Saturday Night Open Thread

Happy birthday to Mick Jagger, who turned 70 yesterday. While I couldn't possibly list all my favorites in one post, here he is singing Satisfaction in 1969; Happy in 1972; Under My Thumb and Time is On My Side in 1982;You Can't Always Get What You Want in 1990; Gimme Shelter in 1997; Let It Bleed in 2003; Sympathy for the Devil in 2006; at the Superbowl halftime show in 2010; It's Only Rock n Roll at Hyde Park a few weeks ago.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome (except Zimmerman which will have its own post shortly.)

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    Happy birthday to Mick Jagger, who turned 70 (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by desertswine on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:17:03 PM EST
    Well, that's just not possible.

    He may have gained in years (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 10:46:27 PM EST
    but he doesn't seem to have gained one pound over his entire career!

    You want weight? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:24:26 AM EST
    Then how about some Aretha Franklin, with her great 1987 cover of "Jumping Jack Flash" -- backed by none other than Keith Richards on lead guitar, Ron Wood on bass guitar, and Charlie Watts on drums?

    (I love this version.)


    Speaking of weight... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:41:31 AM EST
    ...I thought for a moment you were "going there" with regard to Aretha's fluctuating poundage over the years, but if we're talking cover versions, she did The Band's "The Weight" as well.

    "Take a load off Fanny...": (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:29:04 AM EST
    a new dietary directive?

    70 years old, huh? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:06:55 AM EST
    We should all be moving and grooving like him at that age. Seeing the Stones at Anaheim's Honda Center this past May was like catching up with an old friend.

    To celebrate the occasion, I'm going to throw in a few favorite Stones tracks myself, which were recorded across four decades: "Rocks Off" (from Exile on Main Street, 1972), "Sweet Virginia" (Live from Miami, 2006), "Shine a Light" (Live from Amsterdam, 1985), and by request, "Wild Horses" (From Stripped, 1995).


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 81 (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:56:00 AM EST
    Little Mindy fears getting an x-ray like other kids fear needles or broccoli. (link)

    And here's all of last week's comics, in case anyone missed one.

    Vol. 80
    Vol. 79
    Vol. 78
    Vol. 77
    Vol. 76
    Vol. 75

    Oh, and tonight in The City, at the SF Jazz Center, my bro-in-law is backing up Brazilian legend Dori Caymmi (link). Get some, any bay area TLers looking for a great concert. (link)

    Peace out, peeps.

    Exclusive: (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:02:57 AM EST
    4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

    Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.
    While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government's poverty data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

    Thanks for posting (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by desertswine on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:33:58 PM EST
    a very revealing and disturbing article. The country is in big trouble.
    "Poverty is no longer an issue of `them', it's an issue of `us'," says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. "Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need."

    "Obama Promises Disappear from Web" (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 12:29:26 PM EST
    They've been flushed down the memory hole.

    According to the Internet Archive, the last time the Change.gov content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th.  

    - Sunlight Foundation

    A bit of an aside (none / 0) (#17)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:28:08 PM EST
    But, the "promise" in public venues hasn't been doing too well for many years.  Not to condone "unfulfilled" promises ... we all wish that promises or even expressions of goals could always be fulfilled.  Now, I can't help but think of divorce rates ... especially in light of the "death do us part" promise.  (And, lets not even think about relationship promises.)  Life and curve-balls happen, huh!

    But I don't have a vested interest in (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:01:19 PM EST
    some strangers' "relationship promises" or whether they get divorced. I do have a vested interest in whether the person I voted into the presidency of the United States keeps any of his campaign promises to me.

    Scrubbing the website of those materials is just more proof of the lack of transparency by the "most transparent presidency" evuh.


    Good distinction, shoephone, except... (none / 0) (#22)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    I would contend that a number of the priorities first set out in the 2008 campaign have actually either been met, are in process, or have been defeated by the reality of Republican numbers.

     Whether one agrees with the approach to a bill, such as the health care reform measures significantly included in the ACA does not negate the fact that the reality of the overhaul has been the single bit of health care legislation since Medicare in the mid-60s.  A major promise fulfilled as to a major area in need of reform (and, like the initial Medicare legislation, still in need of further steps)despite unprecedented opposition from the Repubs that yet continues today.

    A good example of major reform in process in another very important area that cries out for action is that of Immigration reform.  The Administration in coordination with Senate leadership shepherded a bill to approval via skilled positioning & the bipartisanship needed to clear the Senate.  It was not a "my way or the highway" approach and it has met with approval of the general Latino community.  Whether that spirit of leadership will allow for similar legislation to clear the House is less "promising" in a real way that comes from the oppositions' votes coupled with the effects of redistricting in 2010.  We'll see how that works out after the summer.

    An unfortunate example of NIMBY (aka Not In My Back Yard)concerns the matter of not accomplishing the goal of closing Guantanamo.  It does seem, tho, that a host of players from both parties resisted transfer of prisoners to their districts/States ... despite the President's push from the Executive Branch.  Frankly, I expect a reinstituted push for foreign transfer will be accomplished within the term.  While we are mentioning the area of foreign policy, we might want to take note of a rather unusual situation in the past 15 years or so ... we have extricated ourselves from one Bush war and are within the promised timeline for extrication from the original Bush war.

    In any event, we could probably go back & forth all day as to what constitutes change -- equal pay matters stemming from Lily Ledbetter, affirmatively advancing from the harmful DADT, 3 women on the SCt, etc. -- but, as we both know, we probably analyze data differently.  And, that difference makes political promises and life a complex challenge.  


    "Immigration reform will boost revenue at (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:48:16 PM EST
    private prisons."

    The supposed grand bargain of the immigration reform bill is shaping up to be a lucrative deal for prisons. As a compromise between "border security" and "amnesty," the comprehensive reform plan emerging in Congress ties the "legalization" of millions of migrants to the prospective criminalization of millions more.

    The Senate's reform bill, now being debated in the House, would boost immigration enforcement by beefing up border patrols, militarized barriers, border surveillance, immigration prosecutions and privately run detention facilities. According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections, the original bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee "would increase the prison population by about 14,000 inmates annually by 2018." (The number of "immigration offenders" in federal prison has risen over the past decade to about 22,100 in 2011.) Just before passage, the bill was saddled with the draconian "Hoeven-Corker border security amendment," which contains harsher, more costly enforcement provisions, including a doubling of border agents to roughly 40,000.
    Under the centrist reform plan, some immigrants can gain legal status under certain conditions, such as paying heavy fines and meeting rigid qualifications for criminal background checks and employment status. Attainiing citizenship could take well over a decade. Meanwhile, to placate conservatives, the bill expands the corporate systems that lock up and dehumanize the migrants who don't make it over the legal threshold.

    So, while the bill produces new citizens, the "security" measures would produce more prisoners, conveniently filling tens of thousands of detention beds, many of them run by for-profit contractors on the public's dime. As Stephen Myrow, managing director of the investment research firm ACG Analytics, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, "Immigration reform will boost revenue at privately operated prisons. link

    The last time immigration reform reached a  "compromise," immigration advocates were begging liberal supporters to vote against it since it would cause more harm than good. Looks like it could wind up that way again.


    Then why not tout those accomplishments (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:53:23 PM EST
    on the website? Even though they won't make up for some of the worst failures  -- and I do consider Guantanamo to be one of the worst, because of the unconstitutionality of holding people indefinitely without charge, and the torture we know has occurred. The current force-feeding of detainees is completely on Obama's shoulders.

    If he's proud of his accomplishments, why not boast about them and present them as a foundation for supporting Dems in the 2014 congressional races?

    I think the answer is because there are too many important unmet promises that would stick out like sore thumbs -- for example, Obama's long-ago support for whistleblowers... not exactly something he could pretend to support today.


    Guantanamo (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:33:29 PM EST
    After watching how the Trayvon Martin case was handled by the criminal justice system, I am very skeptical now that the same system can handle the trial of Guantanamo prisoners. If there are so many complaints about the media regarding the Martin-Zimmerman case, it is inconceivable to attempt a much larger trial (where more passions are involved) within the same system. It may just be better to have trials within the military court system or relaease prisoners who cannot be charged.
    We are constantly reminded in this blog that our criminal justice system was not set up to correct every ill in our society. It may therefore be worthwhile to not spend more money on trials that have a potential to dissatisfy a majority of people and further divide the country, just to enable some lawyers to walk through the motions. We may be better off spending the money in projects that will attempt to cure many of the ills that are outside the scope of the criminal justice system and address issues of social, economic and religious injustices through the legislative and executive process (instead of the judicial process).

    But why now? Why scub the site now? (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:02:40 PM EST
    Is there some reason the WH doesn't want those things up and available for the public to refer to?

    Well, not to be too tinfoil-hat about it, but June 8 - the day the materials disappeared - was 2 days after the first release of info from Edward Snowden.

    Here's Marcy Wheeler's take:

       Here's one possibility, from the administration's ethics agenda:

           Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

        It may be that Obama's description of the importance of whistleblowers went from being an artifact of his campaign to a political liability.

    To be fair, Obama did extend whistleblower protection beyond that of the law last year -- though he did it largely in secret.

    Of course, that came at the same time as Obama rolled out an Insider Threat Detection system that seems designed to discourage anyone from speaking out ... about anything.

    And then there's the issue of all the whistleblower prosecutions.

    But if Obama did hide his campaign promises specifically to hide this tribute to the "courage and patriotism" of whistleblowers, then I find the timing particularly interesting. June 8 was just two days after the first Edward Snowden release (at a time, moreover, when the Guardian had reported only issues that went to lies James Clapper and Keith Alexander had told, making Snowden's claim to be unable to go through regular channels quite credible).

    Mind you, Obama could be hiding other promises. I still think promises about mortgages and homes are his biggest failure.

    I'm pretty sure the materials didn't come down because he decided that promises don't really mean anything anyway, or because he's done such a bang-up job that we don't need to be reminded of them any more - I do think they were a source of embarrassment, as it was just too easy to contrast his words with his action, find his actions lacking, and demand accountability.


    I have no idea "why now" (none / 0) (#32)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:16:42 PM EST
    One obvious reason is reformatting for the upcoming second term legislative push and/or preparing for the next political cycle.  Nothing like the summer months to take on a series of those kinds of tasks before the autumn's Immigration reform finale, the attempted Repub rewind of the debt ceiling-cum-fiscal-year-funding cycle, etc.

    If some want the info back up or reformatted tomorrow, a comment to that effect could always be submitted to the site :)


    Unfortunately, it's hard for him to keep ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:46:44 PM EST
    ... many of those promises when the Republicans in Congress have not been at all inclined to be cooperative with this White House, because the executive branch's authority isn't necessarily unilateral.

    The Guantanamo detention center could've been closed in 2009, had not Congress expressly blocked Mr. Obama from doing so, and there are numerous agencies such as ATF which are STILL without a director because Senate Republicans placed a (choke)hold on them.

    That's not to argue that President Obama is entirely without fault here, because he's most certainly not blameless. But let's all please be honest in our complaints, and not ascribe to him authority or powers which he clearly does not have absent congressional approval or cooperation, merely for the sake of b*tching about him.



    The problem is that Obama does not... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Cashmere on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:42:18 AM EST
    know how to get things done.  Plain and simple.  He just was never up for the job...  he never understood how to make things work.  Very sad, as he had so much momentum when he first took office.

    My, my (none / 0) (#43)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:19:54 PM EST
    First, understand that I am toying with you in a sarcastic way, but please do tell us the basis for your unsupported conclusions, Cashmere ... particularly, enlighten us all as to why the President "was just never up for the job."  

    Ongoing explanation for Obama's (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:18:57 PM EST

    All the other kids do it.


    Things are pretty bad, (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:09:24 PM EST
    when it seems like the only transparent politician is Anthony Weiner.   But can't we get transparency sans creepiness? But, then I guess it depends on what your definition of creepy is--for me, spying on emails and phone calls of every American qualifies, albeit as a different category.

    We're busy battening down the hatches for ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:31:38 PM EST
    ... what looks to be a major tropical storm -- nicknamed "Flossie" by the NOAA / NWS -- that, should it remain on its present course, ought to start making her presence felt in east Hawaii and Maui by late this evening, and should reach us on Oahu by tomorrow afternoon.

    Flossie, which is the first major storm of our hurricane season, was supposed to be weakening significantly as she passed south of the Hawaiian Islands. Instead, she strengthened last night to one stage below a category 1 hurricane, and her trajectory further shifted to a more west-northwesterly direction so that she's now due to pass right over us.

    So, it looks like not only will my partner and I not be going to Hilo tomorrow to meet with clients as originally scheduled, but we'll each be working from home, too -- that is, for as long as the power stays on. The NWS forecast is calling for 12 inches of rain on our end of the island and 60 mph winds. Good thing I re-caulked all the windows on the east side of the house last weekend.

    Hope your weather is less adventuresome, wherever you may be. Aloha.

    Good luck, Donald (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:48:05 PM EST
    Try and stay safe!

    We'll be fine, and only inconvenienced. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:14:24 PM EST
    All the same, we've got our hurricane preparedness kit at the ready, just in case. Looking outside, you'd never know we were under a tropical storm watch, because as of right now the weather is sunny and absolutely gorgeous. But the air is also dead still and rather heavy, which portends an approaching storm front -- Flossie.

    Here's the nearest webcam to our house, from the WeatherBug station at Niu Valley Middle School about a mile away. It'll give you a good and real-time indication what we're experiencing.



    Stay safe, Donald. (none / 0) (#29)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:54:00 PM EST
    Stay safe. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:04:27 PM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 82 (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:24:11 AM EST
    Gail Collins opines on this bday: (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 10:08:14 PM EST

    I'm disappointed... (none / 0) (#4)
    by AmericanPsycho on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:03:52 PM EST
    How could you leave out a beautiful ballad like Wild Horses? :-)

    Snowden's lawyer (none / 0) (#5)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:49:21 PM EST

    "he is a political supporter of Mr. Putin's and serves on the Public Chamber, an advisory body that critics have long derided as a Potemkin construct of actual government oversight. He also serves as a member of another board that oversees the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B."

    Never having been (none / 0) (#9)
    by Nemi on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:18:51 AM EST
    to a Stones concert in RL myself - so I can't say if it's typical - when watching Scorsese's documentary 'Shine a Light', it struck me how Mick Jagger seems to be performing for, and never engaging with or even looking directly at, the audience, while on the other hand Keith Richards performs to the audience, not only engaging but openly flirting with the female audience and also, it seemed, managing to exchange phonenumber with a beautiful young woman near the stage. My guess is that that, at least for him, is typical for sure, heh.

    Something else that struck me at the beginning of the documentary was how ... delicious, for lack of other words Mick Jagger was. Freshly washed, and I bet costly coiffed, hair bobbing while the group walks from the elevator towards the scene, clothes so exquisite and yet discreet, it was to die for. The jacket, the silk shirt and, as he little by little undressed, even the t-shirt obviously of the highest quality. Very tasteful and not cheap in any sense of the word. And a far cry from their early image as unwashed and dirty.

    Another fun thing in the documentary is how Hillary Clinton at the beginning sort of, though humorously, scolds her mother for being late. As if they're to meet royalty or something when in fact no doubt both parties, President Bill Clinton and his family and The Rolling Stones, feel a bit intimidated by meeting - and the fame of - the other. It always surprises and amuses me to see how celebrities are in awe of being close to (other) celebrities. :-)

    Happy Birthday to Mick Jagger who, even as [y]ears go by, still rocks.

    Weiner's campaign manager (none / 0) (#11)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:25:39 AM EST
    Seems like (none / 0) (#24)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:46:25 PM EST
    the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

    Tight lines Donald... (none / 0) (#38)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:21:00 PM EST

    GOP Senators to Liz Cheney (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:25:59 AM EST
    We Like Mike

    Despite the clout of the Cheney name in Washington, nearly the entire Senate establishment is backing Enzi -- moderates, conservatives and the Senate GOP leadership team. And that unity could help Enzi surmount a very bloody fight next year


    Still, dozens of deep-pocketed Republicans will be a boon to the senator, who's admitted in interviews that fundraising is not his strong suit and had $488,000 on hand as of the beginning of July, among the smallest war chests of any senator running for reelection. Cheney has yet to file any fundraising reports, though she is beginning to beef up her campaign staff, naming her leadership team last Thursday.

    Enzi's low-profile demeanor belies his effectiveness as former chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and high-ranking member of the Finance Committee, allies say. And though he is not an especially visible figure at the Capitol, Cheney's challenge has certainly elevated his profile nationally, complementing his strong initial polling numbers in a contest sure to prove bruising.

    Enzi said he appreciates his colleagues' backing --but is most happy with his reputation back home.

    "My favorite people supporting me are the people of Wyoming, and they're the only ones that get to vote," Enzi said. "There have been a couple of polls that have come out recently, and I'm grateful to the people of Wyoming that recognize the work that I've put in."

    Working in Enzi's favor is the fact that former Vice President Dick Cheney's Capitol Hill connections appear to have weakened after nearly five years out of office, according to interviews with more than a dozen Republican senators. Despite claiming long-standing ties and friendships with the former vice president, members said they now rarely speak with him. At this point, they don't know of anything he has done to promote his daughter's candidacy.

    Bets on when she bows out...?