Friday Open Thread

I am still focused on the George Zimmerman trial.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Teaming up with a swindler to promote war (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:12:00 PM EST
    Joe Lieberman is concerned that not enough of other people's children may die bloody deaths in the future, so he's linking arms with fluke onetime Senator Scott Brown and a prominent Likudnik swindler to monger a little war from the private sector.

    "This wasn't an idea that was Scott Brown's or mine, but it's a good idea," he told me. "I worry that there is a growing drift away from internationalism in segments of both political parties. And there's not an organized bipartisan [PAC] that is prepared to both educate or advocate to the public why America's continuing international leadership role is so important to our freedom ... and why it should be bipartisan."

    You know what? Fk you, you pious sack of old sins. You've got enough blood on your hands for 10 men. The Iraq War, the biggest godd@mn foreign policy blunder in 100 years, was "bipartisan" thanks to the idiot likes of you. It took a while but the public saw through the war, and it saw through the idiot likes of you, too. Now, you want to freelance a little propaganda, get yourself another little war on, and you're using a crook to bankroll the con. link

    Pierced (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:53:02 PM EST
    with a wooden stake, or at least a garlic clove, might be good?

    ROFLAO (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:54:04 PM EST
    pious sack of old sins

    curiuos, (none / 0) (#7)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 04:58:04 PM EST
    do you feel the same way about other Dems who supported the Iraq war? Like, you know, Mrs. Rodham-Clinton?

    Is Mrs. Clinton currently co-chairing a group (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:07:14 PM EST
    like Bipartisan Coalition for American Security advocating for greater U.S. interventionism, specifically to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, backed by increased military, diplomatic and military spending, to draw brighter lines between enemies and allies of the United States?

    When she does, I will be more than happy to quote Charlie Pierce attacking her for wanting to freelance a little propaganda and get herself another little war.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:11:53 PM EST
    can't answer that question for MO Blue, but I can for myself.

    Lieberman, Obama's mentor, was a powerful and evil force, but without people like Hillary Clinton, the resolution that gave Bush his go-ahead would not have happened.

    I don't believe for a moment that she didn't know better, but like so many of the other gutless wonders in the Senate at that time, she went along with it for political reasons. Her stated rationalizations during the campaign of 2008 sounded like so much b.s.

    The difference between Lieberman and Clinton for me is as follows:
    Lieberman makes my flesh crawl. Hillary Clinton just makes me shake my head and sigh at the sheer waste of talent and brains.


    You're going to have to try harder to (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:50:35 PM EST
    be successful at that kind of gotcha tactic; I don't think there's any shortage of us willing to call out Clinton - no shortage of us who HAVE called her out.

    Funny (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:27:39 PM EST
    Funny, both comments above are hardly what I would call "calling her out"

    Not that it was a particularly honest question by bocajeff, but it does point out that two Democrats, or even three if you want to count Lieberman in, appear radically different from others by their respective base, even though they largely agree on the issues in question.

    Guess it is human nature, wanting to identify. Politicians work it.

    Hillary was a war hawk, tight with the Defense contractors. Pretty mush mainstream, although her vote for Star Wars Missile Defense was not mainstream Dem at the time.  


    Hillary's hawkishness bothers me a (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:36:19 PM EST
    great deal - and I do have some concerns as well with how tightly the current iteration of cybersecurity is woven into our foreign policy.

    I pretty much despair of anyone winning the Oval Office who does it while making the argument for 4th amendment rights that would curtail the monolith and put the brakes on executive power.

    Sternly-worded letters may also be as much as we're ever going to get from Congress, given how dirty so many of their hands are.


    Sounds Right To Me (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:55:06 PM EST
    As far as despair.. as you know, politicians, particularly Oval Office ones, need to reach a large enough majority of voters who do not agree with each other, in order to win.. The good ones are able to make those voters feel like they are speaking their mind.

    While I do believe that there is little difference in our Democratic candidate choices, I do not believe for one second that bocajeff, ppj et al.'s choice would have been even close to the same regarding the erosion of constitutional rights.

    It makes me ill to imagine the damage that we would have with a continuation of BushCo..

    That rightward momentum has continued, but I am certain that the Democrats have slowed it down from where we were going.


    Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:32:48 PM EST
    The original post specifically mentioned Iraq, so I took it upon myself to wonder if the anger directed toward Lieberman's position is the same anger toward Mrs. Clinton? If not, why not?

    It's no secret around Talkleft that many people here are huge supporters of Mrs. Clinton, which is fine. But I wonder why she gets a pass when her positions are no different than those that a lot of people here loathe.

    Sort of like President Clinton lauding the Supreme Court for overturning a law he signed. Say what?

    BTW, I have far more in common with KDOG than I do with ppj when it comes to politics. I just can't stand the hypocrisy - even though it is convenient at times.


    Yes... (none / 0) (#123)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:02:26 AM EST
    ...the hawk's biggest flaw is their ability to overestimate the enemy/threat, which leads them to some form of 'ends justify the means' and we end up Iraq, GITMO, drones, PRISM, and a nearly an unsustainable military with 900 bases in 130 countries, while folks at home want to cut benefits to old people because we, they say, we are broke.

    Hillary can suck it, but that is who they will force upon us and unless we want a pseudo Mitt Palin, we all be voting for her.  Sux.


    Choices (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:54:20 AM EST
    I am not fond of the "But, but Clinton....." political game and refuse to play. My choice does not involve undying support for each and every action taken by either Clinton, just complete revulsion for that particular game.

    Right, (2.86 / 7) (#40)
    by bocajeff on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:59:16 AM EST
    So you are more of a personality driven, as well as demographically driven, supporter of candidates rather than policy driven? That's totally fine. I'm sure I do it too. But can we please be honest about it?

    Nice try putting words into my mouth (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:35:29 AM EST
    Evidently being totally honest is not a concept that you understand. But I do have to hand it to you, you do understand how to utilize  dishonest debating tactics in what you evidently perceive as a way to win points.

    Please continue to play this game by yourself also. I'm sure you can find more ways to make things up so that you can display your entire repertoire of "clever" tricks to the admiration of all.



    Moving right along, did she, as Sec'y (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:01:31 AM EST
    of State, involve the U.S. in providing arms to Syrian rebels?

    Hey, (none / 0) (#41)
    by bocajeff on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:06:42 AM EST
    As long as the world sits back and watch a government kill 100,000 brown skinned Moslems, many of them women and children, then who cares? Didn't President Clinton say his biggest regret was doing nothing to help the 1,000,000 Rwandan's murdered? You know, black people?

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vols. 49, 50 & 51 (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:53:35 PM EST
    In case they got lost in the last threads. Laugh it up, peeps, and have a good weekend.

    Vol. 49

    Vol. 50

    Vol. 51

    A Reporter from Prague (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:59:24 PM EST
    intentionally gets himself tossed into the transit wing of the Moscow Airport Hotel in search of Snowden.

    He describes airport life without a visa

    Interesting and indeed Orwellian, but... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 04:18:50 PM EST
    ...it ended very abruptly, and I expected to see an icon to click to the next page, but couldn't find it.

    But lookig at the time it posted... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 04:19:55 PM EST
    ...maybe the guy is still scribbling as we speak.

    Judge blocks ban (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:04:06 PM EST
    on same-sex domestic partner rights

    In yet another boost for gay rights, a federal judge in Michigan has blocked the state from enforcing a 2011 law that bans public employers from offering benefits to same-sex couples, concluding the law is discriminatory toward the gay community.

    "The historical background and legislative history of the Act demonstrate that it was motivated by animus against gay men and lesbians," U.S. District Judge David Lawson wrote in his 51-page ruling. "... Looking to the history and text of Public Act 297, it is hard to argue with a straight face that the primary purpose­ - indeed, perhaps the sole purpose­ - of the statute is other than to deny health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees."

    Lawson issued an injunction barring Michigan from enforcing the 2011 law two days after the U.S. Supreme Court held that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits -- a ruling that Lawson cited in his opinion, noting the high court offered him guidance in reaching his conclusion

    re Nancy Grace (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:12:55 PM EST
    Does she ever believe the defendant is innocent?

    She has been covering the Zimmerman trial and being quite negative to Zimmerman . . . although she had a very brief interview with a medical forensic pathologist who confirmed the explanation of the defense about the gunpowder residue on the skin of Trayvon.  Otherwise, though, she is obsessed with calling Z guilty.

    re Jane Velasquez (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:04:22 PM EST
    Jane is now saying . . . does the fact that Zimmerman was calm afterwards prove that he is a vigilante?

    I choose not to watch Nancy Grace. (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:04:03 PM EST
    She's obviously going to say whatever she wants about whomever she wants, facts and consequences be damned, and that's something over which you have no control.

    However, she's only empowered when she's being acknowledged by you, which is something that's entirely up to you. I'd offer that her ability to manipulate your emotions is null, when you're watching another channel.



    Nancy's modus operandi (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:33:15 PM EST
    what is interesting to see . . .  nancy takes a few questions the defense has asked and then speculates like this, "The defense is probably going to suggest theory ABC . . . and it won't work because of DEF."

    Also, what was funny about Friday's Nancy Grace discussion was this . . .:
    The defense has been very effective in discrediting the prosecution witnesses so far
    The state has done everything right . . .


    I feel like turning the internet channel (4.20 / 5) (#33)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:57:41 PM EST
    when open threads get infiltrated by the current trial-of-the-century nonsense. As if there aren't already enough threads devoted to it in the past two days.

    Thank You (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:59:52 AM EST
    I was the lacking the tact yesterday to say the same thing without getting myself tossed for the day.

    Wouldn't you think (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:32:34 AM EST
    that if people actually wanted to watch a show, hosted by a criminal defense attorney, that presented trials from a criminal defense point of view, then that show would be on TV already?

    It's not about the viewing public (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by sj on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:35:31 PM EST
    It's about the Benjamins.

    And where do those Benjamins come from? (none / 0) (#94)
    by jbindc on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:22:58 AM EST
    Advertisers, who think the viewing public will watch such a show.

    Since there is no veiwing public demand to watch a legal show with a criminal defense perspective, there are no advertisers, and therefore, no Benjamins.

    It's absolutely about the viewing public. It's all related.


    There is always under-served (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:10:43 AM EST
    demand...the programmers and marketers are not infallible.  I don't think they really know what works till it's on the air and the people speak, they're just guessing.

    That being said, I think hang 'em high types are definitely in the majority.


    Or (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:49:52 AM EST
    Just people who don't want guilty people to go free.  That's not "hang 'em high" - that's justice.

    It isn't always just the under-served (none / 0) (#120)
    by sj on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 11:46:14 PM EST
    For a high profile example, think back to the firing of Phil Donahue from MSNBC when it was their most highly rated show. And don't forget the restrictions he was given: for every left-leaning guest he was required to have TWO right-leaning guests.

    Well, here's a film - Gideon's Army - (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:44:07 PM EST
    that will air Monday at 9:00 on HBO.

    Here's a link to the trailer.

    The synopsis:

    GIDEON'S ARMY follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan "Rap" Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon's Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make "justice for all" a reality?

    An official selection in the prestigious U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, GIDEON'S ARMY was awarded the editing prize at the festival.


    Most concerning is this: Every year hundreds of innocent indigents are swept away in the crushing tide of a system strained to the breaking point. As it stands today, innocents may spend decades in jail, some who are guilty are not brought to justice, and the public is rapidly losing faith in the fairness and competency of the criminal justice system. While the moral implications are staggering, this travesty of justice occurs against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic climate where an economically strapped nation can ill afford to spend needless dollars imprisoning the innocent.

    The problem is particularly acute in the South. Newly minted lawyers fresh out of school are handed case files and a few words of encouragement and then most are left to fend for themselves. With little or no training, some make their way, but many do not. Low pay, long hours, and an endless parade of clients can overwhelm even the most idealistic practitioner over time. Gideon's Army introduces three committed public defenders, Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, who are attempting to provide high quality representation despite overwhelming caseloads and virtually no resources. But their stories are the norm, not the exception.


    And the stakes are incredibly high. Defendants in the South face some of the steepest potential sentences in the country. The Institute for Southern Studies explains in Doing time in the South that "tough on crime" criminal justice policies like mandatory minimum sentences and "three strikes you're out" laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s have led to a quadrupling of the country's prison population since 1980, with the South accounting for nearly half of that increase.

    This combination of severely under-resourced public defenders, with some of the most punitive laws in the nation, has led Southern Public Defender Training Center founder Jonathan Rapping to call the situation in the Deep South "the civil rights issue of our time."

    Sounds like something worth watching; I've already set the DVR to record it.


    Of course not... (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:25:36 AM EST
    ...if they were innocent, they wouldn't be the defendant.

    Professional outrage feeler Grace's motto is "Guilty until proven guiltier."


    No. She does not. (none / 0) (#70)
    by scribe on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:49:37 PM EST
    She is a former Georgia prosecutor who had been called out for ethical lapses - hiding Brady material in a captital case, IIRC - in a habeas opinion (by the 11th Circuit, so it must have been bad).  Some time after that, she decided that TV was more to her liking.

    No pesky judges to call you, so long as you make some ratings.  Which she does.


    Oh, heck (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Zorba on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:36:51 PM EST
    More people watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" than watch Nancy Grace.
    So I guess it really is not at all about quality.  Just eyeballs.
    And, much as I hate the whole concept of the show itself, Honey Boo Boo (the little girl) is no doubt more honest and ethical than Nancy Grace.

    Well, among other things that proves (none / 0) (#78)
    by scribe on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:27:53 PM EST
    Nancy Grace is not bright enough to abide the old show business maxim "never share the stage [or time slot] with dogs or kids."

    There's another truism that applies to her, too:  "at 18 you have the face God and your parents gave you.  At 50 you have the face you earned."

    So, why are we still talking about her?


    I thought the new saying was (none / 0) (#79)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:45:33 PM EST
    "At 18 you have the face God and your parents gave you.  At 50 you have the face you bought"

    Well, I'm not going anywhere near (none / 0) (#105)
    by scribe on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:14:02 PM EST
    speculating whether and, if so, how much work has been done there.  Though I was in the supermarket the other day and one of the checkout tabloids had its periodic cover of plastic surgery disasters.  Couldn't tell who was in the pictures, though....

    But, I'm old school about these things, and lean towards nature having taken its course rather than assuming human intervention.


    Those photos should serve as (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:25:59 PM EST
    a warning to anyone who thinks they look old and need an injection. Botox and Restalin give horrifying results, IMO.

    I have a friend who is in her mid-60's and looks fantastic. Full disclosure: she was blessed with a really pretty face, but still. She eats right, does yoga every day, takes care of her garden (and, sometimes, her grandkids) and she is the picture of radiance. Even with all her wrinkles and white hair!

    You know what they say -- living well is the best revenge.


    He!! if I know, (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:46:23 PM EST
    Scribe.  It must be because too many people are still talking about her.
    She is an idiot, but unfortunately, she gets enough people to watch her that she still gets a paycheck.

    Bummed (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:49:33 PM EST
    So a commander will still retain full authority over rape investigations but all cases and decisions will be sent up to the deputy secretary for review.  That's not so bad.

    Commanders will still appoint their SHARP officers though, it will be a job swapped around like safety officer and supply officer.  They are being very strict about who CAN have the job though.  You can't have any history of having bad judgement without a waiver.  Speeding tickets even need a waiver granted to hold the position.  Zero family violence and any history of anything sexually questionable.

    Being the advocate for rape victims though requires a few distinctive somethings, an extra special empathy too.  I do not expect rape to be any easier to prove in the military than it is in the civilian world, even with an improved attitude and system.  Most of the victims will have to rely on a good support system to heal and live well beyond it.  That just isn't something as interchangeable as your shoes or your supply and safety officer.

    The Marine Corp command bragged that their officers receive 40 hours of training.  A whole 40 hours in order to attempt to be there for someone who is living in hell.....wow!  That's so awesome.

    They must (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:05:57 PM EST
    get some kind of a certificate for that 40 hours, no? Ribbon? :-/

    Being able to qualify for this position at this (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:29:42 PM EST
    Time will get you good promotion looks.  Doing the job well with documentation also could cement a career because the military is in crisis with this issue right now.

    They have lost some of the best and brightest though because this is and will continue to be a complicated healing.  Soldiers have an unspoken immediate trust in each other, they are programmed that way and they can gel swiftly and just get stuff done.  When a soldier rapes another soldier, from what I have seen it is a double violation because of the unqualified trust they place in each other.  I just don't think the branches are equipped to deal with that so we will probably continue to lose talent and skills and investment to the trauma.  And we really have no idea what was lost to male rape in the past because NOBODY was going to talk about that before.  Will they come forward now?  If I were a guy I wouldn't, what has changed about dealing with that taboo?


    It is hard to have faith when an Air Force Col (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:45:03 PM EST
    Just back from his training on this tells me that "they" were told they need to care about this issue because if they don't it will destroy their career.  He said that for some mystery reason, the fact that most of the victims are our wives, sisters, and daughters just isn't perceived by top brass as initiative enough to care.

    Some circuit (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:50:28 PM EST
    isn't quite connected there, I think.

    I imagine some of them just set their jaw, be a "man" and "tough out knowing about it" when it happens to their wives, sisters, or daughters.



    I think it is mostly denial (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:20:48 PM EST
    The military is the finest institution for some.  And if you have made it to top brass, you're pretty indoctrinated in how great it is....near perfection.

    Some women working around my husband have opened up during this.  If it is on the news though he is going to be talking about it.  Their offices are being redone (they're probably finally taking the asbestos out), so they have this large room office concept right now.  He had a lot of denial about how bad things were for some people when he was out of earshot.

    It is interesting, because the people in denial have no place to hide in a great room concept.  And then when certain truths are out, some of the guys become chivalrous and they want names.  They want to go rough someone up.

    Where does that fit in with female soldiers though?  Should chivalry be dead on a base or post because it doesn't allow female soldiers to truly be equal soldiers and be their own soldier?  I have heard tales about new fight gadgets too that are going to make women into the physical equal of male infantry from someone who has seen some prototypes, so DOD is beginning to already adjust their perceptions of what women are headed towards.  If that happens it's going to get really weird working all this stuff through.

    DOD always perceives, trains, implements the use of new weaponry long before it has fathomed social implications of any kind, all kinds.


    Insider Threat Program (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:09:00 PM EST
    even has its own nifty brochure!

    Combating the ENEMY
    within your organization

    Marketing, marketing...

    And let's not leave out (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:16:49 PM EST
    the FBI's version.

    Very Hoover-esque.

    H/T Digby.


    Excerpts from digby's post (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:29:29 AM EST
    From the Internal Threat Program brochure they're using at the defense department:

    This is a public document by the way. And yes it seriously says, "it is better to have reported overzealously than never to have reported at all."

    ....And the personal factors in the FBI's list encompass the whole of the human condition as suspicious behavior: financial need, anger, problems at work with lack of recognition, disagreements with co-workers, dissatisfaction with the job, ideology ("a desire to help the 'underdog' or a particular cause")divided loyalty -- allegiance to another person or company, adventure/thrillseeker,vulnerability to blackmail. Indeed the only person who would not from time to time come under suspicion is a robot or a person so paranoid about being suspected that they act like a robot and totally avoid any real relationships among the people they work with.

    Using that criteria, my co-workers file reports against me on a daily basis.


    Suspicion... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by kdog on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:10:25 AM EST
    is a growth industry...buy low sell high.

    I'll have to remember to tell my boss that I'd love to work through my lunch break or stay late, but I don't wanna appear to be the enemy within.  Better keep brown bagging it and wearing khakis with frayed cuffs too, lest it appear I'm living beyond my means.  Should I submit a complete itinerary with my vacation request?  Don't want them to suspect I'm meeting with the competitor.  

    Ah f*ck it, I'll just turn myself in as a subversive and plead for mercy, this is too stressful!!!;)


    So do we get to report (none / 0) (#82)
    by lolaatlarge on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:40:32 PM EST
    almost everybody in Congress and the executive branch?

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 52 (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Dadler on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:15:19 AM EST
    Joy to the World. Ahem. (link)

    And anyone with Park City Utah tips, or any cool places to see between San Francisco and there as we drive, lemme know (and, obviously, we're going to drive through the Bonneville Salt Flats, so that one is covered). Wife's large family gathering for their bi-annual get together. The kind of family thing I dreamed about as a miserable kid in a constantly fracturing family. A lucky man I am now indeed. Have a lovely Saturday, peeps, and stay cool to all my western U.S. amigos. It's already heating up here on the peninsula at a little after 8. Sheesh.

    Bloomberg shows his racist colors. (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by scribe on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:16:27 PM EST
    He finally went and did it.  In a radio interview touching on the NYPD's stop and frisk program, where in a year more black men get stopped and frisked for no or little reason than there are black men living in New York City, Bloomberg came out and said that, proportionally, the NYPD stops and frisks too many white men.

    That's right.  Too many white men.

    Why?  Because, according to Bloomberg, if you look at who's committing the crimes, it's not the white men, it's the blacks and hispanics.

    I will refrain from suggesting that, given the large amount of crime perpetrated on Wall Street by Bloomberg's investment banker and broker customers (whose usage of the Bloomberg terminal and therefore their interests and market plans have been assidulously tracked and analyzed by his company, giving him a unique window into their activities, legal and illegal - what a crime-fighting oppportunity!) it would be appropriate to start targeting yuppies - of whatever religion - for stop and frisk, of themselves, their phones and internet, and their bank accounts.

    I mean, there's little profit in street crime, but a lot more in Wall Street crime, both for the criminals and the cops.

    Metastasizing... (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:11:17 PM EST
    We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government's professed concern with protecting Americans' privacy. It's time to call the N.S.A.'s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.
    The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House -- and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.

    The administration has defended each of the two secret programs. Let's examine them in turn.

    Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contract employee and whistle-blower, has provided evidence that the government has phone record metadata on all Verizon customers, and probably on every American, going back seven years. This metadata is extremely revealing; investigators mining it might be able to infer whether we have an illness or an addiction, what our religious affiliations and political activities are, and so on.

    New York Times....

    The NFL (3.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:34:54 PM EST
    You didn't read your own article very well (3.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:08:41 PM EST
    The actual substance is the GOP has sent letters to Major League Sports telling them not to promote the Affordable Health Care Act. None of them have made a decision as of yet because they have had "no substantive contact with the administration" on the subject.

    Here is the letter (none / 0) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:12:39 PM EST
    from the GOP that spurred the story

    that is said to have been sent by the GOP to the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, and the PGA


    You also apparently missed (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:13:45 AM EST
    "We currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's) implementation," McCarthy said.

    And (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:17:03 AM EST
    The professional sports teams, IMO, would not be wise to do so.  Obamacare is still very unpopular, so why risk your brand and tick off large swaths of your fan base (and more importantly, people who may buy tickets and merchandise) when it isn't your issue?

    I didn't (none / 0) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:04:17 AM EST
    but you did again.

    "have had no substantive contact with the administration", means we haven't really talked about it yet. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. But so far, the only story is a few republicans doing their best to keep poor people from gaining the knowledge they need to benefit from the law Congress has passed.


    No, you missed it (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:29:54 AM EST

    Earlier this week, Sebelius told reporters that while there was no formal agreement, NFL officials were "actively and enthusiastically engaged, because they see health promotion as one of the things that they think is good for them and good for the country." She said it was one of several sports organizations that the administration had approached.

    Sound like they had some "substantive contact" and they are saying "Nope.  Not at this time."


    Read it however you want (none / 0) (#50)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:59:35 AM EST
    But I do find it humorous that you think the NFL is lying when they say "we have had no substantive contact with the administration". Either way, it's meaningless right now as talks are obviously ongoing with multiple sports, the same approach Romney took in Massachusetts.

    I'm reading it (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:17:08 AM EST
    As the NFL itself has stated - they are not interested at this time.  I don't know why you cannot comprehend that.  But I do think it's hilarious you are focusing on "susbtantive contact", which is nebulous and defined by the parties themselves (and part of "spin"), as opposed to the operative words, "We have no current plans to engage in this area," which aremuch more concrete and definitive.

    Apparently you feel very strongly for Obamacare and are holding out hope that they promote it.

    Romney, Massachusetts, and the Red Sox, are a whole lot different than the NFL getting involved with a national campaign.


    We currently have no plans to engage in this area (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:20:52 AM EST
    ...just like Hillary (and who knows how many other politicians) currently have no plans to engage in running for the Presidency in 2016.

    We currently have no plans to = weasel words, designed to let the utterer do whatever they want later while maintaining plausible deniability now.


    "Mod Squad: The Golden Years": (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 04:30:44 PM EST
    Actress Peggy Lipton seems to have found herself cast in the unlikely role of a femme fatale in a burgeoning financial scandal in New York state, which has thus far claimed five rather high-profile political figures:

    The Village Voice | June 28, 2013
    The Peggy Lipton Affair Brings Down Another Mogul - "New York's pension fund scandal, starring former Mod Squad actress Peggy Lipton, claimed another victim last week, and this time it was a wealthy Republican from California. This proves that the most volatile affairs do not have to involve sports idols and sexy cocktail waitresses. The only victims in the Tiger Woods episode, for instance, are an SUV and the golf star himself, possibly due to a few swings on a nine-iron by his gorgeous wife. Compare that paltry disabled list to the lethal fallout produced after a schlubby late-middle-aged political hack from Queens fell hard for Lipton, the aging but still charming TV starlet. Lovestruck Jack Chartier was chief of staff to the New York state comptroller with influence over billions in state pension funds. The result has been financial scandal history."

    It's a strange but fascinating story, and definitely worth a read.

    I read the story. I don't see how Peggy Lipton (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:10:45 PM EST
    can be portrayed as the femme fatale in this. Nothing in the article indicated that Lipton had any role in the financial shenanigans going on in that office.

    Unless I missed something, there is no charge that Lipton lured Chartier into some scheme or tried to influence financial decisions.  

    So, what is with the slap at Lipton, Donald?


    According to Merriam-Webster: (none / 0) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:38:18 PM EST
    Femme fatale (n.): 1. a seductive woman who lures men into dangerous or compromising situations; 2. a woman who attracts men by an aura of charm and mystery.

    Because we've long been neatly conditioned by our neo-Victorian society to consider the terms "seduction" and "lure" as practically synonymous with wrongdoing and evil, we all too often associate "femme fatale" with moral ambiguity and even villainy, i.e., a woman who for selfish purposes wields her sexuality as a weapon. (Barbara Stanwyck's devious Phyllis Dietrichson in Billy Wilder's 1944 classic film noir, Double Indemnity, comes immediately to mind.) I think that's both misogynistic and unfair.

    Rather, I would argue from a literary standpoint that the femme fatale is actually a pivotal figure in a given storyline, a beguiling woman who proves to be the motivating catalyst -- regardless of whether it's inadvertent or malevolent on her part -- for others to commit wrongdoing, ostensibly on her behalf.

    Further, there have been any number of instances in both literature and film where the femme fatale isn't necessarily the plot's provocateur. And sometimes, as the story unfolds, she's actually the unwitting victim who's been ensnared in a situation not of her own making, from which there is often no escape. In that regard, the character of Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) in Roman Polanski's 1974 film Chinatown is considered by many movie critics to be one of cinema's most tragic femme fatales.

    For the story at hand, Ms. Lipton certainly can't be held responsible or liable for what Mr. Chartier did to pay her rent, etc., unless it was done at her request, which doesn't appear to be the case here. I think it's safe to say that Ms. Lipton in all likelihood knew absolutely nothing about what her boyfriend was doing in order to help her.

    Nevertheless, I'd offer that had Lipton not entered into Chartier's life, one would be hardpressed to see how would have otherwise gone rogue in the N.Y. Comptroller's office. He was obviously smitten with her, and he was motivated by her plight to violate the law. That renders her a classic femme fatale in a literary sense.



    "aging-but-charming.." (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:02:20 PM EST
    aren't we all..

    Mod Squad my ace..David Lynch need to put her back to work..

    Times like these call for another little man sashaying around in front of the red curtain and talking in Assyrian to Agent Cooper and Laura..


    The Roberts Court (none / 0) (#9)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:05:49 PM EST
    Chief Justice Roberts plays the long game for Conservatives unlike Justice Scalia...

    But brighter side...doing Mad Men (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:26:05 PM EST
    Must get this done before Dexter starts.  Doing like three episodes a night on Netflix, in bed, if my husband has to hear that theme song one more time.......without commercials it does seem like it plays over and over and over again.

    And Don Draper isn't really Don Draper? He stole someone's identity, and then happily asked his stolen happy wife for a divorce and it is all happy?  Wow, see in my family, that would never ever work, not ever, stuff would be blowing up all over the place constantly.

    Any more posts (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:24:01 AM EST
    On a summary of the other witnesses so far in the Zimmerman trial?  Sounds like several of them testifed to the events that were entirely consistent with the defense (even though they were the State's witnesses).

    I think I can speak for a few of us, (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Anne on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:58:31 AM EST
    who would respectfully suggest that if you want to talk about Zimmerman, you join the forum dedicated to all-things-Zimmerman, and do it there; since there may only be one Open thread a day - and sometimes less than that - it would be nice if Open threads could be a Zimmerman-free zone for those of us who, while we may occasionally chime in on a Zimmerman thread, really prefer not to have Open threads taken over by the case - and by people whose comments usually leave me feeling like I need to go take a shower (not that you are one of those people, but there are some commenters who leave me feeling that way).

    Jeralyn may disagree, but if that's not why she created the forums, I have no idea what the point of them is.


    Which is why (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:25:16 AM EST
    I was asking if she was going to do any more posts on the subject - precisely so Open threads wouldn't get clogged up?

    And maybe (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:27:34 AM EST
    I should have been more clear on that, but I was thinking when I used the word "post" it would mean from Jeralyn, as opposed to "comments".

    Sorry for the confusion.


    Sorry - I read your comment wrong. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Anne on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:29:11 AM EST
    I think I might be inclined, though, to send her an e-mail to ask about it...sometimes all that needs to happen to bring on the Zimmerman swarm is rhetorical eye-contact, if that makes any sense.

    Maybe since it's Saturday, it will be a little quiet on that issue.

    One can hope, anyway.


    I have (none / 0) (#57)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:36:43 AM EST
    to agree with Charles Blow's distillation of the events leading to the death of Trayvon Martin:

    "...There has been no suggestion or testimony that Trayvon Martin was doing anything wrong the night that George Zimmerman caught sight of him and grew wary of him, pursued him and came into contact with him."

    After that contact, there is the debate about which one provoked the other.

    But the sad fact remains that Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong. He was walking and talking to his friend on his cellphone.

    I keep thinking that if we had adequate police protection, what used to be called, "cops on the beat", there would be no need for Zimmermans or any other amateurs to do what the police should be doing: watching our neighborhoods and protecting us.

    Yes, I read that opinion piece this morning and (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Angel on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    agree with his comments.  The biggest issue I have with this entire thing is why GZ thought TM was suspicious.  That question has yet to be answered in my mind.  I don't believe it will ever be answered unless GZ testifies (and maybe not even then), which I doubt will happen.  

    Police? (none / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:21:36 AM EST
    OK (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:43:58 PM EST

    Let me put it this way.

    One of the functions of our government is to protect its citizens.
    It has failed miserably.


    Yes (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:53:25 PM EST
    Neighborhood watch programs creep me out and are dangerous, but your call for law and order reminds me of Giuliani, and is clearly not the way to go, imo

    Giuliani? (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:06:21 PM EST

    I am calling for real people doing a job of being on site and pledged to protect citizens.

    That is what we pay taxes for.

    That is what a professional police department is supposed to do.

    Referring to a demagogue like Giuliani who uses law and order as code words for repression and racism has no part in this discussion.


    Really? (none / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:33:01 PM EST
    Well fear is exactly what Giuliani fed on. He promised to keep the people (which people?) safe.

    There does not appear to be any correlation between increased police force and decreased violent crime.

    Stanford has 2.1 Police per 1000 people. Without doing the math that appears to be somewhere the national average..  Do you believe that if Sanford employed more police per capita that there would be less violent crime?

    I don't.

    But that was Giuliani's thinking.


    You (none / 0) (#88)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:08:15 AM EST
    want to talk about Giuliani.

    That's your right.

    BUt it has nothing to do with what I am talking about.


    No (none / 0) (#95)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:30:09 AM EST
    I do not want to talk about Giuliani. It may be that your call for increased police budget, and police per capita was only rhetorical because you wanted to get rid of people like GZ patrolling the streets. Well, I am no fan of neighborhood watches, so if that is true we agree on that.

    So, if you were Mayor of Sanford, how would you address the crime problem?


    A very (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:06:34 AM EST
    very long time ago, Attorney General Ramsey Clark called for Police to be given adequate salaries - commensurate with the level of risk they take daily.

    He thought that the level of graft and corruption that existed in the Police departments could be traced back to the fact that they have been severely underpaid for generations and the temptations of graft would be virtually irresistible  - just to make ends meet.

    I could only agree with him.

    I thought, what kind of salary would I want to be standing alone on a street corner in any neighborhood in Manhattan. Any neighborhood. Black or White. Rich or poor. How much money would it take for me to undertake that kind of job?

    I could not come up with an answer, but it would have to be a lot. Something that I could expect could support my family and provide health insurance and a comfortable level of security for them if something would happen to me.

    Nobody paid attention.

    So we have underpaid and under-equipped police. And the same goes for the Fire Department. The "first responders" were sent into the valley of death of 9/11 completely unequipped. They couldn't even communicate with each other.

    I can see how a culture of graft and even of racism and resentment could flourish in such an environment.

    Obviously, I can't speak for Sanford.
    I imagine your question is rhetorical.

    But I would begin by seeing that there were adequate numbers of police stationed in every neighborhood. They should be visible, not roaming in squad-cars. That way, the residents of the neighborhoods they patrol could come to know them as people. That was once the case.

    And they should be well paid and treated as professionals - not as sacrificial lambs on the alter of protectioning the very rich from the very poor.

    We do agree about wanting to get rid of amateurs like GZ roaming around - patrolling areas that should be patrolled by professionals.


    Another (none / 0) (#101)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 11:39:42 AM EST

    Kdog made me aware of the fact that the unconscionable drug laws that exist in this country is another reason that the police are considered to be the enemy. Persecutors rather than protectors.

    They have become unpopular enforcers.
    They represent a State without conscience or intelligence.

    So, I would also want to repeal all the laws relating to the prohibition of drugs. Recreational or medicinal.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#102)
    by jbindc on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 11:48:01 AM EST
    Not by many / most people.

    ...unconscionable drug laws that exist in this country is another reason that the police are considered to be the enemy

    Only for those who have a vested interest in making drugs legal because they want to take them. But even many people who may think that some of our drug laws need to be changed ("unconscionable" may be a bit strong -"antiquated" or "in need of update" would be a better choice of words), don't necessarily see the police as "the enemy."


    Even (none / 0) (#107)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:38:12 PM EST
    if what you say is true, that people who want to change the drug laws have a vested interest because they want to take them, it is a good reason to change them.

    I see no difference between today's prohibition of pot, and the prohibition of alcohol in the good old days.

    The repeal of prohibition was a good thing.

    All prohibition achieved was the promotion of an illegal industry and murder and mayhem.

    Same thing today -with cartels shooting the joint up - just because some folks - a majority according to some polls - like to smoke some herb while they enjoy a movie or a meal or enjoy a romantic evening with a loved one.

    As long as the State is going to be in bed with mobsters and puritans, and a majority or significant minority want to enjoy some drugs for their own enjoyment, that puts the enforcers, the police, on the other side of a significant chunk of the population.

    Not good.


    Or (none / 0) (#109)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 03:58:01 PM EST
    Rather than hiring more police, or higher salaries, training, quality of policing, the money would better spent on community centers for young people providing positive role models through mentoring. Models of these types of centers provide services (drug treatment, counseling, child care, tutoring, etc) and a safe places to hang out for youths who are vulnerable to be drawn into a life of crime.  This is a much bigger bang for your buck, than police, prisons and the whole tough on crime mistake.

    Bang (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 04:03:15 PM EST
    for your buck...


    If someone attacks you on the street, or breaks into your home, you need help.

    Of course prevention is great too.

    But both are necessary.

    It's like proper nutrition and doctors.
    One can keep you healthy, but the other is necessary if you fall ill.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 04:15:06 PM EST
    Doctors, nutrition and that sort of prevention are common approaches to health, just as law and order are common approaches to crime.

    What is not a common approach is putting the money into the communities whose youths are most likely to have little alternative to joining gangs, or having role models who are already on a long path of crime. Little or no money is spent in this area because many people believe that hiring more police and building more prisons is the best use of money to stop crime.

    It is such a wrongheaded approach.The decision to get tough on crime is generally classist and racist because the disenfranchised do not have a say in the matter. Who loses, we all do. Big time.


    If you (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 04:30:08 PM EST
    were to be robbed, wouldn't you want to be able to call the police?
    Or would you feel that you were being wrongheaded?


    You keep using catch-phrases with have everything to do with political theatre and nothing to do with everyday reality.

    It also assumes that only rich white people are victims.
    Such is not the case.


    Let's Drop It (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 04:54:56 PM EST
    Calling for more cops on the street on a criminal defense site seems wacked to me.  but, I guess most of the commenters here are not here because this is a criminal justice site.

    How (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:44:48 PM EST
    calling for a professional police department is in any way a contradiction to the principles of a site dedicated to the defense of the accused escapes me.

    Sanford (none / 0) (#115)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:22:41 PM EST
    Has a professional police dept. 2.1 per 1000. Higher than average crime. So you are calling for more police for Sanford, or a more efficient police force so that more people can get arrested, so that were you living there you would feel safe.

    Well that is not the only solution. Hiring lots of police and arresting people would be in keeping with a site that is a proponent of criminal prosecution, not criminal defense.

    Get it?


    I don't get it (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:44:03 PM EST
    So you are calling for more police for Sanford, or a more efficient police force so that more people can get arrested, so that were you living there you would feel safe.

    Well that is not the only solution.

    If there is higher crime, it makes sense that there would be a need for more police/arrests to deal with that crime.

    No idea who thinks that's "the only solution".  In fact, I believe lentinel specifically endorsed preventative programs just a few posts above.

    They're not mutually exclusive solutions.

    Hiring lots of police and arresting people would be in keeping with a site that is a proponent of criminal prosecution, not criminal defense.

    Again, not mutually exclusive.  You can be in favor of strong criminal defense protections and recognize the need for professional (as opposed to amateur) enforcement of the laws.


    Prevention? (none / 0) (#117)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:55:23 PM EST
    Ha.. a brush off, imo. That should be the focus, imo.

    what many here seem to want is this:

    But I would begin by seeing that there were adequate numbers of police stationed in every neighborhood. They should be visible, not roaming in squad-cars. That way, the residents of the neighborhoods they patrol could come to know them as people. That was once the case.

    Adequate? There has been little data to show that increasing police on the street, reduces violent crime. This is the type of feel good, lock em up attitude that makes us prison nation. It is wrongheaded approach and particularly odd for it to be promoted on this site, imo.


    Yeah, those arguments are much easier ... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:20:21 PM EST
    ... to make when you dismiss what people are actually saying:

    Of course prevention is great too.

    But both are necessary.

    It's like proper nutrition and doctors.
    One can keep you healthy, but the other is necessary if you fall ill.

    and substitute your own opinion:

    Prevention?  Ha.. a brush off, imo

    what many here seem to want is this

    BTW - No idea who "many here" are, but lentinel's points about adequate numbers of professional police - in addition to preventative programs - seem pretty logical.

    Adequate? There has been little data to show that increasing police on the street, reduces violent crime.

    Is there any data to support the idea that eliminating police entirely in favor of preventative programs reduces violent crime?

    Heh - that is easy.


    Google is Your Friend (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:51:35 PM EST
    It is (5.00 / 5) (#121)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:26:24 AM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:03:49 AM EST
    Made me spit out my coffee!

    OMG - That's the funniest thing I have seen in (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:33:38 AM EST
    a while.  I want to know how you did that!  Unlike Zorba, I had already swallowed my coffee, else it would be on my computer screen.  Keep 'em coming, Yman, you're on a roll.

    If I hadn't been (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    on my iPad, Yman would owe me a new keyboard!  Fortunately, all I had to do was wipe off the screen.    ;-)

    Forgot to tell you (none / 0) (#129)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:36:23 AM EST
    If you just go to lmgtfy.com (Let Me Google That For You), you can type in the search terms you want to use.  Then you click on the "Google search" button, it generates a link and you just click on "copy" and paste that link wherever you want.

    Thanks, I'll try it sometime. I got a kick out of (none / 0) (#130)
    by Angel on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:23:06 PM EST

    My first big laugh of the day! (4.50 / 4) (#125)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:07:44 AM EST
    And it's early here...



    Meant to (none / 0) (#128)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:26:22 AM EST
    give your comment a "5".

    The five button appeared on a second line...  I clicked the line above by mistake.

    I had a good laugh too.


    Uber Police (none / 0) (#131)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    calling for a professional police department...

    Looks like your fears are unwarranted, that is if you think the police make you feel safe:

    Today, police departments--or some of their key enforcement operations--appear to be on a war footing. Many dress in commando black, instead of the traditional blue. They own military-grade weapons, armored personnel carriers, helicopters and Humvees. Their training is military. Their approach is military. They are in a war against crime and violence and terror that they argue never ends. Just ask those at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.


    For me the police are scarier than the robbers you speak of.


    Yep - police are not perfect (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:43:40 PM EST
    That's all your article demonstrates.

    But I'd take them over untrained amateurs any day of the week - particularly untrained amateurs with guns.


    Varies by locality... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:36:03 AM EST
    in my NY suburb, and especially NYC, what I need protection from is "police protection".  

    We're gonna need to repeal a whole lotta crimes that I call non-crimes before I would even consider signing off on more cops.  Even then, I would be hesitant because I think we have more pressing needs for our tax dollars.  Such as sewage treatment upgrades, energy grid upgrades, national disaster/climate change preparedness, parks funding, education funding, health care & social services.

    Plus, what's the difference between a cop and George Zimmerman besides a badge? I vote none of the above.


    I agree (none / 0) (#100)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:20:58 AM EST
    with you about wanting to be protected from those protectors.

    A lot of that has to do with the fact that thanks to stupid things like our drug laws, much if not most of the the citizens of the US have been put on the opposite side of the police. They have become the enemy - the enforcers of the State against the people of the United States.

    Below, in a discussion with Squeaky, I put forth my view that police should be paid in a manner commensurate with risks they take. The same would go for the Fire Department.

    I do think that would eliminate a lot of graft.
    I don't think there is a place for amateurs like Zimmerman. Too dangerous. Too flakey. No oversight.

    You have reminded me that the fact that the police are bound to enforce idiotic and inhumane laws makes the average citizen wary of their presence, instead of welcoming it.


    they "stand their ground" so often (none / 0) (#127)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:28:35 PM EST
    and buy so many guns, you'd think they'd get a better reception in certain quarters..

    Is Ecuador cooling to Snowden? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:02:42 AM EST

    Hong Kong has also informed all airlines that they can't bring Snowden back.


    It does make one wonder (none / 0) (#65)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:37:26 AM EST
    who at the Ecuadorean embassy in London filled out the safe conduct pass to get Snowden to Ecuador. Since the authorization signature was printed and not signed it pretty much tells you it was falsified from the start.

    Perhaps Julian Assange is trying to pull more strings than Ecuador prefers. They have already recalled one ambassador to Britain for not ending the Assange saga. Perhaps Ecuador is thinking like Ben Franklin now. "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." Assange has been an embassy house guest for a year.


    More on the IRS scandal (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:54:09 PM EST
    While both liberal and conservative groups were flagged to assess eligibility for tax breaks, it so far appears (as the investigation is not complete)that it was really only the conservative groups that received extra scrutiny, so sayeth the interim head of the IRS.

    An initial report on the IRS targeting scandal this week by Daniel Werfel, the IRS principal deputy commissioner, led to the disclosure that IRS workers flagged both liberal and conservative groups when assessing their eligibility for the tax break available to social welfare organizations.

    IRS screeners used conservative-themed criteria such as "tea party" on "Be on the Lookout" or BOLO lists to determine if groups underwent further review for political activity that would make them ineligible, according to Werfel and the inspector general who first revealed the targeting.

    Another category of the BOLO lists also had liberal-themed criteria including "progressives," but that category didn't set off the automatic extra scrutiny for political activity faced by conservative groups, according to a letter to the panel this week by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

    Under tough questioning Thursday at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Werfel acknowledged that the different BOLO categories meant liberal groups avoided the extra scrutiny cited by the inspector general that included processing delays and extensive questions perceived by conservatives as political intimidation.

    And, in that letter, dated June 26th, the IG gave the stats:

    Based on the information you flagged regarding the existence of a "Progressives" entry on BOLO lists, TIGTA performed additional research which determined that six tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 having the words "progress" or "progressive" in their names were included in the 298 cases the IRS identified as potential political cases. We also determined that 14 tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 using the words "progress" or "progressive" in their names were not referred for added scrutiny as potential political cases. In total, 30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words "progress" or "progressive" in their names were processed as potential political cases. In, comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our audit.

    huffpost coverage (none / 0) (#68)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:06:21 PM EST
    If and when a person goes to huffingtonpost, here is what the recent coverage of the trial seems to be:

    1. the most obvious link is a link to the photo of attn. West and his daughters having ice cream;
    2. there is a page which is supposed to bring you the 5th day of the trial . . .

    the reporters report that Jonathan Good exited his place, saw the tussle and said stop it.  They do not report that Good says that TM was on top, or that the person who was black and in a dark sweatshirt was on top and the white/hispanic person in the red was on the bottom . . .

    CFPB and NSA (none / 0) (#76)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:01:12 PM EST

    CFPB is now being compared to the NSA.
    Judicial Watch, the Chamber of Commerce, the banking industry and Republican politicians are claiming to fight for the privacy of the little people. It may be just a matter of time before the Greenwald cult joins forces with them.

    Wingers (none / 0) (#77)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:17:42 PM EST
    The GOP want more regulation.. not on the industry but on the regulator.. so much so as to make it ineffective. Oh, and IOKIYAR, so recess appointments are no good now..  What a load..

    Consumer groups say the GOP's structural argument is an attempt to destroy the agency, after a failed campaign against its creation....

    The Senate majority leader, Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), and banking committee chairman, Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), joined the fight Thursday by sending the president a letter, signed by 52 Democrats and two Independents, in support of the agency...

    The Senate majority leader, Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), and banking committee chairman, Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), joined the fight Thursday by sending the president a letter, signed by 52 Democrats and two Independents, in support of the agency...

    Despite the assault on the structure of the CFPB, the agency has been lauded by both consumer groups and the financial services industry for its work. The bureau has written several critical rules to reform mortgage lending and leveled enforcement actions against banks involved in deceptive marketing.

    "This agency has proven what it can do," Warren said. "The notion that a minority can hold up the laws of the United States by using a filibuster on an ­appointment is fundamentally wrong.''



    "Messaging", or (none / 0) (#81)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:13:33 PM EST
    how a national government can say something without actually saying it?

    Interesting three paragraphs in the middle of this Friday NYT article.

    The chance that Russia will turn him in has all but vanished, as evidenced by Thursday's television programs, which were almost certainly produced under Kremlin orders and have a powerful effect on public opinion. Officials here have signaled an openness to granting him political asylum, and each passing day would seem to narrow Mr. Snowden's options, giving the United States time to negotiate with Ecuador and Venezuela, other countries that may grant him asylum.

    "I think the main thing for him right now is to guarantee his security," said Igor Korotchenko, a former specialist in Russia's top military command who now edits the magazine National Defense. "Already he cannot live his former life. The United States of America will look for him all over the world in order to punish him as an example to potential traitors and so that the political elite in Washington will be satisfied. They want his blood."

    "Whose protection does he want: Ecuador, Venezuela or Russia? It is hard to judge right now," Mr. Korotchenko said. He added, "In Russia, he will find a country capable of guaranteeing his security because I think in Latin America the United States would find much opportunity to solve the problem, so to say."

    The Guardian pulls out a front page story (none / 0) (#84)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:20:31 PM EST
    Even the Guardian thinks that the credibility of the "messenger" is important.
    It seems that the Guardian has just shot the messenger :-).

    The link leads to the U.K. Telegraph, (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:28:47 AM EST
    a decidedly right-wing rag. And what the story has to do with Snowden, Greenwald, or the NSA spying is about as clear as a car windshield in the middle of a snowstorm.



    Are you denying (none / 0) (#90)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:03:24 AM EST
    that the Guardian published the article and then pulled it down because it started to have doubts regarding the credibility of its source?

    No - that appears to be a fact (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:13:40 AM EST
    The fairy tale part happens when you take this unrelated story and feebly attempt to use it to attack Snowden.

    If you don't like the UK Telegraph (none / 0) (#91)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:10:00 AM EST
    here is another link (SF Chronicle) about the Guardian "scoop" which the Guardian pulled down from its website.

    But The Guardian hasn't pulled (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:07:57 AM EST
    any stories in which Edward Snowden has been their source, and it hasn't pulled any of the documents Edward Snowden provided them, has it?

    But your making headline news out of this other story, with a completely different source, is - it seems - your roundabout way of saying, "if The Guardian would jump the gun and publish that garbage story, why should we trust any of the other stuff they've published?"

    We've already been over that, haven't we?

    The progression of your reaction to the Snowden events, and the involvement of the Obama administration in it, is reminding me of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, with you kind of stuck somewhere in the first three stages.


    Anne (none / 0) (#96)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:44:30 AM EST
    I have already posted what I think of the Snowden affair and how I view the activities of the NSA in another thread (in my reply to lentinel). So there is no need to interpret what I am "saying" based on something that I have not said.
    I think some of you are getting too defensive or are being too sensitive regarding any push back to your point of views.
    I already told you that I think it is ridiculuous to try to separate any story from the messenger in a way you are trying to do with the NSA-Snowden-Greenwald story. Just ask yourself whether you would agree to not bring up the motivation of Simpson-Bowles or Pete Peterson or the history of run away spending during Republican presidencies in a discussion of the current national debt or deficit.
    Will it be too much to expect some of you to be logically consistent in the way you debate?
    It seem that some of you want to discuss NSA activities under the Obama administration in vacuum and any post providing a context is labeled as a "diversion". You are employing the same strategy that tea partiers use to go after the President on "debt" and "spending" issues. They too want the story to only be about whether the stimulus increased spending or not or whether the debt increased after BHO became President in the absence of any context. Is that approach honest or logical?



    And, apparently, you want every story (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:08:51 PM EST
    to be about Snowden. That you can conflate the nutty birther Wayne Madsen with Edward Snowden is beyond laughable. Oh, but, wait, it was the Guardian newspaper...and that makes them the same!



    Hint: (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:11:06 PM EST
    Every time you compare civil libertarians with Tea Partiers it's an indication you've already lost the argument.