Thursday Night Open Thread

I'm just catching up with the day's news and I haven't even started to read my e-mail. Until I get caught up, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

Update: I just read that Geraldo Rivera may run for the Senate in New Jersey -- as a Republican. New Jersey hasn't elected a Republican senator since the 1970's.

How popular is Hillary Clinton? Public Policy Polling says she could win Texas.

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    Welcome news from Los Angeles: (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:43:16 AM EST
    In response to an order from Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias to turn over about 30,000 pages of internal memos, psychiatric reports, Vatican correspondence and other documents relating to the Roman Catholic Church's child sex abuse scandal, Archbishop Jose Gomez, head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, announced earlier this evening that he is:

    • Ordering the immediate release to the public of all files of priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,;

    • Relieving his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahoney (Ret.), of all public and administrative duties, effective immediately; and

    • Accepting the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.

    Mahoney and Curry were both publicly implicated last week in a scheme by senior church officials to shield from law enforcement authorities the identities of priests in the archdiocese who were known to have sexually molested children from the 1960s to the 1980s.

    At least 75 priests in the L.A. archdiocese were involved in the aabuse, and the number of documented victims number well above 500 thus far.

    Archbishop Gomez also did something that should have been done publicly by Cardinal Mahoney a long time ago, but for now-obvious reasons never got around to doing -- he formally apologized to the victims on behalf of the leadership of the L.A. archdiocese:

    "I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused, has been the saddest experience I've had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011. [...] To every victim of child sexual abuse by a member of our Church: I want to help you in your healing. I am profoundly sorry for these sins against you."

    It's a good start -- but only a start.


    I guess it's a start, although the Catholic (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:05:31 PM EST
    Church is pretty late to the game here. I will believe the Church is truly contrite, you know making a good act of contrition, when when the higher-ups like Mahoney are stripped of their religious offices and denied the attendant privileges.

    This "stripping of duties" is a slap on the wrist, kind of symbolic since Mahoney is retired. The Vatican should remove him from the college of cardinals, cut him loose financially and wash their hands of him.

    So, get back to me when the Church really gets serious about contribution and accepting responsibility.


    The stripping of public duties (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:26:45 PM EST
    for the 77-year old, retired Archbishop is a way of handling the devastating release of documents ordered by the Superior Court Judge.  Until Cardinal Mahoney is age 80, he is still entitled to vote for the Pope's successor, should that be required.  

    This rebuke, albeit for a retiree, is unlike that given to Bernard Cardinal Law, who after the attorney general report  on child sexual abuse in Boston (.."an institutional reluctance to address the problem, and in fact, made choices that allowed abuses to continue..."), was promoted out of town to an important position as archpriest of a major Roman Basilica, and continued in important Vatican Curia posts, including the Pontifical Council for the Family.

    Sort of a Peter's principle (not to be confused with any principles of St. Peter)---but not better than Cardinal Ratzinger, who when Archbishop of Munich approved transfer of a priest who sexually abused boys (Rev. Peter Hulleran) and was returned to pastoral work with children.


    Correction: should read (none / 0) (#69)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:06:28 PM EST
    when the Church gets serious about contrition, not contribution. D@mn that spellcheck.

    Yes, a start, (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:29:09 AM EST
    but, perhaps, an appropriate symbol as well as saying, is that the fish rots from the head down.   During the 20 years before being made Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger led the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith--the Vatican office for responses to some child abuse cases.

    Ratzinger's 200l letter, De delictis gravioribus clarified the confidentiality of internal Church investigations  as set forth in 1962 and enforced by that office.  While bishops have now claimed that this document did not preclude investigations by civil authorities, it appears to support, at least, a culture of non-responsiblity.

    Moreover, there are the cases of the Congregation's questionable involvement, including that of Fr. Murphy, who is believed to have molested 200 boys in a Wisconsin school for the deaf.   Cardinal Mahoney, to me, just seems to be a part of a larger scheme and culture.


    Speaking as a Catholic, I've always ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:25:06 PM EST
    ... contended that the Church will never even begin to recover its moral stature as a force for good until it emulates, as an institution, what its clergy insist that the faithful do on a regular basis, and confess its sins and repent its ways.

    And if that means the Church must cut its ties with some of its current and past leadership who've clearly been involved in criminal behavior, and allow them to face the bar of secular justice just as you and I would, were we to have engaged in the same sort of disreputable activity, then so be it.

    The Holy See's primary problem throughout this scandal -- as well as others, including the Vatican Bank -- has been its own hubris and its implied contention that the Vatican is somehow so far above it all, and its denizens must ultimately answer to no one but the Lord.

    Adopting a forthright position of true contrition and humility would do much to begin repairing the Roman Catholic Church's standing among its own faithful, for whom these continued revelations of reprehensible behavior and atrocious conduct by select clergy and church officials have long been an emotionally painful and humiliating experience to endure.

    For those members of the clergy who've not engaged in this sort of conduct, such as my cousin, they are feeling terrible betrayed by their superiors. And I can't even begin to fathom the whirlwind of distress and emotions which the victims in all this must be feeling right now.


    I'm not an adherent of any organized religion. (none / 0) (#116)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:07:59 PM EST
    Still I can't help seeing the irony of being an advocate of forgiveness in a culture and legal system which worships unforgivingness.

    Cardinal Mahony Confirms (none / 0) (#118)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:16:42 PM EST
    That Archbishop Gomez Knew of Mahony's Actions


    When you [Gomez] were formally received as our Archbishop on May 26, 2010, you began to become aware of all that had been done here over the years for the protection of children and youth.  You became our official Archbishop on March 1, 2011 and you were personally involved with the Compliance Audit of 2012--again, in which we were deemed to be in full compliance.

    Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.

    Peterr (FDL):

    So if he's not incompetent [i.e., Gomez took steps to get up to speed on the cases upon coming to LA], then the "brutal and painful reading" of these files didn't happen this week. It didn't happen last week, or last month. Gomez probably read these files almost two years ago, or at least started to, and it's only now -- when the courts forced their release -- that Gomez finally publicly spoke out on this with such strength and imposed what sanctions he could on Cardinal Mahony.

    Seems Peterr is right in his accessment.


    Typical Panhandlers on a New York Subway: (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:35:36 PM EST
    "I can't even make the payments on my Ferrari..."


    White House willing to cut Medicare but (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:40:02 PM EST
    not Medicaid.

    The White House is willing to make bigger Medicare cuts in order to protect Medicaid, senior economic adviser Gene Sperling said Thursday.

    We have come to believe that it is not the time to make even those savings," Sperling said, referring to the cuts the White House had proposed. "Not when this is the critical moment in implementing the Affordable Care Act." [...]

    But the administration has decided to accept a fight over Medicare in order to protect Medicaid, Sperling said.

    "It means we're going to have to look harder for Medicare savings, and those savings may be more difficult politically because of he choices we've made," Sperling said. "If you decide you are going to protect Medicaid more, it means you're going to have to make some tough choices in other places." link

    Don't think using Obamacare as an excuse to cut Medicare will make Obamacare or the cuts more popular. IMO making cuts to Medicare will help the Dems lose their majority in the Senate in 2014.

    One of cost we need cover in Medicare (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:05:07 PM EST
    Last December Amgen plead guilty to improper marketing of its anemia drug to cancer patients. In order to boost sales Amgen marketed the drug for uses it was not approved and for higher doses than it was approved - all done to take market share away from its competitor Johnson & Johnson. Awful but not surprising conduct for a corporation.

    As part of the guilty plea Amgen agreed to pay $762 million in a civil settlement and criminal fines.

    Then Amgen had an idea.

    Using their 74 lobbyists and influence accrued from campaign contributions the company pushed for and received a taxpayer subsidy of $500 million, inserted into the "fiscal cliff" deal.

    Senators who play a major role in federal health care financing were happy to help Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company, evade Medicare cost-cutting controls by delaying price restraints on a class of drugs used by kidney dialysis patients, including Sensipar, a drug made by Amgen. That provision was inserted into the final fiscal bill by Senate aides. Many members of Congress did not know it was in the bill until just hours before it was approved.

    Although other companies will benefit financially from that delay, Amgen, which has 74 lobbyists in Washington, was the only company to lobby aggressively for the provision. The delay will cost the Medicare program up to $500 million over a two-year period.

    Pay $762 million for breaking the law, get a $500 million subsidy from lawmakers. What a system! link

    It means we're going to have to look harder for Medicare savings, and those savings may be more difficult politically because of he choices they've made. If you decide you are going to protect Big Pharma's profits, it means you're going to have to make some tough choices in other places. IOW, you get the cuts, they get the profits.


    John Kerry needs lesons in diplomacy (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:05:45 PM EST
    Our new Secretary of State -- the head of the U.S.A.'s department of diplomacy -- shows the learning curve may be bigger than presumed. Apparently, Kerry felt the need to go all braggadocio to the press today, stating that Obama told him he had the job in the bag a full week before Susan Rice withdrew from contention. Isn't that cute? I guess the boys decided they'd sit back winking at each other while Rice spent all that time taking GOP shrapnel.

    "He called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing," Kerry told the newspaper "He called me and said, 'You're my choice. I want you to do this.' He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it."

    What in insufferable boob. (As I've always thought.)

    It (none / 0) (#102)
    by lentinel on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:03:44 PM EST
    looks as if Hagel is about to be thrown under the well-worn bus also.

    The NYTimes quotes an unnamed "advisor" to Obama as saying that Hagel's testimony was muddled with respect to Obama's policy vis a vis Iran. Seems Hagel didn't express that the military option was on the table. He had previously had the courage to say that an attack on Iran's nuclear sites would be so disastrous that it was not a feasible alternative.  No. No. Can't have that.

    I must admit that I had a glimmer of hope about Obama since he did nominate Hagel - someone who was not a cheerleader for the war in Iraq - and in fact someone who openly disputed the value of the Bush "surge" in Iraq. Obama spoke of the surge as great success - "beyond our wildest dreams", he gushed on Bill O'Reilly's show.

    So I did think it might mean something that he nominated someone who was, on that issue at least, to his left. Someone who correctly characterized the consequences of a military attack on Iran. Maybe, I thought, Obama's evolving a little?

    But, here comes the bus.
    Apparently there's still a little room under it.

    Maybe Obama will withdraw Hagel's nomination "with regret" and nominate someone sensible and in tune with administration foreign policy. Someone like... McCain.


    Hagel will be confirmed (none / 0) (#106)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:56:42 PM EST
    Yes, Hagel has the votes for confirmation (none / 0) (#107)
    by christinep on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:15:19 PM EST
    No Dem is defecting...one Repub, That Cocharan (sp) (Ms) announced support...and, so far, no indication of any real attempt to stop him.

    If so, lentinel, lets mark that down as a plus: Getting a one-time enlisted man who fought & grew from Vietnam, and then acknowledged that he had to grow more with the Iraq War (& did), and now has learned to question the military/industrial estab in view of his strong proclivity for non-intervention without compelling circumstances.   We can all have a special toast to the accomplishment.  (He should be quite interesting to watch...and, especially, to see the interaction with the President.)


    Not much to toast, IMO (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:38:33 PM EST
    He gave a horrible performance before the committee. He seemed totally unaware of how to articulate knowledge and workable policies. Did anyone in the administration even prep him? Moreover, he still has the stink of homophobia against Hormel hanging over him, as well as his reactionary views towards women. Talk about Kabuki. He'll get confirmed for no other reason than that there are enough Dems to carry out Obama's wishes. Not a great choice, by any measure.

    Thanks for your response, Eeyore (1.00 / 3) (#111)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:51:39 AM EST
    BTW, apart from your dislike of Hagel' s Gary Cooper-like refusal to slaver for McCain, Graham, Cruz et al, what individual would you have selected for the DOD position.

    A.A. Milne and Gary Cooper (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by CoralGables on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:49:13 AM EST
    woven into a sentence that also contains three circus sideshows. Well done.

    Gary Cooper - eyes of the beholder I guess (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:05:39 AM EST
    General impression by TPM a pro Obama blog:

    Hagel seemed tentative from the get-go, and things didn't get better over time. He'd spent weeks locked in a small office suite at the Pentagon to prepare for questions about his controversial past statements about Israel and Iran, but still seemed to be taken off guard by a bunch of them. Hagel stammered in some of his answers and regularly said that he didn't remember the context of his remarks or what had been happening in the Middle East when he made them.

    That was a fair defense in many cases - GOP lawmakers asked him about statements from as far back as 1998 -- but a rather weak one in others. Lindsey Graham, brought up the second half of infamous "Jewish lobby" quote and got Hagel to admit that he didn't have any examples of senators who made bad policy choices because they were intimidated by pro-Israel groups. Hagel should have known the question was coming, and he should have had a better answer.


    I am on the record saying that Hagel never seemed like the brightest bulb to me but I deferred to those who insisted that the's really quite brilliant.  I dunno.  What I saw today didn't exactly make me change my mind, even as I have to acknowledge that the Senators questioning him today sounded more like screeching harpies than serious statesmen. I just have the feeling old Chuck didn't exactly prepare himself for a thoroughly predictable grilling. Or he just doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Frank Rich on the National Circus: Hagel Was Bad; His Inquisitors Were Worse

    The only people who performed more poorly at Chuck Hagel's hearing to be secretary of defense than Hagel himself were the senators who questioned him. link

    Seems like there are a lot of "Eeyores" among Democrats reporting on hearing who think that Hagel's performance was less than stellar.


    Whether we loved them or hated them, (none / 0) (#121)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:47:23 PM EST
    we were spoiled by the unquestioned brilliance of Rumsfeld, Gates, and Leon Panetta.

    Still, it was nice to see Republicans as much at each other's throats as Democrats over issues of ideological idiocy.


    Unquestionable brilliance of Rumsfeld? (5.00 / 4) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:03:37 PM EST
    Unquestionable? Sorry, strongly disagree.

    Brilliance would not be among the first 1,000 nouns that I would use for Rumsfeld.


    Dr. Molly: Thanks for your response as well (2.00 / 2) (#114)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    Y'know, we all have our opinions.  On the Hagel issue, mine is quite different than shoephone's dismal put-down...and, I said so.  Sometimes, letting the opposition vent--when it is obvious that the likes of that trio would do so in any event (since 2 of the 3 wanted vindication on the misbegotten Iraq war)--is the better tactic, even in view of those who would like you to punch back.  Sometimes, the "punching back" grabs the headlines & wins the battle (so to speak), but loses the long-haul because the puncher (in this type of doo-loop situation) may well appear to the average Jane/John Doe as hot-headed as his "challengers."  

    IMO, time will tell about the man's character & perspective.  In the past, I've often found Hagel to be the usual classical mid-western Repub.  Except: He has clearly grown in matters of war & peace...and, he certainly evidenced bravery on the field & now off-the-field with his one-time political friends.


    What a bunch of unmitigated hogwash (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by shoephone on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:13:00 PM EST
    First off, Hagel is not "Gary Cooper." Sorry to destroy your romantic movieland fantasies. Secondly, his phony apologia regarding Hormel -- to whom he never apologized -- and his inconvenient reactionary views of women's rights are both germane to what kind of leader he will be, considering that both gays and women have been fighting for (and winning) some gains in the military. But, he was never asked about any of that, because Republicans agree with him on those issues. Which brings me to my third point: I don't a flying f*ck about McCain or Graham or any of the rest of those clowns. Hagel's lousy performance in the hearing is his to own, and despite your whining about those mean Republicans, the spectacle of Hagel muttering, muddling and generally not answering questions in any intelligible way did him and the president some real damage. And MO Blue's links show that he was prepped, and he still failed miserably.

    Hagel was a soldier some 40 years ago. Maybe we need some more recent examples of this so-called heroism? But this Gary Cooper-lone-hero-sheriff-in -the-wild-wild-west nonsense is not cutting it.


    The question remains... (none / 0) (#120)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:22:29 PM EST
    What individual would you have selected? Your comments have made abundantly clear that you have little regard for Hagel--before or after the hearing--and that is your prerogative, of course.  But, personal feelings aside, whom would you have preferred...asked only in view of what appears to be a suggestion that another potential candidate might have been a better choice.

    Just asking....


    That 's a game you're playing (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by shoephone on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:52:51 PM EST
    I'm not up on all the people who currently work in DOD or the military in general, so I'm not going to be able to spit out a bunch of names for you. But you and I both know that the administration does have a list of people already, a list they rejected in favor of the purely political choice of Hagel, a former senator who didn't make a lot of friends among his own party when he was in office. And I feel pretty certain that some of the other people in the list are very qualified would not have a problem articulating their own views or the president's defense policies.

    I find it hard to believe that Hagel was Panetta's first choice to succeed him.


    Interesting article on that subject (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:38:28 PM EST
    Why Don't Democrats Love Hagel, and Who Would They Prefer at Defense? By David A. Graham

    Several names are listed and the list even includes people who are actually Democrats. What an unique concept that would be - a Democrat chosen by a Democratic President to lead defense.

    Due to lack of research, I don't have an opinion on which I would prefer but I though the article was interesting. I do think that somewhere in that list there must be a person who does not hold the views of a conservative Republican and who would be better for women and the gay community.


    Not a game, shoephone (none / 0) (#125)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:39:52 PM EST
    When someone appears to suggest an alternative/other choice/etc., I'd like a name to understand a frame of reference.  It is a legitimate position to take. (But, I do accept your position that the WH is in the best position to have/does have a more complete list from which to choose.)

    One of the things that intrigues me about Hagel, in a positive way, is that he is someone who "didn't make a lot of friends among his own party" (given that party, it is quite a plus.)  Nonetheless, I don't romanticize him nor hold him up as a paragon of anything.  What I do like is that he rose from the position of enlisted man, that he has seen the horrors of war and appears to have adjusted his earlier attitude in a way for the better that is usually lacking in DOD heads...and, since he will be paired in future undertakings with new Secretary of State Kerry...that could be quite fortuitous for prospects that military intervention would be the first option for response to troublesome international incidents.  That is not fantasy...it is reality.  And, the reality that these two seasoned military vets may become the go-to guys for setting the narrative (a nice position to be in) will have the side-effect of side-lining such war-pushing attention hogs as McCain & Graham should be a foreseen benefit.


    If Hagel becomes the go to guy for (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:06:23 PM EST
    matters pertaining to defense, let's hope he performs better than he did during the hearing. The Guardian:

    Let's start with the nominee. To put it bluntly, Chuck Hagel did not acquit himself well. He was sluggish, tongue-tied and practically meek in the face of constant badgering by Republicans. He's far from the most dynamic speaker, stammers constantly and appears to agonize over every word he utters. This gave GOP Senators every opportunity to constantly interrupt him with even more leading and obnoxious questions.

    That Hagel appeared completely unprepared for questions that should have been obvious in advance is a head-scratcher. Hagel's problem seemed to be that he went into the hearing refusing to disagree with the committee or say anything provocative that would risk raising the ire of Republicans. Clearly, that was a poor, ill-conceived strategy that, instead, left him grasping at straws as Republican after Republican pummeled away on him.

    Indeed, what made Hagel such an interesting secretary of defense candidate was that he was willing to make provocative statements about national security and the actual limits on US power. This week, we saw the neutered version of that candidate and it wasn't pretty. link

    That Hagel "didn't make a lot of friends (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:56:11 PM EST
    in his own party," doesn't mean he is a stand-up guy, a paragon of idealism or even very bright. It could indicate that Hagel was sometimes willing to buck the party line. It could just as easily mean he is an @sshole.

    I share the concerns others have expressed about his seemingly unevolved views on women and gays in the military. Integrating both of those groups fully into the military is an ongoing process, a process that Hagel will be charged with overseeing. So, I do not think it is out of line to be concerned about just what he will and won't do in those areas.

    Additionally, his performance was, well the nicest thing to say is that it was sub-par. The Pentagon, as I am sure you know given your years of work in the federal government, is a vast and complicated bureaucracy. Trying to rein it in, attempting to change the culture, striving to force some accountable oversight on the Pentagon has defeated better and smarter men than Hagel.

    What Hagel faced in those hearings is childs play compared to the infighting and backstabbing and Machiavellian maneuvering he will face at the Pentagon.

    So, it is not unreasonable, especially in these times of budget constraints, to expect the man who will take the Pentagon helm to at a minimum be able to hold his own against a bunch of grandstanding senatorial jerks.

    And, no, I do not have at the ready a list of preferred candidates. I find it very hard to believe that Obama does not have such a list, a list that most probably contains the names of people with superior skills to what we saw with Hagel. Why the President chose such an inferior candidate is puzzling.


    I'll not try to convince you otherwise... (none / 0) (#129)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:18:35 PM EST
    Clearly, shoephone, you have very strong views about Hagel.  As I noted above, that is your prerogative.

    Like yourself, I have no other name among today's would-have-been candidates to offer.  As I indicated above as well, your position about the WH being in the best place to have such list of possibilities makes sense.

    Insofar as the ability to "understand" the Pentagon...therein, of course, lies the rub.  We all remember or have read about Eisenhower's caution about the military/industrial complex.... How adept Hagel will be at the double-teaming by the experienced generals ... well, I don't think anyone knows one way or the other.  All I can say there:  Both Kerry and Hagel have strong military experience themselves; both have been around the military affairs block in the Senate & elsewhere; and, both have taken the insults/attempts at take-downs by the hawks/neocons ol' boys club when they disagreed with hawkish response.

     In fact, what I find curious is the extent to which that the Superpac now airing anti-Hagel ads on prime time--at least, here in Denver--seems to be a stand-in for the neo-cons.  Fascinating? Who is funding that, and why?  Anyway, believe me when I say again that I do not believe Hagel is the paragon of anything...but, I so see that the neo-cons find his appointment quite threatening, threatening enough to spend lots of $$$ to oppose it.  I wonder why?


    Neither Kerry nor Hagel has what (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:07:08 PM EST
    I would consider to be "strong military experience." Yes, both men served admirably in Viet Nam. However, neither man opted for a career in the military. Their service is no better and no worse than the service of thousands of Americans sent to Viet Nam. That service does not make either one of them qualified for their new offices.

    I am not disputing the lifelong effects service in Viet Nam, or any war, has on someone. I believe that the views of both Kerry and Hagel have been tempered by their time in Viet Nam. Nonetheless, their service does not confer on either man some unique qualification to serve in the Cabinet.

    The Super Pacs are, as MO Blue pointed out, hungry for any fight they think might hurt Obama. Additionally, the Israel lobby and its pals on the right don't like Hagel because he doesn't blindly adhere to the "Israel is always right" rule. Hagel is hardly a leader of either anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian sentiment, but the coalition of the Israel lobby and the far right does not allow for any questioning of Israel's actions or motives.


    christine (none / 0) (#130)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:29:10 PM EST
    You are replying to a comment made by caseyOR, not shoephone.

    My apologies-- (none / 0) (#131)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:02:55 PM EST
    Shows what happens when getting into a pattern of response. I looked at content, and not name. Sorry, again.

    May I say, then: My concerns about the obvious neo-con/hawk objections--to the unusual extent of funding Superpac prime-time ads--does alert me to the fact that Hagel may be viewed by that ilk as having the potential to be a large thorn in their collective side.  That is real.


    Not so much that Hagel will be a thorn in (none / 0) (#133)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:56:18 PM EST
    someone's side. Just more of the right wing's ongoing effort to be a thorn in Obama's side.

    A brand new conservative group calling itself Americans for a Strong Defense and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee to be secretary of defense, saying he would make the United States "a weaker country."
    Those groups are joining at least five others that are organizing to stop Mr. Hagel's confirmation, a goal even they acknowledge appears to be increasingly challenging. But the effort comes with a built-in consolation prize should it fail: depleting some of Mr. Obama's political capital as he embarks on a new term with fresh momentum. link

    Yoiks... (none / 0) (#126)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:46:20 PM EST
    Left out the word "not."  Phrase above should read "that military intervention would NOT be the first option...."

    That is such a crock (none / 0) (#150)
    by sj on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:08:55 PM EST
    Demanding the name of a better alternative as the only way to justify criticism of the selection is bull$hit of the highest order -- for all the reasons specified by shoephone and MO Blue.  

    It's a tactic you love to use so that you can dismiss legitimate criticism.  And that's all it is.  A tactic.  You're not trying to understand anything.  You have no other names to offer so you fold your hands in acquiescence.  No, worse than that -- you put your mind and energy into justifying bad choices.

    And from your other comment, this:

    the neo-cons find his appointment quite threatening, threatening enough to spend lots of $$$ to oppose it.  I wonder why?
    is about one of the most inane things you've said?  You wonder why?  These are the people that would oppose anything this administration would do ... and you freaking wonder why?  

    christinep: you are welcome. (3.67 / 3) (#132)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:17:15 PM EST
    glad to accommodate whenever you I run across your nasty name-calling.

    Didn't realize you so disliked Milne's Eeyore. (2.00 / 1) (#134)
    by christinep on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:10:28 PM EST
    A secret: I used to like the Eeyore character, because the offset is needed.  All opinions are.  Thanks again.

    Jeezus, you are a piece of passive-agressive work. (4.33 / 6) (#135)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:19:11 PM EST
    Now pretending you didn't try to insult the commenter with that name-calling. I feel sorry for those around you the way you behave.

    Your comment was an insult. Have the balls to own it for christ's sake, insteading of crying crocodile tears when you get downrated for name-calling.


    I'm not crying...not at all (3.50 / 2) (#139)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:35:55 AM EST
    BTW, passive-aggressive types in my book take their "shots" by playing-with-ratings whenever they disagree.  I'm not talking balls & what not...I'm talking "say it directly."  And, Molly, it looks as if you finally did...at last.

    Eeyore, by the way, is a character liked by a lot of people.  If one's skin is that thin...what can be said.  It is give & take here afterall.  Take a look around.  

    In any event, lets not get too upset...either of us.


    Um, I know who Eeyore is. Khrist on a cracker. (4.33 / 6) (#140)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:23:58 AM EST
    And please don't pretend you used it as a compliment. You used it as an insult. My God, how disingenous you are.

    I didn't downrate you because I disagreed - I downrated you because you insulted and namecalled a commenter. That's when I downrate.

    You cried because you were downrated, after insulting someone. Deal with it. Oh, I forgot, you don't honestly deal with things -- the hallmark of the passive-aggressive gameplayer.

    In any event, I'm not 'upset'. If it's 'give and take here after all', then take your downrating for insulting and namecalling a commenter here and deal with it without getting upset.


    If it's any consolation, Dr. Molly, (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 04:24:16 PM EST
    I rarely take Christine's comments seriously at all. They are usually so passive-aggressive and patronizing, in that insufferable "Mommy knows best" manner, that any real dialogue is difficult. Challenging the b.s. of the status quo power brokers always makes people personally invested in that regime uncomfortable.

    We disagree. (none / 0) (#143)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:49:11 PM EST
    So, to sum up. (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 03:01:27 PM EST
    1. You called someone a name and insulted them.
    2. I downrated you for the above-mentioned action.
    3. You cried about the downrating.
    4. You won't take responsiblity for the namecalling and insult, and indeed twisted yourself around trying to pretend you meant it as a compliment.

    SOS from you. No surprises here, keep on keeping on.



    To sum up: We disagree (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:32:45 PM EST
    Sometimes that happens, Dr. Molly.  And, its ok--not passive-aggressive nor any other kind of pop psych.  Just strong disagreement.

    The last word is yours, ok.


    Nope, we didn't disagree about anything. (none / 0) (#147)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:45:29 PM EST
    You just did what you did, and can't own up to it.

    The last word is yours, ok.


    Oh sure. (none / 0) (#149)
    by sj on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:04:40 PM EST
    ratings are the only measure of passive aggressive behavior.  I wonder however the syndrome could be identified before there was such a thing as blogs.

    I will be honest (none / 0) (#137)
    by CoralGables on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:57:36 PM EST
    when I refer to Eeyore or the mopey whiny wing of the party, I mean every snarky dagger of a word. christinep is much smarter than I am though so her apparent snark may not always be as such and could be insightful instead. I try to judge no one's snark but my own.

    I have no idea what you're talking about (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:42:51 PM EST
    but, in any case, I wasn't talking to you.

    The (none / 0) (#152)
    by lentinel on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:00:03 AM EST
    only reason I must have reservations, as Eeyore, is that he spun like a top to get his story in line with the latest dictates of the Obama administration with respect to military action against Iran.

    As you know, he had said that it would be disastrous.

    Now, he says, military action is on the table.

    So, whatever his past, and whatever his past statements and what we might think about him, the question is how strongly he holds to his beliefs in the face of pressure to conform to the dictates of his new position.


    Agree, lentinel (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:27:03 AM EST
    How it all unfolds--his role at DOD-- is the central question.  And, it  cannot be predicted yet...as you indicate.  As for me, I tend to keep in mind how some nominees to high government positions can turn out to be very nice surprises...the Repub Governor Earl Warren become CJ Warren is a prime example.  OTOH, sometimes the surprises are not so nice.

    A quick note as well (3.50 / 2) (#154)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:48:20 AM EST
    In the midst of the differences stemming from the use of the name "Eeyore" I held back from mentioning that my two closest friends in my growing-up years loved the Eeyore character & identified with that view of things ... We have been life-long friends...sometimes referring to our pet names in debate over changing issues of the day ...in disclosive form today, acquaintances have called me PollyAnna &close friend sometimes used Portia (quite a different shorthand, uh; and, that's ok.)

    agreed n/t (none / 0) (#109)
    by NYShooter on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:05:42 AM EST
    Jeralyn - Question for you re: discovery ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Cashmere on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:33:05 PM EST
    As this is an open thread...This pertains to Florida.  Is the prosecution required to turn over all discovery to the defense or just discovery that will benefit the defense?  I was under the impression the prosecution has to turn over all discovery but someone at Huffington posted that the prosecution does not have to turn over discovery that might damage the defense's case.  The commentor stated that the defense is responsible for discovering any evidence that might damage the defense's case on their own.  Thanks.

    Cashmere, I answered you (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:16:10 AM EST
    here. (Also, I see that on the forums you amended your question to say the HuffPo article said the reverse: that the state doesn't have to turn over information that inculpates the defendant.)

    Shorter version: The state has a constitutional duty to turn over exculpatory, favorable and impeaching information under Brady v Maryland, and Giglio v. US. It's required by the due process clause. It also has to turn over material as provided by Florida's criminal rule on discovery, 3.220. The latest amended version of the rule (December, 2012) is available here. But click on the link to my other answer for a more non-legalese answer to your question in the context of the Zimmerman case. MJW also answered your question there.


    Thanks to you both! (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cashmere on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:58:30 AM EST
    I made an error in my question on the forums..  

    Shouldn't the defense get to decide... (none / 0) (#44)
    by unitron on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:54:56 AM EST
    ...what is or is not of use to the defense?

    If I were a defendent, especially an innocent one wrongly charged, I'd not be inclined to want to go along with the prosecution saying "trust us".

    I'd be much more inclined towards "Trust, but verify".

    What if the state has something it thinks of no value, because it doesn't know of something, also apparently of no value, which the defense has, but, combined with which, turns out to be something valuable indeed?


    Great question Cashmere... (none / 0) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:50:50 PM EST
    and I would like to know the answer to that question too but my interest is for the state of Colorado regarding the prosecutions requirements to the defense.

    That's a really good question. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:11:47 PM EST
    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brady v. Maryland 373 US 83 (1963) holds that a willful or knowing nondisclosure by the prosecution of potentially excupatory evidence favorable to the defense constitutes a violation of the defendant's right under the 14th Amendment to the proper due process of law.

    I'm not quite sure how it works, though, when the prosecution is afforded an opportunity at trial to present evidence in rebuttal to the defense's presentation which might, let's say, undermine the credibility of a particular defense witness, by perhaps demonstrating that said witness committed perjury on the stand.

    I defer to Jeralyn. She's the resident expert on criminal law.


    Who opened up Al Capone's secret... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:38:03 PM EST
    vault again? Geraldo Contemplates Running for Office. Senate no less.

    I think he's always had (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:22:09 PM EST
    an inflated sense of his own appeal.  As far as I'm concerned, he reached his zenith with his expose of the Willowbrook School.  At this point he's not much better than Nancy Grace.

    that campaign would be (none / 0) (#8)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:25:01 PM EST
    very entertaining. I remember the Al Capone's vault tv special!

    He used to be occasionally (none / 0) (#27)
    by brodie on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:28:49 AM EST
    useful, even important, as an outlet for issues and points of view that didn't get an airing elsewhere.

    In the '90s for instance during his CNBC stint, he frequently would have on Joe Conason to make the case against Ken Starr and his fishing expedition.  I seem to recall the Clinton side being well repped on his show compared to the shutout they got elsewhere.

    Well before that, as host of Goodnight America on ABC, a very late night (1-2 am) talk show he had in the 1970s, he was the first media person to present the entire Zapruder film on nationwide tv.  That show was seen by the son of a mod Dem congressman who then told his father about it, which eventually led in 1976 to the creation of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

    He had plenty of junk on his daytime food fight show in the 80s and 90s, but again he continued to present researchers in the JFK case who otherwise couldn't get on tv, and there was also the show looking again at the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case, also rarely touched by the MSM.

    I never watch Fox, so don't know to what extent this guy has now morphed into a conservative R.  I do recall though that while there he has changed his views about a conspiracy re Dallas.  I wonder what it is about the current R party he finds so appealling -- other than for job security I mean.


    He won (none / 0) (#28)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:57:29 AM EST
    the Peabody Award for his work in 1972, helping to expose and publicize the horrific conditions at the Willowbrook State School, too.  Link.  Link.
    I was teaching in the special education field at the time (although not in New York), and I followed his exposé with a whole lot of interest.

    Saw that in a (none / 0) (#115)
    by brodie on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:22:14 AM EST
    Journalism class several yrs later, which provoked a discussion of advocacy journalism.

    I also forgot to mention the controversial -- probably sleazy and poorly sourced -- story he did for ABC's 20/20 in the late 80's, nixed by boss Roone Arledge, which cost him his job, re Marilyn and JFK and Bobby.

    I wonder if that was what caused him to turn into a Lone Nutter on Dallas ...


    I did enjoy his CNBC show (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:06:34 AM EST
    I didn't quite follow his morph into FOX friend.

    He's kinda a house Liberal (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:39:28 PM EST
    A friend that went to school (none / 0) (#110)
    by fishcamp on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:51:04 AM EST
    with him said his real name is Jerry Rivers.

    If Hillary takes Texas (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:23:07 PM EST
    She likely also wins Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina which would have her the projected winner before polls close on the west coast.

    I don't know if Hillary could take AZ (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:26:04 PM EST
    Right now.  It's a little bat$hit at the moment, like holy cow bat$hit.  I think she might be able to take GA though.

    I'd expect a total (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:39:07 PM EST
    a$$ whuppin in the neighborhood of 400 electoral votes (more if the GOP continues its downward path of holy cow bat$hit crazy)

    Before or after... (none / 0) (#46)
    by unitron on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:57:40 AM EST
    ...the various state GOPs get through rigging the Electoral College rules to complement their most recent gerrymandering?

    Those are eye popping numbers (none / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:44:16 AM EST
    Hillary is particularly strong among Latinos--even moreso than Obama, so watch out Republicans.....better provide a pathway for citizenship to keep Hillary to no more than 70% among Latinos--they should be so lucky.

    question (none / 0) (#7)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:23:48 PM EST
    Does anybody know where to find statistics on the previous jobs of federal district court and appeals court judges? That is, what percent used to be prosecutors, what percent were previously attorneys in private practice, what percent were law professors, what percent were public defenders, etc.?

    Here you go (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:57:38 AM EST
    And just realize (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:07:59 AM EST
    That is, what percent used to be prosecutors, what percent were previously attorneys in private practice, what percent were law professors, what percent were public defenders, etc.?

    That like many people in other professions, many judges used to be more than one of these categories - i.e. prosecutors turned into defense attorneys who turned into judges, etc.


    Can't wait for the reviews of (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:30:22 PM EST
    Economy adds 157,000 jobs (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:55:53 AM EST
    Unemployment up to 7.9%

    Previus month job counts, as always, adjusted (but this time upwards).

    And final numbers for 2012 (none / 0) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:15:49 AM EST
    are now in with an addition of 2.17 million jobs, which I believe tops 7 of the 8 years of the previous president.

    Jon Stewart on "Skeetgate" (none / 0) (#20)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:36:54 AM EST
    So true and (as always) funny as he//.

    But (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:39:00 AM EST
    We can finally put to bed another story that has dominated the news for 2 weeks - Beyonce finally admits she lip-synched the national anthem at the inauguration!

    You may now return to your normal lives.


    Thank G0d THAT'S finally settled (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:52:49 AM EST
    Haven't slept in 2 weeks ...

    Odd to me (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:58:57 AM EST
    is she said she was absolutely doing the Super Bowl halftime live.

    Super Bowl performances are nearly always done in studio to keep everything flawless, on time, and no bugs. Live performances are oftentimes the exception these days as the performers put clauses into their contracts with the option to go "Memorex". (think Justin Bieber puking on stage while his singing continues)


    Maybe because it's indoors? (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:05:11 AM EST
    No cold weather or wind to deal with?

    Or maybe (none / 0) (#25)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:14:09 AM EST
    they really are headed back the other direction since the last time I was involved.

    Christina Aguilera did flub a few words during the National Anthem a couple years ago, when I had always seen it pre-recorded, so maybe the NFL is getting more lenient in their iron grip.

    If Carl Lewis is ever invited to sing and does it flawlessly we'll know studio perfection has returned.


    Wish Jimi... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:26:17 AM EST
    was here to play it on the guitar.  Beats any lyrical version ever sung imo...I mean lets face it our anthem's lyrics are pretty lame, Jimi made lemonade outta that lemon.

    Next year get Jeff Beck to do an instrumental!


    If it's going to be sung, I'd really (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:10:30 AM EST
    appreciate it if it could be done without the singer embellishing it with his or her own riffs, flourishes, super-high notes, etc.  I don't want to hear the jazz version, the rap version, the rock version, the look-at-me-I'm-at-the-Super-Bowl version.

    I guess I'm old-fashioned, but it's an anthem - kind of an American hymn; it's not supposed to be about the singer.

    And I prefer "ba-ner-er yet wave" as opposed to the sheep version of "baa-aaa-ner yet wave."

    Probably too much to ask, huh?


    I agree completely (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:28:02 AM EST
    I don't want to hear the jazz version, the rap version, the rock version, the look-at-me-I'm-at-the-Super-Bowl version.

    I guess I'm old-fashioned, but it's an anthem - kind of an American hymn; it's not supposed to be about the singer.

    Yes, it's the tune of an old drinking song, but we've moved on beyond that.  It's like saying, "You know, I want to change the American flag to represent my artistic tastes - maybe a white field with red stars and all blue stripes!"

    Sing the anthem the way it's supposed to be sung!


    Just my opinion but... (none / 0) (#43)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:48:46 AM EST
    no self-respecting jazz player would want to waste time doing a version of the national anthem.

    Anne, my hero, Thank You (none / 0) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:03:57 PM EST
    That has been a BIG bone of contention for me also. I think it started, for me anyway, with Jose Feliciano's rendition, "uh, oh, uh OH, OH, uh.uh,uh, OH, OH, OH.......you get my point, I'm sure.

    I don't know what it is, just conditioning probably, but, almost always the original version of a tune/song is far superior to any future "personal" versions.


    Hmm, not sure how well (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by brodie on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:47:38 AM EST
    Jimi's version would go over with your typical NFL crowd, especially all the corp types who show up, the ones who can afford tickets at your typical SB.  I would imagine a loud chorus of boos would be just the beginning of days and weeks of controversy.  

    I'm afraid Jimi would have to go into hiding for a few years, regroup and come back on a rehabilitation tour with Kate Smith or Pat Boone or go on a long USO tour with Bob Hope.

    It's my favorite version of what is a lamentably lousy song.  I don't mind if other artists do their unique interpretations -- provided they get on with it and get off quickly so's we can get on with the Pledge of Allegiance, the military fly over ceremony and the coin toss ceremony.


    Justin Bieber puking on stage while... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:31:09 PM EST
    lol; I miss all the best farce.

    ... as his new role model?

    My favoritr part is that she (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:08:57 AM EST
    referred to the inauguration as a 'live TV show' in a different article I read. This one does not have her full quotes.

    Oops (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:32:29 AM EST
    Some families to be priced out of health overhaul

    Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what's being called a glitch in President Barack Obama's overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president's plan had hoped.

    As a result, some families that can't afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.


    Congress said affordable coverage can't cost more than 9.5 percent of family income. People with coverage the law considers affordable cannot get subsidies to go into the new insurance markets. The purpose of that restriction was to prevent a stampede away from employer coverage.

    Congress went on to say that what counts as affordable is keyed to the cost of self-only coverage offered to an individual worker, not his or her family. A typical workplace plan costs about $5,600 for an individual worker. But the cost of family coverage is nearly three times higher, about $15,700, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    So if the employer isn't willing to chip in for family premiums _ as most big companies already do _ some families will be out of luck. They may not be able to afford the full premium on their own, and they'd be locked out of the subsidies in the health care overhaul law.

    I can't imagine that no one saw this coming....

    OMG (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:43:03 AM EST
    Ann Coulter has lost her mind - if she hadn't already.

    Conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter refused to stay on board a Miami to New York commercial airline flight today after learning the pilot was a woman of African-American descent.

    According to witness reports Coulter was concerned the experienced, decorated pilot in question may have gained her position as a result of affirmative action and wasn't fully qualified to fly.


    In reality the pilot of the plane was trained by the U.S. Air Force and was a decorated veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she flew aerial refueling missions for transport and reconnaissance aircraft.

    She has been flying for American Airlines for four years, and is one of that airline's most experienced 737 pilots.

    OMG indeed, followed by (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:10:00 AM EST
    are you effing kidding me?

    I hope this is the nail in the coffin of her career. Disgusting.


    The Daily Currant is (none / 0) (#39)
    by brodie on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:15:52 AM EST
    a satire site, like the Onion.

    Wow, I am glad I did not repost (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:48:34 AM EST
    Seemed right in her wheelhouse

    Good satire always has as its basis ... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:31:44 PM EST
    ... some element of truth.

    ROFLMAO (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:13:21 PM EST
    You guys and girls got rolled and you exposed your collective bias in a way that I find to be screamingly funny.

    Thanks for making my day!!!


    C'mon, Jim! Why don't you just admit it? (none / 0) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:43:50 PM EST
    You're only ROFLYAO because you've been unable to free yourself from that strait-jacket and padded room in which you presently find yourself.

    Donald (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:48:48 PM EST
    Only you would try and justify people taking the satire as fact.

    My heartfelt thanks.



    And was this good or bad satire??? (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:14:32 PM EST
    Donald, you never fail to meet my expectations.



    Good to know (none / 0) (#45)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:56:48 AM EST
    My sister (who works at the State Deparment, and usually sends serious stuff!) sent it to me.

    Egg on my face.....


    While you may deserve (none / 0) (#74)
    by NYShooter on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:22:56 PM EST
     egg on your face for many posts you've written, This is not one of them. Outfits like The Currant, The Onion, or even Jon Stewart, feature stories that most mature people, familiar with satire,  "get" very quickly. It is quite an indictment of Ann Coulter that so many intelligent posters here at TL thought the story quite plausible.

    But, on second thought, jbindc, keep the egg-on. While this story didn't qualify I'm sure one that will is not far behind.



    I did give Coulter some credit (none / 0) (#75)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    I thought she must have been drunk. She frequently appears so on TV.

    Clarification to avoid slander (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:35:54 PM EST
    She frequently seems drunk to me when she appears on TV.

    Didn't think that this was (none / 0) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:06:55 PM EST
    that much farther afield than many of her other statements such as:

    " In fact, Coulter has previously said that the national debate during the Monica Lewinsky controversy should not have focused on whether Clinton "did it," but rather "whether to impeach or assassinate" him. During the same segment, Coulter acknowledged that she has previously suggested "putting rat poison in [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice [John Paul] Stevens's crème brûlée."

    While I am definitely familiar with "The Onion," I am not familiar with The Daily Currant. Live and learn I guess.


    Agree, but this one was such (none / 0) (#87)
    by brodie on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:49:49 PM EST
    a lengthy foaming rant, so well delivered (red flag #1) and on a passenger airliner (red flag #2) where she wasn't protected by her normally friendly audience (red flag #3) and would be subject to arrest, but ultimately was released and not charged by some TSA guy with a funny name and implausible explanation (flag #4).

    Then right next to the story, a similar one involving another RW nut who should be behind bars but isn't, one Rush Limbaugh, allegedly tossed from a Mexican restaurant for being a racist, but again not before he too got off a lengthy, well-syntaxed RW rant against Mexicans.

    Of course, this one was posted in the early morning (my time) and as Mo says it was not that far from reality so that I had to click over for more details.  Turns out the details were too detailed and good to be true to be credible..

    They'll be brought to justice some day, just probably in a less dramatic and expected fashion, like Al Capone and taxes.


    Have to admit that I didn't click on (none / 0) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:17:05 PM EST
    the link only read what was in the original comment and looked at the source of the link. As I said, I did not know that was a site similar to The Onion. More often than not I do click on the link but this time I did not. My bad.

    Note To Self: Take the time to read the linked artcle.


    comments and make them disappear forever...

    Can't wait for all the Republicans (none / 0) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:09:46 AM EST
    to celebrate her actions. Maybe the press should get them all on record on how brave and principled her actions were.

    Gee, they can book her on all of their speaking engagements and buy her books in tribute as they talk about how the AA community would be better off voting Republican.

    We should definitely have a Senate hearing (similar to that what was done on Move On) to have the Republican Senators on record as to whether or not they will condemn her actions.


    It's gotta be some kind of spoof (none / 0) (#40)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:21:10 AM EST
    Even Coulter isn't that crazy.  Plus, the TSA wouldn't make statements like that.

    Off to Google ...


    Sometimes Americans are so arrogant (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:27:10 PM EST
    Richard Blumenthal voicing his support of Hagel says today that he is happy with Hagel's support of Israel and in providing Iron Dome.  How embarrasing, we didn't invent Iron Dome technology....Israel did.  It is not our great invention and it is not ours to give or provide to them.

    Scott Brown (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:31:49 PM EST
    looks like he's taking a pass on the Massachusetts Senate race and aiming for Governor instead...likely handing the Dem primary winner a free pass to the Senate.

    That's a wise strategic move on his part. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:36:03 PM EST
    Two consecutive defeats for the same major office is more often than not a crippling blow to one's political prospects.

    Two consecutive defeats for the same major office at the hands of two different opponents is fodder for one's political obituary.


    Do you know how likely is it for him to (none / 0) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:41:41 PM EST
    become governor? We really don't need any more Republican governors.

    That's Scott Brown's problem, isn't it? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:12:14 PM EST
    Actually, despite Massachusetts' vaunted status as the so-called "bluest of the blue states," three of its previous four governors have been Republican. The plurality of Bay State voters are registered independents.

    You want to see a true blue state, come out here to the islands. I'll take you on a tour of our State Capitol and Honolulu Hale (City Hall), where you can literally count the number of GOP state legislators and city councilmembers on both hands -- and still have a couple fingers left over!


    I wasn't worried about Brown having (none / 0) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:17:55 PM EST
    a problem. IMO it is better if he has a lot of problems. I was concerned with MA having a problem (i.e. a Republican governor).

    Well, if MA voters can't learn ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:40:18 PM EST
    ...  from their mistakes, then I'd say that they do indeed have a problem, and it's not necessarily with the GOP guy who's running for governor.

    Ten years ago, Republicans Linda Lingle and Duke Aiona became governor and lietenant governor of Hawaii, respectively, after upsetting the Democrats, then-Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono and State Sen. Matt Matsunaga, in the 2002 general election by a 51-48% margin.

    Fast forward eight to ten years, and in the 2010 gubernatorial race, Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie demolished GOP Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, 60-39%. And in the 2012 U.S. Senate race last November, which was a statewide rematch of the same two candidates from the 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Congresswoman Hirono wiped the floor with former Gov. Lingle, 63-37%.

    That's how you learn from your mistakes.


    To be honest, the position of (none / 0) (#80)
    by dk on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:55:12 PM EST
    Governor here in MA (particularly if it's a Republican) is pretty powerless, since there are Democratic veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature and the state Democratic party machine pretty much dominates the civil service.  

    I have no idea what Brown's chances are, though.  Two years is a long time, so anything could happen, really.


    Thanks for the info (none / 0) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:05:11 PM EST
    Glad that the Dems have a very good chance of keeping the Senate seat and as you say 2 years is a long time.

    Of the 2 current Dem candidates that have thrown their hats in the ring, which candidate in your opinion is the most liberal?


    Of the two, on the whole, Ed Markey. (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by dk on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:37:06 PM EST
    Markey is a very solid left of center Democrat, and is particularly strong on environmental/energy policy.

    Stephen Lynch is widely considered the most conservative Democrat in the MA congressional delegation.  The biggest knock on him is that he is considered anti-choice, though he kind of tries to have it both ways and his record is squishy.

    Lynch will, as always, campign in the blue-collar Catholic model.  Markey will campaign on his seniority (he's the Dean of the MA house delegation, rather high up in seniority in the house, and has the backing of the party establishment).

    Lynch was, I believe, the only MA Democrat to vote against the health insurance bill.  I never saw a clear explanation for why he did so.  To be honest, since I didn't support it either, that's a plus in my column, but that's just one data point, and on the whole Markey really does have the more liberal voting record.


    Sweden (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:32:33 PM EST
    is the latest Nordic country looking at revamping its model of capitalism

    Sweden has reduced public spending as a proportion of GDP from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. It could soon have a smaller state than Britain. It has also cut the top marginal tax rate by 27 percentage points since 1983, to 57%, and scrapped a mare's nest of taxes on property, gifts, wealth and inheritance. This year it is cutting the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%.

    Sweden has also donned the golden straitjacket of fiscal orthodoxy with its pledge to produce a fiscal surplus over the economic cycle. Its public debt fell from 70% of GDP in 1993 to 37% in 2010, and its budget moved from an 11% deficit to a surplus of 0.3% over the same period. This allowed a country with a small, open economy to recover quickly from the financial storm of 2007-08. Sweden has also put its pension system on a sound foundation, replacing a defined-benefit system with a defined-contribution one and making automatic adjustments for longer life expectancy.

    Most daringly, it has introduced a universal system of school vouchers and invited private schools to compete with public ones. Private companies also vie with each other to provide state-funded health services and care for the elderly. Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist who lives in America, hopes that Sweden is pioneering "a new conservative model"; Brian Palmer, an American anthropologist who lives in Sweden, worries that it is turning into "the United States of Swedeamerica".


    This is not to say that the Nordics are shredding their old model. They continue to pride themselves on the generosity of their welfare states. About 30% of their labour force works in the public sector, twice the average in the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation, a rich-country think-tank. They continue to believe in combining open economies with public investment in human capital. But the new Nordic model begins with the individual rather than the state. It begins with fiscal responsibility rather than pump-priming: all four Nordic countries have AAA ratings and debt loads significantly below the euro-zone average. It begins with choice and competition rather than paternalism and planning. The economic-freedom index of the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think-tank, shows Sweden and Finland catching up with the United States (see chart). The leftward lurch has been reversed: rather than extending the state into the market, the Nordics are extending the market into the state.


    The Camp David Bull-Skeet Range: (none / 0) (#52)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:48:57 PM EST
    Another William Banzai send-up.

    If and when... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:51:08 PM EST
    we pass new gun control legislation, will ATF agents get vacation days, cash, and gift cards as a bonus for collars like the Border Patrol?

    Sick stuff...but hey at least they're "doing something" about the undocumented, right?

    kdog - you're gonna love this (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Scan-and-Frisk is coming to NY

    Get ready for scan-and-frisk.

    The NYPD will soon deploy new technology allowing police to detect guns carried by criminals without using the typical pat-down procedure, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.

    The department just received a machine that reads terahertz -- the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects -- and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance.

    Which means - through your clothes.


    F*ck me! (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:05:52 PM EST
    A half oz. could conceivably resemble a gun barrel...I'll just "assume the position" now:(

    Does the equipment first determine (none / 0) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:14:56 PM EST
    that a person is a criminal before it scans for weapons?

    I'm not kdog, but I think that there could be some illegal search issues if this is used to determine that this person has a weapon therefore he/she is a criminal.


    Oh, sure (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:25:27 PM EST
    I originally found this topic at Volokh, and here is Orin Kerr's first thoughts on it:

    Use of this technology raises two primary Fourth Amendment questions. First, does it constitute a search under Kyllo v. United States? More specifically, does Kyllo apply when the device is used to obtain details from inside a person's clothes rather than inside a home? And second, if use of the device is a "search" under Kyllo, what is the standard for when such a search is reasonable? Do you match the Fourth Amendment standard for a "virtual frisk" with the existing standard for a physical frisk? Or is the virtual frisk more or less invasive than the physical frisk in a way that would require more or less cause? Interesting questions.

    I think there is no question... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:07:17 PM EST
    that using that blasted machine in a public space without probable cause would be an illegal search...but if Stop & Frisk isn't considered unconstitutional, that insidious device won't be either.  That ship sailed and liberty lost the battle.

    BTW, this is America MO, we are all criminal suspects now, or will be very soon;)

    "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

    - Nugget of Truth from a Crazy Lady named Ayn Rand


    Another Obama cave on choice (none / 0) (#61)
    by Dadler on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:32:59 PM EST
    That's not a cave (none / 0) (#64)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:47:40 PM EST
    They all get offered free contraception anyway.

    The religious institutions aren't happy.


    You mean, because there is still a (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:03:55 PM EST
    requirement for a third-party to step in and provide the coverage?

    From Slate:

    While the proposal loosens the definition of "religious employer" somewhat, the mandate would still require that a third-party issuer step in and provide the copay-free birth control.


    According to HHS, today's move will simplify what constitutes a "religious employer" as it relates to contraceptive coverage. The proposed rule would eliminate the need for such an entity to (via the HHS fact sheet):

       1. have the inculcation of religious values as its purpose;
       2. primarily employ persons who share its religious tenets; and
       3. primarily serve persons who share its religious tenets.

    The new definition would largely echo how the IRS classifies religious employers, and would primarily include churches, other houses of worship, and their affiliated organizations.

    The biggest change would be that "a house of worship would not be excluded from the exemption because, for example, it provides charitable social services to persons of different religious faiths or employs persons of different religious faiths," according to the fact sheet. According to HHS, the change is meant to codify the intent of last year's rules, and is not expected to "expand the universe of employer plans that would qualify for the exemption."

    Charlie Pierce's take

    These are loopholes you could slip St. Peter's through. In other words, to qualify for the religious exemption from the contraception mandate, an institution doesn't have to teach religion, hire the religious, or even serve much of a religious purpose, as far as that goes. And, in return, of course, the administration will be the beneficiary of the good will of those organizations with which it has tried to compromise.

    Well, except for the businesses whose owners have religious objections, which could be the next area for "compromise."


    I'm not quite sure what Charlie Pierce ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:20:30 PM EST
    ... is driving at here. We've had this same exact policy regarding third-party contraceptive coverage in place out here in Hawaii since July 1, 1999 -- and it works just fine for all involved.

    So, I'd offer that based upon our precedent, they're not exactly reinventing the wheel back there on the eastern seaboard. People need to give it a chance to work.


    Under the same, now very broad, (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:34:15 PM EST

    Maybe I worry too much, but I am leery of goodwill gestures that seem to have no negative consequences even as they are setting precedents that could have negative consequences if other elements in place all of a sudden change in some way.

    I am also uncomfortable with a goodwill gesture that private companies will seize/have seized on with a "hey, we're religious, too - where's our exemption?" campaign.


    People said the same thing out here ... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:32:10 PM EST
    ... 14 years ago, insisting that we were somehow opening a can of worms by, as Charlie Pierce termed it, offering loopholes you could drive a truck through. Those fears proved to be unfounded, and the entire issue has since become moot.

    I understand your wariness here, but with all due respect to Mr. Pierce, I was the guy in 1999 who did all the legal research on the subject and wrote the amended draft for what eventually became our state's policy.

    And further, while I'm not one to normally toot my own horn, it was initially my idea back then to use third-party administrators / providers to offer the coverage in cases where religious-based employers balked at being compelled to provide contraceptive care for their employees.

    At the time, we were facing vociferous objections to the first draft of our proposal in public hearings from St. Francis Healthcare Systems, Inc., which was then the second largest provider of healthcare services on Oahu after the The Queen's Heath Systems.

    I convinced my bosses in House leadership during closed meetings that my amendment would tactically undercut the legal standing of religious-based employers to object to the enacted policy.

    I argued that since St. Francis Healthcare would obviously not be incurring any out-of-pocket expenses on their part, they would hardly be in any position to subsequently claim any First Amendment protections as an injured religious-based party in a court of law.

    I'll freely admit my surprise at the time, first that the Speaker (who was himself Roman Catholic) fully embraced the idea himself, and then that the he was able to convince St. Francis and the late Bishop Joseph Ferrario that their moral objections had been adequately addressed by my amendment. The policy's been in place ever since, without problems or objections.

    So, I'd really like to believe that I know what I'm talking about here, and would therefore urge you to give this new federal policy a chance to work. If a problem does arise, we can fix it then.



    While a similar policy has been in effect in (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:48:47 PM EST
    Hawaii for many years, I consider it to be bad policy to grant these exemptions. It only encourages the so-called religious to try to expand the universe of laws from which they are exempt.

    The people will not stop with contraception and abortion "conscience" exemptions. I think we will see a concerted and coordinated effort to grant all kinds of exemptions to all kinds of people and groups who claim some kind of conscience issue.

    It both infuriates me and depresses me that Obama has not learned to stop giving in needlessly to the whiners. My goodness, the man has huge approval ratings from the American people. The last election was won in no small part because women decided they neither want nor need any outside supervision of what they do with their own bodies.

    Obama owes women, owes us big time. What he should do is tell the whiners that enough is enough. Their right to practice throe religion does not give them the right to force others to observe their religious dictates. If Cardinal Dolan objects to contraception, well, then he shouldn't use contraception. And his personal use should be the only personal use he decides.


    Then I must respectfully ask you ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:27:58 PM EST
    caseyOR: "Obama owes women, owes us big time. What he should do is tell the whiners that enough is enough. Their right to practice throe religion does not give them the right to force others to observe their religious dictates."

    ... what our own primary objective should be here in this particular case. Do we wish to ensure that contraceptive coverage remains available upon request for those women who seek it, without qualification and without apology -- or should we unilaterally attempt to impose our will upon both the Obama administration (for "giving in needlessly to the whiners") and those who object to such coverage on (dubiously) moral grounds?

    The first is policy-oriented, while the second is innately political. Further, both are entirely valid positions to take on this subject from a progressive standpoint.

    I would only argue that while the first accomplishes our original objective -- universal coverage for contraception -- relatively cleanly while offering opponents a political fig leaf to gracefully accept the inevitable, the second is fraught with great potential to significantly damage our own future political standing with Democratic allies upon whom we must rely in prospective battles on other pressing progressive issues.

    In short, I see no "cave" here. Rather, the door is presently being closed on legal objections raised by opponents. The Hawaii law in this case is not some ethereal and distant offshore concept, but a valid and well-grounded legal precedent for the Obama administration's present initiative that has withstood the test of nearly 14 years' time.

    Our side has not only won on this issue, but has won decisively. We should be gracious in that victory, allow our opposition the dignity of retreat once they see they've really no other option legally, not fret about scenarios which have yet to even materialize, and most of all, not jeopardize our overall strategic position in future political battles by attempting to run up the score in this one.



    As I said, I do not believe it will stop (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by caseyOR on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:01:06 PM EST
    here, with the objection to contraception. I believe we will see more and more attempts to exempt people and businesses and organizations from laws and regulations that offend their "conscience". This is what I believe is termed a "slippery slope."

    Pharmacists will fight for the right to NOT prescribe medications they do not like, they are attempting this already. And it won't end with contraception. Medical people will want an exemption from treating people they don't want to treat, from providing procedures of which they do not approve. Not only will some declare their "right" to refuse service, they will insist that they do not have to refer to a doctor who will provide the rejected service. And this goes beyond abortion.

    And why should the moral beliefs of Catholic hospitals or Mormon doctors or any other religious person or group to any rule or regulation or law carry more weight than, say , my moral objections to rules or regulations or law?

    Let me just add that we are not in the same political world we were in even 14 years ago. We are fighting a totally insane enemy. An enemy that will never be satisfied or placated. An enemy that will continue to chip away at the freedom of the rest of us to not be subjected to the twisted morality of the right, religious and secular.

    I realize that you have been in politics for a long time, Donald. You strike me as very process oriented, and that is not a criticism. I find, though, that process oriented people have  a hard time stepping back and seeing the big picture. They only see the day-to-day squabbles that they think are resolved with yet another tweak to the system. And they continue this until some day they wake up and find that we have been tweaked into a political and societal life lived squarely under the thumb of other people's conscience.


    You'd be very surprised ... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:14:56 PM EST
    ... at the view I do take in. I like to look long-term, and I'm fully aware of what the far right has done in the past, is doing in the present and what it's capable of doing in the future.

    What I'm telling you is that this is a battle that we've already won, and we should be using this victory as a springboard to go on the offensive ourselves. We need to start pushing back on the far right's assault on a woman's right to reproductive freedom, rather than always expending our efforts on defense -- or worse still, attacking our friends for not running up the score in this particular instance.

    Given our experience with this policy out here in Hawaii, I'm confident that no court will allow religious-based organizations to argue a case about contraceptive coverage in which they have no longer hold any legal standing.

    Rather, this policy simply removes these organizations from the equation altogether, and renders any decision regarding contraceptive coverage as one which is held to be solely between their female employees and a willing third-party administrator / provider.

    It's going to be remarkably difficult, if not impossible, for such organizations to demonstrate conclusively to a court's satisfaction that they're being harmed as a result of the Obama administration's new policy on providing contraceptive coverage to their employees, especially when they're neither incurring any financial expense nor being exposed to any legal liability as a result of it.

    As I said, we won. They lost. Aloha.


    Wow. No offense, (2.00 / 1) (#98)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:20:53 PM EST
    but change the words "right" to "left," "religious" to "atheists," and "secular to, well, "secular," (Did you mean to write secular?) and I'd feel that I'm on some way-right site.
    Let me just add that we are not in the same political world we were in even 14 years ago. We are fighting a totally insane enemy. An enemy that will never be satisfied or placated. An enemy that will continue to chip away at the freedom of the rest of us to not be subjected to the twisted morality of the right, religious and secular.
    I know, I know, the left has reason to say such things, the right doesn't.

    And your point is -- what, exactly? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:34:51 PM EST
    Do you have something relevant to add to our present discussion about ensuring contraceptive health coverage for women -- or are you just here to ridicule Casey's passion in standing up for what she believes?

    Personally, I happen to think that she has a valid reason to state what she believes to be true about the cowardly far right's crusade against women. The far right has shown its willingness to resort to physical intimidation, violence and even murder to impose their agenda regarding women's reproductive rights. It's not unreasonable for women such as her to conclude that such people are certifiably insane.

    Now, speaking for myself only, I tend to avoid political confrontation when and where I can, and I like to believe that I'm a pretty reasonable guy who's more than willing to talk things out, to a point. I've worked in the legislature for many years, and I consider it part of my job description to seek common ground as a means to resolve differences and come to a mutually agreeable accord.

    However, it would be a very big mistake for anyone to interpret that as a sign of personal weakness on my part, because any fool who does soon learns that the most resolute and fearsome enemy in battle is often the man who first tried his best to avoid the confrontation in the first place.

    And as more than a few right-wing Republicans out here have discovered to their ultimate dismay, when I engage on that very visceral political level, I will always play to win -- and I won't necessarily play by your rules.



    You are my hero! (1.00 / 1) (#103)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:13:20 PM EST
    Whatever. (none / 0) (#105)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:19:13 PM EST
    That didn't take long (none / 0) (#141)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:34:13 AM EST
    Critics Want For-Profit Exemption From Contraception Rules

    The rules provide a broad exemption for nonprofit organizations, but not for-profit companies, from a requirement of the 2010 health-care law that health plans cover birth control without cost to their workers. Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said the requirement violates a 1993 law on religious freedom because for-profit companies don't get the exemption under the compromise announced yesterday.

    "Freedom of religion and the right of peoples of faith to be protected against government intrusion must be sacrosanct," Hatch said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this White House doesn't seem to believe in that constitutional guarantee -- forcing private companies to provide health-care services in violation of their beliefs." link

    Yup. Totally predictable. (none / 0) (#142)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:41:42 AM EST
    This is what happens when scared people feel compelled to negotiate with themselves.

    Actually, this is no different than ... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:00:25 PM EST
    ... what we've been doing in Hawaii since 1999 -- and I'm speaking as one who helped draft our policy back then. The coverage will still be available to those who want it, except that it will be offered by third-party providers at no additional costs for the insured:

    "At nonprofits that are self-insured, third-party administrators would independently contact all the insured people and offer them no-cost contraception. Those third parties would be compensated for providing the contraception through lower participation fees in the federal health insurance exchanges, which are supposed to be running in all states by 2014 under the new law. At nonprofits that contract an insurer to cover their employees, that insurer will pay for the contraception itself on the assumption that providing contraception will save them money in the long run." (Emphasis is mine.)

    I'd hardly call this a "cave on choice." We need to remember that our primary purpose here is to ensure that coverage for contraception remains freely available upon request for those who seek it, and not necessarily to impose our secular will upon those religious organizations who object to providing such coverage on (admittedly pretty flimsy) moral grounds.

    This move by the Obama administration will actually serve to undercut the legal standing of  these religious-based institutions in federal court regarding their moves to block implementation, because a third party is picking up the tab, and the arrangement will be solely between the employee and the third-party provider and will not involve the employer. As I noted above, we've had this policy in place in Hawaii for almost 14 years now, and the issue out here is moot.



    Well said (none / 0) (#83)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:09:40 PM EST
    "We need to remember that our primary purpose here is to ensure that coverage for contraception remains freely available upon request for those who seek it"

    Q: What do you get when you cross ... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:58:55 PM EST
    ... cringe-worthy delusional with a $2,000 Armani suit?

    A: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Crazy Train) -- only one month on the job, and already an embarrassment.

    Hmmm. Texas' first latino Senator. (none / 0) (#119)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:19:02 PM EST
    - Houston, we've got a problem, and it's called a cognitive dissonance overload.

    WOW! (none / 0) (#148)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 07:46:04 PM EST
    35 comments between CoralGables posting "Hagel will be confirmed," and me responding with, "I agree."

    just mentioning it because it looks like I got into the Christine/Dr.Molly "chat."

    I didn't

    See what we caused :) (none / 0) (#151)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:37:42 AM EST