Tuesday Open Thread

President Obama is recalling 34,000 troops from Afghanistan.

He will deliver his State of the Union address tonight at 7pm ET.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Inmate Escapes at TX Walmart, Stabs FL Transporting Officer | Dorner Found in CA cabin, Gun Battle Ensues >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Help! I'm drowning in Schadenfreude! (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:18:33 PM EST
    I sincerely hope that, somewhere in the heavens above, Andy Warhol is enjoying a good and hearty laugh at this loser's expense:

    Chicago Sun-Times | February 12, 2013
    Ex-Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh insists he's not trying to stop paying child support - "After insisting he wasn't a 'deadbeat dad' throughout his failed campaign for re-election, ex-U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh is still dogged by questions about child support. Walsh, a flame-throwing Tea Party Republican who was trying to land a radio deal and last week announced he was forming a new conservative SuperPAC, filed court papers seeking to end his obligation to pay $2,134 per month in child support. But once again, Walsh insists he's no deadbeat."

    What a phuquing creep! And now, this white-wing whackjob plans to sue the Sun Times because his feelings are hurt.

    What are the facts and circumstances (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:06:04 PM EST
    behind the motion?  (Both sides of the story, please.)

    Recalling 34,000 troops... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:18:44 PM EST
    ...and adding how many private security contractors doing the exact same thing ?

    Right now there are roughly 19,000 private security contractors.  LINK

    Happy Birthday Charles Darwin. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:04:19 PM EST
    One of the most revolutionary figures in science ever.

    A nod to Mr. Darwin, and a big Happy Birthday (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by caseyOR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:24:14 PM EST
    to Abe Lincoln. In spite of the existence of President's Day, which rolled Lincoln and Washington, and I guess the rest of them, into one holiday, Lincoln's Birthday is still celebrated on Feb. 12 in my home state of Illinois.

    Pennies for everyone!


    Abe was one interesting dude (none / 0) (#19)
    by brodie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:39:53 PM EST
    a man both of and well ahead of his times.

    I'm not sure the full story has been told yet on screen at least of his marriage with the exceedingly difficult Mary Todd.  The latest Spielberg only offered a glimpse of all the ongoing drama over 24 yrs.  

    There have been the usual biopics, the film about Young Abe Lincoln (Henry Fonda via John Ford), and Lincoln in Illinois (Raymond Massey, rather stiffly as Abe), Gore Vidal's Lincoln (Sam Waterston iirc) which may have touched more on the marriage, I can't recall.  

    None though which immediately come to mind as fully or adequately mining the marriage angle which, along with the assassination, seem to have been mostly sidestepped by moviemakers.

    I learned the other day on TCM that one Ruth Gordon (Harold and Maude) played Mary Todd opposite Massey in that 1940 release.  Strikes me as good casting, but wasn't able to watch the entire movie so can't comment on whether her efforts were minor or inconsequential to what looked like the usual Hollywood heroic depiction of the main character.


    I think Spielberg's film comes closest (none / 0) (#21)
    by caseyOR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:57:26 PM EST
    to giving a true picture of Mary Todd and the Lincoln marriage. Most of the time I think she gets written off as a crazy out-of-control harridan with a serious shopping addiction.

    Abe, much as I love the guy, would not have become Abraham Lincoln as we know him without Mary Todd. She took an ambitious, socially inept, gangly prairie lawyer and helped him become the man who saved the Union.

    She came from a wealthy family. She was well-ecucated and politically informed and inclined. Like Abe, Mary Todd was ambitious. Like nearly all women of her time, the only outlet for that ambition was through her husband.  She really did "make the man."

    As to the "craziness" well she lost two sons in their childhood. Edward, the second son, died when he was a toddler. Then, when they were in the White House, Willie died. That death threw both Abe and Mary into a depression. For whatever reason, Abe was better able to function while gripped by depression. Mary collapsed. She withdrew. Saddest of all, she withdrew from the youngest son, Tad.

    So, two of her four sons died in childhood. Another son, Tad, died of heart failure at the age of 18 (in the early 1870's). Only one, the eldest, Robert, lived to adulthood.


    She was a lot of that (none / 0) (#24)
    by brodie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:48:21 PM EST
    for sure, not without her positive qualities, infectious energy and charm, and most of the rest.  Abe wasn't completely without reason to marry her.

    But there's evidence in the record that, on the matter of her difficult personality, appears to precede the marriage and death of her children.  Some have related it to the death when she was very young of her mother, and how her father failed to be present emotionally to cushion the blow, while also rather quickly remarrying to a woman Mary Todd seems not to have had good relations with.  

    She may have felt abandoned by her birth mother while resenting her father for emotionally abandoning her.  At least that's one way of analyzing it -- and I know there's a school of thought more along the lines you express above.

    Complicated woman, neither a complete basket case nor completely stable.. Bipolar I suppose is the term today.

    And yes, she was ambitious for Abe who, himself, was also highly ambitious.  Just not quite as much as Mary was for him.


    Today was the first ever ... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:33:35 PM EST
    ... "Darwin Day".  Sounds like it wouldn't be very controversial, unless you're a bible-belt Congressman:

    Rep. Paul Broun said evolution is one of those "lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."

    ... an M.D. serving on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

    Oyyyy ....


    Ahhhhh - A savior is needed alright (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:33:41 AM EST
    to save folks from the likes of Rep. Paul Broun.

    Ack! That's pathetic Yman. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:45:41 PM EST
    David Dayen (DDay) is now writing for Salon (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:25:43 PM EST
    and he's still doing great work.

    The Secret Truth: There Never Was a "Task Force" Dedicated to Ferreting Out Mortgage Fraud

    This is the key point.  There are no offices, no phones and no staff dedicated to the non-task force.  Two of the five co-chairs have left government.  What "investigators" there are from the task force are nothing more than liaisons to the independent agencies doing their own independent investigations.  In the rare event that these agencies file an actual lawsuit or enforcement action, the un-task force merely puts out a statement taking credit for it.  Take a look at this in action at the website for the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, the federal umbrella group "investigating" financial fraud.  It's little more than a press release factory, and no indictment, conviction or settlement is too small.  The site takes credit for cracking down on Ponzi schemes, insider trading, tax evasion, racketeering, violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (!) and a host of other crimes that have precisely nothing to do with the financial crisis.  To call this a publicity stunt is an insult to publicity stunts.

    I think the correct time is 9 pm ET; (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:04:59 PM EST
    I realize CNN is saying 7 pm ET, but that's not correct.

    The 2013 State of the Union Address will take place at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

    That's 8 p.m. Central Time, 7 p.m. Mountain Time, and 6 p.m. Pacific Time.


    Ah, but night #2 at Westminster airs live @ 8PM ET (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:54:06 PM EST
    (USA Network) a chance to see FiFi and all the other amazing dogs compete for BIS, (along with BOB for Sporting Terriers and Working). :D

    And @ 7PT I'm hitting the City Council mtg where they will be discussing a new community garden a couple blocks from me!


    We've cleared this up Stray... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:15:25 PM EST
    the dog show is definitely on CNN at 9 EST;)

    9:00 ET (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:04:47 PM EST
    is correct.

    And I'll be expecting BTD to take a stand on this topic:
    The over/under for number of words in the SOTU address is set at 6,960


    7:00 pm EST... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:12:39 PM EST
    is the pregame show with JB, Howie, & Terry.

    oops, wrong sport;)


    Are you having football withdrawal? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:21:54 PM EST
    I feel like I am, anyway.

    I get that most of the country was done with football by Christmas, but the Ravens season just went on and on - thank goodness they won the Super Bowl - losing was going to result in one massive and collective depression in these parts.

    Now we get to see who will be back and who's going to be a cap casualty.  I think Kruger's gone, but I'm hoping they can keep Ellerbe, Boldin and Jacoby Jones.  It'll be interesting to see how Ozzie's going to build a team for the 2013 season - and a lot of it's going to hinge on Joe Flacco's contract.

    Have you given up on the Jets?  Have to say that as great as Rex Ryan was building the Baltimore defense, I'm glad he wasn't named head coach when Billick got fired.  What was getting ready to bubble over in the Ravens' locker room is exactly what happened in the Jets' locker room - it got out of control.  You can't win games when there's no control in the locker room - well, you can't win enough of them, anyway.


    No football withdrawal... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:41:22 PM EST
    my rec league winter season is in the stretch run...last week before the playoffs!

    I can never give up on the Jets...I bleed Kelly Green by birth, but lets just say I am on hiatus from caring too much about them and their soap opera.  With the Mets opening Spring Training without a major league outfield, and maybe without a Triple A outfield;)...all I got are the New York Knickerbockers as far as being a sports fan goes.


    Had Withdrawals Before SB... (none / 0) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:20:53 PM EST
    ...it starts every year with the playoffs and not having Monday or Thursday night FB.  Once the playoffs are done, it's all over, one game and then 8 months of nothing to do on Sundays.  MNF makes Mondays so much more bearable, Thursday night football is the beginning of the weekend and the game of the week is usually Sunday night, a great start of the week.

    I am not a fan of the SB.  All the hype, mostly for folks who don't even really like football, extended half time non-sense.  Even when my team was in it, I left the party I was at at halftime so I could really watch the game at home.  It's impossible to get an actual ticket, even when you are only 4 hours away and your team is in it.

    This year especially sucked since my team was predicted to win the NFC, which was ridiculous, but I expected them to at least make it to the NFC championship.  And last year was worse, they had one loss and seeded #1 only to lose the first game in a pathetic show against the Giants.  

    But I would prefer that it would just be a constant, that wins and losses wouldn't be that important, just being able to watch every week would be a far greater reward for me.  Or maybe the teams played every other weekend for a 32 week season.  There are too many games on to watch, 8 every week would be perfect IMO.

    I DVR'ed the SB, so if history is any indication, it will get watched about 20 times; my fix if you will.


    At least when the Packers lost, ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:37:26 PM EST
    ... they did so decisively, and weren't beaten by some 55-yard field goal as time expired. I usually find it much easier to put losses behind me when my team gets their a$$es kicked, than when they get nipped at the buzzer or lose on a come-from-behind walkoff in the bottom of the 9th. Those kinds of defeats always just tear my heart out.

    The 49ers lost, somehow, (none / 0) (#20)
    by brodie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:51:32 PM EST
    to a team QBed by a guy named Flacco.  That's about all my takeaway.

    But it stings a lot less given I only watched a few early minutes then, thankfully, was pulled away for other duties the rest of the day by a woman who never watches the SB.

    And I'm more in the mood these days anyway to see the NFL through a more enlightened lens of player safety, so who wins and loses just doesn't matter so much as it once did.  

    Still prefer it though, for the moment, to the game where a bunch of guys stand around on a diamond scratching themselves and spittin' while raking in an average of $15,000 per expectoration or thereabouts.


    And 4:00 p.m., Hawaii time. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:03:33 PM EST
    I'm going to be monitoring a legislative public hearing here at the Capitol at that time, and will have to catch a replay on the rebound.

    Hagel (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:05:56 PM EST
    after lots of blah blah blah, passes through the committee with a vote of 14-11 and one Senator a no show but has ten minutes if he wants a vote on the record

    The (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:53:08 PM EST
    State of the Union is not scheduled until 9PM.

    It is the talking heads who will tell us everything that is in it and what it all means that start at 7.

    Petrus Romanus (none / 0) (#15)
    by brodie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 05:19:05 PM EST
    Pontifex maximus.

    One the one hand, kinda good news if it happens -- say Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana -- as it would bring about the dissolution of the awful RCC, according to at least one ancient prophecy.

    Bad news though, on the other hand, as it would also usher in the Apocalypse, according to St Malachy's prophecy and an even more woo woo source with which I am familiar.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:13:37 PM EST
    Well it was mostly offered (none / 0) (#25)
    by brodie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:10:05 PM EST
    as an entertaining diversion for the folks on this board.  Let's not get too serious and nitpicky about it.

    Though I wasn't aware there was something from Nostradamus along similar lines.  Amusing.  I hadn't meant to reference him above -- my other source is yet more controversial.  So I guess that makes three.

    And I'm not sure this prophecy is quite as off the mark as the baseless and woefully misinterpreted Mayan Prophecy.  Especially if we consider the downward moral spiral of the RCC in the past decade and how the Church seems poised to continue going the wrong direction, even if the skin color of the pontiff might change.


    I can't believe how much (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:30:11 PM EST
    and how long they keep talking about the pope's retirement. You'd think god himself was retiring from the universe. It's relentless.

    It reminds me of the way they goggle and (none / 0) (#23)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:47:54 PM EST
    gape and fall all over themselves for royalty; the resignation of the pope is being treated with no less awe and breathless chatter than the marriage of Will and Kate.

    I don't get it.  I don't get why the media seem determined to redeem the Church every time some new sordid, corrupt and perverted story comes to light.

    I do get that there are plenty of people in religious life and service who are doing wonderful and much-needed work, but I have the distinct impression that at the upper levels, it's just stinkingly corrupt and rife with decidedly power-hungry men.


    It's the glitz. Just like the royal wedding, (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by caseyOR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:37:57 PM EST
    the actions of the Church are draped in exquisite finery. It is a very good show. Very telegenic. The fancy, colorful garments, the centuries of tradition, the obscure rituals (is the smoke black or white? And how do they do that?). It is all of a piece to the American press.

    And you are right. The Church hierarchy is a veritable feast of corruption and vanity and petty personal snits. Remember, this is the institution that launched and sustained The Inquisition.

    As I have said, Holy Mother Church, the Roman Curia, The Vatican, all a major international criminal conspiracy.


    As a friend of mine phrased the headline (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:04:06 AM EST
    'Ex-Nazi steps down as leader of hate group'

    Completely offensive (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:27:36 AM EST
    "A hate group"?  Really?  Your friend is going to classify one billion people as a "hate group"?

    this friend probably would (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:45:42 AM EST
    and some days I would agree with him. Sorry to offend.

    It's not a problem (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:08:55 PM EST
    But, as much as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has much to answer for, comments like your friend's are shorthand (or come across as shorthand) for condemning all Catholics (you know - one of those "Crazy Cults").

    Hey, I'm no fan of Benedict's by any means - I think he's 500 years behind the times.  But what if the statement was something like: "The racist (Rev. Jeremiah Wright) has resigned from his hate group" ?

    It's the same thing - assigning unfounded motivations and feelings to an entire group of people for one person.


    I think you're conflating (none / 0) (#35)
    by sj on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:49:00 AM EST
    the church hierarchy with its flock.  Their needs and goals and definitely attitudes are not necessarily the same.

    No, they are not (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:05:46 AM EST
    But since the pope is the leader of the Church (the "group"), and the comment referred to the leader of a "hate group" stepping down (even done in jest), it's still an offensive comment.



    Yeah, Hate Group isn't Right (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:44:30 PM EST
    What do you call a group that massacred hundreds of thousands if not millions because they disagreed with their religion, tortured many many people to death under the guise of finding witches, that aided and abetted war criminals that exterminated Jews, who protected and enabled child molesters to have free reign for decades, if not centuries ?

    Seems like calling them a hate group isn't quit right, how about a gang of psychopaths who have more blood and dead bodies on their hands than any other group in human history, is that better ?  

    Hate groups aspire to their depravity.  What should be offensive to you is all the violence done in god/jesus' name, not people calling it out.

    And I would call their followers idiots for supporting that non-sense financially.  If there is a god, it ain't no where near Vatican City.


    YMMV (none / 0) (#38)
    by sj on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:47:26 AM EST
    Mine actually does.  I didn't find it offensive so much.   There is a lot of "hateful" in some church positions and actions. Especially historically but also currently.  Frankly I'm more bothered by how closely it hits the mark (viewed through certain lenses, of course) than I am by the fact that it was said.

    some deep paternal psychology going on methinks... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:13:23 PM EST
    And thank you both for calling it (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:02:33 AM EST
    'retirement' and 'resignation' . I have seen headlines screaming 'abdication'. Ugh. Maybe that is an accurate word technically, but the implication is to royalty. It is bad enough when we worship actual royalty, much less this.

    Um (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:34:38 AM EST
    The Pope IS a head of state, as well as the leader of the Church. And since Vatican City is considered a sacerdotal-monarchical state, where the Pope is the sovereign, then it actually is an abdication.

    From Wiki:

    The government of Vatican City has a unique structure. The Pope is the sovereign of the state. Legislative authority is vested in the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, a body of cardinals appointed by the Pope for five-year periods. Executive power is in the hands of the President of that commission, assisted by the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary. The state's foreign relations are entrusted to the Holy See's Secretariat of State and diplomatic service. Nevertheless, the pope has full and absolute executive, legislative and judicial power over Vatican City. He is currently the only absolute monarch in Europe.

    As I said, it is probably a technically correct (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:47:44 AM EST
    term. I just have no patience with the 'throne of St Peter'. So much nonsense.

    This story makes me SMILE (none / 0) (#43)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:57:50 PM EST