Friday Open Thread

It's a court day again for me. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Hitting the opera tonight (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:21:03 PM EST
    Oculus would be all over that... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:38:10 PM EST
    If she catches the next flight to San Fran she might just make it, if she's home and not gallivanting in some other part of her oyster we call the world;)

    Best of luck to your friend and mentor at his premiere...Enjoy the show!

    Doing battle with rush hour for music sure beats battling it for work...but I will be riding the train with a tallboy to go see the Allmans tonight in lieu of fighting the snarling L.I.E.  No more bar car but I think they still let you drink on the train with the brown paper bag wrap....if not what the MTA police don't know won't hurt 'em:)


    The L.I.E. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:58:22 PM EST
    I'll leave the name to speak for itself. Was delayed many a time on that one coming from my cousin's place in Massepequa back in the day.

    The rocking-out end justifies the aggravating means, tho. Have a jammin' good time, my man.

    The opera should be good for Eli, full orchestra and all, and no subtitles to constantly have to look up at. Wish we could BART it, but we'd get home too late. Kay and Eli are hitting the state yoyo championships in Sacramento tomorrow morning with some of his friends, so they need their rest. And I've told you about these new yoyo's, haven't I? They have bearings, made of alloys, cost a hundred bills (he spends his own earned money, we ain't gonna). Nuts. Check out this example (link).


    Yo look at that Yo-Yo go Yo! (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:08:11 PM EST
    If I tried that move I'd f*ckin' hang myself;)

    If and when your boy can do Yo Yo tricks while playing "When The Saints Go Marching In" let me know and I'll call Letterman to book him.


    You are raising a Renaissance kid. (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:08:31 PM EST
    I am going to see O,scar nominees (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:48:46 PM EST
    In animated shorts category   No cracks, please.

    No cracks in your shorts? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:04:25 PM EST
    Come on, when you put it on a platter like that, what's a hack to do? Crack, shorts, please. Perhaps "No jokes, please" would have been better. ;-)

    You can catch Paperman (none / 0) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:11:29 PM EST
    on youtube, but guess that would spoil the evening. With the Walt Disney Animation Studios winning the Oscar should we expect to see you decked out like this?

    I shoulda known you were booked... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:17:17 PM EST
    on a Friday night...your culture calendar has more ink on it than the Sunday Times.

    kdog (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:25:32 PM EST
    it's going to be tough beating a team that's playing this loose

    No doubt... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:33:34 PM EST
    We just gotta get the 2 seed, make it to the Conference Finals, and anything can happen...like say Lebron pulling a hammy;)

    no, no, no Kdog... (none / 0) (#30)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:26:02 PM EST
    don't even think that about our Lebron like that...shame on you.

    scared me so much (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:28:20 PM EST
    I couldn't even type in the Kings English.

    You can reach Zellerbach via BART. (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:47:19 PM EST
    This opera has very family-friendly pricing.

    San Diego Opera is doing to performances on a Sat. Of a new mariachi opera. It is almost sold out. Not cheap.


    See above about BART (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:02:13 PM EST
    If it were a matinee, we'd be on the train in a heartbeat.

    Thankfully, we have the best family friendly pricing in town...COMPS!

    Poor Carey has to spend the day and evening with the rest of the opera crew schmoozing Marin donors for ducats. Such is the fate of ze artist.


    Chuckin A Farley... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:48:46 PM EST
    can you say that on this blog?

    You just did. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:18:07 PM EST
    Should we now be offended by it?

    He could say it all day and I still (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:30:35 PM EST
    wouldn't know what it meant...

    Same goes for me, Anne. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:43:24 PM EST
    And I think we'd both probably miss something in the translation.

    You're off the hook Seth.... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:52:28 PM EST
    PC Police have shifted their attention to Joan Rivers.

    Well, I say we just rip her to shreds. (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:02:54 PM EST
    Because heaven forbid that we should otherwise ever hold someone accountable who's as consequential and important as, let's say, an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, for the outrageous and inflammatory things he says from the bench and elsewhere.

    All Hail Emperor Scalia! (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:15:49 PM EST
    He knows better than the elected representatives of voters. Why? Because he says so, that's why.

    fwiw my dog knows better than my elected representatives, but that is besides the point.


    ... profound deference that people often show Antonin Scalia, when he's really been nothing more than a vainglorious blowhard, contrarian and bully.

    Okay, yeah, I'll grant you that Scalia does know the law -- well, so does Jeralyn and BTD and any number of good attorneys and lawmakers around the country. It's what one does with that knowledge that really and ultimately counts, and for the most part, the esteeemed justice has used his to retard the scene.


    And the Chief Justice isn't far behind. (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:50:18 PM EST
    Roberts got into a Q and A with Solicitor General Verilli, and apparently took some liberties with the statistics he was using to make his points.

    Read Charlie Pierce's post on it, in full - but here's his conclusion:

    Galvin's case becomes even stronger when you consider it in the context of Adam Serwer's survey of Roberts's long career of trying to sink the Voting Rights Act. He's had the knives out for it ever since he was an ambitious young Justice Department lawyer in the administration of Ronald Reagan, whose Justice Department was dedicated in many ways to rolling back the achievements of the civil rights movement at the behest of the various unreconstructed Confederates to whom Saint Ronnie owed his election. (This is something that gets left out of most Reagan hagiography. Google "William French Smith" and "segregated academies" some time.) Roberts made his bones in conservative legal circles specifically because he's had the knives out for voting rights for 30 years. He's not going to let a little thing like the truth stand in his way now

    Funny, I guess "activist judge" means something else when Roberts and Scalia are the ones acting, huh?


    Agreed. Roberts oozed out of (none / 0) (#56)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:53:23 PM EST
    the Court's boundaries when he asked if citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North.  The statute before him asks if the vestiges of racial discrimination in voting have ended, it does not identify jurisdictions or label citizens as racist.  Section 5 was extended by Congress where it determined racial discrimination had not ended

    With Scalia, it is difficult to discern among his rants, polemics and ersatz law.  He has not only been tolerated by so many, for so long,  but humored in the service of hyped legal smarts.   Revelatory, too, was his belittling of our elected officials.  That is our job not his.    Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution says that judges "shall hold their offices during good behavior"   I would claim that Scalia's good behavior is of the type that lets him out  early.    


    Come On (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:14:30 PM EST
    I could through a stone at first year law class and hit someone with more knowledge about law than Thomas.

    Seems to me the number one requirement is towing the party line, knowing the law is bonus so it doesn't seem like your were appointed for partisan reasons.


    Throw, toe... (none / 0) (#65)
    by unitron on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:51:24 PM EST
    ...otherwise I'm in full agreement.

    I was talking about Scalia. (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:02:16 PM EST
    Don't get me started on Clarence Thomas. Congress should remove that clown from the bench for malfeasance, among other things.

    You know, there is a big difference between (5.00 / 7) (#54)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:19:00 PM EST
    not liking a comic's material and forbidding the comic to use that material. Just as Joan, or Seth, can say pretty much whatever they want, people can weigh in with likes and dislikes about that material. Criticizing material is not the same as censorship. Sometimes it feels like comics want to be some sort of special class of performer, a class that is sheltered from criticism. Well, all performers are open to criticism about their material, about their performance, about all of it.

    People like different kinds of music, and hate some kinds. People like some movies or plays and dislike others. We accept that those performances re open to criticism. Why should comics be any different?

    I am not a Joan Rivers fan because her jokes are just mean, and I don't find mean funny. Still, that is the comic she has become. If she is going to base her show on saying things that are mean or outrageous, well, she should be prepared for criticism. She is not some special little flower that must be protected.

    As to Seth, IMO his humor is geared to 13 year old boys. I am not a 13 year old boy. So, I rarely find Seth funny. I did not find much about his Oscars performance funny.

    The only part I felt was beyond the pale were his comments about 9 year old Quevanzene Wallace. His jokes sexualized this little girl. That is never okay. Kids are off limits when it comes to this kind of stuff.

    So, comics, say what you want, but don't expect that you will be universally liked. Geez, grow up.


    Brava, brava, Casey! (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:20:53 PM EST
    Well said, and I agree.

    Ditto from me (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:47:19 PM EST
    Well put, finally a comment that wraps up all points "we" have been trying to make: "criticism is not censorship."
    I had the impression that the pro-Seth people were saying that you should not only not criticize Seth, but that there was something wrong with you for not liking his "humor."

    You never got that impression from me. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:31:12 PM EST
    I like Seth MacFarlane, but he's a big boy who's certainly open to criticism -- particularly this week after the Oscars telecast, in which he was clearly an inappropriate choice as host.

    I can't defend Seth's Oscar performance, though I would personally hold the show's producers more to account for that fiasco than I would the host, who was simply being himself -- an equal opportunity offender whose schtick is certainly not for everyone.

    When we talk about the performing arts, criticism is always going to come with the territory, especially when someone's given material pushes the envelope with regards to people's respective tastes.

    And while what's edgy to me comes off as juvenile to someone like you and shoephone, I can certainly understand why you feel that way and I totally respect where you are coming from. And really, if we all liked the same thing and agreed on everything, this would be a really boring blog.



    For a perspective of someone (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by dk on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:15:00 PM EST
    who clearly considers herself a feminist but nevertheless enjoyed Seth's Oscar performance, I'd recommend reading this essay by Victoria Brownworth in the Advocate.  Everyone's entitled to their own opinions (obviously) but I personally agree with her.

    That is how I have always experienced his humor (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:18:13 PM EST
    Because the status quo on many social issues in this country borders on pathetic, and the tolerance for say my white neighbors to throw the "N" word around is pretty horrific too but most people just let them and walk away telling themselves "that they aren't like that so it's good enough."  Is it though?  That is what I have always felt his comedy is about, it's about social issues but often he dings us self righteous tolerants pretty hard too.  I've watched Family Guy and said Ouch out loud before, it was just Seth letting me know he saw me tolerate that evil.

    He always gets me with Brian.  When my husband and I fight here comes the dog, and I transfer feelings onto him.  He's pretty funny IMO.

    My daughter thought the boob song was terribly funny pointing out the double standard that a Hollywood actress has to pony up with the boobs.  She was very surprised to hear from me that many older folks were made very upset by it.


    Who was that President (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:16:27 PM EST
    That used to begin answering a reporter's question with, "let me say this about that?"  Anyway...................

    To begin with, there is no one participating in this discussion who is a hornier, raunchier, slut than I am. There, now that's out. But, just like years ago when the first porno movies like "deep throat," or "the devil in Miss Jones" went main stream and were being shown in regular movie houses, I did not attend. Not because I was a prude, or not because I objected to the movie per se, but, because I felt uneasy viewing something that I might enjoy privately in a public place among a big group of strangers.

    So, I was not among the crowd picketing those movies, I could care less. If some people enjoyed watching them in those surroundings, more power to them.

    And, that's exactly how I feel about the Seth MacFarlane affair. If it was " The Seth MacFarlane Comedy Hour" on Broadway," go and buy a ticket and have a blast. But this was the biggest night for Hollywood, "The Oscars." Millions of people were going to tune in and root for their favorite people. These viewers, young and old, with all sorts of varying interests: comedy, drama, mystery, sci-fi, etc. So, I think it's the epitome of hubris to subject a ten year old boy who loves scince fiction, or a 72 year old grand ma that enjoys good comedies that they should be subjected a single, narrow, venue that appeals to a similarly narrow form of "humor."

    In other words, I didn't object to the performance, just the time and place.


    Yes, I think that is the problem I had (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by ruffian on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 06:36:54 AM EST
    I thought it had some clever word play, and gave a chuckle. But it just clashed so badly with what I was there to see.  On the Oscar show I am all for gentle mocking of the industry and some of the movies. But very personal digs on the actresses are over some line I did not know I even had until it was crossed.

    I'm not sure kids have a problem with Seth (none / 0) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:31:17 PM EST
    Josh used to sneak Family Guy all the time, he's 13 now, we just let him watch because I'm not winning that fight...and you have to be around Josh to understand his grasp of social issues.  I don't think Seth is hurting him at all. He loved it long ago though.  I think it's just the older set that wants their Oscars back.

    I was working out yesterday and this LUVs commercial came on about breast feeding and the trauma of boobs in public, and I almost laughed myself off the trainer.  They are going to sell millions of diapers with that commercial.  I'm on iPad and I can't figure out how to get the link on here.  It's great though if you want to google it.


    An article that has (none / 0) (#97)
    by Zorba on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:23:55 PM EST
    A link to the commercial in the article here.
    And yes, it ain't easy to provide links on iPad, but it can be done.  I just did.      ;-)

    me too, well said! (none / 0) (#59)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:46:05 PM EST
    yo también... (none / 0) (#62)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:36:38 PM EST
    Criticism is not censorship... (none / 0) (#98)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:11:27 AM EST
    totally understood, aye aye captain.  Censorship requires power, criticism is free speech...same as criticizing the criticizers.

    The perpetual criticism from the professionally offended can have a chilling effect on artists though...I don't think it is harmless.

    Call any artist a no talent hack, thats cool...it is saying "you can't say that!" that I can get down with, at least when it comes to the arts.  Hold politicians and business people to the PC code if we must, but leave the artists alone to push the envelope...don't like it don't buy it or watch it or listen to it.


    If an artist (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:33:21 AM EST
    Is so weak that he/she can't handle blowback (which, let's face it, many of them them thrive on, because it's always better to be talked about, right?), then maybe they should find a different line of work?

    The artist... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:53:19 AM EST
    can handle it better than I can, apparently;)  Call it a pet peeve.

    Ya, you gotta have a thick skin (none / 0) (#101)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:43:20 AM EST
    to be an artist. Or a pol, or a teacher, etc., etc.

    The humor police should be after her instead (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:48:21 PM EST
    Not even funny.

    I heard the joke and wow (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    Riding the razors edge.  Penn Jillette says she doesn't have to apologize though because comedians have to try stuff.

    Yes... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:41:53 PM EST
    a good comedian lives on the edge...and Joan is a comedian's comedian.  

    She'd serve BLT's for Passover before she would apologize for her material.  


    Hey, give the lady a break. (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:53:32 PM EST
    She's Jewish. It's like the "n" word. Isn't it?

    Isn't Klum a German surname though? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:07:15 PM EST
    Hot Germans, the last time they were this hot......ovens...

    But Germans only got that hot ... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:22:22 PM EST
    ... ven zey vere followink ze orders.

    It was funny in a (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:08:43 PM EST
    Startling...scared tiny giggle way

    I thought of you yesterday (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:22:10 PM EST
    Found out that after Korea we are going to Shaw Air Force Base with the 3rd Army.  That is flying Space A opportunities right in your face 24/7.  We would never see you if you were married to someone there I thought to myself.

    Aloha, Bonnie Franklin (1943-2013). (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:53:41 PM EST
    The veteran Broadway singer-actress (a Tony nominee for the 1970 musical "Applause") and star of the long-running CBS sitcom "One Day at a Time" died yesterday of pancreatic cancer at her home in Los Angeles.

    Franklin is remembered in television history for her groundbreaking portrayal of Ann Romano, a divorced working mother who escaped a suffocating marriage and raised two teenaged daughters (Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli) on her own in Norman Lear's longstanding Top 20 comedy series, which premiered in Sept. 1975 and ran for nine full seasons.

    It should be noted that only five years earlier, CBS had openly balked at the suggestion that Mary Tyler Moore play a divorced working woman in her self-titled series, and insisted that the storyline instead say that she merely broke off her engagement.

    Like all of Norman Lear's shows, "One Day at a Time" strove to be contemporaneous, topical and relevant to the times in which it was taking place. While Franklin's Ann Romano was not the first divorcee with children featured on a TV show, she was the first who was the lead character, rather than relegated to a supporting role. Further, Ann Romano was a working woman who clearly could not depend upon her ex-husband for financial support. In fact, a longstanding storyline had her former spouse hopelessly and forever behind on his child support payments.

    Love the Friday news dump: (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:55:05 PM EST
    State Department Clears Keystone Pipeline for Approval.

       Today, the U.S. Department of State released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in response to TransCanada's May 2012 application for the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada to Nebraska. The document is a draft technical review of potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed Project, including: impacts from construction, impacts from potential spills, impacts related to climate change, and economic impacts. The Draft SEIS is available at: http://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/draftseis/index.htm.

        A 45-day public comment period will begin when EPA posts the Draft SEIS on its website, a process that generally takes about one week following today's submission of the document to that agency. Specific instructions about how to submit comments will be provided via the Federal Register and on the State Department Keystone XL website.

        After the end of the public comment period, the Department will consider comments received and prepare a Final SEIS. The National Interest Determination period will begin following the release of the Final SEIS, during which time the Department will obtain the views of other agencies about whether to grant or deny the permit.


    Typical (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:11:12 PM EST
    And of course, if nothing happens with the sequestration solution, that 45 day comment period will bump on over until mid-April, by which time the State Department will have fewer staffers to go through the comments and put them in briefer form so that fewer staffers can consider them and prepare the Final SEIS, and fewer staffers at the EPA and other agencies will be involved to prepare the views of those agencies.

    Nothing's been "cleared for approval." (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:47:52 PM EST
    That's your own headline, not the State Department's.  What's being released today is simply a draft SEIS, which is now subject to public review and agency input. It's not the final document.

    I'm often contracted to analyze social and sociological impacts of major capital improvement / construction projects here in Hawaii and on the west coast, which are sometimes included as part of an EIS / SEIS, and I can assure you and everyone here that a draft document and the final product can be markedly different from one another, once outside comments and input are included.

    The approval of an EIS or SEIS constitutes neither final approval or disapproval of a given project itself. Such documents are not meant as advocacy for one side or another, and its authors should not concern themselves with any concurrent debate over the worthiness or impropriety of said project.

    In preparing an EIS / SEIS, our job is to gather and analyze the data that's already out there, and report to the best of our abilities what can honestly be expected to occur should said project be approved and subsequently come to fruition.

    For example, given the historical data of pipeline incidents that's included in this draft SEIS, one can expect that should there be a breach that causes a spill somewhere along the proposed pipeline's entire length, there is a 57.6% probability that its cause will be internal or external corrosion of the pipe itself, a 24.1% probability that the breach would be caused by an outside manmade force, a 9.7% probability that it would be the result of faulty practices during the active construction phase, and only a 3.1% chance that Mother Nature would be the culprit.

    Ideally, such data should prompt a decision maker to further determine whether there are adequate oversight, maintenance and security measures in place to mitigate against potential hazards for pipeline breaches. While we as authors might propose alternatives or possible solutions upon request, we would neither editorialize nor recommend any specific course of action.

    Any department or board worth its salt would analyze the information and data provided by an EIS / SEIS, and then use it as one of its criteria for rendering its final recommendation or determination.

    Further, it may be that when all is said and done, the summary of data included in the final EIS for the Keystone pipeline, when taken as a whole, could very well make a strong and compelling case for disapproval of the entire enterprise.



    Yeah, sure, Donald...if you have a little (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:05:02 PM EST
    extra cash, I might know of a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

    "Cleared for approval" was not meant as another way of saying it's been approved, rather, that it's been given a ticket to the next level in the process.  Given that the administration could have chosen to shut it down, I do think it's telling that they chose to keep it alive.

    Despite the vast experience you never fail to remind us of, I think you're kidding yourself about where this is headed.


    No Mention of Sabu's Hearing on TL ??? (none / 0) (#1)
    by CrappyAirBags on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:47:26 AM EST
    Last Friday Sabu appeared in Judge Preska's court.  The matter was "continued"  - I think.  Any Lawyer types care to comment or have additional information?  Sabu is "re-infiltrating" #Anon is my guess.....

    I didn't see it (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:39:45 PM EST
    I'll check it out now, thanks!

    ok, I just checked (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:50:16 PM EST
    the letter from the AUSA to the judge says:

    The Government respectfully submits this letter to request an adjournnent of the sentencing control date in this matter from February 22 2013 to August 23,2013 at 10:00 a.m. in light of the defendant's ongoing cooperation with the Government. Pursuant to agreement, the defendant consents to the requested adjournment

    It doesn't necessarily mean he is still proactive. It could mean cases he has already assisted in are not complete, and they may still need his testimony in those cases. The Government frequently continues cooperator sentencings until they have fulfilled their obligation to testify, so the person doesn't get the sentencing benefit and then go south on them.


    wow...that took like... (none / 0) (#68)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:07:33 PM EST
    eleven minutes and a few seconds...way to go Jeralyn.

    Surely one of can explain this: (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:10:34 PM EST
    Dennis Rodman in North Korea

    I keep thinking of Ezra Pound and Charles Limburgh.  

    He is entitled... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:24:04 PM EST
    to be gracious to his hosts...maybe a little too loose with the praise, but he's also entitled to his opinion.

    Maybe the CIA sent him to butter up the North Koreans to some top-secret purpose.  I could totally see The Worm being a secret agent.


    My friends just visited Seoul. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:05:23 PM EST
    Maybe they should add N. Korea to their bucket list. I did not know holders of U.S. passports could travel as tourists to N. Korea .  What about U.S. sanctions?

    You can go to Cuba now, too. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:15:34 PM EST
    Such ridiculous travel restrictions are only in place when Republicans are in the White House and playing to their crackpot base.

    I have photos of North Korea, which were taken by me while visiting Panmunjon and the DMZ back in June 1997. Speaking for myself only, that's as close as I want to get. It appears to be a rather dreary country, given most accounts I've read.


    You can go to Cuba (none / 0) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:23:31 PM EST
    but only by jumping through hoops, unless you go the old fashion way... by going through Canada or Mexico.

    That's right CG (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    but they make those hoops very difficult.  You can go to Cuba legally if you are invited which is how I went.  We were invited by the fishing club at Hemingway Marina.  Cuba has three fishing tournament and at least three sailing regattas per year that are by invitation.  In theory the invitation means you didn't spend any money in Cuba which is considered doing business with the enemy.  We were on a 53' Hatteras and telephoned US Customs in Key West from a marina when we arrived back home.  Two customs guys came on board, I handed them all six passports which they stamped with portable stamp thingies they had in holsters on their belt and  left without looking around at all.  They did tell us we all had to go to the Department of Human Recourses around the corner.  We all filled out forms saying we fished in Cuban waters and did not spend any money.  No problem.  Got 2nd place with three blue marlin.

    You Have to Pay an Sanctioned Escort... (none / 0) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:01:00 PM EST
    ...to legally travel to Cuba, including all their expenses.

    We have been kicking around the idea, and the best way is to fly to Jamaica and take a puddle jumper or a boat to Cuba.

    The key is keep your passport from getting stamped.  Cuba doesn't care, it's US customs you have to worry about, they will fine you if they believe you spent money in Cuba.

    I have seen a couple documentaries about N Korea and if you manage to get approved for visitation, they will assign handlers.  No unscripted pictures or filming and they makes sure you don't wonder off.

    One of the documentaries sided up with an ophthalmologist who was doing some real basic eye surgery for kids that we take for granted here.  It's even hard to describe their hospitals, but cleanliness isn't a priority.  And the handlers were at their sides at all times, in the operating rooms if they could be called that, and in the homes of the people they stayed with.  Every time the film maker even posed a question about the government, they were direct to turn off the camera.

    It's repressive and poor beyond anything I have seen in a documentary about repressive Nations.  The other one was about the prison system, where they operate under the rule of 3 generations of punishment, so if you are convicted, your kids and their kids, or future kids, are put in prison as well.  Barbaric would not be even close to describing it.  People who are born and die in a prison system that has has been rumored to have people so hungry they resort to cannibalism.


    Scott, it doesn't matter where (none / 0) (#66)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:02:04 PM EST
    you fly from to get to Cuba because Interpol is there.  They know and they will usually get you and it's a $7,500 fine and now due to Homeland Security you could easily make the terrorist list.  You never get off that list and it's no bueño.  The only possibility that I've found is Spain.  They don't seem to care or know about the US embargo.  You are correct in assuming that Cuba won't stamp your passport if you don't want them to.  They are very courteous about that which is extremely important.  Jamaica is no good.  Costa Rica is usually good but you can never tell for sure.  Quite frankly I wouldn't take the chance.  It's frustrating because it's so close.  You can't believe the old cars down there.  Mostly you see old 50's Plymouths because they are the taxicabs.  One time I saw a 59 Oldsmobile station wagon with more chrome on it than any car I've ever seen.  They have perfect 48 Mercury convertibles and 55 Caddys.  It's a car lovers paradise...but forbidden.  Buenas suerete.

    There Are processes in Place... (none / 0) (#102)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 11:38:30 AM EST
    ...s guy I work with did it last year using a puddle jumper, not a commercial airline.  Like I said, the key is to bypass that mess.

    Being forbidden in the draw.  I have a friend who is of Cuban descent and he can travel freely, there are even commercial flights from Houston.

    Not sure what you mean by "They know and they will usually get you".  I have never heard of anyone actually getting busted and loads of Americans visit.  It's a top tourist destination for Canadians and Europeans so it's not like you are going to stick out.  I find it hard to believe Interpol is checking vacationer's papers to enforce a US embargo.


    To clarify your thought processes (none / 0) (#103)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:26:56 PM EST
    "I have never heard of anyone actually getting busted"

    You obviously don't live in South Florida.


    I Do Not Live in South Florida.... (none / 0) (#108)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:58:44 PM EST
    ...but I have access to the internet.

    This NYtimes article states that in 2006 only 21 people were penalized for traveling to Cuba, while estimating that 200,000 Americans illegally visit every year.

    It's not illegal to go there, but it is illegal to spend money there.  The only way they can know that is if you tell them or you bring back goods.  Lying is not an option as that might get you in more trouble, so it's recommended that you exercise you Constitutional right to shut up.

    The same article also states that the Treasury Department states the fine varies from $1500 to $2500.

    To condense, there is roughly 1 in 10,000 chance you will get caught, and if you do, the penalty will mostly likely be less than $2500.  

    While some might find that too risky, I do not.  It's actually less riskier than I though last week and avoiding customs doesn't seem necessary anymore.  It surely beats the $3k-$6k it would cost to hire a licensed escort.

    I have yet to read anything about Homeland Security, terrorists list, or Interpol ever getting involved.  

    You are implying that you know a lot of people who have been busted, but that doesn't match anything I have read.  I have tried to find current numbers and can't, but I have a hard time believing that arrests are increasing as restrictions decrease.


    It doesn't happen every time (none / 0) (#104)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:38:54 PM EST
    but it's still illegal to go to Cuba if you're an American.  I know many fishing friends that go from Cancun to Havana and have had no problem upon return.  Others that fly from Nassau, Bahamas have been met by Interpol and Customs back in Nassau.  Flying to Cuba from Canada often has the same results.  It's only at the airport where you can get caught.  Many French and Canadian groups own resorts in Cuba so no you don't stick out.  All of Hemingway Marina is Canadian and is well run and beautiful.  Once you are in Cuba there's no problem, they love our dollars.  I've never heard of a US based private plane flying to Cuba.  American Airlines flies from both Mexico City and Cancun as does Cubana.  There are flights from Houston and Miami daily but only for Cuban Americans.  Aerogaviota has one flight a week from Kingston to Havana.  Flying a private puddle jumper from Jamaica is too much like a pot run for my liking.  Cancun is probably your best bet and is about the same distance as Jamaica.  Nobody I've ever heard has actually paid that $7,500 fine either.  You'll probably be fine.  You've done your research.

    Here (none / 0) (#105)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    is the legal way.

    Keep in mind that the US still prohibits the average citizen that goes on their own from spending money in Cuba. And has been shown in the past, you have to prove you didn't spend money to avoid the fine if they come after you. It's guilty unless you convince them you're innocent. (good luck with that).


    This link is to someone who professes (none / 0) (#106)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:00:30 PM EST
    to have done it.

    A buddy of mine was getting married and tried to get a bunch of us to go with him to Cuba for his bachelor's party, but we were all married and had kids and didn't need the hassle.


    if buy a ticket on an airline (none / 0) (#109)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:26:49 PM EST
    to Cuba you are doing business with the enemy.  Even AA pays money to Jose Marti airport with your ticket money.

    Dennis Rodman's a private citizen and ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:10:07 PM EST
    ... he can do what he wants. He and Charles Lindbergh are also share a similarity in the sense that the media inexplicably continues to pay undue attention and even deference to him, long after he had ceased to be at all relevant to the contemporary conversation.

    NYT re Rodman in N. Korea: (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:07:50 PM EST
    That's an interesting and worthy take ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:59:34 PM EST
    ... on the subject, and offers some food for thought on using mercurial and unpredictable personalities to reach out to others perceived to be like-minded. I can't say that I necessarily buy the argument in its entirety, but it certainly makes a case for at least entertaining the possibility and not simply dismissing it out of hand.

    Thank you for the link.


    Donald, you have a very good point (none / 0) (#83)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:10:51 AM EST
    I feel that way every time I hear/see some "celebrity" or politician spout off about some subject they know nothing about and are just offering an opinion.......

    So true (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:17:00 AM EST
    Then again, there are entire blog's filled with commentary of those who know nothing about the subjects they are discussing.

    Okay, that was an easy shot (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by sj on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 03:26:10 PM EST
    but still nicely done.

    Sometimes that low-hanging fruit ... (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 08:03:34 PM EST
    ... is just to tempting to ignore.  :)

    Go Dennis go (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:28:14 PM EST
    He's our mole oculus.

    My brother says I could go too--if I had a (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:50:22 PM EST
    jump shot. I get no respect.

    Rodman had no shot either (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:14:11 PM EST
    but he's the best rebounder in North Korea.

    But he could (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:12:20 PM EST
    work a wedding dress like no one else.

    He scared my daughters ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:00:53 PM EST
    ... when they were little.

    He scared me... (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by shoephone on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 12:50:31 AM EST
    ...when I was an adult.

    Yeah, He Said Something... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:27:52 PM EST
    ...dumb about that Gangum Style guy, who is from S Korea.  He also invited Kim Jong-un to the US.

    I bet dollars to donuts, Rodman was paid to do that by N Korea, just another appearance fee, complete with stroking the hosts ego.


    Henry Ford (none / 0) (#107)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:39:21 PM EST
    and Winston "Beware of the International Jew" Churchill.

    212 Congressional Dems oppose DOMA (none / 0) (#19)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:34:11 PM EST
    172 House members and 40 senators signed an amicus brief urging Supreme Court to strike down DOMA.

    Full text of brief, with list of signers.

    Including my Newley-elected (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:53:26 PM EST
    Representative. So long, Brian Bilbray.

    Nielsen Ratings (none / 0) (#20)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:35:15 PM EST
    Do they still use the the boxes, even fort people with cable ?

    With technology, cable and satellite providers know exactly what each of their customers is tuning into, what they are recording, and just about every aspect of their TV behaviors.

    That leaves leaves the air wave TV viewers and I would think that isn't exactly most advertizes target audience.

    Anyone have thoughts (none / 0) (#50)
    by jtaylorr on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:04:42 PM EST
    on the pardons Obama made today? How does he pick them?

    strange group to pardon... (none / 0) (#70)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:44:33 PM EST
    I do know where Tualatin, Oregon is but other than that...no say.

    Spammer all over a bunch of threads (none / 0) (#58)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:06:36 PM EST
    Figured it makes more sense to note it on this one than on all those others.

    More spam (none / 0) (#61)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:32:14 PM EST
    What is it today?  No sooner does J. zap one infestation, another one pops up all over the place.

    For those of you following the pope action (none / 0) (#71)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:52:42 PM EST
    in Vatican City, here is the race shown in sports brackets. I give you the Sweet Sistine, contenders for St. Peter's Chair. I cannot wait to see the side bets. BTD, got any action on this?

    I don't think either American has a chance, thank god. Dolan and O'Malley are both horrendous. Since both Benedict and his successor JP II stacked the College of Cardinals with ultra-conservatives there is no chance the Church will change course, repent its criminal ways and become a force for good in the world. Speaking for me only.

    We'll see. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:09:58 PM EST
    55 years ago, nearly everyone expected the newly elected but elderly Pope John XXIII to be nothing more than a temporary caretaker of the Holy See, only to be taken aback when he convened Vatican II as a means to reform age-old church practices, and got rid of the tiresome and silly Latin Mass which very few understood and hardly anyone ever appreciated.

    Speaking for myself only, I can only hope that the individual who's ultimately chosen will be wise and far-sighted enough to comprehend the bigger picture. While I wouldn't depend on that occuring, I can always be pleasantly surprised.


    That's the difference between our feelings (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:37:10 PM EST
    for the Catholic Church, Donald. You continue hoping for the best. I gave up on the Church decades ago.

    Currently, 117 Cardinals are eligible to vote for the next pope. All of them were appointed by either John Paul II or Benedict XVI. There is no chance, IMO, of some dark horse reformer candidate being selective.

    If the U.S. government started treating the Church like the criminal conspiracy it has proven to be, stopped listening to anything that Dolan or O'Malley or any of the bishops say, stopped taking their calls, the Catholic Church would be further along on the road to destruction I think it is traveling. Honestly, Obama gives the Church a credibility it has neither earned nor deserves.


    In his NYT op ed (March l, 2013) (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:17:10 AM EST
    the Swiss theologian, and one-time colleague of Joseph Ratzinger (aka, Benedict XVI, Pope emeritus) at the University of Tubingen, raises the question of  a "Vatican Spring."   "..In this dramatic situation, the church needs a pope who's not living intellectually in the Middle Ages, who doesn't champion any kind of medieval theology, liturgy or church constitution.... A pope who no longer forces the bishops to toe a reactionary party line... A pope who doesn't let himself be influenced by a Vatican-based 'shadow pope' like Benedict and his loyal followers.  ...unfortunately, since the time of John Paul II, a questionaire has been used to make all bishops follow official doctrine on controversial issues, a process sealed by a vow of unconditional obedience to the pope.."  

    It is a tall order, in view of the make-up of the papal electors, not only appointed, as you say, by Wojtyla and Ratzinger, but also, many up to their own ears in alligators (e.g, Dolan, Mahoney, George). Moreover, papal contenders include medieval champions such as the Cardinal from Ghana.  

    Reverend Kung would be a good teacher for the cardinale, but, of course, this may not be possible since his ecclesiatic teaching license was revoked by Pope John Paul II for criticising papal infallibility.  It is more likely, to me, that we will meet the new pope, same as the old pope. But,  someone who can help change the subject--something different on the outside so as to cover-up the inside.  Good for another 10,000 miles.


    Father Hans Kung's (none / 0) (#86)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:18:58 AM EST
    Well, he could get rid of the Mass (none / 0) (#90)
    by observed on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 01:04:52 AM EST
    entirely. THAT would be progress.
    Any other tinkering with the rituals of that cult is of no interest to me.

    Important Downton Abbey news. (none / 0) (#87)
    by caseyOR on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 01:01:51 PM EST
    Shirley MacLaine will be back as Cora's mother, Martha Levinson. Also, in what may be a bid to snag oculus as a fan, Kiri Te Kanawa will join the cast.

    O'Brien, Cora's mean and snotty maid, is leaving Downton. Well, the actress who plays O'Brien is leaving, but she is taking that character with her.

    Other additions to the cast can be found here.

    Sorry to say, I think I'm done with DA (none / 0) (#93)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    Matthew and Sybil are both dead. Thomas is now Mr. Nice Guy. O'Brien is leaving! which means Thomas has no foil, and the show loses the only real bit of plot-driving tension downstairs. And finally, I don't need to see one more irritating minute of Martha Levinson.

    Au revoir Downton Abbey. I knew you once.


    Isis lives! (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 01:11:48 PM EST
    I'll still watch. I was tired of O'Brien. The new ladies maid will bring a different story line.

    Plus more trips to London with Edith and her job and married-to-the-crazy-lady boss, plus the young cousin's affinity for jazz bars, and the new musician.

    But I will miss Matthew.


    It's sad to be sore losers (none / 0) (#91)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 11:52:50 AM EST
    But the Romneys are going to be making a career of it.

    Devoted wife Ann: "I'm happy to blame the media" for Mitt's election loss.

    Fortunately, no one outside (none / 0) (#92)
    by brodie on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 12:01:37 PM EST
    that family is going to care about their whining about losing the election.  The final vote tally wasn't close, and he wasn't a particularly well-liked nominee anyway.

    Not quite like Nixon and 1960 which, while he too wasn't well-liked, at least because of the narrow-tight outcome and the existence of Daley's Chicago Machine, allowed Tricky some leeway for many years to claim he'd been robbed. He wasn't of course and was just being his Sore Loser loser self, but still the tight numbers and context automatically gave his whining some legitimacy.