Tuesday Morning Open Thread

I will be on Daily Kos Radio with Jesse LaGreca this morning at 11 Eastern. Listen here.

Open Thread.

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    I can't buy into the arguments put forward that (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Farmboy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:29:58 AM EST
    can compare the Medicare cuts in the ACA and the Romney/Ryan desired gutting of Medicare and conclude that the two approaches and results are the same.

    The Affordable Care Act achieves savings in the Medicare program through a series of payment reforms, service delivery innovations, and increased efforts to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. The actual projected reduction in Medicare spending is $428 billion over 10 years after $105 billion in new Medicare spending is taken into consideration. These projections actually extend the life of the Medicare trust fund by about a decade. It is important to stress that none of the payment reforms affect Medicare's guaranteed benefit packages. The law specifically states that the guaranteed benefits in Medicare Part A and Part B will not be reduced or eliminated as a result of changes to the Medicare program.

    On the other hand, Ryan proposes cutting benefit payments to save money:

    Ryan's plan under the Path To Prosperity would end Medicare as an insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly. It would be replaced with a fixed subsidy which seniors may use to buy competing private and public insurance policies on an exchange. If the value of the subsidy does not keep up with the growth of health care costs, seniors would make up the cost and pay higher medical bills.

    The Congressional Budget Office projects that Ryan's plan would raise seniors' out-of-pocket expenses by $6,500 per year.

    Seeing which of these approaches to Medicare is preferable isn't a matter of left-wing vs. right-wing; it's a matter of seeing which approach helps people in need and which one hurts those in need.

    Hello?? (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    Can you be a bit more specific??


    through a series of payment reforms, service delivery innovations, and increased efforts to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse.

    That's gonna save $428 billion??

    And if you lose doctors and hospital space, how are you gonna

    Medicare Part A and Part B will not be reduced or eliminated as a result of changes to the Medicare program

    As for:

    Ryan's plan under the Path To Prosperity

    In case you missed it, Ryan is running for VP, not Prez.


    Read the linked articles (none / 0) (#38)
    by Farmboy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:37:39 PM EST
    if you really are interested in answers to your questions.

    And in case you just woke up, Romney has embraced, defended, and stood behind Ryan's plans to kill Medicare and privatize SS since they were announced. You think Mitt chose Paul as running mate because of his addiction to an infomercial weight loss plan?


    Jim's not going to read anything, and (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:11:54 PM EST
    he's not going to let go of the right-wing myths he's so invested in/wedded to; I've lost count of the number of people who have posted links, excerpts, etc. that refute the nonsense he posts, and would - or should - allow for an end to the ridiculous strawman arguments, false choices and equivalencies he responds with, but, that's not how jim rolls.

    How he has not been designated No. 1 Troll here is a mystery to me.


    Were she still alive Julia Child would turn (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by caseyOR on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:19:19 AM EST
    100 today.

    I remember watching her on PBS when I was a kid. I was fascinated by her recipes and her technique and her personality. Cooking had never been so interesting as it was with Julia. And that she was cooking foods so far outside my typical early 1960s midwest experience made it all the more fascinating.

    I still remember watching her truss a chicken prior to roasting. She pulled out a huge needle and a length of cooing twine and sewed that baby up tight. I was a bit taken aback by the size of the needle. Plus, no one in my life had ever sewn a chicken shut. :-)

    Julia was one-of-a-kind.

    I need to laugh (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:12:34 AM EST
    Okay (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Farmboy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:57:54 AM EST
    On Monday, Obama enjoys a pork chop and a Bud at the Iowa State Fair. On Tuesday, Republicans introduce a bill that outlaws pork, beer, and Iowa. Bill co-sponsored by Steve King and Chuck Grassley (R-confused).

    All this talk... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:20:31 PM EST
    of health insurance coupons reminded me of this old Jerky Boys bit...Coupons!

    Laughter...at least there is one medicine that will always be available, regardless of one's ability to pay for it.


    HA HA,,, (none / 0) (#70)
    by desertswine on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:43:15 PM EST
    Black is hilarious.

    Texas A&M shooting (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:30:37 AM EST
    HuffPo article quotes his mother as saying:

    "The minute I saw the TV I knew it was him," said Weaver. "I've been that worried about him."

    I am not in her situation of course, but at what point does someone say, hey, I know this person is sick, maybe we can try to take away the ASSAULT RIFLES???!  It's just so frustrating to hear people say, "this doesn't surprise me" in response to violent shootings.  Do we have to be completely helpless at every single level in dealing with this crap?  It's ridiculous.  

    And (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 10:34:37 AM EST
    As a proud Texas A&M grad, I can't understand why the media is hyping this as "The Texas A&M shooting".  No one involved in the shooting is/was involved with the university. The only thing is that the shooting took place in an apartment close to the campus, but it had nothing to do with the school.

    Why does the media do this?


    I've been wondering the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Zorba on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:24:26 AM EST
    Either the media are lazy, or they think that "school shooting" will get them more eyeballs.
    Or both.

    Good Lord... (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:45:36 PM EST
    ...an Aggie.  That explains so much.

    I swear, the Aggies here are loud, proud,  and in charge.  Our old office was done in maroon and gray, from the wallpaper to the carpet to the cubes.  It's not that I have a problem with the school, just the meat cheerleaders they send out for the rest of us to deal with.  Just kidding, but I do find the Aggie/Longhorn rivalry rather amusing.

    I don't get the school shooting angle either.  Now apparently someone getting injured near the campus is reason to call it a school shooting.  A guy decided to shoot as Constable serving some sort of warrant in no way equates to a school shooting IMO.  But I guess that grabs people's attention, certainly did mine yesterday.


    So someone ought to have told Sikhs (none / 0) (#35)
    by Towanda on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:24:07 PM EST
    in Wisconsin to point out their proximity to a school -- and then more than one network would have come, and national coverage would not have disappeared after a day.

    Heck, maybe even Obama would have come to a place of worship so violated.  He was on the way to the area, anyway, and came within 100 miles . . . but again just could not find those shoes to cross the border into Wisconsin.  Or perhaps the Sikhs ought to have been showing Batman movies?


    I think the Pres. was busy celebrating (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:50:45 PM EST
    the end of Ramadan at the WH.  I kid you not!

    I think (none / 0) (#84)
    by Towanda on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 03:16:57 PM EST
    I'm going to be ill, if that's actually the excuse.

    Well, whatever (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 03:26:29 PM EST
    Obama still has apparently not found his "walking shoes" when it comes to Wisconsin.  He talks the talk, but he doesn't "walk the walk."  In more ways than one.     :-(

    Maybe it's a similar phenomenon... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:31:43 PM EST
    to criminal laws that make doing Y or Z within X feet of a school subject to harsher punishment?

    I mean if selling a dime bag to an adult within x feet of a school is a special crime, maybe every shooting within x feet of a school is a "school shooting"?


    An Aggie (none / 0) (#45)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:36:34 PM EST
    only for grad school.  :)

    Because nearly everyone ... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:24:17 PM EST
    ... has heard of Texas A&M, while a much smaller number have heard of College Station TX, where A&M is located. I'd say it's a case of lazy journalists pandering to an equally lazy viewing audience.

    How do you suggest a parent (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:23:55 AM EST
    take away an assault rifle from an adult offspring?

    Start with getting more involved? (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:35:40 AM EST
    Her husband claims he thought the son might come up and hurt them.  Perhaps, instead of engaging with the guy and trying to get help and/or report any threats if there were any to the police, he just purchased his own gun.

    If we're not allowed to restrict access to guns in order to protect society at large, then I think individuals and by extension families or people who know the person and think "HEY THIS GUY IS NUTS" should bear a greater weight of responsibility when things go wrong.


    That Whole... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:11:05 PM EST
    ...punishment before the crime rubs some folks the wrong way.

    If these incidents were preventable seems like people might be preventing them.  Blaming the parents for not locking their kid up in the looney bin because they might be dangerous seems a little misplaced.  

    The fact is we can't identify which people are going to commit crimes and even if we wanted to, there just isn't funding to lock all the people up who may be a danger to society.  And as far as guns, well the right has ensured there will never be a lack of them, so maybe they doesn't get one legally, but like drugs, if someone wants them they ain't hard to get.


    Well said... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:35:37 PM EST
    you can't go ring an alarm for every dude who "ain't right"...I'd bet the vast majority of people who look or show "warning signs" of resembling the stereotypical "mass murderer" never hurt anybody.

    I was careful NOT to say (none / 0) (#39)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:49:12 PM EST
    "lock them up in a loony bin."  I don't know what is needed, maybe more an emphasis on mental health, maybe a PSA campaign of all things around such a subject.  But the fact that his mom is saying "I knew it was him" suggests to me at the very least that she should have taken more responsibility.  At some level some violence is inevitable but to have this many shootings in this amount of time, something is wrong and something needs to change.  

    Your heart is certainly in the right place... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:20:26 PM EST
    we all wanna see a reduction in violence and murder...and maybe this particular killer's mom should have done something...but it's a helluva burden to place on somebody, in hindsight no less.

    "Who is to blame?" is human nature, but at the end of the day absent seriously gross negligence by a third party, there is no one to blame but the killer.  For some questions there are no answers.

    And we must be very careful with this thinking, as it often to leads to a lawmaker "doing something" with unintended consequences that does more harm than good.


    I'm not saying she did anything criminal (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:33:45 PM EST
    but this article in particular makes me mad because the parents are describing him as a "ticking time bomb" that "he was crazy as hell" that "he's been very deeply troubled" that "I knew it was him."  WTF????  And they've been estranged since he's been ill.  Obviously they couldn't foresee a shooting, but come on.  A gun nut going nuts and they know it and they appear to do nothing?  The whole GOP "everyone have guns" ethos is based on the idea that this doesn't happen because when it does happen some civilian can shoot this guy down.  Well, like I said, I bet the stepfather went out to buy a gun - to protect himself.  But what about the rest of us?  How are we supposed to protect ourselves from a sick man sniping on us?  My personal answer is that I want more gun control, but I know not everyone agrees.  In that case, though, how do we bring down the level of violence?  I'm just sick of reading articles about people saying after the fact that they knew he was crazy.  If you don't want the government involved in your lives or whatever at least show some personal responsibility.  

    I hear ya... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 03:49:34 PM EST
    especially as someone who doesn't wanna see mothers and fathers ending up in prison because they failed to stop their child from doing something terrible, or failed to drop a dime on their child.  

    The ultimate personal responsibility lies with the individual though.  Yeah, parents are responsible for their kids, but only up to a point.  After the fact it's easy to say "I knew", but it can't be easy to drop a dime on your kid no matter how capable you may think they are of violence, or how scared they make you feel.  They're still your kid...I'd bend over backwards to give parents in such a tough spot the benefit of the doubt.


    I'm not saying drop a dime (none / 0) (#46)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:43:39 PM EST
    I'm saying mental health.

    Regardless, if it is up to the responsibility of individuals, we are giving individuals more responsibility (more guns) and seeing less responsibility (more violence) as an outcome.  There is a vacuum of accountability.


    Yes, while it is true (none / 0) (#52)
    by Zorba on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:11:01 PM EST
    that there is a "vacuum of accountability," it is not easy to have someone committed without their okay, unless they are an immediate danger to others, or to themselves.  And even that doesn't guarantee true help for those in need of it.
    What would you have the parents do?  Yes, they could talk to their offspring, urge them to get help, but at the end of the day, if their offspring refuses such advice, there is not a whole he!! of a lot that parents can do.  
    Warn the police?  What could the police do, absent something illegal that the person in question has done?  Do you really want the government to sweep people up and force them to get "help" because their loved ones are concerned?  I know some "loved ones" who think that their relatives are nut-jobs because they don't "think" the same way as the relatives do.
    It's very, very sad, and I cannot necessarily blame the family.
    Ultimately, I would wish that there were more affordable, accessible, mental health services for everyone.  Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in this political climate.

    Well here are some more quotes (none / 0) (#59)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:41:33 PM EST
    from the step-father:

    "We are devastated for the families that this SOB killed," said Weaver. "He was a ticking time bomb."

    Arnold asked Weaver if he had any indication that something like this was coming.

    "He was crazy as hell," Weaver said. "At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me."

    "We were hoping he'd kill himself before doing something like this," said Weaver. "We are just devastated for the families this SOB killed."

    I was going to go on about how if friends and families cannot intervene, and perhaps they can't, and if they can, only so far, then we need to have better outside resources (related to the government, but obviously not a police state).  And we do.  But the way he talks about it just pisses me off...like he knew he was a ticking time bomb, but at least he knew he was far enough away from it.  I suspect there is more to this story.


    What a creepy way (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by sj on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:19:18 PM EST
    to talk about one's stepson.  I think I see where some of Caffall's rage may have come from.

    More (none / 0) (#60)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:45:32 PM EST
    quotes from the mother.  CNN

    Yes, as I said, (none / 0) (#61)
    by Zorba on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:56:11 PM EST
    if only there were more affordable, accessible mental health resources.  
    But even if there were, you cannot force someone to get help if they refuse.  Perhaps the family could have done some type of intervention, with the help of mental health professionals.  And perhaps that may have worked, or it may not have.
    What would you do, lilburro, if you had a close family member like this?  Even if you tried and tried to get them help (which I admit, it's not clear that his family did), what would you do if they refused the help?  Legally, there's not a whole he!! of a lot you could do.
    The family may have been negligent in many ways, but I don't think that, even if they tried really hard to access help, that help would have been forthcoming.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#62)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:07:18 PM EST
    perhaps a restraining order or a discussion with police about available options vis a vis a "ticking time bomb" could have better prepared the police to open the door to a psychopath.

    I mean, I understand what you're saying, and perhaps they sought help, and perhaps it didn't work, or it wouldn't have worked.  But the absolute clarity with which this guy is discussing his stepson being crazy, "hoping" he'd kill himself "before doing something like this," I just...I can't not be frustrated at that.  He seems to think he had violent potential.  


    More (none / 0) (#63)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:12:52 PM EST
    from CBS:

    Caffall's stepfather, Richard Weaver, told CBS station KHOU that the suspected gunman refused to work after apparently quitting his job less than a year ago. Weaver said Caffall regularly played video games inside his rental home near the campus. According to KHOU, Northcliff, the third man killed on Monday, was Caffall's landlord.

    Weaver told KHOU that Caffall played video games so much that it seemed to be warping his sense of reality. He said Callfall's alleged violent reaction to an eviction notice was not something that surprised him. Weaver even told KHOU he had become concerned that Callfall might hurt, or even kill, one of his own family members in recent months.

    Weaver told KHOU reporter Drew Karedes over the telephone that he was worried his stepson was going to snap. When asked if the family ever brought the concerns to authorities, he said they had not.

    I understand parents might have a hard time reporting their children to the authorities, but this guy seems to have no problem throwing his stepson under the bus after death.  Sorry, I think I'm going to remain a little pissed at him.


    And usually (none / 0) (#64)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 07:34:28 PM EST
    I feel very sympathetic for the parents but this time, URGHHH....

    I understand your anguish over this, (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by caseyOR on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:12:08 PM EST
    but I am betting that you do not have someone in your family with mental illness.

    I do. And if that relative, who is an adult, committed a violent crime like this, I would not be surprised. I would not make those kinds of statements to the press, but I would not make any statements to the press.

    There is pretty much nothing a concerned family member can do to force an adult who is mentally ill, and in need of treatment, to get that treatment. And it is almost impossible to get someone involuntarily committed. One must prove to a judge that the ill person is at that moment a danger to hirself or there. That standard is very high. Owning guns and losing oneself in video games would not qualify.

    To make things worse, there is almost no community safety net for the mentally ill anymore. Programs have been slashed into nonexistence. Just try to get treatment for someone who does not have either good insurance or lots of money. Hell, crisis lines and suicide hotlines, the most basic of frontline services, are losing funding these days.

    I have been through all of this with that relative. Trying to get my relative into treatment (hir refused treatment.) Trying to get hir stabilized on meds (hir wouldn't take them.)

    And the commitment process? I'm been through that and it was a nightmare.

    Sadly, in this country getting an assault rifle is about a gazillion times easier that getting treatment for mental illness.

    So, lay off the family. Okay?

    Now my relative is somewhere in this city; I don't know where. Hir does not return phone calls or respond to email. What am i supposed to do now?


    I'm so sorry, casey (none / 0) (#66)
    by Zorba on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 08:32:57 PM EST
    And I realize how helpless you must feel.  I used to work with the severely emotionally disturbed (as well as the developmentally disabled and the multiply handicapped).  And, while there were at least resources  that parents could access for the younger emotionally disturbed population (even though it wasn't perfect, at least help was there), once these kids reached adulthood, there wasn't a whole he!! of a lot the parents could do if their adult child refused help.

    The whole situation just, well, sucks. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by caseyOR on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 02:19:11 AM EST
    Don't get me wrong. I do not think it should be easy to get someone involuntarily committed. There was a  time when people were committed, against their will, for all kinds of dubious reasons, among them being lesbian or gay. And it was common practice to send people with cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome or other challenges to the state hospital where they often lived out their lives.

    And I hesitate to come out and support forced medication. Again because in the past this was used as a way to make people who were outside the recognized norm pliant.

    So, I don't know what the answer is. I do support laws that forbid the mentally ill from having guns. The question then becomes where does one draw the line? Do we say that if one is involuntarily committed one cannot have guns? Okay. Well, what if someone voluntarily checks into a mental health facility for treatment? Should that person be denied a gun?

    How about medications? It seems that lots more Americans are on some kind of psychotropic drug, be it for depression or anxiety or whatever, than are not on a drug. Should taking psych drugs be a reason to deny one a gun?

    I don't know what is right.


    Well, he did make those statements. (none / 0) (#67)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 09:19:46 PM EST
    Perhaps I should not take them at face value at this time.  

    And I am sorry for your family (none / 0) (#68)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 09:24:21 PM EST
    and I don't mean to be disrespectful, and I may be totally wrong.  But this is Texas, and people think they can solve problems by shooting them when they are near, because they are armed too, and that's legal.  Well, what about the rest of us.

    and yes (none / 0) (#69)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 09:34:13 PM EST
    I do live here, and was 45 minutes away at the time, which perhaps accounts for what may be an overreaction.

    In what world may a parent of an (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:04:25 PM EST
    adult child do anything?  Mental health care? Who pays.  Adult child may be receiving treatment via Medicaid.  Adult child may meet the criterion to legally possess a firearm.  Invol. commitment for mental health reasons is difficult.  Danger to self or others--72 hr. hold at most and that is difficult to accomplish.  

    If you choose to answer, I'd be interested (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:00:50 PM EST
    in knowing if you have any adult children.  Any with mental illness?  

    Attempt to go ad hom (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:07:34 PM EST
    will be ignored.

    Sorry. I did not intend to insult you. (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:15:06 PM EST
    But, this is a really difficult situation for parents of adult children, who may feel threatened themselves and are basically unprotected.  

    They appear to have felt at some point (none / 0) (#58)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:32:44 PM EST
    threatened.  They don't say that they did anything.  Maybe it will come out that they did.  Maybe it's impossible to expect families to take responsibility.  If so, then the government has to step in, either on the health side or on the gun control or police side.

    I get Your Point... (none / 0) (#76)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:18:55 AM EST
    ...but where does one turn when they feel an adult family member is crazy ?  The cops are out, asking parents to call the cops because their kid might do something is too much to ask.  Even if they had, seems like this may have played out the same, the difference being the parents initiated it.

    I just don't understand what you think they should have done, and I too have a lot of frustration after a tragedy and seeing the people who seem to think it was going to happen sooner or later.  But in reality, it's nearly impossible to get an adult mental help who doesn't want it.  And obviously our mental heath system is so dysfunctional seems like there is a real chance it could actually ignite an incident that may have never happened.

    John Hinckley was from a wealthy family, he was getting treatment, he was caught stalking Foster, and was arrested on weapons charges after tailing the President, Jimmy Carter.  And he still was able to shoot Reagan.

    That's an extreme case, but clearly his family was concerned enough to get him help, and in the end, he was still able to do something very extreme.


    My thoughts on this (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by lilburro on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:39:30 AM EST
    have changed since I started this discussion, which is why I come to TL.  I can't sit in judgment on this family, although I didn't really want to to begin with, I'm just so frustrated.  I know it's not their fault.  At this point my frustration is with the absolute certainty with which the stepfather is talking to the press about his stepson being dangerous.  Maybe something as simple as a restraining order could've given the cops a heads up, and it sounds like from what the stepfather said ("afraid he'd kill us") that could've been possible.  Maybe that is too much to ask but the stepfather honestly sounds to me like he was ready to defend himself.  I don't know, it's frustrating.  

    Your comments... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:13:19 AM EST
    raised excellent questions lilburro, I think we all wish we had better answers.

    Your idea for a PSA campaign advocating non-violence, laying down arms, and seeking help for violent urges was a good one...I'm big on "first do no harm", and a PSA campaign does no harm.

    Moral responsibility is lacking all over...same as it ever was.


    Thanks kdog (none / 0) (#80)
    by lilburro on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:55:54 PM EST
    It seems to me that our gun control system is broken, our mental health system is broken, and the reaction to these problems on a national level is just...crickets chirping.  It's unacceptable to me that increased random gun violence is the new norm.  Plenty of people particularly of course Republicans (here's an example but it's everywhere) don't want to see these incidents connected to either gun laws or to mental health.  And of course if they accept a connection to mental health wake me up when they're willing to put significant investment into it.  Gah.

    Agreed... (none / 0) (#82)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:35:27 PM EST
    ...but he isn't the father, he's the step-father.  Without understanding that dynamic(was he a new step father, or did he raise the kid), it's pretty hard know what could be done.  But the guy should have enough tact to not proclaim basically he knew it was coming.  

    What I wonder about is Colorado, the school was giving him therapy, the therapist was concerned enough to discuss with others in the field, but then he drops out and they kind of wash their hands of him.  And then they were acting like it's simply not their problem.

    Those weren't parents or family, the therapist was a paid professional and should be held to a higher degree.  And I can't imagine the school not getting slammed for their inaction from the families of victims, and victims.  

    Not saying it's the therapist's fault at all, but doesn't she and the school have a responsibility to ensure the kid wasn't left without help and/or medication just because he left school, which was also a result of his mental illness ?


    Schools certainly do get slammed and sued (none / 0) (#85)
    by Towanda on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 03:23:04 PM EST
    for actions in violation of FERPA, federal law for students' and families' privacy, which would likely be involved in such cases.

    And, of course, the existence of FERPA and some suits has had the "chilling effect" on all campus counsel.  That leaves any faculty or staff who want to do the right thing out on a liability limb, believe me -- to be sued not only by the student and family but also by the campus.  After said faculty or staff would be fired, of course.

    Plus, note that Holmes had dropped out of school.  As the case of the shooter of Gabby Giffords also showed us, schools lose all right of intervention on former students.

    It's a mess.  And it's faculty and staff, not campus counsel, who tend to be targeted. . . .


    Parents have no legal responsibility for (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 04:57:29 PM EST
    adult children.  Do you expect the parents to put out an all-points bulletin:  my adult child may be dangerous to self or others?  May have legal and/or illegal weapons?  

    Despite the lack of legal responsibility for me (none / 0) (#54)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:18:25 PM EST
    my own parents and many others have managed to stay in my life.  I'm not discussing legal responsibility.  I'm discussing moral responsibility.  Like I said even something as stupid as a PSA campaign about reaching out could have some effect.  

    This is the third random shooting in a month.  And this is the year of Trayvon Martin.  If gun control is off the table, what other resources are out there?  Especially if we can only count on individuals to buy guns, as opposed to reaching out to people in their families who are mentally ill and heavily armed.  I want someone to explain to me how this society can reduce the number of shootings.  How does an increased emphasis on self-defense prevent guys like this from initially taking shots at people?  And I guess families aren't going to do it.  So how's it going to happen?


    IMO, it is a whole lot easier for a parent (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:22:11 PM EST
    to "stay in the life" of a mentally stable adult child than to "stay in the life" of an adult child who is mentally ill and possibly a threat to self or others, including the parents.  Not an easy road at all.  

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#57)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 06:28:22 PM EST
    In that case, how do we make it easier for people to help people they know are a)ill and b) heavily armed?  If we can't expect families to take care, we just allow heavily armed mentally ill people to fall through the cracks?  That doesn't seem appropriate to me.

    The Republican approach to this problem is to just arm everyone, but that only makes this type of event more likely (especially because they could care jack about mental health and healthcare, period).

    3 angry white men killing strangers in one month, there's a problem here.  I personally think gun control is the solution, but if it isn't, what are the alternatives?  How do you deal with this guy?


    The time (none / 0) (#4)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:02:53 AM EST
    that people were loudly proclaiming that Obama's budget plans and the GOP's budget plans were basically the same seems like a while ago.

    To those who see no difference between the parties, to you still believe that voting for Obama/Biden is the same as voting for Romney/Ryan given that a GOP congress is a real possibility?

    wev (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by sj on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    We're screwed no matter what.  You vote your conscience and I'll vote mine.

    Geez (none / 0) (#10)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:48:51 AM EST
    We are not screwed no matter what.  I have been thinking about this for a few weeks and here is what is really at stake:

    The next President's policies are going to be credited with saving the economy, not matter what the policies actually are.

    The thinking being that this time 4 years from now, unemployment will be in the 6's most likely.  The market will be booming.  The wars will be over.  The world will look far better economically.

    That's going to happen regardless of who is in office. We were in a deep recession and they inevitably end globally regardless of the policies.

    The biggest decider of how we handle the next big crisis will be the one who can say they solved the last one.  If Team Romney takes over, slashes everything and cut taxes for the rich and those policies are associated with a recovery that is inevitable, the impact for the future of discussion will be catastrophic. Think about the struggle we have now to save entitlements and how different the argument would be if the New Deal weren't firmly associated with ending the depression.

    If Romney is president in 2016 after being in charge as the economy recovers, our odds of beating him are very low.  We are really looking at an 8 year choice at a time when the fate of SS, medicare, etc. will be decided.

    The stakes are too great to vote your conscious.  Think about the ramifications, hold your nose and vote for the guy whose goal is not to destroy everything that I bet you hold dear.  

    The GOP is telling us exactly what they will do when in power.  The selected the mastermind of the dismantling of the entire safety net system as VP and drew a line in the sand to make this about that choice.  And we're going to pretend the stakes aren't that high on our side to make some kind of symbolic point?

    We all do what we have to do, but I hope there are enough of us that see the big picture to do what is needed.


    Wait (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:57:15 AM EST
    The thinking being that this time 4 years from now, unemployment will be in the 6's most likely

    I thought it was supposed to be near 7 by now?


    Who cares? (none / 0) (#14)
    by vicndabx on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:18:42 PM EST
    but what of the argument about setting the narrative?  The same can be said about Clin...er, um, those years prior to Bush.  There will inevitably be a swing toward better economic times.

    Sure there will (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:21:24 PM EST
    Just questioning the prognostication of one who assured us that the unemployment would be around 7 by now, when he now states it will be "in the 6's" after Obama's second term.

    By the election (none / 0) (#16)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:23:12 PM EST
    I think it will be in the 7's.  But a drop of 1.4% in 4 years is something I'd bet happens.  If you can find someone to take that bet, I need the link so that I can get my kids' college fund nice and plump.

    You think (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:27:09 PM EST
    that by November 2012 - 3 months from now, unemployment will be near 7%?



    To be fair, he did say 'in the 7's' (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:29:56 PM EST
    maybe 7.99999%

    It's funny to me (none / 0) (#22)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:51:46 PM EST
    when people thought Obama's policies were supposed to start working instantly on one of the largest economies on the planet and that the country is in a bubble unaffected by the fact that the EU was exploding.

    Four Years is Not Instantly (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 09:40:25 AM EST
    And no one though McCain or Obama would ignore jobs for 3+ years, only concerning themselves with the plight of the working man once the election cycle started and they suddenly realized voters actually care about having a job.  Who knew ?

    ABG, Obama is leaps and bounds better than Romney, but that doesn't mean he is good.  He is better than the worse possible R candidate, yeah, but stop making him out to be something he isn't, a good Democratic Party President.

    He's extremely lucky the opposing party is completely void of leadership, ideas, and all common sense.  As many have suggested, it's almost like the R's are trying to lose, that is the level of incompetence he is competing against and barely favored.


    I thought it was supposed to never (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:57:35 PM EST
    go above 8.

    Very bold statement on your part (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by sj on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    The next President's policies are going to be credited with saving the economy, not matter what the policies actually are.
    You're assuming that the economy actually gets saved, that people go back to work at an income that isn't fast food level, that homes regain their value and are not foreclosed upon and that the safety net is left untouched or even (not holding my breath) strengthened.

    If all that happens, I will eat crow gladly.

    The stakes are too great to vote your conscious [sic].  Think about the ramifications, hold your nose and vote for the guy whose goal is not to destroy everything that I bet you hold dear.
    If I were certain that there actually was one of those, I might consider it.

    I'lll continue to consciously vote my conscience.  Always. Forevermore.  In perpetuity.  As long as I can get my bones to a voting booth.  Your guy is going to win.  I, and my POV lose, no matter who wins.  Stop being such a sore winner.


    We are on the gradual (none / 0) (#17)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:27:05 PM EST
    upturn of this recession.  Every economist out there  I have read predicts a slow but steady improvement over the next few years.

    I'd bet the house that we are going to be doing substantially better.  Hell, I think we'll be doing a lot better next summer.  There has been no retrenchment in the recovery at the macro level.  The path started shortly after Obama took office is still occurring, but more slowly than we'd like.

    People hate to focus on one metric, but this chart shows clearly the trend and the path as compared to prior recessions and depressions.  You can't look at that and make a firm argument that we are moving in the wrong direction.


    Like I said (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by sj on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:34:09 PM EST
    If we have a healthy economy and people's lives are stable, I will eat crow.  Standing on my head, in the spotlight.  If, however, we're just counting on "economic indicators" to make a point that isn't being made manifest in the world around me, I'll continue to deride the cheerleading.

    Can I print out the (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:59:55 PM EST
    chart and take it down to my grocery store?? Gas station? Pharmacy??

    I can't??

    What do I do?? Wait 4 more years??


    For what? (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:05:59 PM EST
    the socio-economic utopia that always immediatley materializes here after a "free market", "traditional values" candidate is elected president?

    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:08:02 PM EST
    Can you tell me why a failed plan won't keep on failing?

    Oops! You blinked (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by shoephone on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:10:18 PM EST
    Weren't you supposed to be ignoring jondee, after all those years of his insults!

    No, I still respond to Jondee and have never (none / 0) (#87)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:04:18 PM EST
    said I would not.

    You are probably confusing Yman with Jondee.

    And while I can see the similarities I assure you they are two difference people.....

    I think.



    You mean like your/Bush's wars? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Yman on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:23:22 PM EST
    Or are we still talking economic plans?

    Okay...I don't know that anyone has ever (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 01:22:52 PM EST
    claimed that there was no difference between the budget plans of Republicans and Democrats; what I think has been said is that both parties are beholden to special interests, both parties are catering to their donors, and that there are significant similarities in the vision both parties seem to have for where we are headed.

    I wouldn't say there is no difference between the parties, but the differences are more about degree than they are about substance.  Both are saying we HAVE TO do something about the deficit and the debt.  Both are saying we HAVE TO do something to fix the safety net.  Both are saying that we HAVE TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE.  Democrats are conceding that Republicans are right on identifying the issues instead of debating whether those really are the issues.  

    Obama wants credit for being willing to cut the safety net; his feelings seem to be hurt that the media isn't portraying him, and the GOP isn't acknowledging him, as the fiscal hawk he's leaning toward being.

    What does that tell you?  That he's flexing his muscles in preparation for demolishing and  debunking the ridiculous GOP economic/fiscal talking points?  I don't think so.  That he's preparing for a second term that won't see him working on Catfood 3.0?  Uh...no.

    If the next president is determined to implement a Grand Bargain, cut the deficit and reduce the debt, if he is determined to cut programs and funding that form parts of the safety net, whatever snail's pace recovery there is will grind to a halt.  The markets will not boom.  Wars will not be over - war is our fallback to keep the economy moving - unemployment will not be falling.  And then what?  

    Then what?

    There is no question that Republicans are now and will be far worse than Democrats on virtually every issue there is.  But listen carefully: Dems are also telling you what they plan to do in another term, and while it has the appearance of being more sane, it doesn't represent what it should be, which is the polar opposite to what the GOP wants to do.  If the GOP is the South Pole, Dems are not the North Pole, but somewhere south of the equator, and drifting further south all the time.

    I have no idea how to stop it.  That frustrates the bejesus out of me, as maybe you can tell.

    This isn't about pretending the stakes aren't high; we know they're high.  The problem is that those who are supposed to be fighting for us against the evil that is the GOP aren't fighting against them as much as they are trying - still - to work with them, get along with them and show them respect they don't deserve.

    More than you could possibly know, I would love to be wrong. I would happily eat crow, worms from the garden and beef tongue if I'm wrong.  Happily.


    I do not believe the recovery is inevitable. (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:34:41 PM EST
    Romney/Ryan could easily nip it in the bud with massive spending cuts.

    For that reason I agree with your conclusion to vote against them.


    I (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by lentinel on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    would feel a little more positively about Obama's superior positions on matters of importance to me if he would praise Reagan less and FDR more.

    Because (none / 0) (#83)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 02:25:27 PM EST
    reeling in all those FDR voters is sure to be the turning point of the election?

    I wonder what people here think of this? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Slayersrezo on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 05:59:45 PM EST

    If this is correct, they've gone insane in terms of their anti-sexual slavery campaign.

    There are vids of Ayn Rand on the Tonight Show (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 11:44:20 PM EST
    up at Orange.  Ayn Rand was anti Vietnam War.  She was anti death penalty.  She was against the state being able to use force against any citizen.  And she was a huge Atheist of course, but I don't think Conservative Wingnuts know jack $hit about Ayn Rand :)

    Yes, they are SO much (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by observed on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 01:36:50 AM EST
    more educated about Jesus and the bible.

    The linchpin of their shared philosophy is (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:24:37 AM EST
    nothing greater than or more profound than last weeks FOX NEWS!