Friday News and Open Thread

President Obama has renominated 33 of his federal judicial picks that Congress has failed to act on. What's Congress' problem?

Looks like Chuck Hagel will get the nod for Defense Secretary.

Cops and prosecutors need to stop hogging the DNA Codis databases so people wrongly convicted don't have to languish yet more years in prison. [More...]

[I]t took 18 months of litigation to get the state to test the DNA against its database of felons, and Mr. Buffey’s lawyers say his case is therefore something more: proof that laws are needed to remove the databases from the exclusive grip of prosecutors and law enforcement to make them available to defense lawyers.

“There is incredible exculpatory power in the databases that the government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on over the years,” said Nina Morrison, a senior lawyer in the case. “But law enforcement runs the databases, and even when you go to court to force their hand, they throw up roadblocks. And judges say they don’t have the power to force them.”

The Government can't claim ownership of science. Yet only 9 states have laws granting defendants access to the databases: Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

New infographic from the ACLU on Guantanamo:

ACLU's message to Obama: Yes you can be the civil liberties President.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Obama's Signing Statement on Guantanamo | Another Aurora Shooting >
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    one of the students from the Tinker case (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:00:33 PM EST
    died last week. Des Moines native Christopher Eckhardt was a high school sophomore and child of peace activists in 1965. He hosted the meeting where a bunch of students decided to wear black armbands to school to protest US involvement in Vietnam. He and four other students, including John and Mary Beth Tinker, were suspended from various public schools in Des Moines. The attorney who represented the Iowa Civil Liberties Union side in the Tinker case said Eckhardt was very articulate during court testimony.

    I know Dwight Davis was... (none / 0) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:40:47 PM EST
    Superintendent of Schools in '65, but not who made up the School Board.  Do you happpen to know?  Dr. Caudill, Dr. Niffenegger?

    don't know who was on the school board (none / 0) (#72)
    by desmoinesdem on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:40:58 AM EST
    All the principals supported the armband ban, but the school board vote supporting that policy was 5-2. It would be interesting to know who the 5 and the 2 were.

    It would be interesting to know. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:38:28 PM EST
    Although in '65 I had yet to start my career in the DMPS, my sister was a year younger than Mary Beth Tinker.  Both of my siblings (my brother being two years younger than my sister) were attending the old Park Avenue Elementary at the time.  I don't recall any talk of the protest at our house however.  

    I found this history of DMPS written by Dr. Denny that was published in '76. It contains no mention of Tinker or the events surrounding it. It appears the Board made a decision to whitewash the whole incident (although it is mentioned in a '07 write-up).  In fact, it was never mentioned or taught in any of my classes.

    Interestingly, the Principal of Roosevelt at the time, Charles D. Rowley, served only one year--'65 to '66.  There appears to have been a good amount of turn-over and shuffling of other Jr/Sr. High Principals around that time as well.  Have to wonder if that was Tinker related.  


    Poor excuse for human beings IMO (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:51:17 PM EST
    The conservative Club for Growth said Friday that it will punish House members who voted for a flood insurance measure aimed at helping pay for Hurricane Sandy's damage. link

    And in that same vein, (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:26:44 PM EST
    here's Charlie Pierce (bold is mine):

    One of the first actions of the new useless majority of the House Of Representatives was to continue to fund legal actions in defense of the Defense Of Marriage Act. There is no reason to waste money on this kind of thing -- The question of same-sex marriage is currently before the Supreme Court -- except to be publicly mean and stupid. The country has moved on. The country has acclimated itself to gay people's getting married faster, frankly, than I thought it would. And, employing the most fundamentally American metric of them all, people are turning a fine buck on gay people's getting married. (This should be a cautionary tale for, say, Missouri. Are you telling me that gay marriage wouldn't be a gold mine in, say, Branson? Please.) This is the kind of thing to keep in mind whenever a member of the new useless majority goes on your electric teevee set to talk about The Deficit. They won't spend money to ease the lives of the old and the sick. But they'll spend it to be mean and stupid. The ignorance subsidy is untouchable.

    As for the disaster relief, I don't recall any of these "fiscally responsible" legislators objecting to government aid when it was their states and districts affected.

    In keeping with a term I saw Lambert use - "fecal cliff" - I think it would actually be more on point to refer to these a$$hats as "fecally" responsible.


    Sorry, but Pierce makes no sense (none / 0) (#33)
    by Peter G on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:43:19 PM EST
    when he says, "There is no reason to waste money on this kind of thing -- The question of same-sex marriage is currently before the Supreme Court -- except to be publicly mean and stupid."  It is the House-funded so-called Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group that hired the lawyer who will argue in support of DOMA before the Supreme Court.  (The Supreme Court has also asked for briefing on whether the "group" has authority to do so.) The fact that the issue is before the Supreme Court is not an argument against re-funding BLAG.  There are other good arguments, but not that one.

    Your point may be valid, Peter, but mine (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:04:34 PM EST
    was contained in the bolded portion of Pierce's remarks.

    In general - in general - Republicans are happy to spend money to be mean and/or stupid; in fact, they seem to be making a habit of doing so.


    Absolutely, Anne (none / 0) (#50)
    by Peter G on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:21:51 PM EST
    I wasn't disagreeing with the substance of your comment.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#65)
    by bmaz on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:30:05 PM EST
    But also agreed about Pierce.  I don't care for the positions BLAG are arguing, but the effort itself is quite necessary if you want the case litigated properly to conclusion. Same as to intervenors in Perry. If the rights are to be established in court, there has to be parties. Frankly, at least in Perry, I wish the State of California had  nominally joined so that there could not be a standing issue.

    The House has already spent (none / 0) (#73)
    by MyLeftMind on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:32:54 AM EST
    at least $1.5 million defending this ethically indefensible gay marriage ban. In addition to pointing out the hypocrisy coming from self proclaimed small government conservatives, Democrats should jump on this issue to eliminate a key GOTV and fundraiser for the GOP.  Many progressives agree with equality, but aren't taking a strong stand to move forward. People seem to be waiting to see what happens.

    Unfortunately, if we sit around waiting for SCOTUS to make a decision on gay rights, we risk five of them deciding to uphold the government's right to discriminate. Same sex couples will never stop fighting for equality, so we'll likely have state level anti-gay ballot measures for decades.

    We should repeal DOMA immediately and settle the gay rights issue once and for all. Our opponents are well funded and organized. They have phone and letter writing campaigns against the Respect for Marriage Act. Are liberals ready to take strong action as well?

    Call Congress, let's get this done and quit feeding the hand that strikes us.


    This could be fun (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:57:15 PM EST
    Former Rep. Barney Frank wants interim appointment to replace Kerry in Senate

    Justin Sink - 01/04/13 08:15 AM ET
    Outgoing Rep. Barney Frank has asked to be appointed as an interim senator to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

    Love it. I hope it happens. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:14:36 PM EST
    If (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:01:05 PM EST
    we could get a Senator Frank, I'd gladly say so long to Monsieur Kerry.

    It would only be (none / 0) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:22:45 PM EST
    for a couple months. He wouldn't be a candidate in the special election.

    Even (none / 0) (#48)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:41:03 PM EST

    It would be a refreshing presence in the Senate.


    MA Gov. Deval Patrick ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:45:39 PM EST
    ... is certainly not saying anything to dampen such speculation.

    I'd even prefer (none / 0) (#46)
    by brodie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:29:44 PM EST
    Barney stay and run in the general election for that seat, assuming he might give Ds a better chance if holding it.

    But the gov seems to have previously (over)committed to having the appointed person only a temporary senator.  


    I would, too. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:27:39 PM EST
    But I think Mr. Frank specifically wants to be there for the next round of haggling over the debt ceiling, etc., and not much else.

    When asked during a recent visit here to campaign with now-U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono why he was retiring from the House, the congressman told a bunch of us Democrats who gathered at party HQ, "Look, I'm 72 years old. I just got married. And there are other things I'd like to try and experience in this lifetime while I can still walk and feed myself."


    Barney Frank has stated (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:39:43 PM EST
    his "strong opposition" to a nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.  Mr. Frank indicated that negative statements and actions regarding LGBT people should disqualify Hagel from consideration.   The position of Barney Frank may disqualify him from consideration, as well.   I hope that will not be the case.

    Yay, two "out" gays in the Senate (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Towanda on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:35:18 PM EST
    soon, if this goes forward, and this is only a day after the first out gay in the Senate was sworn in, the wonderful Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

    Ohhhhh, I so would enjoy seeing the two of them talking together -- she is almost as fast with the riffs as is Barney Frank.

    I loved his line in the interview I saw today, when he explained why he initially had no interest in the interim appointment.  He said that, after leaving Congress at last, it would have felt like high school, having to go to summer school after graduation.


    Gov (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:59:49 PM EST
    Chris Christie is being mentioned, as a description, that he is a presidential contender for 2016.

    What are they talking about?

    What has this guy done to deserve to be labeled a possible president?

    Is this the way they pick the schlemiels from whom we get to pick?

    Who designated this arse, and why do the media follow suit?

    I had to go back (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 11:20:38 PM EST
    and re-read your post. At the end of your post the first time the subliminal mind pictured obama.

    Who just won re-election (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:52:35 AM EST
    by 4 points, 51-47 with 7.9% unemployment.   To the consternation of many.  

    two words (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:28:45 AM EST
    Mitt Romney.  If the republican party were sane and ran a candidate who weren't a bizarre space alien in human form Obama would have lost easily.

    All the hullabaloo (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:27:46 PM EST
    and anti-Obama efforts just shaved a couple of points off of his popular vote total and caused him to lose Indiana and North Carolina, which he had won by razor thin margins last time.

    That is with record high unemployment.  Not even Reagan won with such numbers.  Only FDR was able to do it.

    America likes Obama.   Just the way it is.


    Like who? (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:19:59 PM EST
    No one polled better against Obama than Romney.  Jeb Bush lost trial heats against Obama.

    Republicans also say it was a flawed candidate.  Demographics matter.

    Obama and FDR are the only Democrats twice elected with over 50% of the vote.


    The GOP (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by sj on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:39:04 PM EST
    had an abysmal lineup, that's for sure.  With that cast of characters (or caricatures) I frankly expected Obama to run away with this.

    Impressive (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:13:02 PM EST
    Unless, of course, people remember that the Obama and FDR were the only twice-elected Democratic Presidents without a major third-party candidate running against them taking a substantial portion of the vote.

    But bonus points for keeping a straight face while putting Obama and FDR in the same sentence!

    BTW - Andrew Jackson (D) was also twice-elected with over 50% of the popular vote.


    Only if Reagan (none / 0) (#90)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:42:41 PM EST
    was resurrected from his grave, the Republicans stood a fighting chance! :-).

    site violator (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by fishcamp on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:20:43 AM EST

    Chuck Hagel was opposed to (4.40 / 5) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:55:32 PM EST
    President Clinton's first nomination of an openly gay man, James Hormel, to be the US Ambassador to Luxembourg.  Hagel stated that Mr. Hormel was "openly, aggressively" gay and that his sexual orientation was an inhibiting fact that would prevent him from being effective.  Can't represent American values, you know.  

    The anti-gay comment on the nominee and his disdain, apparently, for Hormel's advocacy for equal rights, (Hormel finally received a recess appointment) were not an aberration, but rather part of his record on LGBT issues.  Hagel, more recently, was against repeal of DADT noting that the military was no place for "social experiment."  

    Chuck Hagel has now issued an apology saying "my comments 14 years ago were insensitive..."   neither the strongest apology nor the most rapid response known to man.  Now maybe former Senator Hagel has sufficient redeeming qualifications to overcome this little blemish on his record (if you do not count the voting machine issue), and will be a great Secretary of Defense.

    He was against the Iraq war after he was for it, and he is a patriot, having voted for the Patriot Act.  And, it is good to have a Republican at Defense because Democrats are thought to be weak in that area.   And, after all, it could be worse--it could be Rick Warren.

    Hagel never apologized to Hormel (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by shoephone on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:12:47 PM EST
    Jimmy Hormel's statement to the WAPO says it all:

    But in an interview this afternoon, the target of the 1998 slur, leading gay philanthropist James Hormel, told me he never received an apology from Hagel himself, questioned the sincerity of the apology, and said the incident should still raise questions about whether Hagel is the right man to oversee the repeal of don't ask don't tell.

    "I have not received an apology," Hormel, who is a major figure in Democratic politics, told me. "I thought this so-called apology, which I haven't received, but which was made public, had the air of being a defensive move on his part." Hormel added that the apology appeared to have been given "only in service of his attempt to get the nomination."

    I can't -- and won't -- go into too much detail, but I had some experience with the Hormel family in the past. Jimmy Hormel is a well-loved and well-repsected person by those who know him, and he deserved none of the treatment he received from Hagel and other homophobes. Now, brother Tommy, on the other hand... well, let's just say that every family has its "characters"...

    If Hagel is the best that Obama can come up with for DOD, then we are really in sorry shape.


    Greenwald: "If you judge politicians (none / 0) (#82)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:57:57 AM EST
    Greenwald is wrong (none / 0) (#93)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:02:50 PM EST
    Many WA State Democrats have been on the record as supporting LGBT rights for a long, long time. Furthermore, he has no idea who my "heroes" are. But they certainly aren't politicians. In any case, I don't base my political opinions on what Glenn Greenwald says.

    The Los Angeles Times is reporting ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:20:09 PM EST
    ... today that longtime national security policy wonk Michele Flournoy is on the president's short list to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon as Defense Secretary. Given the expressed opposition from Senate Republicans to Chuck Hagel's nomination for that post, she may well be the person to watch here.

    Ms. Flournoy is eminently well respected on both sides of the aisle for her expertise on defense issues, and if nominated and confirmed she would be the first woman to head up the Pentagon. More importantly from a purely political perspective, she is a registered Democrat.



    Defense Secy position should not be viewed (2.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:32:37 PM EST
    from a political perspective, IMO. There is no indication yet that Senate Republicans will not oppose her nomination.
    Ofcourse, all 3 people in the short list have excellent credentials for the job.

    I have to disagree. (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:05:06 PM EST
    Democrats really need to stop reinforcing the stubborn public misconception that they are somehow congenitally weak on matters of national defense.

    To be blunt, present-day Republicans have looked upon President Obama's past attempts at bipartisanship and inclusiveness not as expressions of magnanimity and calls for unity, but rather as signs of personal political weakness, which further fuels their notion that he is spineless and can be rolled. The president needs to knock it off with these Kumbaya-sort of grand gestures, and start governing with confidence and authority -- as a Democrat.

    Therefore, if there is a qualified Democrat to head up the Pentagon, then Obama should nominate that person before considering any Republican.

    After all, you've never seen a Republican president appoint a Democrat to that post, have you? Certainly not since Abraham Lincoln appointed the abolitionist Democrat Edwin Stanton in January 1862 to replace the thoroughly corrupt Simon Cameron at the War Department, anyway, and that obviously wasn't in our own lifetimes.

    (In fact, the last GOP president to appoint a Democrat to any of the major cabinet posts -- i.e., Defense, State, Treasury and Justice -- was Dwight Eisenhower, who had John Foster Dulles as his Secretary of State. Technically, one could say that Richard Nixon also did likewise when he tapped John Connally for Treasury Secretary, but Connally officially switched parties soon thereafter.)



    Yes. There is no reason for cabinet (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:13:40 PM EST
    positions to not be politically motivated and partisan. That is part of the point of elections.

    With regard to Hagel specifically, the first thing they say about his qualifications is that he served in Viet Nam. Sorry, being in the military nearly 40 years ago is not a qualification for Sec of Defense. Unfortunately the job now has equal parts military, nation building, and supervising legal decisions about tribunals and detentions. I would like to hear about his qualifications in those areas.


    Further, Chuck Hagel also voted to ... (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:35:28 PM EST
    "Hagel boasts a middling intellect, an immense reservoir of self-regard, and a staunchly right-wing voting record. He boasts a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 84, having backed the Bush tax cuts, the Patriot Act, the authorization of the Iraq War, and most of rest of the right-wing agenda during his time in the Senate. He's precisely the kind of person whose nomination would normally drive liberals into fits of outrage. But not this time. Liberals are bending over backward to praise Hagel, in effect saying they would prefer an archconservative male mediocrity to a liberal female rising star."
    - David Greenberg, "Hagel, the Enemy of Liberals' Enemies, Shouldn't be Their Friend", The Daily Beast (December 30, 2012)

    ... authorize President Bush's invasion of Iraq in October 2002, and not only did he fail to ask the hard questions about the "evidence" the Bush administration presented regarding Saddam's purported cache of WMD, he also criticized others who attempted to do so.

    His ex post facto criticism of the Bush administration for its subsequent incompetent conduct of that war resonates with all the authority and confidence of someone speaking with 20 / 20 hindsight while attempting to stay ten yards in front of his own dust cloud.

    Hagel's a truly lousy choice to head the Pentagon, IMHO.


    Well, unless Hagel's worldview (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:01:41 PM EST
    meshes with Obama's, and then it makes perfect sense and is a great choice - for Obama.

    I don't know why people keep expecting Obama to nominate people to Cabinet positions who are more on the left side of the political spectrum, when Obama isn't anything close to left of center.

    So...I fully expect that in the next week or so, when Tim Geithner's replacement is announced, hordes of Democrats will gasp in astonishment that Obama hasn't nominated someone "better" than Geithner.

    It's simple: he's nominating and appointing people to these important positions because they fit with where Obama is politically, philosophically and ideologically.


    Anne, Michele Flournoy is hardly ... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:05:28 PM EST
    ... to the left on the political spectrum in matters of defense and national security policy. She's a reality-based analyst and policy development specialist, and she deserves every consideration for the Pentagon post -- certainly more than a guy who proved to be little more than a reliable GOP hack for the better part of his U.S. Senate career.

    Read my comment again, Donald; I was (none / 0) (#60)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:31:44 PM EST
    speaking of Hagel, initially, and referenced Geithner as another example of someone whose nomination many Democrats couldn't figure out.

    I know nothing about Flournoy, which is why I didn't reference her.

    My larger point, Donald, is that Obama is nominating and appointing people with whom he has some kind of kinship - ideological, political, philosophical; I would assume that is true of Flournoy, as well.  If she's good, well, stopped clocks and all that.

    If Obama feels a kinship with a "reliable GOP hack," I can't say I would be surprised; he thinks highly of a lot of people who fit that bill - sadly, some of them have (D) after their names.


    I did re-read your post, and ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:10:56 PM EST
    ... thank you for the clarification.

    For Treasury (none / 0) (#40)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:04:18 PM EST
    it seems that Jack Lew is first in line at this time.

    But, Jamie Dimon (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:17:08 PM EST
    is "first" in his heart.

    The kinship (none / 0) (#115)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:52:29 PM EST
    It is quite possible that Hagel's worldview matches that of the President in foreign policy. Hence, there is a kinship. Please read this article.

    And his record on women's rights is abysmal (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by shoephone on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:23:17 PM EST
    Hagel was a reliable vote against abortion, in all cases, including for women serving in the military.

    Hagel has a long history of opposing women's right to choose and, more specifically, limiting access to abortion for servicewomen stationed abroad. In the past Hagel told the Omaha World Herald that he did not believe in exceptions for abortion in the cases of rape and incest because the numbers of pregnancies that result from these violent acts are not "relevant." He has also repeatedly voted against allowing female soldiers to pay out of pocket for their abortions while abroad. Beginning in 2013, the Defense Department health insurance plan will cover abortions for servicewomen who become pregnant as a result of rape. If Chuck Hagel assumes the position of defense secretary, it will be his duty to enforce this new policy, which he has clearly opposed in the past.

    He's a disaster on many levels.


    Agreed. I have heard (none / 0) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:52:38 PM EST
    it said that all this is just an aberration, not the real Chuck Hagel.  After all, he was a Republican senator from Nebraska---he had to take those positions.   Not the real Chuck Hagel, just the Chuck Hagel of his voting record.   As if this is persuasive.  It is tiresome to see politicians take a position locally, and then, when a national opportunity opens up, they immediately change their ways. Even, apologize, sort of, if they must.

    I present you Kirsten Gillibrand (none / 0) (#75)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:36:29 AM EST
    Please read this article. Kirsten Gillibrand is now seen as someone who represents New York state well and is even being considered by many in the left to have the stuff to be a President. She was considered to be "xenophobic" and a "gun loon" at one time by many in the left.

    As it has turned out, (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:00:10 PM EST
    Senator Gillibrand has modified or changed several positions as she moved from a  Democratic Congresswoman  who represented a conservative upstate NY district to a Democratic Senator from New York.  Governor Paterson's criteria for initial appointment to the senate seat vacated by Senator Clinton were publicly stated, including support for same sex marriage.  

    Senator Gillibrand was responsible and responsive to a new and broadened constituency.  As the referenced article describes, there were initial  reservations about immigration and gun policies by several groups, at the time, but she was educated to other perspectives.  However, she did not need to apologize for insults or bigotry.  

    The position of Secretary of Defense does not have an electoral constituency, but rather, is an executive position that involves implementation of policies--implementation that may carry bias in effectuation.  With respect to his previous words and actions, Hagel may have  experienced an epiphany since serving as a Republican senator from Nebraska, albeit a timely one.  

    But, there is a risk, and it should outweigh his drawbacks.  To me, it is not satisfactory, as it apparently is to Glenn Greenwald's support, to  stick a finger in AIPAC's eye and overlook the finger given to gays.  Perhaps the confirmation hearings will determine if Hagel has had a change of heart or just a change of mouth.   But, I do wonder how deep his transformation really is, but I guess will will not know for a while if confirmed, or if he should ever run again for office in Nebraska.


    Greenwald's piece in the Guardian (none / 0) (#104)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:28:02 PM EST
    is linked here. Whether you agree or disagree with what Greenwald wrote, IMO, to say that Hagel's nomination would be "to stick a finger in AIPAC's eye and overlook the finger given to gays" is a very flippant take on matters of foreign policy and human rights #for gays, Palestinians and those to be affected by Israeli and American foreign policy.
    Also, how did you decide for yourself that Sen. Gillibrand's past actions were not "sticking a finger" at the eyes of immigrants or the nomination of someone for Def Sec who AIPAC would prefer will not be sticking a finger at the eyes of Palestinians and non Likud Jews, many of whom feel that Netanyahu has moved Israel so far to the right that the country has to be saved from itself?
    LGBT groups will continue to question Hagel about his change of heart and education (as they rightly should), I will also hope that he will be able to reassure them that he will be able to execute polcies on LGBT issues without any discrimination before he gets confirmed. However, I do feel that you were have been too lenient on Gillibrand and too harsh on Hagel when both people have shown similar blind spots in the past as well as the capacity to evolve when facing challenges of new and broadened constituencies/offices.

    My assessment of Glenn Greenwald's (none / 0) (#116)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:16:31 PM EST
    argument reduces to a weighting of his interpretation of what Hagel believes is a better policy toward the Israeli government--one in line with his own-- and his willingness to overlook and minimize Hagel's anti-gay record.  In my view, that argument is in imbalance.

    Especially, when Greenwald also acknowledges that Hagel is likely to have a minimal  impact on foreign policy and an ability to  restrain Obama's "aggressive and imperialistic" foreign policy, And, when Greenwald maintains that Hagel is squarely within the D.C. foreign policy consensus--that Obama would not nominate him if he were other---his argument becomes a symbolic one, just to make a point.  And, that point trumps Hagel's anti-gay past, albeit with a tardy "insensitive" mea culpa.  As indicated in my comment, I disagree with that analysis, although I did not say that it was flippant.

    The changes made by Senator Gillibrand as her Democratic constituency broadened is of a different kind.  Surely her earlier positions offended many of her new constituents, and she re-slhaped her thinking and policies.  However, she did not need to revamp her slurs against any individual or class, such as this Hagel gem:  " they are representing our lifestyle our values, our standards, and I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay, openly aggressively gay, like Mr. Hormel, to do an effective job."


    HRC, Kerry and Biden, (none / 0) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:00:51 PM EST
    also voted for the war. HRC did not even get the 20/20 hindsight in 2008, forget about failing to ask hard questions about evidence of WMDs in the run up to the war. I suppose we should rule out considering HRC for any position because of her Iraq war record! Not!

    But HRC is also not a ... (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:51:50 PM EST
    ... homophobic, misogynist bigot who's on record as as opposing a woman's right to reproductive choice. It's about the total package Chuck Hagel brings to the table, his entire body of work.

    The guy voted for the Bush tax cuts, he opposed McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, he was a staunch proponent of the PATRIOT Act, he's on record as supporting the construction of a 700-mile-long wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, he opposed increased federal funding for both HIV / AIDS research and the development of an anti-malarial vaccine, and he has apparently yet to meet a missile system or a defense contractor that he doesn't like.

    There's good reason why Hagel has an 84 rating from the American Conservative Union. I don't care if the neocons are opposing his nomination as Defense Secretary because he once said he's not in the pocket of the pro-Israel lobby. That's not a compelling reason for me to therefore support him.


    Well, Donald, (none / 0) (#66)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:31:57 PM EST
    it seems to me that everything that you have written has less relevance than the one reason you think is not a compelling reason for the Def Sec job at this time.
    Please read this piece. It is important to understand why the one reason you do not think is compelling can overshadow every other consideration, not just for a few years but decades. If someone asked me to provide the most important reason personally regarding why I did not want Romney to be Pres, I would have just said, "I am fearful that he will start a war with Iran or Netanyahu will drag him into it".
    And Donald, are you really holding Hagel's vote for tax cuts against him! Almost every Democrat re-voted for 98% of those tax cuts, a couple of days ago.
    Hagel has a very good working relationship with not just with the President but Biden and Kerry also. This should also be a very important consideration.

    Sorry, but I will not read ... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:55:34 AM EST
    ... anything written by Joe Klein, nor will I watch him on the cable news channels, just on principle.

    That guy is the consummate Inside-the-Beltway bull$H!+ artist, and has enjoyed zero credibility as a journalist with me, ever since he gave his word both publicly and to his then-employers at Newsweek that he was not the "Anonymous" author behind the book Primary Colors. Well, he lied -- Big Time. And that's a big phuquing deal with me.

    As far as I'm concerned, Joe Klein stands as a fraud, and once I turn my back on someone on a matter of principle, it will stay turned away for the duration. If he said good morning to me and told me what a lovely day it was, I'd be sure to bring my umbrella and raincoat when I went out.

    I hold Hagel's entire record in Washington against him, not just any one item in particular, like his votes on tax cuts. I don't give a rat's a$$ if he has a good working relationship with the president and John Kerry or even a direct pipeline to the good Lord above, for that matter. The guy's career as a senator is mediocre at best, and he further has a reputation for not playing nice with other children if he gets mad.

    I think the president is wrong to choose the inherent and documented mediocrity of Chuck Hagel over the genuine and demonstrable talent of Michele Flournoy -- just as I thought the Kansas City Chiefs were stupid to waste their No. 7 pick in the 1983 NFL draft on Penn State QB Todd Blackledge, when both Miami's Jim Kelly and Pitt's Dan Marino were still available and waiting in the wings.

    Nuf ced. Aloha.


    Michelle Fluornoy (none / 0) (#117)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:34:51 PM EST
    stepped down from her job as Under Secretary of Defense to spend more time with her children, last February. I was not aware of it.

    everyone who comments on Clinton's (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:36:34 PM EST
    vote on the war, should be required to watch her statement on the floor of the senate. She voted to give bush the authority to go to war only after the inspectors completed their jobs and found WMD.  If more senators, had stated their position as she did, it may have all turned out very differently.  She knew they didn't need her vote.  She could have voted no.  
    No one knows what she said, what she actually voted for, how she expressed herself.  But so many idiots on the left criticized her and voted for Edwards because "he apologized".  Yes, he apologized....but his original statement to the senate was all pro-war rhetoric.
    Yeah, she was the pro-war candidate, right.  Obama and Edwards were the peace candidates...... yikes.

    Here is Clinton:


    Here is Edwards:


    Sorry,... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by unitron on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:10:57 AM EST
    ...sitting here in eastern NC, having never been any closer to DC than Richmond in my life, I still knew that a vote to let Bush use the military meant war, no matter what strings and condiditons were attached, and anybody that didn't had no business being given an important job like member of Congress.

    I'm not sure the entire Congress voting against it would have stopped him, especially after there were casualties on our side to exploit, but anything less than a full-throated roar of "Not just No, but h311 No" was "Commence hostilities ASAP".


    It doesn't work that way (none / 0) (#97)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:00:59 PM EST
    The explanation does not negate the vote.

    Another way to put it, is WORM is not an statement of praise.  


    The "explanation" ... (1.00 / 0) (#161)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:14:42 PM EST
    ... does not negate the vote.  It just makes it clear that the vote for the AUMF was not a vote "for the war".

    See Hans Blix statements re: the need for a credible threat of force to get UN inspectors back into Iraq under conditions set by the UN - not Iraq.


    Not a fan of Hans, huh? (none / 0) (#162)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:27:32 AM EST
    How about Ted Kennedy, who (paraphrasing) said the same thing about others who voted for the AUMF?

    A "voting" statement. (none / 0) (#102)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:07:53 PM EST
    (See our Pres. Re Guantanamo.)

    Why the choice will be good (none / 0) (#27)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:18:28 PM EST
    Obama used GWB's defense sec, Gates, to cut defense spending, repeal DADT, end the Iraq War, and set a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan. These are things that folks in the left wanted.
    Sec.Panetta has been less influential compared to Sec. Gates on defense cuts. At a time when defense spending cuts are looming, it is important to have a bipartisan compromise with a fiscally conservative Republican in control. Hagel is also less hawkish on Middle East issues than most Democrats in congress. He has an independent streak that I like.  

    With all due respect, ... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:39:31 PM EST
    ... Chuck Hagel is no Robert Gates.

    The same teeth gnashing (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:53:36 PM EST
    was heard among the left when BHO kept Gates.
    When Hagel is to the left of most Democrats in Congress on issues relating to the Middle East, the "D" or "R" after a candidate's name becomes meaningless.

    But Hagel's NOT "to the left ... (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:31:32 PM EST
    ... of most Democrats on issues relating to the Middle East" -- or on issues relating to practically anything else, for that matter.

    While I can appreciate Chuck Hagel's later opposition to the Iraq War, quite frankly, we needed a Republican U.S. senator in late 2002 who was willing to ask the tough questions of the Bush administration BEFORE we invaded that country, and not three years afterward.

    Anyone can conclude in retrospect that he or she was wrong, and then attest accordingly to others. While that might qualify you as a grown-up who's admirably willing to own up to your mistakes, it doesn't necessarily follow that you should be calling the shots at the Pentagon because of it.

    And yes, Hagel served in the Vietnam War. So what? All that means is that when called upon by his country, he did his duty, as did millions of other young men at the time, including my late father.

    And while I honor Hagel's combat service as I do any other veteran who served under fire, I don't think it should be cited as a rationale to reward him 40-plus years afterward with a major cabinet post, any more than I thought four years ago that John McCain's former status as a Vietnam War-era POW entitled him to the keys to the White House.

    Hagel's a lousy choice for the Pentagon, both in terms of temperment and policy. The president can and should do better.


    Sam Nunn waged a war against (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:37:20 PM EST
    John Tower becoming Bush I's Secretary of Defense.

    And who did we get after the Tower nomination was withdrawn?   Dick Cheney.


    So basically, what you are saying is . . . (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by nycstray on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:19:13 PM EST
    if Hagel gets rejected, Obama will make an even worse pic?

    Joe Lieberman (none / 0) (#110)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:00:53 PM EST
    He will be the only Democrat/Independent to get support from Republicans, AIPAC loves him and he has been good on LGBT issues. So if you want a nominee who did not "stick his finger" (as some are wont to say) in the eyes of AIPAC and LGBTs, Holy Joe, is your man.

    Hagel suggests a military (none / 0) (#121)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:53:23 PM EST
    that will not be invading other countries.  That would be a good thing....

    There was no way Tower would pass through (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:53:18 PM EST
    He was accused of being a drunk and a womanizer. Not that most of the Senate wouldn't fit neatly in that category (and Tower pointed out as much) but the cards were stacked against him. He was not well liked. He was also purported to have conflicts of interest, because of his financial relationships with defense contractors. And the Senate was run by the president's opposing party, Democrats had a 55-45 majority at the time. Also, Cheney was not at all seen as the vicious wacko he turned out to be as VP. In fact, despite his dyed-in-the-wool conservative bona fides as a congressman, the Democratic Senate didn't really have anything to hang on him. The current Democratic Senate could hang a lot on Hagel, if they wanted to. And why should Obama spend so much time trying to placate Republicans on this-- as with everything else-- when his party controls the Senate confirmation process?

    How is Hagel more qualified than Flourney? Because he served in the army 40 years ago? Because he served on a committee back when he was in the Senate? That doesn't quite do it for me. I don't know a lot about her, but it seems she is automatically more qualified than him, simply based on the fact she's been serving as Panetta's undersecretary.

    And sc*rew Joe Lieberman. If Obama doesn't already have a roster full of good candidates to choose from, he's not the thoughtful, methodical politico he's touted as being.


    Obama gets a say in this (none / 0) (#120)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:46:39 PM EST
    The SecDef will report to him.  Obama should get his first choice.

    And although perhaps unpopular on this blog, I think Obama gets the benefit of the doubt on foreign policy and defense issues....


    Yeah, I doubt Obama reads TL (none / 0) (#122)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:58:12 PM EST
    Not really the point though.

    The point I was making is (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:05:47 PM EST
    that Secretary of Defense is not an elected position.  

    I would give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this.   Try it, it might grow on you....especially on foreign policy.  Hagel will not be planning the next invasion unlike Rumsfeld and Cheney.....That is a good thing.

    And, perhaps off-topic on this open thread, but knock on wood, Obama has deterred Assad from using the chemical weapons that were reportedly locked and loaded and ready to be fired.....(albeit there is one vague report of some chemical use but it has been hard to verify.)


    I'm curious (none / 0) (#125)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:08:01 PM EST
    How do you know that's true about Obama as regards Assad's chemical weapons? Where's the info on that?

    It was all over the news (none / 0) (#126)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:12:37 PM EST
    a few weeks ago (post election) that Assad had the chemical weapons loaded in his artillery.  

    Obama and Hillary gave very stern public warnings about not crossing that line.

    No reports about the use of chemical weapons, except that one rather vague and apparently unverified account, or rather accusation, awhile ago.

    If Assad had launched a chemical attack, I am assuming we would have heard of it by now....


    I remember reading the speculation (none / 0) (#131)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:28:04 PM EST
    that he was hours or days away from launching a chem weapons strike, but was there hard evidence of such? There were reports that Assad was consolidating the government's chemical cache into one or two locations. In reality, that could mean he was concerned about them being unsecured and getting into rebel hands. It doesn't mean he was ready to go with an attack.

    Anyway, the U.S. talks tough all the time. It doesn't mean countries follow our orders. Do you think Iran gives a fig what any U.S president says about their nuclear program? I sure don't.


    Here is a blurb (none / 0) (#133)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:50:16 PM EST
    from a Slate article:

    NBC News reported this week that Syrian military officers have loaded the precursor agents for sarin, a particularly lethal nerve gas, into bombs that could be dropped from dozens of combat aircraft. Syria has stockpiled roughly 500 tons of the stuff; anyone exposed to a mere one-tenth of a gram would likely die. In short, if Assad wanted, he could turn whole cities into wastelands.

    Does Iran care about what the U.S. says about its nuclear program?  I do not know.  I do know that I'd rather have Obama than McCain or Romney or any other Republican making decisions about Iran.  


    Interesting article (none / 0) (#134)
    by shoephone on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:20:24 AM EST
    I think, however, it raises more questions than it answers. The conclusion seems to be that the U.S. really has very few options if Assad were to use chemical weapons, short of assasinating him and toppling the entire regime--and that could very well cause many more dangers in the Middle East, as the only country that would initially welcome that response is Israel.

    Anyone believing that because Hagel (none / 0) (#155)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:39:04 PM EST
    is a conservative Republican he may have an easier time broking bipartisan agreements may be fooling themselves.

    I like Chuck Hagel. He served with distinction in Vietnam as an enlisted man -- two Purple Hearts. But quite frankly Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking on most issues regarding foreign policy," said Graham in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

    He has long severed his ties with the Republican party. This is an in your face nomination of the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel," he added. "I don't know what his management experience is in regards to the Pentagon or global if anyway, so I think it's an extremely controversial choice." link

    Who are the Republicans in Congress (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:39:51 PM EST
    that are willing to work with Hagel for bi-partisan compromise? I truly am curious as I have been taking a break from politics and did not follow the earlier rounds of Hagel-talk.

    All of them.... (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:47:10 PM EST
    ...if he were being appointed by a Republican President.

    None of them, if he's appointed by a Democratic President they want to hamstring at every turn, regardless of how it hurts the country.


    Elections have consequences (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by MyLeftMind on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:54:33 PM EST
    I didn't vote for this guy so he could promote the careers of Republicans. Whoever gets the job has a leg up in a future presidential run. If qualified Democrats exist, especially if they're women, then I want my president to nominate them. It's enough that Obama keeps acting like a Republican; does he have to work so hard to keep the opposing party alive?

    What if Hillary had worked as Secretary of State before she ran for president?


    How many Democratic Presidents (none / 0) (#123)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:00:17 PM EST
    have had Republican Secretaries of Defense?

    A lot of them......JFK, LBJ and this blog's favorite, Bill.

    Perhaps that should change, but that a Democratic President would choose a Republican for SecDef is not really earth-shattering....


    Comparing Chuck Hagel to Bob McNamara (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:33:41 PM EST
    does nothing to make Hagel look like a good choice. Just because some past Dem. presidents appointed GOPers as SoD does not mean that it is a good practice.

    McNamara was a disaster. He did not serve Kennedy, Johnson or the nation well. And Bill Cohen? Meh is the kindest things I can say.


    Well under Kennedy (none / 0) (#142)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:53:45 AM EST
    he was an able, loyal public servant who quietly sublimated his own somewhat hawkish views on VN in order to carry out JFK's eventual policy of withdrawal.  Loyal and helpful during the missile crisis, when the head of the Navy appeared to want to manage things on his own regardless of orders from higher up.  Loyal and helpful when he pushed aside the Joint Chiefs' wacko proposals for unilateral nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union.

    Not so helpful to the nation when his personal views on Nam matched those of LBJ, at least in '64-66, at which point loyalty to the person, for too long, seemed to become blind personal loyalty at the expense of the national interest.  He should have quit a year or more before he was pushed out, when he said he began having grave doubts about the Johnson war strategy.

    Other than his personal hawkish views about going into VN in '61-65, on most other things he was an old-fashioned mod-lib Republican, mod-lib enough to have backed JFK in 1960 and then Bobby in 1968.  More mod-lib on more things than Hagel.  And a lot smarter.


    The Defense Secy job-Chick Hagel (none / 0) (#144)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:51:05 AM EST
    The generals will try to roll you, the MIC will try to stomp over you, the neoconservative establishment with their friends in the hill and the media will try to take you out if you are not subservient to them. Defense budget cuts are looming which is going to make the military resentful, you have to close out the war in Afghanistan, neoconsrvatives are hellbent in starting a war with Iran and putting US troops in Syria. You also have to deal with the unpredictability of the Arab Spring (which can launch a new crisis in any nation at any time) and then also reshape the Pentagon for long term threats in the far east. This is the minefeld in which the new Def Sec has to operate.
    The job will require plenty of political skills; in many ways it may be better to for a seasoned politician to have it. It is not often that you get a Senator with a world view that defies orthodox American foreign policy thinking (who is willing to stand up to neoconservatives on Middle East policy and point out the uselessness of our trade embargo on Cuba among other things), who has combat experience (the kind of "operatonal experience" that generals and troops respect) and who has advised the President on foreign policy, military and veteran matters and shares a similar worldview with the President.

    Exactly Brodie (none / 0) (#146)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:19:41 PM EST
    Who is Commander in Chief is key (as you pointed out through the example of JFK and LBJ).
    Whenever, BHO has tapped Republicans to join his administration, he has spelled out in advance about what his policy is going to be and what he expects from them. Bob Gates served as a good Def Sec, Ray Lahood has been very good as Sec of Transportation, Jon Huntsman was a good ambassador to China. Obama explored whether Judd Gregg could be tapped as Sec of Comerce but Gregg revolted when the President told him what he expected him to do and pulled out from consideration for the job.

    Bob McNamara (none / 0) (#145)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:03:21 AM EST
    was a supposed "whiz kid" who was brilliant with charts and graphs and statistics and "strategy but one who had no combat or "operational experience". Michelle Fluornoy is closer to McNamara in that regard than Chuck Hagel, though the comparison of either one of them to the Def Sec during the Vietnam era will be extremely flawed.

    LAT is now reporting-Hagel (none / 0) (#19)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:45:31 PM EST
    That's too bad. (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:08:43 PM EST
    Personally, I always thought Chuck Hagel to be an acerbic jerk, and his recent sorta-apology for his past offensive homophobic remarks strikes me as both remarkably disingenuous and terribly convenient.

    In the most important news of the day-- (none / 0) (#1)
    by indy in sc on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:44:16 PM EST
    Rex Ryan's tattoo--is it real? is it Rex Ryan pulling our collective leg with a temp tat meant to drive the media crazy?  Either way, how dysfunctional are the Jets?

    It makes me feel a little better about my Dolphins...just a little.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:52:17 PM EST
    if only Jet wins were as plentiful as Jet headlines.  Mrs. Ryan in a Sanchez jersey, in what appears to be the Tebowing pose....paging Mr. Freud, Mr. Sigmund Freud;)

    At least we got Heat and Knicks indy...1-2 in the East, who needs football!  

    JR Smith pulled off this sick reverse alley-oop dunk off a Prigioni pass vs. the Spurs last night that caused my living room to explode like a mini-Garden.  Bongwater all over the rug...never reeked so good.  


    You were watching basketball when (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:57:31 PM EST
    you could have been watching the Ducks win the Fiesta Bowl? And also learning that in football there exists such a thing as a one point safety? Where are your sports priorities, mi compadre?

    I realize that, weighed down as you are by both the pitiful Jets and almost equally pitiful Mets, you may be desperate for a win by any of your NYC teams. Still, there is a whole lot of BB to play, and this is the end of all the football that matters. :-)


    Never been a big... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:59:45 PM EST
    college football fan actually...but I know to root for the Ducks cuz my Captain likes the Ducks;)  Congrats!

    Well, since in your heart you were (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:01:33 PM EST
    rooting for the Ducks it's all okay.  :-)

    Now that I know you can score (none / 0) (#13)
    by brodie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:28:50 PM EST
    a one point safety in college, what happens in that scenario we saw where the K-State player, catching the blocked extra point kick then running back into his end zone, fumbles the ball there and it's recovered by Oregon?

    Two points (like a 2-pt conversion) for the Ducks?  I suspect so, even though the original attempt was just for 1 point.


    It would be two points. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:34:20 PM EST
    A somewhat similar play happened in the Duke-Cincinnati game last week, in which the Bearcats blocked the extra-point kick which landed behind the line of scrimmage, but the Blue Devils' placekicker picked up the live ball and ran it in for a two-point conversion instead.

    ... there is indeed such a thing as a one-point safety in college football. No doubt, future Jayhawks players on special teams will be instructed explicitly to fall on the ball on a blocked extra point when it lands in the field of play, and not pick it up and run it into their own end zone.

    There was a similarly flukish special teams play in the Belk Bowl (Belk Bowl?) between Duke and Cincinnati, when the Bearcats blocked a Blue Devil extra-point attempt in the first quarter, which like last night also landed behind the line of scrimmage in the field of play. However, while the Cincinnati players were busy congratulating themselves for blocking the kick, the alert Duke placekicker -- who was aware that the referee's whistles had not blown the play dead -- quickly picked up what was still a live ball, and bolted into the end zone for a two-point conversion.


    Well maybe Wildcat players (not (none / 0) (#18)
    by brodie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:43:27 PM EST
    Jayhawks!) might be coached that way, but in college that blocked conversion kick is still a live ball, and can be returned by the blocking team the other way for a 2-pt score -- unlike the pros.

    So really as long as they don't do something knuckleheaded like running back into their own end zone, they should be taught to pick it up and try and advance it all the way down field.

    Too bad the NFL doesn't have this rule -- makes for added excitement to have the blocked conversion kick still a live ball capable of producing points.  They do have that rule for blocked field goals.


    I belive that it's a live ball only if ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:14:08 PM EST
    ... the ball from a blocked kick lands behind the line of scrimmage. Otherwise, if the conversion attempt is blocked and the ball lands in the end zone, it's considered a dead issue and the play is over.

    Charlotte headquartered Belk's... (none / 0) (#56)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:57:52 PM EST
    ...is a big department store name in the Carolinas, and now in the Atlanta and Birmingham areas, and has been for about a century.

    Sorry if you're heartbroken about the end of the legendary and fabled Meineke Car Care Bowl.

    : - )


    My favorite all-time bowl name ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:12:54 PM EST
    ... has to be the Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl. It just sort of rolls off the tip of your tongue, doesn't it?

    Thanks for the background info on Belk's. That explains the somewhat strange commercials I saw during the game. I was thinking that maybe they were a mail-order house or something comparable.


    true truth Donald... (none / 0) (#61)
    by fishcamp on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:04:12 PM EST
    I thought exactly the same about Belk's.

    Around here... (none / 0) (#137)
    by unitron on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:24:07 AM EST
    ...people not knowing what Belks is is like them not knowing what Piggly Wiggly and Winn-Dixie are.

    Of course back some 4 decades or more ago it took me a while to figure out what Carson was talking about in the occasional reference to Safeway.


    They've invaded Texas, a few stores here with (none / 0) (#141)
    by Angel on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:46:08 AM EST
    more planned.  

    The Jets have personality (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:09:32 PM EST
    I'll give 'em that..

    But, as someone once said, "just be yourself is the worst advice you can give some people."


    Pretty Sure His Foot Fetish... (none / 0) (#149)
    by ScottW714 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:05:04 PM EST
    ...videos of his wife won't be outdone by a tattoo.
    Jets fans just don't seem to care.

    And why in the world (none / 0) (#157)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:59:02 PM EST
    should they?

    Keep it going! Good stuff! (none / 0) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:09:04 PM EST
    Food safety, Immigration and Chuck Hagel....Good stuff!

    Judicial nominees (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:17:44 PM EST
    Congress bears lots of the blame in this game for not confirming nominees for sure, but Obama shares some of that blame in that he has been very slow to name nominees in the first place.

    As of early December [2012], Obama had submitted 171 district nominees, compared to 177 in Bush's first term and 196 in Clinton's. Moreover, Obama submitted 15 of the nominations after the convention recess, with no chance of confirmation in the first term; Clinton and Bush submitted one and three post-recess nominations.

    And Obama was slower to submit them as measured by average days to the nomination from the vacancy date (i.e., the date the incumbent publicly announced the future date on which s/he would leave active service; the date s/he left active service if no such announcement; or Inauguration day for vacancies inherited from previous administrations). Obama submitted district nominees, on average, 406 days after the date of the vacancy, versus 276 days for Bush and 370 for Clinton. (The times are slightly lower for nominees whom the Senate confirmed.)

    He was also slower to submit them as measured by the pace of nominations.

    Some facts about Obama's judicial nomincations and his first term:

    Three things stand out about President Barack Obama's First Term efforts to appoint federal judges:

    • His first term will end with more vacancies than when it started because of, comparatively, fewer nominees, later submission dates, and a weaker district nominee confirmation rate.

    • The contentiousness that affected President William Clinton's and President George W. Bush's efforts to appoint judges to the courts of appeals did not appear to worsen during Obama's first term, but battles have heated up over district nominations.

    • The elapsed times for making district court nominations and confirming them have grown to eye-popping levels.

    So, his record is really a mixed bag, since he seemed to get appellate level judges through pretty easily, but it's the district level courts that are his problem.

    Real ID (none / 0) (#10)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:02:06 PM EST
    I am looking for good resources on the federal government's "REAL ID" system and related privacy concerns. Can anyone recommend good reads on the subject?

    Look at the ACLU website (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Peter G on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    The ACLU has opposed REAL-ID throughout the states.

    Great documentary on Anonmyous (none / 0) (#54)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:50:34 PM EST
    Man Arrested for Flipping Off Cop (none / 0) (#63)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:24:19 PM EST
    The Rubber Vagina Monologues, Part CMIX: (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:29:33 PM EST
    Honestly, is there anything more excruciating to listen to than right-wing talk radio?

    Why, yes, as a matter of fact, there is. It's called sports talk radio. And to be blunt, there's really no bigger cesspool of d*ck-swinging misogyny and truly bogus opining to be found anywhere else.

    Por ejemplo, I offer sports columnist Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, who made a guest appearance yesterday on "Petros and Money," which is broadcast on Fox Sports Radio. My words alone will not do justice to what this man talked about on the air. You'll just have to listen for yourself.


    Oh noes! (none / 0) (#74)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:35:21 AM EST
    A straight man talks about a "ladygarden" that appears in a movie about a SEX SURROGATE.
    OH MY GOSH, my wilting lillies!!! Donald, can I have some of your smelling salts? I think I am going to be faint. And the misogany?! That must be the "objectification" when it's a movie with a lady who gets naked that is about a SEXUAL SURROGATE. You are a joke. I hope you've stayed well away from any sex based legislation over the years.

    You know, Zero, it figures that ... (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:25:06 PM EST
    ... someone like you would appreciate Bill Plaschke's crude schtick, in which he shared way too much personal information.

    The Sessions was a wonderful movie that was written and produced for a mature and sophisticated audience. Bill Plaschke's so-called "review" of that critically acclaimed film sounded as though he was channeling some horny 16-year-old from 40 years ago discussing some cheesy '70s exploitation flick like "Women of Cell Block 7" with his school chums, rather than critiquing a potential Oscar-nominated performance by Helen Hunt.

    Tell me, at your age, do you still talk about women like that in private and / or public? I bet you you also totally related to the part about his not wanting hotel room porn movie charges listed on his invoice at checkout, didn't you?

    Geez, no wonder the morally sanctimonious conservative movement has lost its way and is tangled in the weeds. You guys go all holier-than-thou to the rest of us, but you live your own lives in an entirely different fashion, and then take great umbrage when people call you out on the hypocrisy.


    LOL Donald your hypocrisy is showing (none / 0) (#106)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:23:52 PM EST
    "The Sessions was a wonderful movie that was written and produced for a mature and sophisticated audience"...

    I note the spin. The Sessions is a movie about a guy, who for reasons related to a disability has trouble getting laid. There's nudity and SEX in it, but you have to pretend it's an evening at the Opera so you can pull your stupid male sexual shaming schtick, and probably so you can dishonestly disavow your own lust. Being married and having daughters of college age and all.

    As for the rest, I'm very much a sexual libertarian, but please, by all means, address that fantasy male conservative slayersrezo in your head. Just remember to take your medication first.


    It's tough out there for a misogynist (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:56:22 PM EST
    Grow up, Zero. (none / 0) (#127)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:17:19 PM EST
    You're the one who keeps focusing obsessively on the nudity and sex in The Sessions like some over-titillated adolescent boy, not me.

    So, let's try this again, since you appear to be too deliberately dense to have understood the crux of the discussion the first time around.

    Bill Plaschke's comments on that talk show were totally demeaning toward Helen Hunt and women in general, and nothing short of obnoxious.

    That's what this is about, and it has absolutely nothing to do with either the subject matter of The Sessions or what Plaschke believes to be the supposed cinematic virtues of Ms. Hunt's "lady garden."

    Then again, how typical of you to consciously ignore that, and to instead try once more to pick a straw man argument with people here by attempting to change the focus of the original post. Why you get off on doing that, God only knows.

    You may well be a sexual libertine, Zero. Personally, I also consider that to be too much information sharing on your part. Your sexual mores are none of my business and quite frankly, I'd really like to keep it that way.

    But honestly, Zero, on an emotional level you sound very immature -- not unlike the L.A. Times' Bill Plaschke, who first offers rude and insensitive comments over the national airwaves about ogling Helen Hunt's body, and then has the audacity to take personal offense toward those who don't necessarily see his remarks as being at all complimentary.

    Now, nuf ced. I'm through with you here. Aloha.


    If my sexual life was of no concern to you (1.00 / 4) (#130)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:59:24 PM EST
    You could have avoided being your usual classless self and speculating on it to make your normal obnoxious political points.

    "Bill Plaschke's comments on that talk show were totally demeaning toward Helen Hunt and women in general, and nothing short of obnoxious. "

    I don't see an argument for this anywhere in your post. I see a broad, evidence-free assertion, just like your most of your personal attacks on me and the politics and life I must lead in that deluded head of yours.

    But that's ok. You just go ahead and flounce off, sweetpea.


    Jeralyn, Peter G, and other lawyers (none / 0) (#68)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:53:35 AM EST
    I'm very interested in your opinion of this news piece, just reported on Seattle's local NBC affiliate, which puts the new pot legalization law in the crosshairs:

    Owners of a Mercer Island apartment complex have notified residents that they are not allowed to smoke pot or cigarettes in their apartment units and they're required to report their neighbors who do.

    "It's scary," said resident Alexander Aversano.  "It affects my way of life."

    Aversano is a medical marijuana user who uses a smokeless cannabis oil to treat back pain he incurred during the Iraq war in 2005.

    "It's like the Gestapo," the Army veteran said of the three-page notice management at the 77 Complex placed on tenants' doors Thursday night.

    The letter by Abode Management, LLC of Renton says marijuana use and possession is prohibited in the building.  It also says apartments can be searched if management gets a written notice that a tenant has been using pot.

    Seems to me that every aspect of this landlord's action is a direct violation of the new law, which allows pot use in one's own home, and allows people to possess up to one ounce at any one time.

    Does Washington state have ... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:00:47 AM EST
    ... a landlord-tenant code in its statutes? Under Hawaii landlord-tenant law, once a lease or rental agreement is signed the tenant enjoys full rights and use of the dwelling, and a landlord cannot enter the property without first either obtaining the expressed permission of the tenant or providing the tenant with 48 hours' written notice. If the landlord does enter the property without compliance with those stipulations, he or she is subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing.

    That sort of notice as you've cited above would bring down the wrath of the city prosecutor's office out here down upon the management company, the first time they sought to enforce their decree and entered a unit without prior permission or written 48-hour notification. The State of Hawaii does not tolerate a landlord's abuse of a tenant.


    Lost in all this squawking about tenant's (none / 0) (#81)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:26:05 AM EST
    rights is the landlord's legitimate fear of the FED's right to seize property which is the scene of drug crimes.  

    Asset seizure is a major source of funding nowadays.

    Weird but true: Our local PD funds an undercover DEA agent, who works in and around our county.  In a recent township meeting it was revealed that we were due to receive over $800K from one seizure alone, but this was from an operation one county south of us.  Millions in cash were seized, with most going to the feds, but because our township was paying most or part of the salary of this undercover guy, N. Township's PD will receive a huge pile of money.  Of course, the money won't show up until the case is resolved, and the feds are notoriously slow about forwarding the money, but the point is that there is some serious revenue in asset seizures.  The landlord has a legitimate fear.

    (So get off your butts and find out what's going on a local political level, folks.  It's the only place you've got any influence whatever.  Your neighbors will listen to you.  Blogging - it's fun but it's just preaching to the choir.)


    Feds, DEA, local police, military (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:08:49 PM EST
    Our very own Praetorian Guards. We just get so many different flavors, that's what makes America great. Seriously, I was waiting in this obscene line at SFO a few weeks back, with everyone being shuttled through one lousy body scanner, and I got on my phone and looked up the list of congresscritters who own stock in the scanner company (John Kerry number one with between half and one million in stock, that savvy bastard, ahem), and I was showing it around to people and being kind of a loud clown about it, and I was amazed how few to none of them had any clue about the connection, and all were unpleasantly surprised.  And the stuff you're talking about, hell, the press doesn't bother reporting on it most of the time, they're too busy figuring out how to burnish their digital creds, or get a better haircut, or marry a senator.

    I do not know of any federal forfeiture law (none / 0) (#95)
    by Peter G on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:40:52 PM EST
    that would allow the feds to seize an apartment building because it is "the scene of drug crimes," much less because tenants personally possess or use marijuana there.  And I am quite familiar with the forfeiture laws. Even if the language of some clause of section 881 could be stretched that far, I've never heard of it happening.  Any such "fear" would not be "legitimate," impo. What are you basing that on, Mr. N?

    Fear transcends legitimacy. (none / 0) (#101)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:02:10 PM EST
    This is the case I'd heard about, a motel owner.  No idea if or how it resolved.  In any case, the owner had to pay, in money and in opportunity, for whatever justice he received.

    Supposedly our protectors aren't permitted to take these liberties with our liberty.


    The circumstances of the motel case (none / 0) (#105)
    by Peter G on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:37:43 PM EST
    that you reference don't seem that similar to the apartment building scenario that was the subject of the post, but I hope the motel owner wins against the government.  Let us know if you hear how it turns out.

    I'm not an attorney, Peter. (none / 0) (#129)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:45:37 PM EST
    I jumped in because I was very surprised to hear how much money my teeny-tiny township PD was pulling in from asset forfeitures.  I had been even more surprised to learn, at a township board meeting a couple of years ago, about the murky financial arrangement between the local PD and the DEA which was the source of this lucre.

    Maybe the problem is that we never hear about normal DOJ behavior, so we're left with only the horror stories: prosecutors run amok, bigfooting innocent citizens, police departments confiscating any and all large sums of money they find, even that belonging to some poor [ethnically challenged] schmuck pulled over while driving across town to buy a used car from a private party.


    WA does, indeed, have landlord-tenant law (none / 0) (#92)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:58:21 PM EST
    and it includes the same rights you cite for Hawaii's. The only time a landlord is allowed to enter the unit without notice is in an emergency situation, eg. a fire or a burst pipe.

    I think the landlord in this case is trying to use the cigarette thing as a sneaky way to get around the new pot legalization. Landlords here can (and do) prohibit cigarette smoking inside the buidings, but tenants can smoke outside, say, on their porches or balconies. The further threat of searching people's apartments based on someone else's claim will be very dubious, in my opnion. But that's my personal opinion. I'm not a lawyer.

    The new law has the crazies in a tizzy. The state has until December 2013 to solidify all the details of how the law will be carried out, how pot will be allowed to be distributed, and how the taxing mechanism is going to work.


    What Donald said (none / 0) (#96)
    by Peter G on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    @ comment #70, plus it sounds like an attempt to add a condition to the lease after the lease was signed, which may or may not be kosher in that locality. The fact that certain conduct is legal, however, does not mean a landlord and tenant cannot enter into a lease promising the tenant won't engage in that behavior in the apartment (smoke, for example, or own pets, or whatever), unless some other law bars such clauses in leases.

    Thanks Peter (none / 0) (#100)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:42:08 PM EST
    I do think there will be an issue with the landlord demanding tenants sign this agreement while leases are ongoing.

    Oh, that Lance Armstrong (none / 0) (#69)
    by shoephone on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 01:25:11 AM EST
    Sounds like he's heading for the talk shows (none / 0) (#78)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:56:38 AM EST
    Confession is big business - and the only option he'd got left.  So what's he gonna title his new book: Doping for Dummies?

    Is he weighing it in grams or CCs? (none / 0) (#84)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:54:47 AM EST

    I supported Lance until the bitter end when (none / 0) (#111)
    by Angel on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:42:10 PM EST
    there was absolutely no doubt that the doping allegations were true.  I believe in second chances, but in his case for some reason I wish he would just crawl back into his hole.  

    I did, too. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:43:09 PM EST
    Lance Armstrong would be much more deserving of a second chance if he had owned up to his original transgressions in the first place, rather than take sanctimoniously to the newspapers and airwaves to deny, deny again, and then deny some more.

    Is Armstrong the only one in his sport who engaged in doping? Hardly. Many of his closest competitors have gotten caught themselves, at one time or another, and have been sanctioned accordingly.

    The primary difference is that those competitors didn't mount their soapboxes and snarl defiantly at the allegations in an attempt to intimidate and silence their critics. In the end, Armstrong simply made many of his own critics more determined than ever to expose the truth and silence him, instead.



    Something very sociopathic about Armstrong (none / 0) (#135)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:49:35 AM EST
    Creepy is almost a better word. Guy must have a seething inferiority complex at his core. This athlete fame stuff must really be all he has, all there is to him as a person, or at least he believes so on the most profound level. And his interior life must be so pitifully sad and unevolved, a man with few honest emotions.

    More bad reporting on NYC bombmaker case (none / 0) (#77)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:54:43 AM EST
    It's a lot of work (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by sj on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:43:58 PM EST
    making OWS into a domestic terrorist organization, doncha know.  They have to keep the lies in the public consciousness or it will never work.

    This is the coolest thing... (none / 0) (#91)
    by desertswine on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:56:25 PM EST
    that I've read about in a while - solar charger.

    We should all have one, or two, on top of our roofs and cars.

    Tax code may be most progressive since 1979 (none / 0) (#112)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:47:38 PM EST
    The Best Political Line of 2012: (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:34:54 PM EST
    "Please proceed, governor."
    - President Barack Obama to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, when Romney thought he had the president nailed to the wall in a "Gotcha!" moment concerning the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, only to have it subsequently blow up in his face on national television (Second Presidential Debate, October 2012)

    (Mahalo to Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine at Calbuzz.)

    I'm (none / 0) (#138)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:55:17 AM EST
    thrilled at the prospect of having Chuck Hagel as Sect of Defense.

    This pick shows the kind of daring and imagination I have come to expect from the Obama administration.

    Loophole. (none / 0) (#139)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:01:46 AM EST
    Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration's health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insuran
    ce costs for consumers.

    Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.

    Looks like the incredibly fast abandonment of the public option by you-know-who wasn't the very best of ideas.

    But now you see why... (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by unitron on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:05:40 PM EST
    ...Justice Roberts just loves him some Obamacare.

    The NOT so affordable - (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:28:10 PM EST
    Affordable Care Act. More accurate initials to describe the legislation would be NAIPA.

    John Boehner has been (none / 0) (#140)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:14:57 AM EST
    offshore fishing down here the last few days.  Must be why he is so tan.  Heard he did catch some sailfish.  I saw him at Uncle's Restaurant with a guard on the roof that looked quite silly when I drove in to park.

    Would have thought John Boehner (none / 0) (#143)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:43:54 AM EST
    would be sighted at Pierre's in Islamorada, but the more casual Uncle's is very good--and has a full bar.   Joe Garcia, representing Kendall/Keys 26th Florida District, will have an unofficial swearing-in in Key West this afternoon at the San Carlos Institute, on Duval Street.  Maybe, Boehner will show up since he is in the neighborhood--a good excuse for him to discover, if he hasn't previously, the fine dining and full bars of this island.  

    A**holes, a scholarly study with (none / 0) (#150)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:07:49 PM EST
    bibliography. Who knew that @ssholes had inspired such a wealth of scholarly consideration? Although, it could be argued that academics see more than their share of *ssholes.

    Seriously, these are books written by actual scholars who were intrigued by the rise of *ssholes in the 20th century and into the 21st, although the species certainly existed before 1900.

    If it seems that present day United States is rife with @ssholes, well, that's because it is. In addition to the usual collection of pr!cks and schm*cks and jerks and d!cks, we have an amazing collection of @ssholes.

    So, who gets your vote for @sshole of the Year 2012?

    h/t to historiann, a fine blog

    Is the follow-up (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:19:35 PM EST
    "D!cks: definitely worse than a$$holes?"

    Anyway, I nominate Todd Akin, and all those who chimed in with similar comments.

    I'm sure there are other "worthy" nominees, but Akin and his Neanderthal cohorts have to be right up there.


    I'm thinking dissertation, Anne. (none / 0) (#154)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:40:15 PM EST
    Somewhere, some PhD candidate is figuring out that there is a wealth of study subjects littering her life. Hope her advisor isn't one of them.   :-)

    LOL! (none / 0) (#152)
    by Zorba on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:21:41 PM EST
    Oh, man, Casey, there are just way too many to narrow it down!

    Thanks for that (none / 0) (#153)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:39:26 PM EST
    enjoyed the comments also :)

    Just a side note... (none / 0) (#156)
    by shoephone on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:40:59 PM EST
    "Schm*ck" is Yiddish for "di*k". And "pr*ck".
    Bit I like where you going with this Casey! ;-)

    Yeah, I know, but it seemed like a (none / 0) (#160)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:58:22 PM EST
    good idea to cover all the bases. I'm not sure everyone uses them interchangeably. :-)

    Medicare & Health Care cost reduction (none / 0) (#158)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:25:06 PM EST