Thursday Evening Open Thread

The Center for Disease Control today announced that all baby boomers should be tested for Hepatitis C.

Arizona is denying drivers' licenses to young immigrants who apply for a deferral of removal under President Obama's order.

A jury has awarded $4.5 million to a gay student in his lawsuit against lawyer Andrew Shirvell, formerly an assistant attorney general, who wrote about him on an anti-gay blog and on social media pages. The student had offered to drop the lawsuit if the Shirvell apologized. Shirvell was fired from the AG's office after his postings. An apology vs. $4.5 million -- big mistake.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Stay classy, Arizona (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by unitron on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:37:41 AM EST
    So much better to have them out there driving with no license and no insurance.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Ira Glass (of "This American Life"): (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:50:11 AM EST
    What's the one book you wish someone else would write?

    Could someone please write a book explaining why the Democratic Party and its allies are so much less effective at crafting a message and having a vision than their Republican counterparts? What a bunch of incompetents the Dems seem like. Most people don't even understand the health care policy they passed, much less like it. Ditto the financial reform. Or the stimulus. Some of the basic tasks of politics -- like choosing and crafting a message -- they just seem uninterested in.

    I remember reading in The Times that as soon as Obama won, the Republicans were scheming about how they'd turn it around for the next election, and came up with the plan that won them the House, and wondered, did the House Dems even hold a similar meeting? Kurt Eichenwald! Mark Bowden! John Heilemann and Mark Halperin! I'll pre-order today.

    NYT interview

    "Framing the message" (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:19:49 AM EST
    I've given up complaining about the democrats' inability to tell a simple story, in a simple way, to the American electorate. Maybe it's an unfortunate by-product of their "Big Tent" philosophy, which permits so-called "Blue Dogs," who, for their own political expediency attach the letter "D" after their names, but vote with the "R's" most of the time. The days of FDR & LBJ are long gone.

    Maybe it's because of all the money being parachuted down on them. So, with all that temptation, the old slogan, "when the going gets tough...." finishes with, "we throw up our hands," and whimper, "we tried."

    Just take a look at the greatest threat to Democrats' chances in this coming election.....the bogus "election fraud," fraud. If they don't have the organizational ability, or the will, to blow this intellectual embarrassment to kingdom come, they could just borrow some lines from this devastating study to turn this phony issue on its head.

    But, my personal guess: They've simply grown too fat, lazy, and greedy to give a damn.

    I think it's really that simple. Yeah, they'd like an America that resembles the vision of our founders, but, all...that... work. Oy vey.


    Hmm, I seem to recall (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by brodie on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:31:11 AM EST
    FDR & LBJ had plenty of Southern racists in the party in their day, many of whom controlled key committees in Congress.  

    And corporatists too, such as those aligned with Big Oil.  LBJ himself for instance.  And such pols in the Dem party were heavily funded, usually illicitly, by the Big Boys of business.

    Not a big fan of The Golden Days of Politics thinking.  We had plenty of bought and paid for scoundrels and racists.  The main thing to lament is the overwhelming numerical advantage Ds had over the junior party for most of those Good Old Days and some of the occasional good we could bring about b/c of the advantage and b/c of the efforts of a few honest pols.


    If it makes a difference (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:08:27 AM EST
    Since we keep hearing that there really isn't any election fraud going on - what about the inverse?  Do voter ID laws really tampen down voter participation and do they really just hurt Democrats?  

    One expert, Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia Law School whose research and writing focuses on voting and election law, weighed in recently on NPR's Fresh Air, saying that the fraud claims are overblown but then added, ""I tend to think that the effects of these [voter ID] laws will not be as great as the critics think or that the proponents hope for."

    DAVE DAVIES: Now, one of the things that the critics of the voter ID laws have said is that there is clearly a disparate impact, that it impacts the poor and minorities disproportionately, and of course that means that's more likely to affect Democratic turnout. Are they right?

    PERSILY: Well, we don't know for sure whether that's going to be true. It is true if you look at the non-ID population that it is overrepresented among racial minorities - and that's been shown in Texas and Pennsylvania and elsewhere. But again, some of those people would not have voted anyway and so it's difficult empirically to say what share of the likely voter population would not vote as a result of a voter ID law. Nevertheless, if what we are trying to answer is whether this law has a disparate impact in that it's going to maybe deter minority voters at a greater rate than say non-minority voters, then yes, I think that you can see that effect.

    The partisan effects, it's really hard to figure out. In Indiana, they had a voter ID law in effect when Barack Obama won that state in the 2008 election and black turnout actually went up. It's, you know - of course the fact that black turnout went up had a lot to do with him being on the ballot, and so maybe if there hadn't been a voter ID law, that we would've had a greater number of African-Americans that were turning out in that race anyway. But it's very difficult to say ex-ante what the partisan and racial disparate impact is going to be.


    DAVE DAVIES: You know, you're here because you're independent. You look at evidence. You don't have any partisan connections. But a lot of people look at the fact that the voter I.D. laws and the attempts to restrict expanded voting opportunities are being enacted by Republican law makers, opposed by Democrats. Is it going too far to say that this is a campaign by Republicans to depress Democratic turnout in 2012?

    PERSILY: Well, I think that a lot of Republicans and Democrats believe this, in that they look at this as movement for voter I.D. laws and ask the question, well, why has it happened now? There's been no increase in the number of voter impersonation fraud cases in recent years, so what is really behind this?

    And I think that the partisan valance of these voter I.D. laws occurs both because Republicans see it as helping them, and John Fund, who is one of the sort of progenitors of this movement, had written for the Wall Street Journal, admitted this past week that it is not surprising that Republicans would want to have voter I.D. laws.

    And the head of the GOP in Pennsylvania said, exactly, that the voter I.D. law will help the Republicans win there. And Democrats as well, you know, look at this and say this is an attempt to inhibit Democratic participation. I tend to think that the effects of these laws will not be as great as the critics think, or that the proponents hope for.

    And while I do think there is partisan motivation behind these laws, as is unfortunately true with all election laws that are being passed these days, that it probably will not have the partisan effect that everyone is expecting, but in some areas it could make a difference.

    While I appreciate his opinion (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 09:20:26 AM EST
    The ONLY reason these laws are enacted are in the hopes of suppressing turnout.  He answers his own question of validity when he says you can't say whether anyone would vote or not vote individually regardless, but it is OBVIOUS why these voter ID laws are implemented.  The effect, whatever it is, is corrosive to democracy.  That's the only real point that matters.  Arguing about whether it's overly corrosive all the time, or just sort of corrosive some of the time, I don't see the point.

    Framing the message (none / 0) (#8)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:22:55 AM EST
    This has long been my rant against the Democratic party. As for somebody in the leadership getting a clue on how to do it, don't expect any miracles anytime soon.

    I recommend reading Thomas Frank's new book (none / 0) (#11)
    by DFLer on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:37:31 AM EST
    Pity the Billionaire
    the hard-times swindle and the unlikely comeback of the right

    Thanks for the recommendation (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:52:28 PM EST
    I have some trade credit to use at my neighborhood bookstore.

    love trade-credit bookstores (none / 0) (#21)
    by DFLer on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    Got my copy from the library, though.

    That decides it then (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:34:14 PM EST
    since I am on my way to the library this afternoon anyway to pick up my other book on hold.

    There is zero imagination in American poltics (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 09:34:13 AM EST
    None.  Which means there are zero imaginative people in American politics.  Been dead for more than fifty years,  IMO, Clinton and Obama are two of the biggest creativity vacuums I can imagine this nation offering up, and they are our last two Dem presidents. (Our system is really about bullying and little more, be it financially or emotionally.) I would suggest American politics attracts the least creative and imaginative people this country produces. And it turns them into bigger whores and cowards and halfwits than they could ever be turned into otherwise.

    Can you imagine a real artist elected to high public office in this nation?  The equivalent, say, of a Vaclav Havel?  Not a chance.  Americans disrespect intellectualism more than any "free" country could if they tried.  

    Ideas, in this nation, exist to make money first and help people a FAR distant second. We are the 99 cent store of "democracy," selling mostly crap.


    Well fifty years ago we had (2.67 / 3) (#16)
    by brodie on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:17:01 AM EST
    a creative intellectual-friendly president, but he wouldn't play ball with TPTB and so had to be eliminated.  

    Meanwhile many today in our party seem to yearn for the presidency of his crude, bullying, corrupt, anti-intellectual and warmongering successor.  Go figure.

    As for Bill and Barack, my complaints have less to do with creativity or intellectualism and more to do with too clever triangulation by one and too naive postpartisan outreach by the other.  The first achieved short term and personal political gains and the other resulted in some too modest and moderate Demican governance when a robust New Deal 2.0 was needed.


    please, it's not all about your (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by observed on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 11:38:39 AM EST
    lurid LBJ revisionist history.

    Honestly (1.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 02:30:26 PM EST
    people are so tired of Obama's roll over and give 'em what they want and say there's nothing else he could do that even LBJ looks good because for all his problems, and there were many, he was definitely not cowardly like Obama.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#25)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:41:54 PM EST
    I mean I think we can all agree Obama's an improvement from the straight up GOP-Lite play of Bill Clinton (seriously, how dumb does his Phil Grammesque deregulation friendly stuff look now?) but he still has a way to go.  

    Oh, geez (1.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:46:56 PM EST
    Can you stop already? Obama is hoping the Clinton's are able to pull him over the finish line in November. The thing is Obama does not have an economy going and the fact that Obama did not do what he needed to do when he had the chance, he's now got himself in a lot of electoral trouble even with some one like Romney. It could have been different but this is what happens when you have someone that lacks experience. They go running to the "boss" to help them out of a self created dilemma.

    Yeah that masterful (none / 0) (#28)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:34:13 PM EST
    leadership on the economy that set the stage for the Bush era collapse, well done on that one- seriously, there is literally one area where Clinton was in any way more effective than Obama-Taxes, in every other arena he wasn't close to Obama in terms of achieving long-term progressive change. But  considering that up until mid-October of 2008 you were convinced that your "Obama can't win" theory was on the verge of being vindicated, I'm not sure you can accurately read a poll, much less discern the root causes of a global financial collapse.

    Of course (1.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:55:26 PM EST
    you would say that. BTD has debunked that stuff time and again but you're willing to hold onto those fantasies.

    Do you really think passing Bob Dole's HCR reform is a "progressive goal"? You are just proving what everybody has been saying all along around here and it's that "progressive" means whatever Obama does. I guess the Bush Tax cuts would now qualify as "progressive".

    Obama has hurt the party immensely but I'm sure you really don't care since most people like you are all about Obama not about issues or about anything else. You're still steaming from 2008? No one cares about 2008. Obama's problem is Obama's problem that he largely created himself. People hired him to fix the problem and he even hired Bush's person who presided over the collapse!!! That's just freaking brilliant isn't it? You're worried about the debunked glass-steagall myth but consider Obama a great "progressive" who kept Bush' economic policy adviser???? You make zero sense. I guess Obama worship means you have turn off your sense of reason or something?


    Actually the NASDAQ, which (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 07:30:26 AM EST
    had carried most of the tech/Internet boomers, went into decline in March of 2000 and had fell 50% by March of 2001 just two months after Bush came on board.

    People were talking about 1929.

    So yes, the bubble had burst during Clinton's watch.


    NASDAQ (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:48:10 AM EST
    is high risk stocks and nothing compared to the housing and economic collapse that happened on Bush's watch. But of course, I know you will never hold Bush responsible for any of his mistakes so it's kind of a moot point.

    That's okay (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 10:05:00 AM EST
    If Jim wants to use the Nasdaq that's fine.

    From the day Clinton was elected to the day Bush was elected the Nasdaq rose 2795 points.

    From the day Bush was elected to the day Obama was elected the Nasdaq dropped 1332 points.

    From the day Obama was elected to today the Nasdaq is up 1009 points.

    Perhaps Jim prefers percentages?
    Clinton +462%
    Bush -39%
    Obama +49%

    I love the way Jim plays with statistics. I find him humorous in a blimpish sort of way.


    He's about as humorous as (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by observed on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 11:44:00 AM EST
    Family Research Council when they use a Paul Cameron study.

    I see my shadow shows up (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:59:22 PM EST
    Like most shadows it has no content. It's just there.... a shadow.

    The identity of your "shadow" (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 02:06:21 PM EST
    seems to change with the wind. First it was Yman, then it was jondee, now it's...who?

    It ain't easy out there for a paranoid.


    according to researchers, a sign (none / 0) (#39)
    by observed on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:21:31 PM EST
    of paranoia online is if a  person responds to every single comment about him, or addressed to himself.

    Psycho babble defines you. (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 08:57:56 PM EST

    BTW - Can any of you actually debate something or do you just play follow ppj around.


    Well, if you want to play, let's play (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:58:09 PM EST
    When the Democrats took over both House of Congress gasoline was around $2.00, unemployment below 5% and the stock market was around 12000.

    A short 17 months later gasoline was around $4.50, unemployment above 6% and climbing and the market was in free fall.

    When Obama took office gasoline was around $1.80, the market around 7000 and unemployment around 10%.

    Since then the DJIA market has climbed back to around 12000 (QE 1 and counting), gasoline has climbed, per Obama's wishes, to around $3.80 and unemployment has remained above 8%.

    How's that old Hope and Change thingeee working for you?


    Good grief (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:50:48 PM EST
    The NASDAQ was the primary listing of the tech/Internet stocks that drove the boom that Clinton enjoyed. When that bubble burst the housing boom, which was enjoyed by people benefiting from Clinton's low unemployment, naturally followed that hit magnified by 9/11. Bush's tax cuts brought us back from the tech bubble but the housing bubble couldn't support itself.

    Interestingly enough Clinton's 1996 Telecom Act really spurred the tech boom by allowing Competitive Local Exchange Carriers - CLEC's - to get into the market and compete with the Local Exchange Carriers - LEC's - by requiring the LEC's lease their outside plant - OSP - to the CLEC's.

    Like all central command and control economies it was doomed to fail but I sure enjoyed the short term demand for equipment from the new companies.

    And it was under Clinton that Fannie was expanded in 1999. Several people recognized that was a mistake and Bush tried to increase regulation in 2003 but he was stopped by Barney Frank and company.

    But you know the latter because I have posted articles and links on it time after time.


    Bush's (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 02:17:20 PM EST
    tax cuts were a large contributor to the national debt that the GOP keeps screaming about.

    Barney Frank could not stop Bush. Barney Frank was just ONE congressman. I love how conservatives believe all these myths. The GOP controlled the house in 2003 in case you forgot. So one person in the minority party could stop a piece of legislation from happening? ROTFLMAO!!!

    Can you at least have one standard and quit twisting yourself into pretzels to apologize for George W. Bush? Either the buck stops with the president or it doesn't. It can't be well when Bush was president he was responsible for nothing and when Clinton was president he was responsible for everything. It just makes you look nonsensical.

    BTW, interesting that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin are not invited to the GOP convention this year isn't it?


    Yeah, meanie old George ran it up (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:07:47 PM EST
    to $5 trillion in 9 years and Obama added $10 in 3 years... I guess George is just a classic under achiever..

    And Barney was the lead on the committee for the Demos. If you wanna say Bush shoulda pushed harder be my guest but Barney was the reason the reforms didn't happen. We both know that.


    Factually challenged (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Yman on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:49:04 PM EST
    And Barney was the lead on the committee for the Demos. If you wanna say Bush shoulda pushed harder be my guest but Barney was the reason the reforms didn't happen. We both know that.

    Sorry, Jim.  Bush only called for reforms due to the accounting scandal grabbing headlines.  As soon as the headlines died down, so did his interest, and the Republican-controlled committee never even voted any of their own reforms out of their committee.

    Try again.


    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:14:33 PM EST
    Obama did not add 10 trillion in three years. Where on earth do you get your info from? The national enquirer or some other tabloid. The fact of the matter is Obama initiated 1.75 trillion additional. The rest was just rolling in from Bush's programs. If you want to criticize him for not correcting Bush's spending problems then have at it.

    So what if Barney was on the lead? ROTFLMAO! That does not change the fact that the GOP controlled everything and could have passed something without one vote from a Dem. The GOP controlled everything Jim, EVERYTHING when this was going on. LOL.


    GA you're right (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 06:07:15 PM EST
    my bad math...and thinking and typing..

    Bush ran it up to 10 in  8 years and Obama has added 6 in 3 and 1/2.

    And, of course, blaming Bush is what you are good at!



    I can (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:48:00 PM EST
    now join MT in the facebook club of conservatives having meltdowns. I guess those polls (which I have not kept up with) must be bad.

    Me too. The latest thing some of my (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:03:39 AM EST
    rightie friends are posting is a link to an article about Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, whoever that is, saying nice things about Paul Ryan.

    The air of desperation.....


    They are talking about Erskine Bowles, co-chair (none / 0) (#12)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:00:45 AM EST
    of the infamous Catfood Commission and rumored next Sec. of Treasury if Obama wins.

    I believe what your friends are referring to is a video of Bowles praising Ryan's budget, saying that Obama's budget was not a good budget like Ryan's.

    I posted a link to the video here the other day and now that I want to find the link for you I of course cannot locate it. Sorry. :-)


    Ah, that makes sense (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:24:19 AM EST
    I could not make myself click the link.  I know the point hey are trying to make, but I always laugh when they use Clinton, their previous most hated Dem, to try to make it.

    Erskine Bowles (none / 0) (#26)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:43:46 PM EST
    its funny bit in a very real way Clinton's lack of self-control saved us from his commitment to selling out Social Security- as Bowles had a deal in place with Gingrich that was only scrapped due to the Impeachment investigation.

    Runaway jury (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 09:11:44 PM EST
    "Armstrong accused Shirvell of defamation as well as emotional distress for his actions on the blog, in Facebook posts and during visits to the Ann Arbor campus."

    What are the actual damages for a defamation which few believed then and no one believes now as well as unspecified emotional distress?  

    I don't know about the "runaway jury" (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 10:28:31 PM EST
    characterization -- if you mean by that, that the jury didn't follow Michigan defamation law, as explained to it by the judge, then I don't know enough to say whether you are right or wrong.  But I wouldn't be surprised to see a remittitur.  That said, this verdict does help show that in response to the advance of the gay rights movement, hostile and prejudiced attitudes toward gay people are losing their mainstream acceptability, much as openly expressed racism and sexism have become far less socially acceptable in the wake of their corresponding civil rights movements.  There is something good in the American people, I am happy to be reminded, that responds to moral education and rejects hate.

    Not Sure About You... (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 03:37:07 PM EST
    ...but for me, knowing a powerful man is sending cops over would cause me a whole hell of a lot of stress.  Sorry, but having to worry about my liberty when I've committed no crime is worthy of a fat check.

    And keep in mind, a simple 'Sorry' would have been sufficient, and yet because it wasn't his money, he refused.

    Think you are laying this on the wrong soul, you should be ranting about how an ideologue could have saved the jurisdiction millions with one word.  Or how he could have not acted like a lunatic and abused his authority for his own personal vendetta.

    When they investigated and discovered how many rules the guy broke they fired him.  So maybe you are right, and he's just misunderstood by everyone, and the jury was foiled as well.  

    Orrrrrrrr more likely, responsible folks looked at the evidence and decided the guy was a grade a jacka$$ and that gay people are human beings.


    I'm kind of surprised no one here (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:37:11 AM EST
    pointed out how entertaining Howard Zinn was.  I just finished listening to CDs (2) of a talk he gave at Reed College.  

    So an assistant AG... (none / 0) (#6)
    by unitron on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 01:48:58 AM EST
    ...an officer of the court, had evidence of this person "...enticing minors with alcohol..." and did nothing to bring them to justice and protect said minors from future abuse as well as protect others in the future?

    He did have evidence, right?

    Oh, wait, he thinks "...recruiting people to become homosexual..." is possible.

    Sounds like he's an idiot liable to say things for which he has no evidence.