Tuesday Night Open Thread

U.S. Defense Contractor, Engility Holdings, whose subsidiary L3 Services supplied translators to Abu Ghraib and other U.S. prisons in Iraq, settled its lawsuit over the torture and abuse suffered by the Iraqi detainees. 71 detainees will equally share $5 million for abuse that occurred between 2003 and 2007. The Associated Press uncovered the document, available here. As for the guards:

Eleven soldiers were convicted of breaking military laws, but many received sentences of a just a few years. The last remaining soldier in prison convicted in the case was released in August 2011.

Bradley Manning's judge says he will receive 118 days off his eventual sentence if convicted due to the harsh conditions of his pre-trial confinement. The ruling, which took the judge an hour to read, has not been published. Considering he's facing a life sentence, that's hardly going to dissuade the military from similarly mistreating others.

The season premiere of Justified is tonight, on FX. This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Baseball Hall of Fame Day (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:55:09 PM EST
    The Baseball Hall of Fame tally will be announced Wednesday at 2pm ET.

    Three people are already in: umpire Hank O'Day from the early 1900's, one time Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert (who bought Babe Ruth from the RedSox), and Deacon White who was a catcher in the 1870's before they used gloves (ouch).

    As for recent players on the ballot: a few new names eligible this year are Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Curt Shilling. I expect Biggio to come closest, but no one chosen from this year's crop as a brouhaha over whether to vote for the two most worthy candidates (Bonds and Clemens) will keep everyone out this year.

    Do Shilling and/or Biggio (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:11:28 AM EST
    have any **s their names?

    It's late night (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:17:34 AM EST
    and multiple asterisks cause me translation consternation.

    Is "translation consternation" in (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:30:20 AM EST
    the diagnostic manual?

    That's quite a list of HOFFMAN-eligible s. Mark McGuire, Lee Smith, Bernie Williams.  


    Oops. Hoffman should make the (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:31:58 AM EST
    Hall of Fame, but he isn't eligible yet!

    Can you believe it (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:43:58 AM EST
    that term stumps google.

    Here are all the 37 eligibles from the BBWAA

    for 2013

    You have to get 75% of the vote to get into the Hall. You need 5% of the vote to stay on the ballot for next year. You get a 15 year window if you can maintain a spot on the ballot to get your 75% before they throw you aside. This is Dale Murphy's last shot.


    Did you know Babe Ruth had a (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:50:31 AM EST
    Vaudeville act?

    Jan. 10

    1927: Babe Ruth arrived in San Diego for a week's engagement at the Pantages Theatre and to enjoy deep-sea fishing, golf, hunting and an ocean swim. Ruth's vaudeville tour included baseball stories, a hitting demonstration and signing and giving away baseballs at each performance. (San Diego Union-Tribune.)


    Sounds perfect for "Schoolhouse Rock." (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:51:01 AM EST
    If I had a vote, I'd be strongly (none / 0) (#22)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:40:12 AM EST
    disinclined to give a positive vote to any of the steroid players, including Sammy "Say it ain't so" Sosa.

    Give 'em the old shutout for a few years, see if one or two come fully clean, then maybe reconsider the vote down the line after more time for consideration.

    This punishment would partly make up for Selig's failure to act for so long, aided and abetted by the owners and player's assoc'n, and would give MLB as an institution the opportunity to go on record disapproving of the sort of massive cheating these players engaged in which so tarnished the game.


    I think I'd agree (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:22:05 PM EST
    It would take me a long time to turn in my ballot. You can vote for up to ten but since I see the Hall as more of a select club I'd unlikely ever vote for more than 2 or 3 in any given year.

    So this year I'd have only a few choices to decide on. Vote for Bonds alone; vote for Bonds and Clemens; or send back a blank ballot which counts as a vote making it harder for anyone to advance to the 75% this year. I'd likely lean towards a one year blank.

    Next year I would vote for Bonds without a second thought.


    Sosa of the corked bat. (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:17:12 PM EST
    No one chosen (none / 0) (#38)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:01:46 PM EST
    by the BBWAA. The closest was Biggio with 68% of the vote.

    The HOF is a joke... (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    3000 Hits has always been automatic...Biggio should be a no-brainer.

    Mike Piazza should be a no-brainer, best hitting catcher of all time.

    Roids or no roids Barry Bonds is a no-brainer...as is Roger F*ckin Clemens, as much as it pains me to say.

    But with no Pete Rose, the HOF has been a joke for a long long time now.


    Yes, well, the HOF (none / 0) (#52)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:46:07 PM EST
    is definitely a joke, in so very many ways.  It probably has been since they voted in Ty Cobb (if not before).
    "Baseball has always had some form of hypocrisy when it comes to its exalted heroes," he said. "In theory, when it comes to these kinds of votes, it's true that character should matter, but once you've already let in Ty Cobb, how can you exclude anyone else?"

    Cobb, portrayed as a sociopath in biographies and a Hollywood film starring Tommy Lee Jones, is without question the Hall of Famer mentioned most often whenever the integrity of the game's top players is questioned. Known as the Georgia Peach, he was often painted a racist and had numerous documented altercations with African-Americans off the field, including one that led to a charge of attempted murder.

    Cobb, along with his fellow Hall of Famer Tris Speaker, was also implicated in a game-fixing scheme. Several researchers have written that Cobb and Speaker were members of the Ku Klux Klan, although that has never been conclusively verified.


    To be clear.... (none / 0) (#109)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:55:13 AM EST
    Ty Cobb definitely belongs...that cruel bastard could play ball!  And thats the only criteria the HOF voters should be looking at, was the baseball player the best of the best to ever play the game.  

    This crop of voters strike me as a buncha self-righteous pricks.  I hope all the deserving candidates who were snubbed this year get in eventually, whenever the writers are finished proving their little point.


    If Ty Cobb is in, (none / 0) (#113)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:52:46 AM EST
    the HOF, then Barry Bonds should be too, and Roger Clemens, etc.
    The BBWAA is made up of a bunch of hypocrites.  There was some speculation on ESPN this morning that as many of the current crop of baseball writers retire (and many of them are old f*rts, let's face it), the younger writers moving up to replace them will not be as concerned with the steroid use, or other factors,  but will be more likely to vote based on the players' lifetime performances.
    Heck, I think that Pete Rose should be in the HOF.

    We can't blame the writers for Rose... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 12:00:25 PM EST
    That's on Selig, he needs to lift the total lifetime ban.  If he wants to ban him from working in baseball for gambling, fair enough, but at least lessen the ban to allow HOF induction.  For the Hall's sake.

    Hypocrites is exactly right...the irony is they are supposedly looking out for a past generation of ballplayers, of which many were hopped up on bennies to enhance their performance.  They're just pissed guys like Bonds hit more homers than their amphetamine-feuled heroes.  I mean ya can't make this sh*t up.  


    Are you surprised? (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:18:32 PM EST
    As expected (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:24:18 PM EST
    I guess the BBWA (none / 0) (#42)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:29:43 PM EST
    saw my post here and that was the clincher for them.  ; )

    There you go, brodie (none / 0) (#53)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:48:30 PM EST
    You have influenced the BBWA!
    With great power comes great responsibility.  Just remember that.    ;-)

    Inquiring minds and all that (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:50:37 AM EST
    After seeing Jack Lew's signature, how is it there are no O's in his name.

    What a surprise. Not. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    The chief occupation of Congress is not governing.

    Ryan Grim and Sabrina Siddiqui of the Huffington Post got hold of a PowerPoint presentation for incoming members of Congress. It comes from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and lays out, as the authors says, "the dreary existence awaiting these new back-benchers." In particular note that they expect five hours out of every day to be devoted to fundraising (call time + strategic outreach).

    That's no surprise, really. What's also no surprise, I suppose, is the number of hours they expect new members to engage in studying up on the issues. That number would be zero. I guess that's what staffers are for. No need to fill their beautiful minds with tedious policy stuff when there's money to be raised, after all. http://tinyurl.com/a7nm2mt

    NRA threatens to sue ... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:39:41 AM EST
    ... to prevent guns from being destroyed after they were turned in as part of a voluntary gun buyback program in Arizona.

    Absolutely nuts.

    Very strange... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:57:57 AM EST
    As a gun manufacturers lobby posing as a gun owners group, wouldn't the more guns destroyed be all the better for the NRA?  That way the gun manufacturers can sell more new guns as old ones being destroyed leave the resale market.  Makes no sense to me.

    It's like Obama's cash for clunkers (none / 0) (#28)
    by magster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:01:27 PM EST
    Here's another idea (bad): (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:05:39 PM EST
    It looks to me like AZ's 12-945 (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:46:14 PM EST
    is intended for the local AZ PD's to get cash for their general funds from selling "unclaimed" and confiscated citizen's property, including guns.

    I suppose there is also the intent for the PD's to not become permanent owners of all this stuff, and also that this stuff does is not, er, "acquired" by individuals w/in the PD.

    ianal, obviously, but my reading of 12-945 is that it does not seem to cover PD's buy-back of citizen's property and therefor any such threatened NRA suit would not be successful.


    The (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:40:11 PM EST
    treatment accorded Bradley Manning is a disgrace and a blot on our national identity. His crime: blowing the whistle on the deliberate slaughter of civilians. His punishment: "harsh conditions" during his pre-trial confinement ("harsh" has been used as a synonym for "torture" in recent years) and the specter of life imprisonment.

    Oh, I think that (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:15:20 PM EST
    I am going to start banging my head against the wall.  Either that, or invest heavily in whoever makes Reynolds Wrap, because we need to make a whole lot more tinfoil hats.
    A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversary at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last month's Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen as reported -- or may not have happened at all.

    Moreover, James Tracy asserts in radio interviews and on his memoryholeblog.com. that trained "crisis actors" may have been employed by the Obama administration in an effort to shape public opinion in favor of the event's true purpose: gun control. [...]

    Tracy said he believes the deaths at Sandy Hook may have resulted from a training exercise. "Was this to a certain degree constructed?" he said. "Was this a drill?

    This is an actual "professor"? At an actual "university"?  (Florida Atlantic University is supposed to be part of the State University System of Florida.)
    (Parents, if your child is attending FAU, for the love of all that is holy, get them out of there!)

    ... of common sense.

    Another rightie going nutso before our eyes (5.00 / 5) (#79)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:52:29 PM EST
    It appears to be happening on a daily basis now.

    Don't you just love ... (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:09:53 PM EST
    ... how these whackjob, conspiracy-theorists always frame their tinfoil accusations as "questions"?

    "What?!?  I'm just asking questions!"

    So ridiculous.


    Buy some more foil (none / 0) (#126)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:36:22 PM EST
    Here's another professor (retired - University of Minnesota) who claims the Sandy Hook massacre was carried out by Mossad as part of a gun grab to prepare for a massive civil war against the American public.

    What really happened, Fetzer suggests, is that Lanza and his mother were killed on Dec. 13. Then, local police picked up Adam's body. "He was attired in a SWAT outfit, including body armor, and stored in the school."

    Fetzer then explained his belief that three men entered the school: Two were arrested, while the third managed to escape. "You can find this on helicopter videos."

    I had some eccentric professors in college, but these guys take it to a whole, new level.


    Oh, vey! (none / 0) (#133)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:48:20 PM EST
    Where do these people come from???

    Meant (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:49:17 PM EST
    "Oy vey."  Doggone autocorrect.  It needs to learn Yiddish.

    Pastor Louis Giglio, (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:23:55 PM EST
    of the Georgia-based Passion City Church,  will no longer present the Benediction at the Obama Inaugural.  Initially, Think Progress uncovered Pastor Giglio's anti-gay preaching that not only included the customary and usual, such as homosexuality being a sin and advocating for ex-gay therapy, but also that gay was a "malfunction."   The story was picked up on the internet and covered in the NYT.

     With concerns of deja vu all over again with the Reverend  Rick Warren, albeit the presentation of the invocation at the first inaugural,  concerns were registered.   The Inaugural Committee, in  a statement, said that "we were not aware of Pastor Giglio's past comments at the time of his selection so they don't reflect  our desire to celebrate the strength of our diversity..."  

    The Pastor, for his ungracious part, stated that the "prayer I would offer will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration."   Effective pressure, good call.  

    The good pastor will not now mar the proceedings with the Invocation to be given by the widow of the slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers,  and the reading by the gay poet of Cuban-descent, Richard Blanco.

    One word: (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:30:17 PM EST

    Bradley Manning (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by SuzieTampa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:21:43 AM EST
    I think the publicity surrounding his treatment will be a possible deterrent to military jailers. But I wish someone familiar with the  Army could answer some questions for me. I thought the training was pretty tough, in which soldiers would learn to live under some harsh conditions, and superiors might humiliate them from time to time, or soldiers might have to appear naked a few times, for health inspections or whatever.

    My father was in World War II and he would not have considered any of Manning's treatment torture.

    Really? (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:08:50 AM EST
    I find that hard to believe.  It's one thing to have to appear naked "a few times,' but it's quite another to have your clothes taken away from you while you are confined in a small cell without even any bedclothes to cover yourself, while being watched much like an animal in the zoo, for months on end.

    Charlie Pierce weighs in on the most recent ruling in the case, in which the judge simultaneously ruled that if convicted, he should have 112 days shaved off his sentence because:

    "...the United States government had imposed upon the imprisoned soldier a regime of incarceration that was "more rigorous than necessary," and, further, that some of Manning's treatment while in the brig, "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."

    but going on to rule that:

    Flynn had acted appropriately to ensure that the brig staff followed procedures correctly and that they took the "high ground". She found that there had been no intention to punish the inmate on the part of the brig staff or the chain of command, who were motivated purely by a desire to ensure that the soldier did not harm himself and that he would be available to stand trial.

    Charlie goes on to say:

    This case is a mess, legally, ethically, morally and every other way. We are to believe through this ruling that Manning was treated more rigorously than was necessary and that his treatment was more excessive that legitimate government interests demanded, but that nobody in authority ordered it, nobody in authority countenanced it, and that nobody in authority will be called to account for it. It just happened, like a power outage, or a problem with the plumbing and, if there was somebody ordering it, or countenancing it, or in authority over it, it was all for Manning's good, anyway. Both things cannot be true. If Manning's treatment was more rigorous than was necessary and that it exceeded what was required to meet legitimate government interests, then it cannot have been done for Manning's benefit, and somebody ordered the excesses and somebody countenanced them and somebody carried them out.

    I don't know whether you haven't been following the case as closely as others have, or whether you are being deliberately disingenuous for some reason I can't figure out, but I have to say that your comment really doesn't live up to your usually informed and reasoned approach to the issues.


    I should have responded sooner (none / 0) (#105)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:12:18 AM EST
    Thanks to those who told me about current conditions in the military. SJ, my father didn't abuse me, nor did he consider his Army service abusive. On the other hand, he had come from a Jewish ghetto in Cleveland, was an amateur boxer, and had been a hobo for a while. I'm sure he could have handled anything the Army threw at him.

    Scott, we had similar, but less rigorous training with jeans in Red Cross lifesaving. Of course, we had our bathing suits on underneath and we already knew how to swim at that point. But we had to learn to take off all of our street clothes and then use our pants as flotation devices. I was 12 and this was in the late 60s.

    Anne, thank you for the praise at the end of your comment. Part of my perspective is that I think what Manning did was wrong and deserves punishment (not torture).

    I have followed the case closely. I count 1 day in which he had to stand at attention naked, and four days in which he was naked, but had a blanket that couldn't be shredded to cover himself.

    I don't consider being naked torture as long as it's not part of some other humiliating action. Manning's defense lawyer has said the guards treated him in a professional manner.

    I started supporting Amnesty International as a teenager, and I think solitary confinement is wrong. So, we agree on that. But, if solitary is torture in Manning's case, then it's torture for every other detainee/prisoner so confined. I'd much rather see people work against solitary than focus so much on Manning that we forget everyone else. I'm also opposed to any time that Manning was needlessly shackled.

    KeysDan, I don't think Glenn Greenwald is a reliable source on anything. But look at this NYT story. If Manning had committed suicide during detention, many people would have been convinced that the gov't killed him to coverup wrongdoing. He had emotional breakdowns and talked about suicide. Although  psychologists said the restrictions on him were too strict, they had also cleared a detainee who later committed suicide. I think it was a difficult call, not an attempt to torture him.  


    Suzie, don't we generally impose (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:41:28 AM EST
    the punishment after the conviction, not before?

    I think this is an important element that is either overlooked or ignored on a situational basis, as in

    I think what Manning did was wrong and deserves punishment (not torture).

    Manning has not been convicted of anything, to date.

    And, maybe it's just me, but there's something insidiously circular about the government saying it needed to impose certain restrictions to protect Manning from himself, when it was the restrictions they imposed that created the conditions that placed Manning in danger of harming himself.

    With regard to your not feeling Greenwald can be a reliable source for anything, it should be noted that Glenn writes opinions and provides source information that allows the reader to determine whether he has any basis for those opinions.  Reading Glenn can be a time-consuming endeavor, given the number of sources he links to, but I have never walked away from one of his posts less educated or informed than I was before - regardless of whether I agreed in whole or in part with his posts.


    Anne, I should have made clear (none / 0) (#117)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:21:41 PM EST
    that I understand the difference between pre-trial detention vs.  imprisonment as punishment. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise, and I assumed people would know me well enough by now.

    I think virtually everyone believes that Manning was the source of the leaked information, which I think was morally and legally wrong. His attorney is talking about plea deals. But, once again, I do understand that he has not been convicted of anything, nor do I think that what he's gone through would be an appropriate punishment if he had been convicted.

    SJ, I didn't assume you thought my father abused me, but I felt the need to make that clear. Torture is subjective, even though there are rules to define what is torture and what is not. Once again, I'll mention that I volunteered for years with Amnesty and have read about and written about torture.

    I think there's a difference between a woman being naked in a cell in which male guards ogle her and make sexual threats vs. a man being naked for no more than a few days around guards he considers professional.

    I've written on Glenn Greenwald.  Read my posts if you'd like. I read all of his 2006 & 2006 posts and everything I could find on his background, and I would rather be confined to a small room, watched all the time, have limited privacy in which people not only see my private parts, but repeatedly poke me in painful ways -- oh, wait, that already happens to me in the medical world -- than read anything by Greenwald again.

    But I will deal with any particular facts anyone wants to bring up. For example, I relied on the Washington Post to say he had to be naked only a few nights. If you have a better source, by all means, I'll admit I'm wrong. By a better source, I mean Manning himself, David Coombs or someone else with firsthand knowledge.  

    Also, let me reiterate that I think solitary confinement is wrong and has often been abused.


    SuzieTampa, your (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    consideration of our counter-comments on the matter of Bradley Manning is appreciated.  The instant issue, is the pre-trial treatment and punishment as the military judge found, at least, in part.  However  the larger case is an important one.  

    As Anne and SJ note, Glenn Greenwald has studied and reported on this case for a long while and brings good information and perspectives for his readers to analyze and study on their own.  His post of today is thought-provoking and warrants review for those following the case,  including his commenters who disagree with him.  Like most, I do not always agree (the analysis for support of Hagel, as a recent example), but never dismiss his point of view out of hand. Hence, I referenced him in the context of the  thread exchange for your consideration if you so chose.


    Don't put words in my mouth (none / 0) (#108)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:44:20 AM EST
    I specifically said that I made no judgements whatsoever about your father's parenting.  It was an observation made to highlight the fact that society's viewpoint regarding abuse has advanced since that time.  It is frankly irrelevent whether or not your father considered his treatment abusive.  I don't know if it was or it wasn't, but objective standards should apply, not subjective opinions.

    If you don't think Glenn Greenwald is a reliable source then no wonder you are perfectly happy to believe being "naked for one day" was the extent of his treatment.

    And of course solitary confinement is torture for every prisoner so confined.  I love though, how you -- and so, so many others -- conflate a "detainee" with a "prisoner". It shows how "we" have successfully normalized an accused person as the equivalent of a convicted person.  

    Who knows?  Pretty soon we may be applying the death penalty to those merely accused or under suspicion of crimes and not even bother waiting for that "fair trial" that was previously required.  I suppose we could use drones for that...

    I don't know if society is regressing or I just know more, but I find the present US to be a much less safe place for most if our residents than I ever believed possible.  And by and large our citizenry seems to think this is fine.

    I don't think it's fine.


    My understanding is the training is that tough (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:18:07 AM EST
    to prepare them for what they might experience at the hands of the enemy. It is not supposed to be how we treat defendants in a criminal case.

    Non-Sense... (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:01:06 PM EST
    ...appear naked, what does that even mean.  Showers are like highschool, a big room, and I don't ever remember being naked,beyong changing and showering, which of course we had towels until we were at the shower.

    They aren't even allowed to swear at you in basic, it's really rather amusing when they are standing around you yelling and using words like fricken.

    Not sure what that would matter anyways, for example in Naval boot-camp you are required to remove your pants and fasten them around your neck and jump off maybe a 10ft diving platform.  Those bell-bottoms actually serve a purpose, flotation devise.  You tie off the legs and flip them over your head to get air into the legs and then you put it around your neck.

    Many people really feared this and had to go to remedial swimming to complete the task.  Are you because of this training, it would be acceptable to push people into the ocean while being detained because they trained for it.  

    Ditto for Seals who are trained to resist torture, do you think torturing them would be OK because it was part of their training ?  That makes absolutely no sense, and more importantly, what they did to Manning is something no-one is trained for.

    What astounds me is they find his treatment so bad as to warrant a sentence reduction without holding anyone accountable.  The disconnect is frightening.


    I'm not sure why you were downrated (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:07:16 PM EST
    My understanding of bootcamp and what it is okay to do to soldiers during that training is that it has evolved a lot.  My Uncle who volunteered for Vietnam and did recon said that during training they ran X crazy amount of miles (can't remember how far) and then were told they could drink out of a puddle if they wanted, two soldiers did and then their drill instructor punched both of them in the stomach until they threw up. I'm not sure what the lesson was in that.  Even in the 80's though when my spouse came into the military, you could receive some of what they called wall to wall counseling by superiors if they were really angry with you.  No more though now, your commanders cannot simply assault you and  torture during bootcamp is seen to accomplish nothing other than damage.  It wasn't always that way though. They will stress you yes, assault and torture you no.

    Bad things are going to happen to you during SEER training but not all soldiers receive SEER training.  If you are trying for an MOS that involves SEER training you will know that from the beginning and if SEER training is not something you are willing to experience you will need to pick a different MOS and they want you to.  They aren't going to force SEER training on anyone.

    Soldiers being pre-trial jailed and long term incarcerated has always been a problem though, and all sorts of crazy abuses could happen depending on what commander you were under and how disgusted and pissed off they were or thought they had a right to be.  I think the Bradley Manning issues are going to change that, it is shining a light on the subject.  Don't get me wrong, not all commanders would do to Manning what was done, but it has been within their power to do these things and get a pass for it as long as they said things like they thought you were danger to yourself.


    Allow me to explain (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by sj on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:47:18 PM EST
    My father was in World War II and he would not have considered any of Manning's treatment torture
    Torture has been defined by the Geneva conventions.  What an individual considers torture is pretty meaningless.  And frankly, much of the parental discipline of that era is pretty obvious child abuse so I don't really trust such a perspective.  NOTE: I am speaking generally and not making any judgements about the parental skills of Suzie's father.

    Moreover the statement that "superiors might humiliate them from time to time, or soldiers might have to appear naked a few times" implies that this was the extent of the treatment accorded to Private Manning.  When, in fact, this barely scratches the surface.  Barely.


    Now I understand (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:34:24 PM EST
    The military did do some really horrible things to soldiers though in the not too distant past and treated their own soldiers worse than the Geneva Conventions would allow you to treat a POW, and they just called it different things like duty and discipline and training.  It is IMO just like how recently torture was given the new name of interrogation, torture was involved just renamed something hopefully deceivingly palatable.

    sad, isn't it? (none / 0) (#96)
    by sj on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:31:37 PM EST
    Some of the human test subject (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:03:08 AM EST
    stuff that has recently officially come out is insane.  If the military had not changed many of its leadership concepts recently there would be no way I could have ever been married to someone in its environment.  Long term exposure led to IMO people who could not function well as parents or family members, their power structure was all fear based and when you live that way in one sphere how do you not take it home and rule your house in that fashion?

    A thinking feeling military is a hard thing for NeoCons to foster though I think.  I think it makes their teeth itch having to submit to it :) But it is too embarassing when family therapists keep pronouncing your soldiers emotionally damaged and unfit parents and spouses. I just watched Oliver Stone's latest history addition on Showtime.  It had footage in it of Dubya running for office talking about misuse of American forces destroying morale.  My jaw dropped, what an obnoxious in your face reminder of that Bush/Gore debate, because look at what he then did.  He did exactly what he produced amazing speechifying against.  Now he hides out somewhere in Texas unhappy about how disliked he is in his own country.

    I bet the Bush family hates it some Oliver Stone this week.


    Perhaps MT will reply. Get ready! (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:46:07 AM EST
    heh (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:41:40 PM EST
    Gleen Greenwald (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:15:53 PM EST
    Congrats to BTD (none / 0) (#1)
    by Makarov on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:38:20 PM EST
    on his bet yesterday.

    Sounds like someone heard the same bizarre factoid I did:

    Including last night's game, all 15 BCS championship games ended with either the underdog winning (7) or the favorite beating the spread (8).

    In any case, the horror show that was just about if not every BCS game this year shows why NCAA football desperately needs a playoff. The best game this bowl season was Chick-Fil-A with Clemson narrowly beating LSU.

    Uh-uh. The best game was ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:33:03 PM EST
    ... the New Mexico Bowl, in which Arizona twice overcame three-score deficits and scored two touchdowns in the final minute to stun Nevada, 49-48.

    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:15:01 AM EST
    the Cotton Bowl was, with the freshman phenom Johnny Manziel showing that he truly deserved the Hesiman.

    We were talking about "best game" ... (none / 0) (#130)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:12:20 PM EST
    ... in terms of its competitiveness and sheer excitement.

    Johnny Manziel's outstanding performance aside, the Cotton Bowl was a rout by Texas A&M and exciting only to a true Aggie fan.

    As for the Heisman Trophy, I pretty much gave up on using that as a competitive barometer for football greatness when the Downtown Athletic Club somehow saw fit to give Miami QB Gino Torretta the 1992 nod over San Diego State RB Marshall Faulk. Nowadays, that award's an enduring testament to TV hype and public relations, and not much else.


    Re "Justified." A very long ad is (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:40:00 PM EST
    disrupting my playing WWF!

    Did you see the very end? (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:23:39 PM EST
    my Tivo cut off right when they were about to show something with the guy in the orange jumpsuit that was spying on Raylon and dad.

    Have to add a few minutes to the recording time!


    Did you see it yet? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:32:58 PM EST
    I could tell you what happened, but I don't want to post any spoilers if you're watching it later.

    You can tell me! (none / 0) (#127)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:40:55 PM EST
    The guy in the jumpsuit ... (none / 0) (#137)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:18:50 PM EST
    ... was a "trustee" who went from cell to cell with a book cart.  He stopped at Raylan's dad's (Arlo?) cell and started asking him questions about the bag Raylan was showing Arlo.  Arlo answered some of the questions but wasn't very specific.  The jumpsuit guy told Arlo he thought he recognized the bag, he knew people who would pay a lot of money for information about the bag, and he would make some calls.  As he was about to leave, Arlo asked him for a book.  When he turned around to take a book off the cart, Arlo came up behind him and cut his throat with a toothbrush shiv.

    I think that was the most important stuff from the last few minutes.


    No. Just the 5 sec. Or so ad. (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:11:23 PM EST
    I've been very intrigued by the (none / 0) (#17)
    by magster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:21:20 AM EST
    $1,000,000,000,000 coin option to avoid the debt ceiling fiasco. I'm fully on board with just doing it if there continues to be intransigence by Congress in extending the debt ceiling. As soon as Moody's or whoever says a devaluing of our credit rating is imminent, I'd mint the coin that night.

    Why just one coin? (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:33:55 AM EST
    Mint a gross of those badboys and our entirely man-made problems are over! No more income taxes, stimulus checks for everybody!  

    The very idea is a perfect illustration of how nonsensical all things fiscal have become.  Dadler can break it down better than I can.


    I like David Sirota's idea (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:52:37 PM EST
    How about minting 12 million $83,000 dollar coins and give them to the unemployed?

    Missed that (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:40:07 AM EST
    That would be admittedly inflationary.... (none / 0) (#26)
    by magster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:00:45 PM EST
    ... but to commit to melting the coin and issuing bonds for the amounts used against the coin once the debt limit was raised makes the minting benign. Krugman is for it. There were two excellent posts/diaries on the subject at Dkos yesterday and the day before, and Bloomberg news had a good piece too.

    In my reading, every argument against it has been shot down in terms of legality and in terms of viability as a solution--especially in contrast to the damage to be done by not raising the debt ceiling or the damage to be done by negotiating away the safety nets to appease the House GOP.


    What makes it not viable is that it (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:49:15 PM EST
    lacks the components of pain and suffering and sacrifice that have been deemed to be necessary to any possible solution worth taking seriously.

    If there was a more blatant effort to quash discussion of platinum coin seignorage, it was seen last night, when Brian Williams "reported" on it as if it were a joke, complete with comments about how large the coin would have to be, and graphics of coins with various faces on them.

    Can't have the masses getting any ideas that maybe their suffering doesn't really need to be a requirement for "responsible" fiscal management, now, can we?


    What's a hundred trillion... (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:39:20 PM EST
    between friends?  If 1 trill won't be inflationary whose to say 144 definitely will be?

    Don't mind me, I find it so ridiculous we even need to broach such a crazy idea that I find it difficult to even care enough to follow it...feels like a last grasp of a as good as dead way of living.

    Carry on with more "serious" people magster;)


    The Coin... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:12:47 PM EST
    ...would have to be the size of a 747 if it was minted of platinum.

    I don't understand why this is interesting to anyone, it's dumb.  We are going to seriously mint a trillion dollar coin and physically walk it across the street, then what, deposit it.  What the F is anyone going to do with it ?  Send it back and get a bunch of 0's and 1's transmitted to the account, which they can do without the child like minting of a useless coin.


    It could be smaller than a dime (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:25:03 PM EST
    The value in a coin is what the government says it's worth.

    Exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:50:12 PM EST
    ...just say it's so tiny no one can see it, or better yet, it's invisible and go through the ridiculous motions.  

    Make a documentary about the design, minting, and special security involved in making/moving a trillion dollar invisible coin, just to make the people feel all warm and fuzzy.


    To your second question.... (none / 0) (#37)
    by magster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:54:20 PM EST
    Yes. That's exactly what the US will do, depositing it at the government's account at the Federal Reserve from which it pays it's daily bills. And, to your first point, it doesn't need to be $1 trillion worth of platinum any more than a quarter has to be 25 cents worth of silver.

    From the author of the platinum coin law.


    That Was My Point... (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:54:21 PM EST
    ...it would be nothing more than a show, why not just use lint, or as mentioned above just tell the world it's invisible.  I can't even believe I am discussing this non-sense.

    It's a Conman's Way to Circumvent.. (none / 0) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:56:30 PM EST
    ...Congress's authority and anyone even pondering this idea doesn't have any respect America.

    The statute with the broad authorization... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by magster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:03:08 PM EST
    requires use of platinum. And, to you and KDog who would rather the US default or trade away Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to get the House GOP to raise the debt ceiling, I don't know what to tell you. I mean, that's the choices (coin v. default v. bye-bye safety net). There's no in between. Which of the 3 suits you best?

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:07:58 PM EST
    ...and this past fiasco was a cliff.

    That is not their only option, they can simply raise the ceiling, which is what will happen.  No coin is going to be pressed.


    The ceiling won't get raised unless the (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:46:47 PM EST
    Republicans agree to raise it. So, the question becomes what will the GOP demand in exchange for their votes to raise the debt ceiling?

    Last time we were subjected to debt ceiling kabuki, the GOP held out for quite some time, and Obama made concessions that gave us the stupid fiscal cliff fiasco.

    The coin, an idea that I support, is a legal, although unused, way to get around Republican intransigence. That they oppose raising the ceiling and are fine with all the turmoil that causes, tells me that the GOP does not take the task of governing seriously and so should not be treated seriously.

    If the Repubs refuse to vote for a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling then I would hope that Obama would just mint the d@mn coin and be done with it.

    I am so tired of the hostage taking by the GOP. Screw 'em.


    Let me add that while I wish he (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:52:32 PM EST
    would order the coin, Obama will do what he always does. He will capitulate to demands from the right that hurt the everyone but the rich.  

    So, prepare to see Social Security and Medicare cut  and Medicaid gutted. All under the guise of "strengthening" them.


    Taxes will also be lowered (none / 0) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:41:31 AM EST
    for corporations and the rich under the guise of reforming the tax code.

    SS, Medicare, Medicaid will be "strengthened" to offset "reforming" the tax code. Gotta have a balanced approached don't ya know.


    There's another option (none / 0) (#100)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:36:36 AM EST
    available to The President.

    Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states:
    "..the validity of the public debt "shall not be questioned."  

    Under this option, Obama could invoke the 14th Amendment, bypass Congress, and unilaterally issue bonds and use the funds to pay our bills.

    As Justice Scalia has pounded the table admonishing anyone within earshot that our Founders "meant what they said" (in the Constitution).......literally!  

    What could be more clearly literal than "shall not be questioned?"  


    Problem (none / 0) (#103)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:22:32 AM EST
    1. You mean Section 4, not Section 3.

    2. Obama has sworn to uphold the Constitution, which means he cannot just ignore Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Jack Balkin:

    There is a second question making the rounds, which is equally misleading: People want to know whether the President may threaten to issue new debt if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.

    Again, this the wrong question to ask. For one thing, the President must be careful not to take any steps that might call the validity of the public debt into question. Making such threats at present might be highly counterproductive; it might actually undermine the economy because it might signal that the President believes that United States is about to default and hasten the questioning of the validity of the public debt. Moreover, the whole point of section 4 is not to engage in political gamesmanship over the public debt. (Considered in its best light, this may explain President Obama's reticence to discuss the constitutional issue.).

    If Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, the President is bound under Article II to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. This duty includes all of the laws, including section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the laws passed by Congress that appropriated funds and ordered the President to spend them, and the debt ceiling.

    The President (and the Treasury Secretary) must therefore act in such a way as to honor all of these commitments to the greatest extent possible.

    The President must use every available legal option to preserve the validity of the public debt, through accounting measures, and through selectively deciding which bills to pay and which to delay paying.

    You're correct, (none / 0) (#143)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:51:38 PM EST
    I read the article which described the mechanics of using the 14th amendment, and it laid out the thinking of how, and why, it should be used. It was section 3 of the article that I quoted from, not section 3 of the amendment.

    More from (none / 0) (#55)
    by magster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:52:28 PM EST
    100 years ago Nixon (none / 0) (#18)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:28:35 AM EST
    emerged into the world and our politics, as of 1946, has never been the same since.

    Many of us wish he'd kept his public promise of Nov 1962 and retired permanently from politics, but being Nixon, after he'd sobered up the next day, he was soon back at it, plotting his comeback, thinking of 1968.

    I haven't heard much new about him in recent years to change my initial (1974) summing up:  he was one of the worst influences on American political life in history, and except for a few nice things he did in FP and in deciding mostly not to contest some liberal legislation from the Dem Congress, he was a malign presence in the WH, a madman who thought it a clever thing to engage in madman diplomacy with foreign adversaries.  Mentally unstable, in a nuclear era, and personally corrupt.

    Harry Truman had him pegged correctly early on as a "lying shifty-eyed essobee" or similar, and named Nixon as one of only two pols in his career he truly despised.  Helen Gahagan Douglas also had hiim named correctly -- "Tricky Dick" (even as she had a blind spot as to another highly deceptive pol, Lyndon).

    Bill Clinton was much too kind to him, and publicly too laudatory, while, natch, Nixon behind the scenes was dissing Bill and encouraging the anti-Clinton Republican counterattack.

    Probably if not for Reagan being available, the Rs, aided and abetted by the MSM, would by now, following a 20-year propaganda effort, be calling for Nixon to be added to Mt Rushmore.

    Rushmore.. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:50:07 AM EST
    I still say sand blast the whole thing and give it back to the Lakota and the Cheyenne..

    Or maybe the next time it'll be sombody carving Goethe and Fredrick the Great into the Wailing Wall, since, when it comes to these things, eff morality and justice seems to the consensus

    And, is it just our faulty memories that makes so many these days remark that the Gingriches, Reagans, GWBs et al make Nixon look like one of Plato's philosopher kings?  


    How will you spend the Nixcentennial? (5.00 / 4) (#60)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:53:23 PM EST
    I'm going to make an enemies list.

    I'm going to ... (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:48:47 PM EST
    ... go home, feed the cat and empty her litter box, then tape Nixon's picture to the bottom before refilling it.

    And I'm even willing (none / 0) (#69)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:58:00 PM EST
    to place his picture in my own toilet bowl before I do the (ahem) "necessary deed."   Why leave it up to your poor kitty to do our dirty work, after all?
    Nixon can rot in He!!, as far as I'm concerned, and I hope he is.  (If there is a He!!.)
    Although, I must say that I have a rather extensive list of others who can join him in Hades.

    Well at least he was (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:12:00 PM EST
    given plenty of time after resignation to reflect upon all he'd done, maybe privately regret some of it if not publicly, and so come back next incarnation perhaps only 75% the crook and wacko he was in this one.

    Although I still think he would have done more profound reflection behind the bars of a federal institution -- say 10 years in Leavenworth -- and he and the society 40 years from now would be the better for it.


    Indeed, brodie (none / 0) (#75)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:28:19 PM EST
    But I am betting that the SOB did absolutely no reflection whatsoever after his resignation.  And yes, he definitely should have spent some time in prison.  (I will never forgive Ford for pre-emptively pardoning Nixon.)
    Although there appears to be more than one President since then who, while not necessarily actively pardoning anyone for their crimes, do not seem to want to prosecute the egregious misdeeds of anyone in former administrations.
    After all, we must look forward, not back.
    I guess that the people at the top tend to protect each other.  They must feel that, if they go after the misdeeds of previous administrations, then future administrations might well go after them.  An Old Boys Club, indeed.  (And yes, I realize that it may include females at some point, as well.)

    Here, you'll appreciate this. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:56:35 PM EST
    This was an actual 1972 campaign poster, which was produced by the appropriately named CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

    Fast Buck Freddies (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by fishcamp on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:48:52 AM EST
    down in Key West sells TP with Nixon's photo on each sheet.

    Gotta be room for both, no? (none / 0) (#61)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:56:21 PM EST
    Girl, you gotta wonder... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:37:43 AM EST
    one more (none / 0) (#23)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:40:23 AM EST
    I was listening to KPFK 90.7 this AM - (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:20:47 PM EST
    "Progressive and Independent News, Talk and Music" - and their guest accused WJC of working with the Red Cross to rebuild Haiti into a sweatshop for US manufacturers.

    Anyone know what that's all about?

    It's KPFK, Pacifica -- (none / 0) (#43)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:38:01 PM EST
    lots of ... interesting stuff, including dubious allegations, gets put out on that station, in addition to more sane left broadcasting.

    Who was the guest and what was the show?

    Btw, in the 90s that station fairly systematically was riding Clinton pretty hard, including sounding in the late 90s almost as a co-conspirator with Ken Starr.


    It was: Uprising! News and Public Affairs (none / 0) (#48)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:07:26 PM EST
    Uprising! News and Public Affairs with Sonali Kohatkar. I didn't catch the name of the guest, I believe she had a spanish-sounding name.

    Maybe Ezili Danto? (none / 0) (#51)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:43:44 PM EST
    She's a Haitian blogger/lawyer/activist.  Only one I could find pushing this theory.

    Maybe, I really didn't catch her name but (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:23:09 PM EST
    Danto could well be the guest I heard.

    Well, since being rich is evil.......... (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:53:52 PM EST
    Post-vice presidential life has been very good to Al Gore.

    Thanks to the $500 million sale of his liberal news station Current TV to Al Jazeera this month, Gore now has a personal fortune of $300 million, Forbes magazine estimates. That puts him ahead of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, whose estimated $230 million left him vulnerable to charges that he was out of touch with the common man.


    You think being rich is evil? (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:57:17 PM EST

    BTW - The "out of touch" charge may have more relevance when:

    1.  The wealthy person is an actual candidate for office, as opposed to a former office holder, and

    2.  Said candidate is campaigning for tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, including themselves, as opposed to say, increasing their own taxes.

    But does Gore have ... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Erehwon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:11:33 PM EST
    a $100 million IRA? Is so, perhaps that would make him rich and evil, otherwise the other guy is still richer and eviler! :-)

    I'm (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:22:32 PM EST
    not sure what my point is, but Larry David is wealthier than either of them. And generally speaking, he is not considered to be evil.

    Not even close, sir. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:24:48 PM EST
    You want an example of evil rich, you need look no further than Joe and Gavin Maloof, multi-millionaire Las Vegas real estate speculators and erstwhile owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings, who last year tried to shake down the citizens of Sacramento into underwriting the lucrative Railyards redevelopment project at taxpayer expense, by threatening to move the team to Anaheim if they didn't get their way.

    The Maloofs then refused to sell the Kings to a group of local Sacramento-area investors, claiming that the team would never be for sale, and promising instead to work with Mayor Kevin Johnson on a deal that would keep the Kings in Sacramento.

    Only the Maloofs subsequently increased their demands for title and complete site control of the Railyards last April, after the city had agreed to finance a new arena for the team on that site, thus reneging on said deal ex post facto once the details had already been negotiated. Having made a good-faith effort, Mayor Johnson then withdrew the city's offer, and appealed directly to the NBA commissioner's office to do something about these double-dealing a$$hats.

    I only mention this because there are a lot of rumors flying about right now that the Maloofs are selling the Kings today to a Northwest investor group for $500 million -- about twice what the franchise is probably worth -- who then plan to relocate the Kings to Seattle for the 2013-14 season. These rumors were initially denied this morning, but the Kings front office have since confirmed that the Maloofs are in negotiations to do just that.

    That's not just evil rich, Jim -- that's dickishly evil rich.


    Yeah, but Donald, (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:19:17 PM EST
    they're selling to an equally as dicki$h billionaire--Chris Hansen--who strong-armed the Seattle mayor and city council into approving his plan to build yet another stadium in the traffic-nightmare-SODO neighborhood and let Key Arena (built in 1995 and no longer ritzy enough without ten new skyboxes for the 1%) simply wilt and die.

    Will Port business suffer because of the loss of right of ways in SODO? Very possibly, no one really knows. But I already stay away from downtown at all costs whenever it's game day because I have better things to do than sit in a two-hour traffic jam on either the surface streets or I-5. This city you loved so much has been turned into a self-conscious, disorganized, neurotic playground for real estate developers hawking it as the new Manhattan, and overgrown little boys like Hansen who want everyone else to bend over backwards so they can satisfy their personal hoop dreams.

    I'm planning to move back to central Cal this next year, and I relish the thought of living in a town which has no professional sports teams or billionaire tech wizards buying up all the property and (cough) graciously leasing it back to us serfs. Enough is enough. I used to like the Sonics, but, frankly, after the lies and corrupt shenanigans foisted on us by Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett and David Stern, I no longer care one bit.

    And Seattle and environs are filled to the brim with exactly the same kind of folks you rail against in your comment above.


    Yeah, that's exactly what Seattle needs. (none / 0) (#89)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:15:38 PM EST
    Another basketball arena to go along with the prefectly good (and recently remodeled) one they already have, as well as the swanky football and baseball stadiums.

    I agree with everything you said. Seattle residents were played for fools once already by NBA Commissioner David Stern and Clay Bennett, who bought the SuperSonics on the false promise that he wasn't going to move them to Oklahoma City, which he ultimately did.

    If they're dumb enough to again embrace the NBA so soon after that very painful public episode, then they are indeed a collective bunch of fools, and they'll ultimately get exactly what they deserve.

    I love sports as much as the next red-blooded American guy, but as someone who long worked in government, I still do try to maintain a reasonable perspective about the proper role of sports and sports teams in a community.

    And given the difficult economic times we've recently experienced, were I Seattle's mayor, I'd like to think that building new stadiums and arenas to subsidize the operations of billionaire sports franchise owners would be at the very bottom of my list of priorities.



    Hmm. looks like Sacramento mayor is not (none / 0) (#131)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:17:10 PM EST
    on board with the sale. He wants local investors to pony up and keep the team there. Can't blame him. Seattle-ites may want a team here again, but we can commiserate with the scenario going on down there!

    I also read that the longshoremen's union is seriously considering suing Hansen. Oy. It's going to get interesting. Hansen is a hedge fund manager and has money coming out of his ears.


    The ILWU should never be ... (none / 0) (#139)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:50:12 PM EST
    ... underestimated, politically or otherwise, as a potential adversary. Historically, they've always been one of the tougher and savvier unions, right up there with the Teamsters. Having deep pockets themselves, they aren't going to be intimidated by Big Money, and Curtis Hansen will not scare them off. If they're at all serious about such a challenge, they'll charge right at him, head on.

    Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is a pretty astute and articulate guy himself, and he will insist to the league, as he has in the past, that the Maloof Bros. must consider comparable local bids before attempting to finalize any agreement with Hansen, et al. And as a foremr NBA all-star himself, he has the capacity to make his argument directly to NBA fans via Fox Sports Network and ESPN, as he did last spring when he convinced the league owners to stop the Maloofs from moving the team to Anaheim. This ain't over by a long shot.


    I read (none / 0) (#83)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:16:22 PM EST
    that nobody living was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame this year.

    As I understand it, the people selecting those who are awarded that honor are writers.

    My interest is music. In particular, Jazz. I am not particularly knowledgeable about sports.

    But I do know about the level of writing on the subject of Jazz.
    It is abysmal. Ignorant. Self-serving. Agenda-ridden. People who can't feel Jazz, judge those who can. And then they write books. They make up facts. And other writers read the made-up facts and cite them. And then others cite the second generation of made-up facts. Then they become accepted as truths.

    Reading the results of this years ballots, I can only surmise that the decisions are being made by the sports equivalent of those Jazz writers.

    I hear you (none / 0) (#86)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:34:08 PM EST
    But the only jazz book I've ever really enjoyed was Mingus' "Beneath the Underdog," a book that enormously mixes fact with fiction, and virtually screams "agenda!" still...for those who know a lot about him (as I suspect you do) it can be seen as an entertaining puzzle of an autobiography.

    All the books coming out now seem to be vying for the award for "I know more about what the blacks thought in 1920 than you do!" and the award for "I'm not a racist--YOU are!"

    The few jazz blogs are doing the same thing. I wish these writers would quit trying to intellectualize the music and deconstruct it seventeen different ways for social/political purposes, and just listen to it.


    I (none / 0) (#90)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:16:42 PM EST
    enjoy books that were either written by the musician, as with the books by Louis Armstrong, or ones that quote the musicians extensively - as with the book by Robert Reisner which contains interviews with musicians who speak about Charlie Parker.

    Billie Holiday's book was also very absorbing and real.

    I spoke once to Philly Joe Jones, in the early 80's I believe, and he told me he was writing a book... but I don't think it ever happened.
    I would have loved to get his perspective on things.


    Maybe someone can convince JImmy Cobb (none / 0) (#91)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:21:43 PM EST
    to write a book. He's in his early 80's, but still in o.k. health, from what I know.

    One (none / 0) (#92)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:52:46 PM EST
    the people I think has been most misrepresented is Lennie Tristano.

    I could go into detail if you wish.


    That's a conversation I'd love to have (none / 0) (#93)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:06:18 PM EST
    because I don't know a whole lot about his life and would like to learn more. I do think he was really underrated. Some of the ways he plays around with melodic minor are pretty instructive for anyone playing a chordal instrument. (As a guitarist, I listen to a lot of pianists.)

    Basically, (none / 0) (#95)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:31:14 PM EST
    what is most egregious, is the representation of him as "cool" - meaning unemotional. All of his music is emotional. Very emotional. More emotional by far than most, imo.

    Another misrepresentation that drives me up the wall is the one that says that he restricted his drummers from being expressive - forced them into being "mere" "timekeepers". So untrue it's ridiculous.

    All one has to do is listen to his recordings to know what a crock this all is. His early recordings (produced by himself) with Roy Haynes. Does anyone think that Roy is holding back? Or the one in the fifties with Art Taylor. Does Art sound restrained? Or the one from the sixties with Nick Stabulas. There are videos on Youtube of Lennie playing at the Half Note with Nick in his band. Does Nick sound held back?

    And then there is the slight oversight of the fact that Lennie was the first to play "free" with a group. He recorded that in 1949 - ten years before Ornette Coleman "invented" free playing. And Lennie did it live and in concerts. That has been documented by contemporary accounts of his performances with his groups.

    You know - on a related matter - there is the ongoing misrepresentation that the music of the 1940s - sometimes called "bebop" - was a collaborative effort between Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. If anyone is interested, all they have to do is listen to Dizzy in 1940 trying to play like Roy Eldridge, Monk in 1940 playing stride piano, and there is Charlie Parker in 1940 playing like BIRD!

    Bird has been marginalized by the constant and unrelenting harping on his private life. The public has come to think of him as a weak soul, thanks to endless books, articles, disc jockeys and Clint Fking Eastwood. That's the way they deal with Bird. Change the subject.

    With Lennie, they change the subject as well.
    It never occurs to them to actually put some time in by listening to the music or reading interviews with him.

    To me, Lennie and Bird were co-creators of the exciting music of the 40s and early 1950s. They were completely compatible - and in fact held each other in high regard. All one has to do is listen to the recordings they made together to know that. Bird is inspired. Lennie is inspired.

    To shunt Lennie aside is to see the innovations of the 1940's in only two dimensions - seeing it with one eye instead of two. imo.

    I could go on and on.


    There is a lot of politics in jazz criticism (none / 0) (#97)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:03:17 PM EST
    The people who disrespected Tristano are likely a lot of the same people who threw tomatoes at Ornette. As a player, I rarely put too much stock in what reviewers say, or said at the time, because I know I hear stuff they don't hear. And to try and claim that one player was responsible for a whole movement in jazz is hard to swallow, simply owing to the fact that jazz is such a collaborative art form. And there were different movements happening at the very same time. Charlie Parker and Miles and Lee Konitz were playing with Tristano during the same time period that Miles and Gil Evans were playing Gil's arrangements. But people get pigeon-holed and/or disregarded altogether--that was my main complaint with Ken Burns' series. I mean, when that documentary virtually ignores players like Wes Montgomery and Bill Evans, you know that someone behind the scenes (ot talking on camera) has an agenda...

    Ken (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:47:55 PM EST
    Burns, when good old racist-in-drag PBS hired him to create that series, said that he knew nothing about Jazz, but was interested in race.


    He ignored the people you mentioned, Wes is one of my heroes, but there was also not even a word about Lennie.

    I do disagree with you to an extent when you say that one person cannot be said to be responsible for a whole movement in Jazz. Just think; Can you imagine what happened in the late 20s and 30s had it not been for Louis Armstrong? What else was there? Joe Oliver couldn't have done it.

    Charlie Parker was solely responsible for the music of his era. Diz, Fats Navarro, Bud, Max -- all came from him. He was the source.
    People collaborated with him. That is true. Diz was a soul mate for a time. But it all came from Bird. As I wrote before, check what was happening in 1940. Without Bird, it would still be happening.

    And the same can be said for Lennie. Not to mention his incredible ability to play his instrument. His approach to music, based on feeling, his expansion of the harmonic language so evident in the Capitol sides of 1949 influenced everyone - on both sides of the Atlantic. Mulligan, Thornhill and Evans -- the harmonic quality of Lennie's music influenced them all. Mingus studied with him for awhile. You can hear that in some of his earliest recordings -one of which is with Lee Konitz. Mingus also played with Lennie. There is a photo of that I found on the internet.

    The  simple fact is, imo, that Jazz is what brought white and black people together. They played together, ate together and got high together. Their musics informed and influenced each other. The white establishment couldn't stand that. Black and white together? Can't have that.
    So white and black got separated. Black music. White music.
    What crapp.


    Actually, (none / 0) (#106)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:22:18 AM EST

    The people who trashed or ignored Tristano continue to do so.
    The lies the writers and most critics have propagated are now accepted lore - the misrepresentations I have cited, as well as others I have not listed as yet.

    But with Ornette - the pressure came down from on high. This is the new thing. The black thing. Get with the program. And they all did.

    There is a story in either the bio of Coleman Hawkins or Roy Eldridge - I don't remember which one - where Roy is about to offer his opinion of Ornette - which was essentially that it was b.s. - and Coleman grabs his arm and signals to him that he had better be cool.  

    To me, the anointing of Ornette as the successor to Charlie Parker and the universal acceptance thereof is pure emperor's-new-clothes stuff - just waiting for someone to scream. That doesn't mean that I deny anyone the right to enjoy what he does - or even that what he did at the time had validity. But to put him - an indifferent saxophone player, a creator of a few ditties, a terrible violinist, and whatever he is at present - to put him in a class with Bird or Lennie or Warne Marsh is an example of extreme agenda-driven brainwashing imho.


    I'm not aware of the Tristano trashing (none / 0) (#115)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 12:36:21 PM EST
    but, as I said, I don't pay a lot of attention to reviewers. However, when it comes to what players think, there is no right or wrong. We are all subjective as well, it's just that our subjectivity is based on more experience actually trying to figure it out, playing the music and knowing whether it fits under our fingers and makes sense to our ears.

    I disagree with you greatly on Ornette. He was hardly a guy who just played ditties. That early band, with Charlie Haden, Don Cherry and Billy Higgins (and alternately, Ed Blackwell) was -- without a doubt -- doing something new, not just in format, but also structurally, with melody and rhythm, and implied harmonies that did not have a piano or guitar spelling it out. It took me some time to get what was going on in that music, but once my ears were opened up to it and I could hear it where it was going, I really appreciated it. And I like it. A quartet without any chordal instrument is not easy to do, and I think they did it really well. I don't pretend to understand Ornette's whole harmolodics theory, even though I'm really good at classical and jazz theory and harmony... some of it is hard to understand sonically.

    I also don't know if you are a player, which I do think makes some difference in understanding and being able to "hear" some things. Clearly, you have a passion for Tristano. Please don't bite heads off just because others don't share it.


    I just listened to a bunch of Tristano (none / 0) (#122)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:54:01 PM EST
    on Youtube. I'll say more in some other open thread.

    OK (none / 0) (#125)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:06:08 PM EST
    Looking forward to it.

    A few things. (none / 0) (#124)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:05:26 PM EST
    I think Tristano's music is beautiful.
    That's true.
    But I really don't care if others don't find it so.
    That's not what my posts were about.
    I was simply referring to, or meant to be referring to, things that are misrepresentations of the man and of his music. Things are  demonstrably false - as per the examples I cited regarding drummers. I really have no problem with anyone saying that Lennie's music is not their cup of tea - although I must add that I have usually found that people who repeat the garbage that has been printed about him have not listened to much if any of the man's music.

    About what you said about a quartet or group without a chordal instrument. That was hardly a novelty by the time Ornette recorded with Haden, Blackwell and Higgins. Mulligan had been doing since the early fifties. Sonny Rollins did in the mid-fifties - from the Vanguard - and Way out West with Shelly Manne among other recordings. Warne Marsh did it in with Chambers and Philly Joe in the late fifties -- etc. I really have no problem with that. It is not at all difficult for me to hear that. In fact, I like the counterpoint of two melodic lines inferring harmony - accompanied by a swinging drummer.

    As I tried to convey, I also have no problem with anyone liking Ornette's music. As for him dong something different regarding "structure" that is improvised, that was not his innovation - but he did it in his own way. Harmolodics is, as far as I'm concerned, pure hokum. But others may find it interesting or appealing if they can understand it.

    Don't bite my head off either.
    I have no interest in dissing anybody's taste in music or art.
    I am not writing to promote Lennie's music either. Or Bird's.
    I am writing simply, as I indicated at the beginning of this dialogue, to point out some of the lies that have been put forth by bogus tin-eared agenda-driven writers and historians. And I have tried to cite aural and visual evidence to support my contention.

    Sorry for the "ditties" comment, though.
    That was my subjective value judgement and should have not been a part of this dialogue.


    How could I have forgotten (none / 0) (#129)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:58:20 PM EST
    "Way Out West"? I love that album. Not a big fan of Mulligan though, so that non-piano set-up of his did not come to mind.

    One of the most fun club dates I saw/heard was more than 20 years ago at a restaurant in Cambridge, MA called the Middle East. (I wonder if it's still there?) Downstairs was a jazz club, and that night Sam Jones played with just an upright bass player and a drummer. Fantastic show. He mostly played soprano.


    Sam (none / 0) (#136)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:16:47 PM EST
    Jones is a bass player... Did you mean Sam Rivers... or some other Sam... or some other Jones?

    I'm not a fan of Mulligan either. I just mentioned him because he was doing the piano-less quartet thing years before - It made a splash and was a controversial formation at the time.

    Lee Konitz sat in with that group around 1953 and made some startling music. Released on Pacific Jazz...

    I spent some time in Cambridge many moons ago. Fond memories of the Charles River... and Elsie's - a place with a magnificent roast beef sandwich - near Harvard.

    I never went to the "Middle East". I did go to a restaurant around there called "The Nile" though - and discovered babaganoush.


    Sorry, yes I meant Sam Rivers! (none / 0) (#141)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:32:14 PM EST
    We saw "Les Miserables" last night. (none / 0) (#87)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:57:14 PM EST
    Let me give you my ten-word review on it:

    Overwrought. Overbearing. Overblown. Overlong. Relentless. Bombastic. And at times, pretentious.

    "Les Mis" is often visually stunning, without a doubt, but while director Tom Hooper and his very game cast do try their level best to make it all work, the film ultimately collapses under its own excessive weight -- not the least of which has to have been everybody's high expectations for it.

    I mean, I thought it was noble try, especially its first hour or so. But the film's world-class production values can't overcome the fact that its musical score is eminently unmemorable, which is probably not a good trait for a musical.

    "Les Mis" just didn't work for me, and was thus a major disappointment, IMHO, because it surprisingly reminded me of John Huston's 1981 screen adaptation of "Annie." I wanted to like it, and I tried to like it, but in the end, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Does "Les Mis" deserve an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, which is expected tomorrow morning by practically everyone who's anyone in Hollywood?

    No. Not even close, in my estimation. If "Les mis" does get its expected passel of nominations, it'll be primarily due to the movie's hype, and not because of its substance. It would be interesting to know how many of those Academy members who voted for it -- the ballots are already in -- actually saw it before doing so.


    UPDATE: Well, that settles that. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:27:48 AM EST
    "Les Miserables" picked up Oscar nominations this morning for Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway).

    Somewhat surprisingly, given the "Les Mis" nominations for other categories, there was no Best Director nod for Tom Hooper, who can join equally surprised fellow directors Ben Affleck ("Argo") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") on the couch reserved for the Academy's snubbed artistes.


    I go along with you part of the way (none / 0) (#128)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:49:05 PM EST
    but did you not know the music going in? It is what it is. You could not expect the movie to have different music than the musical it is recreating. I would think most of the people who go see the movie already know and like the music. I guess I would be wrong!

    I agree it should not win any awards except possibly Anne Hathaway- who is she up against?


    ... could actually sing their respective parts. That's certainly not the fault of the actors themselves, who did their very best given their obvious vocal limitations, but of director Tom Hooper and the producers, who approached this like a personal vanity project.

    Claude-Michel Schönberg's musical score aside, "Les Miserables" is a bombastic production at heart, which certainly makes for a very compelling onstage presence when seen in its original Broadway production.

    However, that production lost something very significant when it's seen onscreen. I found it ironic that while the Broadway version manages to maintain a spark of electricity and urgency throughout, the choreography of its cinematic counterpart is almost jarringly stage-conscious.

    For example, the song "Master of the House"  -- with Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the scheming innskeepers, M. and Mme. Thenardier -- should have been a rousing, show-stopping number, as it was on Broadway. Yet onscreen, it lacked any real sense of spontaneity, and the number came off as somewhat forced, even wooden. Again, this was despite the actors' best efforts, and the blame can fairly be laid at the feet of the director, IMHO.

    As I said earlier, I wanted to like "Les Miserables," and I tried to like it, but at the end of the day, I just could not get into it.


    P.S.: Besides Anne Hathaway, this year's Oscar nominees for best supporting actress are Sally Field ("Lincoln"), Amy Adams ("The Master"), Helen Hunt ("The Sessions") and Jackie Weaver ("Silver Linings Playbook").


    I don't think Anne Hathaway gave the best (none / 0) (#140)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:04:11 PM EST
    performance in her category this year. Yes, she made a dramatic Fantine, but Sally Field and Helen Hunt, IMO, gave brilliant performances in their respective movies.

    I didn't see either The Master or Silver Linings Playbook, so I cannot speak to the other two actresses.

    I know Hathaway is thought to be the front-runner, but I suspect she got that nod before most people had seen Les Mis. I am a huge fan of the Broadway play, and I enjoyed the movie, but Les Mis is not Oscar worthy. Speaking for me only.


    I saw both (none / 0) (#142)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:40:46 PM EST
    The Master and Silver Linings Playbook and two more different films you will not see sharing one Oscar nomination roster. I thought Amy Adams was brilliant in a performance that builds slowly into a performance that goes to places you don't expect. And I found Jennifer Lawrence to be thoroughly engaging in a movie I really enjoyed, though I still think she should have won for her searing performance in Winter's Bone.

    kdog (none / 0) (#88)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:09:45 PM EST
    Without getting into any explicit details, what do you think of Carmelo's one game suspension, can the Knicks win on the road in Indiana without him, and will it have any effect on the sales of honey nut cheerios in the NY metropolitan area?

    Suspension is lame... (none / 0) (#112)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:43:58 AM EST
    what did Melo do?  Nothing except some post-game blustering.  If they had thrown down that would be one thing...Stern Sucks.

    For sure we can win in Indy, we beat the Heat without Melo...a good chance for Stat to get the rust off and be the primary option, with my main man JR Smith of course.

    I predict Honey Nut Cheerio sales will remain steady in the Tri-State, now if somebody told Bama's QB his special lady tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios, that might cause a sales surge in SEC country;)


    History of Russian rulers/French celebs.: (none / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:19:34 PM EST

    Jerry Brown shows Democrats how it's done. (none / 0) (#120)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:49:07 PM EST
    Gov. Jerry Brown officially submitted his administration's budget for FY 2014 to the California State Legislature today. And for the first time in a long, long time, the Golden State is not facing ruinous multi-billion dollar structural budget deficits, and doesn't have to put everything out to bond in order to close the gaps:

    San Francisco Chronicle | January 10, 2013
    Jerry Brown: California's deficit is gone - "For the first time in five years, California is not facing a deficit as Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers work to put together a spending plan for the next fiscal year. Brown released his budget Thursday morning for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, proposing a $97.7 billion plan that is 5 percent higher than the current year's spending. [...] The budget represents a massive change for California's finances, which at their worst in February 2009 faced a $42 billion deficit. That resulted in emergency action on the budget as the state treasurer was unable to sell short term bonds, construction projects came to a halt and the controller was forced to send out IOUs instead of tax return checks."

    I really hope Democrats on the east coast have been paying attention to what's happened in California over the last few years, because Jerry Brown & Co. have just given a primer on how to govern effectively as Democrats in the face of looming fiscal catastrophe and economic uncertainty.

    "This budget finally puts California on a path to long-term fiscal stability. What must be avoided at all coats is the boom and bust, borrow and spend, of the last decade. Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of democratic governance, but rather its fundamental predicate. That is the spirit I trust will characterize our work together in the coming year."
    - Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Budget Message to California Legislature (January 10, 2013)

    Jerry Brown kept his word to voters, and performed as promised upon his return to the governor's office after 28 years. He made the tough budget calls, he stared down GOP radical obstructionism and marginalized that party's naysayers politically, and he banished the ghost of Howard Jarvis by securing voter approval of Prop. 30 to raise taxes as necessary. And after over a decade of floundering, the books are balanced and California is finally poised for its comeback.

    Bravo, Governor!

    Godd@mn better be.

    I hope so too (none / 0) (#123)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:54:37 PM EST
    because I'm planning on moving back soon!

    2016 (none / 0) (#132)
    by Politalkix on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:30:09 PM EST
    Chris Christie is HRC's toughest opponent at this stage.

    Oh, heavens to mergatroid! (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:32:02 PM EST
    We haven't even inaugurated the current president for his second term yet!

    A lot can happen over the next four years. Mrs. Clinton could reaffirm her previous statements that she's not interested, and decline to run. Gov. Christie could get overconfident and say something really stupid and offensive that craters his current approval ratings, and lose his re-election bid as governor of New Jersey. Etc., etc.

    I am, like, so not interested in the D.C. ptresidential steeplechase right now. Wake me again in about three years.