing doesn't catch on.  


    Seriously bro... (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:52:47 AM EST
    I caught up on Jeralyn's post about the college student who got plugged for drunkenly walking into the wrong house.  A woman no less!  I could see being scared enough to open fire if it was a big drunken dude in your bedroom, maybe, but a woman?  It does feel like irrational fear and standing your ground has become epidemic.  

    Dehumanization Nation is at hand, between a bullet and a target, on many a' level.  


    Welcome Back (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:29:31 AM EST
    I just got back from Ecuador myself and all I can say is I concur about the buzz-kill, but it's not reality, it's America.  Everyone is so GD edgy and high stung, it was noticeable as soon as I got to Miami.

    No one sweats the BS in Latin America including the oodles of Americanos.  It would be so nice to come back home, like when I was younger, and at some level feel happy to be back home.

    I went 12 days without hearing/reading a GD word/pic of Obama or Romney.  That alone was worth the price of admission.

    And we discovered this little surfing.hippy town on the coast that is easily the coolest place I have ever visited, Montañita.  Same name of the fictional city in Shaw Shank i believe.


    Ecuador eh? (none / 0) (#167)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:36:55 AM EST
    Sounds like a great time hermano, it was simply glorious to unplug wasn't it?  And I hear ya, edgy/high strung/uptight/anal are the words, sooo edgy for so few reasons.  Our culture needs a chill pill.

    You don't remember the name of the town Red?  It is Zihuatanejo;)


    Funny... (none / 0) (#190)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:58:54 AM EST
    ...looks like if I was in that situation I would have spent my Golden Years looking for the wrong town and never finding my dear friend.  Let's hope I am never falsely imprisoned.

    We decided to really wing this one, no solid plans and our flight left from a different city; we were definitely mobile.  We managed to hit 3 of the Galapagos Islands and traveled the Ecuadorian coast.  Ruta del Sol.


    I missed you at B.A.M. Stunning (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:49:05 PM EST
    production of Pinter's "The Caretaker."  

    I thought of you... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:57:38 PM EST
    at Las Pozas, the special lady called it, "like Alice in Wonderland".

    Local legend has it that Sir Edward James had a vision of Las Pozas under the influence of magic mushrooms. His vision was three descending waterfalls, many multi-colored butterflies, and naked people swimming in the pools of the descending waterfalls.  

    After an arduous search he came to Xilitla, and when he bathed in the pools of the three waterfalls naked, he was swarmed by multi-colored butterflies.  Our guide may have been a bullsh*t artist, but its a great story and I'm gonna buy it:)

    We stayed at his old house/now a hotel run by his grand-niece, El Castillo.  Coolest hotel I've ever been in.


    Terrific. Lived up to your expectations. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:59:29 PM EST
    Welcome back, kdog. (none / 0) (#95)
    by caseyOR on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:44:01 PM EST
    It sounds like you had a great time.

    If the pirate crew... (none / 0) (#162)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:11:53 AM EST
    decides to landlock, we could do far worse than the Huasteca region Cap'n Case.  Drinking water (we drank straight from a mountain spring, delicous!), fertile land (orange groves, crops galore, and plentiful green grazing fields for the cattle), and cheap as a motherf*cker (5 peso tacos?  Tres Barbacoa, Tres Pastor, y Tres Chorizo por favor!)

    Missed you here kdog! (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:47:48 PM EST
    Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time and things are still caliente with the special lady!

    Hope re-entry to earth atmosphere is not too painful...


    A crash landing... (none / 0) (#163)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:15:27 AM EST
    but in one piece, mostly, aside from a crack in the heart armor. Thanks ruff.

    More opiates at hand though, got the heads up Jimmy Cliff is playing in Brooklyn 6/5.  Time to go on a concert bender!  Somehow I came home with some money this trip, and as always it's burning a hole in my back pocket.


    Jimmy Cliff, nice! (none / 0) (#171)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:06:03 AM EST
    Me and the Mrs. Sarc saw a great show last week - The Average White Band, Tower of Power, and War.

    My feets are still dancing!


    Ya told me... (none / 0) (#173)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:14:36 AM EST
    that was on the agenda, good stuff.

    Jimmy Vivino was shredding Bloomfield licks last night, him and Al Koop hit us with 3 tracks off "Highway 61".  They assembled a killer rythym section too, bass was pumping drums were swinging.  John Sebastian the Woodstockian came out with his harp for a few numbers.  Summer is on holmes!


    swing. I love this time of year!

    Check this Mountain Jam lineup... (none / 0) (#179)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:25:35 AM EST
    in store this weekend...are they sh*ttin' me?  Yip yeah!

    Killer. Which days are you going? (none / 0) (#182)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:29:38 AM EST
    Gonna miss Friday... (none / 0) (#183)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:33:31 AM EST
    Heading up Saturday morning for the remainder and some camping.

    Suppose Justin Bieber was in Florida and punched (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dan the Man on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    the photographer instead of in California.

    If the photographer had a gun, would it have been legal for him to shoot and kill Bieber with his gun under Florida's self-defense and Stand Your Ground law?  Just wondering.

    Probably not (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:59:12 PM EST
    Since from all appearances the photographer could (and did) retreat.

    Well, yes. Because, in CA, he (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:00:19 PM EST
    couldn't legally stand his ground.  

    Papajerkoff stood his ground... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    in a sense, considering it appears to be an obvious case of goading Beiber into a lawsuit/settlement.  It's the only reason to see a doctor, documentation of "injuries" lol.

    Good for Beibs...he's loaded, I'm sure the satisfaction was worth any settlement, not to mention the boost to his street cred!


    You sure this (none / 0) (#27)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:52:54 PM EST
    Wasn't a "setup" between them?
    The Biebs seems to have been trying to boast his "cred" for over a year now.

    Who knows... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:56:17 PM EST
    but I doubt it...a "lemme goad the rich celebrity into punching me and get paid" scenario seems more likely.  Pretty slimey business those celebrity photogs are in...but its what the people want apparently.

    Except... (none / 0) (#199)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:42:08 PM EST
    ...in California it is illegal for the press to block your vehicle, so a lawsuit seems unlikely.

    Beber has been hanging out with and Tyson and 50cent and taking boxing lessons.  I assume he decided put his big boy pants on whereas a year ago he would have stayed in the car.


    LOL! Like I said yesterday, were I ... (none / 0) (#86)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:07:29 PM EST
    ... that papparazzo, I'd be really embarrassed to admit publicly that I'd been beaten up and sent to the hospital by The Biebs.

    The Silly Season Begins ... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Robot Porter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:55:03 PM EST
    good and proper.  

    The Technorati in the Twitterverse love this one:

    "America" Misspelled on Romney iPhone App!

    "Amercia" is a funny mis-spelling... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:06:27 PM EST
    ... sounds like a condition from eating a bad corn-dog.

    Of course, there was the famous "Rmoney" mis-spelling made by his t-shirt wearing supporters a few months ago that will never be topped.


    It was topped only by ... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:45:31 PM EST
    ... the candidate himself, who said the following at an Iowa rally in January:

    "I believe in an America where millions of people believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love."

    George W. Bush is still the gaffe king, of course, but time will tell if Romney can pile up the vacuous campaign quotes like Gov. Thomas Dewey, who offered supporters the following pearls of wisdom:

    • "You know that your future is still ahead of you."
    • "Your future is bright, very bright indeed, brighter than a bald man's dome."
    • "My decision on the matter is as certain and final as death and the staggering New Deal taxes."
    • "No man should be in public office who can't make more money in private life."
    • "The law is bigger than money - but only if the law works hard enough."
    • "When you're leading, don't talk."
    • "You cannot have freedom without liberty."

    Give Romney enough time, (none / 0) (#57)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:52:19 PM EST
    and I'm sure that we can compile a list of stupid quotes of his that probably won't surpass those of GW, but will still be rather impressive.
    And as for Dewey, I think that "When you're leading, don't talk," is probably good campaign advice.  After all, if you're ahead, everything you say will be parsed and criticized to a fair-thee-well.    ;-)

    Good for being kind to old Dewey (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:59:27 PM EST
    Since his law firm just filed for bankruptcy.

    Dewey is a political punchline, ... (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:56:19 PM EST
    ... given what happened to him in 1948, but he was actually an honest and decent man -- and a pretty brave one, too. Not too many public officials were willing to take on organized crime back in his day, and it's no secret that the Mob put a price on Dewey's head when he was New York's District Attorney.

    It's really a shame that there aren't more Republicans like Dewey in today's GOP.


    Donald, there aren't (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:35:40 PM EST
    any Republicans like Dewey, or even like Dwight Eisenhower for that matter, any more.  What a shame- they've all been driven out of the GOP.
    OTOH, there aren't a whole heck of a lot of Democrats (if any) like Harry Truman, either.   ;-)

    LOL! (none / 0) (#78)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:35:48 PM EST
    Well, since Dewey himself died over 40 years ago, I hardly think that we can blame his eponymous law firm's failure on him.  

    OTOH, I do wonder what Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who called Dewey "the little man on the wedding cake," would call some of the current crop of politicians.


    Unfortunately for Dewey, it's ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:44:21 PM EST
    ... an open question as to whether he was ever truly ahead at any point in the 1948 election campaign. Given Truman's final margin of victory, which was not really all that close when one examines the numbers, it's readily apparent that the political polls which showed Dewey leading comfortably in that race were terribly flawed.

    Oh, I serioulsy doubt (none / 0) (#82)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:52:54 PM EST
    that Dewey was ever "truly ahead."  I think that the conventional wisdom and the "mainstream media" at the time were total idiots.  Dewey's election may have been hoped for by some of them, but they certainly didn't have any clue whatsoever about what mainstream Americans were actually thinking.
    But then, as a "Missouri gal," I have always been a fan of Harry S Truman.  We could use a few "Give 'em he!! Harry" politicians nowadays.    ;-)

    Rmoney is a walking division by zero error (none / 0) (#61)
    by Farmboy on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:55:28 PM EST
    Romney on the stump (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ruffian on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:53:25 PM EST
    blames Obama for malfunctioning microphone. hahaha that never gets old.

    this might not be int hat clip, but then he goes on to say he will lay off 156,000 "Washington bureaucrats - and you people will get jobs!"

    And the buffoonery has only just begun....


    even better (none / 0) (#41)
    by CST on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:08:26 PM EST
    Obama referred to Auschwitz as a "Polish Death Camp"  Link

    Apparently this has "sparked outrage in Poland"

    Oh nuance.


    It's (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by lentinel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:26:31 PM EST
    more than nuance.

    Calling them "Polish death camps" implies that the camps were set up by the Polish people to kill the Jews. In fact, they were set up by Nazis who had conquered and subjugated the Polish people.

    I can certainly understand why the Polish people would be upset by what they rightfully consider an ignorant and careless statement by a leader of a friendly power.

    I would add two things: One is that I have read that many Polish people were not all that opposed to the Germans. I am not at all convinced that there is no homegrown anti-Semitic feeling in Poland. This is my similar feeling to what happened in France during the occupation.

    Secondly: Reading Obama's statement, I just feel that he was making a pitch for Jewish votes. So he was clumsy with the facts.


    Honestly (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by CST on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:09:23 PM EST
    I don't think it implies that, although he did revise afterwards because it could imply that.

    The death camps were in Poland, and that's another way of reading that statement.  Nevertheless, much better to just apologize, which is what Obama did.  Since it's technically correct in english, I don't consider it an ignorent statement, careless, yes.  But there is more than one way to take it.

    He was giving a medal of honor to someone, not making a campaign speech.  And yes, I have also read that there was significant anti-semetic sentiment in Poland at the time, although I'm not sure I'd call it pro-German.  Check out the death rate of Jews in various countries.  Not all occupied countries have the same record, and Poland has the worst by far.  Of course it didn't help that that's where the death camps were, but I'd also argue that there's a reason so many were put there beyond proximity to Germany.  All of that aside, I don't think that's what he was saying.  But yes, it could be taken that way.  Hence the apology/gaffe.


    Then there's (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:16:14 PM EST
    the comment Obama made to visiting rabbis - being reported in the liberal Israeli paper Haertz(but making the rounds on conservative blogs here) where he told them that:

    ...he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it - and wondered how come no one asks Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel about their support to Israel.  

    If this is true, what a silly thing to say.  He knows more about it because he read about it???  


    With all due respect, that paragraph ... (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:22:25 PM EST
    ... is taken somewhat out of context, although you did thoughtfully provide a link to the original article in Haaretz. Here are the previous paragraphs:

    There were some questions directed at the presidents concerning his thoughts on the role of religious leaders in a more civil political dialogue, which then lead to the inevitable question - how does he feels about Israel? Obama joked that Lew always warns him it will get to "the kishkes question."

    "Rather than describe how deeply I care about Israel, I want to be blunt about how we got here," Obama said, reminding his guests that he had so many Jewish friends in Chicago  at the beginning of his political career that he was accused of  being a puppet of the Israel lobby.

    In the Senate, he said, his support for Israel's qualitative military edge has been unwavering.

    Obama added that people judged his support for Israel because of the differences between a center right government in Israel and center-left in the U.S. - because he pressed Netanyahu too hard in his belief that it was time to seize the moment and pursue peace initiative.

    Further, the rabbis didn't seem to have any problem with what he said to them:

    Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), which is the international umbrella organization for Conservative rabbis, told Haaretz after the meeting: "It was a very wide-ranging discussion about domestic issues, the need of our country to come together, basic values, education, geo-strategic partnership with Israel, sanctions against Iran - we thanked the administration for its very strong efforts. We had an opportunity to have thoughtful, reflective conversation."

    It's still a ridiculous statement (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:54:07 AM EST
    No other president read about Judaism?  And that's his claim to "knowing more" about it?

    Poland was formerly the home ... (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:17:23 PM EST
    ... the most significant Jewish population in the entire world, which numbered approximately 3.5 million people prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. Contrast that with today's census figures, which show that the Jewish population in Poland is less than 30,000.

    The raw fact of the matter is that the Jews in Poland were practically annihilated as a people by the Germans. The non-Jewish Poles themselves, overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, actually could do very little to interfere with anti-Semitic Nazi policies.

    Of course, the Germans themselves did a lot to discourage their active assistance. Poland was the only occupied country where the Germans formally decreed the death penalty for anyone caught helping Jews. Further, that penalty was not exclusive to the individual, but was also applicable to that individual's family, co-workers, and neighborhood or village.

    Given that, it's worth noting that Poles account for the highest number of Righteous Among The Nations awards (6,339) at the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, which honors the victims of the Holocaust, and also those who tried to help them.

    As far as the French are concerned, anti-Semitism has long been alive and well there, and it's a dirty little secret there that a lot of French people actually helped the Germans in rounding up the Jews amongst them for shipment to the death camps.



    The Nazis killed... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:20:32 PM EST
    1.9 million non Jewish Poles during the course of the war.  The main targets were the the political and RC religious leaders, journalists, teachers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, artists and anyone else deemed to be of the "intellectual" class of the majority population.

    This policy had two aims: first, to prevent Polish elites from organizing resistance or from ever regrouping into a governing class; second, to exploit Poland's leaderless, less educated majority of peasants and workers as unskilled laborers in agriculture and industry.

    Hitler's hatred of the Poles was certainly not reserved just for the Jews, but rather the Poles as a people.  His intent was the total destruction of Polish culture as a whole.  

    I have issued the command and I'll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by firing squad-that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness--for the present only in the East--with orders to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space that we need.

    If you lived in Poland during that time, it didn't matter if you were Catholic or Jewish, chances are your life was very much at risk and not just from helping your neighbor.  And yet, there are countless stories passed down from generation to generation of people doing just that.  

    "Entrance is forbidden to Poles, Jews, and dogs."--signs posted outside public places.  We were all targets.

    I recommend the above link to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum site for further reading.  


    Thank you for pointing that out. (none / 0) (#112)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:49:43 PM EST
    The Poles suffered terribly under German occupation. Hitler long harbored a bitter disdain for most all Slavic Europeans, whom he considered inferior peoples, which eventually morphed into outright hatred and translated into egregious public policies once he gained power and increasing amounts of territory came under Nazi control. The Russians fared even worse; they lost over 15% of their population in the Second World War.

    P.S.: Here's the link to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website. For some reason, it didn't take on your post.


    And yet, the Russians... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:37:56 PM EST
    in their own way, were just as ruthless in their effects to destroy our culture and kill our people as the Germans.  From the Katyn massacre to the Red Army allowing the Germans to level Warsaw during the Uprising of '44, the actions of Russians during WWII were just as reviled.

    During the occupation, they may not of had death camps per say or carried out massacres, but they certainly had no qualms about imprisoning "dissidents" (again, mainly the intellectual/leadership class) in work camps.  Suppressing the church, forcing the population to learn Russian, exporting the natural resources for their own use while polluting the land and the like made them no less hated than the Germans during the war.  

    The generation behind me was the first to come of age not having lived under Russian occupation and for who the memories of the Great War comes from stories told by their grandparents.  Yet even today, there is a sizable segment of the population that believes the Russians was responsible for the Smolensk crash in '10 that killed 96, including many prominent business and political leaders.

    All of this recent history heaped upon century after century of invasion, war and bloodshed between Poland and her two neighbors--it is going to be a long, long time before there isn't distrust, if not outright disdain, of both Germany and Russia.  

    Thanks for the link above--I don't know how I managed to drop it out of my post!


    I don't know which was worse (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:27:37 PM EST
     Poland or Austria regarding anti semitism. I think Austria;they were about as virulent as they get. Actually welcomed the Nazi Army with unrestrained jubilation.

    Fwiw, Adolph was born in Austria.


    Thank you again for the info. (none / 0) (#120)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:03:11 PM EST
    Your post also underscores the fact that the Second World War wasn't necessarily a simple case of "Us vs. Them." Especially in the early days of the conflict, the respective list of the countries which eventually comprised the Allied and Axis powers had yet to be finalized.

    One of the ugly facts of this period was that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had signed the so-called Ribbentrop Pact, a non-aggression treaty, in August 1939 -- weeks before the invasion of Poland was scheduled to commence. This deal between devils effectively sealed Poland's doom, and divided the country between the Germans and Russians.

    The eastern part of Poland that had been occupied by Soviet troops in Sept. 1939 (where the kAtyn Massacre took place) was effectively ceded to the Soviet Union at Yalta in the waning months of the Second World War in Europe.

    In exchange for accepting this fait accompli, Poland was ceded huge swaths of eastern Germany, specifically the regions of Pomerania, Silesia and East Prussia. This resulted in the mass forced displacement to the west, after the German surrender in May 1945, of over ten million Germans then residing in those areas by occupying Soviet troops, who were enforcing the Yalta agreement.

    Ancient German cities like Koenigsberg, Breslau, Stettin and Danzig effectively ceased to exist, and the latter three are today renamed and occupied by Poles. Koenigsberg is now called Kaliningrad, and is located in the Russia's Baltic Sea enclave between Poland and Lithuania.


    He should know better (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:23:17 PM EST
    Has anyone ever heard them referred to as "Polish death camps"? That's just not a common usage, and it wouldn't naturally roll off the tongue.  Some speechwriter messed up here.

    Faux outrage... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:38:46 PM EST
    from a very conservative government that longs for good old days of George Bush and black torture sites and still stings from the withdraw of plans for full blown missile defense sites.  

    In fact, Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, who was all over the Twitter about this today, is a former contributor to the National Review and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  No wingnut agenda there!  

    The more rational of us understand the phrasing and the sentiment behind it.  

    Poles and Polish Americans are more concerned with things like with hosting the Euro Cup and how they will pull that off and the onerous US Visa policy for Polish citizens.  


    Yes, MileHi (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by christinep on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:42:57 PM EST
    My mother's maiden name was Olszewski. Her parents (my grandparents) immigrated from Poland early in the twentieth century (my buscia as a young girl leaving  her home with the clothes she wore & a scarf, the one reminder from her mother.). Fortunate in so many ways as  my grandfather's brothers perished later in the death camps in Poland (primarily Treblinka.). The whereabouts of some relatives remain unknown.

    Four years ago, a close cousin & I travelled to Poland.  Eye-opening, warm, stupendous.  As for the day we spent at Auschwitz...there are no words, never can be.  Only horrific sadness.  

    The maneuvering game-playing about concentration camp names by the right here all these years later rings like a  heavy thud.  The faux outrage is enough to make you vomit.


    My immediate family was also lucky enough... (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:14:40 PM EST
    to escape before the war.  Otherwise, I most likely wouldn't be here today.  They were from NW Poland--the lake lands.  There is a town there named for my family.  My Grandfather ended up in Baltimore working in the Navy dry dock during the war.  Other relatives, as yours, were not so lucky.  

    I've been over several times myself and it always feels like home.  It never fails that I'll have some one come up to me and start speaking to me like I truly am a native at least once a day.  Must be those strong Polish genes!  If I didn't have my health problems, I most likely would have moved over there years ago.  

    I've been to a good number of the camps, including in Germany when I was 18 (Buchenwald and Dachau).  It is, as you say, impossible to put into words.  From the displays of the personal belonging taken to the smell of burning flesh that persists to this day, it is impossible to describe or fully comprehend the horrors that man is capable of.  

    The list of camps is stunning by the shear number of them.  Most people don't know that some of these camps were still in use as Soviet "special camps" after the war.


    I am left (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:16:59 AM EST
    staggered by the list of camps.  And some, like Auschwitz had subcamps.

    That was sobering.  Thank you MileHi.


    I love Poland (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by sj on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:19:35 PM EST
    Loved the people, the history, the spirit, the appreciation of art.  We were there for a wedding and there wasn't a single blender in the wedding gifts.  Lots of art, though.  So many wonderful aspects.  I have every intention of going back.

    But there are also the camps.

    We didn't visit Auschwitz but went to Majdanek.  We weren't with a group and it was a Sunday and it wasn't even "open" but there were a few other visitors.  So incredibly, hauntingly, powerfully sad.  


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#125)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:38:45 PM EST
    Nobody should be wielding the Holocaust as a political weapon in this country -- particularly the Republicans, who for the most part had vigorously opposed most all of FDR's efforts to aid Great Britain and the Soviet Union in the war with Hitler's Germany.

    For their part, Republicans really haven't initially been on the right side of much of anything in American history since the days of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

    They were ardent imperialists in the 1890s, and conspired to overthrow Queen Liliuokalani and her government and annex the Hawaiian Kingdom. They sought to annex Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines during ther Spanish American War, and plunged this country into a bloody colonial war with Filipino revolutionaries who sought independence.

    They opposed U.S. entry into the First World War, and then sabotaged President Wilson by refusing to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, plunging the country back into a near-fatal policy of isolationism.

    Their rabid isolationism in the early days of the Second World War has already been discussed breifly above and earlier, and need not be recounted in detail here.

    Sadly, most Republicans in Congress during the 1947-48 session even opposed the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in post-World War II Europe, and the president's order to desegregate U.S. armed forces. It was the few intellectuals like Sen. Arthur Vanderberg who, to their infinite credit, ignored their own party's rabble and reached across the aisle to help Pres. Truman put in place the cornerstones of American Cold War policy.

    Only afterward, when Democratic initiatives and policies prove successful, do they step forward and brazenly try to garner the lion's share of credit for themselves, as though it was somehow their idea all along (see Romney, Mitt and Detroit).



    Well I was with you, Donald, until (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by brodie on Thu May 31, 2012 at 07:31:04 AM EST
    the part about the Truman Doctrine and the Cold War, discussed as if these were good things the Rs should have supported.  

    Not sure what good the CW did us as it vastly increased the power of the MIC, led to several costly US wars, and generally caused the US to insert its big foot into every little skirmish in every part of the globe lest a tiny country allow communism to gain a foothold.

    Truman took the politically easy way out in 1947 (as per his top aide Clifford) and so paved the way for years of domestic anticommunist hysteria while we propped up dictators around the globe.  Meanwhile huge opportunities thatcame along to negotiate and work with the evil Soviets went by the boards as our leaders became almost reflexively hostile to anything other than rigid Cold War orthodoxies.

    Other than these objections however, a lovely little 45-year war it was.


    and adding to the even better, (none / 0) (#44)
    by Farmboy on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:27:20 PM EST
    the insane right wing shriekers are completely ignoring that he referred to Aushwitz that way after
    posthumously awarding the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Jan Karski, born Jan Kozielewski, a Polish courier who was one of the first to alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Allied leaders to the killing of Jews in German-occupied Poland.

    Instead they're claiming his comment is proof of his Muslim hatred for Jews and Israel.


    I've (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by lentinel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:39:47 PM EST
    never forgiven FDR for what he did regarding the plight of Jewish refugees in WW2. He may have been "alerted", but he didn't do much about it.

    To quote from Wikipedia:

    When the passenger ship St. Louis approached the coast of Florida with nearly a thousand German Jews fleeing persecution by Hitler, Roosevelt did not respond to telegrams from passengers requesting asylum, and the State Department refused entry to the ship. Forced to return to Antwerp, many of the passengers eventually died in concentration camps.]

    The more I think about WW2, the more I think that none of the major powers come out looking very good.


    Similar sentiments here. (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by brodie on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:28:45 PM EST
    He should have done more to find a safe haven for those desperate people, perhaps using US leverage with friendly third party countries to have each take some relatively small number of passengers.

    I dont think FDR did enough for the persecuted Jews until maybe 1944(?) when he set up the War Refugee Board and finally more than a tiny trickle of people were granted entry.  His State Dept was certainly run by a bunch of anti-Semites, Breckenridge Long in charge of immigration being the most culpable.


    I'll agree that granting asylum would have (none / 0) (#155)
    by Farmboy on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:44:20 AM EST
    saved the refugees who later died in Europe, and in hindsight it's what the country should have done to save 227 lives, but for the sake of clarity it doesn't seem accurate to say no action was taken at all, or that FDR didn't let them in out of anti-semitism::

    Legally the refugees could not enter on tourist visas, as they had no return addresses, and the U.S. had enacted immigration quotas in 1924. Telephone records show discussion of the situation by Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, members of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's cabinet, who tried to persuade Cuba to accept the refugees. Their actions, together with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, were not successful.

    The U.S. wasn't the only country to deny them refuge:

    As St. Louis was turned away from the United States, a group of academics and clergy in Canada attempted to persuade Canada's Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to provide sanctuary to the ship, which was only two days from Halifax, Nova Scotia.[9] However Canadian immigration officials and cabinet ministers hostile to Jewish immigration persuaded the Prime Minister not to intervene on June 9.

    International efforts were made by the U.S. to find them new homes, and appeared to be successful:

    US officials worked with Britain and European nations to find refuge for the travelers in Europe.[7] The ship returned to Europe, docking at Antwerp, Belgium, on 17 June 1939.[12] The United Kingdom agreed to take 288 of the passengers, who disembarked and traveled to the UK by other steamers. After much negotiation by Schröder, the remaining 619 passengers were allowed to disembark at Antwerp; 224 were accepted by France, 214 by Belgium, and 181 by the Netherlands. They appeared to be safe from Hitler's persecution.



    Nah, FDR doesn't appear (none / 0) (#169)
    by brodie on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:56:33 AM EST
    to have done much despite the small moves you cite.  Far better, he could have issued an exec order allowing them a temporary asylum here until it would be safe to return home.  He could have personally negotiated for Britain to take all of them in Brit mandated Palestine.  He could also have negotiated with friendly leaders of countries in this hemisphere to take them.  He did none of these things.

    Roosevelt's true attitude about the Jews in 1939 may have been revealed when, as the St Louis drama was still unfolding, Congress began to consider a bill that would have allowed thousands more German refugee children to enter outside immigration quotas.

    FDR opposed the bill and it died in committee.  Even Eleanor, who lobbied her husband to back it, failed to publicly support it despite getting a pass from Franklin to do so.

    FDR was apathetic about saving the Jews in this instance, according to one well placed Jewish woman who was working for a group trying to find a haven for the ship's passengers.

    I would contend further that Roosevelt didn't act effectively on Jewish rescue until nearly the last year of the war when he was about to be publicly shamed into acting by Congress over establishing the War Refugee Board.  


    Again, I agree it would have been best had (none / 0) (#180)
    by Farmboy on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:26:06 AM EST
    FDR, Congress, or somebody found some way around the legal barriers to give the immigrants homes here. But, in the end the actions FDR, his administration, and foreign powers did take helped save the lives of nearly 75% of the folks on that ship.

    Saving 100% would have been better - which is what they thought at the time they'd accomplished. It wasn't until during the war that the lives of 2/3 of the passengers were endangered again by the Nazis.


    Do you really (none / 0) (#184)
    by sj on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:34:00 AM EST
    believe the President was helpless to intervene?  FDR is a hero of mine.  But, like all heroes, he had feet of clay.  And the only excuse extant for this is the one he offered so that he didn't have to act.

    And it's a dirty little secret here ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:32:12 PM EST
    ... that Americans had a hardcore anti-Semitic streak prior to the Second World War, which was only somewhat alleviated once the true scale of Nazi atrocities was finally uncovered when American and Allied troops conquered Germany in 1945.

    It's worth considering that the MS St. Louis incident you cite happened in May 1939, not during the Second World War itself. Please remember that very few Americans in 1939 were concerned with the forboding events in Europe and were predominatly isolationist.

    Further, given their bitter experience during the First World War 20 years earlier and the fact that the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles, American citizens in 1939 were generally quite hostile to the notion that they should provide haven to Jewish refugees from Germany. From a domestic political standpoint, FDR would've faced a tremendous amount of opposition has he offered them asylum.

    You're right. In retrospect, none of the major Allied powers come out of the Second World War looking all that moral and upstanding. But then, hindsight is always 20 / 20, isn't it?



    According to both William Shirer and (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:09:28 PM EST
    Eric Larson (Garden of Beasts), the powers that be in U.S. were more concerned with German paying its debts to U.S. than with what our Ambassador to Berlin was telling FDR's government about Hitler's pre-war abuse of German Jews.  In addition, many people in the U.S. shared the Nazi view that Jews here had too much power and money.  

    So much for "God's Chosen People." (none / 0) (#106)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:14:51 PM EST
    Discrimination against and persecution of Jews were perfectly acceptable practices to many people in most parts of the Western world back in 1939.

    While some people in this country may have been uncomfortable with the Nazis' increasing excesses prior to the war, they really weren't all that concerned because quite frankly, throughout our history we freely discriminated against Jews all the time -- and did even worse on occasion.

    During the Civil War, Gen. Ulysses Grant issued Gen. Order No. 11, expelling all Jews from Union-occupied western Tennessee. Although President Lincoln quickly rescinded the order, it was nevertheless carried out in a number of communities.

    In 1913, Leo Frank -- falsely accused of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old white girl -- was kidnapped from his jail cell and lynched by an Atlanta mob.

    Further, we need to remember that in 1939, most people in the United States and western Europe were not fully cognizant of exactly what the Nazis were capable of doing. In fact, I'd offer that even the Nazis themselves had yet to realize what they were capable of doing, given that the planning and orders for the "Final Solution" had yet to materialize and commence.

    We're judging yesterday's events by today's standards, which is fine to a point. Rightly so, we should be ashamed of our own country's past behavior toward Jews.

    But we should not lose sight of the probability that had our country's politicians back then acted in accordance to today's professed standards, they'd have in all likelihood run seriously afoul of the American electorate. Had FDR offered asylum to the pasengers of the MS St. Louis through executive action, Congress may very well have acted to overturn him. Nothing brings people together like a mutual bigotry.

    For example, Georgia Gov. John Marshall Slaton, convinced that Leo Frank was innocent back in 1913, commuted Frank's death sentence to life imprisonment to allow time to appeal for a new trial. But as mentioned above, Frank was lynched anyway, and as the governor himself had predicted, his own career was effectively ended. Mobs gathered outside the Capitol as he left office, calling for the governor himself to be lynched. He and his wife subsequently left Georgia, and did not return for well over a decade.

    Discrimination and persecution on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, et al., is a very ugly thing. Even those who practice it as a matter of course probably realize that deep in their own hearts, which is why they vociferously resent having a public mirror held up to highlight their own behavior.



    Listening to Shirer's "Rise and Fall" (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:38:14 PM EST
    has cured me of the misconception people in Germany and the FDR admins. here were unaware of what the Nazi Party was doing to the German Jews long before WWII began.  

    By all rights, the events of ... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:08:12 PM EST
    ... "Kristallnacht" in Nov. 1938 should have opened the eyes of many people in this country -- not just FDR and his administration, but also the GOP isolationists as well -- to the virulent nature of Nazi philosophy and anti-Semitism.

    But as I said earlier, many Americans had a particularly nasty streak of anti-Semitism of their own. Listen to this 1939 recording of popular radio commentator Father Charles Coughlin, who at his height of his demogoguery had nearly 20 million listeners hanging onto his every word. It's not anti-Semitism we should worry about, he said, but communism. It's both eye-opening and disturbing.


    No hindsight needed. (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by lentinel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:38:40 PM EST
    From a domestic political standpoint, FDR would've faced a tremendous amount of opposition has he offered them asylum.

    So - he let them die.


    See my response in #106. (none / 0) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:34:09 PM EST
    "We're judging yesterday's events by today's standards, which is fine to a point. Rightly so, we should be ashamed of our own country's past behavior toward Jews. But we should not lose sight of the probability that had our country's politicians back then acted in accordance to today's professed standards, they'd have in all likelihood run seriously afoul of the American electorate. Had FDR offered asylum to the passengers of the MS St. Louis through executive action, Congress may very well have acted to overturn him. Nothing brings people together like a mutual bigotry."

    I'm not excusing what his administration did, but honestly, FDR had no way of knowing in May 1939 that they were effectively condemning many of those 950 passengers on MS St. Louis to their eventual deaths.

    You best realize that there were less than 700,000 Jews living in Germany prior to the Second World War. The Nazis themselves did not commence the planning and carrying out of the Holocaust until later in 1941, when Germany overran most of the western Soviet Union, and they suddenly had over 8 million Jews living in the occupied territories.

    (Sigh!) It must be so nice to be able to judge others' actions -- or inactions, as it were -- with such a self-righteous moral absolutism, from the convenient vantage point of 73 years' worth of hindsight.


    Surpisingly , I will agree with Donald on this (none / 0) (#115)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:15:05 PM EST
    I see no indication that FDR had an inkling of the Death Camps (Final Solution) until mid or late 1942 at the earliest and I could swear I remember reading somewhere that he wasn't sure until 1943.

    I also have always believed Hitler himself didn't mean to exterminate the Jews at the very beginning of the war; I don't think he made up his mind on the question until almost the year 1941. Hitler as most of you may know went steadily more insane as the war progressed due to some drug issues (iirc) and this might have led him to take his predjudice against jews and morph it from prosecution and exile to extermination.

    Thus, at the VERY worst at most Roosevelt was playing politics with the Jews of Europe for a year or so. I have little doubt he did all he could do for them and yes, the US was a very bigoted country back then and people today should take that into account.


    The decision to kill all the Jews ... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:45:04 PM EST
    ... then living in Nazi-controlled Europe was not formalized until the Wasnsee Conference (so named because it was held at a villa in the posh Berlin suburb of Wannsee), a gathering of high-level Nazi and S.S. functionaries on January 20, 1942 -- although truthfully, the mass execution of several hundred thousand Jews had already commenced in Nazi-occupied Russia some two months earlier, starting with the infamous massacre at Babi Yar.

    Long thought destroyed, the meticulous minutes to the Wannsee Conference were only located by the Allies in 1947, and were used as primary evidence to convict Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and other surviving Nazi leaders for the Holocaust and crimes against humantiy at the Nuremburg war crimes trials.

    There is a very compelling movie that first aired in 2001 on HBO, Conspiracy, starring Kenneth Branaugh as Reinhrad Heydrich and Stanley Tucci as Adolf Eichmann, both attendees at the Wannsee Conference. No blood is spilled, and the entire film takes place indoors around a conference table, which serves to effectively highlight and underscore the chilling banality of Nazi evil at the executive level.



    Have you (none / 0) (#145)
    by lentinel on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:39:46 AM EST
    read, "While Six Million Died" by Arthur Morse?

    If so, does it reinforce your view about what FDR knew, didn't know or should have known about the desperate plight of the Jewish refugees? Or does it make you question it?

    I read it many years ago and was moved and influenced by it.
    I also had the privilege of knowing the man.
    But I have mislaid my copy. I have ordered a replacement copy and intend to reread it to find if my view of FDR's action regarding the St. Louis remains unchanged.

    As an aside, I see nothing wrong with moral absolutism.
    As I see it, some things are wrong and others are right.
    People and politicians often try to steer a middle course for various motives - and I think we have a right to divine and judge the quality of those motives.

    Imo, our greatest philosophers, including Jesus, did just that.


    Definitely the decision by (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by brodie on Thu May 31, 2012 at 07:06:52 AM EST
    FDR to intern law abiding Japanese-Americans in WW2 was wrong.  So was his decision to allow the carpet bombing of Axis cities causing the mass slaughter of hundreds of thousand civilians.

    My argument on the Jews was that FDR seemed unmoved by their plight and so did little or nothing to use his power to find a safe haven for those unfortunates.  Wannsee and the death camps are irrelevant since Kristallnacht had happened the year before and Roosevelt was aware enough to know the very ominous trendlines for Jews in Nazi Germany.

    Yes there was anti semitism in the US back then, but again FDR did little or nothing to use his bully pulpit to sway opinion on that matter.  Perhaps it was his Anglo U-class upbringing that carried with it a strain of anti semitism or indifference, but even when the death camps got underway and Roosevelt was personally informed about them, he was reluctant to do anything.  And the new excuse for inaction (until maybe some moderately effective efforts in mid 1944) was the need to focus solely on winning the war.  Not entirely convincing.

    Failing to do far more to save the Jews, particularly those on the Saint Louis, stands as a major blot on FDR's record, along with several other huge failings.


    I feel (none / 0) (#154)
    by lentinel on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:21:18 AM EST
    exactly the way you do.

    You gotta give the Nazis (none / 0) (#126)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:47:06 PM EST
     credit for their sense of humor. Following Kristallnacht, "Night of Broken Glass," where the Jewish shops, synagogues, and homes were bombed and glass strewn all around, the SS went around and issued citations to the owners for "littering" the streets and sidewalks.

    "Interesting times, late 30's & early 40's. my father was a Polish Jewish Intern in Lintz, then Salzburg. He was the only one of his very large, extended family who escaped Hitler right before the Invasion in `39 ("Blitzkrieg.") he was a great thinker and saw what was coming. He begged and begged his family to come with him but, like many Poles at that time, they thought Hitler was a joke and that the Polish Army would have no problem repelling the "little Corporal."

    The rest, as they say, is history.


    Ijust listened to the part of "Rise (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:04:40 PM EST
    and Fall" in which Shirer describes the aftermath of Kristallnacht.  Although the shops destroyed were run by Jewish merchants, the buildings were often owned by non-Jews.  Insurance claims re glass breakage were huge and the glass had to be imported, much to the distress of Hitler's honcho re the economy and finance. Insurance company spokesman met with Hitler and his cronies.  The spokesman could not believe the outlandish schemes this group proposed, none of which would help the inrurers stay afloat.  Proposal was to have the insurers pay off, but not the entire amount, but the payoff would then be confiscated by the government if the payee was Jewish.  They told the insurance guy he'd be making a profit as he wouldn't have to pay the entire amount owed.  He didn't buy it.  

    Well, by that time (5.00 / 4) (#132)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:16:30 PM EST
    My mother and father were well on their way to Stalingrad. My father figured Hitler was unstoppable and that all of Europe would fall quickly. Then the Soviet Union would be overrun, in spite of their non-aggression pact. His ultimate plan was to get to China and possibly be safe there. They made it to Stalingrad (where my brother and I were born) and when The Nazis were stopped at the Great Siege, good ole Mom and pop made a quick U-turn and followed the retreating German Army all the way back to western Europe...and eventually, America.

    Everyone said they should have made a movie of their adventures. I learned what "Youth is wasted on the Young" meant because it was only after they past away did I realize what a jerk I was in not pumping them day and night about their historic journey, during such historic times.


    I'll say. (none / 0) (#133)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:48:11 PM EST
    Ironically, (none / 0) (#137)
    by desertswine on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:36:32 AM EST
    it was the ruthless killer and Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo who accepted Jewish and other refugees.

    Trujillo was known for his open-door policy, accepting Jewish refugees from Europe, Japanese migration during the 1930s, and exiles from Spain following its civil war.

     At the 1938 Evian Conference the Dominican Republic was the only country willing to accept many Jews and offered to accept up to 100,000 refugees on generous terms.[11] In 1940 an agreement was signed and Trujillo donated 26,000 acres (110 km2) of his properties for settlements.

    (from the Free Dictionary)


    While that's (none / 0) (#139)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:55:19 AM EST
     very interesting (no sarcasm intended) there must have been some quid pro quo. I mean, it makes perfect sense as Jews traditionally bring much to the table so it's nice to see them being treated cerebrally, not just ethnically.

    What was the deal? I can look it up, but you're so much more convenient:)


    This, as the Scripps Spelling Bee is underway. (none / 0) (#66)
    by Angel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:02:28 PM EST

    Glad to have you back (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by fishcamp on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:34:32 PM EST
    kdog...they haven't been getting along while you were gone.  Go Heat...

    Mini Rant (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:33:50 AM EST
    Back story:
    I will have to admit I don't make a lot of money.  I keep a roof over my head, I don't go anywhere, do anything except work and home.  If I go out to eat, it is usually on my relatives dime.

    The rant is about insurance.  We have county insurance available.  It is based on income.  I can't afford the extra money it takes to keep insured plus the cost of he sven medications I need to take, most of them are for my bipolar.

    With the health care cuts here in TX there is now a huge waiting list to get help and even then it is a twenty minute session just for medication check and possible side effects.

    Right now, I have been battling the depressive side for months.  My only real option at this time is to go to the hospital and check in for them to reset my medications.  This takes approx a week.  A week of work I cannot afford to miss either.

    Social Security denied my claim for disability.  Medicare said I make too much money so they are no help in getting meds.

    Before my last big breakdown, I was making about 43K p/year.  Now I barely make a quarter of that and my benefits drop in $$$ every year.

    Seriously, I think I would be better off fired.  And that, to me, isn't right!

    Have you tried contacting the (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Anne on Thu May 31, 2012 at 06:39:26 AM EST
    pharmaceutical companies that make your drugs?  A number of them have direct assistance programs, so that might be of some help.

    You know, I'm sure, that one of the biggest problems you're facing is trying to stay healthy while living in Texas, but I don't expect moving is an option.  If it is, I would seriously consider it.

    With respect to the SS disability, if you didn't have a lawyer to represent you in your claim, you might check out the local law schools and bar associations - often they have pro bono programs that connect people in need with lawyers in the community who will do the work for free.  I believe lawyers have a pro-bono requirement to meet now, so there might be some help there.

    I do understand that SS is inundated with claims, and are denying a lot of them out of hand, probably counting on a large percentage who will just go away rather than appeal and continue to fight for benefits.  Don't take "no" for an answer!

    I would also consider reaching out to your Congressperson/Senators, if you have any that doesn't think people in need don't deserve help.  

    Deb, I am so sorry you are having to go through this - it just isn't right.  Hang in there, and please keep us posted.


    You are in a tough situation. (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Thu May 31, 2012 at 02:19:32 AM EST
    But you sound like a scrapper. Are there any non profit social services w no might help you?  

    Deb, wish I knew of some way to help you. (none / 0) (#151)
    by Angel on Thu May 31, 2012 at 07:55:45 AM EST
    I'd take Anne's advice for sure.  I do hope you are taking advantage of any food banks in your area if you need help in that regard, could save you a little that you might be able to put towards your medications.  Is there a legal aid group in your vicinity who might be able to help you with your SS claim?  

    Food Stamps (none / 0) (#153)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:08:44 AM EST
    I qualify for that but I am not sure if I am being stubborn or prideful or what.  I just haven't been able to do that.  I don't want to be a drain on resources there when I am doing better in that category than others with big families.

    Thank you for the thoughts on getting a lawyer.  I was thinking about that but I couldn't figure out how to pay for it.  Law Schools and Pro Bono are great ideas I never even considered.

    Thanks for listening to me.  I appreciate it more than you all will ever know.  And the ideas are great.

    LOL!  on being a scrapper... I must tell my bosses that for the next major bout of mood swings.

    Hope everyone has a great day.  Me, I am going in for an extra shift.


    There's food stamps and food banks, and you (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Angel on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:23:30 AM EST
    should take advantage of both, IMO.  Their purposes are to help people get through tough times, and you are as deserving as anyone.    

    If you qualify for food stamps, you (none / 0) (#192)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:04:58 PM EST
    may qualify for Medicaid ( not to be confused with Medicare.). Here in Oregon, if you are poor enough for food stamps you are poor enough for Medicaid.

    I realize states are cutting Medicaid rolls because of budget shortfalls, and I know Texas is not the most compassionate of states, but this might be a way to get some help.

    About Social Security Disability: find a lawyer, preferably one who has experience filing disability claims. There are lawyers who specialize in SSD claims. You don't have to pay the lawyer out of your own pocket. If you have a lawyer and get disability, the lawyer gets a lump sum, set by SSA, that is taken out of your benefits. The amount used to be around $1300, but it may have gone up a bit.


    I see that you are still working. (none / 0) (#193)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:07:20 PM EST
    That will be a problem with SSD. If you are working you are not eligible for SSD. You must be unable to work, and show that by not working, to get SSD benefits.

    I also agree with Anne's advice (none / 0) (#186)
    by Mary2012 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:52:06 AM EST
    I've heard the same thing re SS disability -  keep trying! and contacting the pharmaceutical companies.  They overcharge anyway.

    Go for the food stamps, too. Absolutely!


    Barney Frank on Obama rejecting (4.33 / 3) (#105)
    by Anne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:14:36 PM EST
    a Bush administration offer to write down mortgages:

    The mortgage crisis was worsened this past time because critical decisions were made during the transition between Bush and Obama. We voted the TARP out. The TARP was basically being administered by Hank Paulson as the last man home in a lame duck, and I was disappointed. I tried to get them to use the TARP to put some leverage on the banks to do more about mortgages, and Paulson at first resisted that, he just wanted to get the money out. And after he got the first chunk of money out, he would have had to ask for a second chunk, he said, all right, I'll tell you what, I'll ask for that second chunk and I'll use some of that as leverage on mortgages, but I'm not going to do that unless Obama asks for it.  This is now December, so we tried to get the Obama people to ask him and they wouldn't do it.

    Matt Stoller:

    This is consistent with other accounts.  There were policy debates within Obama's economic team about what to do about the mortgage crisis.  The choices were to create some sort of legal entity to write down mortgage debt or to allow the write-down of mortgage debt through a massive wave of foreclosures over the next four to six years.  He choice the latter.  That choice was part of what led to roughly $7 trillion of middle class wealth gone, with financial assets for the elites re-inflated.


    In fact, crisis response is the single most significant policymaking time imaginable, because all structural barriers are swept away.  Think about it - this was literally a deal offered by Hank Paulson - one guy - to Barack Obama, with a multi-trillion dollar impact.  No 60 votes in the Senate.  No hearings.  No confirmations.  Just a handshake, basically.  In other words, policy does matter, and Obama had a variety of choices and leverage, and he did what he thought was best.  He did not want to write down mortgages, even though he was offered that choice by the Bush administration and Barney Frank.  So he didn't.

    So yes, Barack Obama is worse than George Bush on economic inequality.  While Paulson didn't want to write down mortgages, the single biggest factor in determining whether the American middle class has any stored wealth, Paulson was willing to do so in response to pressure.  Barack Obama was not.

    This is pretty stunning, and maybe it also sheds some light on how colossally bad the administration has been on the whole mortgage/foreclosure/housing problem that has been such a drag on the economy.

    Forgot the link to the (none / 0) (#107)
    by Anne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:18:58 PM EST
    Matt Stoller post; it's here, at naked capitalism.

    So, apparently (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:04:08 PM EST
    It is now thought that the guy who was caught chewing the face off of a homeless man in Miami (and later shot and killed by police) was high on "bath salts" - synthetic stimulants being called "the new LSD". (they won't know exactly what the attacker was on, if anything, for about a month, when the toxicology reports come back).

    The 65 year-old homeless victim's nose, face, and eyes were torn off during the attack.


    I woulda guessed PCP... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:27:08 PM EST
    the congressional bath salt hearings should be underway momentarily.

    PCP was my guess also (none / 0) (#4)
    by nycstray on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:35:15 PM EST
    bath salts? I feel so not UTD on what's going on out there these days. . . .

    Prohibition... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:39:29 PM EST
    even keeps my guessing, and I consider the art of the buzz one of my (very) few areas of expertise.

    I got my first taste of pulque in Guadalajara this trip, two thumbs up!  And nobody ate anybody in the pulqueria or nuthin';)


    The DEA (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:43:37 PM EST
    Already banned the chemicals to make bath salts (the drug - not the stuff you put in baths!)

    Over the past several months, there has been a growing use of, and interest in, synthetic stimulants sold under the guise of "bath salts" or "plant food". Marketed under names such as "Ivory Wave", "Purple Wave", "Vanilla Sky" or "Bliss", these products are comprised of a class of chemicals perceived as mimics of cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and/or methamphetamine. Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes. The long-term physical and psychological effects of use are unknown but potentially severe. These products have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. However, they have not been approved by the FDA for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process.

    The law of unintended consequences (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:49:16 PM EST
    strikes again!  

    Until this post (none / 0) (#11)
    by CST on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:57:56 PM EST
    I thought he had actually ingested the bath salts that you put in your bath and it made him crazy/trip.

    Who knew?  I'm so unhip these days.


    As long as no one's referred (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Anne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:08:22 PM EST
    to you as the dreaded "ma'am," you're still young and hip enough!

    Surprising what a slap in the face my first "ma'am" was...


    I went out with my friends this weekend (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CST on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:16:17 PM EST
    and I got carded.  I was the only one who got carded.  It felt pretty good.  After examining my ID she did feel the need to explain herself.  "You look young" is not "you are young", although I'll take it.

    I'm still getting used to Ms.  Also, our 19 year old co-op at work called Nirvana "classic rock" the other day.  She's in college and is old enough to vote!  WTH.


    Kurt Cobain's daughter.... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:24:39 PM EST
    is old enough to vote...it's all downhill from here kid;)

    Hey, I got carded at Terminal 8 at (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:59:22 PM EST
    JFK.  They must have had a recent undercover person there.  Anyhow, when the bartender looked at my driver license he sd., you just made it under the wire.  Very funny.  

    My moms... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:14:10 PM EST
    goes ballistic when she gets carded at an "we have to card everybody" establishment/store.  And I always thought I got my disdain for nonsensical rules and regulations exclusively from my pops.

    Is there a better picture of what is wrong with the big picture than a 60-odd year old woman being carded to buy a six pack?


    I guess I've never (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:20:50 PM EST
    been to a "we have to card everybody" place, but as someone around the same age as your mom, I, too, would be terrifically annoyed if I ran into this.

    It reminds me of "Zero Tolerance" regulations in the public schools, the stupid TSA rules, and other, as you said, "nonsensical rules and regulations."  I'm guessing that at least some of it is lack of trust in those who work for you.  I mean, the Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid that anyone should be expected to use common sense.  Then there is the fear of getting in trouble with "the higher authorities," or of being sued.    


    Some of the registers (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:38:28 PM EST
    (at least at stores I have been to) require that the cashier enter a birthdate to sell alcohol.

    I haven't (none / 0) (#50)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:42:18 PM EST
    run into that, either.  At least, not yet.  ;-)

    They "override" here by inputting (none / 0) (#54)
    by Angel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:50:13 PM EST
    01/01/01.  But that's only when it's obvious a person is waaaay over the legal age.  It's a hassle for the cashiers as well as the customers to have to ask for ID.  Win-win.

    It does seem silly (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:18:20 PM EST
    And embarrassing for all involved to card a person who is OBVIOUSLY old enough to purchase alcohol or tobacco.

    Another pet peeve... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:21:20 PM EST
    is not letting cashiers under 21 ring up an alcohol purchase...jams up the whole line waiting for a manager at the supermarket.  They ain't drinking it!

    so buy it elsewhere, heh? (none / 0) (#63)
    by DFLer on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:57:39 PM EST
    You have to be of age to sell hooch, in a liquor store or a bar...

    I know the "rule".... (none / 0) (#168)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:47:02 AM EST
    knowing it doesn't make it any less nonsensical DFL.  What's the reasoning?  The "responsibility" of sliding a sixer over the scanner is too great for the 17 year old to handle? Or is the "temptation"?

    They can be trusted with the cash register, the Nyquil, the razor blades, but not the Coronas?  It's retarded.


    I recently carded a guy during ... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:11:17 PM EST
    ... the St. Patrick's Day block party at Murphy's here in Honolulu, and when I saw his ID I noted that he was 41 years old. I simply handed it back to him and offered my best Billy Crystal's Fernando imitation, "You look mmmmarvelous!"

    I hate "ma'am" (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:25:05 PM EST
    I keep thinking they are talking to someone else.

    I have to say (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:40:51 PM EST
    that "ma'am" doesn't particularly bother me.  (It's preferable to being called "you guys" by the waiter or waitress at a restaurant.)
    You're only as old as you feel.  I have a friend, a teacher, originally from the deep South, who used to tell her fifth-graders "I am not saying that you must call me 'ma'am' when you address me, but I will tell you that it is music to my ears when you do."  Her students called her "ma'am."  And she was a very, very good, very caring, very warm and very successful teacher.   ;-)

    I probably shouldn't hate it (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:52:15 PM EST
    Because when I worked in retail (and even into my 30's, when I did it part-time), I was just as guilty as saying "May I help you, ma'am?"  "Can I get you anything else, ma'am?"  I certainly meant it out of respect, especially for those ladies older than me.  AND, I also called men "Sir." (which doesn't seem to have the same connotation).

    I just hate being reminded that I'm not 25 anymore.  Grumble, grumble.


    All I have to say, (none / 0) (#65)
    by Zorba on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:59:40 PM EST
    as I said previously is "you're only as old as you feel."  
    Whenever you contemplate aging, just consider the alternative.    ;-)

    My husband (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:27:48 PM EST
    thinks that saying "ma'am" is great. I can't stand it. When someone says that to me all I hear is "hey, old lady". I won't make my kids say it but he tries to make them say it. It's fine for a little one to say it in my book but when people in their twenties and older are saying it to you, ugh.

    When in doubt.... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:43:12 PM EST
    I always go with Miss...and even find going with Miss with blue haired ladies is good too, usually brings out a smile.



    I love "young ladies" or (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:01:21 PM EST
    girls" addressed to me and my peers by waiters.  Better than "no problem."  

    Yeah, and I hate the, "Sir" crap (none / 0) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:09:03 PM EST
    I tell'm, save the,"Sir" baloney for when I'm old enough.

    Of course, then they look at me like I escaped from the asylum. Kids today, no sense of humor.


    Don't (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:24:33 PM EST
    feel bad. I have thought the same thing.

    My prediction: (none / 0) (#158)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:58:22 AM EST
    his defense is that someone spiked his drink at the party w/o his knowledge or permission.

    the Edwards trial jury (none / 0) (#18)
    by desmoinesdem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:20:03 PM EST
    has sent a note to the judge, according to CNN. What could that mean, other than that it's a hung jury?

    The jury (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:24:17 PM EST
    gave the judge their upcoming schedules for the next few weeks.  That doesn't seem to be a good sign.

    And juries send notes out all the time with questions - like "Can we see Exhibit 42?" or "can we get the transcript of Witness X?.  It's fairly routine and probably doesn't mean much (although it could mean something).


    I thought they already had all the exhibits (none / 0) (#24)
    by desmoinesdem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:31:43 PM EST
    That was in the news last week.

    Maye (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:34:26 PM EST
    I didn't see that, but they could always ask for transcripts or something like that.

    Or they could write a note saying something like "Can we get some more water and snacks in here?", "Joe isn't feeling well and needs to leave," or "The jury room is being infested with bedbugs."

    It could be nothing.


    And the ever ... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Robot Porter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:08:01 PM EST
    popular:  "Do I look fat in this?"

    Not often do people has a judge around to answer such questions.  Gotta take advantage of such situations.


    And as any husband knows.... the answer is: (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:15:01 PM EST
    "No, dear."

    Don't you get (none / 0) (#113)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:07:17 PM EST
    to invoke the 5th Amendment if some woman you are in  a relationship asks you that?

    And if not, couldn't some humor help? Like for instance if you are asked "Do these pants make me look fat?" couldn't you respond "It's not the pants, dear" and get a big laugh out of her?


    I take it (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:49:18 PM EST
    you're not married.

    Nor likely to be (none / 0) (#164)
    by sj on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:27:55 AM EST
    OTOH, there are some people out there prefer the knuckle dragging type.  Go figure.

    Slayer, we've been married for (none / 0) (#197)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:32:11 PM EST
    over 54 years. Trust me.

    The answer to that question is always, "No, dear."

    The other magic words are, "Yes, dear."

    "Let's eat out tonight."

    "Your new hair style makes you look beautiful."

    "Can I help you with the dishes?"



    Or, please explain jury instruction X. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:02:57 PM EST
    ppp just said Obama up in Missouri... (none / 0) (#38)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:34:59 PM EST
    ... there's been some state polls that have been very good for Obama this week.

    The MO (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:36:00 PM EST
    numbers don't look that good from your link because they have Romney up around 5 pts.

    Anyway, Obama didn't carry MO in 2008 so he's not going to carry it this year.

    Reading that thread it looks like OH is going to decide who's president once again.


    Here's the PPP link (none / 0) (#51)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:43:09 PM EST
    here. 45-44 Obama.

    like the PPP link says, if Obama wins MO, it will be the cherry on top of a landslide victory, so the numbers aren't very consequential other than to point out that if Obama is polling well in MO, he's probably in good shape in the states that matter the most.  Which is what my prior link to Kos' story was intended to show.


    45-44 (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:50:17 PM EST
    is "polling well"?

    In Missouri, yeah. Absolutely. (none / 0) (#59)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:54:20 PM EST

    That's a tie. (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:55:53 PM EST
    Also considering sweet Claire is fightin for her life and there isn't even a Republican nominee - (just as many voters may turn out to vote her out as to vote for Romney), I'd say the Dems don't have a good chance there, as it stands right now.

    Kerry (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:12:44 PM EST
    got 46% in 2004 and that's what I would expect Obama to get in the fall. I don't see those as good numbers. That's probably the top number that Obama is going to get there.

    It's mostly a waste of time (none / 0) (#88)
    by brodie on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:12:38 PM EST
    looking at statewide polls this early, as Jon Betnstein points out.  Not enough of them frequently enough to accurately gauge the lay of the land plus the lay is very soft five months out from the election.

    Wake me up mid to late August at the earliest on the state polls, better mid Sept after both conventions are over and the immediate hoopla is finished.

    Meanwhile bloggers like Kos need to talk about something and they find polls and the horserace an easy topic to quickly cobble together a piece that seems relevant.  

    I'd rather he spend his time on something else more meaningful, like a think piece on the likelihood of govt disclosure on ETs in the near future and the public reaction to same.  Me, I don't think it will happen in my lifetime or his, and if it did the public response would be mostly negative in society-destroying ways.  The majority couldn't handle it.


    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:17:17 PM EST
    read Kos much anymore because he's to rah rah Obama in an unrealistic way. I got caught up in all that back in 2004 and had a rude awakening when the election results came rolling in. I prefer places like Talk Left where we deal in policy instead of mostly "whatever Obama wants is good".

    You remember those days? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:56:26 PM EST
    I hung out at Salon & Huffpo in those days. it was surreal. Had to be 90 to 10 Obama Mania. Scary really. To see an entire  collection of otherwise intelligent, educated people collectively losing their minds. You really couldn't exaggerate the complete submission they showered on him. And if you said anything, and I mean anything, Bam! Racist Pig!

    At Kos (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 31, 2012 at 06:21:31 AM EST
    the misogyny was absolutely rabid and the name calling was over the top. You could not even discuss policy differences with them. Any mention of Obama's shortcomings and you were troll rated into oblivion. It was downright ugly. I have been back a few times but mostly the posts over there don't talk about anything that interests me.

    You must have met my friends. Unbelievable. (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:58:12 PM EST
    Yeah, they were (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:04:19 PM EST
    beyong degradation and humiliation. I'd say to them, go ahead and vote for him, it's all right, but, this slobbering, crying supplication is really nuts. he's just another fast talking, slippery Chicago politician, he's not God. Then you'd get silence, which I took to mean, "yes, he is God."

    lol, yup, the good old days.


    My friends a very much quieter now. (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:49:42 PM EST
    Did anyone ever tell you (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:29:00 AM EST
    you have a great, Peter Lorre kind of understated way of answering a post?



    SJ swidI am way too understated so hard to (none / 0) (#138)
    by oculus on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:48:32 AM EST

    don't know why (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:57:42 AM EST
    your spelling is perfect..."SJ swidI"

    My smartphone keeps (none / 0) (#141)
    by oculus on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:29:37 AM EST
    outsmarting me.

    hello... (none / 0) (#166)
    by sj on Thu May 31, 2012 at 10:31:26 AM EST
    Are you talking to me, oc? :)

    It's hard to tell, isn't it. (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by oculus on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:37:32 PM EST
    Wisconsin (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:54:27 PM EST
    Marquette Law School has a poll out today showing Walker up by 7 points (among likely voters) in next month's recall election.

    This is going to be a huge black-eye for the DNC.

    Marquette Law School polls (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Towanda on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:50:35 PM EST
    are ridiculous, paid for by big rightwing donors who bought out Franklin from the UW (because doing his polls there for WPRI put both in peril of having their emails public record) for this term.

    Look at the cross tabs.  Today's, for example, has only 2 percent of respondents among voters 18-22.

    In 2010, they were 15 percent of voters.

    In 2008, they were 22 percent of voters.

    Now, if this skewing of the sample is the righties' admission that Walker's voter suppression tactics are going to destroy Wisconsin's longstanding status as one of the top states for young voter turnout, THAT is the story.

    See also the skewing of very heavy sampling of conservative voters, etc.  Only 23 percent of voters in Wisconsin are liberal-leaning?  Then where did almost a million recall signatures come from -- conservatives?

    Bah.  It's a very bad poll, again and again.

    Look instead at the internals released by Barrett, which show a tie -- and muse on why Walker has not released his internals.  Hmmmm.

    Also see TPM's poll averaging, which shows a dead heat, almost a tie.  (Note:  RCP's poll averaging on Wisconsin is terrible; the number is not the average under any math ever known to man.)


    See also this re the poll skewing (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Towanda on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:58:13 PM EST
    from Uppity Wisconsin.

    And for more on the pollster, his rightie ties -- and the rightie ties with the media for the fix to be in with his pro-Walker polls -- see this at Fighting Bob.


    Slightly off topic from your post... (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:05:42 PM EST
    ... one thing that I think may make a half point to a point difference for Barrett is the Walker effort to privatizing hunting rights. Heard on Ed Schultz that Field and Stream wrote an editorial in its latest magazine slamming Walker.

    This issue seems to be something that could depress turnout for Walker.


    Bill Clinton may be headed to Wisconsin. (none / 0) (#189)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:57:25 AM EST
    Apparently, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was in Wisconsin for a Barrett fundraiser and said the Bill Clinton is rearranging his schedule so that he can get to Wisconsin before the recall vote.

    Wasserman-Schultz also insists that the DNC has been supportive of the recall and has given money to the effort.

    All of this appears to be in response to the outrage over the DNC's refusal to send GOTV money to help Barrett's campaign.

    On, Wisconsin.

    h/t Susie Madrak.


    Yep (none / 0) (#195)
    by jbindc on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:18:12 PM EST
    The Dems are desperate, and no matter what they say their internal polls are showing, they have been downplaying the results and are now sending in Bill Clinton?  Something that should have maybe be done months ago?

    Apparently, if it isn't seen as having (none / 0) (#196)
    by Anne on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:24:15 PM EST
    any impact on the national election - or if you're trying to downplay any connection between how Dems are faring in the states, with how Obama will fare in November - it really doesn't matter.

    At least, that's how Stephanie Cutter framed it the other day:

"This is a gubernatorial race with a guy who was recalled and a challenger trying get him out of office. It has nothing to do with President Obama at the top of the ticket and it certainly doesn't have anything to do with Mitt Romney at the top of the Republican ticket," said Cutter on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown."


    Cutter also defended the president's role in trying to defeat Walker, after Obama received criticism for not doing enough to help Wisconsin Democrats.

    "I think that people on the ground are looking at the significant resources that we are putting into that race," Cutter said.

    Cutter pointed to on-the-ground organizational support, providing Obama for America resources and raising money for Walker's rival as the ways in which the Obama team is influencing the recall effort.

    The Obama campaign released a statement endorsing Barrett immediately after his primary victory two weeks ago, but the president has not spoken publicly about the race, nor has he visited the state to campaign for Walker's Democratic rival.

"If you think that the secret weapon here is sending President Obama, then I'm pleased that you believe that, but I think that actually having people organizing and volunteering and turning out the vote and doing everything they can that actually effect an election is more powerful," Cutter added.

    So...more "powerless president" talk.  Apparently the real power is in that former president also known as Secret Weapon Bill Clinton...


    I'm trying to recall (none / 0) (#203)
    by sj on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:00:59 PM EST
    Wasserman-Schultz also insists that the DNC has been supportive of the recall and has given money to the effort.

    It seems to me that the DNC initially supported the effort but got their hand spanked by the White House.  I tried to search for it, but all the most recent links came up, and I'm not going to sift through that looking for something that's about six months old.

    Anyway, if my memory serves me even half way well, then Wasserman-Schultz is kind of right.  If you want to leave out the part about where they later withdraw their support.  Or at best gave it the consistency of a wet noodle.


    These same respondents to the poll (none / 0) (#83)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:54:20 PM EST
    are voting for Obama by a 7 % margin right? If what you say is true, and it sounds like you know more than me, than Obama's gap should be even bigger.

    Yep, that's good for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Towanda on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:40:40 PM EST
    too, looking more like 2008.  Perhaps putting the blame on "Where Are the Jobs" Walker has taken the heat off Obama for the terrible Wisconsin economy, with the worst loss of jobs in the country.

    Barrett releasing a lot of internal polls showing (none / 0) (#67)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:04:29 PM EST
    a dead heat. Still, considering the same poll has Obama opening up a nice little lead in WI, that kind of shoots down the "Marquette polls are GOP paid for propaganda."

    That Supreme Court race where the turnout was so high in the Milwaukee suburbs showed me that the WI nutballs are very energized and very good at showing up on election day. The only thing I think can save Barrett is a big revelation on the John Doe investigation. Barrett was very good, I thought, in the debate and if he does well again tonight, that would help too.

    The news that Walker just diverted over $100,000 from his campaign to his criminal attorneys should be a big story too. I say Barrett has a 1 in 4 chance of winning, and if he does, it will be by Al Franken type margin of victory.


    They are the only ones (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:09:41 PM EST
    Showing a dead heat.  Poll after poll for weeks have been showing Walker out in front and gaining ground.

    And Democratic officials are "playing down" the impact of a Barrett loss.  THAT's not a good sign.


    Nope; see this graph (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Towanda on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:43:04 PM EST
    to get a good sense of all of the polls.

    It's a dead heat -- and the momentum is with Barrett.  (That's the way it feels on the ground here, too, especially after his great work in last week's debate.  The last debate is tomorrow, as we head into a weekend of incredible GOTV planned here.)


    Thanks Towanda - I was getting discouraged (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by ruffian on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:56:00 PM EST
    after seeing Debbie Wasserman-Shultz's nonchalant attitude about it. Maybe she didn't want to make it a big national deal and then lose. I don't know. Anyway i'm glad to see some optimistic projections.

    OT (none / 0) (#99)
    by lentinel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:31:46 PM EST
    Your subject: Mad Men - Ouch!

    I just watched it.
    Ouch and ick.


    i just kept saying oohhh noooo (none / 0) (#188)
    by ruffian on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:56:15 AM EST
    over and over, right up until the end of the episode. Then I smiled with Peggy.

    I think that near the end scene with (none / 0) (#191)
    by ruffian on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:59:52 AM EST
    Don and Peggy was just about the best acted and written 5 minutes of TV ever.

    Here's another compilation (none / 0) (#150)
    by jbindc on Thu May 31, 2012 at 07:32:06 AM EST
    RCP over the last month.

    No, it's not a good sign... (none / 0) (#72)
    by magster on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:17:21 PM EST
    I dread following the returns on Kos next Tuesday watching Barrett have a small lead all night and thinking "maybe we can do this" only to have Waukesha come in with just enough votes at the last minute to rip out my innards and award Walker the victory.

    The DNC did very much drop the ball here. As a former fan and holder of a small crush on Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I will be breaking up with her if Barrett loses.

    Tangent, I remember when she, some guy from CA and Artur Davis just brutalized Gonzalez in a hearing on US atty-gate. Now Schultz is acting like everyone else, and Artur Davis changed parties to Republican with an intent on running in VA instead of AL in a not too far off election.


    I heard about Artur Davis (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:24:55 PM EST
    The man who offically nominated Obama at the convention and who was a co-chair of the presidential campaign.

    My, how disiilusioned does one have to become....?


    Good grief (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:33:19 PM EST
    that has to be freaking embarrassing for Obama.

    If (none / 0) (#100)
    by lentinel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:34:05 PM EST
    Obama stuck his neck out for Barrett, I am unaware of it.

    Did he?


    Nope. Apparently his comfy shoes (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Towanda on Wed May 30, 2012 at 10:31:26 PM EST
    just cannot be found, somehow.  Clearly, we all need to chip in for closet organizers in the White House, so that the prez can keep his promises.

    I don't think (none / 0) (#101)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:35:09 PM EST
    so but maybe that's a good thing???

    I don't know (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by sj on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:44:43 PM EST
    it seems to be all of a parcel.  Part of the post-partison unity that was so dominant after the convention and up through the inauguration.

    Alternate jurors in Edwards trial sent home. (none / 0) (#116)
    by Angel on Wed May 30, 2012 at 09:19:53 PM EST
    On telephone standby. Frequently (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Thu May 31, 2012 at 02:21:51 AM EST
    the judge puts them on that status when the jury starts deliberating.  

    Go Kings! (none / 0) (#135)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:07:51 AM EST
    The high-flying Los Angeles Kings continue one of the most impropable runs in NHL playoff history, defeating the New Jersey Devils, 2-1, in overtime of Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Finals, which opened in East Rutherford, NJ tonight.

    It's the 9th straight playoff win on the road for the No. 8 seeded Kings.

    Ding Dong the Witch is Dead (none / 0) (#152)
    by Rojas on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:08:25 AM EST
    Incunbient DA John Bradley lost the Republican primary race to Jana Duty.

    "If John Bradley loses his election in Williamson county, then that's a loud message to prosecutors all over the state is that there actually are consequences to engaging in prosecutorial misconduct,"

    One can only hope....

    Well, since it seems a little quiet today, (none / 0) (#170)
    by Anne on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:03:12 AM EST
    I thought I would ask if anyone has read Fifty Shades of Grey...I had heard a lot of talk about it, and decided to give it a whirl a couple weeks ago.  

    This morning, I opened my newspaper to read that a neighboring county has decided not to buy it on the basis that it's p@rn (to be honest, the person who told me about it said that she had heard it described as "socer mom p@rn), and provides too many details on how to conduct a dominant/submissive relationship.

    Three of the most popular books in America are being kept off the shelves of the Harford County Public Library system because administrators consider them to be pornographic.


    Every other library system in Central Maryland owns copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and its two sequels, and maintains waiting lists of hundreds of eager readers who want to check them out. Harford County's reluctance to purchase the novels in the face of overwhelming public demand and accusations of censorship places it in among an embattled minority of libraries nationwide.

    Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County Public Library, read James' first two novels before determining that the series doesn't meet her library's selection criteria. She hasn't read the third novel.

    "These books are a very different take on traditional romances," she said.

     "In my personal opinion, it's almost like a how-to manual in terms of describing bondage and submissive relationships. A lot of the reviews that came out very publicly and quickly identified these books as 'mommy porn.' Since our policy is that we don't buy porn, we made the decision not to purchase the series."

    Anyway - just curious if anyone here has read any of the trilogy - or would admit to it, lol - and what your thoughts are vis-à-vis banning, censorship and public libraries.

    I have to laugh (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Zorba on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:42:23 PM EST
    I just searched the catalogs of the three farthest west county libraries (Washington, Allegany, and Garrett) and all three have Fifty Shades of Grey.
    Couldn't find it in the Frederick County library catalog- guess they don't have it.
    Western Maryland laughs (with scorn) at Central Maryland.

    My wife, (none / 0) (#174)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:16:33 AM EST
    and just about every wife/mom I know is reading this book. Have yet to meet a guy who's reading it, although I'm sure there are some...

    Haven't read it... (5.00 / 0) (#177)
    by kdog on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:20:22 AM EST
    but I hear from some very happy married buddies that the series is cause for mass burning up of their bedsheets.  Good for them and their better halves!

    Ha! Ya, this past week has been fun... (5.00 / 0) (#178)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:25:16 AM EST
    And just think - there are two more books (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Anne on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:49:18 AM EST
    after this one!

    On a serious note, it irks me that a library would ban this book because it's all about s-e-x, but likely has on its shelves books filled with violence and gore.  I know, because I've read some of them - Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly, Harlen Coben, John Sandford, to name just a few.  Shoot, if they can ban a book because it's a "primer" on bondage/domination, why not ban all the murder and crime books because they are primers on how to kill people?

    I've always had such a love for books and reading that it really bothers me when books are banned or censored.


    Ya, I'm with you. (none / 0) (#201)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    Haven't read 'em (none / 0) (#181)
    by sj on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:29:28 AM EST
    Likely won't read 'em.  Shouldn't be banned.

    It makes me wonder, however, if Harford County Public Library system carries Lady Chatterly's Lover.  Which, frankly, also bored me and which I never finished.  

    As to what should be banned?  Well, I'm not sure if it should be banned, exactly, but if a periodical is mailed in brown paper rather then see through plastic, I'd rather it not be in displayed openly in the magazine section.  Other than that, give priority to acquiring the items that people are asking for.

    And while I'm on the topic, Enoch Pratt Libraries need some acquisitions dollars.  The last five or six things I've looked for in their catalog were not found.  And we're not talking obscure items here.


    You should mosey on out to the (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Anne on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:53:43 AM EST
    closest branch of the Baltimore County library and get your books there; you can go online and have them sent there from whichever branch has what you want so you don't have to travel the state to get them.

    Just a thought.


    Another affirmative action case (none / 0) (#172)
    by jbindc on Thu May 31, 2012 at 11:08:10 AM EST
    with a surprise brief that was recently filed on behalf of a white woman.

    Asians and Affirmative Action

    WASHINGTON -- A brief filed Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court seeks to shake up the legal and political calculus of a case that could determine the constitutionality of programs in which colleges consider the race or ethnicity of applicants. In the brief, four Asian-American organizations call on the justices to bar all race-conscious admissions decisions, arguing that race-neutral policies are the only way for Asian-American applicants to get a fair shake.

    Much of the discussion of the case has focused on policies that help black and Latino applicants. And the suit that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court was filed on behalf of a white woman, Abigail Fisher, who was rejected by the University of Texas at Austin.

    But the new brief, along with one recently filed on behalf of Fisher, say that the policy at Texas and similar policies elsewhere hurt Asian-American applicants, not just white applicants. This view runs counter to the opinion of many Asian-American groups that have consistently backed affirmative action programs such as those in place at Texas.

    Federal appeals court (none / 0) (#194)
    by CST on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:11:31 PM EST
    in Boston ruled DOMA unconstitutional.

    IMO, this case is a slam dunk.  It's incredibly straight forward, and doesn't ask any hard questions.

    "The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns."

    On to the supremes:

    "The 1st Circuit said its ruling wouldn't be enforced until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case, meaning that same-sex married couples will not be eligible to receive the economic benefits denied by DOMA until the high court rules."

    "the court agreed with the couples that it is unconstitutional because it takes one group of legally married people and treats them as "a different class" by making them ineligible for benefits given to other married couples."

    The story that won't die (none / 0) (#202)
    by jbindc on Thu May 31, 2012 at 12:54:39 PM EST
    Elizabeth Warren now says she told Harvard and U Penn that she was Native American, but insists it played no role in her hiring.  This after:

    When the issue first surfaced last month, Warren said she only learned Harvard was claiming her as a minority when she read it in the Boston Herald.

    This is such a dumb story (although, to be fair, if a Republican candidate had done this, the liberal blogs would be aflame).  But this should have been a one-day story in the C-section, but, as always happens, the obfuscation is what then prolongs it and becomes the story itself.

    Sigh.  When will anybody learn?  

    I guess this is easier than talking about the economy.

    Remember the 17 year-old honor student (none / 0) (#204)
    by Angel on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:10:02 PM EST
    who was jailed for skipping class even though she was working a couple of jobs to take care of her siblings?  Well, she got some help?