Saturday Night Open Thread

It seems a little early for Daylight Savings Time, but it's here. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead (spring forward, fall back.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Really hate losing that hour of sleep... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:23:13 PM EST
    so much harder to adjust to than the fall change when we gain an hour.

    Oh, well - I do like the extra light at the end of the day.

    And what a beautiful day it was here...four days after The Blizzard That Wasn't, we had temps near 70 - just gorgeous and spring-like.  More please!

    My daughter's wedding is fast approaching - May 18th.  Invitations went out yesterday, and next Saturday is the bridal shower, followed that evening by the bachelorette party (not so much a "party" really, as a fun night out in downtown).  We're doing a wine-tasting, followed by a great sushi dinner, then a bunch of the girls will do some bar-hopping, and the non-drinkers (and me) will head to the hotel.  

    After all that needs doing for the shower, I expect to be completely whipped by the time we finish dinner that night.

    Somehow...I am doing most of the food for the shower, although others are contributing some dishes.  I think my daughter is really going to love what we've put together - I can't wait!  I have what amounts to a battle plan for getting it all done, and I'm obsessively checking my lists!

    Going to be a busy week, for sure.  

    Good luck (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Slado on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:24:55 AM EST
    With three small,children I can't imagine what the combination of worry, pride, love and joy must feel like.

    Just remember to take the time and enjoy the experience.

    Weddings are such momentous occasions but we can get lost in the busyness and not enjoy them as much as we should.

    Take lots of pictures!


    Thanks, Slado. Our older daughter (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:35:20 AM EST
    got married 6 years ago, so I've at least been through this once, and that helps, but it's one of those things where, as soon as you cross one thing off the to-do list, three more things appear on it!

    Nothing makes me happier than to see my children moving forward in life, with confidence and with the love and support of two wonderful young men.  

    And now, I also have the pleasure - the joy, really - of my older daughter having had a baby boy in December.  So, now her journey has taken her to the land of parenthood, and it's taken our relationship to a new level, too.

    It's been a kind of wild year, with a baby and a wedding, and with both daughters buying homes - but I'll happily take that kind of crazy over the alternative!


    Good luck!!! (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:22:54 PM EST
    May 18 will be our 55th anniversary.

    The secret?

    I married a Saint.


    Wow - that's a long time to be married! (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:38:42 PM EST
    Congratulations, jim - it really is no small accomplishment.

    We celebrate 33 years in August, so we have a ways to go to get close to where you are, but in my case, my husband and I take turns being the saint in our relationship!


    Have faith (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:40:12 PM EST
    The longer you are married and the older you get the easier it becomes.

    Our daughters say we can have a "fuss" and "make up" with two looks within 5 minutes.... and never have said a word.



    I suggest you wait to celebrate (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:52:56 AM EST
    until 33 years and 4 months, Anne -- than you have achieved 33-1/3, making you officially "long-playing."  We will hit 37 yrs married this August, btw, and 40 yrs together in October (or December, depending how you measure it).

    Congratulations Jim (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by john horse on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:32:10 AM EST
    For once we are in agreement.  Your wife must be a saint.

    Ga. backs relaxing gun laws (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:52:54 PM EST
    for mentally ill

    ATLANTA (AP) -- While some states push to tighten gun control laws after the Connecticut school massacre, lawmakers in gun-friendly Georgia want to ease rules preventing some mentally ill people from getting licenses to carry firearms.

    Legislators in Georgia's House voted 117-56 on Thursday to allow people who have voluntarily sought inpatient treatment for mental illness or substance abuse to get licenses. The same bill would force officials to check on whether applicants have received involuntary treatment in the past five years before issuing licenses. Georgia also may change its laws to allow people to carry guns in churches, bars and on college campuses, contrary to what's happening elsewhere in the United States.


    So much for common sense. Arm the mentally ill and mix guns with high levels of alcohol.

    I think you may be missing the point (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by womanwarrior on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:47:58 AM EST
    Aren't they trying to encourage treatment, instead of making people refuse to get treatment because they will lose their firearms?  Seems like trying to improve mental health and be able to monitor people instead of one size fits all to me.  Now allowing guns in more places would not be my first choice, for sure.  

    I think you are missing the (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 10:06:13 AM EST
    point. The state of GA trying to improve mental health??????

    State Mental Health per capita mental health expenditures: U.S. Average $120.56    GA 46.54

    If GA wants to improve mental health, they could better accomplish that task by increasing their per capita mental health expenditures to be in line with the national average.


    Georgia (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:37:09 AM EST
    does not have mental health care.

    So (none / 0) (#14)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:06:21 AM EST
    someone checks in to a mental health facility voluntarily because of a severe case of depression, say, due to an ugly divorce and death of a parent coming close together.  Let's say it is the only time and the law it then responsible to check for any IN-voluntary confinement and finds none.  Do you really have a problem with that person carrying a hand gun for protection? Isn't everyone entitled to one really bad depression with a get out of jail free card?

    But what if it's not depression? What if it's (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:27:38 AM EST
    a manic phase of bipolar disorder, or it's paranoia, or the early stages of schizophrenia?  What if it was suicidal ideation?  Cutting, or some other expression of self-harm?

    I think encouraging people to seek treatment for mental health issues is a good thing, but I don't think voluntarily seeking treatment should be the carrot at the end of the I-want-to-buy-a-gun stick.

    And this is, after all, Georgia.  Do you have any kind of confidence that Georgia will add the numbers of qualified professionals that would be needed to do the background work on this?  Will it just be a records check, or is anyone actually going to have some face time with the person who has had mental health treatment and wants to buy a gun?  

    The reality is, it seems to me, that a state that loves it some guns is looking to appease all the wussies and liberal crybabies worried about the mentally ill owning guns, and this has little to do with reaching out to the mentally ill.

    If Georgia already had a superlative track record when it came to mental health outreach and treatment - and coverage for those who have no insurance or are poor - maybe I'd feel better about this law, but something tells me that that's not an area where the state has distinguished itself.  Not that Georgia stands alone here - there are few states that have distinguished themselves in this area, mostly because there's too little money to throw in that direction, and mental health gets the short end of it all the time.


    someone (none / 0) (#63)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:40:45 AM EST
    such as you describe would have been admitted more than once and most likely have a long case history, even in the state of Georgia.
    We are talking about someone who self admitted once and not other visits to the mental health lock up.  

    So, you just don't see the possibility (none / 0) (#74)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:11:07 AM EST
    that someone could have one experience with a mental health facility and decide that, no matter what, he or she is never doing THAT again?  You don't think that happens?

    Come on, Teresa - the point is that this is not legislation designed to not "punish" people for getting mental health treatment; it is legislation designed to remove one more barrier to someone owning a gun.

    And the further point is that if the one measuring criterion is "self-admitted once," without some examination of (1) the reason for the admission, (2) the outcome, (3) the prognosis, (4) the follow-up, including medication prescribed, it's not really going to be much use in making sure that guns don't end up in the hands of those who could do harm to themselves or others, is it?

    This is just a bad law designed to placate those who think there actually are reasons why someone shouldn't be able to buy a gun.


    The problem (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:40:05 AM EST
    is that Georgia does not have mental health care available for most people. If it did, then you might have a point. At best people can get "stabilized" by many are not even really correctly diagnosed. So if you don't really know what the condition is how do you separate depression from a lot of other mental conditions?

    I really have a problem with the NRA (none / 0) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:45:47 AM EST
    and gun people saying we don't need any gun regulations, we just need to keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and then having the same gun people write legislation allowing the mentally ill to have guns.

    Don't see anything in that legislation that restricts the type of firearm that the mentally ill person is able to obtain once he/she gets a license. An AK15 could be purchased rather than the hand gun you referenced.

    Since you are using hypothetical situations, let's say that the "one and only" time that a person voluntarily checked in for treatment was the only time he received treatment and not the only time he needed treatment. You now have a mentally ill person needing but not receiving treatment and being allowed to get a gun or a AK15 or a whole arsenal of weapons that he can use on himself and/or others.    

    Since 2009, states have slashed more than $1.6 billion from mental-health programs. And even prior to these cuts, GA received a D on their treatment of mental health.



    we are not (none / 0) (#64)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:42:06 AM EST
    talking hypothetical situations.  We are talking about someone who has been self admitted once to a mental health facility .... period.

    Actually you were talking hypothetical situations (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:25:53 AM EST
    Your original hypothetical situation:

    someone checks in to a mental health facility voluntarily because of a severe case of depression, say, due to an ugly divorce and death of a parent coming close together.  Let's say it is the only time and the law it then responsible to check for any IN-voluntary confinement and finds none.

    The fact that a person was self admitted only once only means that a person was self admitted once...nothing more...nothing less...period.

    The fact that the existing records show a person was self admitted only once or the fact that there is no record of in-voluntary confinement does not necessarily mean as your hypothetical situation implies that the person has been cured of whatever mental health issue(s) they have that requires treatment.

    Record keeping is sporadic and as GA6thDem has stated, Georgia does not have mental health care available for most people. As anyone who has dealt with or advocated for the mentally ill will attest, lack of resources, not lack of need quite often account for extremely limited treatment. Also from my linked article:  

    One prosecutor said he was concerned about the provision because not everyone with serious mental illness is forced to receive treatment, meaning they would be eligible to carry weapons.

    "My concern would be there's got to be people who voluntarily seek inpatient treatment who wouldn't be any less dangerous than if they're sent there involuntarily," Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said Wednesday.

    BTW, your hypothetical situation (none / 0) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:54:17 PM EST
    has a person self admitting only once. There is nothing in the article that indicates that this applies only to someone with one self admission.

    More from linked article (none / 0) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 10:36:03 AM EST
    "My concern would be there's got to be people who voluntarily seek inpatient treatment who wouldn't be any less dangerous than if they're sent there involuntarily," Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said Wednesday.

    GA legislation would be less restrictive than even Texas and Mississippi and is backed by an organization that is more radical than even the NRA.

    The legislation is backed by GeorgiaCarry.Org, a gun owners group that has been more aggressive about expanding rights to carry weapons in Georgia than the National Rifle Association, which supports a more limited slate of changes.

    Any teachers here? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:44:05 AM EST
    Michelle Rhree is Wrong

    I remember about 4 years ago when Arne Duncan got busy and all the educational reformers went on the offensive.  We had crap like "Waiting for Superman" etc... shoved down our throats on all the Oprah shows and Oprah imitation shows and the news magazine shows.  Michelle Ree is one of the worst and she is still going, determined to break the unions and privatize test taking so that some big money, test creating corporations can benefit from tax payer dollars.
    The is a great blog post taking apart her latest efforts.  It's a must read for those still willing to fight for public education.

    That is a good take-down (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by ruffian on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:57:05 AM EST
    She uses the same broad statements and fact-less talking points on all of her TV appearances I have seen, mouthing platitudes that have nothing to do with anything. Look at things an inch deeper and you can see what she is doing. Too bad so many are willing to take her at her word.

    I can't really figure out (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:19:18 AM EST
    what she gets from all of this.  Is it money, fame or does she have a grudge against teachers?  Her statement "every great teacher knows that student assessments can be a great tool," is like a statement from a bad college essay.  I'd suggest that the most mediocre of teachers knows that student assessment is not only a "great tool" but a necessary part of every moment in the classroom.  Assessment is not all about tests.

    I don't know about you, but I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I can not imagine how we ever became educated without Arnie Duncan, Michelle Rhree, Dubya, NCLB, Charter Schools and all this glorious educational reform.


    In my case, one word: Nuns! (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by ruffian on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:04:42 PM EST
    tell me (none / 0) (#67)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:47:15 AM EST
    did the hair pulling open your mind?  Or was that an educational method only my sisters in law suffered?

    My class was (none / 0) (#68)
    by sj on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:52:22 AM EST
    was taught by a hair pulling terror.  But the rest of the nuns seemed relatively sane.

    Were your sisters in law "taught" by Sister Mary Imelda?


    Michelle Rhee Is Wrong (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by john horse on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:31:02 AM EST
    because her analysis and solutions are wrong.

    Statistically, the best predictor of student achievement is a student's socio-economic status.  If you correlate schools socio-economically, our high income and middle class schools do pretty well compared to the rest of the world.  Its the schools with predominately low income students that are the problem.  Rhee dismisses the effect of socio-economic conditions on student achievement.  For Rhee, student achievement is all about the teacher.  I'm not saying that teachers don't have an effect on achievement, but certainly not the effect of socio-economic status.  

    By falsely assuming that student achievement is totally dependent on the quality of the teacher, she makes the second error - she then uses student achievement tests inappropriately.  I believe that student achievement tests are useful if they are used correctly.  They can be used to identify areas for improvement.  Instead Rhee advocates high stakes testing where the test determine how much funding a school receives, if a school is closed, and if a teacher is fired.

    Rhee's reforms are going to fail because she is wrong in her analysis.  Thanks to good investigative reporting, we now know that the improvements that were achieved under her watch in Washington DC (and other "reformers" such as in Atlanta) was achieved by cheating and falsifying answers.  Rhee is a fraud but unfortunately, her "reforms" will continue to harm students and teachers.


    yes, you are correct (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:13:18 AM EST
    the frustrating thing, really the tragic thing is that the students being harmed now can never get those years back.

    What If They Started Ending A War (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by john horse on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:44:04 AM EST
    and noone noticed?

    Does anyone know how many casualties there were in Afghanistan last month?  The answer is 1.  Thats right, only 1.  This is a clear indication that the war in Afghanistan is winding down.  Elections matter.  Under President Obama, we have gotten out of Iraq and are getting out of Afghanistan.  More than that, we have not entered into another major conflict since he has been elected.  Elections matter.  It matters whether you have a FORWAR party in charge or a party that believes in moving FORWARD.  Just remember you can't move FORWARD without the "D".

    And now, (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:23:46 AM EST
    the weather.

    What if we ended the Afghanistan war (aka, (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:09:09 PM EST
    perpetual war) by repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force? AUMF was enacted just three days after 9/ll/01 to give Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan so as to pursue al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the US as well as  the Taliban who gave them safe harbor.

    However, the resolution warped into the overreaching Bush/Cheney policies and has been transmogrified and integrated into Obama foreign policy.  The AUMF has become the open-ended justification and enshrinement of war without end.

    As the Boston Globe (Feb ll, 2013) presents, and the NYT editorial of today (March 10, 2013), advocates, Congress should repeal the 200l authorization--recalling, in its conclusion,  the admonition of then counsel to the Secretary of DOD, Jeh Johnson, in a speech last November, "War must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs."    


    I don't think we have a hope of that at this time (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:13:17 PM EST
    Because too many processes that our leaders rely on for national security have spun off from the AUMF.  I myself think the thing to fight for at this point is oversight and due process.

    Their (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:58:24 PM EST
    reaction to the controversy stirred up by Rand Paul was to no longer provide information about the quantity of drone strikes.

    They like to keep us in the dark.
    Makes for a nice, passive public.

    My point: forget oversight. Forget due process.

    Ain't gonna happen.


    Because scandal is the most destructive force (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:42:24 AM EST
    In military matters I have to disagree.  Do you have a new for this NEW secrecy?  I can't find anything about it this morning.

    Recent changes and deletions on reporting (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:09:08 AM EST
    of quantity of drone strikes.

    As the debate over the federal government's drone strike program is climaxing in Washington, the Air Force has quietly erased previously published drone strike data from its website. Additionally, the Air Force has now changed its policy of publishing statistics of drone strikes in Afghanistan each month.

    Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) had been publishing monthly updates on drone strikes, or "weapons releases from remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)," since October. However, data published in February suddenly "contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been," the Air Force Times reports.

    Upon further investigation, Air Force Times reporters Brian Everstine and Aaron Mehta discovered additional statistics from previous months were missing as well.

    The data removal coincided with increased scrutiny on RPA policy caused by President Barack Obama's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA....

    The AUMF needs to be (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 04:12:07 PM EST
    repealed because there are so many processes that have been tenuously spun off of it.   Oversight is certainly proving to be a fight and due process is just subject to re-definition and manipulation.   Attorney General Holder, about a year ago, told Northwestern University law students that citizens have a right to due process, but that does not necessarily mean a trial by jury.

    For "clarification," Holder added that "due process and judicial process are not the same."   .."the Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process."    And, of course, due process means executive reviews.   Now, it may be that we feel at peace with such power in the hands of President Obama and Eric Holder, but  what about their successors?  


    I hear what you are saying (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:47:13 AM EST
    I don't see how it happens anytime in the near future.  None of our legislators other than a handful will even agree to the idea.  It's one thing to hope for it, but it is another thing realizing what can be done today.

    We can't even get a budget passed, no legislator is going to trust anyone on the other side of the aisle in passing needed legislation for national security if the AUMF is lifted.


    The more I read about this, the more (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:59:57 AM EST
    I understand that the reason there has been so much resistance to disclosure, the reason the OLC memos haven't been provided, the reason the original memo had to be expanded, is because the conclusion that is likely to be reached is that the president did not have the authority to do what he did.

    From bmaz:

    The most important principle to understand about the White Paper's discussion of 18 USC 1119 is, as Marcy noted, that it is impertinent if the the law of war (formally the "Law of Armed Conflict" or "LOAC") is truly in play. In short, if the Administration is using the AUMF - military force - in an active battle situation, there is no need for further discussion, whether Mr. Awlaki is a US citizen or not. That, of course is diametrically opposed to what the facts were at the action point with Awlaki, and that we now know.

    The truth is the Administration used a civilian agency, the CIA, to kill a US citizen without judicial due process, far from the "hot battlefield" and that is why such a deliberate attempt was made in the White Paper to obfuscate the legal basis for their targeting and killing, and why such a seemingly inordinate time was spent in the White Paper on a traditional criminal law statute, 18 USC 1119.

    After providing the language of 18 US 1119, and an excerpt from Colleen McMahon's ruling, bmaz goes on to say:

    And, as both Judge McMahon and Marcy noted, "Presidential authorization does not and cannot legitimize covert action that violates the constitution and laws of this nation." Well, no it cannot. And that is also consistent with the "Take Care Clause" in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requiring a President to insure that all laws (read statutes) are "faithfully executed". That means the President cannot simply abrogate or ignore the clear language of 18 USC 1119.

    So, if the target, in this case Awlaki, was killed by a US civilian action in a foreign country and away from a, as Judge McMahon put it, "hot field of battle", then the Administration has a problem. Houston, the Administration has a problem with 18 USC 1119.

    Bmaz closes:

    Now, in closing, I think we ought to be honest about the nature of this discussion. Fact is, the Obama Administration is never going to actually charge their own people, it is not about that; it is about the root legality of the activity. And the problem is, at root, there is no way to say that CIA-performed extrajudicial execution of American citizens away from the hot battlefield is legal in the face of 18 USC 1119. The Obama Administration is trying to baffle the public with legalistic bull, and is trying to hide their illegal pea under a moving set of inapplicable and inapposite legal shells. But, in the end, it does simply does not hold water.

    So, if there's going to be a discussion about due process and about oversight, it can't be held in a vacuum - it has to be in the context of actual targeted killings, al-Awlaki's in particular.  And I think the reason we haven't, the reason why it's been a monumental struggle just to get the minimal information we have, is that the administration isn't just on the  wrong side of the law, it knows it's on the wrong side.

    This is not going to end well, I don't think.  Contrary to what you may believe about my agenda and my self-righteous indignation, I would not look forward to how this country would handle the mess in all its ugly glory.  Given how the GOP has reacted to Benghazi - is till reacting to Benghazi - I can't even fathom a scenario where impeachment does not rear its ugly head, and suck all the oxygen out of the room with respect to the many other issues that are crying to be addressed.

    Not that I agree with, condone or can justify the policy Obama put forth - I don't, and I can't - I'm just shuddering at where this is all going to lead.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#87)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:47:43 PM EST
    He will be ending the war in Afghanistan - after escalating it by adding 17,000 more troops in 2009.

    And we're not "getting out of Afghanistan".  Yes, we are doing troop withdrawals, but we will likely have a presence there at least through 2017:

    During his 2013 State of the Union Address Barack Obama announced that 34,000 US troops will leave Afghanistan by February 2014, but did not specify what the post-2014 troop levels would be. "Beyond 2014, America's commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change," Obama said.[94] "We're negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions - training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al-Qaeda and their affiliates," he added.[94] As of February 12, 2013 Barack Obama has not made a decision on the post-2014 U.S. force.[93] The Obama Administration intends to keep some troops in the country in 2015 and beyond, but the number is still being debated at the White House and must be approved by the Afghan government.[92] Unnamed U.S. officials said there was a reluctance to go public with a final number of troops and a description of their missions while still in the early stage of negotiating a security agreement with the Afghans over retaining a U.S. military presence after 2014.[93] The New York Times reported that the post-2014 force is likely to number no more than 9,000 or so troops and then get progressively smaller.[93] The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon is pushing a plan that would keep about 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2015, but significantly shrink the contingent over the following two years, perhaps to fewer than 1,000 by 2017, according to senior U.S. government officials and military officers.[92]

    Lab chimps being retired (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 01:34:47 PM EST
    Seeing the sky and touching ground for the first time.


    Teaching high school students (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:47:06 PM EST
    "voting procedures" is just so unAmerican. :-(

    Iowa state Rep. Pat Grassley (R) -- the grandson of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- introduced a bill earlier this week that increases the amount of instruction in government and "the tenets of American citizenship" in the state's high school social studies curriculum, but specifically eliminates "the high school social studies requirement to teach voting procedures."
    As Progress Iowa's Matt Sinovic put it, "If [Grassley] doesn't think voting is a principle of American citizenship, then what is? Nothing is more fundamental to being American or Iowan than exercising our right to vote." link

    Urban Farming (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:22:12 PM EST
    (something you shouldn't miss)

    I've just read the article above  in "In These Times" and I just want to be sure everybody at FDL is aware of urban farming. It seems to me one of the most practical and attractive fuel saving, ecological ideas around. Not only physically, politically and socially healthful, but culturally healthful as well.

    A green idea turned into a multi-million dollar business.

    Another urban farming (none / 0) (#46)
    by nycstray on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:49:03 PM EST
    green idea . . .

    My 77yo (former R as of last election) Mom posted the link on FB :D


    Saw that the other day (none / 0) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:52:50 AM EST
    That clip was both entertaining and inspirational.

    Mathematical Equation (none / 0) (#50)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:19:31 AM EST
    achieving successful inner city growth rate
    must take into account the local reprobate

    What does that even ... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:07:28 PM EST
    ... mean?

    Business (none / 0) (#102)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:01:18 PM EST
    has to account for the cost associated with crime; like theft, hold ups and damage, not to mention security systems and guards

    probably having to contend with drug addicts, drunks and homeless folks too, not to mention the mentally ill

    I could picture some Saturday Night joy ride down the center row of the Urban Garden by Killer B(eatrix Potter)......I still can't get over Judge Lester calling George Zimmerman a "Potted Plant"


    Okay, then ... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:58:13 PM EST
    ... thanks for clearing that up?

    Wow (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:14:56 PM EST
    You have to be really obsessed to get there from a story on urban gardens.

    Penny Wise and Pound Foolish (none / 0) (#115)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:49:55 PM EST
    actually, folks would be considered "far out" if they opened a business in a large inner city, run down neighborhood, and didn't take into account the "consequences"  

    Not everything (none / 0) (#118)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:02:51 AM EST
    has to be supersized to be effective.  As I read/view this, the point is for the residents to take back some control over their own communities, to find use for what once was wasted; not for some outside "business" to come in with banners waving and marching bands.  Not a thing wrong with starting small and building.

    And that Pound sterling is/was actually made up of pennies and ha' pennies.


    sj (none / 0) (#119)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:43:35 AM EST
    maybe I should mention that I am a life long Chicagoan, so folks understand a bit where I am coming from, so there will be "reality check" times with me, took Obama till last month to address "things", he kinda had to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way, sure the urban garden is a positive effort, just wanted to acknowledge that and not be a dark cloud diminishing an abundant crop



    Okay (none / 0) (#120)
    by sj on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:50:37 AM EST
    things are getting clearer.  I'm getting a better understanding of your perspective.  I might have gotten here earlier, though, if you hadn't hung your comment (or dark cloud) in this particular slot which was completely unrelated to Obama.  It would have made more sense to me if you had started the conversation with this as an independent comment.

    Thanks for continuing to clarify.


    Three US Citizens (none / 0) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 09:55:13 PM EST
    wiped out by US drones in Yemen in a two week period in 2011 are discussed in detail in this NYTimes report.  

    I am annoyed by the way the article brushes off the collateral damage as being "legal".  I never have seen anybody try to answer the question I heard Rand Paul raise during his filibuster this week (raised earlier by Donald Rumsfeld).  "Do these killings make us more enemies than they eliminate".

    Our drone policy is (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Slado on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:30:04 AM EST
    Troublesome for lots of reasons but the one I come back to is the ability for us to remove ourselves as the trigger puller from the actual act of killing.

    No soldier, no pilot in harms way.  Just a joystick and a black and white screen.

    For me I can't get around the fact that our technology has made killing too easy, too optional.  

    It's completely the same for the dead people but so much easier for us.


    and yet (none / 0) (#10)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:21:25 AM EST
    that is also the benefit.  I remember in the early days of "terrorism", wondering how you fight an enemy who doesn't care about their own life or the lives of their own innocents.
    It's a terrible moral dilemma until you consider that neither you nor I are there on the ground risking our lives and/or sanity fighting this enemy.

    Kill Ratio (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by RickyJim on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:42:02 PM EST
    Then, on Oct. 14, a missile apparently intended for an Egyptian Qaeda operative, Ibrahim al-Banna, hit a modest outdoor eating place in Shabwa. The intelligence was bad: Mr. Banna was not there, and among about a dozen men killed was the young Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who had no connection to terrorism and would never have been deliberately targeted

    Let us say they did get Banna with this strike so that the bad guy to good guy kill ratio was 1:12 or possibly better since we don't know about all the people killed. What is an acceptable ratio that should be required for each drone strike?

    And how many innocent (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:58:51 PM EST
    people, of all faiths, have been killed by Muslim terrorists??

    Drones offer us the ability to strike at terrorists in the midst of their protective cover. Do all the "innocents" know nothing about who they associate with and what he or she has done?

    And to do so without drones would require massive invasions and huge "take and hold" forces.

    To me the issue is "on US soil" of US citizens. If someone is outside the US and fighting against the US then they have surrendered their citizenship.  


    I don't think these "innocents" knew (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:34:07 AM EST
    or were responsible for the actions of those around them.

    UNITED NATIONS -- U.S. military attacks in Afghanistan, including drone strikes, have reportedly killed hundreds of children over the last four years, according to the U.N. body monitoring the rights of children.

    The Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child said the casualties were "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force." link

    Unicef, the United Nations children's agency, said in response to the findings: `Even one child death from drone missiles or suicide bombings is one child death too many.'

    Somehow I don't think much of the idea of the U.S. descending to the same level of the terrorists using the justification that since terrorists kill innocents people it is o.k. for the U.S. to kill innocent people too


    Whoops, link above does not work (none / 0) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:40:56 AM EST
    Here it is:



    As I pointed out to Scott (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:24:04 PM EST
    This is an asymmetric war. But the "civilians" know what's going on. They don't want to solve the problem by throwing the terrorists so they become part of the problem.

    War is nasty.


    You're right, Jim (5.00 / 4) (#100)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:54:05 PM EST
    Those hundreds of children mentioned in the article knew exactly what they were getting into.  It's their own fault for not overthrowing the terrorists.

    Do you ever think before you type?



    The subject of the article I referenced (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:25:02 AM EST
    was children and not adult civilians. To be even more exact it was about hundreds of dead children. They are dead according to the article "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force."  

    Small children are incapable of throwing terrorists and they are certainly incapable of overthrowing them.


    WTF ? (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:40:26 AM EST
    That has got to be most inane defense of drones.  Basically Jim, you are stating it's A-OK because terrorists do it.  How exactly does it make us the good guys if we are doing the exact same thing ?  

    Did it ever occur to you that the reason we are fighting the terrorists is because we used to find the killing of innocent people unacceptable.  They do it because they don't have huge invasion forces, we do it because we don't want to use our huge invasion forces.  How is the act any different because we drop bombs out of the sky and they strap them to the weak minded ?  The innocent dead acquiring minds would like to know.

    I am pretty sure people at a cafe with no terrorist present weren't aware of their proximity to where intelligence believed a terrorist might be.  Acting like people should die because they should know who they are 'associating' with is pretty weak tea, especially when you consider there isn't any actual list one can check even if that make one lick of sense.  Never mind the kids who have no choice in where they parents take them or people who just so happen to live next to where intelligence thinks a terrorist might be staying for a day.


    Scott, who told you that we have ever found (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:19:33 PM EST
    civilians within a war zone to be "innocent?"

    We did a real job on Japan, Germany and Italy.

    Your problem is that you refuse to recognize that we are engaged in a war... an asymmetric war in which terrorists swim in the general population and try to use them as shields. By and large the population know this.

    And I love the way you find moral acquiescence between ourselves and the terrorists.  


    They do it because they don't have huge invasion forces, we do it because we don't want to use our huge invasion forces.  How is the act any different because we drop bombs out of the sky and they strap them to the weak minded ?

    How about they do it because they hate the West and have been duped, via Muslim radicals, into attacking us.

    BTW - You remember 9/11?


    No Jim, What is 9/11 ? (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:21:31 AM EST
    So the methods used nearly 70 years ago are the same ones we should use today.  Never mind were actually declared war with the countries listed, not true of Afghanistan.  There is a huge difference in that most Afghans don't support what the very few are doing because they are as much, if not more, victims of terrorism as us.  Did you forget this, or don't you care ?

    So why aren't you pushing using nuclear bombs, that would fall in your general 1945 mindset ?

    Right, because here in the present day except for the few hawks clearly off their rockers, it's not an option because we don't live in 1945 and Afghanistan is not Japan or Germany.  So stop acting like it is, and that we are at war with a Nation, when in fact we are at war with ideology shared by very few.

    I would say it's refreshing, but not actually, it's pretty sad to see you on board with Obama when it comes to killing innocent brown people.  Good thing for us, those suspected terrorists aren't lurking around our neighborhoods and some other foreign nation doesn't have the sophistication to drop bombs from our skies in hopes of getting someone their intelligence believed was worth all the collateral damage.

    Funny how the terrorist we target are always in one country, lucky I guess, because the S storm Obama would ignite by dropping bombs on England, or Germany, or Saudi Arabia, just might start an actual war with an actual nation that can fight back.


    acquiescence??? grrr equivalence.. (none / 0) (#97)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:21:11 PM EST
    Drones make war into a video game, (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:27:51 PM EST
    where the blood and gore and killing and maiming and destruction of homes and businesses don't matter because we are removed from it.

    I am not suggesting that we be sitting ducks for anyone who has it in for us.  I am suggesting that at some point, we have to decide who we are, and what this country wants to represent.  If I cringe every time I hear one of our fearless leaders bragging about our democracy, proclaiming us to be the greatest, freest nation on earth, I can't imagine how those words strike the people who live in nations we are targeting with drones.

    If they hated us for who and what they thought we were before the attacks of 9/11, I don't imagine that hatred has subsided in the wake of who we have become in the years since; if anything, every drone that takes flight over so-called terrorist-rich areas adds more fuel to the flames of hatred.

    The approach that's been in use for the last 12 years hasn't made us safer, and it hasn't strengthened our freedoms or our democracy - we are, I believe, weaker as a nation.  So, what do we do about all these would-be attackers and looming threats?  We need better intelligence, better diplomacy and better ways to reach into the worst of these countries with education, with technology, with ways to improve the day-to-day lives of average people.

    Which is not a bad recipe for this country - but those in charge seem as determined as ever to keep tightening the economic noose on the least among us and looking around at whatever's left of the middle class to see if there's more they can squeeze out of them.  We are more spied upon, more intruded upon, more scrutinized.  The police state is bigger and more powerful.  We are going backwards and pretending that the only measure of our health that matters is that the fortunes of the elite are still growing.  

    Drones are, in my mind, a scourge; whatever benefit they are alleged to provide is dwarfed by the damage they do, not just to the people who are collateral damage, and the hatred they fuel, but to our collective psyche.


    Anne, drones save the lives of US (none / 0) (#94)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:09:36 PM EST

    Without them:

    A. US military would be killed and we would spend even more treasure... or

    B. The terrorist would be left alone.


    C. Innocents and US military would die from attacks by the terrorists.

    It is not a closed game.


    Your Premise (none / 0) (#99)
    by RickyJim on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:45:17 PM EST
    is that the activist, interventionist US Foreign Policy is necessary.  I think it is unnecessary and the overwhelming reason that the terrorists go after us is that we are over there messing with them.  Of course if you are of the school that Islam is the 21st century Communism, determined to take over the world, you disagree.

    My premise is that Muslim terrorists (2.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:20:57 PM EST
    attacked us on 1/93 and then again on 9/11 with a bunch of attacks thrown in.

    Whatever the reason for the start of the fight it exists and continues.

    And, like all wars, the choice is either to win it and have your version of society continue or lose it and have the other side's version reign.

    Based on what I see in countries that are controlled by Islam and the past 800 years or so I fervently hope that the west wins.

    You obviously have a distorted view of history and, like many on the far Left, heartily dislike the US and western society.

    A position that, if taken in the reverse in, say Egypt, would likely result in your violent demise.

    You might consider that point as you snark and look down on your nose at the rest of us.


    Typical tripe from you: (none / 0) (#106)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:31:43 PM EST
    You obviously have a distorted view of history and, like many on the far Left, heartily dislike the US and western society.

    Hyperbole, presumption, demonization, insults. Got anything else? Thought not.


    And here's a good rebuttal (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:54:52 PM EST
    To that NYT report. that basically tears it apart - from Glenn

    The New York Times and the Obama administration have created a disturbing collaborative pattern that asserted itself again on Sunday with the paper's long article purporting to describe the events leading up to the execution by the CIA of US citizen Anwar Awlaki. Time and again, the Obama administration shrouds what it does with complete secrecy, and then uses that secrecy to avoid judicial review of its actions and/or compelled statutory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. "Oh, we're so sorry", says the Obama DOJ, "but we cannot have courts deciding if what we did is legal, nor ordering us to disclose information under FOIA, because these programs are so very secret that any disclosure would seriously jeopardize national security".

    But then, senior Obama officials run to the New York Times by the dozens, demand (and receive) anonymity, and then spout all sorts of claims about these very same programs that are designed to justify what the US government has done and to glorify President Obama. The New York Times helpfully shields these officials - who are not blowing any whistles, but acting as government spokespeople - from being identified, and then mindlessly regurgitates their assertions as fact. It's standard government stenography, administration press releases masquerading as in-depth news articles.

    Sunday's lengthy NYT article on the Awlaki killing by Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane is a classic case of this arrangement. It purports to provide "an account of what led to the Awlaki strike" that is "based on interviews with three dozen current and former legal and counterterrorism officials and outside experts". But what it really does is simply summarize the unverified justifications of the very officials involved in the killing, most of whom are permitted to justify themselves while hiding behind anonymity. It devotes itself with particular fervor to defending the actions of former Obama OLC lawyers David Barron and Marty Lederman, who concocted the theories to authorize due-process-free assassinations of American citizens (those same Democratic lawyers were, needless to say, among the most vocal critics of the Bush administration's War on Terror policies that denied due process and relied on rampant secrecy).


    Indeed, while the NYT asserts as though it's incontrovertible that he was "a senior operative in Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen", Yemen experts such as Gregory Johnsen have long said the opposite: "We suspect a great deal about Anwar al-Awlaki, but we know very little, precious little when it comes to his operational role" and "Mendelsohn [said]: '(Awlaki) played an important role in a string of attacks in the West'. We just don't know this, we suspect it but don't know it."

    Beyond that, the DOJ officials whose conduct is defended by this story have long been important sources to the very NYT reporters writing this article (not just during the Obama years but also the Bush years), so it's a typical case of journalists using anonymity to serve the agendas of their government sources. And it's yet another case where journalistic anonymity is granted not to protect whistleblowers from recriminations by the powerful, but to protect government officials from accountability so they can justify government conduct.

    Propaganda (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:52:09 PM EST
    Am against war, drones or any other killing if can be avoided (vast majority can). The claim that by killing adversaries you increase recruiting, there is always collateral damage, is not based on facts, research and logic. It's pure propaganda by those who object to the action in the first place.

    If it were true after more than a dozen years of fighting Al-Qaida and collateral damage, this organization would have had millions of members. It actually shrunk.


    Historically, people who find themselves ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 04:26:22 PM EST
    ... under direct military attack by another power often tend to unite in direct opposition to the assailants, and prolonged conflict inevitably becomes a test of will.

    There is ample evidence of this, and we ourselves most recently experienced it in Vietnam. We killed upwards of three million people during our war there, they killed nearly 50,000 of us, and in the end we're the ones whose will broke first.

    So, actually, it's entirely probable -- and thus problematic -- that as long as we're engaged militarily in south Asia and Africa, that disparate Islamic groups and tribes will support one another against us as their common enemy.

    Yes, attacking them does make it easier for them to recruit, and their young men (and some women) will continue to answer that bell and enlist in the fight.

    But they don't necessarily have to join al Qaeda and take up arms literally, in order to assume an active role in the greater struggle. In most instances, sustained acts of civil disobedience and noncooperation with the occupying Western infidels will prove decisive, as both our military position and political standing in the region erode with the passage of time.

    The Taliban and Islamic militants don't have to defeat us in battle. What they have to do to ultimately prevail is outlast us.


    Donald (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 06:31:40 PM EST
    "We" didn't break first.

    Democrats and other politicians broke....

    After being pushed by the war protesters who were glorified by the media and influenced by such false reports put out by Walter Cronkite re Tet.

    Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?

    A:  It was essential to our strategy.  Support of the war from our rear was completely secure  while the American rear was vulnerable.  Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m.  to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement.  Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence  that we should hold on  in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

    Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?

    A: Keenly.



    Bui Tin, again? (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 07:07:42 PM EST
    Yes, we know, Jim.  There is a former communist, NV general turner-fellow-wingnut who now makes this silly claim.  The very same one who claims to have been first to smash through the palace gates and accept surrender from the last SV leader.  The same guy who says NV never tortured American POWs.

    Even funnier than your usual "evidence".


    Well you can't blame Jim.. (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:50:18 AM EST
    he and Rush and Newt were spat on when they returned from..

    Oh thats right, none of them could be bothered to go and "defend our freedoms".  


    Dearest Jondee (none / 0) (#104)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:10:50 PM EST
    Speaking only for myself, you have long known that I claim to have served for 10 years in Naval Aviation.

    Nothing more. Nothing less.

    But a  damn site more than you.


    "In naval aviation" - heh (none / 0) (#109)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:06:39 AM EST
    Did you ever notice the peculiar phrasing consistently used?  Nothing specific - no MOS - just "in naval aviation".

    Funny stuff.


    "Naval aviation": Euphemisms are fun! (none / 0) (#112)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:30:58 AM EST
    As a contrast, my dad was a tail gunner in WWII. Flew over France, shot down a a few Nazis...Was shot down by them as well, barely bailed out alive a couple of times...Highly decorated by both the U.S. and French governments...gosh, I wonder if Jim's experience matches something like that...

    Nope. Thought not. But he was in "Naval Aviation."


    In defense of Jim (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:59:47 PM EST
    let me take a brief pause from my usual post of needling James to state that a person needn't be in the thick of combat to be a contributor to a military effort. I spent several years in combat but never felt above those who designed, and built, my gun, boots, or rain gear. And, I don't know how many (hundreds probably) who worked daily supplying, and supporting, each one of us grunts in the field.

    I don't know what Jim's role "in Naval Aviation" was, any more than anyone else does. Maybe he worked in design and manufacturing, or sales, or maybe in the distribution chain. But, whatever he did, if he was a cog in the military effort, like each of us were, and, if he contributed to our common effort then my thanks, and gratitude, go out to him for his service.

    Now, can we please go back to bashing Jim for what he's espousing today, and not what he did 40-50 years ago? It's a lot more fun.


    They're definately contributors (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:31:10 PM EST
    The issue I have is when they mention their experience "in naval aviation" in the context of sending others into actual combat, or while denigrating combat veterans because they don't like their politics, or (more generally) make vague statements to suggest that their experience is something more than it is/was.  It's like the mall security guard who, when asked what he does, says he's "in law enforcement".

    I will never (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by NYShooter on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:44:44 AM EST
    change my opinion that the lowest form of human dung is reserved for those miscreants who actively, and vocally, cheerlead for America's involvement in military adventures, while using every means possible to avoid service themselves.

    But, for a guy who's looking forward to his 55th wedding anniversary the idea of him joining a battalion of jarheads storming some beach is moot, if not laughable. And, as for me, a guy who's approaching an age where referring to "my seniors" will also be moot before long, I was simply giving Jim the benefit of doubt.


    Ditto. (none / 0) (#116)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:00:28 PM EST
    My good man.. (none / 0) (#121)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:52:47 PM EST
    the point remains: to the present, the biggest loudmouths still fulminating about how Martin Luther King, Hanoi Jane, John Kerry, and Walter Cronkite "stabbed us in the back" never got any closer to SE Asia themselves than a few thousand miles.

    Which may still be a damn site closer than you ever did.


    Al-Qaida Isn't the Only Source of Terrorists (none / 0) (#16)
    by RickyJim on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:08:25 AM EST
    All the polling I've seen shows that the Muslim world still hates the US, even more than before 911.  I think the burden of proof is on the policy makers to show than any activity, which seems to kill more civilians than terrorists, is keeping us safer in the long term.

    Yes, it is good (none / 0) (#90)
    by RickyJim on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:49:02 PM EST
    but it is mostly focused on the fairly arcane matter of legal justification.  Can't a good lawyer justify anything, especially things done in the name of nation security?  The issues of acceptable collateral damage and the effect on creating new terrorists are not discussed.

    Armed school guard accidently (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 11:58:46 PM EST
    discharged his pistol in the hallway while classes were in session.

    HIGHLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - One New York town has suspended its school armed guard program after a police officer assigned to a high school accidentally shot off a round.

    Schools in Highland in the Hudson Valley were each given an armed police officer to guard the public schools in the wake of the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre.

    Officer Sean McCutcheon accidentally discharged his pistol in the hallway while classes were in session around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, according to the Lloyd Police Department.

    There were no staff members or students nearby when the shot went off and no injuries were reported. link

    I wish BTD would post his work (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:15:58 PM EST
    On due process in the drone program.  Fareed Zakaria is stealing his idea, or at least it feels that way to me.

    What's stopping you from posting it? (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 04:13:05 PM EST
    Or linking to it?

    This is not the first time you've mentioned it, so obviously you think it's important - so why not enlighten us?

    I'd be curious to know what is so unique about BTD's take on due process that someone could get annoyed that it's being "stolen."


    He hasn't posted it yet (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:48:50 AM EST
    He has posted two writings leading up to it, with the promise of this next one.  

    Oh - I thought you were saying that (none / 0) (#54)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:09:35 AM EST
    you wished he would post it here; for some time, BTD seems to have passed on writing here in favor of Daily Kos - and since I just don't go to DK anymore, thought that if he had something there you could just summarize or link to it.

    In the meantime, both Marcy and bmaz over at Emptywheel have been posting extensively on the administration's justifications, especially in light of the NYT article this weekend.

    Well worth reading, and make sure to follow the embedded links, as a way of coming to a better understanding of the laws involved.  


    Interesting article by Gary Hart on drones (none / 0) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:17:22 AM EST
    "When technology at the service of expediency dictates our policies, we are no longer the nation we were created to be and that we continue to tell ourselves we are, a constitutional democracy." link

    Gary Hart (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by sj on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:00:37 AM EST
    It is an interesting article.  But I admit to harboring a lingering resentment toward him.  He co-chaired the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (USCNS/21) and was instrumental in bring the term "Homeland Security" into American lexicon.  I rather liked him before that, Donna Rice notwithstanding.

    Now he seems dismayed that we are reaping what he helped to sow.


    Well at least Hart tried to warn (none / 0) (#80)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:58:43 AM EST
    the incoming Nitwit admin about the increased risk of foreign-based terrorists attacking on US soil -- but their report, iirc, which landed on Dick Cheeney's desk, got ignored and we got 9-11 a few months later.

    That's true (none / 0) (#91)
    by sj on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    But said Nitwit admin ignored other reports that were even more specifically relevant to 9/11.

    Didn't Fareed... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 01:33:06 PM EST
    ...get in trouble for plaigarism in the last year?

    I love stories like this (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 03:00:46 PM EST
    Interesting (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 04:51:30 PM EST
    Theory about what we think we know vs what may be reality when it comes to voting and demographic shifts here in the US.

    Since the November election, in which President Obama won huge majorities among minority voters, it's been taken as gospel that the Republican Party must, for its own survival, seek to appeal to those groups by moving to the left on topics such as immigration reform. But as the nation becomes more diverse, the demographic shift can cut the other way, too: Some Democratic voters are likely to move to the right.

    It's assumed that, as the United States becomes increasingly non-white, white Democrats will continue to support the party. But a substantial amount of social-science evidence suggests a different conclusion: As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, liberal whites might start leaning Republican.

    Seems logical enough.  Besides race demographics, it seems like many people who are enthusiastic liberals when they are young, also turn a little more conservative as they age, get married, have kids, and make more money.  Not all, of course, but one can quickly look at how many hippie protestors of the 60's are now solidly Republican-voting.

    This will be fascinating to watch in the next 20-30 years to see if his theory pans out.

    Why (none / 0) (#49)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:18:06 AM EST
    are we seeing Jeb Bush's face all over the place?

    Is this what we have to look forward to after Obama is done with us?

    He's selling his (none / 0) (#55)
    by DFLer on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:51:27 AM EST
    And running for President (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:05:40 AM EST
    the reason we are seeing his face (none / 0) (#60)
    by DFLer on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:18:12 AM EST
    "all over the place" is that he is on a talk show book tour.

    as to the politics, whatever.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:42:39 AM EST

    Didn't know about the book.
    Apparently someone in that accursed family is semi-literate.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#66)
    by DFLer on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:44:08 AM EST
    the link in my 1st post is to a NYT article 'bout the book your...

    He is said to be... (none / 0) (#101)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:36:37 PM EST
    the "smart" Bush.

    Well having a book to promote (none / 0) (#69)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:56:13 AM EST
    is only a convenient excuse for the msm and Jeb to be on all the talk shows.  He's not so much trying to sell his book as he's trying to ease himself into becoming the Repub nominee for 2016 as he gets people comfortable with the idea of yet another Bush running again for the highest office.

    And the msm, mostly friendly and loyal to the Bushes over the years, is more than willing to play along.

    They will likely also heavily favor him in their coverage, if he's the nominee, vs the Dem -- particularly if the Dem is Hillary.

    Jeb's your Repub frontrunner now and for the foreseeable future.


    Just about every (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:07:09 AM EST
    person who has run for president in the last few elections has written a book.

    And, the current one (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:01:55 PM EST
    wrote two.....about his favorite subject....himself.

    "Reporters are on crack!" says Jebby (none / 0) (#95)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:14:05 PM EST
    "OK, you're on heroin. Is that better?"

    Seems Jebby is just as thin-skinned as daddy and big bro bro. And he doesn't like reporters...so take that!

    This tantrum throwing clown wants to be taken seriously, but he ain't ready for the big leagues. Please -- make him run for prez. Can't wait to see his fat head exploding every five seconds.


    To be fair (none / 0) (#110)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:17:19 AM EST
    Many reporters really have become bottom feeders in the last few years - only reporting on stories in a way that builds up their favorite candidates and tears down those they disfavor.

    Do you even know why Jeb reacted (none / 0) (#122)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:42:37 PM EST
    the way he did? I can tell you, he wasn't being maligned or harassed for someone else's gain. Give me a f*cking break. Jebby is a THIN-SKINNED a-hole. He's a child, throwing a tantrum. He can't even deal with the mildest of inquiries about his plans to run.

    Like I said, I await his candidacy with happiness, because he's going to be whining his way into defeat, and it's going to be fun to watch.  


    I (none / 0) (#70)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:57:38 AM EST
    watched a film last night on tv called "Runaway Jury".

    It was all about the attempt (successful in the movie) of a citizen to sue a gun manufacturer/dealer for the wrongful death of her husband.

    In the film, it lays out very clearly what is going on in this country.
    The way guns are marketed and sold, and the disastrous consequences.

    The film was made in 2003.

    Nothing has changed since then, except the number of deaths.

    and the law was changed in 2005 (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:27:03 AM EST
    fed law shielding gun manufacturers from civil liability for deaths caused by their products.

    Former Detroit Mayor (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:21:47 AM EST
    Kwame Kilpatrick, found guilty of 24 counts of racketering, conspiracy, and extortion charges - faces 10-20 years in prison.

    For the damage he has done to the city, and as long as all this nonsense has been going on (12 years), the other people involved (including wife of Congressman John Conyers), and finally after a 6 month trial, this news is being well received in many parts of the area today.  It seems like justice is finally going to be served and the people of Detroit can now get back to concentrating on repairing their city, and worrying about the issues of the day, including the appointment by the governor of an Emergency Manager.

    Emergemcy Financial Manager (none / 0) (#77)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:22:54 AM EST
    is anyone following the State of Michigan's efforts on emergency powers

    "No State.....shall pass any Law Impairing the Obligation of Contracts"

    have an opinion as it is widespread up there

    Other countries must have drones (none / 0) (#89)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:16:42 PM EST
    by now.  Maybe future wars could be confined to just drones in the air.  Of course that wouldn't get rid of any bad guys or the good guys standing next to them.  Doubt I'll be hit by a drone for illegal Grouper fishing.