Tuesday Open Thread

For those following world and national events today, as opposed to the George Zimmerman trial, or who just want to talk about life in general, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    What happens when no one participates (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    From Kaiser Health News:

    Tens of thousands of uninsured residents in the poorest and most rural parts of Mississippi may be unable to get subsidies to buy health coverage when a new online marketplace opens this fall because private insurers are avoiding a wide swath of the state.

    No insurer is offering to sell plans through the federal health law's marketplaces in 36 of the state's 82 counties, including some of the poorest parts of the Delta region, said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

    As a result, 54,000 people who may qualify for subsidized coverage would be unable to get it, estimates the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, a nonpartisan research group.

    If Only There Was a Public Option, Part 2,134

    What happens when the administration (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:55:40 PM EST
    delays imposition of penalties for one year on large employers who do not provide comprehensive insurance for their employees.

    Back in 2012, CBO estimated that the employer penalty would reduce the deficit by about $4 billion in fiscal year 2014. But by zeroing out the penalty, the administration will not only forfeit the revenue it would have collected, but it will have removed an incentive for employers to provide coverage themselves. That probably means more workers than expected will land in the exchanges, many of whom will receive subsidies to purchase insurance themselves, which will increase spending under the law and diminish its deficit reducing potential.

    Workers who aren't eligible for subsidies will be expected to pay for their premiums entirely out of pocket. link

    Ain't it grand? (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:52:04 PM EST
    Those of us who have often (and are currently) self-employed, and have never been able to afford adequate self-coverage, will now be forced by law to purchase the product we couldn't afford before, and still won't be able to afford now. With or without the tax credit.

    But corporations that can easily afford to cover their employees will get off scott-free for a year.

    Ain't it grand?


    I do not think we need to worry (none / 0) (#112)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:46:03 AM EST
    about the impact of the penalty delay on the deficit.  We can always dig up Bowles-Simpson--from its shallow grave.

    I don't wanna talk about it... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:52:02 PM EST
    we got our first paychecks post health insurance increase...my predictions were correct, we kept the current plan and employee contribution went up 37%.  Sucks for me, but better than a downgraded piece of sh*t plan with 25 hundo deductible for those employees who need the insurance for chronic health issues.

    Extra 15 bucks a week outta the local economy and into the coffers at Oxford.  Oh well, its only money, and it obviously means a lot more to Oxford than me.  But I hope they choke on the caviar we're paying for!  


    Wonder if any other country has (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:06:41 PM EST
    identified a less expensive way to provide health care? :o(

    LOL... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:13:05 PM EST
    Somewhat ironically, if we got single payer instead of the unaffordable care act, me and my boss both would be happy...he'd be outta the health insurance provider business, I'd get a raise, and Oxford's CEO would have to get out of the rackets and maybe just maybe get a real job!;)  

    As it is now, when we grumble about the increase his answer is "you voted for Obama."


    Good thing I'm not working there (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:50:57 PM EST
    Because my answer to your boss would be, "No, I didn't.  I voted Green Party."     ;-)

    So did I... (none / 0) (#108)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:00:47 AM EST
    but why bother tellin' him, he already thinks I'm a communist;)

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Zorba on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:16:56 PM EST
    Welcome to the club!
    My favorite thing that I have been called, though, is "aging hippie."  A description I accept with pride.      ;-)

    Your taxes would likely go up (none / 0) (#43)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:08:20 PM EST
    a lot more than $15.

    As I read it... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:15:13 AM EST
    ...that $15 is $15 more, not $15 only. Speaking for myself, I'd gladly switch the hundreds of dollars I currently pay per month for for-profit health insurance to taxes for single payer health care for all.

    Count me in (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:28:43 AM EST
    Taxes to pay for health care rather than for profit insurance premiums (health care optional - for those who can afford to pay out of pocket costs)

    Amen and Amen MO! (none / 0) (#127)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:30:47 AM EST
    Though with the disability, I now have Medicare (good luck to anyone trying to find a new good Dr that takes it anymore) and you wouldn't believe the amount per month in co-pays I pay. Plus I hit the doughnut hole in August and then I pay hundreds - approximately $500 a month last year and I skipped some asthma medicines because they're really high.

    I guess I'm lucky (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 12:03:13 PM EST
    there is no shortage of doctors and specialists who take Medicare in my neck of the woods. Medicare and Medicaid patients are pretty much the norm at many of our good medical centers such as the Center for Advanced Medicine, St. Louis University Medical Center and various really good Cancer Centers such as Siteman Cancer Center.

    Have you looked into the various programs that are available for lower income people on disability that help with insurance and medical costs for people on Medicare? Many hospitals will write off most if not all of the cost of treatment at their facilities for qualifying individuals (can qualify even if you own assets like a house) and many foundations for specific illnesses help with costs or give annual grants. A friend of mine who has  multiple myeloma got a $10,000 grant which she used for insurance premiums, medical expenses and to supplement her income.

    Missouri has a RX program to help with drug costs for lower income people and I know caseyOR has found a way to get her drugs at lower costs through some program in her state. Also some of the pharmaceutical will provide prescription medicine at lower costs. I found this Pharmaceutical Assistance Program and this: Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs

    Good luck on finding the care you need at a price you can afford. It is bad enough to be sick without having to navigate the best way to survive financially while getting treatment.


    And if all that fails... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 01:06:12 PM EST
    I get my moms asthma medicine for pennies on the dollar when I'm in Mexico...just give the name of the drug and a ship to address and I'll stock you up.

    When the going gets shady, the good best get shady too;)


    Which med do you get? (none / 0) (#134)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:23:45 PM EST
    My son's asthma med is like $350/canister.

    Last trip... (none / 0) (#135)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:32:23 PM EST
    I got a brand called Ventolin, albuterol sulfate...exchange rate worked out to like 3 bucks.

    We're extremely lucky too (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by suzieg on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:44:00 AM EST
    My husband has Multiple Myeloma and if it wasn't for The Chronic Disease Fund which picks up most of the drug costs to treat his cancer, we would have been bankrupt by now.

    But I'd get that raise... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:59:31 AM EST
    my boss is paying Oxford more than 40 bucks a week, exact amount unknown.  My 40 plus his end is a big nut per week.

    I fear government run single-payer for other reasons, like them using the law to regulate behavior to keep health bills down in ways I wouldn't like...but no doubt they could do it cheaper than Oxford.  And since when do I obey the law? ;)  

    I'm coming around to prefering the government poison to the corporate poison when it comes to health care.



    37% is an absolute outrage (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:11:16 PM EST
    And Chuck Berg thanks you for your contribution to his caviar fund.

    Chuckie Berg... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    keeps it up I might just come down with a spiteful case of hypochondria, and at least make that motherf*cker pay some claims.

    Who am I kidding...I can't afford the co-pays! ;)


    Well see there (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:50:17 PM EST
    You are proof positive that Obama's health care cost control plan really works. Make the out of pocket expenses high enough and people will not get the health care they need.

    People paying health care premiums but either not going to the doctor due to cost or paying for the majority of the services out of pocket has been included in the design of the program as its primary cost control measure.


    There an easy way to solve that (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:40:33 PM EST
    states mandate insurance companies work in the entire state or not at all. That's a Mississippi problem (which doesn't surprise me)

    And people wonder why there was so (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:39:16 PM EST
    much concern about the Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act...

    North Carolina's newly unfettered attack on voting rights has three main prongs:

        Require ID at the polls. North Carolina's voter ID bill could pose problems for 1 in 10 voters, according to an analysis by the State Board of Elections. About 613,000 North Carolinians lack the required government-issued ID. Nearly a third of these voters are black, while over half are registered Democrats.

        Penalize college students for voting. Republicans are also pushing a bill to raise taxes on families with college students who choose to vote at school rather than at home, effectively discouraging college students from voting.

        End early voting and same-day registration. Other states that restricted early voting, like Ohio and Florida, needlessly created mammoth lines on Election Day, forcing some voters to wait until 1 a.m. to cast a ballot. The backlash in Florida has been especially strong, prompting Gov. Rick Scott (R) to reverse his own voter suppression laws. In North Carolina, black voters make up 29 percent of early voters and 34 percent of voters who took advantage of same-day voter registration at the polls.

    Any more questions?

    I still don't see (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:46:58 PM EST
    Why college students, who are not permanent residents where they go to school, SHOULD be allowed to vote in those districts.  NOT that I am saying I agree with this crazy plan, but why are college kids allowed to vote where they don't actually have permanent resident status?

    When I was in college in northern Cal (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:15:16 PM EST
    I voted there, for U.S. rep, state and local candidates, even though my permanent home was LA. Kinda makes sense, since I was in the middle of fall quarter during November elections. That was in the 1970's. Wonder if it was considered wrong then.

    Not true (none / 0) (#70)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:44:12 PM EST
    The requirements for in-state tuition are usually more stringent than the requirements for registering to vote.

    Tuition is based on where you live when you apply (none / 0) (#71)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:47:30 PM EST
    not where you live when you arrive. It's tax dollars over the course of many years that build those institutions.

    Voting is also based on where you live when you apply. Thus voting yes, but in-state tuition no.


    Because they live there? (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:20:24 PM EST
    maybe not permanently, but I fail to see why that should matter.

    I think if ya live in an area, you should get to vote for the representation in that area...be it students, prisoners, or the undocumented.


    actually (none / 0) (#25)
    by nyjets on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:03:30 PM EST
    It is debatable where a student should vote. A lot of students do fill out absentee ballots. It probable depends on the circumstances.
    However only American citizens should be allowed to vote.

    Are you saying they should be voting in places (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:30:59 PM EST
    they don't live instead? Seems to me it makes smore snese to vote in your college district while you are living there. Your congressman there will have emore affect on your life than the one in your hometown, where you very well may never live again.

    Technically (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:55:56 PM EST
    Their permanent residences (probably their parents' home) is where they LIVE.  Where they go to school is where they temporarily reside.

    What about people who have two houses?  Or summer cabins?  Or someone doing a semester internship in another city over election day? Or someone who is sent by work to another city for 6 months and placed in a corporate apartment?  Those people all "live" in another place, but I can't see you making a logical argument that they should be allowed to vote there.  Since 99.9% of college students aren't going to vote in local elections where they go to school (or at home, for that matter, since most people don't do that either) - why can't they get absentee ballots to vote for statewide elections, like their members of Congress or President.

    I'm gonna bet college students aren't too stupid to figure out how to get and fill out an absentee ballot.


    All of those are different cases (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:00:55 PM EST
    Speaking strictly of college students who live a majority of the year in one place, I think they ought to be able to register to vote there. I don't see why it is even a controversy.

    Given that they live there some 9 months (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:37:31 PM EST
    of the year, why shouldn't they be able to vote there?  Are they governed by the laws of that state while in school?  Do decisions at the local level affect their day-to-day lives?

    I could understand an objection to voting in both the college town and legal domicile, but I not only can't think of anything wrong with voting where one lives for 3/4 of the year, but I can's think of any reason to stick parents with a bigger tax bill as a result.  College kids provide an economic benefit to the areas where their schools are, don't they?  

    There isn't much of anything Republicans do that makes any sense to me - and I'm so grateful, you have no idea, lol.


    You assume (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:56:29 PM EST
    That most college kids go to school out of state?

    No, I didn't make that assumption, (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:17:12 PM EST
    but I did assume we were talking about college students who don't live - however you want to define that - in the same place where they go to school.  Otherwise, if it's a matter of living in a different county in the same state, it's only local offices and ballot questions at issue, right?  And possibly House seats.

    I guess this raises another issue, though - in-state v. out-of-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.  I could be wrong, but where one votes may be a determining factor in whether one is considered eligible for in-state rates.

    It just seems to me that the goal should be getting as many people to vote and participate as possible, shouldn't it?  As it is, we have pretty poor participation rates for this allegedly participatory democracy - or republic - in which we live.

    Our vote is our voice - or at least it used to be.  I get that a lot of people just don't see it as making that much of a difference - and there may be more coming to that point of view than ever - so the only reason I can think of why limiting and restricting the vote makes any sense is if there's a belief that doing so keeps power in the hands of those who think they are most entitled to, or most capable of holding it. Although thinking someone like Jim DeMint or Louie Gohmert - to name but two - is "capable" would have to mean completely redefining the word - or always using air quotes when using it.


    What's the difference? (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    but I did assume we were talking about college students who don't live - however you want to define that - in the same place where they go to school.  Otherwise, if it's a matter of living in a different county in the same state, it's only local offices and ballot questions at issue, right?  And possibly House seats.

    I went to college 150 miles from where my actual home was (my parents's house. too far to drive to vote in person on Election Day and drive back in the same day.)  I was still in-state, so when I voted with an absentee ballot, I could still participate in state referendum elections, the member of Congress where I lived (my parent's house - not sure how much effect the local congress person where I went to school affected my life in 4 years.  Probably very, very little.), statewide offices, and such.  So, what else is left - if we are only talking about local offices, ballot questions, House seats?  Senate seats and the President.  I think it's a better argument to say that college kids are more affected by local laws and office holders where they go to school, ergo that's where they should vote.  But no one makes that argument because college kids (like most people) are not going to do that - most college kids don't have kids in the local school system, most college kids don't own property and will live in pre-existing housing, most college kids won't be around to discuss long-term city planning, water works, utilities, etc. Most college kids won't be subject to the local law enforcement and court processes (except those alcohol related offenses).

    So why is it so hard to expect them to vote for President at their permanent address?  People in the military do it all the time.


    Most college kids contribute (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:49:45 PM EST
    taxes...sales, excise, etc.  Living most of the year & buying things, food, sundry services in the locale of the college could be said to amount to a significant investment in that community.  In these days, lots of students live off-campus, live & work off-campus...that, by itself, is an important contribution to the economic base of the area.

    So do (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:02:39 PM EST
    People on temporary work assignment in a different city, people who own two homes, military people.

    Why are college kids singled out and treated differently than everybody else?


    So... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:08:34 PM EST
    ... are you just playing devil's advocate, or do you have a vested interest in keeping a college student tied to a parent's apron strings whether they want it or not?

    As ruffian says, those other cases are really different cases, and should be considered as such. Not conflated with the particular circumstances of a college student.


    It couldn't possibly be because.... (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by unitron on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:12:27 PM EST
    "Why are college kids singled out and treated differently than everybody else?"

    It couldn't possibly be because college students are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than for Republican ones, now could it?


    When you think about it (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:54:33 PM EST
    what is a permanent address, anyway? Does any such thing really exist anymore? I lived in Baltimore for 6 1/2 years. I'm not in Baltimore anymore. Was it my permanent address for voting purposes? I'm not there anymore so clearly it wasn't a "permanent address" in literal terms. I don't see how that differs substantially from a student. Not all college students return to their parents' home during summer break (if they even take one). In fact most students I have known did not do so.

    I get what you're trying to say, I do. But you're looking at it through the lens of your own experience while scolding Donald for doing the same thing. You considered your parents' home to be your actual home (your words). I didn't.

    And I don't see why students should have different rules than other residents of a community. If they want to register to vote locally, then bless 'em. As long as they're not voting in two places.


    That's your experience (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:06:05 PM EST
    Mine is that my mother moved out of state when I was in college. I used my dad's in-state address in my hometown, 200 miles away from my college town, as my official residence after that, even though I only spent a couple of weeks a year with him.

    I didn't register to vote anywhere. Didn't even try to figure it out back then. Not sure what I would have done, but it certainly makes sense that I would have chosen the college town since that is where I felt like I lived.


    ... I was in college at UW, it was my stated intent at the time to make that state my domicile. Seattle was, by the way, the very first place where I ever registered to vote; I've never been a registered voter in California, the state where I was born and raised. And I did end up living in Washington for five years, from ages 18 to 23. But following your logic, I should have instead only been allowed to register to vote in a state where I clearly no longer resided, simply because I happened to have grown up there.

    Further, given the transient nature that exists in significant segments of our society, when would you suggest that we be allowed to declare our stated intent to establish domicile in a given locale as legitimate -- at one year? Five years? How long would you require us to reside in situ, before you'd agree that we are duly qualified to participate in our own local governance?

    Or does your suggestion only apply to those adults between the ages of 18 and 22, such as my eldest, who've moved out of state to attend college? It was certainly not a given back in 2009 that she would return to Hawaii from Albany four years hence, and for all practical purposes, she was effectively a resident of New York state during that time. How does your suggestion not violate her rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment?



    Does she return (3.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:23:14 PM EST
    in the summer to live with you?  Where is her driver's license registered?  Is she still on your insurance - based out of Hawaii?  Does she pay out-of-state tuition (or has she ever since she's been there)? DOES you daughter intend to stay in NY? (These are rhetorical questions and I don't expect an actual answer, but my point is, I would bet that your daughter, like many college kids, are temporary).

    Your anecdote about your personal experience is nice, but so what?  As I asked Anne - your comment assumes that MOST college kids go out of state to college, so they would be voting on things in one state and living in another.  I contend that unless you can show facts to back that up, you are talking about a vast minority of students, and instead most students stay in state, and so won't be affected by voting on state issues. Here's a personal anecdote of mine -for graduate school, I went to a different state.  Guess what I did?  I changed my license, changed my license plates, and registered to vote because I actually was a resident of the community and state. Not someone who was coming home every few months.

    Just because the Supreme Court has said college kids can vote where they go to school, doesn't mean I have to agree with it, (as you yourself have done with many cases) discussed here. I think it's a bad idea, as I keep remembering the bus loads of Illinois college kids brought in to vote in the Iowa Caucuses.

    By the way - DID you daughter vote in local school board elections or local governmental elections? Mayor?  City Council? Local referendums? Or did she just vote for President there? Which she could have done from her home - in Hawaii, or gotten an absentee ballot


    My daughter (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:38:45 PM EST
    Did, in fact, go to college out of state, and voted there.  She lived there at least 9 months of the year, and for two of the years she was there, lived there for the summer to take advantage of work and study opportunities.  She was much more cognizant of and involved in New York local and state politics than she was in our state and local politics, once she graduated high school and left home.  Why should she have been required to vote here for those four years, when she was not at all involved here?

    Neither Anne or I are making any such ... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:59:59 PM EST
    ... assumptions or claims. You said that, not us, so please don't put words into our mouths.

    My daughter was home each year for two weeks at Christmastime, and for another two weeks in June, before returning to school for conditioning drills and team practices prior to the upcoming women's volleyball season each fall.

    The only other time she was back in Hawaii was for one week during the late March 2010, when SUNY-Albany for some obscure reason decided to close the dorms for spring break that semester, and she was left without a place to live. So all told, I'd say she was in New York for nearly 11 out of 12 months per year for four years -- which makes her a legal resident if she chooses to make that claim, which she did.

    How and for whom she voted while living in New York state is absolutely none of my concern -- as it should be. After all, since the law presumes her to be an adult at age 18, her political choices are entirely her own business, aren't they?

    Regarding your example of the Iowa Democratic Party's 2010 presidential caucuses as a rationale for why college students should be precluded from voting in the states where they reside for school, please be advised that all state party caucuses are internal political matters and thus not subject to state election law.

    Therefore, while I also harbored significant concerns about what happened at the Iowa caucuses five years ago, the Iowa Democrats' clear lack of rules precluding any such manipulation of the process is irrelevant to our immediate discussion about whether or not college students should be allowed to register to vote in the states where they live and attend school.



    Residency requirements (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:19:56 PM EST
    are more to the point. If a state requires, say, a two month residency requirement to vote, then that's what it is. There is no category of "permanent resident"

    Whereas... (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:07:10 PM EST
    ...the military votes in their departure state, even though they could be based out of the US for years.

    Very similar to college students in that it's a semi-permanent relocation, both ways have flaws.

    Just seems like one should be voting in the community they reside, plenty of non-collegiate folks who relocate every couple of years and yet they vote locally.

    The requirement for them is residing in the distinct on voting day, which makes a hell of a lot more sense than voting for a place you may not have visited in years, IMO.

    Who is to say college students are going to return 'home', and since they are part of the economy, it only seems natural they have some sort of say in how it's governed.

    Just a long drawn out, I agree.

    The plan is obviously meant to skew elections.  So keeping tradition D voters (young educated and minorities) away from the polls is a win/win.


    You found me out (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:40:20 PM EST
    The plan is obviously meant to skew elections.  So keeping tradition D voters (young educated and minorities) away from the polls is a win/win.

    Because again, all those people aren't smart enough to fill out an absentee ballot. <snark>


    Allow me to refer you... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:02:08 PM EST
    ... to this observation of yours...

    Just sayin' :)


    So are you. :) (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:49:49 AM EST
    Not Sure What That Has to do With Anything... (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:32:42 AM EST
    ...regardless if they are geniuses or brain dead, the goal is to reduce the amount of people pulling D levers.

    If it was a intelligence test, well.. the republican would get killed in NC, it's about creating barriers to vote.  Just because you think the barriers are minimal, is irrelevant, what is important is they are effective and they always, by some kinda crazy magic, favor R's in the polls.

    It's so glaringly obvious, that acting like it's not true is disingenuous.  But you didn't even do that, you put in on the voters and not the legislators.


    Do you have any doubt that if there (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:58:29 AM EST
    was a massive campaign to encourage absentee voting, efforts would be made to add new restrictions or requirements to make it harder to vote absentee?  

    I don't.

    We see this over and over again on all kinds of issues - especially on abortion, immigration, voting and same-sex anything.

    What would be really refreshing is if as much effort could be directed at creating the conditions where people can make a decent living, get an affordable education, have access to affordable health care and be assured of a strong safety net when they are old.  

    But no - we're going to spend time, energy - and money that could be better spent elsewhere - on keeping brown people out - or throwing them out - of the country, policing bedrooms and doctors' offices, keeping people from the polls and trying to inject God into everything.


    Ohio (none / 0) (#29)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:22:02 PM EST
    Was Ohio covered by the Voting Rights Act?

    No, it's not. (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:56:54 PM EST
    But women in Ohio are now required to undergo an transvaginal ultrasound before they can seek to terminate their pregnancy, thanks to the rider the GOP attached to the state budget.

    Long voter lines, transvaginal ultrasounds, repeals of collective bargaining rights -- it's all just part of doing the Lord's work, don'tcha know?


    Why does college costs so much? (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:56:21 PM EST
    A first-time adjunct professor teaching a full course load at the City University of New York can expect to pull in around $25,000 per year. If you recently resigned as C.I.A. director over a long-time affair with your biographer, however, you can expect to be paid eight times as much for a fraction of the work.

    In April, CUNY announced that Petraeus would do a stint as a visiting professor of public policy at the school's Macaulay Honors College, leading a seminar on "developments that could position the United States...to lead the world out of the current global economic slowdown." According to documents Gawker obtained from CUNY via a Freedom of Information Law request, the fallen war architect will net a whopping $200,000 a year for the course, which will total about three hours of work, aided by a group of graduate students to take care of "course research, administration, and grading." (He will also throw in two lectures.)

    [That salary has now been reduced to $150,000; see update below.] link

    Outrageous... (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:24:16 PM EST
    for a public university...private schools can do what they want, but CUNY is supposed to be affordable.

    And what the f*ck does Petraeus know about economics?  Sh*t, what do economists know about economics for that matter?


    If you hire a hacker to hack, (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:00:42 PM EST
    don't be surprised when he hacks.

    Love her headline (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:48:29 PM EST
    Ain't no 'what if' about it. That is a great post.  Government does not get the best and the brightest of the tech wiz kids - they are not going to work for the government for 50k to start (and then go on furlough next week) when they can work for commercial firms for twice that. That is one reason the gov subs out to places like Booz Allen - they can get people with better skills under a subcontract and leave the salary distribution to the company. When the government employees rise to leasdership positions they do not always keep up with the technology, to say the least.

    Seems to me our government has gotten into a game they have no chance of winning.


    Just so (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:08:18 PM EST
    Government does not get the best and the brightest of the tech wiz kids - they are not going to work for the government for 50k to start (and then go on furlough next week) when they can work for commercial firms for twice that. That is one reason the gov subs out to places like Booz Allen - they can get people with better skills under a subcontract and leave the salary distribution to the company.
    That's it in a nutshell.  And I really hope you're right when you say...
    Seems to me our government has gotten into a game they have no chance of winning.
    because it seems to me that, while the government may or may not win, the population of the USA has been losing more and more.

    LOL! That reminds me of my ... (none / 0) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:43:47 PM EST
    ruffian: "When the government employees rise to leadership positions they do not always keep up with the technology, to say the least."

    ... Tea Party-lovin' uncle, who used to work as a senior program auditor for the Dept. of the Navy. He absolutely refused to learn computers, which had to have pretty much rendered him next to useless during his final few years on the job, before his retirement in 1993.


    hee hee...I should make clear that (none / 0) (#101)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:28:52 PM EST
    I think part of the answer is to stop demonizing government workers and pay them a competitive salary if we think the work they are doing is important - and most of it is. We do need people that are up to speed technologically for all sorts of jobs.

    Ha ha ha ha, you'll love this (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:32:07 PM EST

    This was on the front page of Army Times not long ago.  I saw it in the checkout line and thought to myself, "Jesus, am I the only person who thinks that's brazen?"

    It was pre-Snowden, a few days ago I was wondering if anyone at Army Times regretted that front page headline.


    That is funny (none / 0) (#100)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:27:45 PM EST
    Just a little before its time. ;o)

    This reminds me of why... (none / 0) (#20)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:48:37 PM EST
    ... I used to read Digby regularly.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 55 (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:39:30 PM EST
    Some young doctors just aren't in love. (link)

    It's hot as hell here in Reno, where the wife and son and I are stopped over on the drive to Park City, Utah, where we'll head tomorrow early morning. Off to play in a poker tournament. Peace to all.

    I'm heading to the Utah mountains myself (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:54:49 PM EST
    for the weekend. Looking forward to the dry heat as a change from the soggy hot blanket the FL air has become.

    Good luck in your tourney!


    Tourney blues (none / 0) (#78)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:25:13 PM EST
    Finished a few hands out of the money, my pocket aces cracked by a lousy K9 offsuit. So it goes. Tonight a cheap and cheesy casino show with the family, a Cirque du Soleil kind of kockoff that supposed to be really good, will cheer me up.

    You have a great trip, too.


    The bigots are still at it. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:37:47 PM EST
    NOM mailing:
    "As you know, last week the Supreme Court handed down two terrible decisions on marriage. But the Court stopped short of fabricating a "right" to redefine marriage in our Constitution, choosing instead to allow the states to settle the question.

    This means winning or losing marriage is still up to us, The People.

    Within hours of last week's rulings, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana issued a statement calling upon the General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for the people of Indiana to vote on next November.


    This is an opportunity to go to a thriving, Midwestern state, and demonstrate that heartland America believes in marriage."

    No way are the meanies going to give up their cash cow fundraising jobs. Anti-gay, anti equality organizations will still be convincing bigots to send money for many years to come.

    The question is, will straight but not narrow folks finally stand up and end this nastiness?

    Cardinal and other sins: (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:38:33 PM EST
    Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of NY and president of the US Conference  of Catholic Bishops, should have a face as red as his skull cap, and, maybe, a skull cap of black and white stripes with matching shirt and pants.  

    After repeatedly denying (as recently as yesterday, as "old and discredited attacks") that he hid assets from clergy abuse victims who were demanding compensation when Dolan was Archbishop of Milwaukee (2002 to 2009), documents released by the Milwaukee diocese lift the skirts of his cassock to reveal an ugly picture.

    The release of documents, including a deposition of Dolan's taken in February 2013, show movement of $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect assets. The documents are the byproduct of a diocese bankruptcy proceeding involving  575 clergy abuse victims who have filed claims.

     The documents include an"embarrassing"  2007 letter to the Vatican in which he explains that by transferring the assets, "I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability."  The request was approved with Vatican dispatch (five weeks) as compared with the glacial speed taken to remove a convicted sex offender from the priesthood (five years).

    The current Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, warned his flock to be prepared to be "shocked" by the released files.   Meanwhile, we await Cardinal Dolan's next sermons on morality, same sex marriage, contraception and women's health so we and our legislators know what to think.  

    Oh, what a coincidence! (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:10:57 PM EST
    Cardinal Roger Mahoney took nearly $150 million from the L.A. archdiocese's cemetery fund to pay off in part the numerous claims against kiddie-diddling priests under his jurisdiction.

    What a wonderful idea this is! (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:05:20 PM EST
    I would so participate. I have no idea of what I do is artwork or arts and crafts, but it would be fun to see what others would think about it.

    I think.

    John Kiriakou's letter to Edward Snowden: (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:47:13 PM EST
    Dear Ed:

    Thank you for your revelations of government wrong-doing over the past week. You have done the country a great public service. I know that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders right now, but as Americans begin to realize that we are devolving into a police state, with the loss of civil liberties that entails, they will see your actions for what they are: heroic. Remember the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." That is what's happening to our country now. Your whistleblowing will help to save us.

    I wanted to offer you the benefit of my own whistleblowing experience and aftermath so that you don't make the same mistakes that I made.

    First, find the best national security attorneys money can buy. I was blessed to be represented by legal titans and, although I was forced to take a plea in the end, the shortness of my sentence is a testament to their expertise.

    Second, establish a website so that your supporters can follow your case, get your side of the story, and most importantly, make donations to support your defense.

    Third, you're going to need the support of prominent Americans and groups who can explain to the public why what you did is so important. Although most members of Congress are mindless lemmings following our national security leadership over a cliff, there are several clear thinkers on The Hill who could be important sources of support. Cultivate them. Reach out to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Government Accountability Project and others like them who value our individual freedoms and who can advise you.

    Finally, and this is the most important advice that I can offer, DO NOT, under any circumstances, cooperate with the FBI. FBI agents will lie, trick, and deceive you. They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you. They will pretend to be people they are not - supporters, well-wishers, and friends - all the while wearing wires to record your out-of-context statements to use against you. The FBI is the enemy; it's a part of the problem, not the solution.

    I wish you the very best of luck. I hope you can get to Iceland quickly and safely. There you will find a people and a government who care about the freedoms that we hold dear and for which our forefathers and veterans fought and died.

    John Kiriakou


    GD (none / 0) (#124)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:47:25 AM EST
    That is insane, surely that is going to come back to haunt him in 2.5 years.

    These guys who risk it all are so remarkable, yet get gutted by the press, the government, and a majority of folks.  Apparently most people would rather not know we torture people and the NSA track their every move, who knew...

    It's a GD shame that I hope one day to read about as being a low point in our history, but I truly fear that We've Only Just Begun.


    Such a cute story! (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:58:20 AM EST
    8 year old girl sworn in as Maryland's first "Governor for a Day".  Dicusses agenda, meets with leaders and press, and makes campaign promises for her re-election.

    McCain + Clinton + Obama = another foul stew. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:22:56 AM EST
    Yesterday, former President Bill Clinton, along with John McCain, both urged US intervention in Syria.
    Bill said that if Obama listened to what 80% of the American people want - which is to NOT intervene, he would wind up looking like a "total fool" and a "wuss" if things went badly there. He said that Americans like to have their presidents "win". (Whatever "winning" would entail was, as usual, left undefined.)

    Let's assume that intervention by the US would be a good thing - which after experiencing our track record in these things I do not - there should be a way to convince us that it is a good thing. I mean by reasoned discussion - not the usual scare tactics and misrepresentations so endemic since 2001.

    The contempt that Bill shows for the war-weary people of this country along with his fellowship with John (100-years-of-war-is-okey-dokey) McCain is infuriating and sickening imo.

    Is there no one left in politics that is willing to respect the people of this country?

    Have Bill & John... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:41:44 AM EST
    never heard of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade?

    If they feel that strongly about intervention, they should catch a flight to Damascus and put their arses where there mouths are.


    I think the problem might be... (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Dadler on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:16:40 AM EST
    ...that their asses ARE their mouths are right now, and doing all the yapping too.

    Aces cracked last night to bust out a few spots short of the money here in Reno yesterday. Had the perfect hand, dude before me pushes with good stack, I have aces, only problem is idiot with stack and blood alcohol level of .50 in sb next to me calls before I push. I figure he folds when I instapush my aces, but he goes in the tank and calls. With K9 phucking offsuit. Yeah, he had a stack, and it was maybe 20% of his to call my push, but still, blah...way it goes. When you play well and get outlucked, nothing you can do. Still, I wanted some dough, baby!!!



    I'd (none / 0) (#118)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:58:49 AM EST
    love to see that.

    Of course (none / 0) (#116)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:19:02 AM EST
    We didn't intervene in Egypt and look how well things are turning out there....

    Just sayin'....


    Two issues here (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:57:07 AM EST
    it seems to me.

    First - whether or not to intervene in Syria.

    Second - the matter of taking into account what the American people want. Our opinions should count for something. The people we elect are supposed to represent us. They behave as if we have elected them to do whatever they want.

    As I said, if this intervention is so necessary, so right, then the leadership should educate the public as to their case for intervention. Educate. Not coerce. Information. Not simply playing on fear.

    What Clinton is saying is that Obama should act now, so as not to appear as a "wuss". Explain later. The feelings of the American people are not to taken into account. When everything works out, Obama will be a "winner".

    And if they don't "work out", and ever more Americans are brought home in body bags or maimed and treated as forgotten misfits... well, that contingency is not being addressed.

    The view of the presidency as an imperial branch of government, answerable to no one, has taken firm root in both parties and it is time someone challenged it. Neither Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden are likely to be the ones to do so.

    And about Eqypt - what would you propose that we should have done, or should do? Just asking...


    I don't know (none / 0) (#126)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:59:42 AM EST
    And I don't purport to know.  I'm just saying that, I agree that it's sometimes a bad idea for a leader to stick his or her finger in the wind as a method of leadership.

    In fact, what Clinton actually said was:

    "Nobody is asking for American soldiers in Syria," Clinton said. "The only question is now that the Russians, the Iranians and the Hezbollah are in there head over heels, 90 miles to nothing, should we try to do something to try to slow their gains and rebalance the power so that these rebel groups have a decent chance, if they're supported by a majority of the people, to prevail?"

    Would it be a bad thing for the US to get more aggressive diplomatically or with sanctions?


    And (none / 0) (#133)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:20:51 PM EST
    It's major media outlets who are also calling out the President for doing nothing - in both Egypt and Syria - and now "as Rome burns" - he's still doing nothing. It's not just Clinton and McCain.

    President Obama returned last night from a weeklong trip to Africa, seeking to position himself as part of ailing Nelson Mandela's legacy and generating strategic photo-ops. On the other side of the continent, Egypt is awash in revolution, with hundreds of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square railing against the American-backed president, with some chanting slogans against the American passivity in the face of crisis. The Washington Post editorialized Tuesday: "For months, as the Morsi government has taken steps to consolidate power, quash critics and marginalize independent civil society groups, President Obama and his top aides have been largely silent in public. No effort was made to use the leverage of U.S. aid to compel a change of policy."

    While the president was in Africa, Secretary of State John Kerry spent time in Israel, using valuable political capital trying to jump-start peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, at a time when few serious foreign policy analysts believe it has any chance of succes--beyond garnering favorable press for trying. (The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg calls Kerry's a "delusion of the foreignpolicy elite" in his column today.) This, while the administration appears utterly feckless in neighboring Syria, where civil war worsens, chemical weapons-wielding dictator Bashar al-Assad strengthens his hold on power, and American influence dwindles. "The military situation in Syria is slipping away as the president ponders," Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl wrote last week.

    And then Kraushaar continued:

    And on the domestic front, Obama was comfortably traveling on Air Force One when a Treasury Department functionary announced late Tuesday it would be delaying the mandate that businesses provide health care for their employee--a crucial component in the health care law that is shaping up as the president's main legacy. Rather than give a speech explaining the delay, and informing the public about how this could affect their health care options, the administration dropped the bombshell news right before the July Fourth holiday weekend.

    Oh, and the reports are out now that Morsi is no longer President of Egypt.  The military has taken over.


    I never (none / 0) (#139)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:07:18 PM EST
    said that a so-called leader should see which way the wind was blowing.

    What I said was that if 80% of the population does not want American intervention, a so-called leader has an obligation to explain a different course of action if he or she believes in it, and shape opinion in his or her direction by reasoned discourse.

    What Clinton was proposing was to ignore public opinion in the belief that if things turned out ok, Obama would look like a winner and not a wuss.

    I can't begin to tell you how dangerous that mindset seems to me.


    And what I was saying (none / 0) (#141)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:32:00 PM EST
    Is that intervention is not just military options and diplomacy and sanctions can be tried.  In Obama's case, his has been sitting on his hands.

    It's (none / 0) (#150)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:01:43 PM EST
    not his hands he has been sitting on.

    Let us get this straight, jbindc (none / 0) (#151)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:37:25 PM EST
    When it comes to the NSA, the lament is that BHO is keeping everything secret. How are you so sure now that everything that is being tried in Syria is being made public?
    When did you first hear that the US was trying to negotiate with the Taliban to bring the war to a close in Afghanistan by working with Qatar and having the Taliban open an office in Qatar?  There is a reason why governments need to do some work in secrecy.
    The Assad regime has extremely strong support from two regional powers, Russia and Iran. The United States is using a lot of Arab allies to put the squeeze on the Assad regime for a long time but that has not been too successful in dislodging Assad because of his support from Russia and Iran. There are reports that Kerry will start bilateral talks with Russia soon.
    The more you talk the more you reveal your ignorance about Syria. Syria does not depend too much on the West for anything. How are you going to enforce sanctions on a country that Russia will keep on supporting without going to war with Russia. A strategic decision has already been made by the USA that blanket sanctions enforcement is going to hurt the rebels more than the Assad regime. Localized sanctions enforcement is already in place.

    80%?? (none / 0) (#142)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:42:01 PM EST
    Last polls I have seen around the mid-60s.

    Of course, those same polls show that fewer than half the people polled are actually paying attention and could give truly informed opinions of the situation.


    I was (none / 0) (#149)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:00:11 PM EST
    quoting Bill Clinton.

    While only 15 percent of Americans said they'd back military action in Syria, according to a recent poll, Clinton spoke Tuesday during a question-and-answer session alongside Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and suggested that such support among the American public or Congress shouldn't have any bearing on Obama's decision.

    Clinton warned that it would be unwise to opt against action because "there was a poll in the morning paper that said 80 percent of you were against it."

    He is obviously looking at different polls than you are.

    Nevertheless -even 60% is quite a majority.

    And as far as the American people paying attention or being informed: We know that we have been used as cannon fodder for generations. Bush set a new bar for this contemptible practice, and Obama's first order of business was sending 30,000 more people to Afghanistan.

    We have been paying attention to that. To the abuse heaped upon us by a government used to catering to the whims of the 1%. We have been informed by the actions of our government about how little respect they have for us.


    jbindc (none / 0) (#140)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:12:37 PM EST
    President Clinton was shooting his mouth and he should know better. Actually, BTD wrote a nice piece in Daily Kos a couple of weeks ago regarding the stupidity of President Clinton's comment on this matter. You may want to check it out...

    BTD's post (none / 0) (#143)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:45:33 PM EST
    I sucked it up and waded over to the orange cesspool to read the article.

    BTD, as others here have, missed or selectively did not focus on the rest of Clinton's comments, as I pointed out earlier:

    "Nobody is asking for American soldiers in Syria," Clinton said. "The only question is now that the Russians, the Iranians and the Hezbollah are in there head over heels, 90 miles to nothing, should we try to do something to try to slow their gains and rebalance the power so that these rebel groups have a decent chance, if they're supported by a majority of the people, to prevail?"

    BTD missed the boat on this one.


    Easier said than done (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:21:12 PM EST
    The Russians have had a strong relationship with the Assad regime for decades (not just with Basher Assad, they had one with his father also during the cold war). Hezbollah is just next doors in Labanon; a lot of Hezbolah fighters have even lived in Syria for decades and got trained there. We hardly had any relationship with any group within Syria for decades, so it is understandable that we are still scrambling. The biggest problem for us is
    (1) the rebels are not very organized
    (2) we do not even know how much support the rebels have within the country-since there are so many factions
    (3) we do not know enough about many rebel factions there. Some of rebel factions that are fighting the hardest are Islamists and can turn on us very quickly.
    You have less utterances regarding the situation in Syria from Israel than from McCain, Graham and now Bill Clinton (Israel is in the neighborhood and will be affected in any scenario more than us). Wonder why? This is because Israel is more aware about the actual situation in the ground than some politicians in our country.

    I need to re-read John Kennedy's (none / 0) (#136)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 02:55:41 PM EST
    "Profiles in Courage."  But, from what I recall, one of the strong messages in that book has to do with different forms of leadership.  Essentially, there are times that the leader should fill the role that we typically associate with "leader"...and, that is the stepping/moving out front ahead of the populace; yet, there are times when it is wise to be the servant leader by following your constituents.  I've never forgotten that and the examples that Kennedy discussed.

    Years after reading that book, the management world in government & broader focused & re-focused on the Leadership theme.  When is Leadership following and when is it getting out front.  Books, programs, college courses on that subject alone multiplied.  Some get particularly troublesome.  For example: Is it leadership in a very conservative district to follow/listen to your constituents on--let's say--the "social issues" of today or to lead from your own experience if you should believe otherwise than your constituents? Then, on the other hand, is it leadership in a highly technical or specialized area such as the intricacies of the Agriculture bill or NASA or some such, to hold a specific plebiscite before a big vote or should one lead from one's experience.

    I tend to keep coming back to the Kennedy book and its examples...namely, that different times & different issues call for different applications of the forms of Leadership.  I'm beginning to think that--in situations such as Syria & Egypt--the Leader is elected to do the best that he/she can do...that there may be different responses called for in terms of the Leaders' assessment of the short & long term interests of our nation...and, mostly, that there can be no set formula nor any other rigid equation.  (And, as for me in my little niche, it is clear now that I misperceived the Egyptian situation at the time of the overthrow of Mubarak, especially in that I did not listen to an Egyptian friend of mine who cautioned strongly that the Muslim Brotherhood would marginalize those from other religions/beliefs and that the position of women would gradually be subverted.  It looks as if he was quite right; and, he is quite happy today.)


    Or (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by jbindc on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:05:54 PM EST
    I see it as:

    "There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader."

    -attributed to Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin


    Not intervening in Egypt (none / 0) (#138)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:05:28 PM EST
    was smart. The country is split almost 50-50. Each country has to work through its own problems. Two years ago, Egypt had 3 main divisions-(1) the military and people supporting it (2) the religious minded who were primarily represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and (3) young people who were more secular. The third group were primarily responsible for initiating the Arab spring in Egypt that ended military rule. Of course these people were also very opposed to the military rule of Mubarak. After the elections that followed, the second group, i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood was able to get a slight majority as many young and secular people stayed home or even voted for Muslim Brotherhood candidates (since they were opposed to the military). However, after a couple of years, some re-alignment has taken place as support for the Muslim Brotherhood has eroded  and the young and secular population is not as antagonistic towards the military as they were 2 years ago.
    The United States should keep talking to both parties at this time and maintain a level of neutrality. We should nudge all sides to negotiate. Backing any side is going to be a disaster. What you are seeing is growing pains in a fledgling democracy, eventually things will get sorted out.

    While I agree with your conclusion on this (none / 0) (#145)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:16:04 PM EST
    I also believe that your characterization of the secular young component that you describe may not have been so much opposed to the military component as they were wanting work & better economic situation.  My understanding--admittedly, mostly through a longstanding friend of the family who, with his wife, maintains an apartment that they visit for a few months yearly (except this year, his family in Egypt advised against his wife & he visiting in view of the deteriorating situation for women purportedly under the Muslim Brotherhood)--is that the Egyptian Military has long occupied a special place among the citizens of Cairo in terms of respect.  That is, the military has an unusual trust level from the public largely in view of the closeness to the people in terms of membership & participation historically.  For example: During the Mubarak ouster, the large number of protesters (including the secular young) waited for & welcomed the Army when they entered the Square.  It may be a slightly different relationship with the Army, because the Army has been viewed as helping the people in the past.  I'm guessing, tho, that they might not want to overplay that hand...since repositories of good will can & do empty quickly.

    I do not disagree with your comment (none / 0) (#148)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:53:18 PM EST
    A great deal of the discontent among the secular young with the military 2 years ago of course had to do with the economy. The military had built up an enormous bureaucracy in the country and many who assembled in Tahrir Square felt that a lot of the largesse went to friends and relatives of people in higher ranks in the military while they got left out. There were huge corruption allegations against some businessmen that Mubarak's sons associated with. I guess after so many years of military rule, most people wanted change at that time.
    Minority communities like Coptic Christians and urban women understandably had a lot of concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood (the Salafists also made it more are more difficult for Morsi to come to reasonable compromise with secular forces regarding the Constitution; sort of what the tea party is doing to Boehner in our country).

    Thanks for the addition (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:51:27 PM EST
    And, I should have disclosed that our engineer friend from Egypt--while now an American citizen--also stems from the Coptic Christian segment.  For some time, when I would see him, he would pass on what he had heard about treatment in that community.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 56 (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Dadler on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:10:58 AM EST
    It's July 3rd. Big travel day usually. Don't mess with this lady on your connecting flight or fireworks are liable to shoot off early. (link)

    Headed from Reno to Park City UT in a few minutes, through some serious HEAT in the boonies. A gallon of water each in the back seat, new emergency kit just in case, and we'll be good to go. In 110 degrees on the way to Reno, a semi caught on fire miles ahead of us and dead-stopped traffic for an hour. Everyone was kind of on edge worrying about their cars and their own broiling aces. Finally got through it, the truck melted away a lane of asphalt, which is always a sight to see. Hope the only sight to see we get today is the salt flats, no burning anything.  Peace out, peeps.

    Hope you guys... (none / 0) (#121)
    by kdog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:20:30 AM EST
    hold up better in the heat than those pockets rockets...sounds f*ckin' brutal out West, hellish heat.

    I feel like we haven't seen the sun in a week back East...hazy, humid, cloudy, and wet.


    The flop came K9Q (none / 0) (#154)
    by Dadler on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:27:55 PM EST

    One of the few times I've given someone half a dirty look as I got up to leave.

    K9 offsuit.

    At least show me suited, you hack.



    Sen. Udall's brother missing (none / 0) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    Disturbing news. Extremely tense time for the family.  

    The 61-year-old brother of Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is missing after embarking on a solo backpacking jaunt through the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, CNN reported.

    Randy Udall began hiking the Wind River Range in Wyoming on June 20 and was due to return last Wednesday but never did. He has been identified in multiple media reports as an experienced hiker and, according to CNN, he was familiar with the trail. link

    Can only hope for the best in a case like this.

    My thoughts are with the Udalls. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:34:28 PM EST
    My elder brother is also a highly experienced backpacker, who's regularly hiked whole sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in California (which runs the entire length of the state) on his own.

    About 20 years ago, I accompanied my mother to a pre-determined locale in to High Sierra village of Twain Harte (on the west side of Yosemite Nat'l Park) where we were to pick him up as he emerged from the wilderness from one of his solo jaunts. It was just supposed to be a day trip for us, with the idea of just picking him up and then returning to Pasadena -- only he wasn't there when we arrived, and he failed to show for over a day.

    We were forced to spend the night in the only local accommodations that were available, the aptly named Wildwood Inn. What a hole! We still laugh about that place. I wonder if it's still there.

    I can't begin to tell you how anxious Mom became, parents being who they are, and cell phones in 1993 not being the near-mandatory sidearm for us that they are today. As his brother, of course, I had every confidence that he'd show up eventually -- but I'll admit that confidence would've probably been severely shaken had he not appeared later the following evening as he did, having been delayed upslope by a significant thunderstorm and compelled to shelter in place for the previous night.

    I'll keep thinking good thoughts that Mark's all right. One day's delay was bad enough for us, and it's now been six days for his family.



    I used to be a pretty intrepid hiker (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:48:20 PM EST
    but I still only did (and do) day hikes by myself. I would never think to go off for a number of days on my own, (though a few of my friends swear by it). Yes, I loved "The Dharma Bums," but I just don't think you can ever take the chance of being out there for days on your own incurring an injury, illness, or getting lost -- either male or female, and with or without a cell phone, because many times there is no reception when you are going back country anyway.

    I'm not casting aspersions on Udall's brother. I hope to god he is safe and returns ASAP. But even experienced hikers get into trouble they can't get out of. If I had a dollar for all the highly experienced hikers who go do Mt. Hood by themselves and get into trouble, well, I'd be rich.


    Exactly. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:15:37 PM EST
    A serious / catastrophic injury or illness only has to occur once. I've seen too many people having to be rescued by public safety personnel off the ridgetops of my own valley, to know that even the most experienced hikers among us are not infallible or invincible.

    A senior DLNR trail specialist was killed on Oahu only two weeks ago, when a sudden burst of 40+ mph wind gusts at the 2,000 ft. elevation level caused him to lose his balance and plunge nearly 300 ft. off a ridge at Ka'a'awa Valley. (That's where they filmed the TV series "Lost.")

    I'm a firm believer of the buddy system. In the event of an accident resulting in a debilitating injury, your chances of survival are greatly enhanced if you're accompanied by someone who can either come to your aid or go seek help, as necessary.



    Went hiking a trail at Rainier (none / 0) (#65)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:27:27 PM EST
    with a friend a few years ago. On the way down, she tripped and broke her ankle. She was eventually able to get back to the trail head, but was not able to drive home, as her ankle was swollen up to nearly twice its normal size. (I drove her car home.) This was a day hike, but if she had been by herself...well, I don't know what she would have done. And this was a broken ankle on a day hike. People who do extended hikes by themselves on Mt. Hood, or Rainier, or the Sierras make me nervous.

    I really hope we hear good news about Udall soon.


    I used to do it (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:50:07 PM EST
    ... occasionally during my teenage years.  I grew up near a section of the Appalachian Trail in PA and would just take the dog and do a day hike or sometimes an overnighter.  I'd usually (although not always) see other hikers once I got to the Trail, but I honestly don't think the risks ever crossed my mind.  The immortality of youth (and the bliss of ignorance), I guess.

    Wouldn't try it nowadays, though ...


    But you would agree (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:55:34 PM EST
    some people do these things alone because that's the way they prefer. Their enjoyment comes from the solitude. If they wanted company they'd hike to a bar.

    Yeah - that was a lot of it (none / 0) (#87)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:57:59 PM EST
    Nothing quite like a walk in the woods alone and listening to a few hundred crickets/cicadas at night.

    But (even without the ever-present kids) I think I'd take some company, now.  Not sure if that's because wisdom comes with age ... or we just get a little more risk averse/boring.


    Well, we've had people out here who've ... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:28:32 PM EST
    ... loved the solitude so much that they've hiked into the mist-shrouded rain forests of the Ko'olau or Wai'anae mountains all by themselves, never to be seen again. The inherent problem with such intrepid spirits is that the rest of our society has long felt an obligation to go looking for them when they go missing, which then places the lives of others at potential risk.

    I had the privilege of writing four condolence letters for my boss back in 1999 to the families of three Honolulu firemen and one police helicopter pilot, who all died on a search-and-rescue mission for one solitary hiker in the Ko'olau when fickle winds slammed their chopper into a vertical mountain wall in the back of Moanalua Valley.

    The worst was when the hiker emerged more than a week after first being reported missing by his roommates, and he wondered what all the fuss was about and why everyone was so angry with him. That's the damnedest thing about it. While you may think that it's all about you, it never really is.



    In a July long ago... (none / 0) (#68)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:37:50 PM EST
    a group of naive 17-year old girls decided to hike the 11-mile Kalalau trail, departed at 12 noon, without any water purification tablets (what are those for?), got stranded about the 6-mile point by early evening and had to pitch tents on some not very level boulders above a creek. Over the course of the journey, two slid over the cliffside on slippery vegetation in the narrowest section of trail (about one foot wide), and one decided to ride a strangers horse, bareback, fell off, seriously shredding her leg. The next day they collapsed onto Kalalau Beach.

    A good time was had by all.

    Alone. No way.


    The Kalalau Trail on Kauai ... (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:33:00 PM EST
    ... is not a wilderness adventure I would ever chance alone. The ocean, the weather and the terrain on that side of the island can combine to create conditions that'll turn on you in a heartbeat. The Spouse and I did that trip to Kalalau Valley with a bunch of experienced State DLNR personnel in 1999 when I worked for the legislature, and while it certainly was a memorable and enjoyable experience, it was also a physically taxing one, as well.

    Mother Nature in Hawaii can be spectacular, but she can also prove most unforgiving to those cavalier and foolhardy souls who take her presence for granted. And when you're up on top of a 2,000-ft. ridgeline looking down upon a near-vertical drop to sea level, or trucking along an ancient oceanside trail with the waves lapping at your feat and the sea mist in your face, or sailing the seas just a few miles offshore of Honolulu where depths can plunge 6,000+ feet to the ocean bottom, you best accord her the loving respect she obviously commands and deserves.



    Since I lived to tell the tale, (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 12:15:19 AM EST
    I can say that it was one of the most exhilarating and exquisite experiences I've had. The seven day rest on the secluded beach was well worth the treacherous trek, even though we mostly starved and lost 10-15 lbs each. The helicopter ride back out to civilization was a blast too. But then there was that freaky stay at the Krishna farm in Kapaa...the only place where we could get a healthy free meal...and where we had to endure the rantings of the group's spiritual leader at "evening assembly" -- he was about as scary, reactionary and misogynistic as any freaky cult leader you can think of.

    Is that the same trail ... (none / 0) (#88)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:59:49 PM EST
    .... that was the setting for a movie a few years ago? ... some kinda suspense/thriller ... can't remember the name.

    Probably. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:36:18 PM EST
    Oahu and Kauai have long provided the scenic backdrops for a lot of big-budget Hollywood movies, and have been used as geographic stand-ins for a lot of places, from Vietnam to darkest Africa. And Kauai is where they filmed the Jurassic Park movies.

    Just remembered the name (none / 0) (#96)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:51:55 PM EST
    "Perfect Getaway" - starring Hawaii-born Timothy Olyphant.

    Turns out it was the Kalalau Trail.  Not sure how accurate the movie was, but the trail (and scenery) were pretty amazing.


    It is, indeed. (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:07:39 PM EST
    The high cliffs and deep valleys of Kauai's Na Pali coast, where Kalalau Valley is located, are among the world's true natural wonders.

    And I could show you a few spectacular views from the mountains of our own island of Oahu, the kind which you'll never see on any Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays package tour.



    Good flick, good scenery (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:23:33 PM EST
    Hawaii was pretty too.

    a solo backpacking "jaunt" (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:45:23 PM EST
    When you're in you're twenties, it can be a jaunt.  In your sixties, it is anything but..

    Oh no (none / 0) (#4)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:40:49 PM EST
    He is a week overdue at this point. Things do not look good. However, as an experienced hiker, hopefully he can deal with whatever mishap he encountered.

    Yeah, and it could be ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 04:53:30 PM EST
    more than a week.  He failed to show up on the 24th, so it's from that date that he's considered "officially missing".   But his last known whereabouts were when he signed in at a trailhead on the 20th.  So he could be missing as long as that.

    Really hope this thing has a happy ending.  But it doesn't look good.


    More air passengers show up with guns (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:36:27 PM EST
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Several times every day, at airports across the country, passengers are trying to walk through security with loaded guns in their carry-on bags, purses or pockets, even in a boot. And, more than a decade after 9/11 raised consciousness about airline security, it's happening a lot more often.

    In the first six months of this year, Transportation Security Administration screeners found 894 guns on passengers or in their carry-on bags, a 30 percent increase over the same period last year. The TSA set a record in May for the most guns seized in one week -- 65 in all, 45 of them loaded and 15 with bullets in the chamber and ready to be fired. That was 30 percent more than the previous record of 50 guns, set just two weeks earlier. link

    Responsible, law abiding gun owners "forgot" that they packed their gun hidden inside a cassette deck, hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag or hidden in plain sight as a pistol designed to look like a writing pen. At first the passenger said it was just a pen, but later acknowledged it was a gun, according to TSA.

    Obama Administration (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:00:01 PM EST
    That real time updating (none / 0) (#53)
    by sj on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 05:11:53 PM EST
    of comments at WP is creepy and annoying. Personally, I'm agin' it.

    Sorry, I missed your post on this (none / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:03:32 PM EST
    subject when I made my comment above.

    Oh well, it is important information and needs to be posted more than once. ;o)


    Bolivia: President Morales' Plane Rerouted (none / 0) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:00:03 PM EST
    To Austria On Suspicion Snowden On Board

    LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- The plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales home from Russia was rerouted to Austria on Tuesday after France and Portugal refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, the country's foreign minister said.

    Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca denied that Snowden was on the plane, which landed in Vienna, and said France and Portugal would have to explain why they canceled authorization for the plane.

    "We don't know who invented this lie. We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales," Choquehuanca said from Vienna, where the plane landed.

    Seems like something (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:05:32 PM EST
    that could have easily been verified one way or another by the Bolivian pilot before the plane left the ground.

    Et tu France? (3.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:50:52 PM EST
    The Greenwald cult may now have to now boycott French cheese and wine. :-)

    "Cult"? - Heh (none / 0) (#69)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:42:24 PM EST
    Aside from the obvious response, I'm wondering where they hold meetings.

    Is there a secret handshake?


    No handshake. You need a secret decoder ring. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by shoephone on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 12:18:05 AM EST
    And they communicate silently, by blinking their eyes...

    Politalkix (none / 0) (#73)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:50:23 PM EST
    makes some legitimate points on the Snowden case. This one wouldn't fall into that category.

    CG, This was just for fun (none / 0) (#75)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:01:39 PM EST
    not for making a point. Could have used the word "worshippers" instead of "cult", though! :-).

    Heh - then the obvious response ... (none / 0) (#89)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:01:29 PM EST
    ... becomes even more apropos.

    You can almost smell the fear now (none / 0) (#77)
    by Edger on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:17:03 PM EST
    exuding from the white house. They are cornered, desperate, fighting for survival.

    Dangerous. Rabid.


    What the hell are you talking about (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:30:57 PM EST
    You've obviously been reading too many John le Carré novels.

    (AFP) - 1 hour ago (none / 0) (#83)
    by Edger on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:42:23 PM EST
    VIENNA -- Bolivian President Evo Morales is at Vienna airport, but fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is not on board his plane, an Austrian foreign ministry official confirmed early Wednesday.

    "President Morales will leave early Wednesday morning for La Paz," the Bolivian capital, ministry spokesman Alexander Schallenberg told AFP. Austria did not know why Morales's plane had landed there, he added.

    Earlier, Bolivia's Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca accused France and Portugal of denying Morales's plane entry to its airspace in what he said was the mistaken belief that Snowden was on board the plane.

    "The president was forced to land in Vienna," he told reporters in La Paz, adding that Morales's life had been put in danger by what he described as a forced emergency landing.


    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    Step out of line, the men come and take you away

    We better stop
    Hey, what's that sound?
    Everybody look - what's going down?

    -- Buffalo Springfield


    You're a few hours late (none / 0) (#85)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:51:25 PM EST
    and a bit unhinged.

    They have to catch him (none / 0) (#86)
    by Edger on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:56:06 PM EST
    to show that they can, otherwise the empire is shown to be naked. Powerless.

    Tom Englehardt:

    Remember when the Bush administration was so intent on privatizing the military and the intelligence services - well, congrats! According to the Atlantic's Wire, Edward Snowden is the tip of a potential leaking private contractee iceberg of major proportions: There are less than 3 million federal employees and while more than 4.5 million people have security clearances! 1.4 million of them have top security clearances and one-third of them are Edward Snowdens! --Tom

    America's Outsourced Spy Force, by the Numbers

    Edward Snowden wasn't your traditional spy. He was, however, a very modern one, a guy who worked from a computer terminal in an office, similar to how a modern bomber pilot might control his drone. The weekend's big revelations about the NSA's biggest revealer prompt a natural question: How many Snowden-type spies with top secret security clearance are there?

    Of course even if they do (none / 0) (#95)
    by Edger on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:45:21 PM EST
    it won't help them.

    July 01, 2013
    Assange: Info on US surveillance programs will continue to leak

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that Edward Snowden has made sure that the information he took about US surveillance programs will continue to be published regardless of what happens to him. (video)

    In an interview, Assange also criticized the US for revoking Snowden's passport and said it would not stop the classified information taken by Snowden from getting out. He did not directly respond when asked if WikiLeaks was in possession of the files.

    Last week a Guardian journalist said Snowden had made encrypted copies of his files and distributed them in case anything happened to the former US spy agency contractor.

    NSA - we aim to serve you (none / 0) (#119)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:08:13 AM EST
    NSA Announces Free Data Storage and Backup Service for Americans

    The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Obama administration have spent the last 11 days wiping egg from their faces after a federal contractor, Edward Snowden, brought to light a series of covert data mining operations orchestrated by the U.S. government against everyday Americans, without their knowledge or consent. Because the NSA targeted telecommunications and Internet service providers, which contractually assure users that their private communications are protected under the service agreements, the outrage has been widespread. But despite the backlash over these intrusive and legally questionable violations, the NSA has made a conciliatory gesture by offering its vast repository of personal intelligence as a free cloud storage and emergency backup service, competing directly with companies such as Google and Dropbox.

    Welcome to the National Security Agency Backup Service: www.nsabackups.com


    Snowden-Bolivian leader's flight diverted (none / 0) (#58)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 06:03:48 PM EST
    Great profile of my old pal (none / 0) (#79)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:27:23 PM EST
    John Kiriakou (none / 0) (#90)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:01:43 PM EST
    should have asked Snowden to save the planet!

    I'm sure that meant something ... (5.00 / 5) (#91)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:08:02 PM EST
    ... to someone, ...

    ... somewhere ...


    Austria searches Bolivia President's aircraft (none / 0) (#104)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 06:21:26 AM EST
    Greenwald worshippers can yell at the clouds as much as they like and keep imagining the USA to be the evil empire with the grass greener in Europe. However, in the real world, most of Europe (including Scandinavian countries) is totally in sync with the USA despite some kabuki from European politicians.

    Just ask yourself why Austria would search the Presidential aircraft of a sovereign nation

    Some questions: (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:03:39 AM EST
    Are in agreement with PRISM and what the NSA is doing?
    Did you agree with GW Bush when he started them?

    Do you think these programs are a good thing?

    Do you think we have a right to know that they exist?


    Replies (3.50 / 2) (#144)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:50:00 PM EST
    There are merits and demerits to what the NSA is doing and the PRISM program, we should have a constructive dialogue with the government.
    A tyrannical government would keep everything secret about its activities but would want the citizenry to keep no secrets from itself. Some of you want to keep everything secret from the government but would want the government to tell you everything that it is doing. I however believe that both the government and the citizenry have rights to some privacy but both sides should also provide some transparency to each other for proper functioning of the country. The level of transparency and privacy should be decided by constructive dialogue, it can be negotiated.

    I have already mentioned numerous times that I decide everything on a case by case basis. It is wrong on your part to imagine that I was against everything that GWB did. I was very opposed to the Iraq war because our country was taken to war under false pretext. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I was horrified about unleashing "shock and awe" on a country and people that did not do us any harm.

    The situation is not the same now. We are not attacking countries that did not attack us. We are just targeting terrorists in regions where they are known to exist and are using surveillance technology to apprehend people before they do us harm. Using drones and other surveillance technology is a deterrent to more horrific things happening.

    Some of you seem to be using drones as a synonym for killing. I think that you are very ill-informed in this regard. Drones are used in various parts of the world to enforce speed limits on highways, prevent poaching of animals, firefighting, surveillance of water supplies and pipelines, etc.


    OK, but (none / 0) (#152)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:42:30 PM EST
    Are in agreement with PRISM and what the NSA is doing?

    Did you agree with GW Bush when he started them?

    Do you think these programs are a good thing?

    Do you think we have a right to know that they exist?


    One more question (5.00 / 5) (#113)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:59:54 AM EST
    As an Obama worshiper yourself, do you find your use of the word "worshiper" to be demeaning/insulting?

    I need an Egypt for dummies post. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:35:26 AM EST
    Foreign policy is way over my head and my interests. Are we on the side of the rebels?

    RIP, Jim Naylor (1954-2013). (none / 0) (#130)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 12:10:16 PM EST
    I'm sad. Jim Naylor, the host of my favorite quietly subversive radio program, NPR's "The Annoying Music Show," was found dead today in his Chicago apartment. He was 59, and one of the funniest guys on the air. He also had a longstanding battle with the bottle, an affliction he never hid as host of NPR's "Magnificent Obsession," which confronted the specter of alcoholism and drug addiction.

    Aloha, friend..