Wednesday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topices (except Zimmerman) welcome.

< Yemen Claims it Thwarted al Qaeda Attack | Reports of AQAP Developing Liquid Explosive >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Rick Santorum, who, once again, (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:26:21 PM EST
    is considering becoming a part of the Republican clown car act, has, with experience, managed to co-mingle a couple of his favorite issues.  

    Speaking to an anti-abortion group in Texas, Santorum explained his take on the enthusiasm gap between the spirited liberal and the passive conservative activists: "The pro-choice movement infuses passion about abortion rights into every aspect of their life. What the pro-choice movement does is they just don't focus on their little issue, they focus on everything.  They make it uncomfortable for students who come to Austin to shower in the YMCA gym."

    Putting aside the oddity of anyone showering in the YMCA gym rather than the gym's shower, it was unclear if Santorum was talking about abortions occurring in YMCA showers. In any event the gay shower scenario plays well for Rick with his base and he may feel that it is transferable to his abortion crusade.

    Yes, well (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:57:08 PM EST
    Rick Santorum has about as many brain cells as Michele Bachmann.  It does make you wonder about anyone who even listens to him.
    As we Greeks say, he's one dolmadaki short of a mezedakia platter.  Otherwise known as one taco short of a combination plate.     ;-)

    A few clowns (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:19:51 AM EST
    short of a circus. His antenna doesn't pick up all the channels.

    Forget Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner. (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:34:25 PM EST
    When it comes to true cringe-worthiness, neither of those two political resurrection-wannabes can hold a candle to Rick Santorum. Let's face it, the guy's major hang-ups drive him to say things that are just plain ol' creepy:

    "[Pro-choice leftists] make it uncomfortable for students who come to Austin to shower at a Young Men's Christian Association, YMCA, gym. Because they live it. They're passionate, they're willing to do and say uncomfortable things in mixed company. They're willing to make the sacrifice at their business because they care enough."

    Never mind the debate over whether Santorum should hold public office. Given the crazy homoerotic and / or misogynist-laden spew that often comes out of his mouth, I don't think I'd ever leave him alone with a young person for an instant. The guy's clearly got some serious personal issues.


    Wow - it's like stereo... :) (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:35:11 PM EST
    Well, Rick does merit a two-fer: (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:54:29 PM EST
    A Bronx cheer from Donald, and a blow of the raspberry from me.

    Must be that both are reading the same (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:37:37 PM EST
    "cons are kooks" website to find stuff to post here, wonder which one it is?


    Glenn writes about Obama's decision (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:38:26 PM EST
    not to meet with Putin:

    President Obama today canceled a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the two nations. That means that US media outlets will spend the next 24 hours or so channeling the government's views (excuse the redundancy) by denouncing the Russian evil of refusing extradition. When doing so, very few, if any, establishment media accounts will mention any of these cases:

    1.  US refuses Italian request for extradition of CIA agents.

    2.  Panama releases former CIA operative wanted by Italy (we intervened to have him returned to US, instead of to Italy)

    3.  America refuses to extradite Bolivia's ex-president on genocide charges

    4.  Luis Posada Carilles won't be extradited to Venezuela

    The US constantly refuses requests to extradite - even where (unlike Russia) they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism. Maybe those facts should be part of whatever media commentary there is on Putin's refusal to extradite Snowden and Obama's rather extreme reaction to it.

    Because this is America...do what we say, and don't remind us of what we do.

    Hmm (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:02:37 PM EST
    ...Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden...

    As I stated in a previous thread, I believe that Putin would be even less inclined to adhere to a very public demand. Even more so now that the U.S. politicians have gone into "Let's punish Russia mode."


    They are Giving a Man Known for... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:14:29 PM EST
    ...having a lot of bravado no way out without looking weak.  Even if he was so inclined, he can't do it.

    We are apparently at this point in global communications, "FU we are American and you better damn well do as you are told."  And throwing a ridiculous tantrum when someone dares to say 'no'.

    I wonder sometimes if this entire Russia debacle isn't somehow being used to elevate out former Secretary of State.  Getting everyone, especially the right all worked up over Russia, then enter stage left, HRC to save the day.

    There just is no reasonable explanation for Obama's behavior.


    Exactly my point (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:23:19 PM EST
    only you stated it better than I did

    They have given Putin no way out without looking weak. Even if he was so inclined, he can't do it now.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#14)
    by christinep on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:55:44 PM EST
    or perhaps we find it more to our advantage to do exactly that. Once you focus on the big international issues--e.g. the persistent nuclear questions & the potentially changing dynamics in Iran, Syria, global volatility, Russia's centuries-long conundrum in the old satellites such as Chechnya, and the needs/interests of the other countries at the Summit--the strutting of Putin is viewed as inevitably diminished.  Checking my old International Relations schoolbook, the President's bifurcation of the general Summit and a possible meeting with the Russian President is a classic (and almost expected) measure.  Putin can now take pot-shots at himself ... rather than the little boy sulk after their last meeting, Putin is in a kind of timeout.

    As for the Snowden ramification (if any): We know that Putin alternately appeases the populace (the harsh actions against gays & the initial response against Pussy Riot designed to appease the Orthodox believers.) Snowden has helped him counter claims & realities of punitive measures against protesters in his country (his chief political opponent's trial and conviction.)  I'd say that the WH can afford in more ways than one to have Snowden be Putin's eventual dilemma for awhile... because there are many higher value global agenda items, as mentioned above, that are more pressing for a broader number of people now.


    I don't think Putin is the one (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:14:27 PM EST
    coming across in the world view (the U.S. is not the world) as inevitably diminished in relationship to Snowden.

    Obama, McCain and Graham keep escalating the public outcry of "if Russia doesn't adhere to our DEMANDS, we will punish them" and Putin comes back with some little folksy quote. Bandying about the theme that the U.S. is punishing or "putting the leader of Russia" in time out is just IMO displaying an arrogance that is much criticized by much of the world and by even our allies.

    Personally I don't see any reason why Obama and the U.S. wants to provide him cover to counter claims & realities of punitive measures against protesters in his country by adopting similar measures in this country.  


    We approach this differently (none / 0) (#20)
    by christinep on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:56:12 PM EST
    There are a number of reasons ... but, to start off, we might want to remember that the European allies and states have a long memory about Russia (etc. etc.)  Contrary to your take, do not be surprised that many of those states view this pushback by President Obama as "At last ...Good."
    And, another longstanding matter that goes deep into Russian history is the periodic desire on Russia's part to be an integral part of the European community (See the very positive Russian reaction when, in 1997, Yeltsin was invited to the Summit of 8 in Denver.)

    Different takes.  I'm quite interested to see where this goes from here.  Oh, and as to any potential "cover" vis-à-vis protesters ... it will be even more interesting to see what happens should Snowden find the anti-protest structure in Russia too constricting and all. We all know what is coming. :)


    Well as CG pointed out in a previous (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:15:18 AM EST
    thread, the other 17 countries and the European Union will more than likely think it is "good" since they will not have to  worry about side deals between the US and Russia before they all sit at the table in St. Petersburg now.

    We might also want to remember that ... (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:32:48 AM EST
    christinep: "[To] start off, we might want to remember that the European allies and states have a long memory about Russia (etc. etc.)"

    ... the Russians have an even longer memory about the potential peril posed to them by western Europe, given that the country suffered six major invasions at the hands of western powers over the last three centuries, all of which cost them dearly. Three of those invasions -- by Napoleonic France in 1812, and by Germany twice during the first half of the 20th century -- proved catastrophic, and killed untold millions of people before the invaders were eventually and finally expelled.

    While Russia has long possessed a large population, it was an overwhelmingly agrarian society whose people were so spread out over a such an enormous area that rapid mobilization of Russian forces in the face of a military threat was often problematic. This rendered them a tempting target for western military adventurists, from Sweden's Karl XII in the early 18th century to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany only 70 years ago.

    During the First World War and the subsequent Russian Revolution, some 20 million Russians eventually perished. A quarter-century later, an estimated 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis over a 46-month period. Both those conflicts resulted in a wholesale reduction of the Russian populace by some 15% -- each time!

    Needless to say, we've nothing in our own national experience that comes anywhere close to rivaling that sort of unmitigated horror which was suffered by the Russians.

    Cold War rhetoric and propaganda aside, we best realize that the primary reason for the Soviet military occupation of eastern European states in the aftermath of the Second World War was to create a buffer zone between the West and Mother Russia proper, so that if there was to be major conflict again, it would take place in central Europe and not on Russian soil. They've long had much more to fear from the West than was ever really the case vice versa, and those memories are historically fresh in the Russian national mindset.



    I just read a first person account (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:49:14 AM EST
    from a letter written by one of Napoleon's longsuffering officers talking about how the Russians put Moscow to the torch once the French had taken posession of the city. The gist was that you could never permanently conquer a people that would be willing to do that.

    Precisely. (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:04:45 PM EST
    The Russian people personify the term "long suffering." If history offers us one specific characteristic about them, it's that they have an enormous and innate capacity to endure tremendous punishment, and still survive as a nation.

    The other thing history should teach us (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:40:03 PM EST
    is that the Russians are in essence the same "human-all-too-human", flesh-and-blood souls striving to acclimate themselves to their world, endure, and grow that you'll find from here to Timbuktu..



    Lets not forget that the Nazis (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:56:43 AM EST
    had a lot of help from some Hungarians, Bulgarians, Romanians et al. Help that contributed toward expediting the deaths of thirty
    million Russians.

    How long would the U.S have kept Canada and Mexico under it's heel after the war if it had been subjected to a similar scenario.


    They did indeed have a lot of help from ... (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:52:33 PM EST
    ... the Hungarians and Romanians, both of whom sent hundreds of thousands of troops to assist in the attempted German subjugation of the Soviet Union.

    That actually proved fatal for the Germans at the Battle of Stalingrad. When the Soviet High Command launched its major counteroffensive, "Operation Uranus," against the Axis forces in the Stalingrad region on November 19, 1942, the Red Army specifically targeted the Romanian Third Army and Hungarian Second Army, which were both deployed on either side of the German Sixth Army that was then assaulting the city.

    The Romanians and Hungarians were quickly stampeded, and the Germans in Stalingrad found themselves quickly surrounded in a matter of a few days' time, a trap from which they were unable to extricate themselves. It was an unmitigated German military disaster of colossal proportions, and proved to be the turning point in the war on the Eastern Front.



    A lot of focus on this "push back" (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:20:02 PM EST
    But Russia still allows us to funnel supplies to our troops in Afghanistan through them and we are still taking them up on the offer.  It is safest way to accomplish that task and nobody is walking away from that table.  I'll buy that there is a real serious splitting of the sheets when that joint project bites the dust.

    I don't think it is about bravado at all (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:44:25 PM EST
    Bmaz used the term force projection in a recent comment, up till today I have only ever heard that term from military and state department persons.  This is all IMO about force projection.  When we went into Iraq under falsified and immoral pretenses our global force projection went off the charts.

    I'm listening to the news right now and boy it sounds so much like propaganda tonight. All this talk about bad little Putin and the Syria business but not a lot of political science.  We destabilized Iraq and turned a Sunni government over to Shia.  We disturbed the balance of power horribly in that tribal area and that tribal area includes Syria.  It was only a matter of time before the Sunni majority in Syria was going to become a problem for a minority Shia government.  The United States is ultimately responsible for the disruption of a Russian ally.  Is Russia supposed to not know this and not bow up?

    We destabilize a whole region, and then want to dictate to everyone how this destabilization is going to go down.  Russia has been bowing up since and we act completely arrogant and self righteous.  Our President wants to chastise Russia for human rights violations in Syria while right across the border we bombed Fallujah to smithereens and it is now poisoning the families that survived and have lived there for generations.  Oh yeah, and we aren't looking back.  The military cranked out a bullshit two page report that says "What's happening in Fallujah isn't happening in Fallujah, nothing to see here move forward.

    I think this Snowden "tiff" is the end result of two large organized nations and force projection.  And it is time for the US to back off.  A reasonable argument can be made that this notion of us being the only surviving superpower is exactly the mass hubris that enabled what happened to Iraq.  And then it led to us only looking forward, not back. The rest of the world must look back, but not us.


    I am reading a new translation of Stefan Zweig's (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:57:45 PM EST
    memoir, "The World of Yesterday,". Originally published in 1942. Zweig is painstakingly describing the massive military build-up to WW I, the conscription of the laborers and farmers, propaganda w/complicity of the media, profiteering. All so familiar.

    I had to read that book in college, for ... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:57:31 AM EST
    ... my modern German history class. As I recall, I remember that my 20-year-old mind was thinking at the time that Herr Zweig was a bit of a putz and an overly sensitive fool.

    It would probably do me well to pull that book down off the shelf and give it another go, from a perspective of thirty-plus years' worth of life's experiences on my part. No doubt, I'd probably appreciate it a lot more the second time around.



    Get the new translation (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 04:12:54 PM EST
    by Anthea Bell.

    And if Obama backs off noticeably (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:56:30 PM EST
    Fox News will call him the p-word.  That's something else happening too.....sigh

    Pray tell, how is Hilary Clinton in any way (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:02:02 PM EST
    connected to Pres. Obama's decision not to meet w/Putin?

    Because she exists ;) (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:06:21 PM EST
    I chatted up my fave local (none / 0) (#157)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:28:47 PM EST
    Poli sci professor as whether he thinks H. Clinton will run. He hedged, responding, she is doing all the right things.

    BBC - Russia responds (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:32:18 PM EST
    to Obama canceling meeting due to President Barack Obama's "disappointedment" that Russia granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, defying Obama administration demands that the former government contractor be sent back to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

    The Kremlin says it is "disappointed" the US cancelled bilateral talks in September, after Russia granted asylum to intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser said the move showed the US could not develop ties with Russia on an "equal basis".

    They threw this statement in for good measure:

    For many years, the Americans have avoided signing an extradition agreement," Mr Ushakov said, "And they have invariably responded negatively to our requests for extradition of people who committed crimes on the territory of Russia, pointing at the absence of such agreement."

    Interesting (none / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:42:15 PM EST
    in that Putin recently said Russia has never, and won't extradite anyone. So the Kremlin statement saying "...And they have invariably responded negatively to our requests for extradition..." is a pretty self serving statement.

    Of course it is a self-serving statement (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:49:21 PM EST
    Just like our demands that they must extradite Snowden when we refuse to extradite people mentioned by Greenwald are self-serving.

    1. US refuses Italian request for extradition of CIA agents.

    2. Panama releases former CIA operative wanted by Italy (we intervened to have him returned to US, instead of to Italy)

    3. America refuses to extradite Bolivia's ex-president on genocide charges

    4. Luis Posada Carilles won't be extradited to Venezuela

    The US constantly refuses requests to extradite - even where (unlike Russia) they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism.

    I have no issue (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:03:01 PM EST
    with any country not extraditing anyone they so choose. But when you say you never have and won't, then your argument that another country won't extradite to you falls on deaf ears.

    Btw, I find all this talk about canceling a meeting with Putin in Russia on August 3-4 pretty meaningless when you're still meeting with Putin in Russia on August 5-6.


    Forgive me...Old age (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:10:23 PM EST
    all that is in September of course. I must have missed July.

    Cats who look like Putin: (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:57:14 PM EST
    It's after ten, too late for serious.  

    So, for your approval, Comrade Kittehs who look like Vladimir.


    Interesting article about who needs who (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:32:48 PM EST
    Former NSA and CIA chief Gen. Michael Hayden speculated on Tuesday that hackers and transparency groups would turn to cyberterror attacks if the United States captured NSA leaker Edward Snowden. He went on to dismiss Snowden supporters as "nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twenty-somethings who haven't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years."

    That probably wasn't the smartest thing to say because the government desperately needs hackers. And usually, when you desperately need someone, implying that they're sex-starved, basement-dwelling, would-be terrorists isn't a good idea. link

    If cybersecurity is "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, who has the skills to help with that? Hackers. You know, those very people that you have just insulted.

    I read that article as subtle - (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:01:22 AM EST
    well, maybe not so subtle - but rather slick and well done propaganda from WAPO in support of NSA spying.

    It appears on the surface to be taking sides against the government and with "the people" and all about criticizing Michael Hayden and effectively calling him an idiot. while in reality and if read carefully it is really a promotion of things like the NSA, and the skills hackers have if they can be put to work in organizations like the NSA.

    It effectively is saying, imo: "Hayden is an idiot, because obviously we need to have  the very best and most technically skilled people we can get spying on you"

    The administration considers cybersecurity "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation." Last year Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of a "cyber-pearl harbor" and this spring the Pentagon announced it would be increasing its cybersecurity force fivefold. But the administration has a problem: Throughout the federal government there is a lack of cybersecurity expertise.

    And who has the skills to help with that? Hackers.

    The closing paragraph slips the knife in after the article has set up the reader...

    Since Hayden's out of the government now, he won't have to deal with the direct fallout from his comments. But current government cybersecurity efforts will.

    Holy Gupta! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:43:31 AM EST
    He's on CNN and he says that he was wrong about weed.  He says he took the DEA at its word that weed was a dangerous class 1 substance and he was wrong.  He was also wrong about there being no medical applications for weed.  The only thing he doesn't want is people using it before full brain development.  Dr Gupta would rather that you don't toke until your twenties.

    He really just took them at their word? (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:14:10 AM EST
    Is he a moron?  Seriously, what, he couldn't do his own research on the substance?

    Does he believe everything the CIA tells him? Or the church?

    Nothing but an establishment mouthpiece. Dope. At least he's coming around, I suppose.



    Are you kidding, Dadler (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:12:21 PM EST
    a guy like that publicly owning up to the fact that he was that disasterously wrong about something?

    When every political consultant pinhead in the Beltway still says that to publicly offer an honest admission that you were wrong is a sign of weakness? Real men are never wrong: ask Fox News.

    In that context, Gupta's admission is like Paul on the Road to Damascus.


    I think Dadler's point... (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    is how anyone with half a brain and a middle school education could ever take the DEA at their word to begin with.  Nevermind someone who has taken the Hippocratic oath.    

    I think we're all in agreement that it takes a real (hu)man to admit they are wrong...and always better late than never.  


    No, I'm not (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:45:41 PM EST
    Hooray he realized why his eyes were burning when he was pissing into the wind for years.

    But, what year is it? Come on, on THIS issue, please, this dude is so late he's sitting in the lobby waiting for intermission to catch the second act.

    Of course I realize "the import", Jondee, my old friend, but, sigh, I don't know, I just wanna find a hot tub.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a free comic a day)


    Funny (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:11:13 AM EST
    Because his network just had the story of a 5 year old girl who uses a form of medical marijuana to stop grand mal seizures.  Her mother givers her 3-4 milligrams per ounce of the girl's body weight.

    Although, Gupta is consistent with other scientific studies:

    Scientists don't fully understand the long-term effects early marijuana use may have on children. Studies that show negative effects, such as diminished lung function or increased risk of a heart attack, are primarily done on adult marijuana smokers. But Charlotte wouldn't be smoking the stuff.

    Childhood is also a delicate time in brain development. Preliminary research shows that early onset marijuana smokers are slower at tasks, have lower IQs later in life, have a higher risk of stroke and increased incidence of psychotic disorders, leaving some scientists concerned.

    How cool... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:39:28 AM EST
    that the strain of low THC high CBD marijuana was named after the poor little girl..."Charlotte's Web".  Schedule 1 is a Schedule 1 sin....

    "I literally see Charlotte's brain making connections that haven't been made in years," Matt said. "My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn't know about this? How come they didn't make me aware of this?"

    The answer sir, I am afraid, is there is less money in it. Willful ignorance of the health industrial complex.


    It's an amazing story (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:15:41 AM EST
    I hope she hasn't (or won't continue to) suffer)ed) too much permanent brain damage.

    Whatever long-term risks are involved... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:22:55 AM EST
    if any, it's certainly better than the 300 seizures a week the poor child was having prior to using the herb.

    If we can get the wonder herb off the joke of a Sch. 1 status, the growers can really get to work developing the best and safest strain for children to use medicinally, with even less to no THC content.


    when I read or hear stories like this, (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:08:13 AM EST
    I wonder why it is that no one talks about the risks associated with "standard" and "approved" treatments for things like childhood cancer, and yes, seizure disorders.

    Or even the risks of the diseases/disorders themselves?

    Here's a list of some of the most common late effects of the cancer drugs:

    Late effects in childhood cancer survivors may affect the following:

        Organs, tissues, and body function.
        Growth and development.
        Mood, feelings, and actions.
        Thinking, learning, and memory.
        Social and psychological adjustment.
        Risk of second cancers.

    And the chances of experiencing those effects increases over time.

    Here's a link to a pdf that describes various anti-seizure meds and their side effects.  

    My point is that there is risk with any treatment - but there is also risk in not treating, too.  The seizures themselves can cause damage to the brain, so which is worse - the risks associated with "approved" treatment, the risks of non-approved treatment or the risks of not treating at all?and when it's your kid who's having hundreds of seizures every day, and the traditional, approved treatments aren't working, and every day the risk of brain damage is increasing, what are you going to do?  


    I don't have children (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:03:02 PM EST
    But I guess I would go as far as killing someone and drinking their blood if it meant my child could be saved.

    That's my girl...;) (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:00:50 PM EST
    My sister the oncology nurse, my polar opposite in many ways and in particular not at all a fan of the herb, would tell her patients about medical mj and look the other way when they self-medicated in the hospital in our unenlightened cruel state.  

    And she is much harder to appease than even the FDA or Crooked Congress.  She is definitely the mailman's kid, or there was a mix-up at the maternity ward or something...the goody two-shoes blacksheep of the family;)


    Methotrexate for RA...poison (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:35:16 PM EST
    Chemo....poison.  These big pharma drugs are given to children legally.  Costs vs benefit, someday everyone will die, how do they get to live while living?  I think about that stuff all the time, the DEA doesn't have to I guess.

    What's Crazy To Me... (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:17:44 PM EST
    ...is they can't test drugs on kids, or rather their drugs tests on kids are after they are approved, and kids are prescribed these medications.  A great big cross their fingers and hope kids react the same way adults do.

    Whereas teenagers have been unofficially testing weed since antiquity with no real side effects only the presumed possible ones that keep it illegal, even for testing by the Fed.

    I am shocked at times when I see a pharma commercial with a grandma and her family, soft lighting and just an overall picture perfect family.  But it only lasts 15 seconds because they need the other 15 to speed read the side effects which almost always include anal discharge or the occasional death.

    But we obsess over weeds possible side effects and rarely bat an eye over other drugs already known dangerous side effects.


    Big Pharma... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:23:26 PM EST
    does love to hit us with the anal discharge, don't they?  What is up with that?

    Tony Siragusa is even schilling maxi-ass-pads now, smells like the next epidemic.  But no worries, the drug to treat the anal discharge is in the last stages of FDA approval, the only potential side effects are ear bleeding, vision loss, and impotence. ;)


    If you watch a nightly news (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:12:48 PM EST
    broadcast, the commercials are all for drugs the industry wants you to go badger your doctor to prescribe for you, and the list of side effects for them goes on and on and on.  And on.

    So, I have a hard time getting worked up over yet another story about "what we don't know" about marijuana, and "the children."

    If there was a Big Pharma drug that could do for this kid what the marijuana is doing, we'd be seeing ads for it - and even if there were side effects, or "it has not been established what the long-term effects are in children under the age of 12," that wouldn't stop them from pushing it.

    But it would be okay, because the FDA said so.


    A Couple Years Ago... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:29:44 PM EST
    ...I went to see a new doctor, everything from the sign in sheet to the pen I used to the posters on the wall was drug marketing freebees.

    I mean come on, it's a fricken clinic rolling in cash at least try and pretend your aren't in love with the pharmacy rep and budget the $20 a month in lieu of drug company propaganda.

    The doctor seemed OK, but I never back to see if he was as hackey as his decor.  I have figured out that a doctor in a small unassuming office is infinity better than one at a posh clinic, at least for my needs.  They seem to care more about their patients than their paychecks.


    Question: Anne, would you change your tune (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:02:00 PM EST
    If that grandbaby you love so much, grows up to be a 14 year old, and is smoking weed in his bedroom after school every day?  

    So, I have a hard time getting worked up over yet another story about "what we don't know" about marijuana, and "the children."

    Not for health issues, but just because he turns out to be a stoner teenager.  Would you be worked up about "what we don't know about marijuana" and "the children"?


    Not to speak for Anne... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:10:00 PM EST
    but in that hypothetical I don't think she'd be worked up about marijuana, she'd be worked up about her grandchild and why they are partying too much and much too young.

    Though she might get worked up about prohibition making it easier for 14 year olds to score reefer than it is to score legal and regulated booze.

    We have the whole "think of the children!" thing totally arse backwards.


    You are very right, my friend (none / 0) (#76)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:23:44 PM EST
    How was your trip? Hope it was grand.

    I am making comics until I can write prose again. And I better write prose soon, because it's usually the only way I make money, sans poker that is.

    Peace out.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a free comic  a day)


    Grander than grand... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:53:12 PM EST
    my good man...savoring the after-glow of her presence like a cigarette after Thankgiving dinner.  Making budgetal and required hermitude calculations for a January border cross, if at all possible.  Lost puppy syndrome hardcore holmes.

    Prose or no prose, keep the 'toons a comin'.  I may not always comment, but I read them all.


    Hope you and mujer especial... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:24:26 PM EST
    ...get your love on as soon as possible.

    And thanks for the comic props.



    First of all, it's not a tune, it's an opinion; (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:51:26 PM EST
    "tune" has a rather negative connotation, to me, anyway.

    But the operative phrase in your hypothetical is "grows up," which he's not going to do if the constant seizures turn his brain to mush.

    So, if the choice is between my grandchild's brain turning to mush because of constant seizures, with no ability to have a meaningful life - and - that he could grow up to be smoking weed in his room every day at 14, I'll take Door No. 2.  

    Just as I would choose chemo for him if he had cancer, even though it might mean he'd develop other health problems later.

    Since you admitted to being willing to murder someone and drink their blood to save your child, I kind of can't believe you're putting that question to me.


    Except, that wasn't my question (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 04:21:56 PM EST
    Would you please answer the one I DID ask? I didn't mean it to sound negative, but it's because you seemed a bit cavalier in your answer about research on marijuana use and "the effect on children". I understand the difference if you had a sick child that you would feel that "Whatever it takes".  But since the research on children on ANY use of marijuana is still sporadic, I am asking about smoking to get high.

    I asked how would you feel if your grandchild just wanted to smoke weed to get high?  (Which is different than the treatment being offered to this young girl, as she is ill, the amount is so small, is dosed in an oil, and she does not get high).  

    Even Gupta cautioned:

    I do want to mention a concern that I think about as a father. Young, developing brains are likely more susceptible to harm from marijuana than adult brains. Some recent studies suggest that regular use in teenage years leads to a permanent decrease in IQ. Other research hints at a possible heightened risk of developing psychosis.

    Much in the same way I wouldn't let my own children drink alcohol, I wouldn't permit marijuana until they are adults. If they are adamant about trying marijuana, I will urge them to wait until they're in their mid-20s when their brains are fully developed.

    I'm sorry - I thought you were making (none / 0) (#82)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:02:58 PM EST
    a connection between the treatment and later behavior.

    I would no more want my grandchild to be smoking weed on a regular basis at 14 than I would want him popping pills, or drinking beer, for many reasons.  Those young teen years are so fraught with changes, and I'd prefer he have as clear a head as possible to be able to deal with what life might be throwing his way.

    Of course I care about children and their health - but look at the pharmaceutical industry, out there pushing its drugs in spite of the risks associated with them, and, as Scott says, they know very little about the long-term effects of drugs on children, because they don't test them on children.

    What I was feeling when I wrote my comment was not cavalier, but cynical.


    Yes, getting high for pleasure is a completely (none / 0) (#83)
    by sj on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:30:20 PM EST
    ...different thing. But I'm struck by this part of your comment:
    (Which is different than the treatment being offered to this young girl, as she is ill, the amount is so small, is dosed in an oil, and she does not get high).  
    I am inferring that you are OK with this, at least in part, because she does not get high.

    Are you opposed to conventional medicine that, while legal, would cause her to get high? I have a personal interest in the question. Both of my grand-nephews suffered from severe infantile epilepsy [which, thankfully, they have both outgrown] and had severe seizures which were only managed with large doses of pharmaceuticals that actually do get one high.

    Was it OK, in your opinion, for them to "get high" because the medications were legal?

    By the way, those medications had the potential to have permanent long-lasting organ damage. AFAIK medical marijuana does not have that risk.


    IOW (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:40:42 AM EST
    You gotta be messed up in some way for people to give their blessing to your drug usage.  Right, because someone in pain or depressed isn't taking drugs, legal or not, to feel better.

    Drugs serve one purpose, to make people feel better, from easing pain to altering brain chemistry to preventing future medical problems.  People take drugs to feel better.  

    I find it very odd that it's not taking the drugs most people object to, it's the feeling good part they hate.  And while I don't know, I find it very hard to believe that a little girl taking a half gram of purified cannabis oil isn't feeling anything.  I would imagine this is what the doctors tell them mom to say so the puritans don't burn them alive, doctors included.  Chemistry is chemistry.

    I bet no one was whining about the children and the known side effects when she was a customer at Big Pharma.

    "(Charlotte's) been close to death so many times, she's had so much brain damage from seizure activity and likely the pharmaceutical medication," Gedde said. "When you put the potential risks of the cannabis in context like that, it's a very easy decision."

    "But if you want to feel better and there is nothing wrong with you, you have better GD well get drunk, everything else is is forbidden, but readily available."


    Dumb Question... (5.00 / 4) (#80)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 04:14:52 PM EST
    ...and the answer is obvious.

    A better and more on point question is would you prefer a kid who takes pot or a stimulant like Ritalin, both have the same result, calming them down.

    One is highly addictive with many known bad side effects, the other is illegal.

    And you keep using the terms unknown and possible in terms of side effects.  Stop, something that people have been using for thousands of years doesn't have unknown effects.  It's probably the most tested drug to ever exist, there are no sleeping secrets in marijuana waiting to be discovered by the FDA.  Just because the powers that be refuse to give it an even shake, doesn't mean it hasn't been thoroughly tested.

    Ditto for kids, no drug is tested on kids, why is a prerequisite for marijuana.

    I think you are all alone in getting worked up over this issue, marijuana isn't the devil and I think most reasonable parents view in the same way they view alcohol.  They don't want their kid doing it, but they aren't going to have a cow should it happen, which is more likely than not.


    Kids in the U.S are five times (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:45:58 AM EST
    more likely to be prescribed behavior meds as kids in most parts of Europe.

    It's a scandal. Beyond obscene, imo.

    The result of the administration of medicine being filtered through the twisted mind of Milton Friedman and the all-powerful shareholders.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 92 (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:10:47 AM EST
    Little Allison learns about caged heat. (link)

    Vol. 91
    Vol. 90

    Happy Thursday, my friends. I have tedious bullsh*t to attend to now. Oh joy.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a comic a day)

    On the road again... (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:11:53 AM EST
    Heh. Re-cycle!

    Love it :-) (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Nemi on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:18:13 PM EST
    I guess he walks it into motion? Like a Hobby Horse.

    And speaking of bikes: (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Nemi on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:14:49 AM EST
    A growing problem in some parts of Europe, Too Many Cyclists on the Road.

    No, it's not The Onion (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:45:15 AM EST
    From the "You just can't make this sh*t up" dept....

    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.

    Maybe more and better spying (none / 0) (#57)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:15:09 PM EST
    by the NSA on you would help, so we'll know when these dang terrists in Afghanistan take a phone call or reply to an email from a US Government rep who wants them to come into the office to sign a contract, and we can bust their a$$es right on the spot, red-handed.

    Like the Fake Contests... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:29:56 PM EST
    ...dead beat dads think they won and when they go into collect...

    Easy solution, use drones on them, there why won't have concern themselves with these silly notions of due process.


    On the US Government reps (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:35:03 PM EST
    who are inviting al Qaeda into their offices to give them contracts?

    I don't know about that. Might be going a drone too far, and could upset The Base. I thought drones were only used on confirmed terrists, no? You know, like kids who should have chosen better parents?


    My mom's latest documentary (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:29:48 PM EST
    A short film about a tribe in South Africa screwed over by the dude who built, among other monolithic resort monstrosities, Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. I did some writing on it. It's called SHOSHOLOZA (link), and according to mi madre, it just won a little film festival award, the name of which escapes me. Check it out, tho, and forgive the sound, it may be bad in sp0ts, still working on it I think.

    I love my mother, tho, such a long and winding road we've had together. From welfare in the hood together in 1969 to this. And every odd step in between. Gotta love the variety of life, when it ain't killing you. Since it's about all we got in this brief mortal coil.

    Peace, my friends.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a free comic a day)

    And that's my sister narrating (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:32:23 PM EST
    I had no idea she was doing the voiceover, and when I saw the first cut of it, I was thinking, "Why does that voice sound familiar?" LOL. She's trying to get a little V.O. and singing career going, and I hope to gets there soon.

    U..S strongarms encyption co. into submission (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:00:22 AM EST
    This is where we are heading now: authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Everyone running scared of the Obama administration. All media and communications companies under the control of the WH, and all in secret. This is what destruction looks like. Democracy, not so much.

    An encrypted email service believed to have been used by US leaker Edward Snowden shut down on Thursday apparently as a result of pressure from US authorities.

    Lavabit owner Ladar Levison posted a message at the website telling users that the he was pulling the plug on the secure email service launched in Texas nearly a decade ago.

    "I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit," Levison said.

    "After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations."

    Levison lamented that he was barred from sharing details of what prompted Lavabit's demise.

    Seen this (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:24:54 PM EST
    What a shame. A businessman works hard and tries to do the right thing and is forced to either sell out his principles or close the doors. Then to add insult to injury, it appears that the government has issued a gag order and he cannot share the details.

    I do not like the direction that our government is going in at all.


    And Lavabit isn't the only one that's (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:40:23 PM EST
    getting out:

    This morning, Silent Circle, a US-based secure online communication service, followed suit by shutting its own encrypted email service. Although it said it had not yet been served with any court order, the company, in a statement by its founder, internet security guru Phil Zimmerman, said: "We see the writing on the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now."


    Glenn has more at the link.


    Xmission may soon follow (none / 0) (#104)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:15:28 PM EST
    Can you imagine the outcry/awareness if Google had suspended operations with a similar notice for a just single day?

    Info on Xmission


    It was my attention to attach (none / 0) (#105)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:20:29 PM EST
    this but I forgot. From Glen's post of today.
    Snowden, who told me today that he found Lavabit's stand "inspiring", added:

    "Ladar Levison and his team suspended the operations of their 10 year old business rather than violate the Constitutional rights of their roughly 400,000 users. The President, Congress, and the Courts have forgotten that the costs of bad policy are always borne by ordinary citizens, and it is our job to remind them that there are limits to what we will pay.

    "...Employees and leaders at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren't fighting for our interests the same way small businesses are. The defense they have offered to this point is that they were compelled by laws they do not agree with, but one day of downtime for the coalition of their services could achieve what a hundred Lavabits could not.

    "When Congress returns to session in September, let us take note of whether the internet industry's statements and lobbyists - which were invisible in the lead-up to the Conyers-Amash vote - emerge on the side of the Free Internet or the NSA and its Intelligence Committees in Congress."

    Obama giving press conference now (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:14:40 PM EST
    and lying through his teeth about the NSA spying programs. Says we should have a "conversation." Yeah, right. Well, we wouldn't be having one if Snowden hadn't helped us know about it. Obama says there is ample oversight now, but hey, let's have some more! "We can and must be more transparent." LOL!!!! The NSA is now "putting in place a civil liberties and privacy officer." Yeah, I really trust the NSA to do their own oversight on spying on me!

    This guy is a fraud, from start to finish.

    And his answers to reporters (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:17:16 PM EST
    are totally rehearsed. He must have been up until three this morning practicing his lines about Russia.

    I used to think that (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:25:13 PM EST
    he's such an intelligent guy that he couldn't possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that anyone else could possibly be stupid enough to think that he makes any sense when he transparently lies through his teeth.

    I still think so.

    He doesn't care. "belief" doesn't enter into it. He knows they can.


    Well, at this moment (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:30:47 PM EST
    he's just blatantly lying. Telling the reporters that Snowden had whistleblower protections and should have taken the route of going up the chain from inside. But he just contradicted himself two minutes before that by saying Snowden is NOT a whistleblower, and is NOT a patriot.

    Lie after lie. And oddly enough, the more he lies, the more he starts to fumble, and it's become ridiculous. Really a pathetic performance today. More than anything, he appears angry, then scared, then angry, then scared. It's all falling apart around him.


    Imploding (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:35:46 PM EST
    Yep. Stick a fork in him. He's done. (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:37:50 PM EST
    (Sorry for mixing metaphors.)

    A song (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:41:59 PM EST
    for him...

    I've looked at life from both sides now,
    from win and lose, and still somehow
    it's life's illusions I recall.
    I really don't know life....

    At all.


    You Canadian, you! (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:52:27 PM EST
    And his defense of Larry Summers makes me think of her song "Harry's House."

    Obama (none / 0) (#132)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:55:16 PM EST
    Oh my god. It's gone absurd now. (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:41:01 PM EST
    Says the reforms aren't necessary to improve accountability, there are no abuses occurring. He just wants to put them in place to make the American people "more comfortable." Then he goes off on some weird tangent about convincing Michelle that when he says he's going to do the dishes, he really does the dishes.

    My jaw is to the floor.


    Watch for photo release (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:00:01 PM EST
    of him doing dishes in the WH kitchen...

    Reporter Carol Lee (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:34:59 PM EST
    not falling for his charm offensive at all. Good for her. Turns right around and challenges him on waffling on NSA and spying programs.

    He keeps saying there are checks in place, but if so, then why is he promoting new reforms on accountability?


    Is that the reporter Carol Lee (none / 0) (#135)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:58:24 PM EST
    who has long been with conservative Politico.com?

    Couldn't resist ... but, really, a couple of you seem to be having the kind of semi-meltdown reaction not unlike some in that other party.  As the several comments above kept proclaiming "liar, liar" ... my reaction & the reactions of some friends that called immediately after the press conference was the complete opposite ... calming, sensible, and quite jabbing of the House Repubs Obamacare repeal-hysteria.  Yep, as you can imagine: Your little group & my little group must be cancelling each other out.  


    Your "little group" is now irrelevant (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:15:42 PM EST
    The American people are over him, Christine. And he knows it too, which is why his performance today was so pathetic. By the way, he called on Carol Lee and immediately tried to charm her with congratulations about her new baby to fend off her question, but he just came off as jivey, and she wasn't buying it. I don't care much for Politico, as you must know, but the point is, his seductive measures weren't working today -- with anyone. He was clearly on the defensive on the NSA issue, and did a bad job of dealing with it. Contradicting himself up and down, and yes, lying profusely. If there are no abuses occurring, and there's al this great oversight already in place, then why institute these reforms? With a straight face, he says it's just to make us all feel "more comfortable." It's falling down around him. You could see it in his face, hear it in the way he responded. The reporters are finally playing their needed adversarial role.

    Anyone who saw this press conference today can smell the fear in the WH.


    Your rantings (3.50 / 2) (#142)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:33:04 PM EST
    sound a little unhinged today.

    As opposed to the (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:35:55 PM EST
    concise and coherent statement shoephone is responding to, you mean?

    I'm assuming neither of them (none / 0) (#145)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:44:02 PM EST
    actually saw the press conference.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#146)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:51:41 PM EST
    After several reads, it looks like christine may have seen the presser. Although she doesn't discuss it. At all. Only the [condescending] reactions of her "little group".  etc. etc.

    I saw all the press conference (none / 0) (#150)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:28:32 PM EST
    'Thought it went well.  'Thought his opening comment was a bit general ... as Presidents are wont to do in security matters.  On the reforms to which he methodically referred, I found the independent review short time limitation -- initial 90 days followed by implementation by calendar year's end significant; and, the specific reference to retaining 215 while calling for revision of that section may well mirror Sen. Udall's earlier call (which, IMO, would be positive.)

    I found the President's remarks on the occasion of yet another Repubs play-acting with an attempted Obamacare repeal (with, as he repeated pointedly, no plan for replacement) to be quite assertive, appropriately combative, and backed by an argument about gains that are hard to oppose.  That segment will be repeated quite a bit.

    Looking to the autumn & immigration reform, I think that he (& the Dems in leading up to this) are calling out the House in terms of allowing a vote in a smart way.  The build-up to the autumn crescendo is pitch-perfect.

    On the Putin relationship: The President appeared firm, yet relaxed ... balancing the need to move forward with the requirement of seeing bona fides from Putin as part of any advancement.  His presentation underscored the long-term complexity of the relationship, and the problems both sides confront.  What definitely caught my ear was his framing the issue (before it would inevitably build in the months ahead) about the Olympics wherein he affirmed that the US should not threaten in any way the reality of the Games going forward.  To that end, it was perfect pitch on Obama's part to declare specifically his desire to see Gay & Lesbian participants rightly earning and bringing home medals from the Games.

    All in all, a pretty good presser.


    okay (none / 0) (#152)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:36:56 PM EST

    What a crock. (none / 0) (#160)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:19:20 PM EST
    He's failing on the NSA issues, and you are simply an apologist.

    And, you seem to be going over (none / 0) (#164)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:32:36 PM EST
    the edge.  At this point, best to agree on disagreeing.  Seriously ... there is nothing, IMO, anyone can say to you about Obama except to agree with your predisposition...to do otherwise, you seem to regard us as all wrong.  

    Oh, blah blah blah (5.00 / 4) (#169)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 09:31:30 PM EST
    Try out your arrogance and your street corner psychology on someone else. It ain't workin' here.

    And, maybe you coould cut (1.00 / 2) (#172)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 09:51:57 AM EST
    the constant angry whine as well.  The sky is clear blue & the mountains are wonderful here; surely, there is something nice to see where you live.

    There may be unicorns, too, and sparkly ponies (5.00 / 5) (#173)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:35:28 AM EST
    peeking in shoephone's windows, but in the middle of the current discussion, waxing poetic about them would be a total non sequitur.

    There's a reason you can't get people to look on the bright side, see the glass as half-full, count their blessings, marvel at the wonders of nature, be happy with the middle ground: they've had enough of denial and eyes-wide-shut and believe that pretending things are better than they are doesn't serve anyone particularly well.

    I can't speak for shoephone, but I've always seen TL as a great place for organizing my thoughts and developing arguments against the insanity that is foisted on us from so many directions - which I take and use in my "real" life.

    Why are you so afraid of emotion and passion?  Honestly, if the founding fathers had approached the revolution using your playbook, we'd be singing God Save The Queen before all our sporting events.


    Anne, I respect your opinion (none / 0) (#174)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:55:29 AM EST
    but I don't think the Founding Fathers ever qualified as the mopey whiny wing of the populace, which is where a small portion of TL regularly resides.

    I guess one person's "mopey and (5.00 / 4) (#175)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 03:08:52 PM EST
    whiney" is another's "passionate and angry," and I guess my point was that if the founding fathers had listened to the contingent (and you know there was one) that kept cautioning that baby steps were a good first start, and maybe we had to work through the process, and golly, gee it's such a pretty day, why are we complaining about freedom of religion, maybe the course of history would have been different.

    My larger point was that TL is a sounding board.  What's said here isn't the sum total of what people are actually out there doing in their communities to help effect change.  Maybe it's talking with friends and neighbors, bringing more facts to the table than what people are getting from the media.  Maybe it's keeping up the contact with elected representatives.  But from what I glean here, people aren't just sitting around in their pj's brushing Cheetoh dust off their keyboards.

    So it's presumptuous of people like christine to marginalize and dismiss people's point of view  on the basis of their comportment and the tone with which it is expressed.  And it's kind of offensive to suggest that someone would be better off to go enjoy the glories of nature than to express their political views.

    This is a form of community, some days it feels very familial - and if you can't open up and be raw and uncensored within that framework, where can you be?


    Anne: Now who is practicing psychology (none / 0) (#176)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 04:11:11 PM EST
    I decided some time ago not to get in a match about who is passive or passionate or what not.  Its a deflection mechanism and a controlling mechanism to attempt it.  Let me say this once, then: Dear Anne, you have absolutely no understanding about my level of passion, dedication, or caring ... or whatever other fun descriptor might suit your fancy.  (BTW, what is most amusing to me is that this is a rare place in that I cannot recall any other in my life where some would-be psychologists toss out phrases that suggest such a prototype.  I do understand the purpose of such a technique.  But then, all the emoting about wanting to vomit or feeling a nausea or other forms of sick sensations to accompany commentary suggest nothing more to me than the possibility that the commenter might have a medical issue or somesuch.)

    It is okay for you to comment without packing it with personal putdowns that -- if responded to by any means other than subserviently -- are followed by remarkable shock that one could be so offensive. I can & will respond to comments not filled with invective.

    Right now, tho, I'll go searching for some beautiful unicorns (as you open with.) I believe the lovely creatures are known as oribi at the zoo.  IMO, it is invigorating & uplifting to see beyond ourselves.  Oh well, if I can't find a unicorn, at least I can count on a rainbow somewhere in Colorado on any given day.  


    Really funny when they hold a mirror (2.00 / 5) (#177)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 04:29:00 PM EST
    Anne even uses her pop-psychology theories to explain the President's policies. Can she remember how many times she has written that Obama seeks bi-partisanship (in her mind it is seeking approval) from Republicans because his mother "abandoned" him and left him with his grand parents? If you count the times, Anne or lentinel have said that they are "sick to their stomachs" or got "high blood pressure" or a "headache" or are "going to vomit" by just hearing the President speak or by imagining his motives, you could come across thinking that they are chronically sick, i.e. they are the patients who would have never got health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. :-)

    I don't recall this: (none / 0) (#182)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:12:19 PM EST
    Can she remember how many times she has written that Obama seeks bi-partisanship (in her mind it is seeking approval) from Republicans because his mother "abandoned" him and left him with his grand parents?

    Are you sure about that?


    Yes (none / 0) (#183)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:22:19 PM EST
    Just read up Anne's past posts in TL. She has expressed this view not just once but on multiple occasions.

    But what does this have to do with (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:31:01 PM EST

    We are all products of our environment, and those of us who are parents often lie in bed awake wondering if the things we are saying and the decisions we are making are going to affect our kids in negative ways.

    Take the names out of it.  What are the chances that a man whose father abandoned him, and whose mother effectively abandoned him to the care of his grandparents, wouldn't have some issues?  Wouldn't be left feeling at times like if he had been a better kid, or had tried harder, or done something, maybe his parents would have loved him enough to stick around.

    I don't claim to be able to know with any certainty that this explains Obama, but there's nothing to say that it doesn't, either.  Look at Bill Clinton - he had parent issues, too.  Maybe that explains why he went looking for love in all the wrong places.  Who knows?

    But, back to the point.  I know you raised this in order to neutralize my comments, but I still have no idea what it has to do with anything.  What it has to do with christine's aversion to emotion, her discomfort with anger.  She seems to equate emotion with irrationality, as if not being 100% cerebral renders opinions worthless.  It's a short hop to "is it that time of the month?" kind of debate.

    You tell me: why can't Obama ever seem to just take a position and lead on it?  Why must every issue come down to finding the middle ground, if there's a position on one end or the other that's the better one?  Why does he negotiate with himself, concede before anyone's asked for concessions?  

    We all do things for reasons we don't always understand, and it's easier sometimes to see the patterns in others than to see them in ourselves.  

    But if the best you can do is to harken back to some comments I made about why I think Obama does what he does, I'm not sure what you've accomplished, other than to make it clear that you apparently hang on my every word.

    Thanks; I'll take that as a compliment!


    Anne (none / 0) (#188)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:03:05 PM EST
    IMO, you have a very wrong opinion about the relationship that the President had with his mother. I never got the feeling that the President ever felt he was "abandoned" by his mother based on anything he has written or spoken# If you read "Dreams from my Father" and other writings, the genuine warmth that he has for his mother will be very evident# He thought that she was a little naïve in the way she looked at the world; however it is very clear how much love and respect he has for the ideals that took her from place to place and the values she tried to cultivate in him and his sister# I can remember even a moment from the 2008 campaign season# A number of candidates were asked  questions about their most prized possession#  BHO's answer stood out in my opinion-it was very different from anything other candidates said-to me it was also the most genuine answer of all# He said it was a photograph of the cliffs in Hawaii where his mother's ashes were scattered# link. I do not think that someone who felt "abandoned" could ever write or talk in the way he has done about his mother over the years.
    This is my opinion, of course you are entitled to yours.

    But ... if he had such warm feelings (none / 0) (#189)
    by Nemi on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:29:23 AM EST
    for his mother, doesn't it make you wonder, why he didn't choose to write a book about her instead of waxing poetically about his - even more so - absent father?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:36:54 AM EST
    The complete title of the book in question is "Dreams from my father-A story about Race and Inheritence". The complete title explains why the word "father" is in the title of the book.
    This book was written after the President became the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. Why he wrote the book is explained in the preface. He was approached by a publisher and given an advance to write a book and he went to work on writing the book with a belief that his story would "speak in some way to the fissures of race that have characterized the American experience, as well as the fluid state of identity-the leaps through time, the collision of cultures-that mark our modern life".

    Anyone who has actually read the book will tell you that he did not "wax poetically" about his father in the book. It is very clear where his sympathies in life lay-with his mother. There are parts in the book which are quite critical of his father.


    I've never read any of Obama's books, (none / 0) (#190)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:36:03 AM EST
    and it's unlikely that I will.

    I don't think I've ever suggested Obama didn't love his mother; rather, I've suggested that her constructive abandonment of him affected him in ways that perhaps weren't apparent even to him, and that perhaps we can see the effects in some of his more contentious relationships.

    Obama's no different than a lot of other people whose parents split up, and where the non-custodial parent effectively fell off the face of the earth.  Sure, some kids do work through it, manage to come to terms with it not being their fault somehow, but it clearly does affect a lot of people.  In Obama's case, not only did his father just disappear from his life, but his mother plopped him with his grandparents and went off to do her own thing.  Kids are impressionable - and that's the kind of situation that has a kid thinking neither of his parents loved him enough to stick around and that it was somehow his fault.

    I see a lot of "okay, I'm doing everything you said you wanted, so do you like me now?" from him in his dealings with Republicans, for example.  He feels comfortable rejecting those who are expected to be on his side - Democrats, liberals, etc. - but he keeps running toward those who have rejected him.

    I'm not questioning that Obama loved his mother.  I'm pretty sure that, as an adult, he was able to look back on her life and see things to admire - but at a deeper level, it's my opinion that he was greatly affected by the constructive abandonment.

    As someone who spent a lot of time delving into my past for clues about the patterns I was seeing in my own and my family's lives, I know that who and what we are on the surface is just what we consciously show the world - but much of our interactions with others and the choices and decisions we make are driven by events and forces and habits that are far enough under the surface that we don't recognize them for what they are.


    I'm not going to go searching past comments (none / 0) (#184)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:50:02 PM EST
    Maybe you could provide the link to the ones where she said Obama sought bi-partisanship because he felt "abandoned by his mother and was left with his grandparents. I don't think they exist.

    Nope (1.00 / 3) (#185)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 07:26:02 PM EST
    You or anyone else who is interested can go and search. I am not going to do your homework.
    Why should I care whether you think they exist or not? I have told you that I stand by what I said.

    MY homework? (none / 0) (#194)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 04:57:44 PM EST
    Laughable, to say the least! You make a claim, then refuse to provide a link or evidence for it, and then lash out at me when I say I don't recall those comments. Whatever Anne acknowledges I will put credence in, since they were supposedly her comments. But, in the future, you might try backing up your claims --whatever they are -- before whining that others have noticed you making excuses for why cannot do so.

    Shoephone (1.00 / 2) (#197)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:30:50 PM EST
    Let me see how deep a hole you are willing to dig for yourself. Anne's post on this thread should have already told you that you were wrong. It seems that you still want to fight. I will ask you one last time whether you are standing by what you wrote, i.e. my claim was false. Just a "yes" or "no" answer, please! I am not backing down, I am standing by my claim.
    If you are not aware of what Anne wrote, you should not have said that you don't think Anne would have expressed the mentioned opinions. You should have left it to Anne to deny or support what I wrote.

    You like to make up stuff, huh? (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:50:47 PM EST
    I never said your claim was false. I said I didn't recall those comments (something which YOU had the silliness to rail against as a lie) and asked you to provide a link. You refused to do so, which led me to believe they did not exist. Regardless of Anne's later comment (which I noted as her acknowledgement, though you seem to have totally MISSED THAT) you still are expected to provide links or other evidence for your claims, whatever they may be.

    You have a a very vivid imagination, and a history of making unsubstantiated claims here, and often completely invent things that people said that they never actually said, and then whine and moan when people call you on it. Wah wah.

    I've been having a lovely weekend house-sitting a friend's beautiful Olympics view home, and entertaining friends for dinners, so I haven't really been paying a lot of attention to these threads. I suggest you might try and enjoy the rest of your Sunday, instead of seeing demons around every corner at TL.


    Nope (2.00 / 2) (#199)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 06:09:27 PM EST
    I always provide links to back anything I say if the link is a non-TL source. I do not make unsubstantiated claims. I used to provide links even to TL comments in the past till Jeralyn told me that it was against TL policy to do so (though I have seen that the policy is not enforced uniformly). I do understand that she does not go through every thread.
    If you were really interested in seeing the link you could have just asked Jeralyn to grant me permission. I already told you that.

    This (none / 0) (#200)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 09:22:01 PM EST
    If you were really interested in seeing the link you could have just asked Jeralyn to grant me permission.

    has to be one of the most absurd things I've read on this blog so far.


    Ridiculuous (none / 0) (#187)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:09:54 PM EST
    Shoephone, You are going out on a limb saying that you do not believe what I wrote about Anne's posts, something that Anne herself is not denying. Does it get more ridiculous than that?

    I think it is against TL policy to paste posts from other threads. I can do that if the blog host grants me permission. It will however not be the best use of my time to search and I do not owe you anything to provide this favor. Please keep that in mind.


    See above. (none / 0) (#195)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 04:59:06 PM EST
    The ridiculousness is all in your corner.

    [insert retching sound here] (none / 0) (#178)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 04:34:56 PM EST
    Some days, I can't believe you can write this stuff without hanging your own head over the toilet.

    What a silly retort (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:06:49 PM EST
    But have at it, if it makes you feel better. Yes, the northwest is beautiful today. What's that got to do with the price of beer? Apparently, the existence of a pretty day means no one is permitted to point out the dishonesty from the Obama administration when it comes to secret programs and secret courts.

    Pretty day = Shut up about Obama.

    This thread contains some truly ridiculous mental gymnastics in support of the government's dangerous policies.


    Have fun staying in denial (none / 0) (#144)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:42:35 PM EST
    This president's in freefall.

    I watched (none / 0) (#147)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:52:34 PM EST
    and I'll stand by my comment.

    Any thoughts on (none / 0) (#148)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:09:51 PM EST
    what you observed? I have to admit, I didn't watch it, and only have the transcript to go by. And reading them, the statements sound a trifle unhinged. But things are often clearer when the remarks are delivered than when they are read.

    So thoughts?


    sj, I found the entire thing a little dull (none / 0) (#155)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:51:41 PM EST
    And surely didn't see the list of nouns and adjectives used such as fear, freefall, imploding and many others used above.

    Also, never thought I'd see the day where a president congratulating someone on a new baby would be viewed as follows: "he called on Carol Lee and immediately tried to charm her with congratulations about her new baby to fend off her question, but he just came off as jivey...".

    Oh well, the transcript is available for those that didn't see the press conference.


    And I stand by mine. (none / 0) (#161)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:20:17 PM EST
    Deep denial.

    Okay, you guys! (none / 0) (#165)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:39:08 PM EST
    CoralGables: "I stand by my comment."

    shoephone: "And I stand by mine."

    It's Friday. You know what I think you all need?




    You really mean all that? (none / 0) (#149)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:10:55 PM EST
    Goodness....  Well, since he doesn't have to run for a second term & all that entails, whatever "fear" that you are smelling would not be emanating from him or the WH.  The Sunday editorials and the follow-up stories should give a clue about how those other than you & I perceive his comments.  

    I do agree with you about the press starting to ask more perceptive questions ... even from the beginning of the conference.  That is nice to see.  (As for Ms. Lee, clearly I have never been much of a fan.)


    No third term means (none / 0) (#181)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    he's cruising along? Please. Second terms are often problematic for presidents, and sometimes disastrous.

    Well (3.67 / 3) (#137)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:01:40 PM EST
    there IS a reason this press conference was done on a Friday in the late afternoon.  If this was of vital importance and the WH actually wanted people to WATCH, it would have been in primetime, or at least during the week.

    They don't call it "Take out the trash day" for nothing.


    Is that the commenter christinep (none / 0) (#141)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:31:35 PM EST
    who has long been a stalwart defender of each and every policy to come from the White House?

    Couldn't resist... At dinner the other night with friends likely agreed with any public appearance & private statements that the President, VP, Pelosi etc. etc. ... smile & shake their heads call it panting hyperbole and repeal hysteria, etc. etc. which personally (I laugh) I could only manage with cocktails, valium together... for calming, smug repub name-calling better than thinking. Your little group is cancelling something out... forget what exactly... waitress??!! More wine, I think

    Wow. Being really condescending is harder than it looks. Maybe I'll do better after happy hour.


    By your comments, sj (none / 0) (#151)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:31:24 PM EST
    I presumed that you had already spent some time at Happy Hour :)

    Just channeling (none / 0) (#153)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:37:38 PM EST
    by inner christinep :)

    etc. etc.


    Appreciate that (none / 0) (#154)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:42:52 PM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 91 (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:32:39 PM EST
    Henry rolls a 7-10 split every frame. (link)

    Vol. 90
    Vol. 89

    Caught some yacht racing on the bay. Then I discovered there was Krugerand in my penny-loafer.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a comic a day)

    Is this appropriate, in any Not Guilty verdict? (none / 0) (#13)
    by vector on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:47:51 PM EST
    A friend sent me this article. I think the judge's conduct is outrageous.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/08/07/judge-amy-salerno-tells-jurors-they-got-ver dict-wrong.html

    Another article, same news item, is here:


    BTW: I'm sorry, I'm clueless how to make a word show up as a link.


    Short answer: No (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:49:13 PM EST
    I agree (none / 0) (#27)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:49:08 PM EST

    This judge should be reported to the (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:17:44 PM EST
    state body responsible for  discipline of state judges

    I suspect she will not be assigned criminal trials in the future.


    Here's how I do links: (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:15:18 PM EST
    (1) Copy url;
    (2) paste the url inside brackets in the body of your comment;
    (3) A the first bracket, type the word(s) which will be visible in your comment;
    (4) Preview; and
    (5) Post.

    more info (none / 0) (#26)
    by DFLer on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:43:21 PM EST
    type a visible word like "link" Drag over it. Hit the link icon. Paste your copied url into the box, then preview etc.

    Just figured this out myself... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:54:33 PM EST
    Highlight the word, then click on the chain (link) icon.  A box appears for you to enter the url.  Enjoy ;-).

    Seems like (none / 0) (#45)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:57:04 AM EST
    no real information, a single source on all the reports I was able to find, and none contain the details that I would think are material, like what was said, evidence in the case etc.

    Discovery question (none / 0) (#32)
    by ragebot on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:12:45 PM EST
    What are discovery issues with this

    AP blurb

    "Imagine the government passed a law..." (none / 0) (#48)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    ...requiring all citizens to carry a tracking device. Such a law would immediately be found unconstitutional. Yet we all carry mobile phones.

    If the National Security Agency required us to notify it whenever we made a new friend, the nation would rebel. Yet we notify Facebook Inc. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanded copies of all our conversations and correspondence, it would be laughed at. Yet we provide copies of our email to Google Inc, Microsoft Corp or whoever our mail host is; we provide copies of our text messages to Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc and Sprint Corp; and we provide copies of other conversations to Twitter Inc, Facebook, LinkedIn Corp or whatever other site is hosting them.

    The primary business model of the internet is built on mass surveillance, and our government's intelligence-gathering agencies have become addicted to that data. Understanding how we got here is critical to understanding how we undo the damage.

    The Guardian
    Defeating the modern Leviathan of corporate-government data collection

    Too Much Work? (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:14:26 PM EST

    Americans have undoubtedly learned more in the past couple of months about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its extensive powers than in the previous 35 years of the court's existence. But it shouldn't have taken the renegade intelligence analyst Edward J. Snowden to let us in on a fact that, while hardly secret, had been little noticed: in establishing the court, Congress gave the authority to name its judges to one individual, the chief justice of the United States.

    As Charlie Savage reported in The Times last month, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has used that authority to name Republican-appointed judges to 10 of the court's 11 seats. (While Republicans in Congress accuse President Obama of trying to "pack" the federal appeals court in Washington simply by filling its vacant seats, they have expressed no such concern over the fact that the chief justice has over-weighted the surveillance court with Republican judges to a considerably greater degree than either of the two other Republican-appointed chief justices who have served since the court's creation in 1978.)

    The ensuing controversy is, I think, a good thing. The country is overdue for a discussion about whether we have given the chief justice - any chief justice, not just this one - too much to do.

    Dog TV (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:59:24 PM EST
    5 bucks a month, for latchkey dogs.

    I'm hoping they have it for free (none / 0) (#86)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:19:36 PM EST
    s a promo or on one of those free week things. Kinda curious to see it :)

    I'm curious too (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:29:04 AM EST
    I have no idea how dogs interpret television but I have caught them watching it when dogs are on.  I used to mistakenly believe that dogs were color blind.  Josh straightened me out though after a science class.

    I Saw a 5 min Blurb on the News... (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:03:10 PM EST
    ...and apparently the content has been tested in animal shelters and really calmed dogs down.

    My dog only looks at the TV is when a dog barks or god forbid, someone rights a doorbell.

    I always leave something on, TV or radio, not to entertain my dog, but to drown out outside noise so she is freaking out everyman a kid yells.

    So in like 10 years are we going to be discussing the obesity epidemic in dogs because they are glued to the tube or worse, some clown develops a video game they really dig.  I am joking.


    Will dogs become more violent? (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:21:53 PM EST
    No one to defend them (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:32:52 PM EST
    Ellis Rubin is dead.

    Made me google! (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:37:07 PM EST
    Me, too! (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:39:53 PM EST
    If the dog was named (none / 0) (#117)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:03:32 PM EST
    Ronnie Zamora I'm sure some TV lawyer would take the case, and follow in Ellis Rubin's footsteps. Nancy Grace would be in dog heaven.

    Gloria's busy. (none / 0) (#156)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:25:23 PM EST
    Why is there generally only one doorbell (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:54:08 PM EST
    Note for all doorbells and it is always my doorbell too?  Delilah is the worst, and she sounds ferocious.  Killer poodle

    I don't have a doorbell (none / 0) (#116)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:02:40 PM EST
    so Rox has no clue when it comes to that sound :D Step on my porch though, and you have what sounds like Killer Dalmatian . . . {sigh}

    I was ready to start a petition against every company that allows dogs to bark in their commercials the other day . . .


    Oh, and never try and watch 101 Dalmatians (none / 0) (#118)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    with Rox, way too much dog noise in that movie, lol!~

    There are a couple of standard poodles ... (none / 0) (#167)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:55:01 PM EST
    ... living about a block down from our townhouse complex, and they're pretty big dogs. Whenever I walk by on my way down to go surfing, they both come charging out to the fence like they'd love to tear me to shreds if they could.

    Interesting dogs (none / 0) (#170)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 12:27:38 AM EST
    I think they are great guardians and athletes.  They don't get much credit for it.  Bred to be Retrievers, they get no credit for that either though I see that several breeders have returned them to their occupation of hunting.

    They love water as a Retreiver should.  Delilah stays with our daughter now when we travel because she tries to impress on other dogs that she is Empress and she got her butt kicked at doggy daycare.  Nothing severe, but she stays with family now when we travel without her.  I suppose this is what happens when you grow up queen of the German Shepherds.  She has special priviledges here, is the only dog who gets to sleep with a person and is allowed on furniture.  My daughter has video of her swimming with the kids, she gets in and out of the pool like Josh's nieces do.  Goes in and dog paddles, comes out and sits poolside for awhile.  She's pretty funny.


    When I was in high school, ... (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:47:26 PM EST
    ... we had a dog that used to sit with us and watch football and baseball games on TV. And I kid you not, whenever the ball went offscreen, she'd get up and dutifully look behind the television set to see where it went.

    As you can probably surmise, she wasn't exactly the brightest dog in the world, but she was still a sweetheart all the same.



    Okay, I have to try that (none / 0) (#94)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 11:02:19 AM EST
    We're updating our DirectTV service this weekend and will likely have a workstation hooked up to a TV. This could be interesting.

    And here you go with a link.


    Thanks!!! (none / 0) (#119)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:04:41 PM EST
    I have DTV, so I'll do the one month freebie :)

    RIP, Karen Black (1939-2013). (none / 0) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 06:41:21 PM EST
    The Oscar-nominated actress (as Jack Nicholson's jilted girlfriend in "Five Easy Pieces," 1970) died of cancer in Hollywood at age 74. She also enjoyed prominent roles and rave reviews in two '70s-era films that are considered classics today -- John Schlesinger's "The Day of the Locust" (1975) and Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975).

    A heartwarming story (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:00:56 AM EST
    The Houston Chronicle (none / 0) (#93)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    Not a raging liberl paper, takes Ted Cruz to task.

    Why Ted, why?

    Surprisingly... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:07:16 PM EST
    ...it's pretty damn center so long as you stay out of the comments and reader editorials.

    Good Point:

    If Obamacare is the disaster that Cruz and others in the GOP claim it is, the logical course for Republicans is to let it fail.

    Why? (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 02:46:23 PM EST
    Because at heart, Ted Cruz is a political cynic. He may be naturally bright and articulate, but he's also a lazy intellect who's adverse to the actual heavy lifting that's involved in sound policy development.

    And unfortunately, like so many glib-tongued charlatans who've come before and will likely follow along that well-worn political path, this ideological pimp has discovered just how easy it is to make a living by pandering to other people's worst fears, anxieties and instincts.

    If Cruz hadn't stumbled into a U.S. Senate seat by being at the right place (Texas) at the right time (a corresponding lack of credible candidates), he'd no doubt eventually become just another right-wing squawk radio host on the AM dial.



    Here's my favorite comment so far on that post. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Angel on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 11:17:16 AM EST
    Because as smart as he is supposed to be, he is still dumb.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 93 (none / 0) (#95)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 11:09:20 AM EST
    The loves of a corporate hack. (link)

    Vol. 92
    Vol. 91

    Have a good and freaky Friday, my friends.

    A new look at Watergate? (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 12:08:22 PM EST
    The Watergate Cover-Up Trial: Justice Denied?

    Watergate remains the greatest political scandal in modern American history. It culminated not only in President Nixon's announcement of his resignation, 39 years ago Thursday, but in the conviction and imprisonment of his three most senior aides. Attorney General John Mitchell, White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs John Ehrlichman were found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury in the three-month Watergate cover-up trial, which ended on January 1, 1975.

    I saw it all unfold. I was a young lawyer working on the White House staff and assisting in Nixon's defense efforts. It is true that we failed spectacularly. Of course, I'm disappointed we weren't more successful. But whether the defendants were innocent or guilty, I've always worried on a more basic level that the heightened emotions of the times denied them the due process of law envisioned by our Constitution.

    As a result of some recent discoveries I made while researching a book on the Watergate trials, my concern has been vindicated. It turns out that the notion that "no man is above the law" somehow didn't apply to judges or prosecutors involved in the cover-up trial. Documents I have uncovered indicate that the efforts to punish the wrongdoings of Watergate led to further wrongdoing by the very officials given the task of bringing the Watergate defendants to justice.

    The new documents suggest that defendants in the Watergate cover-up trial, held before Judge John Sirica, received anything but a fair trial. Indeed, they suggest prosecutorial and judicial misconduct so serious -- secret meetings, secret documents, secret collusion -- that their disclosure at the time either would have prevented Sirica from presiding over the trial or would have resulted in the reversal of the convictions and the cases being remanded for new trials.

    It matters not whether you believe that a retrial, under a different judge and perhaps held outside of the District of Columbia, might have resulted in one or more acquittals. That could well have been the result. The strong possibility remains that the Watergate defendants did not receive the fair trial guaranteed by our Constitution. For a nation that prides itself on the rule of law, even in cases of intense publicity and partisanship, this should be cause for concern.

    "Justice denied" (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    when applied to the Nixon administration's case is melodramatic language abuse, imo. Another revisionist attempt to salve a trauma the Right has never completely gotten over.

    Meticulously observed due process of the law denied, maybe. "Justice denied"? They all got off easy.  


    I Was Thinking the Exact Same Thing (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:48:46 PM EST
    If anything that mess forged the path to other high ranking officials and Presidents to commit illegal acts with impunity and a courtesy unspoken promise to return the favor on their way out.

    Nixon was right, if the President does it's not illegal, what he forgot to mention is because the next nutless wonder plans on following in their footsteps and then some, with the same implied understanding.

    It's not illegal if there is no one top call them on it.


    That may well be the case, jb. (none / 0) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:22:06 PM EST
    Geoff Shepard: "The strong possibility remains that the Watergate defendants did not receive the fair trial guaranteed by our Constitution."

    But honestly, I think we need to both remember and consider the times in which that trial took place, and recall just how badly this nation's political psyche had been seared as a direct result of our Watergate experience. Even today, four decades ex post facto, the admonitions of David Bowie's "Young Americans" should still ring loudly in our ears:

    "Do you remember your President Nixon?
    Do you remember the bills you have to pay
    -- for even yesterday?"

    I mean, after all, this is the Nixon administration we're talking about. And further, this triumvirate of defendants constituted its operational nerve center at what were arguably the most collectively damaging political moments in our nation's history.

    I would offer that Messrs. Nixon, Mitchell, Haldeman and Ehrlichman sowed the winds of Watergate with their felonious behavior, and quite frankly I think they got off easy, given all the wrongdoing and law-breaking that transpired on their national watch.

    I'll thus shed no tears for any of them, just because they so happened to reap the whirlwind of damning judgment that subsequently rained down upon them.



    I don't think we need to shed tears (none / 0) (#134)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:56:20 PM EST
    But since these revelations are new, shouldn't we be concerned, on a criminal defense site, that someone may have been denied their constitutionally guaranteed rights of due process?

    I just thought it was an interesting twist on what we all THOUGHT we knew.  Turns out, there's more to the story.


    ... and further, that all three defendants are long since deceased (as is the presiding judge, John Sirica), what exactly do you propose that we do about it at this point?

    Yes, it's an interesting story, and had their convictions occurred last year, I'd be very concerned about these allegations of prosecutorial and / or judicial misconduct. But since that's quite obviously not the case, I'm neither prepared nor inclined to politically rehabilitate Nixon, Mitchell & Co. retroactively on that basis, particularly since these allegations are only now being offered nearly four decades after the fact.

    As I said earlier, personally, I think President Nixon and the three defendants got off easy, given the seriousness of their crimes and the damage they caused to our country. But I can't do anything about that at this point, either.

    Therefore, I'm perfectly content to let the verdict of history stand in judgment of them, provided that such history is not re-written by unreconstructed Nixonites to serve an ulterior political purpose.



    When docs are sealed for 40 years (none / 0) (#171)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:08:41 AM EST
    40 years later is when you get to discuss them.

    Hope someone will discuss the (none / 0) (#107)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:23:56 PM EST
    How much (none / 0) (#112)
    by sj on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:47:46 PM EST
    cognitive dissonance can y'all find in just these two sentences:
    The closed-door session was not included on Obama's daily public schedule for Thursday. It followed another private session on Tuesday of Obama administration officials, industry lobbyists and privacy advocates.

    The meetings follow disclosures about the U.S. government's secret surveillance tactics over emails and telephone data detailed in various media reports from information released by fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    I'm intrigued that the NSA is more and more frequently described as the "US spy agency".

    If you love Dadler... (none / 0) (#108)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:30:32 PM EST
    And if you wanna get happy (none / 0) (#113)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:47:49 PM EST
    Starbucks and Gun Rights. Disgusting. (none / 0) (#140)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:27:38 PM EST
    You want to see something really disgusting? Check out the Facebook page for gun rights looneys promoting today as "Starbucks Appreciation Day."

    Seriously disgusting. At least they're getting some pushback from a few sane commenters.

    One of the many reasons I detest Howard Schultz and Starbucks.

    What did Starbucks do? (none / 0) (#162)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:44:20 PM EST
    This nonsense is apparently the brainchild of Ed Levine, a Virginia-based proponent of open carry laws.

    The only thing I can see that Starbucks ever did to encourage this clown was to rightly affirm that its store personnel had no legal obligation or right to bar gun-toting customers from their premises in those states that allow the open carry of firearms.

    There are a lot of things about Howard Schultz with which I can find fault. But he and Starbucks really have no control over the public relations ploys of Second Amendment extremists like Levine.

    That said, it would be nice if Schultz & Co. would issue a public statement to that effect. In this particular instance, their silence is deafening, and it's entirely understandable that people such as you would interpret that silence as corporate approval of / acquiescence to the stunt. Why court unnecessary controversy?



    And yet...Peet's Coffee does NOT allow it (none / 0) (#163)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:16:02 PM EST
    Peet's Coffee has consistently refused anyone to open carry inside their stores. Here in Seattle, at least, that gained them a few more customers.

    Is Peet's Coffee in violation of the constitution?


    Doesn't make sense, does it? (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by NYShooter on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:56:49 PM EST
    They can deny you entrance/service for not wearing a shirt, but must permit gun toting miscreants?

    What does your state law allow? (none / 0) (#166)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 08:48:20 PM EST
    Is Washington an open carry state like Virginia? I suppose a public establishment can reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for whatever reason, but if the law provides for the right to openly carry firearms on one's person, I'd fear that refusing service to someone carrying a gun would only invite litigation from gun proponents with deep pockets.  

    Living in Hawaii, which has arguably the toughest gun control laws in the country, I tend not to pay too much attention to clowns like Ed Levine, because such proposed laws as open carry would never see the political light of day out here. Even local Republicans are content to leave our firearms laws as they are.



    Oregon is an open carry state. I've done (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by caseyOR on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 05:18:19 PM EST
    a little search, admittedly not extensive, and I can find no evidence that people who open carry guns are considered a protected class under any public accomodations law.

    My understanding is that businesses are free to refuse service to anyone except those who are in protected classes. So, no refusal of service because of one's gender, religion, actual pr perceived national origin, actual or perceived sexual orientation, race.

    Open carry of a gun does not make the cut. Neither does possession of a concealed carry permit. it looks to me like a business is well within it rights to deny service to anyone with a gun.

    Sure, the NRA or some other gun nut group  could file a lawsuit. In America anyone can attempt to sue just about anyone else. Under current law I doubt they would prevail.


    Exactly. Same in WA State. (none / 0) (#196)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 05:00:25 PM EST
    And private business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone, even cowboys swaggering in with guns on the hips.

    It is quite amusing (none / 0) (#192)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 12:37:45 PM EST
    to see the ratings abuse that is taking place here. It seems that the three amigas have decided to use the ratings system to vent all their passive-aggressive hostility towards other commenters. Whatever works! :-).

    Kinda works both ways (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 02:02:28 PM EST
    if ya bother to look . . .