Thursday Night TV and Open Thread

Muno2 TV has been replaying episodes of the Colombian series Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal every weeknight at 8 and 11 pm. It's really good. It's in Spanish but has English subtitles. Andres Parras, the actor who plays Pablo Escobar really looks like him. (Many of the cast members resemble their real life role models, see pictures here.) You can also watch all 74 episodes online. It was produced in Colombia in 2012 by Caracoal TV and is fact-based -- but entertaining. It's not a documentary.

In real life, last week Hugo Aguilar, the former police commander led the operation that killed Pablo Escobar in 1993, was sentenced to 9 years in prison for accepting money from the paramilitary group AUC, United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia . Here's a picture of him with the Escobar's body.

This is an open thread, all topics (except Zimmerman) welcome.

Update: I've been meaning to write about Breaking Bad. What are your predictions? I think the real battle is going to be between white supremacist Jack's man and Walter. This guy is going to be in all the remaining episodes. Maybe Lydia and Todd go back to the car wash and make another attempt to get Walter back in the biz and he takes them out, and "Jack's man" goes after Walt's family as payback for Todd.
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    You ever get the feeling (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:28:39 PM EST
    he's just pi**sing in your face?

    The review of US surveillance programs which Barack Obama promised would be conducted by an "independent" and "outside" panel of experts looks set to consist of four Washington insiders with close ties to the security establishment.


    Obama trumpeted what he said would be a "high-level group of outside experts" tasked with assessing all of the government's "intelligence and communication technologies".

    However a report by ABC News, which has not been denied by the administration, said the panel would consist of Michael Morell, a recent acting head of the CIA, and three former White House advisers.

    Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that all four reported panel members, with the possible exception of Swire, were "folks are deeply enmeshed in the intelligence community.

    -- The Guardian, 22 August 2013 20.56 BST

    yes (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by bocajeff on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:37:50 PM EST
    Can you see me now? (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:51:31 AM EST
    Heh. "We just have no time to spend not classifying the things we do that you might want to know about."

    Blaming Sequestration, CIA Closes Historical Document Declassification Office

    Dumping this onto the FOIA department just adds more work to a part of the agency that already uses every excuse it can to avoid complying with requests.
    "This move is a true loss to the public," said Mark Zaid, a Washington lawyer who frequently litigates against the CIA. He said the CIA office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests "is the most obstructionist and unfriendly of those I have dealt with during the last two decades.

    "This is the most transparent administration in history" -- Barack Obama

    I agree.

    Detroit Chapter 9 (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:29:50 AM EST
    Looks like The Detroit Institute of Art cannot be forced to sell any art because, according to Harvard bankruptcy professor Adam Levitin, rules for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy:

    unlike with a personal- or corporate-bankruptcy, "bankruptcy law has no provision that requires cities to sell their assets to satisfy creditors."  So Detroit cannot be forced to sell the art.  If the Michigan Legislature passes legislation affirming the attorney general's "non-binding opinion" that the art is off limits to creditors, then it cannot be sold in bankruptcy.  Period.

    Not that I believe for one second that they were going to sell any art even if it were legal, despite the fact that Christies was hired to appraise works in the collection that were purchased by city funds.

    Why shouldn't they sell it??? (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:59:37 AM EST
    The creditors get their money and the art is still seen by people.

    Many Reasons (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:18:37 AM EST
    But the most important is that the gains will not solve Detroit's problems, but make them worse. Selling the works for short-term gain is foolish. Detroit will be in the same exact place in two years, but with no museum. And it is one of the great museums in the world.

    Culture is a big asset for a city that pays off $$$. Stripping a place of culture, as many bean counters would do, is desiccating
    and like chopping down all the trees and turning a place into a desert forever.


    What's off-limits? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:09:50 PM EST
    I'm sure there are many assets up for grabs. Dick Snydly Whiplash (Rick Snyder, "One Tough Nerd")certainly isn't going to reveal the plan of his puppet Orr, the Emergency Manager (EM).  Maybe the state could buy the museum?  What about Belle Isle?  Could the state or one of Snydly's buddies but it and turn it into some commercial development?  What about the cities shoreline?  Is it up for grabs?  I'm sure that Dick has had his eye on the waterworks that serves suburban Detroit.  The suburbs are drooling at the prospect.  I'm sorry, but this is a little personal for me.  It is time for Orr to step down.  Let our elected officials guide Detroit through the bankruptcy, if it proceeds.  Only they will have a fair perspective of Detroit's residents and assets moving forward IMO.

    Everything (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:03:30 PM EST
    First, there's nothing in Chapter 9 that enables creditors to force an asset sale. Instead, the only real leverage they have is the requirement that a plan be in their "best interests," but it is far from clear that necessitates a sale of the art, not least because the funds are not necessarily going to the GO bondholders.  (Remember that Chapter 9 "best interests" is not the same as Chapter 11 "best interests" because there is no Chapter 7 liquidation baseline for comparison in Chapter 9).

    Credit Slips


    Bankruptcy law has no provision that requires cities to sell their assets to satisfy creditors.....Cities, unlike businesses, cannot be liquidated.  Furthermore, bankruptcy courts are prohibited from ordering municipal tax increases. All the more so, they cannot force the liquidation of municipal assets.

    Indeed, bankruptcy law does not distinguish among municipal assets, all of which are shielded from forced liquidation, just as cities are shielded from involuntary bankruptcy filings. Creditors can no more force the liquidation of Detroit's art collection than they can its playgrounds, fire stations or historic monuments.

    I will only dispute "EVERYTHING". (none / 0) (#40)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:34:23 PM EST
    The statement...
    just as cities are shielded from involuntary bankruptcy filings.

    Does not apply for Michigan.  The EM manager, not the city, filed bankruptcy.  It has been in no way voluntary.

    The problem lies in who is arguing what is the city's

    "best interests"

    Should Orr, appointed by the govenor, the govenor who said he would not go after right to work, the govenor who denied the people's mandate of 2012 by reinstating the EM law (and viola Orr), decide the fate of the city?

    Who is the advocate for the city? Govenor Snyder's puppet, that is who.  What will he will put on the auction block or hand over to the state?

    Will public opinion dictate Orr's actions?

    Or will the unions step in, the largest creditor in this mess, and say, "We don't want our pensions anymore"?

    Or will Snyder simply twist his wrist to make Orr jump?


    And this is a joke... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:07:06 PM EST
    From the parent article:

    Legislation affirming the attorney general's opinion is moving through the Michigan Legislature

    The opinion that gives the DIA to the state:

    Already, the Michigan attorney general has issued a non-binding opinion that the art collection is not simple municipal property. Instead, the art is held in perpetual trust for the citizens of Michigan, so it cannot be sold.

    Maybe the state will include $1 for the city of Detroit in the transfer, like corporations do to employees for any intellectual properties they might develop during their term of employment.


    OK (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:25:42 PM EST
    Got it.. you are emotionally involved and do not appear to be thinking straight.

    In Chapter 9, eligibility objections often trigger protracted legal fights that can add months to the case. If the judge rules the city is not eligible for bankruptcy, the case would be dismissed, although most bankruptcy experts believe Rhodes will rule the city is eligible.

    Considering that the argument against the eligibility of bankruptcy appears to be a conflict with the state constitution regarding pensions.

    I have not seen or heard of anyone claiming that the bankruptcy be disallowed because it was involuntary. Nor does it make any sense considering that all the reports claim that the city filed bankruptcy:

    Since the city filed bankruptcy late Thursday afternoon, more than 4,000 documents have been filed in the case

    Sounds like you are a lone battle, quite arcane, imo..  


    No Squeaky, I am thinking straight. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:45:44 PM EST
    The ugly history is below...much of it anyway is included in the link (see comment below) and I'm not alone in my perceptions.  Maybe the detail has been missed in the National coverage.  Maybe the media chooses not to include the history.  Also a strange situation exists.  Those in Detroit and Michigan have an interest to see the banckruptcy succeed...because we want good for the city.  A lot of the bad that comes with it may get ignored by the media...maybe even the citizen's will forget as the focus switches to pulling Detroit out of the depths of its fall.

    I thought you might be a Michigander, if not a Detroiter, considering the content of your original post.  Maybe I would appear more coherent, if you were.  I apologize if those outside the state are not getting a clear picture.  Writing is not a strength of mine.

    If interested, here is one of MANY articles on the EM law.

    And why might it be of interest to TL?  The EM concept could spread to other states.  There are already bankrupcy laws on the books.  Maybe a law that forces a reluctant city into bankrupcy would be good.  No law that takes control from the citizen's elected leaders and puts that control in the hand of someone on the outside is a good law.

    If bankruptcy proceeds, like the Iraq war did; we will root to see some sort of success.  I think we fell in the mud with Iraq.  I think we are still covered in that mud...but I hope it all washes away one day.  

    I think we all hope for a better future after the dirty work ends.  The bankruptcy has nearly begun.  There may be no going back, and no way to stop it.  I for one, hope the EM steps down, if the bankrupcy is allowed to proceed.  I'm afraid the inevitable has begun

    Sorry for the analogy.  I probably could do better.  


    Not From MI (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    But I have been following the DIA situation closely. The fellow in the article you linked to, John Pottow is also a contributor to the site, credit slips, that I linked to above. I assume he is in agreement with Adam Levitin regarding the inability of creditors to force municipalities in Chapter 9, to sell assets.

    Regarding the two cases contesting PA 436:

    According to Pottow (who has become one of the go-to legal experts for journalists attempting to understand the ins-and-outs of municipal bankruptcy), Chapter 9 law gives broad authority to bankruptcy court judges. It is Pottow's opinion that, in a situation like this, "the bankruptcy judge gets priority."

    Pottow goes so far as to say Rhodes has the authority to assume control of the two cases now in front of U.S. Judge George C. Steeh.

    Even though a repeal by referendum is disallowed by the law that is contested (sketchy, no?), another possibility is a statutory initiative.

    ...but Bowens said that citizens could still challenge the law by way of a statutory initiative.

    Michigan's constitution allows four different types of proposals to be placed on a statewide ballot. A statutory initiative gives citizens the power "to propose laws and enact and reject laws." The initiative process requires the collection of more signatures than a referendum, and while it would not be subject to a gubernatorial veto, a law initiated by voters could be amended or repealed by a 3/4 vote in the state legislature.

    The only problem with the referendum (none / 0) (#62)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:27:31 PM EST
    is that it would take place in 2014 (sorry for a link to another topic, I think dates still apply). I think the  bankruptcy is well underway by that point.  It could displace the EM, but I don't think it could reverse all actions approved by the court up to that point.  Not a lawyer.

    It is my undersatnding the EM has 18 months before he can be removed by a vote.

    PA 436 also allows elected officials to counter any emergency manager proposal by developing an alternative cost-savings plan, and it enables a city council or school board to remove an emergency manager after 18 months via a 2/3 majority vote.

    Basically, the emergency manager process has 18 months to run. The state wants the person to be able to get in there, fix what's wrong and get out."

    That article was written before the bankruptcy.  Maybe it should read, "Basically, the emergency manager process has 18 months to run. The state (govenor) wants the person to be able to get in there, start the bankruptcy with his provisions in place and get out."

    Rick Snyder is no dummy.  I believe his plan was conceived long ago.  He knows the deadlines imposed by the new law.  He has some idea how long it takes a bankruptcy to get underway.  The repeal of his previous EM law was just a bump in the road.  I think plan B was conceived before the people voted down the first EM law.

    Now if the NSA could authorize a little look at some e-mails...ah, the temptation must be great.  Hope those security measures are in place.

    I'm not sweating the sale of DIA paintings.  The local media has done a good job of addressing our fears.  I think some greedy auctioneers or collectors wanted a head start to the goodies.  I think their efforts are in vain.  Wish I wasn't worried about the rest.  Rick...(I mean) Mr Orr could go a long way in providing his citizens...(I mean) the citizens of Detroit some comfort by detailing some of his intentions.


    The DIA (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:45:54 PM EST
    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:19:39 PM EST
    But that has no bearing on the likelihood of DIA selling anything from its collection. IMO, there is no chance anything will be sold from DIA to pay Detroit's creditors.

    The Detroit Institute of Arts announced this afternoon that it won't join the dozens of creditors and others who are filing formal objections to city's eligibility for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Today was the deadline to file objections.

    The DIA's decision was not unexpected.

    Though the museum's city-owned collection remains vulnerable to sale, emergency manager Kevyn Orr has not yet proposed including the art in his reorganization plan for the city's finances. DIA leaders have said they will fight any move on the art in court. That strategy is divorced from today's broader procedural question of the city's legal eligibility to seek Chapter 9 protection.

    When you have a GOP govenor (none / 0) (#46)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:29:46 PM EST
    and a GOP legislature...there really isn't anything that can't be accomplished and there isn't anything to stop them.

    The vote by ALL of Michigan to repeal the old EM law in November 2012 did nothing to deter them from drafting new legislation in December 2012 tying it to a spending appropriation to avoid another repeal by its citizens.

    - Michigan voters on November 6 repealed the state's emergency manager law.

    - The governor on December 27 signed a new emergency manager law to take the place of the law repealed by voters in November. The new law, which takes effect on March 28, gives fiscally struggling cities and school district options for dealing with their problems.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:36:39 PM EST
    OK... still it does not make it an involuntary bankruptcy.. and my guess is that if public sentiment is strong about the new law that Snyder signed after a similar one was repealed, the GOP will be toast in Michigan.

    Snyder will be toast in the hands (none / 0) (#58)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:15:27 PM EST
    of any competent opposing campaign manager with a couple bucks for advertising.  His unpopular right to work law will not be forgotten.  I don't see how he can buy a second term...but you never know.

    Those that show up at the polls in Michigan have impressed me with their ability to see through the B.S. adds.  The bridge to Canada is a great example...but that is another long story.  It will suffice to say the voters saw through a billionaire's add campaign to hold on to his monopoly.

    My guess, totally uneducated, is that there is little change in the legislature.  It is based only on a belief that districting has strong party affiliation.

    Maybe an add campaign to "Break the Monopoly" with sinister music in the background and a list of unpopular laws and appropriation bills scrolling by on the screen would be effective.  You would never have to mention GOP...it would be understood.

    I would call breaking the monopoly a success.  


    Good (none / 0) (#32)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:36:00 PM EST
    I hope that this stands.

    Ok, this made me laugh out loud (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:42:02 AM EST
    Uhhh! (none / 0) (#13)
    by Nemi on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:32:14 AM EST
    You know, I just re-watched "The Big Chill". Great movie, great story, great actors all around. Glenn Close is just adorable! And Kevin Kline ... well, let's just say I can't get enough Kevin Kline. ;-)

    Yet, when he showed up in these teeny, tiny shorts for some reason that actually was too much, lol. Or rather too little, as it were.


    we must have been watching the same channel, and I had the same response. Dude looked like he had no shorts on at all in a couple shots.

    He looks naked! (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:33:21 AM EST
    See, I have no problem with that! (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:12:33 PM EST
    Love that movie too (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:42:52 AM EST
    for all of your reasons, plus the music of course. And William Hurt!

    I beg to differ on the shorts...I miss the days when men actually wore shorts and not the knee length ugly things they currently wear.


    I think you're in... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:58:28 AM EST
    a small minority when it comes to the junk-hugger shorts ruff...you'd see me in skinny jeans before junk-huggers, and neither is ever happening;)

    I will have to leave it to my fantasies then ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:10:51 PM EST
    Yeah, the music! (none / 0) (#18)
    by Nemi on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:06:51 PM EST
    How could I forget to mention the music!

    And William Hurt.

    And Kevin Costner as the corpse. Would love to see the scenes with him that was edited out. Though I do agree with whoever decided this, that it was a wise decision to leave out the flashbacks.


    Director Lawrence Kasdan supposedly ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:00:28 PM EST
    ... felt so bad about editing Kevin Costner out of "The Big Chill" that he offered him the co-leading role of Jake in his next film, "Silverado," which gave Costner the critical career break he needed.

    I don't typically (none / 0) (#82)
    by sj on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:33:52 AM EST
    watch a lot of Westerns, but I thought Kevin Costner was terrific in Silverado. I love that movie.

    Also [guilty pleasure] Support Your Local Sheriff.


    Another guilty pleasure (possibly) (none / 0) (#85)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 12:06:04 PM EST
    Arthur Penn's mid-seventies western The Missouri Breaks, with Brando, Nicholson, Harry Dean Stanton and Fredric Forrest..

    A typical Penn film in some ways: with daring, searing, beautifully filmed acting scenes and sequences and borderline shocking moments (for the time) in which Penn, as he was wont to do, throws-a-head-into-the-audience as it were, the way the Greeks supposedly did..

    In particular, the scenes between Brando and Nicholson are worth seeing the movie for..there's an intense, almost-palpable energy manifesting there. Of course, Brando caught a thousand kinds of hell for his eccentric, "self-indulgent" performance that has to be seen to be appreciated (positively or negatively) and Penn for letting him get away with it..

    I love how Arthur Penn understood, like John Ford, understood that the landscape; earth and sky, were as integral a part of the film as the acting and storyline. Filmed in Canada and Montana, he uses the landscape to tremendous emotional effect in this picture.

    There's an element of magical realism with Brando in the role of a shape-shifting, Angel of Death "regulator" character hired by a wealthy rancher who is also involved in a bizarre Oedipal realationship with his daughter..

    A lot of people loath this movie, but I've seen it maybe twelve times.



    And, of course,... (none / 0) (#92)
    by unitron on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:02:28 AM EST
    ...the one either just before or just after, "Support Your Local Gunfighter".

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 105 (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:54:46 AM EST
    Politics as use-you-all. (link)

    Volume 104

    Volume 103

    Peace out, my peeps. Gotta go register my son for 8th grade and get his schedule and books all squared away. Kid's in high school a year from now. Egad. Oy. Help me...

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a free comic a day)

    How he spent his summer vacation... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by unitron on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:12:36 PM EST
    Unbelievable (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:20:39 PM EST
    This is straight out unconscionable harassment. Not only do the TSA, Homeland Security, the NYPD, Jet Blue, et al, not even realize the difference between Muslims and Hindus, this would have been totally unacceptable even if the guy had been Muslim. Idiots. Total idiots. I hope that this young man has contacted the ACLU.

    F*ck man... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:48:40 PM EST
    that's some real life modern day Kafka...that poor guy.

    We are lost.


    Stunning incompetence (none / 0) (#66)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:15:06 PM EST
    Really Keystone Cops-like, not to date my great-grandmother or anything. Seriously, these are the geniuses in charge of things. And they can break into your place with impunity, just like the secret police in any tyrant's paradise.

    When hope and change becomes hoops and chains.



    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol, 106 (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:12:18 AM EST
    The Big Lebowski (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:45:10 AM EST
    And some nihilists (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:54:09 AM EST
    dropped a marmot in our laps. As it were.

    Haven't watched Breaking (none / 0) (#3)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:49:43 AM EST
    but people in the meth trade seem especially ruthless in reality.

    Any opinions on the launch of Al Jazeera USA?

    Need a favor friends... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:46:53 AM EST
    my nephew's special lady is all amped up about being one of 31 finalists to be a 2014 NY Mets calendar girl.  She asked the whole fam to campaign for her.  

    So if you wouldn't mind, and have no objection to cheesecake calendars, vote for Elyse here...help make her day!  Thanks in advance.

    Done (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:11:11 PM EST
    Also (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:31:53 PM EST
    Passed the link on to the BF, who is a huge Mets fan.

    I'm sure he will enjoy it as he votes for your nephew's lady.  :)


    And speaking of the Mets... (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:38:17 PM EST
    Tell your nephew (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:33:20 PM EST
    that she's adorable, kdog! I voted for her. But wait, can straight women vote for a calendar girl? Oh, well, never mind, they didn't ask my gender or orientation! ;-)

    Thanks all! (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:37:25 PM EST
    and yes, you're allowed, vote early and often like it's Tammany Hall up in here!;)

    Just like the All Star ballots. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:39:48 PM EST
    I think its (none / 0) (#68)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:26:55 PM EST
    One vote for person per IP address, but vote for as many as you choose to.

    Done! (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:24:10 PM EST
    Work computer...if I get fired for visiting a Calendar Girl site I will let you know!

    Many thanks all! (5.00 / 5) (#93)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:33:08 AM EST
    lookin' like our girl is a lock to make the calendar now...you guys are the best!  I don't care what they say about ya;)

    Glad we could help (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:22:11 PM EST
    link problem (none / 0) (#25)
    by unitron on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:04:32 PM EST
    That link you posted starts with https (used for secure connections, like to your bank, online shopping, etc.), not the usual http, and Firefox complains about an out of date certificate.

    Taking the s out allows the page to load.


    Oops... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:15:08 PM EST
    Thanks, here's the link less the extra s...I'm still such a computer dunce after all these years.

    As you will see, my nephew done allright for himself;)  They're both such great kids...looking forward to raging with them at the big annual McArab family reunion this weekend...hope my liver is ready!  

    Vote Elyse!


    Just voted and she's currently in 2nd place. (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Angel on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:26:40 PM EST
    She looks sweet.  Hope she gets her dream!

    Voted Elyse (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:40:15 PM EST
    Good luck

    Choices, choices. Why Elyse? (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:24:55 PM EST
    Because.. (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:29:05 PM EST
    I said so! ;)

    j/k...that's my nephew's special lady going on 4 years now.  She sent out an APB to garner her votes...she wants this calendar slot bad.

    The dirty old and middle-aged men in my office are already asking for autographed copies if and when she makes the calendar.


    How old is your nephew? (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:36:36 PM EST
    ((Yes, I voted.)

    Strapping young man,.. (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:44:59 PM EST
    of 20.  A great kid with his head on straighter than mine ever was (or is!).  Working full-time and going to school full-time, the right way...CUNY, no loans, paying his own freight.  And his girl is a pastry chef, and a damn good one.  She just got her first position in her chosen field.

    Yeah my brother raised two absolute gems...my niece is even smarter my nephew, but don't tell him I said that;)


    Go Elyse!! (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:10:07 PM EST
    I am sure that you are a fabulous uncle!

    Best job in the world... (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:17:50 PM EST
    all the fun, none of the responsibility...right up my alley! ;)

    Well, some responsibility...passing on my particular brand of knucklehead wisdom as a counterpoint to their parent's wisdom, Nana's wisdom, and especially some of the sh*t they're shoveling in the schools!


    Speaking about sh*t being shoveled in schools... (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by vml68 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:10:52 PM EST
    I was visiting my nieces earlier this summer and overheard the word "evolution" in a conversation between my niece and a neighbor's daughter. I later asked her what that conversation was about and she said that they were discussing the fact that the theory of evolution was not true. The horrified look on my face obviously got her attention because she immediately asked me if I believed in evolution. Then, it was her turn to be horrified by hearing my very firm "yes".

    She screamed for her older sister to come hear AuntV's latest craziness. The discussion about evolution then turned to the subject of God. I am the only member of my family that does not go to Church. My nieces have questioned me about it before when they were younger but I always avoided giving them an answer since my family asked me not to mention my atheist beliefs to the kids. Anyway, this time they got to hear that AuntV does not believe in any God and all her reasons for it. It was almost too much for them to process.

    I am counting on the fact that both of my nieces are very intelligent and curious girls and are going to give some thought to what I had to say on both subjects.

    I am absolutely disgusted by the fact that they are learning about Creationism but not Evolution in school. What century are we living in?


    Public school? Or private? (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:15:04 PM EST
    Obviously, ... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:11:30 PM EST
    vml68: "I am absolutely disgusted by the fact that they are learning about Creationism but not Evolution in school. What century are we living in?"

    ... this one.



    What irks me (none / 0) (#67)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:24:26 PM EST
    Is that "truth" need play no part in which theory is taught, the theory of evolution is a basic tool in understanding biology regardless of whether it is the actual method behind all the species. Where does creationism lead in any kind of study?

    My vote is cast for Elyse. (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:59:45 PM EST
    This is the first time I have ever voted in this type of election. Anything for a pirate crew mate.  :-)

    Say,, (none / 0) (#69)
    by desertswine on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:35:56 PM EST
    Isn't there a traffic jam in Harlem,
    that's backed up to Jackson Heights?
    (Yes, I voted).

    Anne (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:54:43 AM EST
    With your season opener just 13 days away, I heard a football stat yesterday that is sure to tweak your Raven button.

    The last seven Super Bowl winners have failed to win a playoff game the following season.

    The Ravens are in such a state of flux (none / 0) (#22)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:32:37 PM EST
    that my expectations are sort of in neutral - I'm really not sure what to expect, especially since it's not even clear who's going to  make the 53-man roster.

    I watched some of last night's game, and I can't say I was all that impressed.  I think the Boldin trade is going to hurt the offense more than anyone expected, but I do think the defense will be better.  Special teams - Harbaugh's alleged area of expertise - really needs work.

    I'm not looking for a repeat, and I'm not even sure I'm looking for a playoff berth, but Harbaugh's managed to get the Ravens there every year since he's been head coach, so who knows?  I don't think Pittsburgh is going to be much better than the 8/8 team they were last year - it's the Bengals that could be our stiffest competition in the AFC North.  As for the Browns, the local radio station has a sound bite they call up whenever someone calls to talk about them.  It's a caller who said, "I can sum up the Browns in 10 seconds: the owner is going to prison."  Cracks me up every time.

    Still sucks that we have to open on the road - if the Orioles are more or less out of it by opening day, there will be a lot of teeth-gnashing about the Orioles not working something out so the Ravens could open at home.


    Buck up, Anne (none / 0) (#39)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:32:41 PM EST
    Most of whatever good fortune I've had on Wall Street has come from being the consummate contrarian.  You know, when everyone is running one way....run the other way. And, this year, all the chatter in the NFL regarding the Ravens is about the unprecedented departure of 8 starters, including the incomparable, Ray Lewis.

    But, rather than join the "woe is me" crowd, I'm thinking about the fire in the belly simmering within those 8 replacement players who certainly have something to prove, and I predict, they will. Also, I see Joe Flacco stepping up to fill the leadership void left by Lewis's retirement, and showing the world why he's worth every penny of his huge contract. Finally, the coaching staff has been here before and I don't sense any panic coming from them. The reason being, imo, they engineered most of the changes. p.s. they know what they're doing.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the Title Game this year, and, I'm willing to make a not so small "investment" on them to seal the deal.


    Breaking Bad is so hard to predict (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:29:52 AM EST
    Obviously something involving Todd and his uncle's gang is going to get ugly, but I can't begin to predict how.

    My only prediction is that Walt got the ricin out of its hidey-hole to use on himself.

    TV ... and ... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Nemi on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:33:23 PM EST
    cinema, right? :-)

    For selfprotection I try to avoid movies that show unnecessary, extreme violence, serial killers, psycopaths and the like. I don't see the point in exposing myself to that. But then recently I watched the most chilling movie, which actually had most of these elements but without really showing them. Or for that matter shoving them - in your face.

    I'm talking about the Australian 2010 Oscar nominated "Animal Kingdom". A good example on how - often - less is more. Not only did it show chilling violence - without really showing it, it also showed how fine a line there is between normal and dangerously, raving mad and the fine line between being a normal, normally functioning, even loving person and a cynical criminal.

    Recommended. Even if you, like me, hate excessive violence but still don't shun reality, even when it's ugly.

    Mayor Filner: City Council agrees (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:01:56 PM EST
    to mediation settlement. (Linkhttp://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/23/bob-filner-resignation-san-diego-mayor/269322 1/)

    I'm curious as to whether the city is picking up any of Filner's tab for defending him against and other lawsuits  

    Update via LAT: (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:35:48 PM EST
    [Updated at 4:23 Aug. 23: Filner is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the state attorney general's office, a spokesman for Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris said in an email late Friday]

    Maybe DOJ needs to (none / 0) (#61)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:22:38 PM EST
    get a precedent set for when they have to prepare a defense for obama?

    DOJ pursues immunity for Bush and six others for Iraq war crimes

    August 22, 2013

    The Department of Justice has filed a Grant of Immunity for war crimes against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld. The filing for the immunity of war crimes was made with the United States District Court, Northern District of California San Francisco Division.

    This (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 05:30:26 AM EST
    is absolutely unbelievable.

    Yet - one must accept how far to the fascist right we have gone.

    The Obama administration seems to be afraid of a looming Nuremberg Trials situation - if an enlightened government were  elected to replace his.

    To me, this action is an admission of guilt.

    In another way, it is an admission that the actions by Manning and Snowden have raised the consciousness of the American people about the dreadful destruction of the Constitution by those horrid people - the torture, the sadism, and the lies before Congress, the American people and the world.

    I wonder if the the United States District Court, Northern District of California San Francisco Division where this was filed would have the backbone - the patriotic backbone - or the power to reject it.

    Were they to do so, I would see a light at the end of this tunnel , a rebirth of patriotism and perhaps a breathe of fresh air entering our world. On the other hand, if this Immunity is granted, I will see visions of the villains of WW2 Germany laughing and having a beer.


    I think (1.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:58:41 AM EST
    the villains of WW2 Germany were amateurs.

    Is Larry Summers really being considered (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:53:12 AM EST
    to head the Fed?

    While we're at it, why not make Jerry Sandusky chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, where we can keep an eye on him..

    What I think is that Summers should be working more in the area of scientific research: for instance strapping him to a gas-filled cow carcass, floating it down the Potomac and letting him measure how long it takes to explode in the noonday sun..

    Larry Summers was one of the prime architects of the financial crisis: an admitted admirer of Milton Friedman, who treated Ayn Greenspan like the Oracle at Delphi and against all commonsense and historical precedent aggressively pushed for Wall St dereglation in general, and deregulation of derivatives in particular, while also maliciously attempting to undermine the careers of naysayers to his agenda. Also, according to his own private memos Summers thinks it makes "sound economic sense" to ship our excess of toxic waste to impoverished nations where the little brown children can play in it..

    Summers should spend less time glorying in his Kissinger-like, teflon-coated status, and more down on his knees thanking the Good Lord he was born in a country that allows shysters like him to skate like Mario Lemieux and not a few other spots on the planet where he might actually be tasked with assuming some reponsibility for the harm he helped cause..

    That Obama gave him a job in the first place is a measure of the level of disdain he has for the intelligence level of the average American..  


    Larry Summers & friends, actually... (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:04:00 AM EST

    When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn't believe it.

    The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak's fantasy:  that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet. When you see 26.3% unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger in Greece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears.

    The Treasury official playing the bankers' secret End Game was Larry Summers.  Today, Summers is Barack Obama's leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world's central bank. If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn't be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world.

    The memo is authentic.

    To get that confirmation, I would have to fly to Geneva and wangle a meeting with the Secretary General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy. I did.

    Greg Palast, August 22, 2013
    Larry Summers and the Secret "End-Game" Memo


    Have I mentioned lately (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by sj on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:51:05 AM EST
    how much I hate these people?

    I recommend using those lemons (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 12:16:45 PM EST
    to make lemonade. And then mixing it with 151. Works for me sometimes.

    It's that "sometimes"... (none / 0) (#91)
    by sj on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    Works for me sometimes.
    ...that's a problem. :\

    Only about once week or so lately (none / 0) (#86)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 12:13:50 PM EST
    You've been busy with other things, and going easy on them? ;-)

    I think (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:00:11 AM EST
    I know what you mean.

    Ever since Clinton, to my way of thinking, we have refined the machinery and depersonalized the killing - inventing words such as "collateral damage", "extraordinary rendition", and "enhanced interrogation" to gloss over the horror of indiscriminate slaughter and torture.

    The German people could claim that they didn't know what was going on. They did know, but they could claim that they didn't.
    With us, we know what is going on, but through the miracle of refined brainwashing and Orwellian newspeak, we don't feel any of it.

    And, although it is hardly ever spoken of, with our bloated and omnipresent arsenal of nuclear weapons - which we have shown that we will use - we have put before the world the promise of total annihilation. And these weapons have been at the disposal of a series of Presidents who declare, to different degrees, to be Christians with a belief in an afterlife. Bush, for example, speaking of the deaths of the astronauts in the Challenger explosion as their having "come home". Yeah. Right. They're home. And I truly believe that nut was willing to send us all "home" if he got really frantic and boxed into a corner.

    Few agree with me, but I think our leadership is as dangerous as any group of religious fanatics in any other culture or country.


    "As" dangerous? (none / 0) (#83)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:48:31 AM EST
    Bloomberg.com, July 29
    Al-Qaeda Backers Found With U.S. Contracts in Afghanistan

    Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing "due process rights" as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

    The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.

    "I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract," Sopko said.

    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 01:36:00 PM EST

    Yes (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:09:37 PM EST
    The tsuanami of outrage here is heartening though. Pragmatic, at least.

    Got me so worked up (none / 0) (#90)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:11:05 PM EST
    I can barely type coherently...

    What an absurd comment (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:46:59 AM EST
    Truly delusional

    hyperbolic definately.. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:05:18 AM EST
    for more, with a zany, madcap spin, see below..

    It (2.00 / 0) (#79)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:04:59 AM EST
    would be helpful if you would express in your own words the elements of the post by jondee that you find to be delusional.

    I would be interested in what you have to say.

    Just saying it is delusional and walking away doesn't do much to clarify things.


    I think or hope (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    he was referring to the Nazi-Obama Administration comparison.