Tuesday Night Open Thread

larger version here.

It sure is cold outside, but the view from my living room was very pretty today.

I've been mostly reading news from Mexico today. The papers there have been filled the past few days with revelations that the DEA made deals with top Sinaloa cartel members to provide information about rival cartels in exchange for immunity and the freedom to continue their illegal activities. This is about the case of Jesus Vincent Zambada-Niebla, awaiting trial in Chicago. I'm not sure why the Mexican papers are just picking it up now -- it was news in the U.S. in 2011. Here's a long post I wrote about the case and the DEA's "snitch and carry on" policy. It's an interesting question whether Humberto Loya-Castro, the Sinaloa lawyer who became a DEA informant and provided information about rival cartels for years to the DEA, and who set up a meeting in Mexico City between the DEA and Zambada-Niebla, at which Zambada-Niebla claimed the DEA offered him the same deal as Loya (become a snitch against rivals and continue on without fear of busts) was not so much an informant as an agent of the Cartel.

Snitch and receive a get out of jail free card pales in comparison to snitch, stay in business and be free from arrest. The DEA used the same strategy in Colombia when targeting Pablo Escobar. It's called "Divide and Conquer."[More...]

More news from Mexico: There are new details about Mexican officals allegedly present during the torture and killing of DEA agent Kiki Camarena. Via Proceso, as translated by Borderland Beat:

Three former Mexican police officers, placed in the witness protection program since the 1990's, gave Proceso details of the kidnapping and torture of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985. But there's more: these witnesses assert that Manuel Bartlett Diaz, then the Mexican Secretary of the Interior, and Juan Arevalo Gardoqui, Secretary of Defense, witnessed the torture of the DEA agent.

There's also reporting about the DEA and two U.S. prosecutors going to a prison in Mexico, along with an official from Mexico's SIEDO, to try and convince a Mexican official arrested for providing information to the Beltran-Leyva cartel to agree to come to the U.S. to back up the testimony of its informants in an FBI-initiated investigation called Operation Limpiaza (Clean Sweep.) The visits by the U.S. agents and prosecutors were not legal in Mexico.

In Mexico, only the prosecutor and, where appropriate, the judge may validly question a detainee, even for extradition proceedings to answer if it is his will and always in the presence of counsel," explains Juan Velasquez, renowned criminal lawyer in the country.

The official also says he was kept in inhumane conditions and psychologically tortured. Five Mexican generals were charged in Mexico as a result of the investigation. Ultimately, four were acquitted and freed.

In local news, Andrew Cohen has a good article at the Daily Beast on Colorado and legal pot, the faux morality of those on the East Coast criticizing it, and the continued disparate treatment of those who use marijuana vs. alcohol -- such as, you can be fired for smoking pot.

[A} Colorado employee can get drunk as a skunk on a Saturday night and have no fear on Monday of losing her job to a drug test so long as she shows up sober and ready to work. And it means that the employee’s coworker cannot have even a puff of pot on that same Saturday night without fearing that a subsequent drug test will cost her a job, even if she also shows up sober and ready to work on the following Monday.

Andrew writes that drug testing at work will prevent Colorado's "experiment" with legal pot from being successful, and we need a federal law to fix it.

And it’s also why the experiment cannot fully succeed until federal law is updated to reflect accurately what we’ve learned about marijuana in the past few decades. Companies such as DISH aren’t going to alter their drug-testing policies voluntarily to account for legal marijuana use. They are going to have to be forced by federal law to do so.

In Colorado, the ACLU has argued that employees should not be fired for evidence of past pot use, which is what the drug tests now show, but for evidence of current cannabis use or impairment, which the drug tests now do not necessarily show. Colorado lawmakers, and ultimately officials in the Obama administration, are going to have to address that dichotomy.

The unfair stigma associated with marijuana use goes beyond employment. Landlords can dictate renters not use drugs. It comes up in child custody proceedings. Government benefits can be denied because of it.

That's it for me tonight. This is an open thread, all topics welcome. I'm going to cross-post this at TL's site-in-progress so that I can see what needs fixing in comments.

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    Trevor Paglin (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 11:31:09 PM EST
    Artist talk and slide show at the Chaos Communication Congress.

    From the NewYorker:

    Trevor Paglen, an artist who focusses on the covert world of top-secret military operations. Paglen, thirty-eight, takes photos of off-limits military installations, such as Area 51, and of buildings, aircraft, and offices connected with the top-secret "black world."


    Is This True ? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:47:57 AM EST
    Reagan hated reading, so the CIA made briefing videos for him. Some of these strange videos were recently declassified. Here's one about the Soviet Space Program.

    Here is the LINK to the video related to that caption.

    It has the feel of those cheesy sex eds video we watched in junior high and this is what the CIA created for the POTUS ?  Shocking, and even more shocking, if true, that Reagan hated reading, but doesn't surprise me.


    As his old friend Jerry Falwell (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:10:42 AM EST
    would say: the letter killeth, but the spirit revealeth. Unless you're talking about Reader's Digest.

    Yes (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:19:45 PM EST
    Paglin is thorough in his fact checking and research...  I trust his research and am a fan of his work.

    IMO he is a top contemporary artist..  worth following, if you like contemporary art.

    The Secret US government patches are pretty funny, and the fact that they changed the design on some of them after Paglin outed the iconography, is a hoot.


    More on the Christie administration's (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:09:21 AM EST
    closing of the local access lanes in Fort Lee, including some humor:


    Recorded EMS response delays now (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:26:53 PM EST
    He is fried

    The NY Times has also posted copies ... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:35:21 PM EST
    ... of the incriminating e-mails and text messages.

    In my opinion, the most damning text exchange comes on pages 9 and 10, prompted by an initial plea for assistance from Ft. Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich from the morning of Sept. 10, 2013 to Bill Baroni, one of Gov. Christie's two appointed commissioners to the NY/NJ Port Authority.

    My own understanding upon reading these transcipts is that this particular exchange was between Baroni and Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, although so many prior names were redacted in the online copy that I could very well be wrong about that:

    Ft. Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich to Bill Baroni, NY/NJ Port Authority (8:05 a.m.): "Presently we have four very busy traffic lanes merging into only one toll booth. The bigger problem is getting kids to school. Help us, please."

    Baroni to Bridget Anne Kelly, Gov.'s office (8:05 a.m.): "Is it wrong that I'm smiling?"

    Kelly to Baroni: "No."

    Baroni to Kelly (8:08 a.m.): "I feel badly about the kids I guess."

    Kelly to Baroni (8:11 a.m.): "They are the children of Buono voters. Bottom line is that [Mayor Sokolich] didn't say safety."

    (The "Buono" referenced by Kelly in this exchange was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono.)

    I must admit that I really wasn't paying all that much attention to this incident until this bombshell dropped out of nowhere today. Now that I'm bringing myself up to speed ASAP, per what I'm reading about it, I think what these people did to the residents of Ft. Lee and the surrounding suburban towns was thoroughly despicable, and perhaps even criminal.



    He won't be running for president in 2016. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Angel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:20:23 PM EST
    Thank gawd.

    While this certainly does not reflect well on Gov. Christie at all, there's also no evidence that he had any part in this scheme.

    That said, and further speaking as someone who's worked in politics at a senior state-level position, I believe that Christie can and should be held entirely responsible for the overall professional tone set in the governor's chambers at the state capitol. I certainly don't think that Bridget Anne Kelly or any of these other clowns would have ever done what they did, were they not reasonably sure that it would meet with the governor's approval -- if only with a nod and a wink.



    He either knew (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:20:49 PM EST
    and approved it, and he was complicit, or he had no f*cking idea that this was going on, in which case he is incompetent.  Please pick one.
    Uneasy rests the b*tt that sits the throne.
    (We're sort of back to the Iran-Contra scandal and Ronald Reagan.  Among others.)

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:41:06 PM EST
    He's the governor, and as such is entirely responsible for the overall tone set in his administration, as well as the conduct of his immediate subordinates.

    But since he's now claiming that he really didn't know what his own senior staff was doing in his name, then he's indeed incompetent, and IMHO he really has no business even being governor -- never mind running for president.


    Yep (none / 0) (#110)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:22:21 PM EST
    Although, it's amazing to me how many politicians try to use the "I had no idea that this was going on!" excuse. And how many of their staff members are willing to fall on their swords.  Not to mention how many supporters buy into this whole scenario. Ah, well, what can I say?  
    Christie is a thug and a bully.  Period.

    ... boss out here at our state capitol, that the day he knowingly sent me out to either lie to or mislead the public for him would be the very last day I worked for him.

    I understand the need in this business for loyal soldiers, but such loyalty should certainly not include the consideration or commitment of wrongdoing on behalf of any elected boss. I fall on my sword for nobody.



    That is an impossibly high (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:40:05 PM EST
    standard. Are
    NYT top executives advised to hire only the best and delegate, not micromanage?

    "Aren't" (none / 0) (#113)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:41:39 PM EST
    I do not think that this is in any way (none / 0) (#114)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:45:12 PM EST
    an "impossibly high standard."  You don't have to micromanage to have a good idea what page your people are on and how they are performing.
    If you can't stand the heat, get the he!! out of the kitchen.

    I tried to find out if, at the time the lanes were (none / 0) (#117)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:17:27 PM EST
    closed off and traffic backed up, were there news and/or traffic reports. If his staff didn't tell Christie about it, did he or should he have learned of the mess anyhow. No luck in this research.

    ... over four days. Christie's claims of ignorance are at best far-fetched. He's joked about it, he minimized its impact, and he publicly ridiculed the reporter from the Bergen County Record who tried to question him on it. He had two Port Authority commissioners who resigned on him because of it. You don't think he doesn't know why they did?

    Even if the governor was ignorant, he's still responsible for the actions of his senior staff in his capitol office. He set a vindictive tone and instilled a bully culture in which they clearly assumed that what they did would meet with his approval. As of this writing, he has yet to terminate his deputy chief of staff, Ms. Kelly.

    Make no mistake, today's disclosures are very bad for Chris Christie. It goes well beyond the GWB closure at this point, and is a direct reflection on both his professional reputation and his personal character. As a result, his political career may very well be hanging in the balance this week.



    Several thoughts: (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:49:41 AM EST
    First, why do people in positions like this persist in believing the e-mails and texts they send to each other are somehow in a safe little bubble that no one else will ever see?

    If I, an ordinary person with an ordinary job and no power or authority, have managed to figure out that the first rule of e-mailing and texting is "don't put anything out there you aren't willing for the entire world to see," how come these people haven't?  These people are going to plan some stupid payback stunt that could kill their boss's chances for further political advancement using not-so-thinly-veiled e-mails and texts?  They're not as bright as they think they are.

    Second, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the people most enjoying seeing Christie slowly turning on this rotisserie are members of his own party, albeit those sitting in the crazy section.  

    Finally, I don't think this will slow Christie down as much as some people believe; for one thing, there are miles to go and lots of damage and image control that can be done between now and the primary season, and for another, I'm sure efforts are underway to get other things in the headlines and start throwing dirt back in the other direction.


    They had enough footage on ABC news tonight (none / 0) (#119)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:25:30 PM EST
    and since it caused a 4hr delay into NYC, I can't imagine he wouldn't have known it was going on . . . .

    Of course the Gov. knows about it (none / 0) (#123)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:51:49 PM EST
    now. I couldn't find any news coverage from Sept5-10 or advance notice by the Port Auth.

    Plus (none / 0) (#154)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:48:06 PM EST
    The Governor seems to have waited four (4) months before publicly admitting any responsibility.  The "responsibility" that he admitted four months after the fact appears to be only that he was duped and that his top staff was/were "stupid" and "deceitful" ... an acknowledgement that came only following the release of incriminating emails as well as a series of reportage.

    I stand behind my comment. He's toast as a (none / 0) (#138)
    by Angel on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    presidential candidate.  Whether he knew or didn't know isn't going to matter to people.  He's going to be portrayed not only as a bully but as immature and pathetic.  Seriously, shutting down bridge lanes because the mayor of another town didn't endorse you?  Petty, petty, petty.  That's what people are going to think.  

    For What ? (none / 0) (#144)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:26:03 PM EST
    Making people wait longer in traffic than normal ?

    The end result is what most of us deal with once a week when there is an accident, we sit in traffic longer than normal and it sucks.

    I really hope the D's don't try and run with this like the IRS or Benghazi BS, it simply not there and will make us look like the republicans, trying to stick a candidate, we fear, to some huge scandal that simply doesn't exist.

    If they connect him to this with actual evidence, then we can talk, otherwise this is what it is, some political hacks using their power to grind axes, who didn't actually commit any crimes until they lied about it.

    It is good to see the DOJ jumping all over this, yet somehow keeps missing the folks who knowingly lie to Congress.


    Emergency vehicles couldn't get through, kids (none / 0) (#151)
    by Angel on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:18:54 PM EST
    were on buses for hours on their first day of school, safety for some was jeopardized.  You say "so what?"  I'm saying the level of pettiness is what people are going to remember.  It reinforces his bully image and looks like he's once again punishing easy targets.  Even if he didn't do the act himself it was his deputy chief of staff who did, and he should have known what she and others involved were doing.  

    Substitute (none / 0) (#152)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:32:22 PM EST
    Even if he didn't do the act himself it was his deputy chief of staff who did, and he should have known what she and others involved were doing.  


    "Even if he didn't do the act himself it was his IRS Commissioner who did, and he should have known what she and others involved were doing."


    "Even if he didn't do the act himself it was his generals who did, and he should have known what all involved were doing."


    "Even if he didn't do the act himself it was his deputy chief of staff who did, and he should have known what she and others involved were doing."

    Seems like you could apply that to many people in higher office....  



    When you can show me that public safety was (none / 0) (#157)
    by Angel on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:04:01 PM EST
    impacted by the IRS scandal we can talk substitutes.  This isn't solely about a politician doing something wrong or stupid, it's about the pettiness of the particular act and the fact that public safety was at risk.  

    You Mean Like Bullying Entire Countries... (none / 0) (#156)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:02:50 PM EST
    ...to get at one or tow people, that kind of bully ?  Or the kind who grounds the Bolivian Presidents jet in someone eles air space, or is that not an easy target for the POTUS ?  Come on, this is the USA, we bully everyone, D & R's both.

    Do you have a link for the emergency vehicle claims and sorry, but those same kids were likely stuck on the same buses sometime this week caught in traffic.


    One woman (none / 0) (#158)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:17:37 PM EST
    a 91-year old woman was reported unconscious. Responders were delayed in getting to her (it took 7 minutes - it supposedly should have taken around 4).  She died of cardiac arrest, later in the day at the hospital, so no, the direct connection between her death and the delay cannot be made at this time.

    Emergency crews took 7 minutes (instead of 4) to get to the scene of a traffic accident with 4 injured people, although nothing I can find says how injured they were, and a  little delay getting to a person having chest pains.


    He never had (none / 0) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:00:09 PM EST
    a chance anyway. I'm willing to bet the GOP is putting this stuff out there. Well, maybe not the GOP but someone like Ted Cruz to drive off any opposition that he might have. I actually really am not that interested in this story because the GOP base already hates Christie. This just gives them yet another reason to hate him.

    Yeah, but the east coast media adore him. (none / 0) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:14:05 PM EST
    Further, it should be noted that while the teabaggin' crackpots actually comprise a clear plurality of Republican primary voters who are also highly motivated to turn out, they do not constitute an absolute majority.

    Because were they the majority, Mitt Romney would never have prevailed in an extended 2012 primary battle. And that alone made Gov. Christie a very formidable contender for the 2016 GOP nomination, regardless of the desires of his party's wackadoodle base.

    From that standpoint, it'll be interesting to see what the heretofore-gushing Chris Matthews has to say tonight about his BFF Christie, in light of today's stunning revelations.



    Yes (none / 0) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:32:36 PM EST
    but you have to realize that the crack pots were willing to be told what to do back in 2012 and they were told that the other ones could not win and they were determined to beat Obama so they swallowed hard and pulled the lever. They are not having any of that anymore. They are convinced that in the words of Luntz the electorate has been poisoned and that they can't win anyway and they would rather lose with someone like Ted Cruz than win with Christie. Besides they think Christie is a closet liberal and they'll get nothing but liberal policies anyway so no use in voting for him. If they wanted liberal policies they would have voted for Obama. That is how their minds work. They are already saying that they are not going to do the McCain Romney thing again. The GOP is really in a quandry. They have a base that wants it to be 1890 or even 1850 and they have to run in a candidate in a country that realizes it is 2014.

    Highly doubtful (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:11:34 AM EST
    This is January 2014.  This will not be a story next week. Yes, it was a
    d!ckish move.  Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon now, but really? You think this is gonna derail any presidential ambitions he has?  Because people in Fort Lee, NJ, were stuck in traffic (even if the story about the emergency vehicles and a woman died as a direct result of that is true).  You think people in Nebraska or Ohio or California or Minnesota are going to look at the overall picture of the economy and domestic policy and foreign policy and make their decision based the fact that some (not all) lanes on a bridge going into NY were closed and people were inconvenienced??

    Rumors of Christie's demise have been greatly exaggerated.


    Gail Collins opines you can mess w/GOP vo (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:43:41 AM EST
    other issues but not the sanctity of commuting in your very own personal vehicle. No $$ for mass transit!

    Agreed, IF ... (none / 0) (#139)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:36:02 AM EST
    ... no evidence turns up that he was personally involved out had knowledge of it at the time.  If evidence to the contrary turns up, I think he's toast.

    Sure (none / 0) (#146)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:46:38 PM EST
    Isn't that true with all politicians?

    I can't imagine (after the history we've had with politicians getting caught in lies) that he would got out there and take this stance if he knew there was more to come.  The only problem may be is once the US Attorney gets involved, it could be a fishing expedition and no politician is squeaky clean, so we could have all kinds of serious stuff coming out (which would be good), or lots of bs stuff that is just noise for pundits and bloggers to drag on for months.


    Right... (none / 0) (#149)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:09:03 PM EST
    ...the underlying issue, blocking traffic is about as scandalous as shaking Raul Casto hand, chatter for a slow news day.

    The other folks are toast and depending who they lied to might be in some deep S, so it will stay around just because it's what started everything.

    IMO Christie is way too smart to get caught up something so dumb, if he goes down for a scandal it ain't going to be making people sit in traffic longer than usual.  This is one of those, 'own up to it' scandals if you are involved, not worth committing a crime by lying to the wrong people.

    I wonder how many republicans who sat in traffic are feeling about their own party being so petty they didn't care about the people who were targeted, working stiffs and their kids.  Still a little fuzzy how this was was suppose to punish to the mayor.  Like he's taking calls from people mad about the traffic situation, and how in the hell did they think no one was going to find out ?

    That should be the scandals, Christie has a bunch of idiots on staff who problem solving skills are parochial at best.


    Know how many traffic snarls (none / 0) (#150)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:18:39 PM EST
    I've sat in because of motorcades?  Not just presidential, but vice presidential, when some foreign dignitary is in town, or (smaller ones) when Congressional leadership or cabinet members are on the move.  No one for blocks can go anywhere without doing amazing car gymnastics and trying to navigate around mulitple backed-up streets (and around one-way streets).  Sometimes you are just stuck and can't move.  The longest I've been stuck was 30 minutes.  Guess who else has a difficulty getting through?  Emergency vehicles (many streets around downtown DC are small and narrow, so there's no place to move over).

    This is dumb.


    I "can't imagine" ... (none / 0) (#170)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:49:44 PM EST
    ... he would make public statements mocking and joking about the situation without making 100% sure that his staff was not (as was being alleged at the time) involved in this.

    But he did.

    I'm confused about one thing, though.  Do you agree this would be devastating to him if evidence turns up that shows he was personally involved or had knowledge of it?  Because your comments on the traffic jam seem to suggest it was no big deal whether he had knowledge or not.


    Sure it would be devastating (none / 0) (#173)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:28:31 AM EST
    And if he knew or engineered something like this, then he needs to go.  Now.

    Because while he may appear to be a bully, this just doesn't seem like something he would be a part of - this is bush league stuff, with no upside (Really?  How does a traffic jam "get back" at a political rival).  He strikes me as a person who, if he was out for political revenge, would do something else and more devastating.

    This is child's play and not even worth his time.


    Yes... (none / 0) (#177)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:03:27 PM EST
    ...that statement was made a day before the latest doc dump.  Not sure if he's done, but he ain't gonna be the Prez.

    My comment was made with the assumption that he was telling the truth, all bets are off now.


    Look (none / 0) (#153)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:36:52 PM EST
    he never was a candidate, he has no path to the nomination because he has no constiutency within the GOP. They hate the guy. He's even bullied his own party members in Jersey and treated them like dirt. This stuff is going to continue to come out and the GOP is probably the one putting it in the press. This particular incident just gives the GOP base another reason to hate him and another reason not to vote for him.

    Hate? (none / 0) (#155)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:49:16 PM EST
    Well, I agree Christie has little chance at getting the GOP nomination but I do not believe that he is as reviled as you make him out to be..

    here is the latest Quinnepec poll...middle of the pack with GOP voters but, he is at the top with independents.  

    New Jersey Gov. Christie Is Hottest Politican In U.S


    I was talking about the (none / 0) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:30:53 PM EST
    GOP base hating the guy. Independents aren't too reliable when it comes to voting in primaries.

    Yes (none / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:53:05 PM EST
    Your link (none / 0) (#162)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:53:53 PM EST
    is broken.

    Quinnipiac University Poll (none / 0) (#171)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 09:08:44 PM EST
    I'll bet the people of Fort Lee... (none / 0) (#8)
    by unitron on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:25:38 AM EST
    ...aren't laughing about it.

    I think we can quit giving the governor's staff the benefit of the doubt now.


    So says the Newark Star-Ledger ... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:45:47 PM EST
    ... in an editorial published and posted about an hour ago:

    Newark Star-Ledger | January 8, 2013
    Chris Christie's officials lied about GWB scandal. Did the governor? - "Emails released today revealed two political bombshells: Gov. Chris Christie's office had advance knowledge of the traffic nightmare at the George Washington Bridge that crippled Fort Lee in September. And his top officials at the Port Authority did indeed close the lanes as a form of retribution against the town's mayor. [...] The official line from Christie's lieutenants at the Port Authority has been that this was all part of a secret "traffic study"; that they were simply curious to see what sort of mayhem would ensue if two of Fort Lee's three access lanes to the bridge were cut off, suddenly and unannounced. That's clearly a bogus story. But was the governor lying, too?"

    Gov. Christie has really gotten himself snarled in a mess.


    He is torn up now (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:48:30 PM EST
    Can he recover enough to be a contender now?

    He's cancelled his public appearances. (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:44:41 PM EST
    I just don't understand these people. Gov. Christie's re-election was a shoo-in. Why did his staff and appointees feel compelled to go all petty vindictive on Ft. Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich's a$$?

    At best, Christie's deputy chief of staff lied to both her boss and the media regarding her direct role in this miserably stupid stunt -- and in so doing, she may have undermined the governor's political future.

    It will be further problematic for Gov. Christie should we learn that he may have had an inkling of what Ms. Kelly was doing in a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more" kind of way, but then ignored it to maintain the veneer of plausible deniability.

    And at worst, the governor himself will have possibly opened himself to impeachment hearings and proceedings, if it's determined that he ordered the payback himself and then threw his subordinates off the bridge today, in order to cover his own a$$ and deny culpability for the scheme hatched in his gubernatorial campaign's name.

    According to Mother Jones, the GWB closure last September hampered authorities' search for a missing 4-year-old child, and further impeded emergency responses in at least four instances, one of which may have contributed to a woman's death. (However, in fairness, it must be noted that the woman in question was also 91 years old.)

    So, there were apparently some very real adverse consequences to Ms. Kelly's ridiculous stunt. And what looked to have been a relatively insignificant political kerfuffle only two short months ago, now appears to have become a very big deal indeed.



    I find no information that Ms Kelly (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:56:47 PM EST
    resigned to spend more time w/her family or that Gov. Christie fired her.  What's he waiting for?

    Kelly's probably the one person who ... (none / 0) (#97)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:20:20 PM EST
    ... can link him directly to the burgeoning scandal, should she choose to not accept her fate lightly and go down swinging. For that reason, and given his unequivocal statements of deniability issued only a few short hours ago, Christie will probably do his best to first to ensure that the buck first stops somewhere else, and not with him.

    ... on MSNBC, while talking to Lawrence O'Donnell: "He should've fired her hours ago. What's he waiting for?"

    Good questions Donald (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:39:44 PM EST
    And Christie wants to be a Commander in Chief put either fosters grossly dysfunctional command environment or is incapable of creating command environment :)

    What did Gates say about Obama?  Oh yeah, something about full of personal integrity and very Presidential.  And Hillary is even better :)


    He's a classic bully (none / 0) (#87)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:49:40 PM EST
    Give a bully a paid staff at their disposal, made up of people who undoubtedly share your vibe and style, and you can break a whole lotta legs. You just gotta keep quiet about it. But they were too stupid to do that. Thankfully.

    That is my impression too (none / 0) (#106)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:57:34 PM EST
    His staff would never have come up with the idea if he did not foster that attitude. And I am sure this is not the only incident over the years.

    Bad, bad news for (none / 0) (#89)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:52:00 PM EST
    (former) Presidential contender, Gov. Chris Christie.

    When you're a politician with aspirations for the highest office in the land, and, you're caught in a scandal, there is only one bit of news that is worse than having your two top lieutenants hiring lawyers. And, that is, if the lawyers they hired were among the best criminal defense attorneys in the country. As the Wall St. Journal recently reported, both David Wildstein and Bill Baroni have now "lawyered up." Obviously, it' fair to ask, why would a "political" scandal require a "criminal" lawyer?

    Unfortunately, what's being overlooked with the Fort Lee scandal is that it's only one of a long, long list of Christie's abuses of power, as Governor, and before, as United States Attorney for New Jersey. I recently read an article (I'll try to find it for a Link) that listed almost two dozen equally, if not worse, acts of retribution that Christie ordered against political enemies. He even ordered damaging actions against some allies, just to "send a message," as to what awaits them should they ever think about not "toeing the line."

    Tony Soprano could've taken lessons.


    Perchance you're thinking of ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:04:11 PM EST
    NYShooter: "I recently read an article (I'll try to find it for a Link) that listed almost two dozen equally, if not worse, acts of retribution that Christie ordered against political enemies."

    ... this New York Times article from Christmas Eve?


    That's it! (none / 0) (#159)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:19:18 PM EST

    It just seems like the perfect Jersey scandal (none / 0) (#104)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:48:21 PM EST
    Pure bare knuckle political bullying.  Nothing glamorous.

    Could substitut Tammany Hall, Boston, Chicago,.... (none / 0) (#118)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:19:55 PM EST
    Yes, you could. (none / 0) (#125)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:25:26 AM EST
    Except we're not talking about Tammany Hall or Chicago. We're talking about Chris Christie's new Jersey.

    Yep. All those places have this kind of scandal (none / 0) (#164)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:14:54 PM EST
    more often than sex scandals. But Chicago has more money related scandals than just bullying.

    When burglars broke into the FBI (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:29:37 PM EST
    The story of American citizens taking it into their own hands to expose Hoover's little government within the government, the spying and other nefarious activities. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? (LINK)

    Betty Medsger's book "The Burglary" ... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:00:53 PM EST
    ... was just released yesterday. I was turned onto it thanks to this story in the New York Times, and I bought a copy at Barnes & Noble last night thanks to a Christmas gift card from my sister. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I assume that the current buzz surrounding Medsger's book is also the catalyst for the story in the Los Angeles Times, as it was for its New York counterpart yesterday, but I'm rather surprised that for its part, the L.A. Times fails to mention her book at all.



    These citizens who (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:57:31 PM EST
    burgled the FBI office 43 years ago certainly took huge risks, and I worry that those who did come forward might continue to be vulnerable despite the fact that the crime is long past the statute of limitations.  Three of the original burglars have chosen to remain anonymous.  

    Two of them are in their 80s, I believe (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:41:07 PM EST
    So they seem pretty content at this point in life to lay it all out there. The other guy was much younger at the time, and I think is early 60s today, so he might have more to worry about, I suppose. Hell, Leonard Peltier is still rotting in prison after decades for the murder of two FBI agents, a conviction that rested on evidence which, every vital piece of it, has been factually disproven or shown to be tainted beyond all credibility. Any Democratic prez could've pardoned him, as he has long been entitled to, but the FBI wields a lot of influence and no one, not even a president (maybe especially a president) wants to get on their bad side. Hoover's ghost still roams those halls, it seems.

    Then again, it's amazing ... (none / 0) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:33:05 PM EST
    ... what can be accomplished when nobody bothers to seek primary credit. It's refreshing to learn about people who put themselves on the line and risked it all solely for their love of country and the sake of principle, and be content to not call attention to him- or herself, either in the process or in the aftermath.

    The Mrs. SUO and I mainlined the entire (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:07:10 PM EST
    Breaking Bad series over the holidays, and finished it last night.

    Remind me never to get caught up in the meth  world.

    And don't live next door to it (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:50:53 PM EST
    Did that for five years. It was "entertaining" in all the wrong ways.

    I got the series box set for Christmas. (none / 0) (#105)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:52:43 PM EST
    Or should I say, barrel set, since it comes in a cool replica of Walt's money barrels. And complete with a Los Pollos Hermanos apron!

    I'm a geek for commentary and special features, so I started mainlining the whole thing all over again.


    the decisions they made and why.

    Seems like they must have had a lot of the series planned out in advance.


    In broad strokes, yes. But Jesse was supposed (none / 0) (#165)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:21:08 PM EST
    to get killed in season 1. Once they saw the chemistry between Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston they changed that. I like the discussions of the photography and music also. Really interesting to me. The director of photography has won at least one  Oscar.

    Also interesting to me that all of the editors except Vince Gilligan are women. I don't know how common that is,


    Funny you mention the DP. (none / 0) (#174)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:29:20 AM EST
    My wife and I were watching an episode in about season 3 or 4, and I noticed that all of a sudden, in that episode, the interior of the White's house wasn't dark like a dungeon any more, and I rewound to the opening titles and saw that that particular episode's DP was not their regular DP, Michael Slovis.

    I think Slovis' photography really gave the show a unique emotional atmosphere.


    And these are the editors listed on IMDB: (none / 0) (#176)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:19:23 PM EST
    Kelley Dixon...(27 episodes, 2008-2013)
    Skip MacDonald...(27 episodes, 2008-2013)
    Lynne Willingham...(9 episodes, 2008-2009)
    Chris McCaleb...(1 episode, 2013)
    Sharidan Sotelo...(1 episode, 2013)

    From our "A Bridge Too Far" file: (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:11:41 PM EST
    A funny thing happened on the way to Chris Christie's re-election as New Jersey governor to near-universal acclaim last November.

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor's deputy chief of staff, whose dumbfounding e-mails now place responsibility for the partial closure of the George Washington Bridge and its resultant traffic snarls in Ft. Lee, NJ last September directly within the governor's office in Trenton.

    Prior to this latest inopportune revelation, I bet that there are a lot of people who were probably willing to give Gov. Christie the benefit of the doubt, and figured that that this nonsensical bit of political retribution was probably the idea of an overly enthusiastic political appointee to the NY/NJ Port Authority.

    Not any more. Given Ms. Kelly's senior position as Christie's deputy chief of staff and his former legislative director, I find it very hard to believe that the governor would not have known what was being orchestrated out of his own office. And if he was indeed totally unaware, well, that doesn't speak too well of his executive abilities now, does it?

    Suffice to say that the partial closure of the George Washington Bridge was an extraordinarily foolish and stupid stunt, one that was worthy of a college fraternity on a collective weekend bender. But the subsequent and equally foolish attempt by the Christie administration to cover up the decision's apparent origins within the governor's direct chain of command has now elevated it to the level of a potentially major public scandal.

    If Christie doesn't immediately take personal responsibility for the actions of his own executive staff and try to put this political pratfall behind him, he will have effectively decided to thumb his nose at his own constituents while continuing to play the general public for chumps. That sort of doubling down on stupid can potentially torpedo whatever future political aspirations he may have been harboring, and leave his ship of fools listing heavily to starboard.


    Donald, please see my comment above! (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:17:13 PM EST
    Gov. Christie: "Hey, I'm a victim here." (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:20:37 PM EST
    Having been obviously caught with his pants down, New Jersey's governor now claims to have been duped on this matter by his own executive staff, and channels Capt. Louis Reynaud (Claude Rains) in Casablanca to tell the public that he is shocked, shocked to learn that a culture of political payback and retribution abounds in Club Christie.

    (Sigh!) So much for the adult in the GOP's room ...


    He's putting on his Ralph Kramden... (none / 0) (#122)
    by unitron on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:41:11 PM EST
    ...uniform, and throwing everyone else under the bus.

    Which may not do any good if the bus isn't moving because it's stalled in traffic caused by lane closures on the bridge.


    Missed that one. Sorry. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:41:35 PM EST
    That said, my comment about Gov. Christie's political problem still stands. He as some serious 'splainin' to do.

    The damnedest thing about this scandal is that the governor was cruising to an decisive re-election victory, and this sort of immature stunt was just so unnecessary.

    To quote the plaque on President Harry Truman's Oval Office desk: "The Buck Stops Here." And in this particular case, "Here" would be the governor's chambers at the state capitol in Trenton.

    Given this latest development, Christie really needs to accept responsibility for this lowbrow political stunt, and apologize to the general public for his staff's behavior and culpability.

    Because absent that, he should rightly be considered too immature and emotionally unstable to hold higher office -- and that would include his present one, too.



    For the lawyers on here... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:47:02 PM EST
    If you have been reading about the Jahi McMath situation in CA, can you explain how it was possible for a Judge to require that the hospital keep her on a ventilator when she was declared brain dead and the coroner already had a Death Certificate for her. And, then let the family take custody of her body so they could keep it "alive" elsewhere.
    When there is no blood/oxygen to an organ, it starts to decompose. Given that she has been brain dead for almost a month, the brain has most certainly partially, if not fully liquefied. That is a biohazard.

    Since, CA law accepts brain death as legally dead, how has this Judge allowed this to happen?

    I don't want to get into the family, emotional, moral aspects of this case. Just the legal aspects and if this will set a precedent for other families who are not willing to accept brain death as death.

    FYI (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:50:49 PM EST
    Taking custody meant that they moved her to a facility that was OK with keeping her artificially alive.  They are not releasing the name of the facility.

    She is brain dead and they never removed her from the machines, but the hospital would not release her without the family signing the death certificate.

    She is not decomposing any faster than you or I, she is in the exact same state when she was in at the hospital, medically dead, but kept alive with machines.

    Just wanted to clarify that point.


    I understand why the hospital would not release (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:53:33 PM EST
    her directly to the family. As soon as she was declared dead, they would have to release her body to the coroner (that is the law, AFAIK) for an autopsy. Bypassing that step would open them up to potential lawsuits.

    As for this...

    She is not decomposing any faster than you or I

    according to this document, it looks like you are mistaken.


    While what you said to Scott (none / 0) (#80)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:07:55 PM EST
    is true, I think that he is on the same page as we are, while he may not have worded it exactly as we would.
    Yes, while she is deteriorating (or decomposing) faster than you or I, I get what he is saying.
    Her brain stem is dead.  That's it for the body.
    That poor family.  They are living only on hopes and dreams.

    Thanks, Zorba. I guess, I misread him. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:33:25 PM EST
    I am really curious how this case is going to affect other brain death cases from now on. If other families are not willing to accept brain death as final, will hospitals be required to keep the bodies on ventilators till the heart/ other organs give up?
    Who will pay for it? AFAIK, insurance stops paying as soon as a person is declared dead. Will the hospitals have to eat the cost?

    Normally, I would say that this is a very isolated and extreme case and very few people would go this route. But, from reading comments around the "intertubes", I am completely astounded by the number of people who believe she will wake up. It is frightening!


    oh dear . . . she now has a trac and feeding tube (none / 0) (#94)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:08:46 PM EST
    and her condition is reported to be improving . . .

    Then there is the current situation of the (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:19:32 PM EST
    pregnant woman who is brain dead. The hospital is ignoring the family's wishes to pull the plug. But she apparently did not have a medical power of attorney.

    The hospital says (none / 0) (#131)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:32:51 AM EST
    Texas law forbids them from remobing a pregnant women from life support.

    The diagnosis was crushing and irrevocable. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain-dead after collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs.

    But as her parents and her husband prepared to say their final goodbyes in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital here and to honor her wish not to be left on life support, they were stunned when a doctor told them the hospital was not going to comply with their instructions. Mrs. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient.

    More than a month later, Mrs. Munoz remains connected to life-support machines on the third floor of the I.C.U., where a medical team monitors the heartbeat of the fetus, now in its 20th week of development. Her case has become a strange collision of law, medicine, the ethics of end-of-life care and the issues swirling around abortion -- when life begins and how it should be valued.


    The hospital maintains that it is following the law, although several experts in medical ethics said they believed the hospital was misinterpreting it. A crucial issue is whether the law applies to pregnant patients who are brain-dead as opposed to those in a coma or a vegetative state. The law, first passed by the Texas Legislature in 1989 and amended in 1999, states that a person may not withdraw or withhold "life-sustaining treatment" from a pregnant patient.

    And Texas isn't the only one:

    At least 31 states have adopted laws restricting the ability of doctors to end life support for terminally ill pregnant women, regardless of the wishes of the patient or the family, according to a 2012 report from the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington. Texas is among 12 of those states with the most restrictive such laws, which require that life-support measures continue no matter how far along the pregnancy is.

    Only 14 weeks into the pregnancy? (none / 0) (#167)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:24:33 PM EST
    That is so crazy. What real chance has the fetus got for any kind of healthy birth or life?

    I somehow missed this story. (none / 0) (#133)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 09:32:23 AM EST
    What a nightmare for her husband and parents.

    Considering, the doctors believe that the woman was without oxygen for an hour, the odds are high that the baby is going to be brain damaged. From what I have read, the doctors have still not determined when they will deliver the baby.

    I hope the State of Texas is footing the bill for all of this. The cost of keeping this woman "alive" for so long, along with the cost of the care this baby is going to need will be astronomical. It would financially ruin the father who has another young child to care for.


    vml (none / 0) (#135)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 10:04:16 AM EST
    You didn't misread me, that is what I saw on the news which was either old news or wrong news, my mistake.  But thanks for the post.

    I always wonder because the medical establishment doesn't really understand the body, what happens if maybe because she is young, he body miraculously repaired itself and she actually awoke.  Even if it's one in a billion, an act of god, or she has some sort of genetic mutation no one else possess.  If that ever happened, they would never again remove anyone and what that would do to medical costs.  There would be entire wing in hospitals full of people living via machines.

    Just last month a baby miraculously came to life after being in the morgue for 10 hours.  Whether is was human error or a miracle, strange things do happen in regards to life.


    Did that rural town in Columbia... (none / 0) (#172)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:39:10 AM EST
    ...have a hospital with state of the art brain-scanning equipment that gave them an unambiguous reading of no brain activity in that newborn?

    I don't Know (none / 0) (#178)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:08:06 PM EST
    You tell me.  I am sure it's happened here if that is where you are going.

    But I mentioned human error and I was clearly speculating about something that has never happened.  Certainly not suggesting in any why the girl was going to 'live'.


    Oh, this whole thing is so very sad (none / 0) (#60)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:02:32 PM EST
    And it makes me grateful that Mr. Zorba and I have living wills, mutual medical powers of attorney, end of life advance directives, and have explicitly talked to our children about our wishes.
    This is not going to end well for the family.  My heart goes out to them, but they are deluding themselves.

    I get that everyone handles grief (none / 0) (#64)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:21:28 PM EST
    differently and the death of a child can certainly make one irrational. But, I just don't get the Judge's decision.

    I don't either (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:40:53 PM EST

    I've read she has 'deteriorated' in most reports (none / 0) (#61)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:06:13 PM EST
    in the local papers (I'm in the area) and they blame it on the hospital for not giving her a feeding tube . . . afaik, she still does not have the feeding tube in the new place, but is on antibiotics and 'nutrition' (which was described as minerals etc?)

    Also, the judge released her to the coroner's office who then passed her on to the family.


    Hey Nycstray! Been a while since I have (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:28:40 PM EST
    seen a post from you. Since,I don't visit here as often as I used to,I probably just missed them. Hope Roxy! is doing well.

    I read about the lack of a feeding tube. But, from what I understand once there is complete brain death, the body cannot utilize "food".


    Howdy!!! (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:43:15 PM EST
    Haven't been around much either :) Rox is doing well, FINALLY starting to show a wee bit of maturity :P Hope things are good on your end!

    Yeah, I'm not getting this whole feeding tube issue for the same reason, but the family doesn't believe she's dead. Day or two before they transported her, the grandma was saying how good she looked and that she was responsive to them . . . then she was suddenly deteriorating because she hadn't been fed for 3 weeks and the transfer was hard on her. And some of the comments from the lawyer raise my eyebrows also.


    Benghazi (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 11:03:53 PM EST
    No terrorists?


    But the NYTs said it couldn't be so.   I'm sure it was the video.

    This is not really that hard (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:03:09 AM EST
    unless of course one wants to distort.

    Terrorists can of course take advantage of a video for a spontaneous attack, or plan an attack in advance.   Terrorists do not only act after careful preparation.  Opportunistic attacks can happen.  Why is this so hard to accept?  In either situation, it is an "act of terror" as Obama stated right after the attack, as Romney found out during the debates.

    In your comment, you needed (for fairness sake)to quote this portion of the article you link to:


    It's unclear whether they were there as part of a planned attack or out of happenstance. The drive from Darnah to Benghazi takes several hours.

    I guess it takes much Fox news watching to really be able to twist the Benghazi attack into a scandal.....

    And, please answer the question I have repeatedly asked you: Do you blame Bush and Cheney for 9/11?  You need to answer that question to show if your criticism of Hillary is anything other than a political attack that is based on a standard that applies only to her.


    I think you need to read the (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:07:58 AM EST
    NYT article again, and you might benefit from reading the (unclassified) report itself.

    I'm extremely tired of people cherry-picking through news reports, keying in on terminology and rhetoric, so they can back-door their way into a justification for whatever it is they want to believe.

    Benghazi was a sh!tshow, with plenty of blame to go around - as the report clearly states.  Hindsight is always 20-20, but the real questions are, did we learn from the mistakes, what have we done in the interim to minimize the chances of such a recurrence, and what lessons are there for our overall approach to terror/security/ policy?

    This is just a suggestion, but it seems to me your time would be better spent delving into those kinds of questions than in making sure your finger is always and forever pointed at whomever it is you're looking to tar and feather, and whichever political party with whom that person or persons may be associated.

    Whatever lies you think you've found to damn whoever it is you're looking to hold accountable pretty much vanish in the sea of your deliberate and constant failure to look at the entire picture.


    Benghazi (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:54:08 AM EST
    code word for Terrified of Hillary.

    I Know You Have Been Back... (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:37:57 AM EST
    ...for a bit, but good to have you and Anne back.

    I hope you both had a relaxing time and that the clowns here, myself included, don't make this place too intolerable or too stressful because you are both assets to TL.


    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    I went out of town for Thanksgiving and then it was the holidays and I had to shop it seemed every spare minute i had. LOL. But thanks and I ignored politics mostly except when my brother started spouting Fox News talking points but I tried to get out of the room when he started. He said though that he watches them because they make him feel like everybody thinks like he does. So at least he's honest about why he watches them. He realizes that he's retreated into the echo chamber because he can't handle reality. The ones who don't realize what is going on are the ones that really worry me. Anyway, I think after he bought into Dick Morris' BS last year he realized exactly what Fox was doing.

    Rest assured, Scott, that you are not (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:46:18 PM EST
    one of "the clowns" who make me want to stick needles in my eyes; I'm pretty sure they know who they are, though, lol.

    Thanks for your kind words.  I just needed a break from what seemed to be constant sniping and bickering, and it didn't seem like it was accomplishing anything.  On top of that, we had 15 to our house for Thanksgiving, and 10 days later, we had about 25 people for my grandson's first birthday.

    And then - holy cow! - it was almost Christmas and I had done no shopping; we didn't even get the tree up until the 15th of December.

    Ordinarily, TL would have been kind of an oasis from all that hullabaloo, but, as I said, the sniping had made it just too aggravating, and I feared I was probably contributing to it more than I wanted to or was good for my blood pressure - so I stepped back a bit.

    Happy New Year to you!  I'm resolving to take deep breaths in lieu of losing my mind over things I have very little ability to change...that's probably harder than staying away from chocolate!


    Well... (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:36:11 PM EST
    ...I might not be one of the people who gets under your skin, but at times I do provoke and antagonize those folks.  So indirectly I contributed to the over all mood.

    So this year I am going to try not be so... flippant, with opinions I find to be ridiculous.  For example, I need to stop calling other people's opinions ridiculous, even when they are.  That is a joke.

    It was a ghost town around here you did not miss a thing.

    Happy New Year.


    Who said ... (none / 0) (#115)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:12:18 PM EST
    ... there were "no terrorists"?

    But since a former Guantanamo detainee is suspected of being involved in the attack, in your mind that means the video played no role - and this was known shortly after the attack.

    That's funny.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 241 (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:12:42 AM EST
    Radley Balko (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:37:53 AM EST
    Sex Offenders Can Be Prohibited (none / 0) (#11)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:45:19 AM EST
     from Bar Association, Rules Kentucky Supreme Court

    Guy Padraic Hamilton-Smith is forbidden by the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions from even taking the test that could allow him to practice law. The office believes that Hamilton-Smith's status as a registered sex offender as justification enough for keeping him away.


    Yesterday a friend turned me on to singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams, and after I listened to her song "Pineola" and learned it was written about the 1978 death of a young Southern poet named Frank Stanford, I had to find out more about him.

    His life is quite interesting, from being adopted at birth from a "home for unwed mothers" to his untimely death at age 29.

    The manner of his death, though, is what struck me.

    He married in 1974, and took a mistress about a year later in 1975.

    In 1978 his loving and devoted wife found out about the mistress and contacted her. The mistress was dumbfounded that the love of her life was secretly married to someone else.

    The two women got together and angrily confronted Standford in the home he shared with the mistress, and then:

    Stanford retreated to his bedroom, and moments later, gunshots were heard: Stanford had thrice shot himself in the heart with a .22-caliber target pistol.

    "thrice shot himself in the heart?" The police concluded this was a suicide?

    OK, maybe I'm cynical about this, but out of the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of websites that discuss Stanford's life and death, not a single one of them that I could find questioned the circumstances of his death.

    Doesn't this type of stuff only happen in movies?

    "Thrice" caught my eye. (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:45:51 PM EST
    Hey now! Those of us who were educated (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:18:28 PM EST
    in English as opposed to "American" use "thrice" as a normal part of our vocabulary. In fact, I just used the word yesterday and got laughed at!

    Do you think it likely a law enforcment officer (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:30:51 PM EST
    Or pathologist used the word re Stanfor's suicice?

    It (none / 0) (#20)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:49:53 PM EST
    caughteth my eye alsoeth.

    I used to work with a guy who spoke in this way. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Angel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:11:19 PM EST
    Thanks for the reminder, he was a sweet guy even though he loved to peek down the front of my blouse when I bent over.  

    My attempt at a hit song (5.00 / 4) (#107)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:04:20 PM EST
    'Knock Thrice' went nowhere, then Tony Orlando stole my idea.

    Blame those damn artsy fartsy types. (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:15:54 PM EST
    I'm reminded (none / 0) (#65)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:23:11 PM EST
    of the W.C. Fields quote:
    "Don't you know I'll smite you in the sconce with this truncheon?"

    It would seem he may have shot (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:50:35 PM EST
    himself in the wrong organ; I doubt it was his heart that got him into a situation where he took a mistress a year after getting married.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:44:37 PM EST
    I find it hard to believe anyone could shoot themselves in either organ thricely.

    Oncely is hard enough to imagine. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:49:51 PM EST
    But then, he doesn't seem to have been someone who made particularly good decisions...

    I just spent way too much time trying to find an (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:14:40 PM EST
    original source for the descriptor Thrice" re Stanford's demise.  Apparently Ginny Stanford said "three."  One law enforcement officer reported two gunshot wounds.  Interestingly, Ellen Gilchrist spent time w/Stanford in New Orleans just before he drove home to be confronted by his wife and Ms. Wright. Gilchrist wrote about him later.

    What was the nature of their relationship, (none / 0) (#39)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:37:54 PM EST
    do you suppose?

    See pp. 30-34 of this MFA thesis: (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:29:12 PM EST

    Note:  i very much enjoy Gilchrist's writing.


    "I knew a poet once (none / 0) (#49)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:54:02 PM EST
    I knew a poet once and spent many days and nights with him and took walks with him and went into shops with him and watched the world with him and learned to adore the beauty of the world and despise its sadness. I must write of him someday and tell the world what it was like to know a great poet and be his friend
    Inconclusive. As, I'm sure, intended.

    New Orleans (none / 0) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:41:06 PM EST
    Yeah, if I had to guess, thrice came from a cajun source, and while I don't hear it all the time, I definitely here it on the drive over to Nahrlins.

    Thrice will be found somewhere on every Cajun menu, crawfish and thrice baked sweet potatoes or thrice nice cake, what we would call three layer cake.  I have also heard 'thrice more' used when described many, far more than three.


    was written by another poet/writer/artist/admirer.

    This is the burning question! (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:50:12 PM EST
    I found someone else who questions (none / 0) (#78)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:00:06 PM EST
    into the mix.
    I heard an early, early version of 'Pineola' from about 1985 or thereabouts, and there's a verse she left out of the version we all know, which really blew my mind when I heard it. By now, the general consensus is that she was, in fact, dating Frank Stafford at the time he took his life, and he was messing around on his wife with several women, including Lucinda, while telling all of them that he wanted to be with them, so none of them actually thought they were doing anything wrong, since he was telling the women on the side that he was divorcing his wife, while telling his wife that he only loved her:

    With a wife and a lover and another on the side

    His world fell apart around him
    On the last day before he died
    They all three threatened to leave him
    Some say he lied himself to death
    How was I to know it?
    He was a fool to pull that trigger
    But he sure was a damn good poet.

    Excellent research skills. Gold star. (none / 0) (#92)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:03:48 PM EST
    Agreed. (none / 0) (#67)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:25:47 PM EST
    Oncely - of course.
    Twicely - maybe.
    But thricely?

    It's Was 1974 (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:14:51 PM EST
    I watch a lot of the true crime stuff and it's shocking how many cops will take the word of the witnesses.  First comes to mind is the cop in Illinois who had 3 dead wives I believe, one drown in a bathtub even though there wasn't any drugs in her system.  They only decided to look at it after number 4 went missing and they decided to take another look at the previous 3.

    There is entire channel devoted to these kinds of crime 'mysteries', so I don't think it's rare at all, maybe even the norm before what we consider modern day CSI.  Ditto for some of these wrongly accused people who are freed, some of the investigations read like a micky mouse guide to solving murders.

    The further you go back, it seems like the more likely the cops were to believe the husband/wife, or never even put them in on the suspect list.  Now days, that is the first person they look at, but not in the 70's or even the 80's.

    I don't know anything about this case, just making generalities about what I see on the true crime shows.  People who today, IMO, would be locked up on the scene, never even questioned back in the day.

    I did click on the Wiki reference links in regards to the death, seems like that guy was obsessed and wrote about his own death a whole lot.  Pretty hard to make the case from those links that he wasn't suicidal.  But who knows, I did find this hilarious:

    Wright and Ginny Stanford reported that he was depressed and withdrawn on the day of his suicide.

    I mean really, he was depressed the day his wife and mistress confronted him, who would have thunk it...

    Jeffery MacDonald, MD., begs to differ. (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:25:52 PM EST
    With What ? (none / 0) (#145)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:30:16 PM EST
    This: (none / 0) (#147)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:49:38 PM EST
    The further you go back, it seems like the more likely the cops were to believe the husband/wife, or never even put them in on the suspect list.  Now days, that is the first person they look at, but not in the 70's or even the 80's.

    Très diabolique! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:15:27 PM EST
    Although not quite the same thing (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:46:19 PM EST
    (since it didn't involved mistresses and wives), when I was young and living in St. Louis, there was a man found shot to death in his car, in a swampy area on the East Side (East St. Louis area).
    He was shot three times in the head by a single-action revolver, found in his lap.  The police ruled it a suicide.
    The guy was (heavily) reputed to be a mobster, and that this was supposedly a mob-related hit.  The cops were so glad to be rid of him, so the rumors went, that they left it at "suicide."  They didn't care who had killed him.

    Probably how the Albuquerque PD (none / 0) (#51)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:13:08 PM EST
    wrote up Walter White's death.

    Hahahahahaha! (none / 0) (#53)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:36:16 PM EST
    Although, the East St. Louis guy wasn't fictional.    ;-)
    "Breaking Bad" was good though, wasn't it?
    Very dark, but well made.

    BB is still on my mind, haunting. (none / 0) (#70)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:36:23 PM EST
    I'm still worried about Jesse (none / 0) (#108)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:08:46 PM EST
    who I assume is with his grandmother.

    HEY !!!! (none / 0) (#148)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:50:27 PM EST
    Breaking Bad series over the holidays, and finished it last night.

    Some of us are still on season 2, but thanks.

    I was already about 90% sure because of the song and other folks trying not to spoil it, but dancing real close.  It's been hellish trying to avoid spoilers, now at least I don't have freak out and change the channel on the TV or radio every time they start discussing Walter White.

    I am not that impressed, almost forcing myself to watch it.  It's like everything on TV, but with better acting, each show has to top itself to keep people glued and IMO all they end up doing is becoming so unbelievable it's hard to take seriously.

    Plus I think watching them back to back removes the wondering what will happen next week aspect, I know what is going to happen in a couple minutes.  The anticipation isn't there.  And it allows shows to kind change the circumstances/nuance knowing most people forget exactly what happened a week later.  Something that had you on the edge and seemed impossible to get out of, is suddenly manageable the next week.  Something that becomes apparent watching them back to back.

    I didn't use any specifics one purpose, I don't spoil anything and don't want anyone else doing it either.


    Oops, sorry! (none / 0) (#163)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 03:06:48 PM EST
    But rest assured that that is but one of several dozen plot points that will be created and resolved over the final 3 seasons that you haven't seen yet.

    That is What they Tell Me... (none / 0) (#179)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:09:55 PM EST
    ...but season two seems like work.

    Good friend... (none / 0) (#134)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 09:33:52 AM EST
    Lucinda Williams kicks arse, doesn't she? Puts on a helluva live show too...check her out when she next rolls through town.


    Baby, sweet baby, I wanna feel your breath
    Even though you like to flirt with death

    Baby, sweet baby, can't get enough
    Please come find me and help me get f*cked up

    I am waiting here for more
    I am waiting by your door
    I am waiting on your back steps
    I am waiting in my car
    I am waiting at this bar

    I am waiting for your essence


    Surprise (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:24:46 PM EST

    Utah will not recognize gay marriages performed before the stay.

    "Based on counsel from the Attorney General's Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice," said the governor's Chief of Staff Derek Miller in a letter to cabinet officials.

    "Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages- that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages."

    The inimitable Charlie Pierce (none / 0) (#27)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:59:55 PM EST
    reminds us of Some Things to Remember About Bob Gates, and points us to the WaPo, in which Max Fisher writes:

    Still, if Gates is going to take shots at Biden on this scale, it's worth asking how Gates would fare under similar scrutiny. I am not appropriately positioned to evaluate Gates's positions on "every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." But I can tell you how he performed on the single most important one he ever confronted: ending the Cold War. He was, quite simply, dead wrong.


    Quite simply, Gates was wrong, overruled by Reagan, and the world was better off for it. Here is the beginning of Gates's campaign against Gorbachev, as chronicled in David Hoffman's Pulitzer Prize-winning history, "The Dead Hand," which shows that Gates actually tried to steer CIA analysis of Gorbachev in such a way as to create congressional pressure against working with the new Soviet leader.


    The point here is not to beat up on Gates. The point is that foreign policy is very, very difficult. Senior policymakers such as Biden and Gates are forced to make enormously tough choices based on data and precedent and rigorous analysis, yes, but also on gut and instinct, because outcomes are often impossible to predict. If Gates wants to filet Biden for being wrong, then that's his prerogative. But it's worth remembering that, when it comes to a standard as challenging as "every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," everybody gets some big stuff wrong.

    Perhaps Gates' point is "buy my book!"  And is that any less craven - than politicians making decisions for political gain?  

    Having (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:31:47 PM EST
    read a short synopsis of Gates' book it seems to me that the only thing he really has to tell is his opinion of Biden. The other stuff like Obama resides in a bubble is nothing but ho-hum yawners to me but I don't know. It might be news to someone out there.

    He's right (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:06:05 PM EST
    Except when it comes to speaking with authority about foreign policy, I'm gonna go with the fact that Robert Gates is way ahead of Charlie Pierce on knowledge and insight.

    But yes, he's trying to sell books, so the sexier and more controversial, the better.


    I don't think Charlie was in any way (none / 0) (#33)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:20:19 PM EST
    attempting to assert that he - Charlie - has a greater body of knowledge and/or experience than Gates, just that Gates shouldn't be pointing fingers at Obama/Biden when Gates was so colossally wrong on one of the biggest foreign policy issues of the time.

    I guess what kind of annoys me a little is that if Gates though Obama was such a know-nothing, and so politically craven, why'd he accept a Medal of Freedom from him?  No Republican president apparently thought enough of Gates' contribution to foreign policy and defense to give him one, so accepting one from Obama and then being so openly hostile, condescending and belittling in his book just seems crass.

    No shortage of that in Washington, though, so I guess I'm not all that surprised.  I just think Bob Gates doesn't come off as well as he'd like to think he does.


    The CIA and FBI make employees promise (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:26:56 PM EST
    not to write tell-all books.  Seems to me Gates should have had the decency to wait until the Pres. who nominated him left office.

    Decency (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:13:36 PM EST
    or not...

    It interested me to read that Obama had serious doubts about his policy in Afghanistan - according to Gates.  

    Interesting because he pursued that policy anyway.
    I've seen that so many times. The leader, we find out years later, had doubts. Troubled. Prayers for guidance. But they let the carnage continue anyway.

    Of course, if he in fact had no doubts about our course in Afghanistan, then I have to wonder about the quality of his intelligence.

    About decency: I don't think that Gates is decent.
    His work for Bush tells us that. But apparently, he was good enough for B.O. to re-appoint him anyway.
    So now, it comes back to bite him.
    We have already been bitten by this guy - twice.


    Agreed. And, according (none / 0) (#77)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:56:39 PM EST
    to Gates, the doubt was rather fundamental: the president did not believe in the mission.  Now, this is a doubt.  A big doubt,  particularly for a war termed the "good war" in contrast to the "bad war" of Iraq. .

    But, the President had it right on McChrystal and Karzai and his realization that it needed to be phased-out.  Which makes it all the more perplexing that a "residual" American force is being negotiated for another 10 or more years, if Karzai and his extortive demands can manage to be sidelined.

    As for Gates, excepts from his book appear to reflect the bureaucratic weasel that he is.  His criticisms of President Obama are countered shortly after by some compliment--good job on bin Laden, Mr. President.   The exception being for Biden, whom he does not hold in enough regard to counter with anything other than, essentially, that he is a well-meaning fool.

    Gates book should put him back in good stead with the Bush family. And, Obama will be reminded of Truman's admonition that if you want a loyal friend in Washington, buy a dog.


    Speaking of (none / 0) (#101)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:26:05 PM EST

    It is said that if you lie down with them, you wake up with fleas.

    So Obama has fleas.


    Yeah, I chalk it up as yet another compromise with (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:11:49 PM EST
    Republicans reaching its inevitable conclusion.

    Don't know about fleas... (none / 0) (#121)
    by unitron on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:36:48 PM EST
    ...but the whole town is full of parasitic blood-sucking poli-ticks.

    One of Gates' closest lifetime committed aides (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:59:52 PM EST
    Had a spouse who served alongside mine in Iraq also.  I had a Thanksgiving at their house in the Broadmoor.  She said that it was Gate's understanding that he would be Dubya Bush's sec of def and then Cheney chenied him and made Rumsfeld sec def.  That hissy pitch fit and all that followed is the book I want to read.  This book seems just silly given that when Gates left office he constantly was choked up and on the verge of sobbing over dead and wounded Americans and he questioned our involvement in both wars in front of the press and God and everyone.  What happened to THAT guy?

    These (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:16:48 PM EST
    sobbing ex-pols - the ones who send kids into battles - make me sick. They are troubled. They doubt. But they send kids into battle anyway.

    Then - they write there memoirs.

    Gates - that guy under Kennedy --McNamara - they're sorry.

    They're sorry.

    I do not forgive.


    I understand your stance on war (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:25:23 PM EST
    What I am making note of though is that I clearly remember hearing twice from Gates on camera that he thought we needed out.  And he had tears and was close to losing it a few times.

    Now suddenly though what is wrong with the new Mr Gates' picture is that Obama doesn't believe in his own Afghanistan strategy and Biden has poisoned the well for military leadership?  Huh?  I can't make congruency out of any of this that doesn't include the reality that there is a book to sell now and few Republican contenders for the next Presidential run.


    Gates (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:22:05 PM EST
    What I am making note of though is that I clearly remember hearing twice from Gates on camera that he thought we needed out.  And he had tears and was close to losing it a few times.

    If he really felt that way, choking back the tears, he should have resigned.

    That might have helped.

    I agree that he wants to sell a book.
    But he also wants to come out smelling a little better than he actually smells.


    "Information is abundant. Wisdom is scarce." -- The Druid.

    I've no doubt that Bob Gates is probably privy to more foreign policy analysis, information and data than thee and me, but Charlie Pierce is hardly anyone's fool, and this isn't his first time at the rodeo.

    Gates' controversial contentions appear to have to do less with anyone's personal insight than with his implicit criticism of other people's judgment. But as Pierce rightly notes per Anne's link, the former defense secretary's own personal judgment on matters of foreign policy has hardly been unassailable.



    I'm throwing (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:35:39 PM EST
    this one out there for discussion. The Agony of Frank Luntz

    I found this article to be kind of interesting. The most interesting thing about it is the GOP is repeating verbatim what he is saying in this article. I already knew about Newt Gingrich and his "list of approved words" but it's interesting that Luntz is no longer being able to push the buttons of the electorate in general and that the electorate has been "ruined" by Obama. I don't think Obama has ruined the electorate so much as the electorate is no longer going to fall for the BS from the GOP. They can't use these vague code words to push emotional buttons anymore.

    Well, reality bites. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:01:38 PM EST
    Frank Luntz's wordsmithing is emblematic of a political party that has long desired to reign, while forgetting how to actually govern.

    At some point during George W. Bush's second term in the Oval Office (arguably, during the Hurricane Katrina crisis), the GOP's political hyperbole jumped the shark and ceased being tethered to reality ("Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job!"), and it thus became increasingly irrelevant to the times in which we live. Or as Stephen Colbert once observed to George W. Bush's face, "reality has a liberal bias."

    I daresay that there were a lot of people whose blinders were ripped off their eyes by the events of the past decade or so, and the increased public skepticism has probably tended to confound Luntz's present efforts and render them problematic.



    Also, if my misguided sister's Facebook feed (none / 0) (#120)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:26:56 PM EST
    is any indication, the latest rightie theme is 'Obama is telling us we should hate people with more money than we have'.  Cue  well placed story about Luntz decrying the way Obama is 'telling people to hate'. It is all just part of the endless game. Any conversation about income inequality will be immediately turned into one about  democrats hating the rich.

    According to a recent NYT article, the (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:21:41 PM EST
    Republicans are now preaching income inequality also.

    Here: (none / 0) (#168)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:26:32 PM EST
    So who are they saying Obama hates now? (none / 0) (#169)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:27:58 PM EST
    Luntz is a guy that thinks his loud sneakers (none / 0) (#116)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:14:26 PM EST
    call attention away from his weight, according to that story. He's made a fortune on other such attempts at misdirection.  Now he is depressed because Obama has turned people into haters? Oh please, cry me a river.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#128)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 05:58:09 AM EST
    he sounds whiny and depressed. I could care less. Anybody who helped that crackpot Newt Gingrich gain power deserves to be depressed.

    Oh, Maine (none / 0) (#136)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:11:23 AM EST
    We hardly knew (your politics)

    Why aren't we hearing more about this guy?

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 242 (none / 0) (#137)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:31:07 AM EST
    snitch, stay in biz. ...free from arrest" (none / 0) (#140)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 11:36:56 AM EST
    lol.  Sounds like El Cartel de Sapos (Snitch Cartel), recommended in the previous thread, is actually a documentary.