Weekend Open Thread

Lance Armstrong, Part 2. Thursday's interview didn't seem to resonate favorably with too many people. Did they even tune in again for Part II? I did. It was like a deja-vu of John Edwards admitting his affair (but denying paternity.)

It seems to me this interview is part of some legal-related master plan, as opposed to personal redemption or being able to compete again. I don't think it's just the Floyd Landis case, but I have no idea what else it might be. Some lawyers who have represented other athletes share their thoughts here.

Who besides Robert Luskin is on his legal team? Elliot Peters, of Keker and Van Nest, who has been in the news all week as the lawyer for Aaron Swartz. [More...]

On another matter: the federal terrorism case against Izhar Khan tossed by a Miami judge yesterday: How weak was the Government's evidence? Here's the court order granting the judgment of acquittal, the facts are on pages 4 to 7.

One news story I'm sorry I wasted a half-hour reading about: Manti Te'o and his non-existent girlfriend. The only marginally interesting thing about the story is the egg on the face of the mainstream media who bought it hook, line and sinker.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Cheap Dive Movie Theater Update (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:51:03 AM EST
    The Golden Globes didn't bring Argo or Salmon Fishing in the Yemen back to my $6 matinee, but they did bring Silver Linings Playbook in for a week run.

    I wouldn't classify the movie as a comedy. Nor did I see the movies with other nominees Emily Blunt, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, or Meryl Streep. But after seeing Silver Linings yesterday I completely understand why Jennifer Lawrence won for "Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical".

    A quirky story that throws in football and dance around two emotionally damaged characters and it works.

    Loved Silver Linings Playbook (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:49:13 PM EST
    And (spoiler alert for others!) I was relieved they didn't end up being the winners of the dance competition. That plot twist would have been too saccharine to believe. After seeing her in "Winter's Bone" I didn't know Jennifer Lawrence could be such a comedienne.

    I saw it today (none / 0) (#53)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:30:41 PM EST
    and I loved it.  I started the applause which I do every once in a great while. If you can make a movie about mental illness not depress the hell out of me, but actually leave me feeling up and impressed with a 22 year old female actor...as curmudgeonly as I am about actors and real talent... well then you have a good movie.
    Oh yeah, and I fell in love with Robert De Niro again.

    If not resolved before Panetta leaves, (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:46:40 PM EST
    how will the new Sec. of Defense deal with this situation?

    Washington - Yesterday a U.S. Army spokesperson backed the decision by the Association of [Fort] Bragg Officers' Spouses to deny membership to the wife of a lesbian Army officer. Yet just days before, the Marine Corps Commandant instructed clubs at all Marine bases to welcome same-sex spouses as a condition of continued operation on Marine installations.

    "It makes no sense that the spouse of a service member can face discrimination in one branch of the Armed Services yet be protected from discrimination in another.  This situation would not have occurred if the Pentagon was not dragging its heels on updating military regulations to include the families of gay service members," said HRC President Chad Griffin.  "While there are many regulations the Pentagon needs to update to support the families of gay service members, we call on Secretary Panetta to immediately issue military regulations that will allow the spouses and partners of gay service members access to a military ID.  This benefit is crucial to accessing many of the benefits and services offered to military families."

    Initially, the Association claimed that the spouse of the Army officer did not qualify for membership because she did not have a military ID card. Stunningly, the Association now claims, with the Army's backing, that they can deny the officer's spouse membership because federal law allows them to discriminate against gay individuals. link

    Might be a good question to ask during any confirmation hearing.

    Another right winger who doesn't (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:49:36 PM EST
    take time to get the "facts" but relies on his own erroneous assumptions to make accusations. Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard:

    But when it comes to Gregory's own kids, however, they are secured every school day by armed guards.

    The Gregory children go to school with the children of President Barack Obama, according to the Washington Post. That school is the co-ed Quaker school Sidwell Friends.

    According to a scan of the school's online faculty-staff directory, Sidwell has a security department made up of at least 11 people. Many of those are police officers, who are presumably armed.  

    Gun Owners are really safe (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:18:07 PM EST
    At the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, NC today three people were injured when a shotgun accidentally went off at the weapons entrance check point where they make sure the guns aren't loaded :)

    And in Ohio (none / 0) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:29:34 PM EST
    someone gets shot accidently in the arm and thigh.

    Needed more armed guards at gun (none / 0) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:46:46 AM EST
    shows to protect participants from themselves and others. Roundup of events.

    As gun rights activists celebrated the turnout at gun shows for national Gun Appreciation Day Saturday, police responded to at least thee accidental shootings that left five people injured at shows across the country.

    • In Indianapolis, a man shot himself when his gun went off outside a gun show. From WISH-TV:

    • In Raleigh, N.C., three people were injured when a shotgun went off at a gun show there. From the News & Observer:

    • In Ohio, a dealer at a gun show accidentally fired a gun, injuring one. From WJW-TV: link

    What people feel (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:11:36 PM EST
    about the President and the direction in which the country is moving is defined by their perception of reality and their attitudes toward life. Nothing illustrates it better than this article.

    In other news (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:45:16 AM EST
    People tend to taste what they prefer to eat.

    Brilliant insight.

    In the meantime, there isn't a lick of creativity or imagination in American government. Hooray.


    ha ha! (none / 0) (#57)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:37:42 AM EST
    People tend to taste what they prefer to eat.
    Thank you for that :)

    I almost uprated that comment just because it made me laugh.  And because it is an absolutely perfect synopsis of a banal article.  Then I thought "wait... is s/he serious?"


    Stocks soar 85% after BHO's first term (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:41:48 PM EST
    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:18:09 AM EST
    Ben Bernanke.

    Wake me up ... (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:42:16 AM EST
    ... when jobs "soar" ...

    Unemployed and can't complain (none / 0) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:05:37 AM EST
    quit my job last May and have more cash in the balance today than I did 8 months ago.

    Happy for you, ... (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    ... but most people without jobs are hurting ...

    ... a lot.


    NRA and the ATF (none / 0) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:18:50 AM EST
    Vowing to dissolve the AFT, Reagan, with the NRA's backing, proposed folding it into the Secret Service.

    But then the NRA had had a change of heart. The organization's strategists came to worry that if gun law enforcement was handed to the Secret Service, one of the few federal agencies with a reputation for competence, gun owners might actually have something to fear. And, they feared, that if the agency did become part of the Secret Service, they'd lose an easy target.
    Once the NRA had saved the ATF, it focused on how to neuter it. Four years after bargaining for the preservation of the ATF, the NRA helped Congress formally handcuff the agency, in the form of the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act. The law, which included a handful of token regulations (such as a ban on machine guns), made it all but impossible for the government to prosecute corrupt gun dealers. It prohibited the bureau from compiling a national database of retail firearm sales, reduced the penalty for dealers who falsified sales records from a felony to a misdemeanor, and raised the threshold for prosecution for unlicensed dealing.

    Perhaps most glaringly, the ATF was explicitly prohibited from conducting more than one inspection of a single dealer in a given year, meaning that once an agent had visited a shop, that dealer was free to flout the law. link

    Jon Stuart did a great piece on the ATF... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:40:38 PM EST
    check out this video starting around 2:40. And be sure to watch the second half, accessible on the upper right corner on the page, "There Goes The Boob ATF"

    Yup - it is scary that televised in depth (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:21:01 AM EST
    reporting is left up to him, but that was a great piece. How many times have I seen GOPers rattle off that 'we need to enforce existing laws' line unchallenged?

    typo error (none / 0) (#48)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:32:04 AM EST
    "there goes the BOOM ATF"



    Freudian slip? (none / 0) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:15:59 PM EST
    Since having their hands tied behind their backs, "The Boob ATF" may be more accurate.

    That might help explain... (none / 0) (#39)
    by unitron on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:39:35 AM EST
    ...why there hasn't been an actual head of ATF appointed for some several years now.

    did you view the Stewart clips? (none / 0) (#47)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:30:33 AM EST
    as I recall, he speaks to that.

    About that NRA ad (none / 0) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:25:12 AM EST
    on Obama's daughters school.

    ... But what about the claim that Sidwell Friends has 11 armed guards, which some Web sites have depicted with images of armed police with binoculars?

    This is based on the fact that the online directory for Sidwell Friends lists 11 people as working in the Security Department. Five are listed as "special police officer," while two are listed as "on call special police officer," which presumably means they do not work full-time. The directory also lists two weekend shift supervisors, one security officer and the chief of security.

     Under the District of Columbia General Order 308.7, a special police officer is a private commissioned police officer with arrest powers in the area that he or she protects. They may also be authorized to bear firearms -- but it is not required. Security officers, by contrast, cannot carry firearms and in effect are watchmen. So five to seven security personnel in theory could be licensed to carry firearms.

    But we spoke to parents who said they had never seen a guard on campus with a weapon. And Ellis Turner, associate head of Sidwell Friends, told us emphatically: "Sidwell Friends security officers do not carry guns." (Note: this includes those listed as special police officers.)

    Sidwell Friends, by the way, has two distinct campuses, a lower school in Bethesda and a middle and upper schools in Washington. So given shift rotations and three different schools, it appears that the 11 "armed guards" is really just one or two unarmed guards per school at a time. link

    Couldn't someone just (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:54:52 AM EST
    call up Sidwell and ask... "Do you have any armed security guards??"

    And here's the problem with Obama's statement:

    GREGORY: "Should we have an armed guard at every school in the country? That's what the NRA believes. They told me last week that that could work."

    OBAMA: "I'm not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem."

    Note that Obama said he was skeptical that armed guards were the "only answer," not that he was skeptical of the idea. Indeed, in the package of gun-control proposals he unveiled on Wednesday, he called on Congress to help schools hire more guards or other school resource officers.

    Let's look at:

    Note that Obama said he was skeptical that armed guards were the "only answer," not that he was skeptical of the idea.

    That's just parsing. Note that he goes on to say:

    And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical....

    So he's not skeptical but he thinks the American people are????



    Maybe the right wing blogs (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:48:52 AM EST
    and the NRA should have taken your advise and called Sidwell and asked..."Do you have any armed security guards??"

    A.W.R. Hawkins of Breitbart reported (entirely inaccurately) that:

    Obama sends his kids to a school where armed guards are used as a matter of fact.

    The school, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has 11 security officers and is seeking to hire a new police officer as we speak.

    If you dismiss this by saying, "Of course they have armed guards -- they get Secret Service protection," then you've missed the larger point.

    The larger point is that this is standard operating procedure for the school, period. And this is the reason people like NBC's David Gregory send their kids to Sidwell, they know their kids will be protected from the carnage that befell kids at a school where armed guards weren't used (and weren't even allowed). link

    Now you might want to pay particular attention to the link to that right wing post so that you aren't confused by what Hawkins was saying.

    Link: **breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/23/School-Obama-s-Daughters-Attend-Has-11-Armed-Guards-Not-C ounting-Secret-Service**

    Diverting attention from the fact that the assertion that the school that Obama's daughter attends has 11 armed guards not counting Secret Service is a complete lie does not make it less a lie and a completely disgusting one at that.  


    Maybe you can quote (1.33 / 3) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:54:29 PM EST
    some one calling Sidwell and asking...

    NOT COUNTING SECRET SERVICE AGENTS, do you have any armed guards???

    I mean, are you interested in the truth or are you just interested in bashing someone?????

    The secondary issue is that many people, and I am one of them, would say that the President's children needs armed protection.

    But so did the children at Newtown and so does my grandson.


    I know reading links that do not support (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:29:04 PM EST
    your POV is not your strong suit, but it seems that you are the one not interested in the truth.

    In the article that I linked, the Washington Post reporter clearly states:

    But we spoke to parents who said they had never seen a guard on campus with a weapon. And Ellis Turner, associate head of Sidwell Friends, told us emphatically: "Sidwell Friends security officers do not carry guns." (Note: this includes those listed as special police officers.)

    The right wing and the NRA made the claim about the armed guards at the school. Now can you provide a quote from Hawkins or the NRA where they called the school and verified their "so called" facts, otherwise known as down right lies and distortions. Didn't think so.

    Please continue to discuss this on your own without me. I have no further need to show how inane your comments are on this subject, since you are doing such a good job of it all on your own. Please continue.


    Well, thank you very much (1.00 / 3) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:58:45 PM EST
    I missed that when I read the article....

    And just out of curiosity  couldn't you have pointed that out without all the yelling and claiming???

    I mean, I never said they did...



    Let's see (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by sj on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:30:02 AM EST
    ... who did the virtual yelling -- using all caps, and all?  I'll have to scroll up to see...

    I worked at a private high school (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:20:07 AM EST
    We had three security guards on staff. Each worked a 40 hour week. None were armed, none of them worked when classes were in session, and there was never more than one present at any time.

    With 2 of the 11 on call at Sidewell, and three campuses to cover, they probably run a similar type shift. 4pm to 7am on school days and around the clock on weekends and holidays.


    We've had a bunch of (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:41:12 AM EST
    A peer-reviewed publication, perhaps?! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by observed on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:36:28 AM EST
    Not peer-reviewed.. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 04:28:27 PM EST
    cuz "peer-reviewed" means scientist-reviewed, and everybody knows all 'a them university-trained scientists is left wing radicals.

    Yeah, the blogger Jim cites (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:36:01 PM EST
    is not a scientist, and admits as much. He does say that he used to be a weatherman on the TeeVee. ;-)

    If anyone is interested in reading the blog of someone who IS a scientist and a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, avail yourself of Cliff Mass. Fair warning: Mass believes that clinate change is the number one issue of our times, and is frustrated that not nearly enough has been done so far to deal with it.


    Yeah, well say goodbye to the Amazon (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:08:15 PM EST
    Seeing others (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by jtaylorr on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:13:54 PM EST
    take pride in their own ignorance is so depressing. I call it the Sarah Palin Effect (maybe Affect would be more appropriate...)

    One of my favorite quotes... (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by desertswine on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:50:35 PM EST

    A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.

    Saul Bellow


    don't take the bait (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:41:19 PM EST
    this is a comment designed to annoy. It's an open thread but the comment rules prohibit comments designed to annoy. Please take this discussion to your own blog Jim.

    Come on, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    If it is an open thread it is an open thread.

    But I won't respond to the comments.

    And if you will read the article you will see that it is very calm and makes zero wild claims.


    Offered without (4.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:39:22 AM EST
    Great song (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:51:59 AM EST
    The last HS basketball I ever played in, at a packed gym in the San Fernando Valley in 1984, the home team took the floor to that song. I thought it was the coolest tune ever to use that way. And they proceeded to knock us out of the playoffs. Damn good son. You should watch STOP MAKING SENSE again, I recently re-watched it and was reminded of how brilliant it is. And I never throw that word around. (LINK)

    Whenever Jim starts posting about global warming (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:59:25 AM EST
    Burnin down the house immediately fires up in my head.

    We've got a match

    I - am - just - an - or - din- ar- y - guy.......burnin down the house


    RIP Earl Weaver (none / 0) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:57:17 PM EST
    One of the greatest baseball managers ever and a legend in Baltimore.  Not to mention one of the orneriest SOB's of all time on the field and a teddy bear off of it.  Earl died of a heart attack last night on the Orioles fantasy cruise at 82.

    Earl hated bunting, the hit and run and playing for one run at a time.  He firmly believed in defense, pitching and the virtue of a 3 run home run.  He was elected to the baseball HOF in 1996.

    Luckily, I was able to witness first-hand the glory days of Oriole baseball (which is good since the pickings have been slim ever since).  So thanks Earl for all the memories of those hot, humid Summer days and nights sitting in old Memorial Stadium with my family watching my heroes (Brooks, Boog, Frank, Jim Palmer, Paul Blair, Mark Belanger, Bobby Grich and all the rest) play ball.

    A great manager... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by desertswine on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:59:49 PM EST
    who brought a lot of color to the game.

    It's a sad day here in Baltimore, for sure, (none / 0) (#26)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:21:40 PM EST
    at least for those of us old enough to remember Earl in his prime; hard to find a more colorful manager in baseball.  Those really were glory days.

    No doubt Alice Sweet will be making the rounds again.  For those who aren't familiar, it was never actually aired.

    [Warning: NSFW and really not safe for children!]


    Earl Weaver (none / 0) (#50)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:42:42 PM EST
    After outfielder Pat Kelly (who became a minister when he retired from baseball btw) told Weaver to "Walk with the Lord", Weaver responded: 'I'd rather you walk with the bases loaded"

    Earl on experience: (none / 0) (#51)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:45:12 PM EST
    "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts"

    Dept. of It's Nice To Be On Ze Board (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:08:46 PM EST
    Al Gore scores some Apple Stock at genuine fruitstand prices. (link) Can I have a Granny Smith or two, Al? You owe it to me for making the 2000 election with Dubya close enough that they could steal it. Never shoulda been a contest in the first place, you inconvenient truth.

    nonsense (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:54:36 PM EST
    it wasn't close at all.  If not for the massive cheating in Florida, Gore's electoral college victory would have been large.  Ohio and TN were also probably stolen.  And regardless the Nader BS, a large percentage of people who voted for him said in exit polls that they would have voted for Gore had Nader not been on the ballot.
    Gore moved to the left during the years he was VP, there is no reason to believe he "should have won TN.Gore did win... and the party let it happen and so did we.  We didn't exactly hit the streets did we?  And no, Gore couldn't call on us to do some one else had to and not party leaders had the guts to do it.
    Don't blame Gore, he did his part and he had some pretty heavy baggage around his neck at the time.

    he ran away from clinton (none / 0) (#55)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:43:49 PM EST
    he staged that ridiculous kiss with tipper at the convention.

    genuinely almost as bad as michael jackson and lisa marie's.

    and no sentient democrat with an ounce of genuine creativity in their skull keeps it within ANY cheating distance of Dubya.

    we disagree, and yes i blame Gore to a degree, but i obviously blame a lot of other people on the other side. difficult ironies, such is life.



    Politifact says BHO did "pretty well" (none / 0) (#31)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:24:34 PM EST
    keeping his promises in 1st term.

    Stan Musial died today (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:08:27 PM EST
    One of the best baseball players many people never knew. I still have my Stan The Man Record that taught me how to hit.

    May he (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:56:25 PM EST
    Rest In Peace.  A great ball player, but even more importantly, a genuinely nice man.  We loved him in St. Louis, and mourn his passing.

    Stan was a nice guy, even though (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:14:39 PM EST
    he was a Cardinal.

    All sports joshing aside, Stan was one of the good guys in sports. We don't see many like him anymore.


    Espn (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:16:15 PM EST
    recently rated him as the 8th best baseball player of all time, one notch ahead of Mickey Mantle. And you are absolutely right, he was an all around great guy.

    A stat put out by ESPN tonight:
    Last season alone 316 major league baseball players struck out more than 46 times. Stan The Man never struck out more than 46 times in a season in his entire 22 year career.


    Yes on all counts (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:02:18 PM EST
    He was a great ball player and much loved here in St. Louis. His greatness was two fold as he was a genuinely nice guy.

    Another bit of trivia on Stan (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:11:24 PM EST
    At the time of his retirement Musial had more hits in the National League than any player in National League history. His last hit, which took place in his last at bat, went between 1st and 2nd past a lunging rookie 2nd baseman for the Cincinnati Reds...Pete Rose... who is now both the National League and Baseball's all time hit leader.

    Stan the Man was the favorite ballplayer of (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:25:09 PM EST
    one of the leads on that long ago TV show, NYPD Blue.