Thursday Open Thread

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  • A summary of what's happened today in (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:25:58 PM EST
    the budget/debt ceiling debacle, courtesy of The Guardian's live blog:

    * House Republicans floated a proposal to extend the debt limit for 5-6 weeks "in exchange for a real commitment by this president" to hold budget talks, as House majority leader Eric Cantor put it.

    • The White House said it would withhold its response until it sees a bill, but called Republican movement on the debt ceiling an "encouraging sign."

    • It's unclear how close the sides were to a deal to raise the debt ceiling temporarily. Markets were up. But the president could refuse the extension if Republicans tie it in an unpleasant-for-Obama way to budget negotiations. The president has repeatedly said he won't negotiate over the budget until the government reopens.

    • An end to the government shutdown appeared no closer. The Republican proposal on the debt ceiling did not mention the shutdown. House Republicans said the leadership offered to allow the Tea Party to continue the shutdown fight if the debt ceiling deal goes through. However if the two sides get close to a deal on the debt ceiling it's possible that a stopgap funding deal could shake out.

    So, really, just more kabuki, I guess.  The general consensus seems to be that the GOP caucus agreed to let Boehner propose a short-term increase in the debt ceiling, but only if they could continue to hold the budget hostage to Obamacare.

    The inside line from the Republican caucus is that the Tea Party-ers agreed to vote with Boehner on a short-term debt limit extension in exchange for his accepting an ongoing fight over funding the government. A spending bill known as a continuing resolution is required to reopen government. The White House has said it only would accept a bill that does not carry add-ons relating to Obamacare or other spending cuts. The House passed three spending bills with cuts to Obamacare and the White House rejected them one after another. Then the government shut down.

    The current deal could mean that Boehner has agreed - out of some degree of necessity, it seems - to accede to the Tea Party desire to continue to wage a shutdown fight over Obamacare, in exchange for averting a default.

    I'd say I can't believe these people are that stupid, but, well...Louie Gohmert.

    A summary of today's "progress," (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:02:41 PM EST
    from The Guardian:

    White House spokesman Jay Carney is expected to speak momentarily - which is what we said more than two hours ago. Here's a summary of where things stand:

    • Republicans gave mixed reviews to a White House meeting with the president. They reported substantive negotiations but saw a "difficult experience" ahead.

    • The negotiations reportedly extended beyond resolutions to the shutdown and debt limit crises to encompass broader budget issues such as the sequester, taxes, Medicare and possibly more.

    • Two separate legislative trajectories developed, one in the House and one in the Senate, where Susan Collins was trying to put together a deal that would cut a tax on medical devices among other steps.

    • At least two senators, Lindsey Graham and Rob Portman, said the real action was in the House, which appeared ready to plunge into another weekend of work.

    • There was grumbling in the hard-right faction of the House about abandoning the fight against Obamacare that indicated why speaker John Boehner may have difficulty delivering on a deal.

    The one thing that keeps being brought up is means-testing Medicare:

      In addition to ending the shutdown and increasing the debt limit, the proposal includes an easing of the across-the-board spending cuts that began taking effect a year ago, and replacing them with curbs in benefit programs that Obama himself has backed.

        Among them is a plan to raise the cost of Medicare for better-off beneficiaries.

    Note that there is no current definition of "better off," but from what has been proposed in the past, it likely will reach down far enough into the low end of middle class as to cause some real hardship.


    I personally think we should use the same (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 04:03:29 PM EST
    metric for "better off" that was used for rolling back the Bush tax breaks (i.e. $400,000). Based on what the changes Obama has included in his last couple of proposed budgets (2014) I don't think that will be the amount used. His plan would also maintain the current income thresholds until a quarter of Part B and Part D beneficiaries are paying the higher income-related premiums.

    In a 2012 analysis, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that if the proposal to have a quarter of all beneficiaries pay the higher premiums were implemented last year, beneficiaries with incomes at or above $47,000 for individuals and $94,000 for couples would be paying higher income-related Medicare premiums. (KHN in an editorially independent program of the Foundation.)

    Let me restate that the changes to Medicare outline in the proposed budgets are changes that Obama WANTS and has been promoting for the last couple of years.

    If the CUTS to SS and Medicare are passed this year, I guarantee that the legislation containing the cuts will be passed in both houses by a majority of Democrats voting in favor for cutting these popular programs and the bare minimum of Republicans voting for the cuts. In 2014, the Republicans will campaign on the fact that the Democrats cut these programs and that the majority of Republicans voted against the cuts.



    Don't forget my new favorite, Ted Yoho. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:15:41 PM EST
    "I see one side of our government, or two-thirds of it, running 100 miles an hour toward socialism."
    -- GOP Congressman Ted Yoho (FL-3) to the Washington Post (October 3, 2013)

    He said what Business Insider has already singled out as the most stupid rationale offered thus far about courting a potential national default, that "it would bring stability to the world markets."

    At this very moment, Mr. Yoho is probably channeling that unknown U.S. Army major from the Vietnam War, who famously told correspondent Peter Arnett following the Battle of Ben Tre in February 1968, "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."

    Well, maybe we should strike a deal with Mr. Yoho, a veterinarian by trade. We'll promise not to take our animals to see a banker when they're ill, if he promises to stop pretending he knows anything about economics.

    Aloha from Guam, where it's 6:09 a.m. on Friday, October 11. I'm off to Saipan later this morning.


    The CNN banner headline this morning.... (none / 0) (#107)
    by magster on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:57:55 PM EST
    was "CAN ERIC CANTOR THREAD THE NEEDLE AND SAVE THE DAY??!!" or some such tripe.

    Fortunately the opinion polls are showing that a lot of people are smart enough to come to the correct conclusions about which party is bringing the country down.


    One of the... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:00:50 PM EST
    crotch-rocket thugs who terrorized and attacked the SUV driver in NYC turns out to be an undercover cop doing cointelpro work for the NYPD infiltrating Occupy Wall St.

    'Nuff said.

    They Said He Was Undercover... (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:18:14 PM EST
    ...almost his entire career, which ion my mind is nothing more than a paid informant.

    He lied through his teeth got caught and is now claiming that the video that actually blew his version of the events, some how exonerates him.  Because all he did was smash in the rear window then leave, he just got everyone pumped up, but never hit anyone.

    F, I doubt that family can see the distinction and it doesn't sound the like the prosecutor see one either.

    I read that as many as 5 undercover were within that gang, which begs the question, without cops protecting us, would the event even occurred.  Those families should be suing the NYDP for not stopping it, not the driver running for his life.

    I can understand them standing by, which is pitiful enough, but this one clearly instigated violence.  Is that how they train these morons, "When in doubt, act like a criminal so they know you aren't a cop, because no cop in his right mind would act like that..."


    considering the fact (2.00 / 1) (#38)
    by nyjets on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 05:22:38 PM EST
    With or without cops present, when you consider the fact that most motorcycle gangs are violent, this event would have happened regardless.

    And you base that on -- what, exactly? (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:30:37 PM EST
    A DVD box set of Sons of Anarchy?

    I just assumed (none / 0) (#56)
    by nyjets on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:01:12 AM EST
    I just assumed that most motorcycle gangs are violent. haven't there been stories about their violence in the newspapers.

    Many of those (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:49:44 AM EST
    who ride Harleys are older, wealthy bankers, etc.  They are the ones who can afford toys....  

    Then please don't just assume. (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:28:27 PM EST
    You said most motorcycle gangs are violent, and further asserted that to be fact. You're simply repeating an urban myth, popularized by movies and TV.

    Not all motorcycle clubs are offshoots of Hell's Angels or The Breed, to name two rather notorious outfits which have garnered more than their share of headlines and infamy over the decades.

    Most clubs are law-abiding and community-minded, and I'll cautiously daresay a majority of their members would probably consider themselves to be rather conservative politically. My brother's been a member of a motorcycle club in SoCal for 30 years. You slandered a whole subset of people you really don't even know.



    Exactly (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    I have some middle-aged friends who are motorcycle aficionados and belong to a club.  The husband is an accountant, the wife a teacher.  Their club not only travels and socializes together,  they also do community outreach.  Cleaning up roadsides. Collecting toys for poor and/or hospitalized kids, and food for hungry families, etc.  Nefarious stuff like that.
    They also own a couple of really bad-@ss looking Harley's.

    The vogue amongst Harley riders (none / 0) (#163)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 07:35:47 AM EST
    around here of late is to make yours as earth-shakingly loud as possible and screw anyone who doesn't appreciate it. It's becoming increasingly difficult to resist drawing a they're-a-bunch-of-azoles conclusion based on recent experience..

    The next step may have to be piano wire strung across the road during bar rush. Just in time for Halloween. Just kidding, more or less.

    Don't get me started on the pitbull-as-fashion-accessory trend we've got going on around here: get tattooed and pierced and get a pitbull..


    This does not at all describe (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:30:00 PM EST
    my Harley-riding friends, jondee.  It may describe some Harley riders, but you are painting with a broad brush.
    I prefer to accept people on an individual basis, rather than characterize all of them in a particular "group" with a stereotype.

    my second stepdad... (none / 0) (#182)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:45:57 PM EST
    ...saw that piano wire sh*t for real in Europe in WWII. He was at the Battle of the Bulge, so he saw a smidge of unpleasantness. But I agree about azholes, we've got a guy down the street thinks it's cool to wake everybody up at six in the morning roaring up the hill without a muffler, or so it sounds like.

    point taken (none / 0) (#106)
    by nyjets on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:47:31 PM EST
    Don't feel bad, (none / 0) (#136)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:47:10 PM EST
    You were thinking "gangs," they were thinking "clubs." But, this is TL, no quarter given.

    Clubs and gangs... (none / 0) (#139)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:17:19 PM EST
    ...are not the exact same thing.

    A club which qualifies as a gang probably does so by doing the same kind of stuff other gangs do, only with two wheels fewer.


    But as Scott pointed out earlier, ... (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:43:10 PM EST
    ... it wasn't a "gang" that was responsible for this incident, but rather, like-minded individuals and members of various clubs. I'm not the one who mischaracterized them as a gang in order to claim that this assault would've been inevitable, regardless of the NYPD undercover cop's involvement.

    Regardless, nyjets already acknowledged his mistake, so I consider the matter moot.


    Not Really a Gang... (none / 0) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:50:40 AM EST
    ...since most of them didn't/don't know each other, it was rally that brought like minds together.

    It's also the reason the cops are having such a hard time rounding them up.


    If true (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:28:25 PM EST
    then you should be arguing that the police did their job in this case - arresting him, even if he is a fellow police officer.  And they did a good job, as it didn't take that long and did not seem to have roadblocks and stalling techniques by the thin blue line.

    Aside from the fact... (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:35:25 PM EST
    they sent this goon to act as a provocatuer at Occupy Wall St. gatherings, yeah the police department did a helluva job...lol.

    If it wasn't such a high-profile case, and caught on tape, would they have went along with his bullsh*t story? Who knows...but I'd say the odds are good he's still on the street undercover making trouble without the tape and the case's high profile.


    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:43:45 PM EST
    But they also could have made lots of excuses for him too.

    True... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:50:43 PM EST
    things could always be worse.

    Anybody from NYPD undercover on Wall St. trying to provocate money laundering and fraud when they're not bashing skulls off-duty? ;)


    Hey man (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:53:08 PM EST
    You don't think cops are smart enough to do the jobs they are already doing - why you do think they'd be smart enough to investigate financial crimes?

    Seems you should place the blame on the people at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and in every statehouse in the country....  :)


    Sophistry (4.25 / 4) (#37)
    by sj on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:58:58 PM EST
    And anyway, I didn't read kdog as thinking that they weren't smart enough to do the job. He just observed that they weren't doing it.

    When you read his comment you assumed he was implying a lack of intelligence. When I read his comment I assumed the implication was a lack of integrity.

    We each view through our own lenses.


    Both assumptions are correct... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:54:28 AM EST
    lacking integrity and intelligence...that works as a description of our entire approach to law and order.

    to death on Capitol Hill last week?

    Excessive force... (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:09:18 AM EST
    is standard force.  It ain't the people's house on the people's avenue no more...don't know what else to say.  Tragic.

    Ya know I finally got around to watching Spielberg's "Lincoln".  Hard to even imagine a time when ordinary Americans could walk in the White House to seek redress from grievances from their president.  We've lost our minds when it comes to "security".


    'Cops Now Less Cautious Than Soldiers In Iraq' (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:55:04 AM EST
    At this point, the civil liberties sector doesn't appear to be delving into the excessive force shooting death of Miriam Carey, nor is there much of a response from the African American community.

    According to the police report, the incident involved United States Capitol Police (USCP), the Secret Service, and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department; they fired 17 shots in total.

    The best take I've seen on it, thus far, is from Counterpunch (10/10/13). The piece was written by Jonathan Carp, a former Army combat medic who is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. See Shooting Mirian Carey:
    Cops Are Now Less Cautious Than Soldiers In Iraq
    . Excerpt:

    While horrendous abuses were of course perpetrated on the Iraqi people, including not least the invasion itself,  police in the U.S. are regularly encouraged to behave far more aggressively toward American citizens than our officers directed us to behave toward Iraqis...

    The shooting on Capitol Hill of Miriam Carey, an unarmed woman who refused police commands to stop her car, was a familiar situation for any veteran of the Iraq War, with one significant difference -- rather than moving through a progressive escalation of force while attempting to defuse the situation, Capitol Hill police officers went straight for their firearms and shot to kill. Since returning from my service as an Army combat medic in Baghdad six years ago, I have watched American police become more aggressively violent than my fellow soldiers and I were ever trained to be...

    Much of the Iraq War was about securing neighborhoods, and much of that work was done by soldiers manning checkpoints, like the checkpoints Carey drove through during the incident that led to her death. Had this incident occurred in Baghdad and not Washington, D.C., the soldiers manning the checkpoint would have first drawn their weapons as the police officers did, but before firing at the driver would have fired into the ground in front of her and into her engine in an attempt to disable the car, as well as employing nonlethal munitions to smash through her windshield and lasers to temporarily blind her.

    Capitol Hill police did none of these things. After drawing their weapons, their first response to Carey's refusal to cooperate was to open fire in a busy area of a major city. The video shows that they did not fire into the ground nor to disable her car, but clearly were aiming to kill Carey for disobeying their commands to exit her car"...

    Any thoughts, anybody?


    What the author fails to mention (none / 0) (#111)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:09:16 PM EST
    Is that she hit a barricade outside the White House, and then drove upwards of 80 miles an hour on a chase down busy streets full of workers and tourists, injuring two law enforcement officers in the process.

    Maybe Carp is right - they COULD have fired into the ground or at a tire. But considering he posted this same article for a leftist anarchist blog, I take his thoughts with a HUGE grain of salt.

    But many experts don't agree with his analysis.


    Whatever happened to the (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:14:42 PM EST
    Idea of placing tacks trips in the projected path of the car or placing law enforcement vehicles to block its movement. It is heart wrenching to learn law enforcement shot the driver while her infant was in the car w/her.

    as you need lots of advance warning in order to get them deployed, and have often proved dangerous, even fatal, to the officers deploying the strips.

    Wiki says 5 LE officers were killed in the US deploying the strips in 2011.


    Strips are only useful (none / 0) (#124)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:43:40 PM EST
    on long chases where you have the ability to clear the road of all other traffic.

    Truly pathetic reasoning by your experts, (none / 0) (#159)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:32:06 AM EST

    Nope, Mr. Natural (none / 0) (#168)
    by jbindc on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:33:02 AM EST
    If a car hits a cop, then backs up and leads them on a chase, you can't be sure WHAT will come next.

    Hindsight quarterbacking is not productive.


    When I consider that that comment (4.00 / 4) (#177)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:11:47 AM EST
    comes from someone who thinks a hoodie and a Slurpee constitute deadly weapons, I take it with a Huge grain of salt.

    Yes, second-guessing the use of deadly force is not productive. Our charge is to appreciate, admire, and obey.


    Not really (none / 0) (#181)
    by jbindc on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 11:18:58 AM EST
    But I do generally think your comments fall into the bucket of "idiotic" and don't really add much to the conversation.

    Not the Only Ones (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:44:39 AM EST
    The American legend surrounding the term `lobbyist' originated at the Willard Hotel when Ulysses S. Grant was in office (1869-1877).  Apparently President Grant would frequent the Willard Hotel to enjoy brandy and a cigar, and while he was there, he'd be hounded by petitioners asking for legislative favors or jobs.  It is said that President Grant coined the term by referring to the petitioners as "those damn lobbyists."

    Sad how they still have access...


    Interesting... (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:01:50 PM EST
    If he'd only had called them loiterers...wouldn't it be cool if lobbyists were called loiterers?  The big oil loiterers, the finance loiterers, etc.
    It's a better description...and loitering is a crime! ;)

    Now you guys have got me thinking about Jackson's inaugural reception...that I'd like to see come back, House Party in the White House!


    An even better word than loiterers (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:18:27 PM EST
    Might be looters.    ;-)

    Well played... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:33:02 PM EST
    I hereby christen lobbyists with a new moniker....



    Works for me, Dog. (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 04:06:05 PM EST
    And I would also love to see all the politicians have to wear, in all public events, jackets plastered with the logos of all the companies that give them money.  You know, the way NASCAR cars are plastered with the logos of all their sponsors?

    If their companies do well (none / 0) (#179)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:28:51 AM EST
    "the economy" and the country does well..

    Even Obama's SEC enforcer believes that.

    The grifters will take the ball and go home and everyone suffers if we monkey with the status quo.

    BTD said virtually the same thing about the military industrial complex awhile back..


    when you consider (none / 0) (#85)
    by nyjets on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:33:33 AM EST
    Back then then threat of terrorism was much lower than it is now. THe white house needs that level of security.

    The threat was lower then? (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:46:38 AM EST
    I doubt it, the Confederate Army was a stone's throw away...we were in the middle of our bloodiest war, a civil war.  Still the people's house was open for unannounced visitors.  

    Not saying we should go back to that, but surely there is a happy medium between free unfettered access and making swiss cheese out of citizens who dare "trespass".


    Your comment (none / 0) (#91)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:00:19 PM EST
    reminds me of this quote from the movie Con Air:

    Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.

    You're talking about the once upon a time lack of need for security for a president... that ended up getting assasinated.


    Yes he did... (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:04:24 PM EST
    but not at the White House, and we haven't banned the president from going to the theater in response...instead we make everybody else unfortunate enough to be attending the theater the same night as the president submit to search and a background check.

    you have to (none / 0) (#100)
    by nyjets on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:24:27 PM EST
    If the president is visiting a theater, you have to submit everybody to a background check. Otherwise you will have a repeat as to what happened to Lincoln.

    It's very simple: (none / 0) (#160)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:42:21 AM EST
    No one of us is to be trusted more than the least trustworthy among us.

    Treat everyone like the basest criminal and we'll all be safe.

    In all this overhyped security B/S what's missed is that we're all easily replaced, even the big blowhards at the top.  Criminy, for those top spots there are egomaniacal parasites lined up around the block, who (arguably) wouldn't be much worse.


    2 types of threats (none / 0) (#99)
    by nyjets on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:22:44 PM EST
    There is a big difference between having security for a potential army invading your territory and having security for a terrorist attack.
    Washington was ready for the confederate army.

    NYJ, are you saying Capitol Hill security forces (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:47:27 PM EST
    should be entitled to use deadly force more freely than security forces in a war zone like Iraq?

    No (none / 0) (#98)
    by nyjets on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:20:58 PM EST
    However the white house is the one place where you can not bang into the barriers and try in a crazy fashion afterword.

    Bang into the barriers (none / 0) (#151)
    by BeDazzled on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:02:54 PM EST
    That's the part that baffles me the most. I keep hearing she was ramming and banging to gates and barriers, yet there wasn't so much as a mark on the front of her car in the photo after she was shot and killed.

    And, spike strips? That police car that was so incredibly mangled hit one of the barriers that popped up to stop anything speeding on that street - they just deployed it for the wrong vehicle.


    Police: Miriam Carey pushed over a bike rack... (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:54:22 PM EST
    According to the official police report:
    The incident began...at a vehicle checkpoint to the White House, located at 15th and E Street, Northwest...Decedent [Miriam Carey] refused to stop at the vehicle checkpoint and made a U-turn and began to flee in the vehicle. A USSS-UD officer attempted to block the vehicle with a bicycle rack, however, the vehicle pushed over the bicycle rack, knocking the officer to the ground. Officers from the USSS-UD then initiated a pursuit of the suspect vehicle.

    So, no: Miriam Carey's car wasn't ramming and banging into barricades and gates, nor was she trying to drive through the checkpoint in an attempt to enter the White House grounds  -- although that falsehood was, and still is, widely reported by all manner of media. The police report indicates that Miriam Carey was trying to exit the checkpoint and her vehicle pushed over a bike rack that was placed in her path as she attempted to leave the area. The vehicle didn't crash into any other standing structure.

    At a later point, Miriam Carey's car backed into a police vehicle that blocked her exit on Maryland Avenue, Southwest. It was then that the cops fired their first shots as she was driving away.

    Miriam Carey was killed in a subsequent round of gunfire in the 200 block of Maryland Avenue, Northeast -- when her vehicle was, again, backing away from police. The police report states that her 19 month-old daughter, Erica, was in the car throughout the shooting.


    Exactly, Foxhole (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by BeDazzled on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 01:08:54 PM EST
    I'm so sick of reading comments around the web that embellish this entire incident. She was murdered in front of her child for absolutely no good reason. There was no damage to the front of her car at the end of this, and this ongoing dialog that this should have been the expected outcome by all is frightening.

    You might want to tell that (2.00 / 1) (#197)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 10:56:49 AM EST
    To the police officers that needed medical attention.

    But I guess you feel they are just making it up.


    Since President Lincoln was ultimately ... (none / 0) (#128)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:34:17 PM EST
    ... shot dead while out in public, and further that a Confederate plot to eliminate his entire cabinet through assassination was subsequently unraveled, one could also argue that government security wasn't really taken all that seriously back in those day.

    I'd further offer that federal security in that era was shockingly neglectful, really, given that our country was only just then finally emerging from a protracted period of the bloodiest internecine violence in its history, which ultimately cost the lives of one in ten adolescent and adult males -- including Mr. Lincoln himself.

    I'm neither wistful nor nostalgic about those times. The hard fact of the matter is that the United States has always been a rather violent nation.

    I don't particularly care for the national security state, any more than you do, and I think most of it is -- pardon the pun -- overkill.

    But unless we're finally willing to be honest with ourselves about the historical and ongoing nature of American violence, and to take the steps necessary to forthrightly address both our national love affair with firearms and our corresponding willingness to resort to violence under the flimsiest of pretexts, I understand fully why the security state is in place.

    Therefore, until that day comes when we finally sober up, I'll simply be happy when I no longer have to remove my shoes and belt in order to board a plane.



    Uh, Donald, she didn't have a gun. (none / 0) (#161)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:44:18 AM EST
    Or (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:57:13 AM EST
    Going off all his past comments and not looking at the world through the lens of just one post.

    They aren't needed... (none / 0) (#140)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:22:22 PM EST
    ...to instigate financial crimes.

    The lure of the copious amounts of fast, easy money, and the high likelihood of not getting caught, or punished very severely even if they are, makes Wall Street its own "agent provocateur".


    Good find. When they reported about him (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:27:59 PM EST
    it was curious why he didn't happen to mention to anyone in the NYPD for like three days that he was present at the actual scene of the crime that had been viewed about a billion times already on youtube.

    Now I guess we know why.

    His attorney is a classic weasel lawyer:

    Attorney John Arlia made his claims outside criminal court in Manhattan on Wednesday, after a bearded Detective Wojciech Braszczok, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and camouflage pants, was charged with assault and criminal mischief.[...]

    "The allegation is that he struck the rear portion hatchback window, which has a gaping hole already in it; it's already destroyed," Arlia told reporters. "Under the law, it's a fatal flaw. You can't break what's already broken."[...]

    On This Day in U.S. History: (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:19:16 PM EST
    40 years ago on October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew pleaded no contest in federal court to charges of public corruption and resigned his office in disgrace.

    Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Gerald Ford was contemplating retirement after a life after politics, having quietly informed his friends that he had decided against running for re-election in the western Michigan congressional district he had represented since 1948.

    As Archibald Cox's investigation into the break-in at DNC headquarter at the Watergate hotel and office complex approached its explosive climax, Agnew's ouster for crimes unrelated to that burgeoning political scandal proved the opening shot in a rapid-fire series of events over the next ten months, which would in short order pull Mr. Ford from the House floor and thrust him into the Oval Office as the only appointed president in our country's history -- a job he had neither wanted nor sought.

    "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule."
    -- President Gerald R. Ford, Inaugural remarks at the White House, Washington, DC (August 9, 1974)


    And yet, (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:25:21 PM EST
    a month later, Ford pre-emptively pardoned Nixon.  I suppose, giving Ford the benefit of the doubt, he may have thought that this was part of putting "our long national nightmare" to rest.  Although I've never been entirely convinced of this.

    When Caroline Kennedy sought to ... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 07:40:51 PM EST
    ... write an update of her father's 1960 bestseller with her own book, Profiles in Courage for Our Time, she included Gerald Ford as one of her subjects.

    She concluded that Ford had placed principle above his own immediate personal interests, and had acted in full knowledge that pardoning Richard Nixon might well be a mortal wound for his own political future. "Ford's ambition for the country was larger than his own ambition," she wrote. "Restored confidence was more important than his [own election]. That's courage."

    In the final few days just prior to assuming the presidency on August 9, 1974, then-Vice President Ford had pointedly rebuffed White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig's insistence that soon-to-be-former President Nixon be pardoned, and further told Haig that he would refuse to consider the matter unless and until Nixon agreed to confess his guilt for his role in Watergate.

    But according to Ford, he subsequently changed his mind about the pardon three weeks later, after he had called his first press conference as president to lay out his administration's new economic policies to combat the country's double-digit inflationary spiral. Instead, he found himself peppered repeatedly by reporters with questions about whether his Department of Justice would seek Nixon's criminal indictment.

    Sensing innately that the American people would be unable to focus on other far more pressing and urgent policy matters while Nixon's legal fate still hung in the balance, Ford had his White House counsel approach Nixon's attorneys to see whether the former president would consider offering a public statement of regret for the ordeal he had inflicted upon the country, in exchange for the pardon.

    When President Ford pardoned Nixon on September 8, 1974, the former president issued the following statement: "No words can describe the depth of my regret and pain at the anguish my mistakes over Watergate had caused."

    Over 25 years later, when Caroline Kennedy interviewed Ford (then in his 80s) for her book, she pointedly asked why he hadn't pressed Nixon harder for an admission of guilt:

    "'I still carry it around in my packet, their statement,' Ford said. He reached into his pockets. 'I've got it in my wallet here because any time anybody challenges me I pull it out.' He searched around in his wallet.

    "He handed me a folded, dog-eared piece of paper. It was a portion of the 1915 Burdick Supreme Court decision that he'd been carrying around for years. I began to read aloud. 'Most important, the justices found that a pardon "carries an imputation of guilt, acceptance, a confession of it."'

    "Ford landed on the last phrase, and he repeated it: '"Acceptance, a confession of it." See, Nixon confessed,' he said. 'That was always very reassuring to me.'"

    -- Caroline Kennedy, Profiles in Courage for Our Time (2001), pages 308-09.

    I certainly can't fault you for feeling the way you do about Ford's pardon of Nixon, because were I older, I might just as easily feel much the same way. I was only 13 years old when Nixon resigned. And while I do remember those days vividly, it was more as a youthful observer who was fascinated by the drama I was witnessing, than as someone who was in full realization of the overall implications of those events.

    Because you're a decade older than me (I'm guessing here), you probably have a much more visceral reaction about Richard Nixon when recalling that particular period than I do or even Caroline Kennedy does. As a young adult, these matters had much more of a direct impact upon your decision making at the time than upon our own.



    I am a little bit more (5.00 / 6) (#46)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:09:10 PM EST
    Than a decade older than you are, and was 26 at the time and politically active, as I had been seen my early college days.  I have a very clear recollection of that time, and what Nixon did.  I would not have been willing to give him a pass, nor would any of my fellow activists.  I considered Ford's actions pusillanimous, at best.  I do not impute to him the noble impulses that Carolyn Kennedy did.

    I won't disagree. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:15:32 PM EST
    While I personally don't doubt that President Ford acted with the best of intentions, in obvious retrospect I believe that his pardon of Richard Nixon was a big mistake, especially given the present full-throttled crackpot state of today's GOP.

    The GOP far right learned absolutely nothing from Watergate, save for perhaps taking proactive steps to not get caught next time. Meanwhile, moderate and sensible Republicans such as Gerald Ford, Edward Brooke, Howard Baker and Lowell Weicker have been subsequently driven into political extinction.



    I'm in-between you and Donald... (none / 0) (#138)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:09:41 PM EST
    ...age wise, was about a month away from 23 when Tricky Dick resigned.

    I think Ford did what he did from good motives and would have done the same if coming into office behind a couple of crooked Democrats, just so the country could get over it and move on.

    With the price of a gallon of gas having tripled the preceeding January, we did have other problems with which to deal.

    So I have no ill-will towards him for the pardon.

    But in 20/20 hindsight, Ford should have thrown him to the wolves, "pour encourager les autres".


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#154)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:53:49 PM EST
    But then, hindsight's most always 20/20, isn't it?

    I've always had a healthy regard and kind feelings for our accidental president. Gerald Ford only agreed to become vice president in Oct. 1973 at the personal behest of then-Democratic House Speaker Carl Albert, because President Nixon had determined to nominate former Treasury Sec. John Connally for the post, and both Albert and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield were desperate to head that one off at the pass.

    Albert's rationale was simple: The affable Ford was held in high personal esteem by most all members of Congress, and would be easily confirmed at a time when the country clearly could not afford a protracted battle on Capitol Hill over the vice presidency. When Ford graciously acceded to the Speaker's request, members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle rallied very quickly behind one of their own.

    As a result, Speaker Albert and Majority Leader Mansfield were able to present Nixon with a political fait accompli, and the nation was thus ultimately spared the subsequent ascension of odious Mr. Connally to the Oval Office, upon Nixon's later resignation in August 1974.

    That said, Nixon's political fate was by no means settled in October 1973, and Gerald Ford really had no way of anticipating that the foundation was about to crumble so dramatically under the administration's feet, and that he was destined to become president in less than ten months' time.

    I believe the fates were kind to this country in that instance, because Ford was an eminently good and decent man, and I think we were lucky to have had him there in the right place at the right time. He signed the Helsinki Pact with the Soviet Union and competently managed the end of the Vietnam War as well as could be expected, resisting the entreaties of the far right to re-intervene. He calmly took the helm and steadied the ship of state, at a time when we were effectively adrift.



    Wow Donald... (none / 0) (#47)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:11:14 PM EST
    they must have some good libraries over there in Guam and Saipan for you to come up with that excellent bit of history.  Actually do you see any WWii memorials or parks remembering the war over there?  My dad was in Guam, Tulagi, Saipan, and I don't remember where else.  He was on a Liberty ship that hauled diesel fuel through the Panama Canal from Aruba to the South Pacific.  Many didn't make it home.

    I'm on Saipan right now. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:52:29 PM EST
    You know, I was going to check out all the sites within the War in the Pacific Nat'l Historical Park on both Guam and Saipan -- but lo and behold, they're all closed. Gee, I wonder why? (Eyes roll upward.) But hey, the resorts are all open, so maybe I'll do something novel and go to the beach.

    (Stand up for America. Punch a Republican.)

    Personally, I've got two more days on Saipan and another on Guam, and I can't wait to get back to Honolulu next Tuesday. I've now visited all of our country's quasi-colonial holdings in the Pacific in the last six weeks, and suffice to say that I am not at all impressed with our administration of them, which can best be described as one of benign neglect.



    Spent time on Saipan as a kid (none / 0) (#60)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:34:01 AM EST
    In the 1970s, when my con-man second stepfather had connections to the government, and just took a look at it online. Certainly has changed, and the northern part of the island has development where it was vacant and riddled with munitions at one time. I'm sure there are still plenty of WWII "souvenirs" tho. Sadly, I remember the controversy over foreign labor being abused and exploited and almost enslaved. Did they ever really address that?

    Other than shutting down sweatshops, no. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:35:26 PM EST
    The entire Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is distressed economically, and Saipan is actually losing population as islanders leave to seek work on Guam (a 40 min. flight) and in Hawaii.

    Sad (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:18:58 PM EST
    And speaking of islanders leaving the island, in the 70s and 80s my late stepfather ran adult and vocational ed programs, and got connected to the island leadership. When I was my son's age, 13, I was surrounded by the Micronesian kids he brought over to take classes at the large public vocational/adult ed program he ran in SoCal. Brought them over, housed them (in pretty shoddy places, in retrospect, though several of these guys lived in our house at any given time), too care of them in his own way, and they all called him dad. But, being the benevolent conman at heart that he was, and much like the John Mahoney character did with his retirement home in the film SAY ANYTHING, he was profiting nicely off of them the whole time (see shoddy housing, public subsidies, doctored enrollment sheets, etc.). Dude was lucky not to land in jail at the end. Seriously. Jaysus, what a hazy memory ramble. Forgive me.

    The political leadership out here ... (none / 0) (#148)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:35:57 PM EST
    ... leaves much to be desired. The corruption on Guam in particular has been so pervasive that there's been talk of a federal takeover and reorganization of the island's civil government.

    The Northern Marianas are not really much better. Articles of Impeachment were drawn up in the commonwealth's House of Delegates against CNMI Gov. Benigno R. Fitial (who's a Republican, BTW), which alleges corruption, insider dealing, neglect of duty, several Hatch Act violations and instances of bribery and solicitation, but they were recently tabled upon introduction by the administration-allied House leadership.

    Coincidentally with my arrival on Saipan yesterday, a public petition drive began here to urge U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate public corruption in the CNMI. Over 1,000 people have reportedly already signed, which in a territory of some 60,000 residents is fairly indicative of just how frustrated a lot of people are with Gov. Fitial and the present status quo.

    The powers that be here on Saipan are pretty much the same cast of characters who were friends of Jack Abramoff and allegedly helped him with the sweatshop / prostitution scheme -- save for the now-former CNMI Atorney General Edward Buchanan, who's now considered a fugitive from justice after failing to appear in court to answer corruption charges brought against him by the independent Public Auditor.

    The aforementioned Articles of Impeachment allege that the governor facilitated his AG's departure from the CNMI last August to avoid prosecution, and there is videotaped evidence showing local  police shielding Buchanan from being served a penal summons. The Public Auditor ultimately had to request the FBI's assistance in serving him.

    It's amazing what I've learned in only four days in the western Pacific. I'm now seriously considering declining this particular prospective client, because I really don't want to find myself in the position of being actively solicited for a bribe by local officials.



    More precisely (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:14:02 AM EST
    Profiles in Courage was much more Clark Clifford's book, with some notes from JFK (who DID have the original idea) and others.

    The most thorough analysis of who did what has come from historian Herbert Parmet in Jack: The Struggles of John F. Kennedy (1980). Parmet interviewed the participants and reviewed a crateful of papers in the Kennedy Library. He found that Kennedy contributed some notes, mostly on John Quincy Adams, but little that made it into the finished product. "There is no evidence of a Kennedy draft for the overwhelming bulk of the book," Parmet writes. While "the choices, message, and tone of the volume are unmistakably Kennedy's," the actual work was "left to committee labor." The "literary craftsmanship [was] clearly Sorensen's, and he gave the book both the drama and flow that made for readability." Parmet, like everyone else, shrinks from saying Sorensen was the book's ghostwriter, but clearly he was.


    Oh no, Another illusion (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:40:24 PM EST
    shattered. How could you!  

    To quote the late Vince Foster, ... (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:21:45 PM EST
    ... "I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport."

    As the late Tip O'Neill once observed, politics ain't beanbag. And the fact that a politician is deceased often proves no impediment to his critics, should one wish to tarnish his stature posthumously.

    It doesn't surprise me at all about the "Profiles" ghostwriters, but the bottom line is that JFK's name was on the cover as its author. And had the book been roundly panned, he'd have taken the hit for that.



    Profiles in Courage? (none / 0) (#120)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:37:23 PM EST
    Clark Clifford was his attorney; Ken Sorenson, the ghost writer.

    Make that, (none / 0) (#123)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:41:08 PM EST
    Ted Sorensen.

    A democrat comes to his senses? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:04:48 PM EST
    I mean a republican?

    The Guardian today...
    Patriot Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection 'out of business'

    The conservative Republican who co-authored America's Patriot Act is preparing to unveil bipartisan legislation that would dramatically curtail the domestic surveillance powers it gives to intelligence agencies.

    Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who worked with president George W Bush to give more power to US intelligence agencies after the September 11 terrorist attacks, said the intelligence community had misused those powers by collecting telephone records on all Americans, and claimed it was time "to put their metadata program out of business".

    His imminent bill in the House of Representatives is expected to be matched by a similar proposal from Senate judiciary committee chair Patrick Leahy, a Democrat. It pulls together existing congressional efforts to reform the National Security Agency in the wake of disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    Sensenbrenner has called his bill the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-Collection, and Online Monitoring Act - or USA Freedom Act, and a draft seen by the Guardian has four broad aims.

    It seeks to limit the collection of phone records to known terrorist suspects; to end "secret laws" by making courts disclose surveillance policies; to create a special court advocate to represent privacy interests; and to allow companies to disclose how many requests for users' information they receive from the USA. The bill also tightens up language governing overseas surveillance to remove a loophole which it has been abused to target internet and email activities of Americans.

    Somebody will want votes, I guess...

    Whenever there's a new law... (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:46:45 PM EST
    ...with one of those overly clever acronymic names (like PATRIOT Act), it means it wasn't hastly cobbled together, but has been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long awaiting its turn to slouch towards Bethlehem.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 153 (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:27:01 AM EST
    The government is one thing, but no one can shut down her rage. (link)

    Volume 152

    Volume 151

    TGIF, my friends. We're just happy there isn't a BART strike...yet. Means no impossible drive into the city. And CalTrain, which we could take from Millbrae also, if there is a strike, will be crowded like a chain of sardine cans. Not a fun prospect either way.


    Someone's gonna get fired for this (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:28:58 AM EST
    The CIA suspected Edward Snowden of trying to break into classified files - in 2009.

    WASHINGTON -- Just as Edward J. Snowden was preparing to leave Geneva and a job as a C.I.A. technician in 2009, his supervisor wrote a derogatory report in his personnel file, noting a distinct change in the young man's behavior and work habits, as well as a troubling suspicion.

    The C.I.A. suspected that Mr. Snowden was trying to break into classified computer files to which he was not authorized to have access, and decided to send him home, according to two senior American officials.

    But the red flags went unheeded. Mr. Snowden left the C.I.A. to become a contractor for the National Security Agency, and four years later he leaked thousands of classified documents. The supervisor's cautionary note and the C.I.A.'s suspicions apparently were not forwarded to the N.S.A. or its contractors, and surfaced only after federal investigators began scrutinizing Mr. Snowden's record once the documents began spilling out, intelligence and law enforcement officials said.

    "It slipped through the cracks," one veteran law enforcement official said of the report.

    Spokesmen for the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. all declined to comment on the precise nature of the warning and why it was not forwarded, citing the investigation into Mr. Snowden's activities.

    Half a dozen law enforcement, intelligence and Congressional officials with direct knowledge of the supervisor's report were contacted for this article. All of the officials agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing criminal investigation.

    In hindsight, officials said, the report by the C.I.A. supervisor and the agency's suspicions might have been the first serious warnings of the disclosures to come, and the biggest missed opportunity to review Mr. Snowden's top-secret clearance or at least put his future work at the N.S.A. under much greater scrutiny.

    Somebody probably (none / 0) (#84)
    by sj on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    will get fired for it. But it is because of such fortuitious "failures" that we now have at least an inkling of the level of surveillance and intrusion the US government is perpetrating on its own law abiding citizens.

    So much for the trucker protest (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:49:03 AM EST
    There were about 30 trucks.

    Heavy volumes of traffic were reported on the Beltway during Friday morning's commute because of the rain, police authorities said, but there were no major incidents related to a protest by about 30 tractor-trailers and pickups against what organizers describe as excessive government intrusion.

    Maryland and Virginia police officials said at mid-morning that the truck protesters appeared to have broken up into smaller groups and were traveling at the same speed as the rest of traffic along the Beltway.

    In Maryland, state police officials said there were a few minor accidents on the outer loop of the Beltway in College Park at the Route 1 exit and at the Route 50 exit in Landover -- none of them were related to the trucker protest.

    In Virginia, the trucks were traveling in the right lane of the Beltway earlier in the morning, keeping pace with other traffic -- around 40 to 45 miles per hour, due to the wet road conditions, said Virginia State Police spokesman Corinne N. Geller.

    But by mid-morning, she said, the group was becoming harder to track.

    Well, they did have ONE incident:

    Earlier Friday morning, four tractor-trailers drove side-by-side, across all four northbound lanes of the Beltway's inner loop in Virginia. That caused traffic to slow to 15 miles per hour. State police troopers stopped the vehicles and "warned them not to impede traffic," Geller said. The drivers were not issued tickets and allowed to "proceed on their way."

    Like (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:03:29 PM EST
    most everything conservatives seem to try these days it fizzled.

    Utah (2.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:30:14 AM EST
    reopens national parks. Wonder how long before sec of interior gets called on the carpet for that?

    Other states are sure to follow. I hope it doesn't spoil Obama's plan to make the public feel the pain regardless of need.

    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:01:39 AM EST
    this is the talking point of the GOP. The GOP is the one that wanted the shut down and now is whining that everything is shut down. LOL.

    You guys are doing a great job of helping him. Of course the pied pipers on the right are telling you that you are "winning!!!". LOL.


    Those (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:20:58 PM EST
    is the talking points of the left. Amazing, as the news is essentially two sets of talking points that any discussion might include them.

    Some in the GOP may like the shut down, I have no big issue with a temporary 17% reduction. It seems to show which departments of the government are run the worst and how poorly it is possible to deal with the small reduction while delivering the services the public needs.

    Not my first budget crisis, and actions of the politicians haven't changed in decades. Instead of doing their best to serve the public, they do their best to harm the public, punish not serve. The policy flows down from the top, the dear leader isn't loving us much.


    So the pied piper (none / 0) (#132)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 04:54:29 PM EST
    aren't telling you that things are going your way and that you have the momentum. LOL. What the left is talking about is making fun of the talking points on the right.

    Yes, it's all because Obama would not negotiate on something that the GOP KNEW he would not negotiate on. Of course, the GOP takes no responsibility for the problem which is typical. They are the ones that wanted it shut down, have been planning a shut down for months and then whine because they can't get their way and then whine because the parks are shut down or whatever. Now they have quit their crazy obsession with Obamacare maybe something can be settled.


    Obama (1.50 / 2) (#134)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:38:15 PM EST
    chose not to negotiate. Why does he think getting mad and making demands is helpful when he reaches the limit on the nations credit card?

    Congress doesn't "have to" fund Obamacare, something that should be no surprise given the trickery in passing it in the first place.

    Despite all the media spin;

    Obamacare isn't going well or liked.

    Obama shut down antics are seen for what they are, attempts to punish the public that are not needed.


    A prime example (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:43:19 PM EST
    of someone that lives in a self-made news bubble created from a world of make believe.

    Read (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:53:27 PM EST
    James Carville's focus group he did on the GOP. It is very illuminating on Republicans think. Above person sounds just like them.

    Plenty (1.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:04:43 AM EST
    of examples here. Single point of view people.

    I work hard at looking at many perspectives, if you can't see beyond your own ideology, how do you learn anything?


    There are many point of view here (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:53:07 AM EST
    But anyone who expects to be taken seriously or persuade others presents actual evidence to back their claims.

    You, OTOH, don't.


    Rush? Is that you?? (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Angel on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:49:56 PM EST
    He chose not to negotiate (5.00 / 3) (#144)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:51:54 PM EST
    on the ACA which the GOP knew he would not. Look they have been planning this for months. Patty Murray invited them 18 times to meet with her and they declined. So all of a sudden Obama is doing what he told them up front he would NOT do and they are whining. If your boss tells you he's not going to give you a raise do you keep asking and lay down on the floor and have a temper tantrum hoping he does even after he's told you numerous times already he isn't going to?

    There was no trickery. It was discussed for over a year. The GOP chose not to participate and once again they whine. You sound exactly like one of those people in James Carville's focus group. It was all "trickery" and people were "fooled". It seems to me the only people that have been fooled are the people that listen to the pied pipers of talk radio.


    Repeating (1.25 / 4) (#166)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:07:55 AM EST
    more talking points isn't doing much.

    Obamacare was crammed through congress in one of the least open or ethical fashions in history. Funding it can't be done in the same manner.


    ROTFLMAO (5.00 / 4) (#172)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:57:55 AM EST
    It was not crammed through. It was voted on by congress and the senate. Only crackpots think that kind of thing. It was discussed for a year. The fact that the GOP lost in 2008 does not mean that anything was crammed through. Like I said the GOP CHOSE not to participate which is their choice. But you can't have it both ways--chose not to participate and then say it was crammed through.

    It seems the only one using talking points around here are you. You seem to be saying the same exact words your pied pipers are saying.


    Do you really believe all that? (5.00 / 3) (#162)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 01:01:19 AM EST
    The polls would not agree with you on "Obama shut down antics are seen for what they are...."

    I know this divergence over what constitutes reality does occur.   But I really have no idea how you get to where you are....


    BTW - Your theory ... (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 07:56:10 AM EST
    ... about Obama trying to cause as much pain as possible - apart from being just one more specious claim from you - doesn't align with reality.

    Ariz. only state cutting welfare in govt shutdown

    That would be the decision of Republican Governor Jan Brewer.


    Oh (none / 0) (#146)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:55:30 PM EST
    and the GOP is doing such a great job they have actually made Obamacare MORE POPULAR. Maybe you need to signal to Houston that Starship 9 has a problem.

    You constantly make silly claims ... (none / 0) (#149)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:53:18 PM EST
    ... without ever offering the slightest bit of evidence.

    Do you expect to be taken seriously?


    Okay (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:25:13 PM EST
    We have heard from the GOP that Obama can't do anything right for years now but then all of a sudden with this shutdown he's become a magician who is mean? I mean LOL really. We can now say we have conversed on a blog with one of the people who think the zombie apocalypse is going to happen soon or better yet maybe she thinks Obama is a space alien ruling the universe who is capable of great mind control. Yes, we have gone from someone who thinks that Obama is weak and going to let us be overrun with terrorists to someone so powerful he there is nothing that can stop his all powerful mind control tactics.

    No, he doesn't. (5.00 / 0) (#158)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:46:57 PM EST
    I think that deep down inside, Mikado actually desires to be TL's designated right-wing piñata.

    Not (1.00 / 4) (#167)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:09:29 AM EST
    to anyone who has already made up their mind and toes the party line above all else.

    Some normal people have to read this blog as well as the diehards.


    Wow, talk about funny (5.00 / 4) (#169)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:36:42 AM EST
    You, who regurgitate all the most extreme talking points the of most "batsh!t crazy" element of the Republican Party, toe the party line a lot more than most people and somehow think you represent normal people? Incredible.  

    The only people who could possibly take you seriously are die hard Rush Limbaugh fans. Come to think of it, after having their brains fried from listening to right wing talk radio, even they may have to stretch to find many of your statements credible.


    Funny (2.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 12:13:23 PM EST
    You insist I repeat talking points of people and programs I never listen to. I get most of my news from google news avoiding or at least paying attention to the bias of the sources.

    How about someone explaining why open air memorials are being closed and staffed with guards to keep people away.

    Tear down the Barrycades.


    So, I guess you came up with (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Angel on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 12:25:18 PM EST
    Tear down the Barrycades.
    all by your lonesome.

    Baa waa waa (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 12:34:56 PM EST
    A direct quote from Ted Cruz. Are you surprised? LOL. Anytime a right winger comes up with a phrase google it and you'll get a million hits.

    Surprised? Nope. MC doesn't appear to me to (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Angel on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:35:20 AM EST
    be an original thinker.  

    Seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:01:52 PM EST
    How about someone explaining why open air memorials are being closed and staffed with guards to keep people away.

    Because the number of personnel it takes to run National Parks sites in terms of the safety of visitors, the security of the memorials, and the operation and maintenance of park facilities is far more than the skeleton crew the Park Service is using to close parks/memorials.  Because the 330 park rangers and workers assigned to the Mall are being laid off, along with 9 out of 10 Park Service employees.

    See how that link-thing works.  We call it "evidence", ...

    ... as opposed to specious, baseless accusations.


    Thank you for proving my point (5.00 / 4) (#199)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:28:13 AM EST
    by regurgitating one of the latest talking points of the "batsh!t crazy" element of the Republican Party.

    BTW, you need to work on your reading comprehension skills. I did not "insist" that you listened to any particular person(s) or program(s). What I actually said (I know you have difficulty dealing with comprehending actual words and word usage), was that only people who are Rush Limbaugh fans could possibly take anything you say seriously and even they may have trouble doing so.


    FYI (none / 0) (#193)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:17:09 PM EST
    There are approximately 2,000 acts of vandalism every year in National Parks when the parks are fully staffed.  Yet, without the tiniest bit of evidence, you claim that closing these sites (when @ 90% of NPS workers are laid off) is just a political ploy.

    As believable as most of your theories ...


    Also FYI (none / 0) (#194)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:29:17 PM EST
    Closing the parks and monuments is not a decision made by Obama.  it's part of the NPS contingency plan, which requires the suspension of "all activities except for those that are essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life of the protection of property".

    They also closed the parks/monuments in 1996, for the very same, legitimate reasons.


    "Normal People" - Heh (5.00 / 3) (#170)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:49:53 AM EST
    "Normal people" don't believe winger talking points.  They also aren't persuaded by baseless charges without the slightest bit of evidence presented to support them.  You'll need to return to reality and learn to use links if that's your objective.

    Not a realistic view (none / 0) (#188)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 12:23:13 PM EST
    Of course "normal people" believe the talking points of both sides, its expertly crafted advertising designed to capture the minds of any who fail to research topics in more depth. Even when talking points are not "believed" with no hard information otherwise they cast "some doubt". Given the general distrust most people have the media, talking points are effective.

    Shut down is proving a great lesson in politics.


    Maybe you should stick to ... (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:44:22 PM EST
    ... speaking for yourself, rather than "normal people."  Most of us here are much smarter than your version of "normal people".

    BTW - Still haven't learned how to provide links to back up your claims?  Or is it that you simply have no evidence?


    If the states are able to open the parks ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by magster on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:01:40 PM EST
    ... temporarily, that would be awesome. I know that Estes Park is suffering the double whammy of first a flood and then this shutdown. Whatever can be done to keep people from drowning is fine with me.

    This, from my freshman Congresscritter, (5.00 / 0) (#78)
    by Angel on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:07:32 AM EST
    Roger Williams, Republican and a$$hat extraordinaire.  

    Williams said he doesn't believe the consequences of the shutdown have been particularly dire.

    "I think if you do a survey across America, people aren't affected," he said. "They are still doing business. They are going home at night. They're still selling their products. What affected people was the administration shutting down the memorials."

    Not that he's happy about it.

    "I didn't want the government to shut down, I didn't get my laundry out" of the congressional laundry before it shut down, said Williams.

    He's running low on shirts.

    Not being able to use the national parks (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:32:47 AM EST
    for vacation or the a$$hat Republican Rep. below not being able to get his laundry is "rich man pain."

    Not being able to purchase formula or get heating assistance is a wee bit more painful. Yet this is the type of pain that the Republicans want to continue even after they reopen the government so that they can give millionaire and billionaires more of the pie.

    Please forgive me if I can't even begin to take your comment seriously.


    Truth (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 07:24:29 PM EST
    be told, I don't think that the rich are going to feel any pain ever under this administration.

    I don't get the impression that Obama gives any more of a fig about how we feel than the Repukes.

    His party is salivating at the prospect that it might do well in the midterms. That's all they care about.

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the government in toto. The works. Democrats. Republicans. The works.

    It's rich against poor.

    And the less-rich have no one to speak for us.
    No one.
    Certainly not Obama.
    Certainly no one in the Repuke party.

    We need someone to challenge both of these festering boils. Someone from without.



    Poll: 60% of Americans would (none / 0) (#155)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:04:36 PM EST
    Throw the bums out.

    That's the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.
    The number of Americans who say they want to fire everyone is fairly consistent among most groups - at around 60 percent - but it spikes among rural voters (70 percent), white independents (70 percent) and those in Republican-held congressional districts (67 percent). Just 52 percent of respondents in Democratic-held districts would vote to fire every lawmaker on Capitol Hill. link

    As far (none / 0) (#174)
    by lentinel on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:02:34 AM EST
    as it goes, I'm with this 60% - but I would extend the firing to the executive branch which is the most incompetent in memory.

    I predict fewer than 1% of the current batch of (none / 0) (#175)
    by Angel on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:06:54 AM EST
    congressmen/women will not get reelected.  People say they want new representation but they'll continue to vote these same clowns in office because it's always "the other representatives" who are awful, "mine's just fine thank you very much" line of thinking.

    Your prediction is probably accurate (none / 0) (#180)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 10:28:33 AM EST
    but current polling is showing dissatisfaction with their own Rep. as well. Per my original link:

    ...saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would.
    The numbers reflect a broader trend over the last few years. Americans have traditionally said that while they might not like Congress, they usually like their own representatives. But that sentiment appears to have shifted.

    We can say that all day long, but the problem is t (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Amiss on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:50:11 PM EST
    we are forced to vote instead to vote for the one we feel will do the least amount of damage, not the "best". I even wonder a lot of days if there are any "bests" left.
    Very disheartening.

    Another side (none / 0) (#173)
    by lentinel on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:00:43 AM EST
    effect of this shutdown is that it,

    ..."increases the risk that the public will suffer from contaminated (food) products." (NYTimes)

    Also more painful (and deadly) than the parks or the laundry imo.


    Think like a Cat... (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:02:06 AM EST
    not like a sheep...accept the risk of fine and/or arrest, maybe have to hop a fence, and pursue your happiness enjoying our national treasures.

    Welcome to my world;)


    Those dastardly "plans" (none / 0) (#74)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:43:25 AM EST
    Other states are sure to follow. I hope it doesn't spoil Obama's plan to make the public feel the pain regardless of need.

    Or, ... just imaginary "plans".


    Wouldn't this be a GREAT plan (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:48:02 AM EST
    if it indeed, were true?

    I hope it doesn't spoil Obama's plan to make the public feel the pain regardless of need.

    If people really feel pain, and poll after poll suggests they widely still blame Republicans, wouldn't that be a brilliant plan?

    I can see Obama now, sitting in the Oval Office, rubbing his hands together and doing his best Dr. Evil impersonation and laughing maniacally as how well his plan has worked.


    It ain't (none / 0) (#176)
    by lentinel on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:07:00 AM EST
    gonna work, imo.

    The pain and disgust being felt by the American people is laid at the doorsteps of both repubs and dems -- as it should be.

    My prediction is that it will ultimately have zero effect on the midterms - because of the perception that both sides are culpable and inexcusably dense.


    I was actually being snarky (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 10:57:16 AM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 152 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    From the Granny files, 1947, post-WWII ladyshackles edition, found in my own granny's knapsack, the one she brought back from her third stay in the state pen. Tough broad, she was. (link)

    Volume 151
    Volume 150

    Congrats to Alice Munro on her Nobel Prize in Literature. She says her writing days are over, that she's ready to go out and enjoy "the surface" of life (link). Have a blast, Alice. Stay away from the E and the Molly.

    My grandmother was a riveter (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:09:39 PM EST
    during WWII at the Oregon Shipyards that were across the Columbia River from Portland in Washington state.  As a kid I thought all that was strange.

    Grandma Rosie? (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:24:43 PM EST
    So you been fishing in defiance of the government shutdown yet or what fishcamp? The suspense is killin' me...

    Yeah, I fished over in the Park, (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:52:33 PM EST
    caught some snappers and didn't see any of the alphabetical greeter groups.  The Miami Herald today said there are 8 boats patrolling and if caught there could be a $2.5k fine.  It's affecting some fly fishing tournaments and pi**ing off lots of already over regulated fishermen down here.  Maybe we should circle the Capitol with our boats when the truckers have finished.

    Two and a half large fine? (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:15:35 PM EST
    Damn the man and his alphabetized mercenary groups...they got some balls.

    Glad you got in and out with some fresh catch and no summons...you're my hero!


    So the park itself is (none / 0) (#17)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:35:54 PM EST
    shut down, but they seem to have the money for 8 boats to patrol to make sure that nobody goes fishing there?
    Truly, we are all Alice and have fallen down the rabbit hole.
    How did you prepare the snappers?  Come on, give with some recipes, bro'!    ;-)

    No secret recipes for Yellowtail Snapper (none / 0) (#36)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:57:12 PM EST
    They are small fish and the filets are fragile.  They aren't sturdy enough for the grill like Grouper and Mahi so I just sauté them in Kalamata olive oil and a teensy bit of salt and pepper.  Lately I'm into the actual taste of the fish instead of all the stuffed and sauced up preparations restaurants have down here.  However most restaurants serve Cuban whole deep fried snapper with all kinds of spices that is delicious beyond belief and exactly the opposite of the other method health wise.  BTW I'm having fresh grilled lobster tonight.

    {{Drool}} (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 05:39:31 PM EST
    Fresh grilled lobster.
    Gee, I feel so sorry for you, fishcamp.   ;-)
    I know what you mean about small fish fillets.  When Mr. Zorba brings home smaller fish that need to be filleted, he browns some butter and plops the fillets in the frying pan.  Then, as soon as he flips them (which does not take long), he places a few very thin slices of lime on top of the cooked side, while the bottom is cooking.
    Very good, but no doubt not as healthy as olive oil.
    Simple preparation is definitely great when you have really fresh fish.

    Zorba, you're the one that... (none / 0) (#43)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 07:50:00 PM EST
    got me going on olive oil and then Kalamata olive oil.  It's strange that Kalamata olives have such a definite flavor while the oil is the mildest and imo the very best.  After you said that about butter I realized that I have no butter in the house.  It's a little late in the game for me to be going all organic, olive oil, and green tea with my diet but I feel good.  Thanx.

    Oh, I use (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:18:38 PM EST
    Olive oil for most of my cooking, especially kalamata, or other equivalent Greek olive oils.  Kolymvari olive oil from Crete is also especially good, but it's more difficult to find in this country.
    Mr. Zorba likes to prepare the fish that he catches (and I'm certainly not going to argue with him if he wants to cook!) and he likes the browned butter preparation.  It's really great, but I wouldn't eat it every day.   ;-)

    When... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:39:21 PM EST
    ...is fishcamp NOT fishing? That's my question.

    That'd be Vancouver, WA, I think. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:26:43 PM EST
    And I always wondered how many ladies of the generation, who after the war got married and had kiss, were always sort of taunted and tempted by that brief taste of the sort of "industrial equality" that men are still able to monopolize today. Said in another way, I wonder how many of those women didn't really desire the husband/children/family at all after their war experience.

    had KIDS (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:27:12 PM EST
    Not kiss. Jaysus, dude, proofread a TAD.

    Gram was very happy to (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:01:34 PM EST
    get out of the shipyards and back to caring for our giant family.  My dad and 3 uncles made it home from the war and we were happy.  I suppose there were some wild riveter women roaming the Pacific

    No doubt (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:18:14 PM EST
    It's a more subtle sort of irony I was going for. Maybe I bricked.

    While "a kiss is just (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:50:48 PM EST
    a kiss," that kiss can sometimes eventually lead to.....kids.

    Yep...every time my dad (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 07:54:03 PM EST
    came home during the war I soon had another little sister.

    Believe it or not... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:38:18 AM EST
    ...we both have fathers who are WWII veterans, though it seems you are, how do we put this with class, a good deal more mature than I am. ;-) I was born in '66 to give you an idea.

    Here's one for you (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:55:16 AM EST
    I am considered a "war orphan" . My father was also in WW II. He was in what was called the "death March" across Germany, was a prisoner of war. He sent home a swastika that we still have in the family. We lost him in 1959 at the age of 43, due to problems from frostbite occurring during his imprisonment.

    Brought back memories (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by D Jessup on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:11:04 PM EST
    My father was also a POW, captured during the Battle of the Bulge, and marched across Germany, he had extreme frost bite and was hospitalized in Paris for several months after he was liberated, where he met me mother.  My home town newspaper referred to her as a "war bride", she died of cancer in 1957.

    The reach of that war... (none / 0) (#97)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:50:06 PM EST
    ...across generations, is astounding if you try to consider it. War orphan, wow, how resonant and odd at the same time, in context.

    My buddy and old mentor, Carey Harrison, has written a great novel along these lines, that spans pre-war Italy up to the 1990s. Called JUSTICE (link), and I have to plug it in this context cuz it's a really good read and I owe him some pub for a literary favor he's doing for me. I once heard a lit professor say "If you go for the universal, you get the general. But if you go for the speficic, you get the universal." Nothing is more true about this novel than that bit of storytelling wisdom. Get a copy now. End plug.


    24 Photos you need to really look at... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:48:08 PM EST
    ...to understand. Interesting sleight-of-eye pix. (link)

    Alright, I have to go pretend to work. ;-)

    Do we have a debt problem? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:31:02 PM EST

    Seems that we do.

    Never quite realized that we are actually borrowing more money then we are producing.

    Seems like we have a problem.

    Oh well, onward and upward!

    The federal government is in debt... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:40:57 AM EST
    ...to itself ultimately. We are not trading in a finite natural commodity, so every single thing being said about this topic -- debt, spending cuts, that many sentient human beings have to suffer because of inanimate objects (or non-objects more likely today) that other, barely sentient humans have complete control over -- is BULLSH*T. We are living in a state of complete absurdity in relation to our own monster.

    Then make a deal (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Jack203 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 09:20:41 AM EST
    with an offer other than "We won't sabotage the country, and you will make concessions to us for free"

    The percentage of total wealth for the super rich in this country has been increasing over the last 25 years. Until this percentage is either stagnant or decreasing, it should be a no-brainer for you bozos to make an offer.  How rich do the rich have to be for you guys?


    Not quite what it says (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:14:34 PM EST
    It says that the increase in the debt is more than the increase in GDP, not that we are borrowing more than we are producing. If we are indeed borrowing more than we are producing, you can't prove it by that chart.

    Oh, Ariel Castro (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    I really didn't need to know that. :) (none / 0) (#15)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:25:58 PM EST
    At least it's after lunch! (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:27:08 PM EST
    (apologies to the west coast and Donald)



    "At least it's after lunch"? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:40:46 PM EST
    It's not even 6:30 a.m. here in Guam!

    Oh, well, if this story is true, at least the sexually self-absorbed Mr. Castro left this world while doing what he apparently most enjoyed.

    But all poor taste aside here, and to be perfectly honest, I don't think this account sounds very plausible at all. After all, if the cell block guards falsified their logs to cover their failure to perform at least eight rounds of required checks on Castro, who knows what really happened to him that night?

    I'll certainly shed no tears for Castro -- but all the same, the man was in the custody of the State of Ohio, and fully dependent upon the State to see to his care and general well-being. And on that count, suffice to say that the State failed very badly.

    This should never have happened, and were I an Ohio resident and taxpayer, I'd like to know why and how it did. It's not about the late inmate, but rather, the inherent integrity of the State's corrections system -- or lack thereof.



    I Would Want to Know... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:00:24 PM EST
    ...why we are wasting tax dollars trying to keep suicidal prisoners from exiting the planet.

    Not to be crass, but who is the state to disallow someone from taking their own life ?

    It's one thing to monitor newbies who may not be in their right minds, it's quite another to makes sure lifers don't ever hurt themselves.

    And if it was auto-asphyxiation, again, why is it the state's responsibility to keep someone from accidentally killing themselves just because they are incarceration.  They have a responsibility to keep them save from others, but not themselves.

    If that is what he did, with an open Bible and pictures of his family around him, well F, it only proves what we already knew, he was one screwed up cat.

    I suspect he did it just to show us how addicted he was to sex, so bad that it even took his life.  That somehow in his head meant he was right the whole time in that he couldn't control it, that is wasn't his fault because he was an addict.

    Problem is people might buy it if his crime didn't involved over a decade of everyday monstrosities.  Pretty hard to claim that somewhere in their his addiction didn't allow some form of rational thought, even if just for a day.  Plus of course according to his kid and ex, he was a son-of-a-B long before this happened.


    I'll let Jeralyn answer that, given ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:15:24 PM EST
    ... her experience as a criminal defense attorney.

    But that said, given the prison guards' falsified log, I'm not going to just presume that the prisoner took his own life, or take the State's official report on Castro's death at its face value.


    You Are the One That Brought... (none / 0) (#67)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:10:54 AM EST
    ...it up and my question were directed at you.

    This isn't about the guards and what they did, my question stands for you, Donald, Who is the state to disallow someone from taking their own life ?

    IMO there isn't any more base freedom then having the right to take your own life even while incarcerated.


    I turn that around and ask, ... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:39:19 PM EST
    ... who is the State of Ohio to continue to insist that Ariel Castro took his own life, when its prison guards badly compromised the case by falsifying the log book for that night? Where were they for those eight rounds?

    I was very clearly discussing the State's inherent responsibility for the well being of those persons who are in its custody, and really have no desire to argue about one's right to commit suicide.

    Now, it may very well be that Castro did in fact kill himself, either accidentally or purposefully. But I'd offer that any sworn statement or testimony to that effect from either his guards or prison officials is at best problematic, given that those guards weren't where they were supposed to be that night, and weren't doing what that log book would otherwise have us believe.



    Skipping a Patrol... (none / 0) (#131)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    ...is not assisting in any sense of the word.

    But that is still missing the more important question which you now have avoided answering twice, Who is the state to disallow someone from taking their own life ?

    I don't think you can defend your position, it's why you deflected to J and then turned the question around to somehow the guards actually assisted him by skipping the 'rounds'.


    Well, I am in favor of (none / 0) (#133)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:04:03 PM EST
    Non-assisted suicide, in limited cases, assuming that the person can make such a decision.  And even in some cases, assisted suicide, if it is the individual's choice.
    I am not in favor of capital punishment, nor am I in favor of guards taking this decision into their own hands and offing a person themselves.  But if a prisoner (or someone who is, for that matter, suffering intractable pain or at the end of life),  decides that they want to end it all, rather than continuing in their existence, who am I (or the state) to tell them that they cannot do this?
    Given the fact that Ariel Castro was, to put it mildly, not exactly mentally stable, I still see no reason to have denied him the opportunity to kill himself.  What purpose would have been served by forcing him to live?

    "...not exactly mentally stable..." (none / 0) (#147)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:19:35 PM EST
    ...doesn't sound like someone who should be considered competent to decide whether or not to take their own life.

    Even if you say "they've been handed down a death sentence anyway, might as well let them kill themselves if they want to and save the expense of keeping them behind bars until the official execution", or "they've been sentenced to life without any possibility of ever getting out anyway, might as well let them kill themselves if they want to and save the expense of keeping them behind bars until they die of old age", and even if you don't look at it from the point of view of "they're being punished for their crimes and have no right to insult the dignity and majesty of the state and the law by avoiding that punishment in any way", when you hear about a prisoner committing suicide will you be quite certain that it really was suicide and really was the prisoner's sole decision?

    As it stands now, suicide is "not allowed", and therefore is an anomaly that gets scrutinized (or at least should)to see what went wrong to let them get away with thwarting the state by taking their own life, and so seeing what went wrong may turn up evidence that it wasn't suicide after all if if fact it wasn't.

    If it becomes "allowed", then it goes uninvestigated.


    I certainly did NOT say (none / 0) (#152)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:25:03 PM EST
    "they've been handed down a death sentence anyway, might as well let them kill themselves if they want to and save the expense of keeping them behind bars until the official execution", or "they've been sentenced to life without any possibility of ever getting out anyway, might as well let them kill themselves if they want to and save the expense of keeping them behind bars until they die of old age",
    You are giving the appearance, at least, of putting words in my mouth, which very frankly, I resent, unitron.
    I certainly do understand the danger of a total laissez faire attitude towards prisoner suicides, and the very real danger that they may be "helped along."  
    But if  Castro, who I characterized as mentally unstable, doesn't, in your words, "sound like someone who should be considered competent to decide whether or not to take their own life," then why should he have been considered mentally competent enough to stand trial and be sentenced in our courts, as opposed to being found mentally incompetent to stand trial and given over to a secure mental health facility?
    I would like to see a better solution than what we have.  I do not disagree that there should be investigations into what happened, but I also think that adults should be granted the modicum of dignity that allows them to depart this life in their own terms, when such a thing is possible, without coercion from others.

    But we really don't know for a fact ... (none / 0) (#156)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:19:20 PM EST
    ... that Castro actually killed himself. Sure, he was found with a sheet tied around his neck and his pants down around his ankles. But there's a prolonged period of time on the cell block log books for which the whereabouts of the guards are unaccounted on the night in question.

    And that's my point here, Scott. Where were the friggin' guards? Were they perhaps taking justice into their own hands, and hurrying Castro along to meet his Maker?

    I really hate to think that, but let's face it, their documented falsification of the log book entries now underscores that otherwise unthinkable scenario as a distinct possibility.

    It might still be only a relatively remote possibility, were it not for the Ohio authorities now Floating "auto-erotic asphyxiation" as their farfetched explanation for Castro's death. As a result, I think the guards' potential culpability in this matter is certainly now open to serious question.



    Non Sense... (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 09:51:27 AM EST
    ...if he had been killed, then we should be asking where were the guards.

    Skipping rounds is not assisting one's death or taking justice in their hands no matter how many times you type it.

    You made a ridiculous argument about if you were an Ohio taxpayer, yet you can't defend it, instead you keep sidestepping the crux on the entire debate.

    Who is the state to disallow someone from taking their own life ?

    To claim to be morally enraged because of the guards skipping around without addressing that question is a huge cop out.

    I suspect you are dodging the question because you don't believe the state should disallow someone the right to take their own life.  Which of course would make you outrage nothing more than a fugazi.

    I agree about the gaurds if someone would have been hurt by another because of their dereliction, but they should have not ever been on suicide watch.  And more importantly,m if their rounds were every 15 mins, are we to believe a man can asphyxiate himself out accidentally or on purpose in 15 mins ?

    My entire point is this isn't the guards fault.  Punish them for not doing their duty, but stop trying to hang a suicide, accidental or not, on them.


    Because the nearest and dearest of the deceased (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:48:18 PM EST
    sue public entities, that's why.

    I have mixed feelings about (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by sj on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:03:01 AM EST
    the question, but this
    Because the nearest and dearest of the deceased (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:48:18 PM MDT

    sue public entities, that's why.

    is a piss poor reason for a response to what is ultimately a moral question. Sadly, I suspect that you're right.

    They Couldn't Sue... (none / 0) (#68)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:13:09 AM EST
    ...if they stopped with the suicide patrols, or rather they would have a much harder time winning.

    I doubt there will be a lawsuit in this case.


    Yes they could sue. (none / 0) (#105)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    The public entity has a high standard of care for those it incarcerates.

    You can't make this sh*t up... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 02:44:51 PM EST
    An entire press run of new USPS "Lets Move" themed stamps will be destroyed because 3 of the stamps have raised safety concerns with the  President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.  Grave threats to our children (aka our normal childhoods) include skateboarding without kneepads, a headstand with no helmet, and a cannonball dive.

    It's like a perfect storm of unintentional comedy, where do you even start poking fun? ;)


    Good (none / 0) (#54)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:20:57 PM EST
    to see essential services like that are still working.

    Speaking of Not Being Able to Make This S Up (none / 0) (#70)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:21:10 AM EST
    Vatican Misspells Jesus' Name on Papal Medal

    Too bad they didn't spell it ... (none / 0) (#157)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:39:34 PM EST
    The (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:21:15 PM EST
    GOP is still on their defund Obamacare kick. I guess banging your head against a brick wall is SOP for them nowadays.

    Obama is encouraging them... (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 03:59:13 PM EST
    by signing all the stop-gap spending bills...like the one on the way to his desk to fund death benefits for military families.

    I know it's hard to be the only adults in the room, and nobody wants to tell grieving military families the check ain't in the mail and they've been betrayed by their elected representatives...but if he keeps signing bills to quell shutdown furor, the GOP have no incentive to grow up, Obama and the dems in congress keep bailing them out.

    Obama should instead go and visit all those families being denied death benefits and explain that defunding the ACA, which for good or ill is the law of the land, is more important to Boehner and the boys than living up to their responsibility to military families and all Americans.  A couple grand in the hand to float them till the benefits are paid would be a nice touch too...lots of big-mopney supporters would buck up I'm sure.

    That, I believe, is the kind of imagination Dadler is on about...right D?


    Oh (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:42:16 PM EST
    I agree and since he has caved before of course they think he is going to cave again. The thing is though that during the delay if they have fixed the technical issues, lots and lots of people can sign up and more and more people are finding out every day that the GOP has been lying to them about it.

    ... catches up to you in your golden years? Look no further than former Chicago Bears tight end and head coach Mike Ditka, who's now claiming that he would've beaten Barack Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois.

    (Sigh!) To once again quote my late grandfather, "Yeah, sure -- and if the dog hadn't stopped to take a dump, he'd have caught that rabbit, too."

    Too bad Ditka didn't express similar public regrets back in 1986 over his pointed refusal to allow the late, great Bears running back Walter Payton an opportunity to score a touchdown in Super Bowl XX, preferring instead to give those honors to William "The Refrigerator" Perry.


    Mike Ditka is a National Treasure... (none / 0) (#77)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:55:44 AM EST
    ...and I was born and raised in Wisconsin.

    Pretty sure he played to win the SB, nothing more, nothing less.  He certainly didn't have some vendetta against Sweetness.

    And here is what Ditka said:

    "Biggest mistake I've ever made," Ditka said. "Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn't be in the White House."

    It's only crazy if Ditka could have never won.  Seems unlikely, but more likely than Palin being VP.  IOW it's not insane, maybe very wishful thinking, but not crazy.


    I bet he COULD have won (none / 0) (#87)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:44:47 AM EST
    Much greater name recognition and respect.  And canyou imagine what he would have done to Ryan / Keyes?

    I'd vote for... (none / 0) (#95)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:28:14 PM EST
    Rex Ryan over Chuck Schumer...sh*t I'd vote for Rich Kotite over Chuck Schumer.  The ball boy even...

    Sad... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:29:06 PM EST
    ...think of the crop I got down here in Texas, which included Cruz, Cornyn, and Gohmert.

    I would fall to my knees to have a Schumer.  You liberal New Yorkers have no idea how good you gotz it.

    I'd rather have folks with known and severe concussion damage representing me than ideologues and jesus freaks.  At least they would have an excuse for their idiocy.


    Careful what you wish for... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:47:59 PM EST
    granted, compared to the Texas congressional delegation most anybody looks good...but Chuckie never met a Wall St. c*ck he wouldn't get on his knees for.  A 1%er senator all the way...he's one of the dentists who pulled any and all teeth out of Dodd/Frank.

    And you'd base that bet on -- what, exactly? (none / 0) (#110)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:08:02 PM EST
    Given that Ditka opted out, your hunch -- such as it is -- is irrelevant.

    My grandfather's quote about the dog and ... (none / 0) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:04:10 PM EST
    ... rabbit still stands. Mike Ditka's braggadocio pointedly ignores the fact that Illinois was very strongly trending blue in 2004. He is at best wistfully speculative, and basing his supposition on little more than a highly selective memory.

    Even though he had yet to be indicted at the time, Gov. George Ryan had already badly tarnished the GOP brand that year with his pay-to-play truck licensure kickback scandal, which dated to his days as Illinois Sec. of State, and which would soon send him to federal prison. (Never mind Ryan's divorce / Paris sex club scandal.)

    Barack Obama's political trajectory was definitely on the upswing in 2004, and he probably would've wiped the floor with Ditka. Politics is pretty close to a blood sport in Illinois, and no amount of residual Bears nostalgia would have impeded IL Democrats from wailing away on the former head coach. Certainly, the IL GOP's turmoil would've rendered them ineffectual, and the national GOP was very much preoccupied with the "all hands on deck" effort to keep George W. Bush in the White House.



    Is that the mini-Ditka? (none / 0) (#195)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 10:38:00 PM EST
    or the full size Ditka? For you SNL Superfans fans....

    Civilian DOD employees are back to work (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:02:43 AM EST
    At Fort Rucker.  No promise though that their paycheck will be there on the 15th.  If it isn't, the caca is really going to hit some fans of the GOP.

    It seems Obama (none / 0) (#61)
    by fishcamp on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:38:05 AM EST
    is almost daily paying another group of government employees while the government is closed.  Now certain states in the West plan to open Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Federal Parks.  Will this be similar to the marijuana situation where the state says it's legal but the Feds do not.  Could you walk into a state opened Federal Park and still be arrested?  Dadler you have lots of cartoon subjects to work with.  And yes I'm going back over to the Everglades today as soon as I find my dinky 8' bait throw net so I'll be legal while being illegal.  The torture never stops.

    I did not see legislation passed (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:04:22 AM EST
    But my BIL said that they passed something allowing military civilians back to work, they just didn't pass the funding.  In any case the House put them back to work so perhaps they can grasp it is the House holding up their pay.

    You would think, ... (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:56:37 PM EST
    ... but I wouldn't count on it.  :)