Thursday Open Thread

Busy work day for me, open thread for you.

All topics welcome except Zimmerman and TM Martin.

< Amash Amendment on NSA Surveillance Fails | U.S. Won't Be Getting Joran Van der Sloot Any Time Soon >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Love this (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:50:26 AM EST
    He (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:05:38 AM EST
    certainly has it way and above his son doesn't he?

    The head-shaving was a touching (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:38:40 AM EST
    show of support, not just for this little boy, but for the boy's father; that Bush lost a daughter to leukemia had to strike close to his heart on several levels.

    Perhaps the real test, though, is not how people respond when someone they know is in need of support, but when someone they don't know is facing adversity.  How much did Bush 41's policies help people in need?  I am still struck by the memory of Barbara Bush opining from the SuperDome after Katrina that being housed there was "really working out quite well" for these people who had been living in poverty before the storm.

    As for GWB, I have no idea what kind of person he is in his personal life, what kind of husband or dad he is, what kind of friend he is, what he's done for people that maybe no one knows about.  We can, however, remember what seemed like his disinterest in the human consequences of his policies. And while Barbara Bush was trying not to rub elbows with the great unwashed after Katrina, her son seemed to be feigning interest in the aftermath.  

    Sometimes I wonder if he'd have been a different president if he hadn't been surrounded by the likes of Dick Cheney and his ilk - course it's possible that without Cheney, he'd never have been president, so there's that.  Certainly, post-presidency, he hasn't shown any interest in the spotlight.  But maybe that's as much a function of his turning the page on that part of his life as it is that no one's really been beating the door down in pursuit of his insights.

    But what do I know about any of it?  Just musing as I contemplate the work I really don't feel like doing...


    Well, he did do (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 10:05:04 AM EST
    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:02:40 PM EST
    Another area where Dubya deserves a lot of credit is his 2002 Health Center Expansion initiative, which more than doubled federal financing for community health centers in this country, and enabled the creation or expansion of nearly 1,300 federally qualified health centers in medically underserved areas across the nation during his time in office. That is a significant achievement.

    This has been especially important to our rural communities, where the poverty rates are actually higher and more persistent compared to urban areas, and access to quality primary health and dental care is often sparing and even nonexistent in some cases, due to the remoteness of some of these towns and hamlets, particularly in the western United States.

    You're generally not going to attract providers in private practice to places that are struggling economically, simply because private practices are increasingly cost prohibitive to maintain, and there's often little or no residual wealth in the surrounding community with which to sustain one without some sort of outside subsidy. In many of these areas, the local health center is the only place where a doctor or dentist is to be found.



    Agreed. Credit where credit is due. (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:16:04 PM EST
    However, the program would have been more effective without the qualifying encumbrance that up to 20 percentt of the funds was to be spent on abstinence programs and that funds could not be used for needle -sharing programs.

    The New "Moral Majority"? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:33:01 AM EST

    But according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), the religious balance of power is shifting in ways that could make the religious left the new "Moral Majority," figuratively speaking. If current trends persist, religious progressives will soon outnumber religious conservatives, a group that is shrinking with each successive generation, the data show.

    PRRI reports that 23 percent of 18- to 33-year-olds are religious progressives, 17 percent are religious conservatives, and 22 percent are nonreligious. By contrast, only 12 percent of 66- to 88-year-olds are religious progressives, while about half are religious conservatives. The survey used a religious-orientation scale that "combines theological, economic, and social outlooks."

    "What you clearly see in the data when you move from the oldest Americans to youngest Americans is a stability among religious moderates and decreased appeal in religious conservatism," says PRRI President Robert Jones

    My completely unscientific (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by indy in sc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:58:02 AM EST
    and anecdotal evidence agrees.  Even young evangelicals seem to be far more focused on the social service aspects of the Gospel than the "rules-based" portions that conservatives seem to get so caught up in.

    For Catholics, I think Pope Francis early example of shedding all the "bling" and other trappings formerly associated with the papacy and focusing on service and the poor has been a welcome and refreshing change.  He just needs to stay inside his popemobile.


    This Pope, (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:37:07 PM EST
    besides his positive, evolving position vis-à-vis gays, has also shocked many authoritarians with his attitude towards atheists. He has stated that non-believers are not automatically condemned to He11 in the hereafter, but can enter Heaven by their deeds.

    From a recent radio speech:

    "Even the atheists. Everyone!"

    "And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good."


    Yep... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by indy in sc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:52:10 PM EST
    as you point out, that comment of his did not go over well with the old guard at all...

    More Important to Believe in God... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:59:14 AM EST
    ...then doing good deeds, which pretty much sums up organized religion and defines the republican party.

    I see this (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:55:01 AM EST
    a good thing. Religion moving away from hell fire and damnation to love thy neighbor can only be a positive in my opinion.

    Equally as interesting from that poll... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Leopold on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:10:20 AM EST
    ... a similarly-sized increase in those identifying as non-religious.

    Well, this is an interesting development: (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:35:10 AM EST
    Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday the first step the Justice Department will take to restore the voting rights gutted by a Supreme Court decision neutering a key prong of the Voting Rights Act. In remarks prepared for the National Urban League's annual conference, Holder announced that the Justice Department "will ask a federal court in Texas to subject the State of Texas to a preclearance regime similar to the one required by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act" -- effectively restoring the safeguards against voter suppression in Texas that were stripped by the five Republican justices' decision in Shelby County v. Holder.


    As Holder notes in his remarks, Texas is a particularly strong candidate for such federal supervison due to "the evidence of intentional racial discrimination" in Texas that the Justice Department presented to a federal court last year. Among other things, this federal court found that Texas Republicans charged with drawing the states' legislative maps "consciously replaced many of [a] district's active Hispanic voters with low-turnout Hispanic voters in an effort to strengthen the voting power of [the district's] Anglo citizens. In other words, they sought to reduce Hispanic voters' ability to elect" a candiate of their choice.

    Section 3 lawsuits, often known as "bail-in" suits, are rare. Since 1975, bail-in has been used to extend the Voting Rights Act to "two states, six counties, and one city." So the judges deciding whether Texas should once again be subject to federal supervision will have little precedent to guide their decision. Nevertheless, Holder is absolutely correct that Texas is a strong candidate for a bail-in. Just two hours after the Supreme Court neutered much of the Voting Rights Act, Texas Attorney General Greg Abott (R) announced that the state would implement plans that will suppress minority voters.


    I hope this is the first of many steps in this direction.

    Abbott will be the next governor, too. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:42:13 AM EST
    Perry's not running for another term because he wants to run for President again.  Abbott is equally as bad or worse than Perry with regard to his disdain of the federal government.  :sigh:  

    I needed to laugh, so I found this... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:42:00 PM EST
    Zorba, you are a true gourmet (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by ZtoA on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 07:08:43 PM EST
    Just had dinner at 11 Madison Park and it was outstanding. I arrived very wrinkled and tired after a full day at the MET, the Armory and the Morgan Library and they seated me. I soon realized I was seriously underdressed. Whoa, there are some incredibly dressed and beautiful people in NYC. It was spendy but beyond delicious.

    If anyone likes manuscripts from around the 11th c to the 18th the Morgan Library is fun. And the library is fabulous.

    Artists have always had a sort of love/hate thing for the very rich. They are artists' patrons and thus pay the bills. Artists are expected to mingle with the very rich but are very rarely really part of that crowd - they're rather like the entertainment. Some of the finest art work is funded by some of the most ethically questionable arts supporters, and the artists are so often struggling with finances and image.

    Thought you'd like (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Zorba on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:14:26 PM EST
    11 Madison Park.  
    And we do like the Morgan Library, also.  A lot.
    Sounds like you're having a good time.   :-)

    Glenn Greenwald on the Amash (4.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:31:25 AM EST
    Amendment vote:

    To say that there is a major sea change underway - not just in terms of surveillance policy but broader issues of secrecy, trust in national security institutions, and civil liberties - is to state the obvious. But perhaps the most significant and enduring change will be the erosion of the trite, tired prism of partisan simplicity through which American politics has been understood over the last decade. What one sees in this debate is not Democrat v. Republican or left v. right. One sees authoritarianism v. individualism, fealty to The National Security State v. a belief in the need to constrain and check it, insider Washington loyalty v. outsider independence.

    That's why the only defenders of the NSA at this point are the decaying establishment leadership of both political parties whose allegiance is to the sprawling permanent power faction in Washington and the private industry that owns and controls it. They're aligned against long-time liberals, the new breed of small government conservatives, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, many of their own members, and increasingly the American people, who have grown tired of, and immune to, the relentless fear-mongering.

    The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood. As John Boehner joined with Nancy Pelosi, as Eric Cantor whipped support for the Obama White House, as Michele Bachmann and Peter King stood with Steny Hoyer to attack NSA critics as Terrorist-Lovers, yesterday was a significant step toward accomplishing that.

    Shorter message from Obama and the Congress: "we are laughing our asses off that you people are so gullible that you still believe this is all about partisan bickering, when it should be obvious it's about power and screwing you over.  And we don't care as long as it's good for us."

    Pretty Absurd Shorter Message, IMO (2.50 / 6) (#16)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:55:29 AM EST
    Shorter message from Obama and the Congress: "we are laughing our asses off that you people are so gullible that you still believe this is all about partisan bickering, when it should be obvious it's about power and screwing you over.  And we don't care as long as it's good for us."

    Why would Obama and Congress be laughing their a$$es off? And about screwing us over?  Huh?  How did you cull that from the Greenwald article? It seems obvious to me that the goal is protection US at the expense of civil liberties. Members of Congress are representing their constituents with their Nay or Yea votes, which is why this vote was really hopeful and quite strange in the lines it crossed politically.

    And we don't care as long as it is good for us?  What a silly statement. What is good for elected officials is to get votes. Many people, unfortunately think that the NSA spying is a good thing to keep them safe...  their COngresscritters vote accordingly.  

    I guess you are just bored and thoughtlessly writing some them agin us drivel..  must be, because it does make much sense.


    You have an obsession (5.00 / 6) (#26)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:30:14 PM EST
    called "Anne."

    Maybe you'll get over it at some point.


    Yes (1.00 / 1) (#37)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:45:57 PM EST
    When stupid stops..  your comments are not usually worth a reply but I do believe that I have occasionally responded to your BS as well, no?

    ...whoosh! (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:49:09 PM EST
    That Would Make Sense... (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:42:07 PM EST
    ...if the majority of Americans linked being spied on, but they don't.  I have noticed, whatever the media spin is on things, you agree and state it as fact.

    53% disapprove/37% approve  That's from a month ago and it keeps moving towards more people disliking it.

    Your media spin on elected officials voting they way their constituents want is what the media states, but not actually true.  HERE is some gun polling data, please explain how this correlates to the House and Senate voting.

    But good one about Congress working for the people and not their paymasters.  I needed a good laugh today, it's just too bad you weren't joking.


    BS (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:58:23 PM EST
    COngress has almost always voted by a wide margin for every bill that purports to stop terrorism.

    As Greenwald points out, this vote was very different.

    Given that the amendment sought to de-fund a major domestic surveillance program of the NSA, the very close vote was nothing short of shocking. In fact, in the post-9/11 world, amendments like this, which directly challenge the Surveillance and National Security States, almost never get votes at all.

    But hey, if Anne says it is true I am sure that you feel compelled to believe her every word.


    You must have missed the last (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:16:57 PM EST
    paragraph of the Greenwald excerpt I posted:

    The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood. As John Boehner joined with Nancy Pelosi, as Eric Cantor whipped support for the Obama White House, as Michele Bachmann and Peter King stood with Steny Hoyer to attack NSA critics as Terrorist-Lovers, yesterday was a significant step toward accomplishing that.

    It bears directly on my remarks after the excerpt: that this isn't about partisan bickering, and allowing people to think that it is is merely a way to deflect from both parties' desire to maintain the status quo.

    Yes, the vote was closer, but it wasn't along party lines.  There were Tea Party Republicans who voted for the amendment - Amash is, in fact, a TP Republican - and establishment Dems - the entire Democratic leadership, for example - who voted against it.

    If you weren't so obsessed with countering everything I post, you might be able to see some of these things, but it's getting to the point where, if I posted that the sun rises in the east, you would respond by deeming me the Planetary Position Monitor, accuse me of not being happy about it and declare "BS" on where we can find the sun when it rises.

    I don't know how old you are, but it appears your emotional development arrested somewhere between the ages of 9 and 14.

    Grow up, and quit littering these threads with your little hissy fits.


    Hissy Fits? (1.00 / 3) (#63)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:07:02 PM EST
    Oh, I see when anyone calls out your BS it is a hissy fit, or ask how old they are? Your insults are consistent, and the the same, although more pretentious, as anyone else you point the finger at for hurling insults.

    I read your quote, and the entire Greenwald piece. And, IMO, it does not even remotely suggest the paraphrase you offered. Changing the subject is not going to make that any different

    "we are laughing our asses off that you people are so gullible that you still believe this is all about partisan bickering, when it should be obvious it's about power and screwing you over.  And we don't care as long as it's good for us."

    Now stop it, you two! (none / 0) (#69)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:31:09 PM EST
    I've run out of popcorn.

    So Now.... (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:13:22 PM EST
    ...you want to change gears and make it just about one area, terrorism.

    Which of course doesn't matter because they voted it down, but the public doesn't want it.  You see, they need to actually pass it for your argument to work.  Close doesn't count.

    I have a functioning brain and evaluate all on my own, and from time to time I agree with others.  Which you somehow equate to me being 'compelled to believe her every word.

    No, I just think you are full of S most of the time.  But in this instance, you went ahead and proved all by yourself.


    Huh? (1.00 / 3) (#66)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:21:56 PM EST
    What? Greenwald talks about a sea change, which is obvious.

    Really not sure what that has to do with a bill passing or not.

    Glad to know that you are not a puppet, and believe that you have a functioning brain. It is not apparent in this thread, imo,


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 78 (4.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:22:49 AM EST
    Somebody gave me a 1 for this??? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:23:43 PM EST
    I give you a half an hour to meet me for a duel, whomever you are.



    Not moi. Someone obviously doesn't share our (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:10:52 PM EST
    warped senses of humor.  

    It is a commenter (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Zorba on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:59:25 PM EST
    Called Visteo1 who gave you the 1.  He/she has only been around for a couple of days.

    An East Coast Comment for Donald and shoephone (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 07:53:18 AM EST
    On the onetime Trolley Dodgers...

    I'm going to take issue with the Puig.

    He was the catalyst behind the team getting attention, but this explosive run in July has been all about Hanley, Andre and Adrian. Puig benefits from batting in front of these three but with him having the highest strikeout to walk ratio, and also the highest strikeout to at bat ratio on the team, he's the least worrisome for the opposing pitcher in that grouping of four.

    And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the hottest hitter in all of July for the Dodgers... Zack Greinke.

    July Batting averages through last night:
    Greinke .700
    Ramirez .375
    Ethier .361
    Gonzalez .321
    Puig .292 (still very respectable)

    With far and away the highest payroll in the National League, they better be winning or heads will be rolling.

    Everything you say is true... (none / 0) (#10)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 10:26:50 AM EST
    but I mostly think of Puig as the major morale boost the Dodgers needed. (Isn't his strikeout ratio in line with some of baseball's other big home run batters?) After the disastrous reign of the McCourts, I'm just glad to see the team giving fans something to smile about.

    If only the consortium could have taken over without giving FM rights on the land, it would have been a fait accompli.  


    I know. And further, ... (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:36:56 PM EST
    ... Magic Johnson & Co. were compelled to assume and pay off the crippling $700+ million in debts owed by the franchise to various creditors, mostly financial institutions. Much of that debt was due to nothing more than willful financial chicanery and manipulation of the state and federal tax codes on the McCourt' part.

    Basically, Frank and Jamie McCourt supported their exorbitantly opulent lifestyle through a series of loans over the years, which they leveraged by borrowing against both the Dodgers' then-substantive assets and the franchise's prospects of future earnings, while the McCourts themselves managed to pay absolutely nothing personally in state and federal taxes for the better part of a decade.

    They even had both of their sons placed on the team's front office payroll for a cool $600,000 apiece annually, when all the while they were full-time college students. How's that for chutzpah -- a high six figure salary for doing absolutely nothing of value for your employer? Nice work if you can get it.

    Lordy, but these people were truly awful owners. Good riddance.


    Addendum: (none / 0) (#11)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 10:30:34 AM EST
    I love Greinke.

    Zack Greinke (none / 0) (#62)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:06:55 PM EST
    is an interesting story. Suffering from social anxiety disorder hasn't made it easy for him in a baseball clubhouse which is a non-stop crowd of people.

    Some other teams see him as a head hunter type pitcher. I'm sure the Dodgers see him a a great teammate that always has their back. He hasn't hit a lot of batters this season so some of it is just reputation from the Diamondbacks game earlier this season.

    To his credit, he isn't plunking people in the American League. He steps into the batters box and gets hit himself in retaliation

    One of the great things for the Greinke adjustment in LA may be having Mark McGwire on the Dodgers staff. McGwire was his childhood baseball hero.


    That makes me feel old. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:04:05 PM EST
    My childhood heroes were Don Drysdale, Wes Parker and Manny Mota. I was already pushing 30 when Mark McGwire started making a name for himself with the Oakland A's.



    No question (none / 0) (#81)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:17:45 PM EST
    who came out to do battle with a vengeance after Greinke got plunked

    Big Mac is a very good hitting coach that has been sought out by a host of up and coming ballplayers in the off season. Not many power hitters make the transition to hitting coach.

    Favorite Big Mac memory...I was lucky enough to be at the ballpark in Miami the night he hit #58 and #59. It was a strange but magical Wednesday night where 45,000 fans booed the Marlins pitcher if he didn't give McGwire something to hit (he walked twice); McGwire was cheered for his homeruns; and La Russa was booed when he pulled Mac from the game after hitting #59.


    Zack Greinke is yet another ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:35:47 PM EST
    ... in a long line of Dodgers who've proven that pitchers are not necessarily a font of ineptitude with bat in hand, and thus an easy (if not given) out. He's been awesome, both on the mound and at the plate.

    I remember 25 years ago that Tommy Lasorda was not shy about using Orel Hershiser, whose batting average often hovered at .300, as a pinch hitter when he needed one. They didn't call him "Bulldog" for nothing.

    And the late, great Don Drysdale still holds the team record for home runs by a pitcher in a single season with seven -- which he did twice, in 1958 and 1965. He also hit five as a pitcher in 1961, and another that season as a pinch hitter.

    Drysdale hit 29 homers overall as a pitcher during his career, which places him third on the all-time list. I believe he also hit another three or four as a pinch-hitter, but MLB doesn't count those in their stats because he wasn't pitching in those games.

    As far as this year's Dodgers are concerned, you're right in stating that there's no one person who can be credited as single-handedly leading the Dodgers on their current tear -- as of last night's win in Toronto, they've gone 23-5 in the last 28 games. It's become a team effort.

    Regarding Yasiel Puig, his torrid .400+ start after being called up got the listless Dodgers out of their funk, and he can be credited for turning the team's attitude around from what was otherwise starting to look like a nowhere-type season.

    He's since suffered a hip injury that he's shrugging off, but which nevertheless seems to be nagging him a lot. That probably accounts for the subsequent drop-off in production, although he doesn't hesitate to brush it off that as an excuse.

    I just like Puig's can-do spirit, which has proved to be infectious, and there's no doubt that he's lit a sorely-needed fire under his teammates' collective and well-compensated a$$es.



    Don't forget Fernando! (none / 0) (#51)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:39:11 PM EST
    He couldn't run very fast, but he could hit.

    I'll never forget Fernando. (none / 0) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:24:55 PM EST
    He was pretty fierce competitor at the plate, and had a .200 batting average, which is more than decent for a pitcher. And as a pinch hitter, his average was .368.

    Late in his career on June 29, 1990, Fernando threw the only no-hitter I've ever been privileged to witness in person, a 6-0 gem against the St. Louis Cardinals. It still ranks as one of the biggest thrills of my life as a baseball aficionado -- and it was Fernando's only no-hitter, as well.

    And not only that, but earlier that day as my brother and I watched on television, the Oakland A's Dave Stewart also threw a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays. That's something that's hardly likely to be replicated in my lifetime, watching a no-no on TV, then going to the ballpark late that evening and getting to see one in person.

    Here's some interesting trivia about Fernando and the Dodgers, courtesy of legendary announcer Vin Sculley:

    Then-Dodger reserve catcher Mike Scioscia -- who's currently the manager for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which I still think is a stupid name for that team, even after a decade -- actually managed to break into the Dodgers' starting lineup because Fernando spoke little or no English, while Scioscia at the time was the only Dodger who spoke passable Spanish.

    This, of course, meant that Scioscia got to serve as the coaching staff's unofficial interpreter in their interactions with their star pitcher, which was an invaluable service in and of itself, and pretty much ensured his spot on the Dodgers' roster. Fernando took a real shine to Scioscia, too, and he quickly became his preferred catcher during practices. And because Scioscia was the only catcher with whom he could converse, Fernando soon suggested to Manager Tommy Lasorda that he designate Scioscia as his personal catcher whenever he took the mound -- which allowed the reservist to start every fourth game.

    Nowadays, Fernando serves as the Dodgers' color commentator on their Spanish-language radio / TV broadcasts.



    Obama lost to Romney in white women by 16 pts. (none / 0) (#17)
    by magster on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 12:55:52 PM EST
    and still won by 4. Hillary cut deficits in this demographic in recent poll by half or more against big name prospective Republicans. Republicans will not win a national election any time soon.  If Dems can just limit apathy in midterms, the Republican agenda will just slowly and loudly slip into the sea.

    How's this for a strategy? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:12:46 PM EST
    From Reuters (h/t Charlie Pierce and Mother Jones):

    Political analysts say Republicans hope to use the healthcare issue to win a bigger majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections, by leveraging the law's unpopularity to send voters to the polls in key swing states.

    "The best way to get the juices of that right-wing electorate and activist group going is to attack Obamacare - make everything that happens look awful and voters will rebel against it," said Norman Ornstein, an expert on congressional politics at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

    "It's a belief that if they highlight this, and sabotage it as much as they can, and if it's disruptive, that that will work for them in the mid-terms."


    FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative issue group financed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for funding conservative causes, are planning separate media and grassroots campaigns aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s - the very people Obama needs to have sign up for healthcare coverage in new online insurance exchanges if his reforms are to succeed. "We're trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange," said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic "Obamacare card" that college students can burn during campus protests.  

    Are you kidding me?  I may not have been - and still am not - the biggest fan of the so-called reform that brought us Obamacare, but are these people seriously trying to tell me that they are going to lobby young people NOT to get health insurance?  For votes?

    I'd ask if these people are stupid, but I don't have to. I already know the answer to that question: they are.

    Jesus Christ on a crutch (with apologies to all you religious progressives, of course)


    Young people (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:26:08 PM EST
    don't vote in mid-term elections.  This is a lobby to more mature folks.

    The goal is to use Obamacare to get (none / 0) (#35)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:44:29 PM EST
    the older demographic riled up enough to vote, while at the same time lobbying younger people not to sign up for insurance through the exchanges, in order to help the whole thing fail.

    But actively promoting that people should refuse to get coverage is just nuts.

    As Kevin Drum asked in his post, what's next?  Suggest parents not put babies in car seats?  Campaign for people to stop wearing seat belts?

    Are they that desperate?


    Unless (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:46:31 PM EST
    there are more and deeper cuts in Medicare, the older voters are not going to care about Obamacare. This is all kind of stupid because the older voters are going to vote for the GOP candidate no matter what.

    But, wait! There's more! (none / 0) (#30)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:38:20 PM EST
    Say hello to "Groundswell:"

    Dubbed Groundswell, this coalition convenes weekly in the offices of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group. During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell--including aides to congressional Republicans--cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and "clueless" GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks.

    Who is Groundswell?  Hold your nose - here goes:

    One of the influential conservatives guiding the group is Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a columnist for the Daily Caller and a tea party consultant and lobbyist. Other Groundswell members include John Bolton, the former UN ambassador; Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy; Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council; Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch; Gayle Trotter, a fellow at the Independent Women's Forum; Catherine Engelbrecht and Anita MonCrief of True the Vote; Allen West, the former GOP House member; Sue Myrick, also a former House GOPer; Diana Banister of the influential Shirley and Banister PR firm; and Max Pappas, a top aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

    If you aren't already reaching for the anti-nausea medication, do that, and then read the rest of the article for more info like this:

    At the March 27 meeting, Groundswell participants discussed one multipurpose theme they had been deploying for weeks to bash the president on a variety of fronts, including immigration reform and the sequester: Obama places "politics over public safety." In a display of Groundswell's message-syncing, members of the group repeatedly flogged this phrase in public. Frank Gaffney penned a Washington Times op-ed titled "Putting Politics Over Public Safety." Tom Fitton headlined a Judicial Watch weekly update "Politics over Public Safety: More Illegal Alien Criminals Released by Obama Administration." Peter List, editor of LaborUnionReport.com, authored a RedState.com post called "Obama's Machiavellian Sequestration Pain Game: Putting Politics Over Public Safety." Matthew Boyle used the phrase in an immigration-related article for Breitbart. And Dan Bongino promoted Boyle's story on Twitter by tweeting, "Politics over public safety?" In a message to Groundswellers, Ginni Thomas awarded "brownie points" to Fitton, Gaffney, and other members for promoting the "politics over public safety" riff.

    I don't think these people have any intention of going quietly.


    What a rogue's gallery (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:43:40 PM EST
    Half should be in jail, and the other half should be in a mental hospital.

    As the late Gerry Rafferty once sang: (none / 0) (#86)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 10:18:43 PM EST
    "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right."



    Your last (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:45:06 PM EST
    sentence is one of the main reasons I dislike Obama. He will not go toe to toe with them and caves to them.

    Ginni Thomas (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:56:07 PM EST
    Is the wife of Clarence Thomas.

    And she was working for the ... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:11:17 PM EST
    ... Heritage Foundation, which hubby Clarence persistently failed to disclose in his annual financial disclosure filings. She received nearly $700,000 in compensation from the foundation from 2003 to 2008.

    Justice Thomas has since amended these forms, after finally being called out on it by both CREW and Judicial Watch in 2011, but I don't believe for a single nanosecond his oft-offered implausible explanation that he somehow failed to understand for six straight years what was a simple and straightforward question on the federal financial disclosure form.

    I had to fill out those same exact forms when I worked on Capitol Hill, and I can attest personally that it's not rocket science. The form states plainly that if your spouse has earned over $1,000 that calendar year, you are required by law to report the source(s) of that income, but not the amount.

    Therefore, Thomas failed to disclose publicly for six consecutive years (2003 to 2008) that Ginny was employed by the Heritage Foundation. And in my opinion, given some of the cases that came before the High Court during that period, that was not an inadvertent mistake on his part, but rather a most willful omission. And he got a pass on it.

    Yeah, these people are a veritable font of honestly and integrity.



    If he was too ignorant (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:16:16 PM EST
    to understand those forms, or too ignorant to get a lawyer, then he is too ignorant to sit on the Court.

    Funny how he doesn't see that...


    Yes, they are (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:42:14 PM EST
    that stupid and out of touch. The whole screaming about Obamacare has played out if it didn't work in 2012.

    Meanwhile, a prominent Republican.... (none / 0) (#43)
    by magster on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:56:31 PM EST
    calls college bound immigrants drug mules, Kansas radio station pulls women health clinic ad because it was indecent while still advertising Viagra and an adult boutique, all the Republican dominated statehouses are on a frenzy of minority voting suppression bills, and the House won't touch immigration reform.

    It would be comical if it didn't screw people over in the real world.


    A 30-second ad for women's health care (none / 0) (#49)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:35:31 PM EST
    is deemed offensive, and yet...the shock jock who calls young women "sluts" is still broadcasting on their stations.

    It doesn't have to make sense to be real. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 10:07:00 PM EST
    "We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write ['phuque'] on their airplanes because it's obscene!"
    -- Col. Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), Apocalypse Now! (1979)

    And here I am, using a quote from a movie to talk about reality.


    Derp.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by magster on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:02:47 PM EST
    forgot to link.  Here

    GOP Secret Weapon (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:09:29 PM EST
    Liz Cheney...  still I doubt she can beat Hillary...

    Secret weapon? Maybe for Democrats. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:13:36 PM EST
    I don't believe this country wants another Bush or another Cheney.  

    She's Got Some Work To Do (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:24:49 PM EST
    Enzi leads Cheney 54 percent to 26 percent among GOP primary voters looking ahead to the 2014 Senate contest.

    we'll see.  no doubt that she has her eye on Hillary though, imo.


    Why (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:50:01 PM EST
    would she have her eye on Hillary when she's running for the senate and not the presidency?

    Here's Why (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:58:17 PM EST
    Dibgy is way off IMO (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:12:21 PM EST
    While she may want to run for PTOUS someday, pi$$ing off the Republican establishment and the national party in 2014, to supposedly run in 2016, is NOT the way to go.

    We'll See (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:31:09 PM EST
    Is she (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:19:49 PM EST
    really ticking them off? I would think she's just more evidence of what is going on within the GOP right now--they seem to think ALL incumbents need to go.

    Well (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:39:12 PM EST
    The state's elected officials aren't supporting her, the largest paper isn't supporting her, many Wyoming Republican voters don't support her, Enzi is extremely popular, the NRSC has come out for Enzi, and former senator Alan Simpson thinks it's a bad idea for her to run, so I don't see how, barring a miracle, the party actually "fractures" because of this.



    Well (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:41:56 PM EST
    the same thing was said about Mark Sanford--no support among the elite in the GOP with them even pulling funding for him and it made no difference with the voters. The GOP base is no longer apparently going to act like sheep and do what they are told apparently.

    Military Tracy did a post on WY the other day that better explains what is going on here. The Cheney family seems to think that they own Wyoming and almost always get what they want. So if that is true none of that will matter. The GOP stupidly trots out Dick Cheney to comment on things when he does nothing but hurt the party.


    Liz Cheney (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:25:17 PM EST
    Won't win Wyoming.

    But then again, we won't hear as much misogny about a Liz Cheney candidacy coming from her own party as we heard about Hillary Clinton.


    "She's [Clinton] a monster"! (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:27:46 PM EST
    From a Democrat on Obama's campaign team.

    Ladies and gentleman (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:33:12 PM EST
    Your next Ambassador to the UN!

    Methinks she'll have to learn better diplomacy (none / 0) (#29)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:33:18 PM EST
    as our next U.N. ambassador.

    Depends. Money and dirty tricks, two unknowns. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:31:29 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:41:42 PM EST
    Why would that be.  the GOPers afraid of getting shot by her dad?

    People who hate women will be just as vocal, no doubt, why wouldn't they? Certainly any misogynist, D or R, would delight in spewing their hate at Liz should she run.

    Unless your big word is actually rhetorical, and the people you are calling misogynists hated Hillary, not women in general.


    My problem (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:48:59 PM EST
    and probably many others was the fact that they used misogyny against Hillary. Attack her on the issues--fine but calling her a "hag" and saying she has "cankles" was more than I could take from so called "progressives"

    Do You Try Not to Make Sense (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:56:39 PM EST
    You say LC is the GOP's secret weapon, while also stating you don't believe she beat Hillary.

    Using your metric, Romney, McCain, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, and Cain are all GOP secret weapons.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:02:18 PM EST
    What is the difference between Liz Cheney and

    Romney, McCain, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, and Cain [sic]

    Duh let me think now... hmmm a tough one ...  wait.. almost got it..   Oh and who said that secret weapons have a high success rate.

    Sounds like you are trolling, to me.


    Rise of the warrior cop (none / 0) (#31)
    by jjr on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:41:32 PM EST
    This is an interesting article on the rise of SWAT teams and police raids.
    I had no idea that the Dept of Education had it's own team to go after student loan fraud. $500 million from the pentagon to local law enforcement in equipment in one year seems a bit much. That is about the same as the budget for federal public defenders in a year.

    Thursday Snowden Update (none / 0) (#59)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:20:46 PM EST
    Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved an amendment to next year's diplomacy and international aid bill which will effectively place sanctions on any country that takes in Snowden rather than sending him back.

    Also, the two names that are being bandied about in Russian media as exchanges for Snowden are Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko. Both were arrested in other countries, Bout in Thailand and Yaroshenko in Liberia, and extradited to the US where they were found guilty of various crimes and jailed. Neither committed crimes within the US.

    If Snowden isn't roaming free in Russia by the time Obama visits Putin in Moscow in September, those are two names that may be tossed onto the table.

    Not so fast (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:29:45 PM EST
    Senators float trade sanctions against Russia if they grant Snowden asylum

    A Senate panel on Thursday approved a State Department funding bill with a provision aimed at pressuring Russia to reject asylum for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

    The provision, authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was adopted unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee. It states that if Snowden is granted asylum, then the secretary of State must consult with Congress on possible sanctions.

    "The Committee notes that certain countries have offered asylum to Edward Snowden, an American citizen who divulged classified information to the press. The Committee directs the Secretary of State to consult with the appropriate congressional committees on sanction options against any country that provides asylum to Mr. Snowden, including revocation or suspension of trade privileges and preferences," the Graham amendment states.

    The language of the Graham amendment stops well short of actually imposing sanctions. Furthermore, Russia is now a member of the World Trade Organization, so trade sanctions by the U.S. could invite WTO-approved retaliation.

    Should Israel Honor a Leading Nazi's Brother? (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:17:04 PM EST
    His name?  Albert Göring

    The file on Steinfeldt's desk makes a very substantial impression. It contains Gestapo reports, the records of US Army interrogations completed after the war, a 1947 court decision from Prague, and statements by people who were rescued and described what was done to help them. The documents seem to present a strong case for doing justice to this unsung hero, be it in Germany or Israel. Or do they?

    In some of the photos, the man looks as if he had just emerged from a coffeehouse in the Weimar Republic, with his pencil moustache and cigarette holder, and his misty-eyed and melancholy gaze. There is a certain elegance about him. He played the piano, was popular with women and wasn't necessarily the most loyal person on the planet. He was a snob and a lady's man, an engineer with a bourgeois manner. And yet he was also a good person, someone with moral convictions, as George Pilzer, the son of one of the rescued, says admiringly.

    It is difficult to say how many people he saved, Jews and non-Jews. He probably didn't know himself, because he didn't know all the people he helped. He retrieved some from concentration camps and helped others escape abroad. He set up bank accounts for them in Switzerland so that they could survive while in exile. He gave money to members of the resistance, and he looked the other way when they committed sabotage or stole weapons for their illegal struggle at the weapons factory where he held a high-ranking position

    He was a good person, but he was also a colorful character.

    His name was Albert Göring. He was the younger brother of leading Nazi Hermann Göring, the second-in-command after Adolf Hitler. Hermann Göring commanded the air war against England and prepared Germany's industry and economy for a war that he wanted as much as Hitler did. In 1941, he gave the order to "make all necessary preparations for a final solution of the Jewish question in Europe." Hermann Göring also played a major role in the rise of the Nazis.

    Albert Göring was the opposite of his brother. He hated the Nazis, and he said early on that Hitler would mean war and ruin. He didn't join the Nazi Party, and he despised his brother for bowing to Hitler. He distanced himself from Germany, first going to Austria, where he took Austrian citizenship. After the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany, he moved to Prague, and from there to Budapest and Bucharest. Wherever he went, he helped those in desperate need, both before and during the war.

    On the few occasions that the Göring brothers saw each other in the 12 years between the Nazi takeover and Germany's surrender to the Allies, it was at family gatherings. But Albert needed Hermann, and he also used him. He would have been lost without his brother. Without his support, the Gestapo -- which knew exactly what Albert Göring was doing and with whom he associated -- would have arrested and executed him.

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by sj on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:09:05 PM EST
    Yes, they should. (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:22:36 PM EST
    Albert Göring sounds like a man who was cut from much the same cloth as the late Oskar Schindler -- that is, someone of social rank and privilege who became an eyewitness to a time of horror and madness, and who was compelled by times and circumstances to rise to the occasion as a righteous individual, and do the very best he could to mitigate the harm and damage being done to those in his immediate surroundings.

    May the heavens bless him for his efforts.


    This reminds me (none / 0) (#84)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:49:50 PM EST
    I saw the movie "Hannah Arendt" last week. It focuses on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and the pieces she wrote -- and was lambasted for -- in the New Yorker afterwards. It was then that she created the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann, whom she surmised was a thoroughly mediocre man who was incapable of thinking.

    For a very talky movie (of course it is!) it's very good. And the lead actress, Barbara Sukowa, is excellent.