Saturday Open Thread

As I remain glued to the Verdict Watch in the George Zimmerman trial, here's an open thread for all topics except Zimmerman.

Thanks to all who donated during TalkLeft Appreciation Week. I especially enjoyed reading the notes some readers sent with their contributions. I didn't realize Paypal now has little yellow pop-up notes that automatically open when you mouse over the contribution. I'll be sending thank you emails this weekend.

I'd really like to cover Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's case but dozens of pleadings are missing from the docket which means they are filed under seal and never noted on the docket. (In my District and almost every other I can think of, the docket at least shows the fact that something was filed with and its docket number. )Not in this case. Last I checked there were more than 30 pleadings filed secretly (no number, no description.) [More...]

I'm also hoping there will be some new rulings in the Kim DotCom saga, both in Virginia and New Zealand. The Government's relentless pursuit of DotCom, his MegaUpload partners, and their funds not to mention that over-the top-raid in NZ, still seem so outrageous to me. And he just keeps winning one legal battle after another in New Zealand.

Once again, this is an open thread, all topics welcome, except Zimmerman.

< George Zimmerman: Weekend Verdict Watch | Zimmerman Jury Has Question on Manslaughter >
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    Are we one step closer to (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:53:50 AM EST
    "official press?"

    Marcy Wheeler seems to think so, and I have to say, it does give me pause:

    The First Amendment was written, in part, to eliminate the kind of official press that parrots only the King's sanctioned views. But with its revised "News Media Policies," DOJ gets us closer to having just that, an official press.

    That's because all the changes laid out in the new policy (some of which are good, some of which are obviously flawed) apply only to "members of the news media." They repeat over and over and over and over, "news media." I'm not sure they once utter the word "journalist" or "reporter." And according to DOJ's Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide, a whole slew of journalists are not included in their definition of "news media."

    She quotes relevant passages from both the DOJ DIOG and the Privacy Protection Act.

    Well worth a read.

    Read? Not this early in the morning; how about (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:28:32 AM EST
    a nice happy pic of a cat in a mushroom suit instead?

    That poor kitty (none / 0) (#28)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:11:57 PM EST
    It doesn't look in the least bit amused (none / 0) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:15:49 PM EST
    But didn't the terms 'journalist' and (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:58:48 AM EST
    'Reporter' used to be seen as more restrictive than the broader 'news media'? Seems like they used to restrict people without some kind of official journalism degree or credentials, even if they wrote or blogged for mainstream news organizations. I guess it is all in how they define the terms.

    No. Legislatures repeatedly tried (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:26:06 PM EST
    to restrict journalists to those with journalism degrees -- as did other parts of government, but legislatures led the way -- and SDX/SPJ aka Sigma Delta Chi, the Society for Professional Journalists fought every such effort, and successfully so.

    Newsrooms always have included many people with journalism minors, for example -- and legislative efforts always specified journalism degrees or at least majors -- as well as others with degrees in English, history, the sciences, the arts, etc.

    My parents were journalists, and they pushed us to not get journalism degrees or major in the field -- because, as they said, few journalists report on or edit about journalism.  They ought to have expertise in their beats.


    Also (none / 0) (#41)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:27:59 PM EST
    the employment category of "reporter" did not even surface in the U.S. census until 1880.  (That and censuses since allow us to gain understanding of the evolution of the field, education for it, etc.)

    Pretty hard to get any closer... (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:24:02 PM EST
    The Unseen Lies: Journalism As Propaganda, John Pilger

    It is a history few journalists talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising. As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called "professional journalism" was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment-objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalist. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media and with the great corporations, and the whole thing was, as Robert McChesney put it so well, "entirely bogus".

    For what the public did not know was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources, and that has not changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories-domestic and foreign-you'll find they're dominated by government and other established interests. That is the essence of professional journalism.


    One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said the spokesman, "that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don't have to do any of that. What is the secret?"


    Ironically, I began to understand how censorship worked in so-called free societies when I reported from totalitarian societies. During the 1970s I filmed secretly in Czechoslovakia, then a Stalinist dictatorship. I interviewed members of the dissident group Charter 77, including the novelist Zdener Urbanek, and this is what he told me. "In dictatorships we are more fortunate that you in the West in one respect. We believe nothing of what we read in the newspapers and nothing of what we watch on television, because we know its propaganda and lies. Unlike you in the West. We've learned to look behind the propaganda and to read between the lines, and unlike you, we know that the real truth is always subversive."

    Noam Chomsky has written exhaustively (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:40:20 PM EST
    about this issue.  In Manufacturing Consent, he shreds the New York Times.

    This is true of mainstream media, yes (none / 0) (#42)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:30:09 PM EST
    -- but, as usual, entirely ignores the far more numerous alternative media, such as the black press, the women's press, and others . . . and they greatly predate the rise of journalism as a profession.

    I just recently retired about 15 editions (none / 0) (#44)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:35:36 PM EST
    of Akwesasne Notes, the now-defunct Indian Newspaper out of Rooseveltown, NY. The 1970's were chock full of interesting media. Alas, my copies of AN got the mildew disease and had to be chucked into the recycle bin. (I would bet very few of its reporters had journalism degrees.)

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#68)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:54:10 PM EST
    I worked in the black press, with fine journalists, none of whom had journalism degrees or majors or minors.  

    In their era, only one had been able to go to college, at all.


    Besides who needs legally defensible civil (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:32:03 AM EST
    liberties when we've got "policy," mutable with a stroke of a pen.

    Our collective foolishness beggars the imagination.


    Sad news for you... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:21:16 AM EST
    The completely absent from the docket, along with unexplained gaps in the sequence, is the new norm and pretty much all courts are going to that. There is also a growing prevalence of instances where the entire docket is secret and hidden. I first noticed these practices in DC, SDNY and EDVA which are, of course, the homes of national security and terrorism prosecutions. But they are popping up all over now including here in DAZ. It either is, or soon will be happening in DCO too, so enjoy!

    Professor of History at Tufts University, (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:33:17 AM EST
    Gary Leupp, July 08:
    The entirety of the ruling elite and the journalistic establishment are keen on defending the programs Snowden has exposed; keen on punishing him for his whistle-blowing; determined to vilify him as a punk, narcissist, egoist, attention-hungry ne'er-do-well (anything but a thoughtful man who made a moral choice that has enlightened people about the character of the U.S. government); feverishly working on damage control while anticipating more damning revelations; and determined to get those four laptops with their incriminating content back into the bosom of the national security state [even though it's too late and wouldn't do them any good]

    What sort of state is it, that says to its own people, we can invade a country based on lies, kill a million people, hold nobody accountable but hey, when one of us does something so abominable as to reveal that the state spies constantly on the people of the world, we have to have a "manhunt" for him and punish him for treason?

    The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has the audacity to tell NBC News, "It is literally gut-wrenching to see" Snowden's revelations... because of the "damage" they do to "our intelligence capabilities"! As though there were really an "our" or "us" at this point. As though we were a nation united, including the mindful watchers and the grateful watched.

    No, there are us, and there are them. The tiny power elite that controls the mainstream press and cable channels, the corporations that dutifully hand over meta-data to the state (and then deny doing so to allay consumer outrage), the twin political parties, are sick to their stomachs that they've been so exposed.

    We in our turn should feel, if not terrorized, nauseated.

    WH (none / 0) (#21)
    by Slavonchik on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:32:00 PM EST
    Agree with you, not so bad...

    NW finally enjoying real summer temps (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:28:59 PM EST
    70's and 80's consistently. My mimulus's are flourishing! A touch of the tropical, in orange, red and pink -- the poor man's orchid. Wish Zorba and NYCstray were around to gab gardening with. Still miss gryfalcon, who knew all about tomato propagation.

    I'm ba-a-a-ack! (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Zorba on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:41:00 PM EST
    Just decided to drop in to today's thread.  I figure the Trial of the Century is almost over, so maybe it's safe.  I hope BTD will return soon,  too.
    I am getting ready to pickle some lovely red peppers, and dill a whole batch of green beans.  Earlier this week, I processed and froze a ton of broccoli, and canned a bunch of green beans (regular canned, not dilled).  The beans and broccoli are starting to get ahead of me!  Not that I'm complaining.
    The shallots are coming up well.  The oregano and mint are taking over the garden.  The dill and Italian parsley are sort of just sitting there, glaring at me.  I glare back.  I had to buy some d@mned dill from the farm stand, which irritated me.  The basil is okay, but not nearly as good as last year.
    Tomatoes are reddening and we've started to harvest them.    Not enough yet to can or make tomato sauce, but certainly enough to use in salads.  There is nothing like fresh tomatoes from the garden.
    Okay, off to can!  Be back either later, or tomorrow.

    Yay! (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:53:44 PM EST
    Stay around awhile. I think the coast is clear...

    Wish I could do beans, I just don't have room for them. The only area where I can trellis vines is already spoken for by sweet peas. (And I don't like bush beans because they always get aphids.)

    Your crop sounds amazing, as always.


    The coast is definitely not clear. (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:06:09 AM EST
    Maybe by Monday; guess it's a good thing I will be busy making and canning relish today!

    I did make a mistake on tomatoes this year (none / 0) (#38)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:07:16 PM EST
    I potted some before checking the list on which are Monsanto-owned seeds. It's stunning to read that long list of what they own. Two of my old faves are on it. So, the small pear-shaped reds are my only Monsanto free ones this year.

    I picked and ate my first ripe tomato (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:46:18 PM EST
    of the year yesterday. It was a Stupice which is always the first to ripen for me. Still, I have never had a tomato ripen in July before. Our nighttime temps have been close to 60 degrees for a few weeks now, and I think the warmer night air, coupled with the daytime temps in the 80s and some 90s (Portland is always a bit warmer than Seattle) helped my little toms along.

    The final planting of bush beans is going in tomorrow. Green beans until October! Yeah!

    And my flowers, oh my god my flowers. Cosmos and zinnias and snapdragons and sunflowers ( the dwarf size) are bloomin' like crazy.


    We have been having a lot of rain (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:58:45 PM EST
    and humidity, and my garden is just loving it.  The tomatoes really could use more sun, but they are coming along, and I'm drowning in cucumbers and zucchini.  Can't wait for corn!  

    Tomorrow, I'm making two kinds of relish - dill and bread-and-butter - and my husband wants to make more pickles.  Given how productive the cucumbers are, that's not going to be a problem, lol.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that we get lots of tomatoes, because we ate all the salsa from last summer, and I really want to make more - a lot more.  

    Gonna be a busy day in the kitchen tomorrow!


    Elizabeth Warren vs. CNBC (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:40:56 PM EST
    And for those who missed it (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:27:42 PM EST
    (like me), SyFy has said due to the tremendouse response, they will re-air "Sharknado" on Thursday, July 18th at 7 pm.

    My DVR is already set.

    an instant cult classic (none / 0) (#65)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:21:50 PM EST
    in two days! Quite the phenomenon.
     I think I will pop in my Hunger Games DVD and watch that for the fifth time instead.

    You're in for a treat. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:48:58 PM EST
    It's not very often that something so ridiculously bad turns out to be so good. If you have an affinity for high camp, you'll be in heaven.

    I hadn't heard of it (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:52:11 PM EST
    The BF topld me about it yesterday because everyone who works around him was talking about it.

    I heard it is the cheeziest, and while I don't usually go for campy, the idea of sharks and tornados together - what's not to love?  :D


    Cheesy it is, which is why ... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:54:31 PM EST
    ... "Sharknado" is probably best seen with pizza and a decent supply of your favorite alcoholic beverage.

    I've been wondering how ... (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:08:32 PM EST
    ... Elder Daughter was going to cope when this upcoming women's volleyball season rolls around in late August, and she's not playing for the first time in like, forever. But she took care of that the other day, surprising us last night with the announcement that she's just been named the new boys' volleyball coach at the nearby Catholic high school. Not the girls, but the boys.

    Wish I could say she's a trailblazer for women, but she's not -- at least, not in Hawaii. Because of the longstanding popularity and nearly 40-year history of college women's volleyball in the islands, she's actually among six women who are currently coaching boys' volleyball at various high school levels out here. But she IS the first one who hadn't played prior for UH's legendary Rainbow Wahine coach, Dave Shoji.

    She more or less just stumbled upon the position by circumstance and happenstance, because her boss at the bank has a volleyball-playing son attending that high school, whose own coach just up and quit last week, with the opening practice for the upcoming season only three weeks away. Knowing her extensive volleyball background and the fact that she's previously coached boys and girls at the middle school level, he approached her last Monday to inquire her interest.

    She said yes, of course, so they went to see the principal on Tuesday. She must've really wowed everyone, because the school's board of trustees confirmed her unanimously as head coach on Thursday night, and she signed the one-year contract yesterday morning at the bank.

    Just goes to show you, always be prepared to go for it, should opportunity come knocking. She's long talked about becoming a coach, so it was karma that she took that job at the bank last month. She ended up being at the right place at the right time, with a coveted head coaching position just falling into her lap at age 22, all because that high school needed somebody immediately. She didn't even bother to consult either her mother or me prior to putting her name on that dotted line, that's how much confidence she has in what she's doing.

    (I certainly couldn't say the same when I was her age; I took my grandfather with me when I went to buy my first car, fearing that I'd otherwise be fleeced by an unscrupulous dealer. Knowing my own credulousness at the time when it came to business, I probably would've been, too.)

    She's being formally introduced to the team next Wednesday, so we'll see how the boys try to size her up. I'll warn them ahead of time, though -- the novelty of a woman as their head coach will dissipate quickly as they learn who's boss, because when it comes to volleyball, she's a hard worker and fiery competitor who doesn't back down from challenges, and she will soon expect the same from them.

    Once again, we're proud of her.


    Congratulations to her! (none / 0) (#59)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:22:43 PM EST
    Sounds like it will be an adventure, at the very least. Good story material for years!

    Thank you. (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:37:13 PM EST
    She's so excited. She's been on the phone to friends all morning, telling everyone the news.

    In fact, the very first person she called after signing the contract was her coach at UAlbany -- classy move, I thought -- who graciously allowed her brain to be picked about the responsibilities of being a head coach. She's already decided to heed her mentor's advice to retain the last coach's two assistants, provided that they'd like to stay on. From what I understand, both young men are graduate students at Chaminade University, which is adjacent to the high school, and they receive a stipend for being an assistant coach.

    (Again, a classy move, and also an eminently practical one, given that practice starts in only 16 days.)

    It's been rather fun watching her grab the reins and take charge of her life, since she first returned from Albany. I'll say one thing for her, she's certainly decisive, and not the type who's ever going to need a kick in the a$$ before doing something. If I do see a downside, it's that some will find her high level of self-confidence to be overwhelming, perhaps even to the point of intimidating. I think that sometimes, she can be too gung-ho by half, and doesn't quite get the need to dial it back.

    As her parent, I just hope she comes to know and understand as a coach that patience is a virtue, and not an obstacle to be overcome by any means necessary. Further, because she's 22, 6'1" and physically imposing, she's going to be bigger and stronger than most of her players. Adolescent boys' egos can be terribly fragile things, especially when it comes to the possibility of getting shown up athletically by a female. No doubt, she'll be the best volleyball player on that court during practice, but she'll need to remember who's actually going to be playing the match come game-time. She needs to don the mantle of teacher and mentor, as well as coach.



    Donald, fellow historian, and others (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:24:20 PM EST
    may be interested in a MOOC (ohhhh, but I want to see what it's like) online on "Understanding Lincoln," offered by the Gilder Lehman Institute.  (I don't know if I can post the url, so I won't, but that ought to work in searching to sign up.)

    The course is available for grad credit, for tuition --but also free for the fun of it, for those of us who think that study of the past is more fun than anything except, possibly, chocolate.  And taking it for free saves more funds for chocolate.

    The scholars collaborating on the course are top-rate.  And some lucky student is going to get a trip to Gettsyburg for the commemoration this fall, certainly bound to be one of the most significant events of so many in these years of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:46:28 PM EST
    That sounds really interesting. I find Abraham Lincoln to be perhaps the most fascinating and complex individual ever to occupy the White House. Certainly, he's one of the very few who ever understood fully the inherent (and oft-intertwined) moral and secular authorities of the American presidency, both of which he obviously wielded to great effect.

    I'd love to go to Gettysburg this fall.


    She sounds really remarkable (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:34:19 PM EST
    I'm sure she will learn her lessons about how to deal with the boys, and teach them a few about dealing with a strong woman.

    My old Colorado neighbor's daughter is at Chaminade. She loves it. Definitely not a volleyball player at about 5'4' though!

    Must be nice to have a child like that to get that feeling of starting  life fresh. You are lucky!


    Miami Station Cuts Away From Baseball (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:20:44 PM EST
    for Zimmerman and misses the Marlins tie it up on a homerun in the 9th. If someone cared about the Zimmerman trial they wouldn't have been watching baseball.

    ^%^*$% bleepers

    How many people follow the Marlins via TV? (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:23:26 AM EST
    I've heard nary a complaint (none / 0) (#91)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:29:56 AM EST
    so perhaps I was the only one trying to watch the game. Marlins won in extras and the station never went back nor mentioned the outcome. It was Heidi baseball.

    I gather my brother was not watching. (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:37:54 AM EST
    From our "Anals of Chutzpah" file: (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:34:46 AM EST
    Jackie Gingrich Cushman, who's made a decent living within conservative media circles as a professional spawn of Newt, takes to Townhall.com to ponder the following question -- seriously, with a straight face:

    "Why are the dually disgraced Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner running for office after engaging in public peccadilloes that would have doubtless persuaded many a lesser man to stay home?"


    I wonder if this woman has ever actually met her own father.

    (And no, that's not a typo in the subject line.)


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 67 (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:42:54 AM EST
    She knows he loves his car, but did he really love it that much one night. (link)

    And here's the rest of last week's comics, in case you missed any.

    Vol. 61
    Vol. 62
    Vol. 63
    Vol. 64
    Vol. 65
    Vol. 66

    Have a great Sunday, everyone.

    WSWS on Edward Snowden and public opinion (none / 0) (#1)
    by Andreas on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:36:44 AM EST
    The WSWS writes:

    The popular support for Snowden in the US finds no expression within the political establishment and mass media. The major newspapers turn their pages over to filth and lies, while doing what they can to bury or downplay the significance of what Snowden has revealed. As for the "left" supporters of the Democratic Party, they have largely kept their mouths shut, careful not to alienate their allies in the Obama administration.

    There is a broader social and political process at work. For over a decade, the United States has been engaged in a series of endless wars, the systematic destruction of democratic rights, and a historically unprecedented transfer of wealth from the working class to the corporate and financial elite.

    Edward Snowden in the court of public opinion
    Joseph Kishore, 12 July 2013

    Anyone other than me itching for (none / 0) (#7)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:49:29 AM EST
    football? Three weeks until practice starts in college, less than that, I think, in the pros.

    Wait til after the All Star break! (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:32:32 AM EST
    I can't get in to baseball! (none / 0) (#25)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:02:26 PM EST
    I used to watch every Braves game. If I wasn't home, I'd tape it. I went to games. Then the strike, no World Series and I only watch the playoffs/WS since then.

    I wish I could because I love sports and summer is boring for me when it comes to sports.


    BTD probably is (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:03:10 AM EST
    I miss his updates on football season....or the countdown to it.

    Yep, I miss BTD (none / 0) (#26)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:03:04 PM EST
    Sports and otherwise.

    I Recently (none / 0) (#43)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:34:45 PM EST
    ...spent a little time with BTD. I am ready to make wager with him this fall on football.

    Also, I had one hell of a good time with him. Seriously.


    If I wasn't such a baseball fan, ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:41:11 PM EST
    ... I'd agree with you. I've tried watching soccer this summer, but I just can't quite get into it, certainly not to the extent that other real fans of the sport are able to do. But I'm trying.

    For more years than I care to remember, (none / 0) (#50)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:52:08 PM EST
    The Orioles were so bad that we were yearning for football all summer, couldn't wait even for pre-season football, but the last two seasons have been so much better - so much fun - that no one's really talking football- and the Ravens start training camp a week from tomorrow!

    Love football (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:19:36 PM EST
    Can't wait, because, like most Lions fans, amnesia sets in this time of year and we always think, "It's going to be a good year." (We are almost always disappointed).  :)

    I have a couple of colleges (my alma maters) that I am rabid about.

    But, like Anne said, my Tigers are doing so well and are so much fun to watch - with Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez, Omar Infante, and even Max Scherzer going for 14-0. And of course, watching Miguel Cabrera with his league leading .367 average and 95 RBI's.  :)


    My prediction is that ... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:44:38 PM EST
    ... the Lions will finish second behind Green Bay, and make the playoffs this season as a wild card. So, this year you DO have something to hope for.

    "We" (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:46:01 PM EST
    Are paying Matt Stafford an awful lot of money, so I certainly hope you are correct!

    Donald Obviously... (none / 0) (#101)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 04:11:44 PM EST
    ...doesn't understand that division, no way the Lions do better than the Bears, both of which will be behind the glorious Pack.

    The NFC North plays the AFC North this year, beyond the Ravens, that will 3 wins for everyone.

    Stafford is good, but not that good.


    Hey! (none / 0) (#102)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 04:12:16 PM EST
    Miracles can happen!

    Saturday Morning Snowden Update (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:05:58 AM EST
    Russia says it has not received a request for asylum from Snowden even though Snowden said he would submit it Friday. (It's now 7pm Saturday night in Moscow)

    Question? With Snowden saying he only wants temporary asylum in Russia, is Russia comfortable being used as a throwaway political pawn?

    Updated potential final landing spots for Snowden:

    1. Venezuela
    2. Nicaragua
    3. Sheremetyevo Airport Transit Area
    4. Langley (up 1)  
    5. Russia (up 1)
    6. The embassy of Venezuela, Nicaragua, or Bolivia in Moscow (new)

    dropped out of the rankings - Iceland

    Re: Nicaragua placement (none / 0) (#12)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:54:44 AM EST
    A tweak for your ranking of Nicaragua above?  Yesterday, the NYT carried a story about the bloc of Latin American countries that have been outspoken critics of the US for some time--i.e., Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, & Nicaragua--and that typically play the anti-American card to shore up their domestic situation as needed.  Of course, Ecuador & Bolivia have trading agreements & such with us and now seem to have receded a bit.  And, the comment there about Ortega & Nicaragua is that, while the country tends to push to the edge as needed, there is a pattern of not going over that edge--the supposition in the article stems from the fact that the US is its principal trading partner as well as loan guarantor. A specific reference was made to Ortega's earlier qualification about asylum potential "if conditions permit."

    Also: Former Ambassador Bill Richardson has been interacting with Venezuela in the past year ... minister there coming to pose for a picture in DC and all that, e.g.  Richardson's analysis presumes that what may be driving that particular bloc is a drive to pick up the mantle of Hugo Chavez; and, that drive is most pronounced in Venezuela.  R. further notes that the periodic weighing of "benefits" ultimately will determine Venezuela's posture in the coming months.

    One pointed comment by Richardson: No one from any of those countries has taken the steps, thus far, to go and fetch him <Snowden.> Another from a Venezuelan minister <in 7/12 NYT article> concerns Venezuela's desire to have a named individual extradited to that country.


    I would think (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    The Sheremetyevo transit area and Langley (or JFK) could both move above Nicaragua. Mostly it depends on Russia right now. Do they want to play hardball with Snowden? Do they want to be used by Snowden? Do they want to have a solid productive meeting at the Russian-American summit in Moscow in September?

    The leaders of the South American and Central American countries are easier to predict. Vladimir Putin not so much.

    Ecuador and Bolivia dropped off my list sometime ago. Too many flowers from Ecuador, and it's just not easy to get to Bolivia from Moscow.


    Is Snowden above Godwin's Law? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:58:11 PM EST

    (if one is willing to overlook a minor technical point that this was at a press conference and not an online discussion).

    When you are in Russia, demonizing the government that you are fighting as Nazis may have huge emotional appeal (given the history of WW2). Just for fun, how many are willing to bet that if he was standing in Latin American soil, he would be using the imagery of Jesus Christ being persecuted by the Roman empire?


    I usually like to check... (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:08:52 AM EST
    the "today in history" thing website. This was yesterdays.  I had never heard of the Bisbee Deportation before, but it's nice to know that it won't ever happen again because we're so much more smarter today then we wuz then. Also the big companies don't have that much power anymore.

    No kidding. Koch Bros. would do the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:06:13 PM EST
    and get away with it. They've already bought off most of the Republican party.

    Great link, desertswine. I'd heard of U.S. vs. Wheeler, but never knew all the background. And the fact that Bisbee was used as an excuse for the Palmer raids is proof enough that things like this could happen again, especially in states where the bigots rule.

    Disappointed and somewhat surprised to read Teddy Roosevelt's comments about the migrants miners.


    American influence in Egypt (none / 0) (#15)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:45:52 AM EST
    is getting outsourced to Saudi Arabia. This will have long term implications.



    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 66 (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:59:14 AM EST
    In other news.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:51:19 PM EST
    Given that Montana Democrats ... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    ... control both houses of the state legislature, I'd offer that their cupboards aren't nearly as threadbare as the myopic gossips at Politico and elsewhere inside the Beltway would otherwise perceive (or wish) them to be. Montana is actually a very purple state, and Democrats are more than competitive there.

    If anyone currently has a thinning roster of potential congressional candidates, it's the Montana Republicans. I don't think they ever quite halted the steady slide in popularity they've endured since the rather scandalous tenure of GOP Gov. Judy Martz and her hard charging, hard-partying Republican cohorts then controlling the legislature.

    This all culminated, if I remember correctly, in some rather serious charges being leveled against Gov. Martz regarding an alleged attempt to cover up a fatal DUI involving her chief policy director, who eventually pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the death of the GOP State House Majority Leader. The latter two had been out drinking together one night, and he initially fled the accident scene (it was a single-car crash) and appeared at the governor's house, and she cleaned him up and washed his clothes, and then denied to state troopers that he was the driver.

    Granted, that was a decade ago, but voters tend to have a long collective memory when it comes to abuse / malfeasance of office. The GOP got tossed from power in Helena in the following election cycle, and they've been on the outside looking in ever since.



    Politico again. And a flimsy article at that. (none / 0) (#32)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:27:51 PM EST
    They don't even go into why Schweitzer decided not to run. They throw in something about "secret money" and ties to a shady non-profit run by former aides, without giving a scintilla of detail about any of it. Sounds more like Politico wants to do a hit piece. Oh...and then there's Schweitzer's penchant for "off-the-cuff" remarks. Who cares? It would be nice if there was some real substance to the article, but it's Politico, so there isn't.

    The only thing that matters in the end is that the seat will go to the GOP, and that will make the Senate even more insane and obstructionist than it is now.

    Maybe Schweitzer should throw a curveball and run for president in 2016. Based on what I know about him so far, he seems like as good a choice as any other Dem.


    How about WaPo? (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:32:08 PM EST

    or the WSJ?

    The brash, jeans-wearing governor last year said: "I am not goofy enough to be in the House, and I'm not senile enough to be in the Senate."

    The WAPO article is a bit better (none / 0) (#35)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:45:49 PM EST
    because at least it includes a direct quote from Schweitzer that he "never wanted to be in the Senate," and that he wants to stay in Montana. But, once again, there is an allusion to some dirty laundry about him, where the GOP insider says they looked under the hood and found a lot of "rust" there, but there is no explanation of what that means. Why are the reporters avoiding publishing what the oppo research on him is? Is it because they only think there is some, due to bragging by the GOP?

    As for the Wall Street Journal, I don't read it. Since Murdoch took it over, the reporting has gotten as bad as the opinion page.


    The rumor is (none / 0) (#37)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:58:40 PM EST
    You will find the complete story in the Great Falls Tribune tomorrow.

    I'll look for it. Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:12:29 PM EST
    In the meantime, you could add to your repertoire by giving us the Weekly Schweitzer.

    Snowden-Glenn G interview (none / 0) (#34)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:44:59 PM EST
    "Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had," Greenwald said in an interview in Rio de Janeiro with the Argentinean daily La Nacion.

    "The U.S. government should be on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden, because if something does happen to him, all the information will be revealed and it could be its worst nightmare."


    I know we talked about this (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:43:54 PM EST
    A couple of weeks ago, but I am still having trouble seeing new comments highlighted in the top post.  It's weird - the front page will show there's new comments, but when I click in the post, nothing shows as "new", so I have to read through everything again.

    But soon as Jeralyn posts a new post, then I can see the new comments in the first post and then the same thing happens to the newest.

    I have tried cleaning my cache, I've tried using both IE and Chrome.

    Any suggestions?  It's kind of annoying when the top posts gets lots of comments.

    Thanks in advance!

    I'm still having the same issue (none / 0) (#49)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:50:28 PM EST
    with current open threads as well. And I'm mostly using Safari.

    Strange (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:57:58 PM EST
    It happens not just on Open Threads with me - but just the very top posts.

    I have the problem (none / 0) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:58:52 PM EST
    with the top post as well.

    Still happening for me, too, and today I'm (none / 0) (#54)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:00:41 PM EST
    On my daughter's iPad, and having the same problem.

    I've even had the situation where, if the top post on the page has new comments and I click into one of the older ones, when I go back to "home" the newest post's comments no longer show as new.

    It's bizarre, and no matter what I've tried, it keeps happening - but not all the time, so I give up!


    Thanks (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:03:21 PM EST
    At least I'm not alone in this!

    Far from alone, I think (none / 0) (#78)
    by sj on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:02:50 PM EST
    It's rather annoying, but I guess I'm getting used to it.

    I've asked Colin to check again (none / 0) (#57)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:13:59 PM EST
    Neither one of us can see what you are seeing.

    It may be your comment settings. I have mine set to nested, ignore ratings, sorting based on comment age: oldest. I have comment overflow set at 50.

    The comments come up with the first one at the top and newer ones below. They are nested, and all new comments have a [new] in red.

    Also, at the bottom of each post on the home screen, it tells the number of comments and how many are new since I last read the thread. For this one it says "(52 comments, 1 new, 230 words in story)

    Can you try changing your settings to the ones I just described and see if you still have the problem? I don't see what you are seeing in Firefox, chrome, iE, my iPad or iPhone.


    Happens to me too (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:41:07 PM EST
    Top most post does not show new comments. Occasionally it does. I have tried various browsers and changed settings to no avail.

    Also, when clicking on the hash sign next to a recent comment it would usually take me to the comment, that function no longer exists. Clicking on the hash sign just brings me to the thread.


    wow. the hash tags work for me (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:45:11 PM EST
    as do the new comments.

    I'll sent Colin a link to this thread and asked him to check again.

    I think he needs to be able to duplicate the problem though, and so far, neither of us can see it.


    Ditto on the hash tag issue (none / 0) (#66)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:22:22 PM EST
    All right (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    I am basically a moron.  I am looking under "Your preferences" but I don't see the choices you are listing.  Is there somewhere else I should be looking to see if my settings match yours?

    when you click on (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:42:21 PM EST
    Your user preferences, isn't there a line that says "comments" (it also has your user info, edit options, etc.) It's also says  If you click on that, the choices come up.

    Found it (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 03:49:25 PM EST
    let me try that and see what happens.


    BTW - what does the "change to overflow mode" do?


    Juror Question (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:58:12 PM EST
    They want clarification over the jury instruction over manslaughter.

    Oops wrong thread (none / 0) (#70)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:58:41 PM EST
    More on (none / 0) (#85)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:40:20 AM EST
    possible replacements for Napolitano

    List looks pretty much the same as what was being predicted a year ago, but a few different names also.

    I'm getting a sick feeling about (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:48:51 AM EST
    Joe Lieberman - Homeland Security was his committee when he was in the Senate.


    Ray Kelly - he's Chuckie Schumer's guy, and he's from New York.  Jesus, why not Giuliani?

    Not encouraged - former cops and FBI agents and Republicans and pretend Democrats.

    Like I said: ugh.


    Oops (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:11:06 AM EST
    Remarks by Obama complicate military sexual assault trials

    WASHINGTON -- When President Obama proclaimed that those who commit sexual assault in the military should be "prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged," it had an effect he did not intend: muddying legal cases across the country.

    In at least a dozen sexual assault cases since the president's remarks at the White House in May, judges and defense lawyers have said that Mr. Obama's words as commander in chief amounted to "unlawful command influence," tainting trials as a result. Military law experts said that those cases were only the beginning and that the president's remarks were certain to complicate almost all prosecutions for sexual assault.

    "Unlawful command influence" refers to actions of commanders that could be interpreted by jurors as an attempt to influence a court-martial, in effect ordering a specific outcome. Mr. Obama, as commander in chief of the armed forces, is considered the most powerful person to wield such influence.

    The president's remarks might have seemed innocuous to civilians, but military law experts say defense lawyers will seize on the president's call for an automatic dishonorable discharge, the most severe discharge available in a court-martial, arguing that his words will affect their cases.

    MLB Suspensions (none / 0) (#89)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:20:06 AM EST
    Alex Rodriguez failed to show up for his minor league rehab game yesterday after meeting with MLB officials. Rumors out of NY are that MLB may go after a lifetime suspension unless Arod agrees to a 150 game suspension.

    If that's the way the discussuion went, MLB has plenty of evidence and the other 20 or so players caught in the Biogenesis net can't be feeling too good today.

    Similarly, it's being said Ryan Braun was also offered some tupe of lengthy suspension settlement in his meeting two weeks ago.

    150-game suspension? (none / 0) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:03:02 PM EST
    Wow. I guess MLB is serious after all.

    Cannot.Wait.For. (none / 0) (#92)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:37:36 AM EST
    I think the Manning on the right, the one (none / 0) (#99)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:28:59 PM EST
    in the faded blue jeans, is Eli. Just my two cents.

    Sunday Morning Snowden Update (none / 0) (#94)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:03:20 AM EST
    Cue music...
    Scroll Headline...
    22 Days in Hotel Room Captivity

    As he begins the start of his 4th week in semi hotel room isolation, today's news is zero, nada, zip.

    Does make one wonder how often the room service menu changes, and at what point does the thought of Mickey D's begin to sound really good.

    Yeah, hard to outdo yesterdays news... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Edger on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:29:40 AM EST
    "Snowden has enough information to cause more damage to the U.S. government in a minute alone than anyone else has ever had in the history of the United States," Greenwald told the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion.

    Asked if he was afraid that Snowden might be killed, Greenwald said: "If something were to happen, those documents would be made public. This is your insurance policy."

    "The U.S. government should be on [their] knees every day praying that nothing happens to Snowden, because if something happens, all information will be revealed and that would be their worst nightmare," Greenwald added.

    -- The Hill

    Easier to avert your eyes...


    Snowden's (none / 0) (#96)
    by Edger on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:35:32 AM EST
    FIGHT THE POWER (none / 0) (#98)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:10:51 PM EST