Wednesday Open Thread

I'm working on a long post about the DEA and Sinaloa cartel, which I reported on at length in 2011 in a post called "The DEA and Mexican Drug Cartels: The "Snitch and Carry On" Tactic."

I'm not sure there's anything really new in the El Universal report, but I managed to write a 4,000 word draft about it anyway. I'm definitely going to edit it down before posting.

In the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Double OY! (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:53:19 AM EST
    It seems that a number of the fellas and gals that are designated to launch our nuclear missiles have been caught cheating on the tests that measure their qualifications for the job.

    Wonderful, no?

    Part of the problem is the low morale associated with the job. No chance for advancement. It is considered, excuse the expression, a dead end job.

    This is beyond stupid to me.

    People in control of the actual launching of missiles should not have to worry about their future. They should be well paid. They should not be dispirited. They should be allowed plenty of vacation or recreation time in order to mentally regroup. Can you imagine the pressure?

    This is typical.

    We underpay firefighters.
    We underpay the police.
    And they are risking their necks.

    And we overpay the conscienceless people in Washington DC who do nothing for us, and take everything from us including our right to privacy.

    One mistake from the people who launch missiles will incinerate hundreds of thousands - and possibly start a nuclear war with whomever the missile lands upon. Unless, of course, it lands on us.

    God help us.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 249 (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:38:46 AM EST
    Two seconds of my father on film (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:08:38 AM EST
    LONG PREFACE (forgive me): I can't believe this trailers is on YouTube. It's from an independent movie shot in 1979, in the skidrow section of LA, called ON THE NICKEL. Written and directed by Ralph Waite, with original music by a young Tom Waits, it's about a former wino searching the streets for his former best friend, who may or may not, depending on which drunk he talks to, be alive or not.

    The last day of filming, my father picked me up from my mother's house and took me to the set with him, which was on the actual streets of the skidrow section of downtown LA. Well, pops took off to film his scenes, leaving me to eat goodies from the craft services table, and then wander around the neighborhood a bit (wander around skidrow at 12 years old!). Aside from the dead body in the gutter that the coroner was retrieving, the most vibrant memory I have is standing in the doorway of the Hard Rock Cafe, not the commercial chain of current crapfood joints but the old school alcoholic bar from the photos on the back of The Doors album THE MORRISON HOTEL. My clear memory is of looking into this dive, and seeing a huge horseshoe shaped bar made of dirty concrete, peopled with hardcore drunks, trash and other shit covering the equally dirty concrete floor. Found a photo today of the place, from the 70s, and then found this trailer. END PREFACE.

    Okay, so...at the 34 second mark, for maybe two more seconds, my father is the bearded freak saying, "C.G. don't need you, you need C.G.!" (link)

    He's 87 now, still a rock solid mind, even if his body and hearing don't want to keep up with it. Been working out my feelings for him a lot lately, trying to forgive him for leaving my mother and I to the wolves when I was four years-old and my mother maybe twenty-three. But he comes from his own messed up place, born and raised dirt poor in the tenements of the lower east side of Manhattan during the Depression, had a baby brother die because, basically, they were poor, didn't know if they'd have a meal one day to the next, all those terrible things the tenements meant back then. So I understand, and I remind myself to be compassionate, more and more, the older I get. Big love, pops.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 248 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:56:10 AM EST
    His little humpday romantic gesture didn't quite cut it. (link)

    v. 247
    v. 246

    Get your Wednesday on, folks. And, remember, a three day weekend is coming, wahoo!

    3 Day Weekend? (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:19:10 AM EST
    Alotta slobs don't get MLK Day off...my outfit is open, though I'm looking at a 10 Day weekend...the long awaited vacay is at hand man!  Yip yeah!

    My condolences (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:31:49 AM EST
    You heading to Mexico again or staying in the domestic confines?

    Vamos a Baja Sur,,, (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:02:16 AM EST
    para la mujer especial Cabron.  A little Cabo, a little La Paz, and the Todos Santos Music Festival hosted by Peter Buck as the main attraction.

    Much to my pleasant surprise Chuck Prophet got added to the bill as a last minute fill-in...I love his stuff.    


    Have a blast, my man (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:37:14 AM EST
    Southern Baja this time, eh? Lucky fool. Hablamos, mi amigo.

    Don't I know it Hermano... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:47:48 AM EST
    slowly but surely getting to all four corners of our southern neighbor.  Gracias.

    La Paz! (none / 0) (#122)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:48:57 PM EST
    Have a margarita for me at Las Veritas or Tequila's Bar & Grill while you're down there. I think you'll like either of those two places.

    Have fun.


    I'll do better... (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:53:49 PM EST
    I'll have 3 or 4 for ya Don...Gracias!  T minus 38 Hours 53 Minutes...

    Bon voyage. Be sure to get at least onr (none / 0) (#146)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:53:47 PM EST
    decent photo!

    Whose turn is it to pop the popcorn? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:33:05 AM EST
    I think there is a head-exploding festival about to ensue over this news:

    Following a months-long investigation, the FBI does not plan to file criminal charges related to the Internal Revenue Services' increased examination of conservative groups, according to a new Wall Street Journal Report.

    Citing unnamed law enforcement officials, the Journal reported the FBI did not find sufficient evidence of political bias to warrant criminal charges. Instead, investigators reportedly found proof of a poorly managed agency mishandling tax exemption applications by applying rules it did not understand.

    Although the case may not close for a few more months, officials said criminal charges would probably only be filed in the event that unanticipated and compelling evidence surfaces.


    Daryl Issa (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:07:56 PM EST
    is positively magnificent when it comes to the skill of fleecing the rubes. He can get them to believe anything. LOL

    Ah yes (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:51:46 AM EST
    They aren't even going to interview the victims.

    No need to complain folks. The government can do whatever it wants to.


    Hmm, and the 'victims' should be happy (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:15:03 PM EST
    What would they say when asked why it was unfair for their so called tax exempt status to be examined?

    You guys can run and dodge (none / 0) (#161)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:43:18 AM EST
    But the facts are that they have been denied the right to say ANYTHING to the people who are supposed to investigate crimes.

    That is just so wrong on so many levels any person calls themselves liberal should be puking in disgust...

    WAIT! You aren't a liberal. You are a PROGRESSIVE.

    Huge difference,


    Why can't you just answer the question ... (none / 0) (#186)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:23:15 PM EST
    ... without ridiculing the person who's asking it?

    Do tell, counselor (none / 0) (#137)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:50:06 PM EST
    I'm curious ... exactly what relevance would interviews with the "victims" have in determining whether there is evidence (as there was not, in this case) of political bias/criminal conduct?

    This should be good ...


    Ho-hum (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:54:26 AM EST
    Another day, another Obamacare goalpost gets moved.

    And oddly enough - it was just bad projecting to this point in the rollout, and the number may actually turn out to be what was predicted in the end.

    Sloppy, sloppy.

    Young People... (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:36:18 PM EST
    ...may sign up late, but until the tax on not getting insurance becomes a real number, they are just going to pass, like they have in the past.

    Right now it's 1% of taxable income or $95, in 2016 it will be 2.5% or $695.  If I were young, the choice is simple, $100 or buy insurance that will cost that much each month.  No brainier.

    But in 2016 that tax could be half the cost of the insurance which at least makes it something worth thinking about, especially if income calculation pushes that number up even higher.

    Note, I have no idea what the cost of insurance for someone young, so I just guessed at $1200/yr.


    1% (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:06:38 PM EST
    of $30,000, for example, for those young people with jobs out of college, is $300 the first year.

    It's 1% or $95, whichever is highest. Sure - if you are working a minimum wage job, $95 isn't a big deal.  But I believe the article I posted said they use "young people" to mean "healthy people".


    That Pretty High Beleif (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:57:50 PM EST
    ...that the average young adult is making $30k.  And I would think most college grads are getting positions with insurance, but employed college grads are a fraction of the young adults.

    I was thinking more like the young adults job jumping, partying, maybe living at home, certainly not making $30k.  IOW the majority of young people.

    To me "young adults" are under 25.  I am healthy and I would never in a million years call myself an "Young-Adult".  They are not interchange just because Obama doesn't want to say he needs more healthy people to sign up.


    Under 25 (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:12:15 PM EST
    And living at home can stay on their parents' insurance (assuming mom and dad have insurance).

    I wouldn't bet that a $30K a year job has insurance - they could be temps making that (temp agencies are exempt from ACA), they could be waiting tables / bar tending (which means they are probably making more than $30K)

    Sure, there are a lot of people out there who don't make $30, but even if you make poverty line wages (around $14,000) and choose not to get a plan or sign up for Medicaid, that's still $140 penalty - not $95. I don't know who gets the $95 penalty that's written in the law, but it will only be a very small percentage of those who chose not to sign up.

    From the article:

    (In this context, "young people" are a proxy for "healthy people." Health status is what affects premiums, not age. But because insurers are no longer allowed to vary their premiums based on preexisting conditions, the application for coverage doesn't ask about health problems. Young people are presumed to be healthier on average, and that's why they're so highly coveted.)

    Isn't this just an upward extension (none / 0) (#147)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:55:50 PM EST
    of eligibility for COBRA?  Very costly if so.

    It's not like paying the fine for not (none / 0) (#18)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:22:47 PM EST
    having insurance eliminates one's obligation to pay for health care, so essentially, people are playing the odds that their good health will continue indefinitely.  That there will be no car accidents, no falls on the ice, no discovery of a lump, no appendicitis, etc.

    I wonder if there will be any instances of people calling insurance companies from ER parking lots, trying to get covered before incurring charges for whatever it is that brought them in for treatment.

    And aside from all that, the fewer young people who sign up, the higher the risks among those who are insured, which that means higher premiums.

    For what it's worth, the plan my daughter, her husband (both turning 31 this spring) and 1-yr old just got - not on the exchange - is costing them $600/month - roughly double what they were paying individually.  So, a decent plan might be running around $3,600/yr.

    Still probably cheap in comparison to what it could cost to have emergency surgery or a broken arm/leg/wrist.


    No It's Not Anne... (none / 0) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:11:43 PM EST
    ...but you were that age i suspect, and how many 20 somethings are really worried about insurance, and how many of them are going to choose it before having fun or looking good.

    I understand the entire dynamic of insurance, but it seems like a lot of folks are putting a lot of eggs in the belief that young people really want insurance or that they have the funds to get it.


    Well, the <26-ers can piggyback on (none / 0) (#42)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:26:27 PM EST
    Mom's and Dad's insurance, so it's probably really more about the >26-ers, who can't get it from parents, and who don't get it through their jobs - if they have jobs.

    If they don't have jobs, they'd qualify for Medicaid, so their cost would be minimal - if they're working, but under the threshold for subsidy, they'd get help there, too.

    I think a lot depends on what someone knows or understands about the cost of needing care.  My son-in-law had major back surgery two years ago, which they wouldn't have been able to afford without insurance - and he wasn't going to be able to function unless he had the surgery.  Some years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with endometriosis, and had surgery for that and an ovarian cyst - also unaffordable without insurance.  Once you've had that experience, when you see the thousands and thousands of dollars involved, it's harder to be daring and cavalier about going naked - and now that they have a child, who gets checkups and immunizations and has had ear infections and what-not, there's just no way they're going to take their chances.

    My other daughter's husband went without insurance for a long time - but he's got knees that are going to need some work, and now that he has a job with health benefits, he finally feels like, if he had to have surgery, or something happened to him or my daughter, they wouldn't lose their house over the medical bills.

    Which is not to say that I don't still firmly believe we need a better system - because we surely do - but given the system we have, continuing to go without insurance can be a terribly costly decision.


    And you are assuming (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:49:50 AM EST
    Mom and Dad still have jobs...

    And that they can afford the premium increase.



    ... mothers and fathers in their twenties and thirties, I'd offer that if one has children under the age of 26, the odds are a little better than even that one has not yet reached the age where he or she is a beneficiary of Social Security and Medicare, and therefore he or she is probably still working.

    That is, unless you're one of those older guys who likes the woman on his arm to be a whole lot younger than himself, and / or you've decided to trade in your prior spouse for a newer model, and then start a (second) family.

    But speaking for myself only, the last thing I'd want to be in my late sixties or early seventies is the father of teenagers. I've often found it hard enough to fulfill that role while in my late forties and early fifties.



    No one has mentioned the fact (none / 0) (#145)
    by coast on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:42:01 PM EST
    that the "penalty" or "tax", whichever you prefer, isn't collectible except from the taxpayer's refund.  The IRS has no enforcement mechanism to collect the tax.  Which means the real choice is pay nothing or pay something.  How young people are really going to choose to pay something rather than nothing?

    Both Eric Clapton AND Bruce Springsteen (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:49:27 PM EST
    are scheduled to perform at the New Orleans Jazz Festival this April. (NYT.)

    PS. This event has been on my list for a long time.

    ... The Boss himself, who made a surprise appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show last night to lampoon New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's GWB scandal, set to the tune of "Born to Run."

    Also calls for... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:07:59 PM EST
    a shout out to the E Street Band, who finally got their due for 40 years of musical excellence and are being inducted to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame this year.

    Mine too... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:57:35 PM EST
    I tried my damndest last year but couldn't get the scratch together...it's an expensive trip.

    Slow Hand & The Boss??? Hmm...anybody wanna buy a kidney? ;)

    At least there's Mountain Jam, preliminary line-up announced today...Bob Weir & Ratdog, Government Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco fame, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Damian Marley, and many more...with one headliner still to be announced.  That one has become an annual tradition and won't be missed, hell or highwater.


    Maybe a bunch of us could get what the (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:17:03 PM EST
    Japanese call a "sardine" room in a hostel. I really want to do this.

    When I researched it last year... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:24:27 PM EST
    the hostel I found looked really cool, but for international travelers only.  The cost of phony passports would offset any savings.  

    We could try to cram a large group in one hotel room...I sleep fine on the floor.

    What I really should try to do is talk my uncle into driving his RV from Texas to N'awlins for the fest for a place to sleep...he's semi-retired and likes to party.  Or book the trip a year in advance.


    Hey, they rent RVs at Fort Rucker! (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:24:27 AM EST
    There is a National RV Rental Company... (none / 0) (#180)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    ...HERE, not bad rates.

    We are going to Yellowstone in August, 7 dudes and an RV for 8 days.   Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Jackson for rafting and back to Billings.  We actually used a service that takes care of all the details, but I did stumble upon RV rental company.

    But finding a place to park it is problematic, if you can do that, you can sure find a campground, which is the equivalent to sleeping on the floor.

    But in reality, just find a room close, Houma, Slidell, and Covington are like 20-30 mins away.  There is no way you can't find a room within 30 mins of NO.  I am surprised you can't find anything in NO, the fest is big, but that city is built for tourist and between football and marti gras, they have a lot of space.  Plus, loads of poor folks which means a lot of crappy, but cheap hotels.  Some of which may even have shuttles to the French Quarter during the fest.


    I see what you mean. Those weekend passes are (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:21:57 PM EST
    really pricey.

    Yes... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:30:12 PM EST
    and the hotel & passes packages are obscene...if I do go it won't be one of those deals, to be sure.  

    I wonder how much a one-day pass for April 27 is, (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:33:12 PM EST
    Is already sold out.

    $59 plus fees. (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:48:56 PM EST
    Would you characterize yourself as a (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:07:43 PM EST
    Ratdog groupie?

    Nah... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:32:04 AM EST
    Actually I've never seen them before, but I have seen Bob Weir with the Dead once not long before Jerry passed, and Furthur several times.

    I would consider myself a Deadhead, though not as hardcore as their most devout followers.  I learned to truly appreciate the Dead with age...when I began my rock-n-roll appreciation journey I thought they were a little over-rated.


    One of my younger brothers (none / 0) (#127)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:28:56 PM EST
    was a real Deadhead for awhile.  He used to make money to attend their concerts by selling his tie- dyed T shirts at those concerts.  Gave him enough bucks for money to go to the next one, plus some left over.
    And yes, before anyone asks, a couple of my brothers were also hippies, as was I.     ;-)

    A Shakedown Street vendor eh? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:34:11 PM EST
    Sounds like salt of the earth...no surprise, you being his big sister and all.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#134)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:20:53 PM EST
    I still have one of his hand-dyed T shirts that he gave me from that era, kdog.
    While I love all of my siblings very, very dearly, and while all of them are quite to the left of the political spectrum, as am I, this one has always been particularly close to me.
    What can I say?  Jerry Garcia still lives!  Well, sort of.    ;-)  

    Two of my friends used to follow (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:14:52 AM EST
    them on tour selling oranges, balony sandwiches, and fluffernutters in the parking lot before and during every show, comfortably financing their expedition many times over..

    At one show, the less levelheaded of my two compadres had got himself into a self-described "acid blackout" state and laid down on the grass on a rise in the vicinity of a Porta-John when he was snapped-to by some deadhead bending over him saying "Dude, the head is overflowing!", my friend, in the state he was in replied "I know man, I'm tryin' to keep it together.." when he opened his eyes just in time to see a chemical-fecal wave slowly rolling down on him..  


    Classic... (none / 0) (#174)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:52:09 AM EST
    "the head is overflowing"...now that's a double entendre!

    Do you still have a tie dye shirt? (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:57:30 PM EST
    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:13:55 PM EST
    I do.    ;-)

    I've been to a half-dozen or so concerts, (none / 0) (#130)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:48:55 PM EST
    and one Bobby and the Midnights show. A miniscule drop in the bucket compared to many...

    That's a ringing endorsement... (none / 0) (#167)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:41:44 AM EST
    in my book!

    PS...Reminder as requested, landing at LAX around 3:30pm Sunday 1/26 with time to kill, if you're so inclined my email is in my user profile, I can hit ya back with my number to grab a cocktail or some grub.  If not no worries mate!


    Done. (none / 0) (#178)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:15:20 PM EST
    Democratic Congressman Jim Moran (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:13:02 PM EST
    retires. This time, it's my Congress-critter.

    Moran is the second veteran Northern Virginia lawmaker to announce in recent months that he will leave Congress. Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf, in the neighboring 10th district, is also ending his political career after this term.

    Moran is the 15th member of Congress and sixth Democrat to retire this cycle. Unlike some fellow Democrats, Moran has little reason to fear reelection or the challenge of defending his support for the Affordable Care Act. But Moran did acknowledge that he was tired of serving in the House minority.

    Another one (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:15:23 PM EST
    Dropping like flies

    California Rep. Buck McKeon, the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, will not seek reelection in 2014, according to several sources familiar with his plans. He is expected to formally announce his decision this week.

    So, both Republicans and Democrats are (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:26:20 PM EST
    fleeing.  Do they know something we don't know?  Or are they all just tired of the BS and the obstructionism?
    Rats leaving a sinking ship?

    Time to cash in as a lobbyist (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:27:51 PM EST
    Great minds think alike! n/t (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:29:01 PM EST
    Well, why not? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:52:59 PM EST
    They retire with nice pensions which, while not as much as they will be making as lobbyists, will certainly pay for frills and nice vacations.
    About half of Members of Congress are already millionaires.
    I guess the ones who aren't, want to catch up, and the current millionaires would like even more.
    So would I.  Hey, jb, how about we run for Congress, you in Virginia and me in Maryland?  Not that we would have a snowball's chance in Hades.    ;-)

    Let's do it! (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:55:14 PM EST
    I have lots of connections with heavily experienced campaign staffs in all types of jobs at levels up to the presidential campaing -scheduling, advance, policy, web design and marketing, legal, etc.  I'm in!

    As I said to kdog, (none / 0) (#41)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:22:32 PM EST
    I am too far to the left to get a nomination, even in heavily Democratic Maryland.
    Heck, I'm even way to the left of Senator Barbara Mikulski!

    You--you--you ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:39:25 PM EST
    Mme. Zorba: "Heck, I'm even way to the left of Senator Barbara Mikulski!"

    ... radical commie pinko subversive, you!



    My friends (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:10:15 PM EST
    Still call me an "aging hippie."  And yes, I am.

    No! (none / 0) (#45)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:53:26 PM EST
    one who is willing to support jbindc as a candidate after complaining endlessly about how far the country has moved to the right is no "radical commie pinko subversive". Never! Never! Never!

    It is all an act!


    Well as for me, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:14:25 PM EST
    Much as I disagree with jbindc about some of her positions, especially concerning criminal law, I would rather have her in Congress than a lot of the Democrats that we currently have.
    Of course, YMMV.
    Namaste, Politalkix.

    That is fine (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:39:26 PM EST
    I don't have a problem with that. However, that will be a "compromise", just like any other compromise. You put up a heck of an act over the years about being uncompromising on issues. It seems to me that you are willing to compromise based on friendships that you have at the cost of issues. Nothing wrong with that, however it is a point that should be noted! Yours is a compromise based on people or personality.

    Nevertheless, I am glad that you have decided to come down from your high horse.

    IMO, jbindc is far to the right of most democrats that I know personally or that I would even count as belonging to the left side of politics.


    Speaking of high horses, (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:06:56 PM EST
    You seem to be on an exceedingly high horse, yourself.  Maybe you need to look in a mirror.  
    Many of the current Democrats and the current Democratic Party lines that you seem to espouse so passionately are not the beliefs of the Democratic Party that I grew up on.
    Your own beliefs, or compromises, seem to be: "If this is where the current Democratic Party is at, it's all fine with me."
    I do not think that you and I will ever agree, P.  You believe what you believe, and I believe what I believe.
    Have a nice rest of your life, and namaste.

    Your abilty to be unintentionally hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:25:53 AM EST
    is quite remarkable; while it doesn't say anything good about other of your qualities, it is, at least, entertaining.

    [it also might come as a shock to you, but I don't actually consider you to be particularly on the "left" side of politics; you're on the Obama side of politics and the Clinton side of politics - wherever they are, that's where you are, regardless of whether they keep inching more and more to the right]


    The whole country is right wing, even the left, (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:29:48 AM EST
    according to my European friends.

    Dearest Zorba... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:00:38 PM EST
    you forget you need 7 figures minimum to run for Congress;)

    I have 7 figures in my checking account (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:03:03 PM EST
    Oh wait, that's my student loan amount (plus decimals.)

    Well, we're worth seven figures on paper. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:35:10 PM EST
    But I'd say that 65-70% of that is based on grossly inflated real estate values, given that our 3 BR, 2.5 Bath townhouse was recently assessed in November by the city at an eye-popping $748,000. The recent prolonged economic downturn never really impacted island real estate adversely at all.

    I think that's rather remarkable, considering that we bought our home almost 20 years ago for $255,000 -- and even then, my mother thought we were paying too much.

    (We've actually filed an appeal with the city because we believe its value to be overestimated. No doubt, the current assessment pushes us into a higher property tax bracket.)



    I don't suppose (none / 0) (#40)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:18:37 PM EST
    that setting up a tin cup for donations would exactly garner me enough Benjamins.........
    Ah, well, I am way too much of a leftie to get the nomination here, even in this very Blue state.     ;-)

    I've sworn off campaign donations but would make (none / 0) (#51)
    by Angel on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:27:28 PM EST
    an exception in your case.  

    but hey (none / 0) (#52)
    by DFLer on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:05:29 PM EST
    my Congressman (Tim Walz-1st CD, MN) is one of the few non-millionaires in Congress...a public high school teacher

    The few, the proud.... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:41:15 AM EST
    the constituents of a normal human being!

    I feel bad for your rep...he must be a glutton for punishment.


    Candidates also need vetting, very important (none / 0) (#87)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:32:15 AM EST
    to the establishment.

    (which, according to my much younger self, I'm guilty of being part of now.)


    But, according to my non billionaire status, (none / 0) (#88)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:33:36 AM EST
    I ain't even in the ballpark.

    Don't be so hard on yourself... (none / 0) (#108)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:49:24 PM EST
    consider yourself part of the anti-establishment establishment Mr. Natty.

    The House is but a springboard... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:28:35 PM EST
    time to make some real money cashing in favors in the private sector would be my guess.

    The House is to lobbying firms (none / 0) (#32)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:59:18 PM EST
    what Triple A is to the majors.

    In Buck McKeon's case, ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:17:33 PM EST
    ... he's 75 years old, and has long represented a northern Los Angeles County district that was extensively redrawn after the 2010 census, and its demographics are presently trending Democratic.

    Basically, responsibility for political redistricting in California was taken away from state legislators and the political parties in 2008 and 2010 by that state's voters via two successful ballot initiatives, an effort which was ironically organized and championed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to the subsequent consternation of his own party leaders.

    Those duties were then transferred to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which is comprised of 14 members who were chosen by the state auditor's office from an applicant pool of 60 citizens. Thus, Congressman McKeon's no longer assured of getting an electoral equivalent of a free ride, which is something he enjoyed for nearly 20 years. He would actually have to campaign hard to retain his seat this time out, with very uncertain prospects regarding the outcome.

    (This sea change in how various political districts are drawn in California constituted a huge reform to the state's electoral process. And however one might feel about Herr Schwarzenegger's often hapless tenure as Celebrity Governator, he should be commended for aggressively pursuing it as administration policy, which included getting both initiatives qualified for the ballot and then campaigning for their passage. In fact, I believe that redistricting reform will one day prove to have been his most significant, lasting and valuable political legacy.)



    Donald, while I respect your insights (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:07:24 PM EST
    into and experience with politics, at times I have to wonder if you have a sense of humor.  We were all being rather sarcastic and having a bit of fun about the Congress critters who are retiring.
    Peace be with you, and namaste, my brother.     ;-)

    Miller is retiring also (from CA) (none / 0) (#26)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:33:14 PM EST
    Here's a list (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:34:58 PM EST
    I find it quite offensive (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:00:23 PM EST
    59 % of current Congress persons are already millionaires. I do know my rep. Was quite wealthy by marriage b/4 he arrived this term.

    Ok. That was a stupid comment. (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:29:46 PM EST
    Ha! I was wondering about that comment. (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:34:25 PM EST
    Anyone following the Tsarnaev case? (none / 0) (#53)
    by TH71 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:36:18 PM EST
    Govt. is expected to announce the death penalty decision by the end of this month...How soon after that do you think a plea deal would happen? Any chance an early February status conference would be modified to a change-of-plea hearing? Or is a plea deal much too early?

    I expect yet another show trial. (none / 0) (#89)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:34:56 AM EST
    Huh? (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:00:29 PM EST
    That's a trial (none / 0) (#111)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:37:08 PM EST
    where the outcome is not the one you hope for.

    No, it's a trial where a bunch of strutting (none / 0) (#135)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:36:48 PM EST
    martinets try to distract Americans with their grandstanding - mainly in an attempt to divert attention from the obvious and abysmal failure of a widely ballyhooed surveillance state to protect anyone, anyone, from the horrific event.

    As always, the solution is more of the same.


    Totally disagree. Yes, it would be terrific if (none / 0) (#150)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:03:34 PM EST
    all the U.S. efforts to stave off terrorist attacks had ferreted out these alleged assailants. Yes, the U.S. Government dropped the ball. But, is it your position that therefore the surviving alleged bomber should not be criminally prosecuted?

    You could not have more badly or baldly (none / 0) (#156)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:45:24 PM EST
    misinterpreted my comment, Oculus.  

    What I said was this: There won't be a plea deal because that would deprive too many people of their precious moment in the spotlight.

    In cases like this everything a prosecutor does is too late.  Nothing will raise the dead or restore to the maimed their previous health.  Nothing.  So it becomes nothing more a show trial with an entirely predictable outcome, kabuki theatre reruns, thousands parading before the camera arrayed in their finest righteous indignation.  The only variable will be how many consecutive or concurrent life sentences the judge can be goaded into delivering.


    You would prefer no prosecution? (none / 0) (#157)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:20:06 AM EST
    It's difficult to misinterpret (none / 0) (#158)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:10:18 AM EST
    the ludicrousness of your "show trial" comment, and your explanations drift further into the abyss of absurdity.

    Those wingnut Benghazi claims (none / 0) (#54)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:53:20 PM EST
    The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released it's report on the Benghazi attack today.  Turns out all those wingnut conspiracy theories about Benghazi were a bunch of BS.

    there were no efforts by the White House or any other Executive Branch entities to "cover-up" facts or make alterations for political purposes.
    It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attacks or whether extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. Some intelligence suggests the attacks were likely put together in short order, following that day's violent protests in Cairo against an inflammatory video, suggesting that these and other terrorist groups could conduct similar attacks with little advance warning.
    The Committee has reviewed the allegations that U.S. personnel, including in the IC or DoD, prevented the mounting of any military relief effort during the attacks, but the Committee has not found any of these allegations to be substantiated.

    Etc., etc., etc. ...

    I dunno. (none / 0) (#56)
    by EL seattle on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:44:56 PM EST
    I don't remember hearing much about the closed circuit videos before.


    From: Benghazi report page 34-35 (highlights mine) -

    As a result of evidence from closed circuit videos and other reports, the IC changed its assessment about a protest in classified intelligence reports on September 24, 2012, to state that were no demonstrations or protests at the Temporary Mission Facility prior to the attacks. This slow change in the official assessment affected Government officials, who continued to state in press interviews that there were protests outside the Mission compound.  The IC continues to assess that although they do not think the first attack came out of protests, the lethality and efficacy of the attack "did not require significant amounts of preplanning." (132) The IC continues to review the amount and nature of any preplanning that went into the attacks. (124)


    Has the video footage of the protests (or lack of protests) at the Benghazi site ever been released? The accounts of the protests sure continued to be a big part of this story, but I don't remember seeing many pictures to go with them (before the attack.)  


    I would be very surprised ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:33:34 AM EST
    ... if it was released.

    OTOH - The issue addressed in the report is how quickly this information was disseminated and why this evidence wasn't weighted more heavily than the 11 reports that indicated that there were protests prior to the attack.  None of which, of course, supports the wingers claims about Obama "knew within an hour!" or "Rice lied!", etc., etc.  Quite the contrary, in fact.


    Ynan, he knew. They knew. (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:02:14 AM EST
    He lied.

    We know.


    A truer example (none / 0) (#62)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:07:59 AM EST
    of conservative reasoning and argumentation would be hard to find.

    Just keep repeating, rotely, the same mantra without thought, analysis or more importantly evidentiary support.

    Here is one fact:  Obama said it was an act of terror right after the event.  See Candy Crowley and the Debates.....

    Can you try with one piece of evidence?  Just one.  You can even cite Fox News.  It will have no credibility.  But at least it would be an attempt at citing evidence.


    Sorry MKS (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:22:54 AM EST
    Your "fact" is wrong (or at least, the misleading talking point the WH tried to sell)

    CNN reported, on September 21, 2012, the day after the debate:

    The White House, for the first time Thursday, declared the attack that killed Stevens and three other people a terrorist attack.

    And in fact, on September 30, 2012, on "State of the Union", Crowley herself asked Sen. John McCain that on Friday, September 28th, 17 days after the attacks,  "We got the administration's sort of definitive statement that this now looks as though it was a pre-planned attack by a terrorist group, and some of whom were at least sympathetic to al Qaeda."

    "Why do you think and are you bothered that it has taken them this long from September 11th to now to get to this conclusion?"


    Oh, and the fact that the WH actually tried to sell it as "An Act of Terrorism" (not just "an act of terror") earned them 4 Pinnochios by the Fact Checker.


    Are you parsing (none / 0) (#67)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:38:05 AM EST
    act of terror vs. terrorism?

    What I said was accurate.

    Someone just got in their head that there cannot be a spontaneous act of terror or terrorism.

    You spent some amount of time to assemble sources, but you cite them in an incomplete and misleading way.  Just going out of your way to be contrary for the sake of being contrary.  Why is that?


    I wasn't going to jump into this, (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:45:24 AM EST
    but here goes:

    Before I get to the links jb provided, I just want to say that I have a clear memory of there being a lot of noise in the media right after it happened, and for days afterward, about the president's reluctance to declaratively label the attack in Benghazi an act of terror or terrorism.  He did, as Glenn Kessler points out, speak about "acts of terror" in a very broad sense.

    Here's what Obama said, and when he said it:

    In the Rose Garden, September 12:

    "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."

    At a Las Vegas campaign event, September 13:

    "We want to send a message all around the world -- anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America."

    At a campaign event in Colorado, September 13:

    "I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America."

    And while it's true that one could conclude that in saying these things in the days immediately following the attack he was calling the attacks "terrorist" in nature, the test for me was that the comments are so generic, he or any successive president could say them on the occasion of any attack on US personnel in the future.  They are one-size-fits-all, stir-the-patriotism, wave-the-flag remarks.

    As Kessler points out (I'm beginning to realize that you didn't read any of the material at the links, did you?), Obama sat down with Steve Kroft from "60 Minutes" on the 12th, and was specifically asked by Kroft about his (Obama's) reluctance:

       KROFT: "Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word `terrorism' in connection with the Libya attack."

        OBAMA: "Right."

        KROFT: "Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?"

        OBAMA: "Well, it's too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other."

    As for what was said at the debates, Crowley made the same mistake you - and others - did: that by using the phrase "acts of terror," Obama had decided that it was, in fact, a terrorist act.  It's clear to me, though, from his remarks to Kroft and to his ongoing refusal to use the word declaratively, that he didn't want to use it until he had evidence in hand that definitively concluded it was so.  

    Was that wrong?  No, I don't think so - I actually happened to agree that you don't just go throwing those labels around in an area and at a time when you have American lives at risk - it would have been, in my opinion, a diplomatic error to do so, and risked even more violence.  He had no responsibility to feed the fevered obsessions of Republicans or accede to political pressure so as to avoid being called "soft."

    Look, I know I'm not convincing you, just as I know you aren't going to go back and read the actual statements, or follow the links provided; but it just seems to me that in closing your eyes to this stuff, you are sitting right alongside good ol' jim, who has his eyes closed and his hands over his ears, even as he continues to flap his gums.


    Same difference (3.50 / 2) (#98)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:23:53 PM EST
    Acts of terrorism are terrorist attacks.  People die.  Does it matter, to paraphrase Hillary, if the event was planned only 3 hours or three weeks in advance--they stilled Americans.  Act of terror or terrorism, still the same result.

    The wingnuts have hijacked language to suggest that "terrorism" can only be perpetrated by Al Qaeda Central in a grand religious struggle against their view of Christianity.

    You give in on language games like this to wingers, you buy their theology.

    And Anne, I not only reviewed the evidence, I cited it and then some below.  Could you be more patronizing and presumptuous?    


    MKS writes (none / 0) (#164)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:59:20 AM EST
    The wingnuts

    Can you have a debate without personal insults??

    And here I thought you favored bipartisanship...



    Thank you (3.00 / 2) (#82)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:16:41 AM EST
    It's amazing what people will do to avoid reading things that destroy their reality and instead, provide things like, facts.  Something MKS seriously wants others to adhere to, yet not for himself.



    Your reality is what, exactly? (1.00 / 1) (#104)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:37:35 PM EST
    You are so vested in being contrary for no apparent reason it has really something.

    And it is so bad if I said I supported Hillary for President, you would object. Oh, that did actually happen.  This conversation started out with virtually unanimous opinion on this blog the conservatives were refusing to cite any evidence in favor of their theories.    

    But you decide to push this b.s. and say I am wrong about Jim (and others) not citing evidence--when everyone else here agreed.  Why not challenge the others on the very same point I was making?  

    Why on earth do you continue to post here? You just parrot right wing nonsense.  


    More unintentional hilarity today... (4.00 / 4) (#115)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:20:53 PM EST

    I continue to be amazed by your inability to grasp what people are clearly and repeatedly stating and that you think someone stating that it's really to early to talk about the 2016 race as if we know who the nominees will be is the same as objecting to your support for Hillary - especially as jb has clearly and repeatedly stated her support for Clinton.

    You were the one who stated "the fact" that Obama called the attack on Benghazi an act of terror - but cited nothing in support of that fact.  How are you any different from jim and all the "facts" he states with no support?

    You got called on it - and rightly so, in my opinion - and you didn't just get called on it, you got pointed to tons of supporting links and quotes that took issue with your "fact" about what Obama said.  

    And then it became about what Obama had to have "meant," in spite of more citations and more quotes and more links that showed that everyone speaking on the attacks from within the administration - including the president - pointedly, repeatedly and obviously avoided stating in no uncertain terms that it was a terrorist attack.  Right up to the point where someone went off-message, at which point, the whole script went into the trash.

    It's okay to admit that maybe - just possibly - that was a strategic political mistake - even if, as I said earlier, it wasn't necessarily a diplomatic one - I think there were valid reasons for not leaping into the whole "terror!  terror!" thing without looking.  Even I - no fan of Obama - can look at the situation and understand why he wouldn't play the terror card right away.

    I think the real problem here is that when you state something is a fact, with no link, people are going to check it out; had you said simply that you believed that Obama's remarks were intended to mean that he believed it was a terrorist act, you might still have been confronted with questions about why he wouldn't or couldn't or didn't just say so, and why everyone seemed to be reading from the same script, but there probably wouldn't have been comparisons to jim and his well-known habits.

    Finally, I don't think jb was parroting right-wing nonsense - she was trying to get you to acknowledge that these things you kept stating as facts weren't what you thought they were.

    You may wonder why jb posts here, but providing a lot of information and links and things for people to read and assess for themselves isn't how most wingers roll - and you know that.  


    It was a fact that everyone (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:25:57 PM EST
    --millions saw live.  I cited a fact.  Then the evidence in support of that fact.

    I was precisely correct in what I said.  I said that Obama called it an "act of terror" right after the event.  That is exactly true.  And none of your massive tome of words changes that.

    And I thought your contingent took your ball en masse and went home.  


    then why did he say this, in the (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:51:14 PM EST
    interview with Steve Kroft, immediately following his Rose Garden remarks?


    KROFT: "Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word `terrorism' in connection with the Libya attack."

        OBAMA: "Right."

        KROFT: "Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?"

        OBAMA: "Well, it's too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other."

    He's willing to call it an attack, but he's not willing to say, "Yes, Steve, I do believe it was a terrorist attack; I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear in my statement, but yes, I do think this was terrorism."

    Can you explain these remarks or not?  

    Obama did not call "it" an "act of terror," MKS; he said, on three occasions that "no act of terror would..."

    If he'd said "this act of terror will not..." I'd agree with you that he called it a terrorist act, but that's not what he said, or how he phrased his remarks each and every time he talked about it - and everyone speaking for the administration was doing the same thing.

    Explain the response to Steve Kroft - if you can.


    You move on to a different issue (none / 0) (#126)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:25:31 PM EST
    You try to pillory me on my quote of Obama a day after the event.  That is the subject here, as you and your echo said you wanted to discuss.

    He said no "act of terror" talking about Pearl Harbor as a date that will live in "infamy."

    Ah, natch, he wasn't talking about Pearl Harbor, he was talking about the Gulf of Tonkin, hmm, maybe it was the "Maine" or maybe the "Mayaguez."
    Gee, I have no idea what he was referring to when he was talking about "act of terror."

    Anne, with all your facility with words, tell us what the antecedent for "no act of terror" is.

    Good grief, you have to stick your head in the sand and willfully want to accept the conservative view or the pro jb view that Obama was talking about anything other than Benghazi when he was talking about act of terror.  Even your buddy Kessler grudgingly admits that.


    Kroft aked the president directly (4.00 / 3) (#129)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:42:55 PM EST
    and unequivocally - and Obama did not take the opportunity to correct Kroft's impression in an interview that was given right after the 9/12 Rose Garden remarks, and was doubtless seen by millions more people than were able to see the Rose Garden coverage.

    And, just as I expected, you have no way to reconcile your insistence that Obama said Benghazi was an act of terror with his remarks immediately following his Rose Garden appearance.

    I never said Obama was talking about something else - I simply stated that his words were a stirring call to patriotism, and were not the same as saying, "the attack on the compound in Benghazi was an act of terror."

    I am as far from being a conservative as you will find - and you know that.  I was not one of the people demanding that Obama call the attack an act of terrorism.  I actually supported - as I have stated at least twice in this thread - his unwillingness to give in to the right-wing's demands that he do so.  Not for political reasons, but because taking the chance at further inflaming tensions and violence would have been extremely stupid.

    Words mean something.  In the work I do, using the wrong words, making conclusions not supported by what's in black and white, can have unpleasant results.


    I really (none / 0) (#143)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:03:16 PM EST
    am not interested in a lecture on what words mean etc.

    What Obama said was consistent. It was an act of terror whether planned in advance or carried out by Al Qaeda.  


    Okay I understand (none / 0) (#163)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:56:15 AM EST
    You write "I really am not interested in a lecture on what words mean, etc."

    I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
    'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
    'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
    'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master -- that's all.'

    Lewis Carrol


    Why do Republicans cite (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:32:28 AM EST
    fiction and fairy tales when talking politics?

    Reagan started it...relying on fictional stories.


    MKS, you just revealed a true (none / 0) (#188)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:45:35 PM EST
    lack of education.

    And I a spelling problem

    Lewis Carrol, Carol being the feminine.

    But I digress. If you don't understand Humpty's point there is little that I can do.

    But you do. You do understand.


    Honestly (none / 0) (#149)
    by Politalkix on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:58:05 PM EST
    I do not know what jim and jbindc are doing on this thread should be called "an act of wing nuttery" or "wing nuttism", but I can still understand that they are talking Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!

    This is very (none / 0) (#119)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:30:19 PM EST
    patronizing, Anne:

    she was trying to get you to acknowledge that these things you kept stating as facts weren't what you thought they were.

     I knew exactly what I was saying and what I meant.  I even asked in one of my first posts whether there was an issue in word parsing of act of terror v. terrorist attack so I was well aware of the whole (manufactured) dispute of the wording.  

    That you constantly presume you need to educate others is very tedious.      


    I'm sorry you feel that way (3.00 / 2) (#106)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:41:20 PM EST
    I'm sorry you don't like my posts, or my facts and evidence (along with Anne's).  I'm sorry you are so "liberal" that you have such a closed mind.

    I am not going anywhere, so if you really don't like what I post, I suggest you skip right over them.

    I am not wasting any more bandwidth with you, as you are being deliberatly obtuse, and will forever hold onto your fantasies..  Please feel free to continue to downrate me to 1s.

    Good day.


    Well, I was responding (1.00 / 1) (#107)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:43:19 PM EST
    to your comment directly to me.

    So, in terms of skipping over comments, that would be a good idea.

    And since you invited the downrating, glad to oblige.


    The problem with Kessler's (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:21:38 PM EST
    article is that he argues that it is big deal that Obama said "act of terror" rather than "terrorism" because Kessler was a diplomatic reporter and words matter.

    But Kessler never tells us what that difference is.  

    The key here is that conservatives defines "terrorism" as certain thing--done by Al Qaeda Central.   (And to this day, there apparently is little if any evidence that Al Qaeda Central was involved.) And conservatives argue that a "terrorist" attack has to be planned, apparently weeks in advance.  An opportunistic attack, with little advance planning, is somehow not a terrorist attack.  

    See the real issue is not who died (no, they do not really care) but that IT WAS NOT ABOUT THE VIDEO AND HILLARY LIED.  That is the narrative.  If it was at all motivated by the video, it cannot be a terrorist attack.  Why that is true, they do not explain. A terrorist attack is no different than an act of terror--unless you accept conservative framing.

    Kessler swallows whole the conservative framing here.   It is just dancing on the head of a pin to say there is a difference.  Kessler says there is a difference, but does not say what that difference is.

    And, of course Obama is talking about Benghazi when he uses the phrase "act of terror."  He was not talking about any other event. He goes into detail when talking about Benghazi.  The whole speech, given three different times in very similar language, was all about Benghazi.

    You have to go way down the rabbit hole to agree with the conservative argument.  An "act of terror" suffices and is accurate.


    Not sure what you mean (3.00 / 2) (#68)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:40:29 AM EST
    I was pointing out to you with multiple sources that what you said as a "fact", was instead a White House talking point that was thoroughly discredited.

    You like to jump on jim for posting comments not based on fact or without evidence, yet you just did the same.

    I'm sorry you can't comprehend that.


    The Won was told (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:48:01 AM EST
    that's out and in the wind.

    MKS and Ymnan can deny.

    But he knew and he shut down the discussion and lied because he was afraid it would hurt his election chances.

    How Nixonian of him.



    Jim, at least jb (2.00 / 2) (#74)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:02:10 AM EST
    made an effort to do your job for you and cite something.  (One wonders why jb so strains to support you here, but moving on.)

    Jim, you are not discussing or arguing....You just recite the same lines over and over again.  Why bother?


    MKS (none / 0) (#162)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:46:24 AM EST
    There is no job to be done.

    Just listen to an unbiased news source and hear it for yourselves.

    He knew and he lied.

    You know and you hide.



    An unbiased news source.. (none / 0) (#170)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:23:02 AM EST
    like you'd have the faintest inkling of what that might be like..

    Speaking of "out in the wind" (none / 0) (#139)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:56:10 PM EST
    All those silly claims constructed of nothing more than your own hot air must create quite the breeze ...

    I cited the evidence (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:59:45 AM EST
    of the Debates and Candy Crowley during the debates affirming that Obama called it an Act of Terror a day or two after the event.

    That is a true statement.  Do I need to post the video of Candy Crowley during the Debates affirming that fact?  Millions of people saw it live.  "Proceed  Governor."  I guessed you missed it.  Or you are willfully ignoring it.  I addressed your evidence by asking you if you differentiate between act of terror and terrorism. You could if you wanted to, or were being honest, address the evidence I cited.



    No (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:11:01 AM EST
    I realize Candy Crowely said that at the debates.

    My links, showed how Crowley and CNN characterized the comments AFTER the debate.

    And as everyone knows, she got it wrong in the debates.

    The truth of the matter, as is so often the case in these pressurised televised events, was more nuanced than either side suggested. Crowley did not, as conservatives are now chanting, make a naked error that displayed her political bias towards Obama. But nor did she get it entirely right.

    In his Rose Garden speech Obama did use the phrase "acts of terror", but he did so in the plural and within a general discourse on the threats facing the US rather than as a specific reference to Benghazi

    Again - sorry this does not comport with the WH talking points.


    Glad you accept (none / 0) (#96)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:16:43 PM EST
    Republican talking points.

    Here is what Obama said in the Rosegarden the day after:

    No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.

    The entire speech was about Beghazi.  He was talking about Benghazi when he was talking about acts of terror.  And since you will undoubtedyly dispute the written text on the Whitehouse website, as all good wingnuts would, here is the Youtube video:

    He wasn't talking about Normandy when he said "acts of terror."  If Obama said the sky was blue, you would argue vehemently it was not.  Such is the bitterness that continues, and what you have in common with wingers.

    And it was not the only time, either.  He said the same thing in Las Vegas later that day:

    Sept. 12: In Nevada, Obama Said Of Benghazi: "No Act Of Terror Will Dim The Light" Of American Values. Later on September 12, Obama again labeled the Benghazi attacks an "act of terror." He told a crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada, "As for the ones we lost last night:  I want to assure you, we will bring their killers to justice. And we want to send a message all around the world -- anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America." [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/12/12]

    And the next day in Colorado he said the same thing:

    Sept. 13: Obama Again Referred To The Benghazi Attack As An "Act Of Terror" In Colorado. Campaigning in Golden, Colorado, on September 13, Obama again classified the Benghazi attack as an "act of terror." He told the crowd, "So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me:  To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished." [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/13/12]

    You and the wingnuts agree.  At least you try to cite evidence.  


    Thank you for proving my point (3.00 / 2) (#99)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:24:00 PM EST
    And that wingnut, Anne's point.

    A generic "Act of terror" is not the same thing as calling a specific action "terrorism".

    Puzzling why you keep putting the discredited WH talking points up to prove your point.  Even with links and quotes!

    Getting my laughs in for the day.  Like talking with a Fox News viewer - no matter how much proof they are shown, their fingers are in their ears saying "Nyah, Nyah, Nyah...I can't hear you!"


    In all (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:48:12 PM EST
    honesty, I mean I'm not a huge fan of Obama by any means but darn acts of terror or terorism? Are we really arguing over a stupid turn of the phrase? This is just darn silly and probably to most people act of terror and terrorism mean pretty much the same thing.

    Do you think it would be less worse or better if Timothy McVeigh's actions had been called terroism or acts of terror? They mean the same thing in my book.


    You are more obtuse (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:25:47 PM EST
    and deliberately offensive today.

    "Generic?"  He was talking about Benghazi.

    And tell me by what authority do you rely to say they are completely different critters.  


    Who is this royal "we"? (none / 0) (#138)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 05:53:08 PM EST
    You, Glen Beck, Rush ...?

    You're funny

    BTW - Still not a shred of evidence?

    Guess "we" know why ...


    Watch Fox, Ynman (none / 0) (#165)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:00:17 AM EST
    Too funny. (none / 0) (#179)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 01:08:17 PM EST
    Fox is the one that was spreading all the misinformation. No wonder you're understandably misinformed about most subjects. Just because they're telling you what you want to hear does not make it correct. I find this mindset pretty prevalent with conservatives especially neoconfederates like you Jim.

    Heh (none / 0) (#187)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:32:59 PM EST
    All Fox is doing is noting that there was a meeting with various high level military types starting just after the terrorist attack started and they knew about it.



    Yeah, that's a sad symbol. Sad because Obama and his minions have you folks so besotted with his persona you can't think.


    Fox - heh (none / 0) (#195)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:24:07 PM EST
    Citing Fox without even so much as providing a link as to what you claim Fox is claiming is like Rush playing a game of "Telephone" with glen Beck and Sean Hannity.

    It's just too funny.


    Yeah Yman (none / 0) (#196)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:32:18 PM EST
    Try getting out some.

    It'll educate you. Make you less provincial. You might even learn how to spell "Fair and Balance."



    "Educate" - heh (none / 0) (#199)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:33:00 PM EST
    Like Rush offering to be someone's personal trainer.

    But I do enjoy your offer to help someone learn how to spell the slogan for Fox News, ..

    ... while misspelling it.  The best part?  

    You're not even trying to be funny.  :)


    But It Must Be True... (none / 0) (#200)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:21:39 AM EST
    ...because it has the idiot brigades stamp of validity, twice, not just CAPS, but CAPS and BOLD, which means no source is needed, that information is sooooooo valid, it and the author are above reproach.

    Watching sides swap authoritarian mindsets (none / 0) (#109)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:01:42 PM EST
    on issues like this is like watching a tennis match.

    The implicit assumption re Benghazi, at least the pretense is, that omniscient and omnipresent authority could and would have prevented this.  

    That's a ridiculous presumption.  But it doesn't stop the security state hawks.  Security Theatre budgets will never be high enough to satisfy their constituency.

    I'm with Hillary Clinton on this.  Four people dead.  That sucks, but move on.  Put it in perspective.


    Oscar Best Picture Nominees (none / 0) (#63)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:20:50 AM EST
    American Hustle
    Captain Philips
    Dallas Buyers Club
    12 Years A Slave
    The Wolf Of Wall Street

    I was sorry to see that ... (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:55:44 PM EST
    ... the multi-generational crime drama "The Place Beyond the Pines" failed to get due consideration by Academy members. It probably opened too early in the year (released in March), and whatever memories voters might have had of the film got swamped by all the great releases in the last three months of 2013.

    Yes, good story telling; (none / 0) (#140)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:48:34 PM EST
    actually three stories that lean on and lead to the other.  More than a thriller.

    I did not know until recently ... (none / 0) (#194)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:07:28 PM EST
    ... that the film's title is the English translation of the Mohawk-rooted name of Schenectady, NY, where the story takes place.

    So, Inside Llewyn Davis (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:50:37 PM EST
    did not receive even one nomination?  Including for the score?
    Very hard to fathom this incredible oversight.

    Oscar Nominees Male Actor in a Leading Role (none / 0) (#65)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:23:51 AM EST
    Christian Bale - American Hustle
    Bruce Dern - Nebraska
    Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
    Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
    Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club

    Robert Redford should have been nominated (none / 0) (#76)
    by Angel on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:21:25 AM EST
    for All is Lost.  I'm disappointed.

    I've tried but I don't get (none / 0) (#171)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:25:29 AM EST
    the appeal of DiCaprio as an actor..

    Is it because we all want look like we're still eighteen when we're forty?


    I think Bale got nominated ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:13:59 AM EST
    ... for that hilarious opening scene comb-over in "Hustle," a sometimes funny but ultimately very predictable con artist caper.

    And I certainly would've nominated Jeremy Renner as supporting actor for the same film, rather than Bradley Cooper. Renner brought real depth and feeling to the role of Carmine Polito, the hapless mayor of Camden, NJ, whereas Cooper played FBI agent Richie DiMaso as little more than a malevolent cartoon character right out of the animated comedy series "Archer."


    Also feel that any movie that depends so much on Hair & Makeup and Costumes as its "hook" belies its lack of a compelling story.

    (Sorry, should have been under best film) (none / 0) (#85)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:27:13 AM EST
    Well, I liked "American Hustle." (none / 0) (#112)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:38:56 PM EST
    But I certainly didn't like it enough to believe that the film deserved 10 Academy Award nominations this morning, including finalists in all six of the major categories.

    And in that regard, I consider "Hustle" to perhaps be the most overrated film of 2013 (though "Gravity" maybe runs a close second), given that it's a rather formulaic movie that's both competently made and generally entertaining, and really nothing more. And when I think of lighthearted con artist romps, the 1973 Oscar winner "The Sting" leaves "Hustle" looking very pale in comparison.

    I actually think last year's entry from "Hustle" director David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook," was a much better and stronger entry for Oscar gold.



    No Tam Honks? (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:26:32 AM EST
    Nope. (none / 0) (#110)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:09:48 PM EST
    No Tom Hanks, either.

    But seriously, I would've given Hanks a best actor nod for either "Captain Phillips" or "Saving Mr. Banks" over Christian Bale in "Hustle."


    Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actor (none / 0) (#95)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
    Bradley Cooper - American Hustle
    Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
    Jonah Hill - The Wolf of Wall Street
    Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club

    Oscar Nominees Actress in a Leading Role (none / 0) (#66)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:26:23 AM EST
    Amy Adams - American Hustle
    Kate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
    Sandra Bullock - Gravity
    Judi Dench - Philomena
    Meryl Streep - August: Osage County

    OMG! I love Meryl Streep, but ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:42:52 AM EST
    ... "August: Osage County" was simply an awful film, and Ms. Streep's performance was nothing more than excessive scenery chewing of the worst sort.

    Julia Roberts was also nominated in the supporting actress category for the same movie, and IMHO was an equally inexplicable choice. In fact, the director and entire cast missed the key essence of the original stage play, which was that "Osage" is supposed to be a raucous black comedy.

    I saw the stage production, and Estelle Parsons nailed the role of Violet, who was a pill-popping, shrill harridan who was actually fun to watch. Streep, on the other hand, played the drug-addicted Vi straight, as though she were channeling Katherine Hepburn's Mary Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" with a southern accent.

    Her resultant work product was a stoned, foulmouthed and emotionally abusive monster who you dearly wished would've been shot dead by someone early on, because whoever did that deed would've been doing the entire dysfunctional family and the besieged audience a favor.

    Boo, hiss to Academy members for wasting two nominations on such mediocrity.



    I saw "August: Osage County" at a (none / 0) (#151)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:16:03 PM EST
    regional heater here as originally written by Tracy Letts-- a play. He won a Tony for best play. Terrific production. I liked his play "Superior Donuts" better.

    Tracy Letts co-wrote with the film director the screenplay for the movie "August: Osage County."  I thought Streep was a little over the top. Chris Cooper and Julia Roberts were terrific. So was Sam Shepherd. To me, the film worked better than the play m


    All the descriptions I've heard sound (none / 0) (#169)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:17:30 AM EST
    like Eugene O'Neil circa 2014..

    The critics cite "Little Foxes," (none / 0) (#173)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:47:43 AM EST
    "Long Day's Journey Into Night," etc.

    A "little over the top"? (none / 0) (#193)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:00:39 PM EST
    oculus: "I thought Streep a little over the top."

    That performance couldn't have been any more over the top, had she been Al Pacino in drag! I liked the play much better than the film.



    Oscar Nominees for Supporting Actress (none / 0) (#97)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:18:28 PM EST
    Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine
    Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
    Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
    Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
    June Squibb - Nebraska

    Cate Blanchett. Hands down. (none / 0) (#152)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:17:06 PM EST
    Christie administration hires law firm to (none / 0) (#77)
    by Angel on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:29:14 AM EST
    Really. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:14:20 AM EST
    And to whose aid will that be, I wonder.

    Time for some cheap entertainment. (none / 0) (#91)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:41:26 AM EST
    He's wounded, enemies on all sides.  Pop some popcorn.  One more round of "Worst of Human Nature Theatre."

    I see (none / 0) (#92)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:49:07 AM EST
    only glee in the perceived demise of Christie as a presidential contender.

    So what.

    What does that leave us with?
    A clear ride for Clinton or Biden?

    Christie was artificially pumped up to begin with - not unlike the present occupant of the WH.

    What has he done for anybody?

    So - hooray for his demise.
    But, as I said, what do we have on the horizon?


    - more of the same. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:35:50 PM EST
    Well, given that you're not running, ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:56:42 PM EST
    ... what choice do we have?

    Actually, (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:57:49 PM EST
    I am running.

    For the border.


    A "5" (none / 0) (#132)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:01:33 PM EST
    for the unintentional laugh.

    Taco Bell for dinner? (none / 0) (#133)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:09:05 PM EST
    LOL! (none / 0) (#192)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:50:19 PM EST

    Andy Borowitz: (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:04:40 PM EST
    LOL! (none / 0) (#120)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    I also liked Borowitz's Jan. 9 entry, in which Christie chastises the media for not focusing instead on his weight problems:

    "'How much I've weighed in the past, how much I weigh now, and how much I'm eating --- that's all you clowns should be writing about,' he yelled. 'Anything else is just a distraction.' [...] The governor made only one reference to the notorious bridge-closing scandal, offering this alibi: 'At the time that decision was made, I was busy shouting at a teacher.'"



    How many of (none / 0) (#105)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:38:38 PM EST
    his staff will take the Fifth?



    How many of his staff (5.00 / 8) (#125)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:23:29 PM EST
    will drink the fifth?  I would be, if I were them.

    Every one of them who faces compulsion (4.33 / 3) (#144)
    by Peter G on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:15:25 PM EST
    to testify against him/herself, whether actually guilty or not, as s/he should. Do you have a problem with people actually enjoying the protection of the Bill of Rights?

    No (none / 0) (#154)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:34:20 PM EST
    And sure they should.  But you get to draw inferences in a civil setting when someone does that.  So, I feel nothing wrong with drawing inferences in a political setting.

    Interesting tone here.


    From a legal standpoint, absolutely. (none / 0) (#191)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:46:52 PM EST
    Of course, nobody can or should ever be compelled under oath to potentially incriminate themselves in possible criminal wrongdoing, regardless of whether they're being deposed in court or appearing before a legislative committee.

    But as all these multiple investigations of this scandal go forward, we should keep in mind that a state legislature is first and foremost a political body. It's not a grand jury or trial court. For each person under subpoena who declines to testify before the New Jersey Legislature as to what they knew about this scheme and when they knew it, the likelihood that state lawmakers will be sufficiently provoked to react politically increases accordingly.

    Assembly Transportation Chair John Wizniewski, who's been heading up his body's investigation, has already broached publicly the possibility of Chris Christie's impeachment, the governor's denials of complicity on his part notwithstanding, should his administration's full cooperation with their probe not be forthcoming.

    In that regard, each invocation of 5th Amendment rights by members of Gov. Christie's inner circle during upcoming public hearings will render his administration's capacity to withstand the political fallout that much more problematic, particularly with those legislators who now hold the governor's immediate political fate in their hands.



    House passes (none / 0) (#136)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:46:13 PM EST
    Exchange Information Disclosure Act in a 259-154 vote.  The bill would require weekly updates from the Obama administration about the implementation status of Healthcare.gov and of Obamacare overall.

    The White House opposed this bill, but 33 Democrats defected and voted "yeah".

    Senate passage of government funding bill (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:21:26 PM EST
    By 72 to 26 the Senate passed a government funding bill.  Wow ... the first time in 3 years that Congress has been able to complete its responsibility to fund government operations without shutting them down or similar drama.  The 1.1 Trillion $$$ compromise is a classic bit of everything.  One thing to note, obviously, is that it funds the ACA.

    In the process of Senate passage:  Ladies and gentleman, we truly have a standard-bearer for those who so disdain Obamacare.  I give you (once again) Senator Ted Cruz ... who decried the purported negatives of the ACA from the Senate floor and raised the clarion call of opposition.  Ah well and all that.  For those who need an Obamacare die-hard opponent, we now know with certainty that there is always Senator Ted Cruz.  (For the rest of us, we continue to read and hear about the surging enrollments in the healthcare program and, in the past day, we also saw new information from an audit attesting to the security of the ACA system.  Poor Ted and friends who preach failure ... because things are starting to look good.)

    Mroe than 3 years (none / 0) (#159)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:37:35 AM EST
    Last time they passed a spending bill was March of 2009.

    You'd want asylum somewhere, too, if (none / 0) (#160)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:32:37 AM EST
    US officials were openly talking about wanting to murder you:

    Multiple officials within the United States government have told a reporter of their interest in murdering Edward Snowden. A killing that would take place outside of any legal proceeding or formal process. The US government officials not only expressed a desire to do it for their national security concerns but also a sense of personal satisfaction they would receive from completing the task.

       "I would love to put a bullet in his head," one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. "I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single handedly the greatest traitor in American history."


    One NSA analyst said he would like to "personally would go and kill him myself" and that within NSA "A lot of people share this sentiment." Noting that within the intelligence organization itself their is an intense desire to seek retribution outside the rule of law.

    Another defense official, who is said to work with Army Intelligence, disclosed to a reporter an elaborate scenario where the US government would kill Edward Snowden within the country of Russia - Snowden's current location.

       "I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly," he said. "Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it's a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower."

    The worst part is that it doesn't even surprise me that this is where things have gotten to.  That people who should know better, and who are supposed to help hold us to the higher standards that separate democracy from the totalitarian state, just openly talk about killing an American citizen.  No arrest, no trial, no verdict - just a vigilante-style retribution killing.

    And people wonder why Snowden isn't "courageous" enough to return to the US...

    These (none / 0) (#182)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:37:39 PM EST
    self serving excuses are being conjured up to justify his avoidance of a trial. Pro-Snowden forces are working overtime to come up with fantastic new excuses while quoting nameless sources in the NSA or Pentagon.

    Snowden can learn a thing or two from rights activists who have the courage to stand trial in Russia or China where people who oppose the government are actually often murdered.


    I would not put it past Putin to even murder Snowden (now that he has obtained all intelligence information from him) and blame the United States for a propaganda coup.


    What (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:45:44 PM EST
    Snowden supporters are projecting on the NSA, Putin has already done. link

    It is an irony that Snowden sought refuge with Putin.


    Sounds like something I could (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:50:58 PM EST
    hear on Fox News...but since I don't watch Fox, nor read or listen to offerings of that nature, thanks for letting me know what the pro-totalitarian, pro-security state ravings - I mean, talking points - are from that corner.

    Your lunatic ravings (1.50 / 4) (#185)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:03:32 PM EST
    that Snowden will get extra judicially murdered if he comes back to the United States to stand trial are like the lunatic ravings of those right wing loons (who actually watch Fox News) that build bomb shelters and amass weapons because they think that the US government has plans to murder them.

    These were not "my" (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:47:22 PM EST
    "lunatic" ravings, but you knew that already; what's interesting to me, though, is how often you have to accuse liberals like me of being right-wing loons in order to continue to support the conservative actions and policies of this administration - policies and actions that are indistinguishable from those of Bush and Cheney, and exponentially worse.

    It is a desperate and ineffective way to discuss an issue, and as clear an indication as any that you have nothing credible to offer.


    The operative word is like (2.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:59:17 PM EST
    "like the lunatic ravings of those right wing loons"

    and not

    "are the lunatic ravings of those right wing loons"

    When extreme liberals collude with the extreme libertarian, the twain meet. They peddle paranoia.

    It is kissy-kissy, smoochie-smoochie, for the liberal-libertarian duo till the liberal starts screaming that the libertarian has put her in a chokehold and the government should do something to help her.

    Peddling paranoia is not going to help in providing a solution. It derails reasonable debate.


    Darlin', you went off those rails a (3.67 / 3) (#198)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:22:06 PM EST
    long time ago...so I guess you really can't help yourself.

    Probably explains why you're sounding more like jim every day.


    ... the ravings of a lunatic. Given the wanton and ongoing character assassination of Edward Snowden by persons in both the media and the intelligence community, much of which has included the impugning of his patriotism, and the fact that he's also been the subject of death threats, I happen to share some of those concerns.

    While I don't believe anything extra-legal would happen to Snowden should he decide to return to the U.S., I'm not at all prepared to so blithely dismiss the possibility that some overly impressionable whack job who's OD'ed on AM right-wing squawk radio might feel compelled to take a shot at him, thanks to all the loose talk out there.

    I think the likelihood of that occurring is probably on the low side, but I certainly wouldn't bet the homestead on it. As we've no doubt seen time and again, one delusional crackpot who's on a mission from God has the capacity to cause people an awful lot of grief.



    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 250 (none / 0) (#172)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    10 years later, a former Cub Scout will get his payback. (link)

    v. 249
    v. 248
    v. 247

    TGIF, my friends. And forgive my freakish nature. Par for the curse. If you know what I mean. ;-)

    If you ain't never heard of Boots Riley... (none / 0) (#181)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 01:51:20 PM EST
    ...and his band The Coup, the you have missed the boat far too long.

    Land of 7 billion dances. (link)