Friday Open Thread

Opening ceremonies for the Sochi Olympics are underway.

An attempt to hijack a Turkish plane to Sochi has failed.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 271 (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:04:28 PM EST
    How will Sochi reflect on Putin? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:22:30 PM EST
    Russian police arrest 4 gay rights activists at Sochi.

    During Friday's protest, four gay activists unfurled a banner quoting the Olympic Charter's ban on any form of discrimination. The protesters, who gathered on St. Petersburg's Vasilyevsky Island, were quickly rounded up by police, according to Natalia Tsymbalova, a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist.

    The gay rights group All Out told CBS News in an emailed statement that one of the protesters arrested was associated with the organization.

    "We just learned that 4 gay rights activists were arrested in St. Petersburg - including All Out's long-term contact and friend Anastasia Smirnova - for taking photos with a banner referring to Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter `Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement.'"

    I think there will be more activism and more arrests during the Olympics. These people are very brave. I salute them.

    And the reports filing in about the deplorable condition of the hotel rooms and the inedible food are not going to cease either.

    It's going to be an interesting two weeks.

    In the short term very little (none / 0) (#41)
    by Slado on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:00:12 AM EST
    Putin is only interested in how he is perceived in Russia.

    If Russians support what he's doing or are too scared to say they don't he's not going to worry about bad international press.  

    Until the international community starts affecting the Russian pocketbook what would cause him to care about what we think?


    Coke isn't exactly doubling down (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 04:50:05 PM EST
    but they are upping the ante 50% by running a 90 second America the Beautiful commercial tonight during the opening ceremonies from Sochi compared to the 60 second spot at the Super Bowl.

    Love the explanation of the ruckus the commercial caused from Bob Garfield, editor at large at MediaPost:

    Think back to its "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" ad more than 40 years ago. Coca-Cola was hardly trying to raise a ruckus then, nor is it now. Coca-Cola is not in the stirring-things-up business.

    The difference now is the Internet. There have been bigots and xenophobes for years, but now they show up as Internet trolls and appear to have more influence than they do.

    I'd say there is another difference (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:07:11 PM EST
    besides the internet, though I understand why he would call out something vague like 'the internet' rather than the real source of most of the vitriol -Fox News.

    Made me laugh (none / 0) (#39)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:05:43 AM EST
    Doesn't it get old, blame fox, blame Bush.

    There is no shortage of screaming nuts on either side of the political spectrum.


    And no shortage of baseless, ... (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:57:17 AM EST
    ... evidence-free fantasies pushed by those nuts.

    That being said, Coralgables and ruffian don't belong to that group, and pointing out that Fox News promotes vitriol is a fact.  I'd be happy to provide some links to support that fact ...

    ... once you start.


    Thanks for being fair and balanced.... (none / 0) (#64)
    by magster on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:58:06 PM EST
    when making a statement that is patently untrue.

    Chevy is joining the discussion (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:27:58 AM EST
    Great commercials featuring bi-racial, gay, single parent, and two parent heterosexual families. Just saw one of the during the Olympic coverage on NBC Sports this morning.



    As ever, Coke is doubling down on increasing sales (none / 0) (#54)
    by Towanda on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:23:08 PM EST
    . . . since Coke would have tested the ad to the max before running it last week, and it must have continued to test well since, or it would not be run again.  So, a representative group of Americans -- or at least of the target market -- like the ad.  And they're not conservative.  That's good news.

    (And the Francophones can be happy about the 90-second ad, as I read concerns that there was no French spoken/sung in the Super Bowl version.  But the 90-second version includes Senagelese French, at least.  Vive le difference.)


    Who are (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:27:15 PM EST
    all these conservatives making noise about this commercial?  The only place I've heard of "outrage" was on liberal blogs and liberal media outlets.  I read some conservative sites, some libertarian sites, and many liberal sites, and never heard about "all this outrage".

    Can someone please point me to all these people complaining?


    Bunch of 'em (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:54:53 PM EST
    Gurss that's why I hadn't heard of it (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:35:36 AM EST
    Don't read or listen to any of those.

    Here is one smattering (none / 0) (#58)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:56:10 PM EST
    of  the usual suspects - Beck, West, some other Fox 'pundit'.

    Meet the lovely voices in the ad (none / 0) (#55)
    by nycstray on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:38:11 PM EST
    I think it's the second video on this page

    As a baseball fan, I would be remiss ... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:24:46 PM EST
    ... if I didn't acknowledge the passing yesterday of famed Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Ralph Kiner (1922-2014), a Hall of Famer who led the National League in home runs for seven straight seasons (1946-52), a record which still stands today.

    In fact, during a nine-year career that was shortened by a severe back injury, Kiner hit an astonishing 369 home runs, had 1,015 RBIs (an average of over 112 per season), and was only the second player in MLB history after Babe Ruth to hit over 40 homers for five consecutive seasons.

    Kiner was absolutely the very best thing back then about the perpetually bad Pirates, and he was one of baseball's highest-paid players in his time. When he complained about his salary being cut after the 1952 season, despite having once again led the league in homers during the team's 42-112 campaign, then-Pittsburgh general manager Branch Rickey reportedly told him, "Son, we finished last with you, and we can finish last without you."

    But Ralph Kiner is perhaps best known to those of my generation and the next as the Emmy-winning original broadcast voice of the New York Mets for nearly 50 years. He later admitted that some of his colorful misstatements and malapropisms -- known affectionately as "Kinerisms" -- were deliberate and often used for effect: "If Casey Stengel were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave."

    Aloha to a true original.

    I figured kdog would post this. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    I think he did yesterday. Or someone. (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:50:53 PM EST
    SUO (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:16:18 PM EST
    Finished my first marathon last Sunday. 73° at the start sucked but still made it home in 3:56 and change. Getting to Hopkinton someday isn't out of the question, if the old bones hold together under the pounding.

    Congratulations! (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:28:37 PM EST
    Was it Tallahassee? I have running friends in FL that say that's a good one to Q for Boston.

    Sub 4 for a first marathon is a real achievement!

    Are you recovered?

    It took me a full week for the soreness to go away, and that was about 15 years ago.


    Fully recovered? (none / 0) (#36)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:39:14 PM EST
    Hell no lol.

    Did it in the Miami Marathon. Climate choices obviously aren't my forte. Never said I was smart.


    Really well done. Very impressive. (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:42:23 AM EST
    How close were you to Boston Q?

    Need 2 minutes on my next one (none / 0) (#98)
    by CoralGables on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:08:35 PM EST
    Which will likely be sometime next fall.

    OMG (none / 0) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:32:04 PM EST
    I am just in Awe of your Awesome!!!!

    Very nice indeed. (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 02:45:02 PM EST
    Don't know what your training was, but it must have been dam good. Maybe add some more speedwork this time around? More attention to form? Little more restraint during those first 5 or so miles?

    Anyway, you'll do it, I'm very sure.


    Tallahassee Marathon (none / 0) (#99)
    by ragebot on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:22:34 PM EST
    use to have a very flat fast out and back course, but it has changed.  Tallahassee is the native indian name of the area and it means seven hills.  The course is slower than it use to be, but the weather is much better than South Florida.

    I was working off-island yesterday. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:12:07 PM EST
    Must've missed it.

    Where is off island? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Slado on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:02:57 AM EST
    On the mainland or in the water?

    Your post reminded me of that Magnum PI episode when he's stuck treading water.

    Glad you're OK!



    I was on Molokai. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:05:21 PM EST
    Being "off-island" means that I was not on Oahu, where I live.

    NATO protesters (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:33:16 PM EST
    acquitted of terrorism charges

    CHICAGO (AP) -- A jury acquitted three NATO summit protesters Friday of breaking Illinois' rarely tested state terrorism law, a finding the defense said should dissuade Illinois or any other states from ever pressing such charges in a similar way against activists.
    The activists were acquitted on all four terrorism charges in the case, including material support of terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism. Jurors also acquitted them of solicitation to commit arson.

    But the panel did find them guilty of two arson counts. And, as they were given the option of doing, they switched out the terrorism counts to find the activists guilty of misdemeanor mob action. link

    Woody Allen speaks out. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:41:03 PM EST
    The New York Times has posted online film director Woody Allen's written response to Nicholas Kristof's column last week about his estranged adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, in which she used to occasion to resurrect 21-year-old charges that she had been molested by her father. It will be published in the paper this Sunday in the Opinion section.

    One passage in particular stands out, as Allen confronts Mia Farrow's recent public hint that she had conceived son Ronan with her ex-husband Frank Sinatra, and not with Allen as was widely believed:

    "I pause here for a quick word on the Ronan situation. Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra's? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank's, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank's son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that."


    This piece doe not make him look good (none / 0) (#43)
    by Slado on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:05:54 AM EST
    10 Facts

    From Vanity Fair


    Did I miss his trial? (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:49:08 AM EST
    The report concluded (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:30:29 AM EST
    The report concluded Dylan had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were "dead heads" in the attic and called sunset "the magic hour." In fact, Mia kept wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor subsequently backed down from his contention.
    And, fwiw, sunset is often referred to as "magic hour" or "golden hour" in Woody Allen's movie biz.

    Don't take my word for it:

    In photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, especially in cinematography) is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day[1] when a specific photographic effect is achieved due to the quality of the light

    Very true SUO... (none / 0) (#112)
    by fishcamp on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:20:40 AM EST
    Once while filming rock climbers in Wales on the cliffs above the Irish Sea during the summer we had about five hours of golden light.  The sun didn't set until about 9:30 and it remained light enough to film for another hour after that.  During the four hours before sunset the light was absolutely beautiful.  That was also the night we filmed the climbers in a pub scene and when we finished that at about 3:30 am it was starting to get light again so we went back to the cliffs and filmed in the morning golden light which isn't quite as beautiful.  As a side note when filming near the equator the golden light is very short since it gets dark about a half hour after the sun sets.

    Five hours of golden light! (none / 0) (#123)
    by sj on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:22:42 AM EST
    Once while filming rock climbers in Wales on the cliffs above the Irish Sea during the summer we had about five hours of golden light.
    The thought takes my breath away.

    Tell me about it. (none / 0) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 01:46:13 PM EST
    We have no lingering periods of dusk in Hawaii, since our main islands are situated geographically in the tropics between 18 degrees (Big Island) and 22 degrees (Kauai) north latitude. The sunsets can be spectacular, but once the sun itself dips below the earth's horizon, it does tend to get dark pretty quickly.

    In our valley in east Honolulu, our townhouse is nestled up against a vertical rock wall that's about 900-1,000' high, the valley floor in our area is quite narrow at only 750-800 feet wide, the vertical wall on the opposite side is also about 1,000' in elevation, and Koolau ridgeline rises to 2,300' in the back of the valley. We're further shaded by a nice canopy of rainforest trees on the 5.75-acre property we share with the other association homeowners.

    While this makes for a very pleasant physical setting, it also leaves us only about 8-9 hours of daily direct sunlight, depending upon the time of year, and another 4-5.5 hours of indirect light. So once the great yellow orb actually drops below the ocean horizon off west Oahu, it's a matter of only about ten minutes or so before it gets truly dark at our place.

    And when the power is out, as it's sometimes known to be occasionally in our area (like once a month, hint, hint, Hawaiian Electric), it's literally pitch black and I mean BLACK, the "grope blindly" variety. While our cat might not have a problem with it, the rest of us definitely require flashlights and candles to navigate.



    Donald you are closer to the equator (none / 0) (#137)
    by fishcamp on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 03:05:16 PM EST
    than KeysDan and me so we are in the sub-tropics at 24.8 degrees north.  KeysDan is 75 miles closer to the equator than me and coral gables is a few degrees farther north but still in the sub-tropics.  It gets dark very fast here too.  In Portland where I was raised it is 45 degrees north so we had lots of golden light in the summer and then the fabulous aurora borealis sometimes at night.

    When you go to higher elevations ... (none / 0) (#140)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 03:59:10 PM EST
    ... on Maui and the Big Island, you'll get more twilight than you do down here at sea level. Too bad you guys don't have any 10-14K' mountains to explore in Florida.



    Not big mountains (none / 0) (#146)
    by ragebot on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:46:13 PM EST
    but fun for rock climbers in



    The name (none / 0) (#153)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:24:50 PM EST
    "Eleuthera" is awfully close to the Greek word for "freedom" or "liberty,"  ἐλευθερία, or eleftheria.
    Just something that caught my eye, apropos of nothing terribly important.     ;-)

    The best we can do for elevation (none / 0) (#147)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:56:11 PM EST
    is Mount Trashmore. Slightly closer to me than to fishcamp and towering above at a whoppping 147 feet. If hiking to the peak, I'm sure the smell will ruin both the sunrise and the sunset.

    How many poems and music compositions (none / 0) (#113)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:07:52 AM EST
    and canonical hours and religious rituals have used the times of dawn and twilight as their inspiration?

    You could put together quite a substantial book anthology devoted exclusively to covering all the material.


    C'mon, admit it! (none / 0) (#141)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:07:16 PM EST
    You've been listening to The Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed, haven't you?

    Donald, off the current topic, but (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 01:38:39 PM EST
    Get your guest room (or even a couch) ready, because I'm so wanting to get away from the winter weather here, I may move in with you.     ;-)
    It has been so frigging cold, and we are expecting more snow tomorrow night into Thursday.  Some forecasters are predicting up to a foot or more of snow.
    Ugh!  I am so very, very sick of winter.  And I love Hawaii.

    You'd better get on a plane, pronto... (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:22:40 PM EST
    After being without power from Wednesday morning until Friday afternoon (the temperature in the house when it came back on was 42 degrees!), I am not thrilled about the impending blizzard-like conditions being predicted for Wednesday night through most of the day Thursday.  I mean, I will take snow over ice, but I'd really rather have neither.

    We'll be bringing wood in from the woodpile, making sure we have plenty of candles and flashlights, just in case...

    I suppose the only "good" part is that it will likely be a guilt-free day off on Thursday, because I'm pretty sure the office will be closed.


    No kidding, Anne (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:42:09 PM EST
    We were very lucky not to have lost power in last week's storm.
    I'm actually really surprised at that, since we live in a heavily wooded area on top of South Mountain, and we usually do lose power whenever there is really bad weather, especially ice.  But we didn't, and we consider ourselves very lucky.
    We have a wood stove, a generator, candles, tons of batteries for flashlights, and we have oil lamps, etc., so we are prepared when worse comes to worst, but that doesn't mean that I like the weather.

    My condolences to both you and Anne, ... (none / 0) (#188)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 03:26:58 PM EST
    ... from a place that's sunny and 85 today. Click on this webcam if you don't believe me. (I've probably just ensured with that snide remark that we'll be duly punished by Mother Nature before the week is out.)

    Stay warm and safe. This, too, shall pass.


    Posting that webcam link (5.00 / 4) (#192)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 08:21:58 PM EST
    to taunt those of us dealing with snow and below freezing temperatures was truly evil. ;o)

    Turns out it is Spring (none / 0) (#177)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 01:48:07 PM EST
    boot season in the shoe stores of Manhattan. Who'd have guessed that?

    Not surprising (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 01:55:18 PM EST
    The retailers always bring out the upcoming season's merchandise when the current season is still in full swing.
    OTOH, sometimes you can get some real deals for the "current" season when they start to bring out their next season stuff.
    Buy your Winter things now on sale, because they are starting to clear their racks for Spring.    

    Perhaps Jeralyn might want to ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:23:33 PM EST
    ... say a thing or two about:


    A 12 point guide to writing a Woody Allen op-ed: (none / 0) (#161)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 08:55:35 AM EST
    Or, (none / 0) (#195)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 10:49:22 AM EST
    The public should look at it from this view - Is Woody Allen the one who is and has done the "brainwashing"?

    I submit that, rather than accept Allen's own framework for what proves his honesty, we should examine his credibility by looking at his own record.


    Our choices are few: We can either accept that everyone in this case -- Moses, Dylan, Ronan, Mia, Soon-Yi, and Woody -- are of sound mind and able to speak competently, OR we can decide that both Mia and Woody are masterminds who use their children and the press as pawns and puppets. What we absolutely cannot do, as a culture, is unthinkingly accept Allen's premise that only Mia is capable of being manipulative, that only Mia uses powerful magic to make all her children (including Satchel when he was a subverbal infant) hate the other side. What we can't do as a culture is scrutinize the testimony of a 7-year-old for minor inconsistencies while a rich and powerful man who admits to an organized pattern of lying over a period of six months and routinely contradicts himself -- on the record, no less -- goes unexamined.

    Lots of good points to consider.


    disgusting (none / 0) (#51)
    by markw on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:00:16 AM EST
    I never paid much attention to this situation and probably would have been inclined to believe that this was a case of false memory. However, after reading Allen's offensive commentary in the NYT, I am absolutely disgusted with him and inclined to think he did it.

    He would have been better off just keeping his mouth shut.


    Woody Allen needed to respond ... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 06:43:54 PM EST
    ... to the charges publicly. He was being swiftboated by the Farrow clan, who apparently seem to believe that they have carte blanche to casually resurrect allegations that most legal and professional authorities dismissed 21 years ago as without foundation, after an extensive investigation.

    If Dylan Farrow really wants to resolve this, then she should file a civil lawsuit against her estranged adoptive father in Connecticut, where the alleged incident allegedly took place in August 1992.

    The state's civil statute of limitations allows victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation 30 years after they reach age 18 (that is, until their 48th birthday) to file a personal injury action based on the crime. Further, Further, that statute may be suspended altogether in those civil cases where the liable party fraudulently concealed from the victim the existence of the cause of action.

    That Dylan, her mother Mia and her brother Ronan instead chose to subject Allen to trial by mainstream and social media, speaks volumes to me regarding their personal motives. Going that route reflects an eminently practical decision on their part, given the fact that the actual evidence in the original 1992-93 case tends to not support their contentions.



    Yes, poor Woody (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by shoephone on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:23:40 PM EST
    My heart just breaks for the sick, old creep.

    You should know as well as anyone that allegations of sex abuse against children are notoriously hard to prove. Dylan is not going to take this to a civil court, because it is unlikely she would win a case. That doesn't mean she wasn't abused. She needs to find a way to heal herself and move forward with her life.

    Kristoff should have stayed out of it. But casting aspersions against Mia and Ronan Farrow accomplishes nothing as far as disputing Dylan's allegations.

    Really curious, Donald: What is the reason you brought this subject onto the blog? Because I don't see anything positive coming out of it.


    Because it's in the news. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:17:40 PM EST
    While some people find both the subject (Woody Allen) and the subject matter (childhood sexual abuse) to be distasteful, he has every right to defend himself against the resurrection of some very pointed and nasty allegations, which if left unanswered and / or unchallenged by him would otherwise hold enormous potential to derail his career as a filmmaker.

    I find curious the timing of Kristoff's column and the public campaign waged against Allen in social media by the Farrows at the very moment he was being honored for his career at the Golden Globe Awards.

    I'd offer that the Farrows' actions in this instance speak directly to their motives, which I think has to do primarily with avenging Mia's two-decade-old personal grudge over a very real wrong done to her by both Woody and her adopted daughter Soon-Yi. In that regard, Dylan's allegations -- which most authorities concluded at the time never happened -- are her mother's means to an end.

    If the Farrows' primary motive was to hurt or injure Allen personally at a time when he was being lauded by his peers, which I personally believe to be the case here, then that makes them fair game in any subsequent rebuttal to their allegations.

    But I agree, this is an ugly story, as are most accounts of acrimonious family break-ups and fights over infidelity. That the warring parties in this instance are each celebrities in their own right doesn't make it any less sad. And this is exactly why most of us prefer to not air our families' dirty laundry in public.



    Thanks for the thoughtful reply (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by shoephone on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:52:42 PM EST
    I find the whole thing to be ugly as well. However, IMO, what "most authorities" or even "some authorities" found to be true or untrue at the time is clouded by lots of differing statements from witnesses and/or interested parties...and the fact that the now grown child still remembers being abused. I have a close friend who was abused as a very young child, and was lambasted and excoriated for many years with the "false memories" accusation. In her early 30's she was to be fully exonerated of the liar accusations when her abuser finally admitted his guilt--in writing. Because of the enormous psychic pain she endured, first with the abuse and later with the self-loathing and then being labeled a liar, I tend to give credence to survivors.

    In any event, this is not going to be resolved in a court of law. Kristoff should not have put himself in the middle of this. And I often wish twitter didn't exist. But I don't participate in any social media, so I usually cringe when people--particularly celebrities--start tweeting away. Frustratingly, there are party photos of me all over facebook, although I didn't post them there.


    I hear you. (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:48:02 PM EST
    I often find Twitter to be terribly annoying, even though I must also acknowledge that it has served a very real and useful purpose in getting the word out in countries undergoing social upheaval and turmoil. And please don't get me started on Facebook, which has allowed far too many people to share way too much information about themselves and others with the world.

    As someone who experienced sexual abuse as a pre-adolescent, my sympathies tend to be with other victims. But I've also seen first-hand how parents in the midst of a bitter split can wield their own young and impressionable children as weapons against their former spouses and partners out of pure spite and malice, and say truly terrible things about their exes to those children in an effort to turn those kids against him or her.

    In one particular instance, a false claim of child sexual abuse was lodged against a personal friend of mine by his ex during a custody fight. And because he was a TV news reporter, it was thrust into the public spotlight, and he was suspended from work and ultimately let go by his employer before the criminal investigation subsequently cleared him. Afterward, he became unemployable in Hawaii because of the notoriety, and was compelled to move to the mainland to find work in his chosen profession.

    This is the type of personal allegation that, once it's been made publicly, cannot be easily rescinded, and can continue to haunt the falsely accused for the rest of their lives, even if and / or though they've been ultimately exonerated. We need only look to what happened in the notorious McMartin Pre-School case in Los Angeles, to understand that once trashed and ruined, an innocent party's personal reputation is not necessarily and readily recoverable.



    Party Photos? (none / 0) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:44:55 PM EST
    Now that sounds interesting.

    Wanna share them here ;o)


    But...what if you recognized me? (none / 0) (#76)
    by shoephone on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:53:41 PM EST
    That would be weird! And someone would have some splainin' to do...oh, the 1970's...

    Yeah, I had some good fun when I was younger. But for the last twenty years I've been cooking up a Christmas dinner feast with a crowd of old hippie cohorts, and we eventually revert back to old ways during the later hours of the evening. That being said, I hate that people post me on facebook. After all, a gal appreciates some discretion. The least they could do is change my name, like I have, on occasion.


    ROTFLMAO (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:15:37 AM EST
    Luckily face book didn't exist when I was a party animal and no one had cameras on their phones to take instant pictures when I was at my (hmmm) best.

    My current group could in no way be described as a "crowd of old hippie cohorts." Nice people but not what you would consider "party animals." Sometimes, I really miss the "good old days."


    If FB had existed in the 70's and 80's (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:22:10 PM EST
    I would have never gotten a job anywhere. Very glad I grew up when I did.

    Watching (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by lentinel on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:39:20 AM EST
    the parade at the Olympics of athletes from all the countries of the world was a moving experience.

    You really see that people are the same.

    Everyone wants to excel. To have fun. To love and be loved.

    Governments designate various countries as evil or good - usually based on successful trade arrangements or lack thereof. And the depiction extends to the people. They are also depicted as evil and expendable. Dronable. Even nukable.

    And yet we see the people from all these places. And they are all beautiful and human.

    So, I just have to surmise that these conflicts that continually plague us have to do with what governments want - what elitists want - and have little or nothing to do with what people want.

    I also must say that I have seen nothing but criticism of Russia regarding these Olympic games.
    I'm not saying that criticism is not justified, but it is so unrelenting that it feels like the Cold War revisited. In fact, I was somewhat shocked to see how beautiful the opening ceremony looked. I was anticipating seeing a shambles.

    The athletes all looked as if they were there to compete and to share a kind of joy. I wish them all great success.

    They did choose an athlete... (none / 0) (#65)
    by magster on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:02:42 PM EST
    that recently sent out a very racist tweet depicting Barack and Michele ogling a banana. It's hard to think that Putin was unaware of that when choosing who lit the flame, and probably retaliation for Obama not attending.

    Regardless, choosing her to light the flame was pretty uncalled for.


    I just do not care about Putin (none / 0) (#164)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 09:23:53 AM EST
    I have to share the planet with him, and that is all the notice I intend to give him until.  Now Americans who posted that photo in the United States I cut family ties with, and that was loooong overdue, but Putin, nope....don't care.

    Sorry to be a downer.... (none / 0) (#66)
    by magster on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:05:32 PM EST
    I hope the athletes themselves create some lasting sports' legend memories.

    My comment on the Olympics is (none / 0) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:50:10 PM EST
    not as high brow (kindly meant) as yours.

    I watched the final Men's Slopestyle event. Those guys have to be truly nuts or have a death wish to do that.

    BTW, congratulations to Sage Kotsenburg - United States who won the Gold.


    My thoughts exactly (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:43:56 AM EST
    Truly jaw dropping scary. All I could think about was their mothers.

    Justice Department (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:40:05 AM EST
    to give married same-sex couples equal protection

    In a new policy memo, the department will spell out the rights of same-sex couples, including the right to decline to give testimony that might incriminate their spouses, even if their marriages are not recognized in the state where the couple lives.

    Under the Justice Department policy, federal inmates in same-sex marriages will also be entitled to the same rights and privileges as inmates in heterosexual marriages, including visitation by a spouse, escorted trips to attend a spouse's funeral, correspondence with a spouse, and compassionate release or reduction in sentence based on the incapacitation of an inmate's spouse.

    In addition, an inmate in a same-sex marriage can be furloughed to be present during a crisis involving a spouse. In bankruptcy cases, same-sex married couples will be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly. Domestic support obligations will include debts, such as alimony, owed to a former same-sex spouse. Certain debts to same-sex spouses or former spouses should be excepted from discharge.


    Last summer, the Office of Personnel Management announced that federal employees in same-sex marriages could apply for health, dental, life, long-term care and retirement benefits. The Department of Health and Human Services said that legally married same-sex seniors on Medicare would be eligible for equal benefits and joint placement in nursing homes.

    The Social Security Administration will pay death benefits to survivors of a same-sex marriage. The Department of Homeland Security will treat same-sex spouses equally for the purposes of obtaining a green card if the spouse is a foreign national. And the IRS has begun treating same-sex marriages equally for tax-filing purposes.

    It's all over but the shouting, folks.  Those 30+ states might as well see the writing on the wall now.

    Neighborhood Improvement Project (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:05:37 AM EST
    underway in Long Island.

    Escape From New York: Sean Hannity's House Is For Sale

    In the latest sign that the conservative pundit is preparing to move away from New York, Newsday reported Friday that Hannity's Long Island home is on the market for a cool $3.6 million.

    Hannity has been making plenty of noise lately about his desire to leave what he called the "United Socialist State of New York" in favor of Florida or Texas (he also said he's open to running for office in either of the southern states).

    Always seems so strange (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:13:32 AM EST
    He's done this for years.  The conservatives (Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.) who live in one of the greatest cities in the world and openly mock it while taking advantage of all it has to offer - good public services, good schools, good healthcare, etc.  It's like some of my college friends (conservatives) who live in DC and mock the city, federal government and "bureaucrats" while they themselves work for the federal government.

    In Hannity's case, I guess once you get rich enough you can afford to live somewhere with low taxes and your kids are either grown or enrolled in a private school.


    It's like (none / 0) (#83)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:02:38 AM EST
    When Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, and Barbara Streisand threatened to move if Bush was re-elected.

    Ridiculous posturing - they weren't going to leave the country where they make their money!


    Not the same (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:09:27 PM EST
    Streisand didn't threaten to leave the country - don't think Streisand did, either.  Baldwin contests whether he said such a thing, but I don't know whether I'd believe him.  Tina Fey promised to leave Earth if Palin was elected, but I'm guessing her statement wasn't meant to be taken literally.

    In any case, I don't think that bombastic threats to leave a country are the same.  Limbaugh and Hannity built there careers in NY where they had opportunities that wouldn't have been afforded to them living in one of their conservative utopias, all the while mocking the place they live ("People's Republic of New York", etc.).  Streisand, Baldwin, Penn etc. - apart from the questionable claims about their threats to leave the US - never called the US the "United Reichstag of America" - or any such equivalent.


    Second Streisand (none / 0) (#87)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:31:25 PM EST
    Should be "don't think Penn did, either"

    That's right, sorta. (none / 0) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:32:41 PM EST
    Rush Limbaugh actually first got started in the radio biz as a Top 40 DJ in Pittsburgh, then after his station was sold and changed formats, he took a job with a station in Kansas City. In 1978, he parlayed that into what sounds like a pretty sweet gig for a late 20-something, as the promotions director for the Kansas City Royals baseball club during their late 1970s / early '80s heyday.

    But Limbaugh eventually returned to his first love, oxyconti-- er, I mean radio, and his career really took off in Sacramento, CA at KFBK-AM, because that's where he honed his shtick as a popular drive-time talk show host and first got noticed by then-ABC Radio President Edward McLaughlin.

    He signed with ABC in 1988 and moved his show to New York and WABC-AM, which then syndicated him to other ABC Radio markets nationwide. But nowadays, he's since left the Big Apple and lives and works in Palm Beach, FL.



    Yeah, I know ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:51:58 PM EST
    ... he didn't start in New York, but that's where his career took off.  It's the #1 market in the country, and it was a huge opportunity for him to get nationally syndicated by working in the "People's Republic of New York."

    OTOH, the oxy supply in that conservative utopia of FL may be better ... :)  


    Well, Streisand lives in Malibu... (none / 0) (#86)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:23:42 PM EST
    which is sorta like another country.

    Hey, now hold on there! (none / 0) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:59:54 PM EST
    I like Malibu! That's where I first learned to surf, back when I was in my teens. :-D

    A lot of people mused about leaving (none / 0) (#88)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:35:34 PM EST
    the country if Bush was re-elected. I was one of them. Considering the extensive damage he and Cheney did, we weren't wrong to want to.

    On point jb. (none / 0) (#89)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:08:08 PM EST
    How so? (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:34:44 PM EST
    Non-existent threats to move if someone gets elected versus Limbaugh and Hannity actually mocking their home state?

    Myself and family (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:39:57 PM EST
    Just want to take a moment to send ultimate blessings to oculus, Ruffian, and kdog.  Since 9/11 there has been no time when my husband was out of country in uniform that I participated in any trip or activity that was not for family.  Our  shared TalkLeft future trip to New York and joint activities simply for the sake of fun slice through layers of family shared anxiety since 9/11.  We are all so grateful for such friends, where mom is able to go it is very hard for a whole family to not follow.  Peace and Blessed Be All

    The blessing on my end is... (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:14:17 AM EST
    simply getting to rock out with such special and honored guests...I'm counting the days. It's gonna be far out maaaaaan!

    MT I am so looking forward (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:50:44 AM EST
    to spending quality time with you and swapping family stories. We will show our appreciation for our families that way and they will be with us in spirit.

    I am counting down the days now that it is almost here. Oculus already has seen her first play!


    Obama administration is weighing (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:05:54 AM EST
    whether or not to execute another American without benefit of a trial.

    Administration weighs drone strike against American citizen

    The Obama administration is considering lethal force against an American citizen overseas who has allegedly been working with al Qaeda, U.S. officials have told the Associated Press.

    Obama has confirmed that G.W. Bush was right. The Constitution is just a damn piece of paper.

    Omidyar's "First Look" is online now (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 02:11:54 PM EST
    First Look/The Intercept is up and running. Initial two articles, by Greenwald, Poitras and Scahill, deal with drones and NSA.

    Errata: Trevor Paglen contributes (none / 0) (#134)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 02:14:29 PM EST
    the article on photos of the NSA and other spying agencies.

    From our "Please, Mess With Texas" file: (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 03:44:16 PM EST
    Call it "Jasper, Part II," from RollingOut.com:

    "Alfred Wright, a 28-year-old physical therapist, was on his way to see a patient when his pickup truck broke down in Sabine County, Tex. His wife Lauren alerted his parents who went to help him. When Lauren called him back, all she heard was heavy breathing. She grew frantic and knew he was in distress. She sent texts pleading with him to call her. When his parents arrived on the scene, there was no sign of Alfred. His pickup truck was still parked at the package store, CL&M Grocery, Inc., but Alfred was long gone.


    "His lifeless body was found 18 days after he went missing in November 2013 [...] by volunteers and his father. He was stripped to his boxer shorts, wearing only a single sock with his cell phone tucked inside, and both his sneakers. He was missing an ear, two front teeth and his throat was slit. There was not a lot of decomposition in comparison to most bodies found in the elements after 18 days. On November 26, 2013, forensic pathologist John W. Ralston MD, ruled his death 'accidental' due to 'combined drug intoxication,' in other words, a drug overdose - cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamines.

    "The family isn't buying it because Alfred never used drugs. His family had their own autopsy and the pathologist concluded that he died of severe trauma to the neck and head and a gash across his throat.

    "The county's autopsy report didn't address the cut on his neck or throat area and also went on to report that any damage caused to the body was caused by animal activity, offering no explanation why the cut across his neck was a straight line and why the animals didn't chew him to the bone after being out in the woods for over 18 days."

    I think it important to note that back in mid-November, the Sabine Co. Sheriff Tom Maddox suspended the search for Alfred Wright after only four days, purportedly citing a lack of departmental resources. Further, Alfred's wife Lauren is white.

    According to KJAS-TV, Sabine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton has recused himself from the investigation and turned it over to the state Attorney General's office, referencing in part certain allegations being made against the sheriff's office. Curiously, the station noted the official autopsy findings of an accidental drug overdose in its report, but said nothing about Wright's throat being cut. The Texas Observer is also reporting that federal officials at the U.S. Justice Dept. are now strongly considering their own investigation into Wright's death.

    Let's hope that the authorities get to the bottom of this sad story, and do so quickly. After all, this is the year 2014, and not 1914. And while one doesn't want to think the worst of Sabine County residents, this is the same county where in 1998, the late James Byrd met his end at the hands of some white rednecks with a long rope and a pickup truck.


    Looks like the official autopsy (none / 0) (#143)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:21:36 PM EST
    concluded that scavenging animals caused the disfigurement to the corpse.

    For the sake of all involved I hope that this case was handled properly.


    I hope so, too. (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:20:15 PM EST
    But, given the violent and racist history to be found in Jasper and Sabine County, and further the KKK's increased recruiting activities in east Texas of late, it certainly won't hurt to have other eyes from an outside agency like the FBI examine both the findings and the evidence.

    And in that regard, I don't know of many animals -- the furry or feathered kind, anyway -- that first bash in the back of their prey's head, and then slit its throat cleanly in a straight line. And I'll further take the victim's widow at her word that her late husband didn't do drugs.

    Throw in the sheriff's curtailed search for the man on top of all this, and I think that people have every right to be skeptical of the east Texas authorities' official findings.



    Here's an article I just found:
    But the Sabine County sheriff's office claims that Wright's wife told deputies that he "may have been using an unknown substance causing him to be paranoid," and shortly after the story of Wright's disappearance broke, it was reported that he was under indictment for federal embezzlement charges in Tennessee for allegedly defrauding a bank of "over $1,000."

    It's clear, in other words, that there are people involved who are convinced that Wright was a drug user who disappeared shortly before he was supposed to face serious criminal charges, while there are others who are convinced that he was the victim of violence that occurred in a part of the country where violence against African-American men is not unheard of. And it's possible that neither or both allegations are true.

    And that's exactly why ... (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 11:15:16 AM EST
    ... an independent investigation is needed in this case, conducted by people who have no other dogs in this hunt but truth and justice, wherever their trail might lead them.

    While banks may well be guilty of many things, I really don't think that hiring someone to kidnap and slit the throat of someone who owed then $1,000 is likely to be one of them.



    Indeed. Thankfully no one I'm aware of (none / 0) (#173)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 12:22:32 PM EST
    came within 100 miles of suggesting such a thing.

    Here's what the deceased's father is suggesting:

    "My son Alfie was taken to Sabine County Jail, and lynched, murdered by Sabine County officials".

    ... given the South's well-documented history of white-on-black violence -- and east Texas is Old South, with Sabine County bordering Louisiana -- and the fact that those nominally in authority in these places were often found to be the facilitators of such racial violence, if not the actual instigators themselves, I really don't find Mr. Wright's opinion to be such a farfetched notion.

    16 years ago, the district attorney in neighboring Jasper County, TX was compelled to call upon the FBI for assistance in investigating the James Byrd tragedy, when he felt he wasn't getting sufficient cooperation from the county sheriff's department. As far as I'm concerned, the Sabine County DA is right to do the same here, because there are a lot of Americans like me who have long since declined to give Southern white law enforcement officials the benefit of the doubt in such interracial matters, never mind accepting their word as the final one on the subject.



    Only if he wrote anti-bank graffiti (none / 0) (#174)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 12:35:53 PM EST
    on the bank sidewalk in chalk.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#183)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:34:59 PM EST
    O, Sweet Claire (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 07:55:21 AM EST
    The honeymoon is over, I see.

    Sen. Claire McCaskill said Tuesday tht if she were up for reelection this year in a purple state, she "probably" would not have President Barack Obama campaign with her.

    The Missouri Democrat was asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if she would appear with Obama if she were one of the Democrats running for reelection in Arkansas, Louisiana or North Carolina.

    "You know, probably not," McCaskill said. "I'm trying to be really candid and honest on this show. You know, the president's numbers are not strong in my state, or in Arkansas, or Louisiana, or North Carolina. He did not win those states when he ran for reelection in 2012."

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 09:05:22 AM EST
    My sweet Claire is a real sweetheart. She just shines with integrity and that "special" brand of honesty.

    Bet if she was up for reelection now, she would ask Bill Clinton to campaign for her even if it meant putting her daughter in the same room with him throughout the entire tour.

    My advise to Hillary if she decides to run, when it comes to my sweet Claire - use her and then lose her.


    Claire (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 09:12:25 AM EST
    is only where she is today because Todd Aiken decided to show his bat sh!t crazy too close to the election!

    That is a fact (5.00 / 3) (#166)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 09:30:28 AM EST
    Todd Akin should be my sweet Claire's BFF.

    The funny thing is that after the election a couple of my Republican friends were whining about being stuck with McCaskill again. Somehow it didn't even register that they wouldn't be "stuck" with McCaskill again if they didn't nominate "bat sh!t" crazy candidates.


    A perfect TL topic (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 10:17:55 AM EST
    RIP, Shirley Temple Black (1928-2014). (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:09:54 PM EST
    The iconic former child star, who became a U.S. diplomat later in life, died last night at her home in Woodside, CA near San Francisco.

    Ms. Temple Black earned over $3.2 million during her acting career, a most considerable sum in those days, and all but $28,000 of which was subsequently discovered by her at age 22 to have been squandered by her family on a lavish lifestyle and series of bad investments.

    After her 1950 marriage to Charles Black, Ms. Temple Black left her Hollywood career and eventually got involved in California GOP politics, which led to her later career in diplomacy and U.S. foreign affairs. In 1969, she was appointed chief delegate to the United Nations (a title since elevated to the cabinet-level post of U.N. ambassador) by President Nixon. She was named as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana in 1974, one of only a mere handful of women to have ever held such a diplomatic rank at the time.

    Ms. Temple Black also won considerable praise for her service as the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia under President George H.W. Bush during a very volatile period in eastern Europe (1989-92), when that country finally broke from the Cold War-era Warsaw Pact and longstanding Soviet domination and turned to Western Europe and the United States.

    Aloha to one of America's early screen icons, and a true pioneer in the U.S. diplomatic corps.

    Misunderstanding orange juice (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:50:33 PM EST
    I just assume... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:09:32 PM EST
    if ya didn't grow it or raise & slaughter it yourself, there's probably some bullsh&t in it....no matter how words like "fresh" or "organic" are on the labels.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#6)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:12:17 PM EST
    Frozen concentrated orange juice is an abomination unto The Lord.    ;-)
    The only oj we drink is when I can get oranges on sale (or buy a bunch from the local 4-H club, which sells Florida oranges in bulk as a fund raiser every December) and we juice it ourselves.  (Electric juicers are great.)
    And even then, we only juice enough for a small glass.  It's extremely tasty.  It tastes nothing like the frozen stuff, or even the stuff in jugs in the refrigerated section.  It is a whole different thing.

    Ya. Luckily we have backyard oranges, (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:30:40 PM EST
    and Jan-Feb is the season!

    Lucky you! (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:00:31 PM EST

    I just eat oranges. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:52:13 PM EST
    The fiber's good for you (if I drink juice, I prefer "with pulp).

    And taking the time to cut it, peel it, break it into sections, etc. turns the eating into more of a reward, and keeps my mind off the M & Ms!


    Oh, we (none / 0) (#13)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:01:36 PM EST
    peel and eat them, too.
    But Mr. Zorba does like his juice.   ;-)

    Gotta say, that's one major west coast (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by nycstray on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:53:34 PM EST
    perk. It's citrus season right now :) I eat them, juice them, cook with them and this year I'm going to put some up, just for the heck of it ;) I have about 15lbs in the kitchen atm.

    We bought our home in Jan, and all 3 trees (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:36:59 PM EST
    were loaded. We didn't really know what to do with them so we harvested them all. Probably had 200 lbs of the 3 different varieties. Ate them at every meal.

    3 weeks later we had 175 lbs of pithy oranges.

    We learned to just leave them on the trees until we get around to eating them. They do get pithy, but we've picked them as late as June or so, long after the next crop has bloomed and set, and they're still pretty good!


    Fruit trees can get overwhelming here! (none / 0) (#17)
    by nycstray on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:57:36 PM EST
    I didn't know about leaving citrus on the tree either. My LL clued me in, thankfully. I lost my tree last year during a serious cold snap :( But the farmers market has good inexpensive sources for me :) I'll prob be down there in the heavy rain tomorrow grabbing more.

    Comsumer (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:07:42 AM EST
    reports did a study on fresh vs frozen, as I recall most people couldn't tell the difference.

    absurd (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:25:55 PM EST
    There is no similarity at all.

    Common (none / 0) (#110)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:34:35 PM EST
    opinion when non blind tests of perception are made. Lots of clear differences are not present in blind tests.

    I knew if I waited long enough (none / 0) (#126)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:58:46 AM EST
    you'd write a comment I agree with.

    Blind test:  When I was a bartender many years ago I would challenge customers who complained that the liquor poured wasn't what was on the label. (It was common practice to fill premium bottles, like Seagram 7, with a cheaper rye. Since young consumers can't tell the difference, they just want to get drunk, it seemed a shame to give them the expensive stuff.)

    Anyway, in blind tests, not only couldn't customers tell the difference between cheap & expensive liquors, they couldn't tell the difference between vodka & scotch. And, before you scoff at that statement I've done that experiment probably 1000 times, and, been proven right at least 999 times.

    Now, before anyone here kills me (I know, you're different, nobody could fool you) try it at your next party and then we'll talk.


    Yup. (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 12:29:39 PM EST
    I've done blind taste tests where many cannot distinguish between white and red wine.

    Might as well have a coke. (none / 0) (#33)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:40:46 PM EST
    Kenny Wayne Shepherd (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:56:48 PM EST
    tomorrow night, it's been too long since me and Mrs. SUO have been to a live show!

    Good stuff... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:12:06 PM EST
    boy can play the axe...I saw him open for Joe Walsh once, you kids will have a good time.

    Really looking forward to to it! (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:31:08 PM EST
    Oh, good for you! (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:17:41 PM EST
    I saw him a few years back now, standing in the rain at the Memphis In May festival.  What a player!

    clarify - I was standing in the rain, not him! (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:18:20 PM EST
    Ha! It's an indoor show tomorrow, I have (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 04:16:46 PM EST
    pretty good musician's earplugs I picked up at a guitar shop. You can hear the music fine, and your ears aren't ringing the next day!

    I gotta get some for Ragbot. I think (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:46:44 PM EST
    that's the name.

    These kinda hurt my ears after a while.

    Ha! Do you mean Rat Dog? (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:09:03 PM EST
    Oh yah. That's it! (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:38:22 PM EST
    Have fun. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:27:00 PM EST
    If you haven't seen Shepherd before, you're in for a treat. He puts on a great show.

    If Hollywood ever considers a ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:25:08 PM EST
    ... big-screen version of "Hogan's Heroes," I know exactly who to cast for the role of Sgt. Schultz -- can you guess who it is?

    Barney Franks?? (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:14:22 AM EST
    Claiming Frank thwarted all (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:20:48 PM EST
    the combined efforts of Bush and his allies is just another way of underscoring GOP incompetence and lack of leadership.

    You do realize that don't you, Jim?


    The 1% president (none / 0) (#37)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:41:33 PM EST
    Another pitiful jobs report.

    Wall Street has a rally because Obama and the Fed will keep the spicket on.m who does that help?  See above.

    Ironic that the president who has nothing left to campaign on (because he doesn't govern) is turning to income inequality.   As if his monetary policies aren't the direct cause of the expansion in the last few years.

    Inequality under Obama.


    If George W. Bush... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by unitron on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:20:53 AM EST
    ...had kicked over a bucket full of gasoline in the Oval Office and then thrown in a lit match as he closed the door behind himself and left the building for the last time seconds before Obama took the oath of office, one could say "White House suffers more damage in Obama's first day than in all 8 years of Bush's administration" and one would technically be correct, and one could talk about how much longer it took under Obama to get the fire out and the damage repaired than it did for the fire to start under Bush, and, again, one would technically be correct.

    Admittedly, not a perfect analogy, but I think it serves.


    To continue with your thought (none / 0) (#44)
    by Slado on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:11:53 AM EST
    Once discovering the fire Obama not only didn't do anything about it he started to throw office furniture into the blaze everytime he thought it was slowing down and then asked the Fed to take some flame and start fires in every room.

    This obsession with (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:08:49 PM EST
    debt has no factual support.

    The Fed is not the problem.  It is fiscal and tax policies that are the impediment.

    What is the inflation rate?


    The stagnation (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:06:34 PM EST
    and decline of wages started around 1980 when Reagan took office.  It was been a problem more than 30 years in the making.

    Getting rid of conservative trickle down economics would be a huge step forward.


    I have no clue what you (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:37:11 PM EST
    Are talking about  the tapering of QE3 continues

    I believe he was trying (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:47:57 PM EST
    to say that, since the jobs report was pretty weak, the FED would back off on the tapering, and, keep pumping money into the system. Therefore, the 1% rejoiced, and, bid up the stock market.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 272 (none / 0) (#53)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:52:51 AM EST
    Her charms come with a warning label. (link)

    v. 271
    v. 270

    Happy Saturday, my friends. Raining madly here, which we need. The big leak in my son's room, that I can live without. ;-)  

    (And still trying to figure out my wife's health issue, which has been a come and go thing, which is gone for now. All the obvious horrible things ruled out. Could be this sort of irritation syndrome that, yes, comes and goes. Which isn't all that pleasant to ponder for the future, but it could be worse. And it could still be something else. We shall see, but Mrs. Dadler is back to feeling fine for the time being. Hope it lasts forever.)

    Panoramas.... (none / 0) (#71)
    by desertswine on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:14:57 PM EST
    I just spent a pleasant hour in Petra.

    Beautiful. (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:14:22 AM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 273 (none / 0) (#91)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 02:53:59 PM EST
    Animal husbandry's got nothing on us. (link)

    v. 272
    v. 271

    Get to church, you figgin' heathens. I have poker to play. Peace.

    Hillary Clinton's Title (none / 0) (#95)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 04:33:30 PM EST
    What is the correct way to say Hillary Clinton- Is it: a) Senator Clinton or Secretary Clinton?  I couldn't find the answer online

    According to this ... (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 04:57:40 PM EST
    ... protocol expert, SOS is a role, as opposed to a rank, so "Madame Secretary" would only apply to a current (female) SOS.  The "highest former honorific" title for her would be "Senator", since it is not a job with a single office holder at one time, but there are many:

    Jobs of which many hold the same office/rank at the same time DO continue to be addressed by their former honorific ... Senator, Judge, Captain, Admiral, General, Professor.



    And then there is President. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:24:12 PM EST
    There is only one holder of said title at a time, but we still address former Presidents of the United States as "President."
    Personally, my preference would be to address the former holders of any such offices or rank as "Mr.," "Ms.," "Mrs.," or such.

    Mrs. Clinton, according to the NYT (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:49:02 PM EST
    First openly gay NFL player (none / 0) (#100)
    by ragebot on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:23:28 PM EST
    Not to be too picky, but (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 07:56:48 PM EST
    Michael Sam is not yet in the NFL; he's a defensive lineman from Missouri who's made the decision to enter the NFL draft this year.

    That being said, if drafted, he will enter a league where there surely are other gay players, men who I hope, as a result of this young man's courage, will be able to live authentic lives for maybe the first time in their lives, no longer afraid to be who they are.

    And then I hope we can just move on and get to a place where whether one is gay isn't deserving of headlines.


    Anne (none / 0) (#107)
    by ragebot on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:31:22 PM EST
    the title of my post contained the phrase 'openly gay'.  It is true Sam is not in the NFL, but he was the SEC defensive player of the year and was projected as high as a third round draft pick.  There was some concern he was over rated as his best games stat wise were not against top level teams.

    Still it is a good bet he will be drafted and he does seem to have the physical skills to play at the next level.

    I am not doubting there are gay players in the NFL, but so far none of them are openly gay.  SI is predicting it will take ten years or more before openly gay players are not news worthy.

    SI stuff


    Your comment also contained the (none / 0) (#108)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:37:30 PM EST
    words "NFL player," so imagine my surprise when I followed the link to an article not about an NFL player, but about a college player who aspires to play in the NFL.

    Anne, sorry if I confused you (none / 0) (#109)
    by ragebot on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:49:52 PM EST
    but both of the articles I linked to seemed to make it clear that Sam was projected to be drafted since he was on multiple All American lists and was the SEC defensive player of the year as well as the Mizzo MVP.

    I think you need to decide what (none / 0) (#114)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:51:16 AM EST
    the subject of your comment is; it appears you are the one who is confused.

    Your initial comment said only one thing: "First openly gay NFL player."  And contained one link.

    I followed the link, expecting to see news about a current NFL player coming out.  But that wasn't the news.

    The article was news about a college player announcing he was gay in advance of the combine and NFL draft.  I addressed that news.

    If you want to talk about Sam's abilities, awards, ranking, where the experts see him being drafted, then by all means, do that.  But don't try to tell me your one-line comment was about that - it wasn't.  My issue wasn't with anything having to do with Sam, it was about your sloppy comment that gave a false impression that an NFL player had come out.

    My advice would be: don't post a one-line comment that misrepresents the facts, and then try to tell others they're confused because they pointed it out.


    If this article proves to be true, (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:26:17 AM EST
    it will be a very sad end to a courageous young man's career.

    Anonymous NFL Execs Are Sure League Is Not Ready For A Gay Player

    "I don't think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet," an NFL player personnel assistant told SI. "In the coming decade or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It'd chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room."

    One longtime NFL scout said there's "no question" the announcement will make teams less apt to select Sam in April's draft.

    Hopefully these "cowardly" anonymous sources are proven wrong.


    I think what irritates me about this (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 09:49:52 AM EST
    kind of mindset is that these executives have to know there are already gay men playing in the NFL, and Sam's announcement has provided them with the opportunity to say just that.

    Wouldn't you just fall off your chair if one of these executives said, "well, it doesn't say much about a league that we can accept an athlete who chooses to be a domestic abuser, chooses to drive under the influence, chooses to use and abuse drugs and chooses to serially procreate, but we can't accept an athlete who cannot choose his orientation any more than he can choose his race or eye color."

    This is about the money, it always is.


    Addition comments from (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 10:47:28 AM EST
    Greg Aiello, Senior Vice President of Public Relations NFL, current teammates and pro players seem more positive than the cowardly sources who choose to keep their identity secret.

    The NFL, which in addition to stating its support, tweeted a link to its workplace non-discrimination policy

    Greg Aiello:

    .Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.

    Travis Waldron, the author of the post really nailed it in his summation.

    As I wrote in November, the idea that the NFL isn't ready for a gay player or that media attention should scare them off doesn't hold water under the most basic scrutiny. The idea that Sam will disrupt a locker room is hard to believe, given that he's received quite a bit of support from most players. And if a college locker room is mature enough to deal with this issue (Mizzou went 12-2 and won the SEC West and Cotton Bowl after Sam came out), an NFL locker room should be too.



    You took the words out of my mouth (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 12:11:36 PM EST
    I was watching ESPN this morning, and, without exception, the players, both past and present, were fine with this. They said that in today's NFL (really, society in general) there is so much diversity already: religion, politics, race, long hair, etc. that most will take it in stride. "Winning" is such an overriding, focused, intense point, that they would accept anybody who would help with that goal.

    If his experience with his teammates at Missouri is any guide he'll have no problem in the Pro's.


    I am more hopeful after reading the (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 12:51:09 PM EST
    article by Travis Waldron and by the tweets from the NFL Public Relations VP.

    Not really as concerned about the players response as much as the execs and owners. What a tragedy it would be if he lost his chance to be drafted due to his honesty.

    Once drafted, I think you are right when you say:

    If his experience with his teammates at Missouri is any guide he'll have no problem in the Pro's.



    Do you think (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 01:22:45 PM EST
    This is a hyped up story before it becomes a story?

    Second appology to Anne (none / 0) (#125)
    by ragebot on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:29:41 AM EST
    Let me know if you want a third apology.

    He'll be a high draft choice, Anne. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:55:56 PM EST
    But then, so was Oklahoma's Brian Bosworth, who was similarly named his Big-8 conference's 1985 and '86 defensive player of the year. And what a washout and waste of a first round draft pick he proved to be for the Seattle Seahawks, known more for running his mouth than for his play on the field.

    (Gotta give Bosworth credit, though, for being cagey with his own self-promotion. The week prior to the Seahawks' opening game of his 1987 rookie season at the Denver Broncos, he trash-talked Bronco QB John Elway so much that over 10,000 Bronco fans showed up at Mile High Stadium that Sunday outfitted in t-shirts which read "Ban the Boz!" They were totally unaware that Bosworth's own company had printed the shirts, then shipped them to Denver and sold them to the unsuspecting fans for $15 apiece.)

    Mr. Sam will have to prove himself, just like everyone else who aspires to a pro football career.



    Thanks Donald (none / 0) (#124)
    by ragebot on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:27:26 AM EST
    Sam's position in the draft was not assured even before he came out, but I have no doubt he will be drafted.

    I agree he is somewhat like the Boz in terms of being over rated.  But he does seem to have the physical skills to play at the OLB rush position and NFL scouts know this.


    I didn't say that Michael Sam was overrated. (none / 0) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 01:55:04 PM EST
    I said The Boz proved to be overrated after being picked in the first round of the '87 draft by the Seahawks. Michael Sam, of course, has yet to prove himself in the NFL.

    But if the significant improvements he made over this past season as a pass rusher are any indication of future promise, I think Sam definitely has a shot at a very successful pro career. He had recorded only nine sacks in his entire college career before last season, but then had twelve last season alone, including two three-sack games.

    That's why he was named the SEC defensive player of the year, and in an increasingly pass-happy NFL, that's exactly the type of defenseman you'd want on your team.



    NFL scouts (none / 0) (#149)
    by ragebot on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:00:37 PM EST
    have expressed concern about Sam's nine sacks in three games coming against bottom feeders in the SEC and there have been comments about his stats being inflated.  They also worry about his size and weight as a Dlineman.  He is projected as a rush OLB at the next level but may not have the speed to cover on pass plays.

    Not saying he will not be drafted and play at the next level, just that he is more of a role player than an every down guy.

    It is never a shock when a highly rated college player has problems at the next level, I just hope Sam is not one of the.  I do think he is somewhat over rated and will have more problems than most in the pros.  Kinda shame the first guy to come out may not be the best choice from a PR standpoint.


    How does one inflate a sack count? (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 06:31:41 PM EST
    I don't understand those comments about inflated stats you referenced. Missouri's games were all broadcast on television, so the video evidence of his play is there for all to see. One either sacks the QB, or one does not.

    And they never watch films before recruiting :) (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:22:11 PM EST
    Quality verses quantity (none / 0) (#182)
    by ragebot on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    Tried to post this before.  Here are some blurbs from nfldotcom

    "Nine of his 10.5 sacks came during a trio of three-sack performances against Arkansas State, Vanderbilt and Florida."

    "Sam did record 11.5 sacks last season, the final one coming in the Tigers' Cotton Bowl win. Nine of them came during a trio of three-sack peformances against Arkansas State, Vanderbilt and Florida."

    "Bucky Brooks, who watched Sam participate at the Senior Bowl last month in Mobile, Ala., sees the lineman as "a bit undersized and limited athletically." Nolan Nawrocki, who writes draft profiles for NFL.com, wrote in his profile of Sam that he compares favorably to Chargers LB Larry English, "an overhyped, overdrafted, marginal producer in the pros."

    I expect Sam to be drafted and be a situational player rushing the passer as an OLB.  But I stand by my comment that his sack stats are inflated because they came against SEC bottom feeders.  In the Auburn game he lined up against a first rate Olineman and Auburn ran on him with impunity.  


    Major difference (none / 0) (#187)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:59:06 PM EST
    Larry English was drafted #16. Sam is expected to be closer to #100.

    That wouldn't make Sam the overhyped. It would make English the overhyped. The only similarity is both are/were expected to move to outside linebacker once in the NFL.


    Both Arkansas State and Vandy ... (none / 0) (#189)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 03:36:12 PM EST
    ... went 8-5 and 9-4 last season respectively, and both won bowl games, so I'd hardly consider them bottom feeders and chump change as opponents.

    As for Florida, well, the Gators were still ranked No. 22 at the time Mizzou played them, but they were about to start a culminating slide that marked a long-overdue down year.



    Donald what about Auburn (none / 0) (#191)
    by ragebot on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 05:55:10 PM EST
    Sam was not able to deal with Auburn running against him.  The running attacks he will face in the NFL will be on the Auburn level rather than the Arkansas State, Vandy, or Florida.  I can't recall ever seeing any NFL offensive linemen blocking each other like the ones from Florida did.

    Realistically Sam is a situational pass rusher at the NFL level.  As I am sure you are aware the average NFL player lasts less than three years.  Most likely he will be drafted in the middle rounds and play for a while.  Not trying to bash him, just pointing out many experts do not rate him as highly as you do.


    That's only one game out of fourteen. (none / 0) (#193)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 08:38:19 PM EST
    You seem to be trolling for any ol' reason to downgrade Michael Sam's worth here. Why?

    Where would the Denver Broncos have been, had they similarly re-assessed John Elway's potential on the sole basis of his two terrible performances in consecutive losses to San Jose State during his college career at Stanford?

    Further, should Joe Montana be regarded as a less-than-stellar quarterback, because he once threw six interceptions in the 49ers' 1987 home playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings? Of course not, because sometimes a player is just going to have a lousy game.

    I don't assess a player's overall worth or ability on the basis of one game, but rather upon his overall body of work -- and frankly, I think Michael Sam's speaks for itself.



    Donald you seem to be trolling (none / 0) (#194)
    by ragebot on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 09:44:31 PM EST
    by inflating Sam's worth.  At best he is predicted to be a mid round draft choice who will be a role player for a team that runs a 3-4 after he makes the switch from DE to OLB rush.

    The odds of mid round or lower guys making it in the NFL are not that good, and the odds of them lasting are even worse.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 274 (none / 0) (#122)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:15:28 AM EST
    When Bob and his GP got a little bit closer. (link)

    v. 273
    v. 272

    Rainy daze and Mondays. Peace out, y'all.

    WH delays another aspect of Obamacare (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 03:29:11 PM EST
    Employer mandate for those companies with 50-99 employees get an extra year to start offering health insurance to full time employees.

    So, do those individuals (none / 0) (#142)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:17:30 PM EST
    without health insurance get to wait until 2016 before they have to start paying the fines for not having coverage?
    (Pardon me, not a "fine," but a "tax penalty."  Whatever.)

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#144)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:32:11 PM EST
    But an excellent question.

    The move will be welcome news to many employer groups, who have been arguing that the law encourages them to cut workers' hours. It could also provide some cover for congressional Democrats, who have increasingly expressed concern over the issue.

    But it won't help the Obama administration and congressional Democrats fight off Republican charges that, if businesses are getting a break, regular people should get one, too.

    "While this may be a temporary break for employers, middle class families will still be forced to prove they have expensive, government mandated insurance. After all the waivers and delays, Americans continue to ask - `what about me?'," Sen. John Barasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. "It's time to eliminate the individual mandate."

    Most Americans still have to get health coverage this year or pay a fine, a fact that's been a source of political headaches as people struggled to sign up for coverage during the early website glitches. The federal enrollment website is working better now, but many Americans will still have to decide whether it's cheaper to sign up for coverage or pay the fine.

    The fines for individuals are relatively small this year -- $95 or 1 percent of the person's income, whichever is greater -- but they'll still have strong symbolic importance. They'll grow significantly larger in 2016.

    It's just the latest in a series of major changes and delays the Obama administration has made leading up to the rocky launch of the new health insurance exchanges to accommodate both employers and consumers. The White House has said the changes are meant to respond to criticism and problems with implementation, but Republicans seized on the changed employer rules as an issue of fairness. They say exempting employers from penalties but keeping them on individuals is unfair.

    Democrats never learn how to play the game (none / 0) (#158)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 11:40:28 PM EST
    Dontcha just love it when Democrats give the Republicans a bunch of ammunition to hit them with during the upcoming elections?

    The rollout of the ACA is the perfect example of details mattering little, and optics mattering a lot. And then there's the fact that Republicans are brilliant at framing messages. Maybe it's the Republicans that have been reading Thomas Frank all these years. The Tea Party has torn the GOP to shreds, and the president is pretty much f'ing his Democrats with his disastrous roll out of the ACA. It looks totally ad hoc, willy-nilly, and improvised. And I'd bet none of the amateurs in his White House circle will lose their jobs over it.


    Wouldn't they be using the exchanges instead? (none / 0) (#145)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:34:02 PM EST
    Maybe (5.00 / 4) (#150)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:05:03 PM EST
    If the exchanges allow them to acquire affordable health insurance.
    The exchanges have helped many, I am not disputing that.   And many of these individuals qualify for financial help.  But many do not.
    However, the whole health care insurance mandate, which requires people to buy health "insurance" from, primarily, for profit insurance companies, simply does not make sense to me.
    Who the he!! ever would think that buying health "insurance" is the answer to providing health "care"?
    Medicare For All, universal health care, single-payer.  I don't give a d@mn what you call it.
    This is what we need.  This is what the citizens of most Western nations, and also many others, get.
    The ACA is better than nothing, but it is not the answer to providing really affordable health care in this country.
    I can only hope that this is a baby step towards some type of universal health care.

    For the record (none / 0) (#152)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:20:31 PM EST
    I do not believe buying insurance is the answer. I just asked a question :)

    It is a pretty screwed up system (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 06:54:35 AM EST
    Where you have to have a (good) job to "buy" a decent product.

    Seems kinda backwards.


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 04:59:12 PM EST
    Since the exchanges are still screwed up, some people may choose to go out on their own and look for policies (or pay the penalty).

    And, depending on how much they make, they won't be eligible for subsidies or tax credits (or very little in the way of subsidies).

    That can be a big difference between your employer providing insurance.


    In Ca, my niece's husband (none / 0) (#151)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 05:16:08 PM EST
    can make up to 90k before they won't qualify for subsidies (+2 kids).

    Not all exchanges are screwed up. Families with young children aren't likely to forgo insurance and may already be in the system via other programs in their states.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 275 (none / 0) (#165)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 09:28:33 AM EST
    Drinking and shoplifting are her showcase events in Sochi. (link)

    v. 274
    v. 273

    Peace out. And RIP to Leonard Knight, the original soul behind Salvation Mountain out near Slab City in the southern California desert. Folk Art writ massive. (link)

    Before it gets rolling (none / 0) (#168)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 10:29:28 AM EST
    the GOP debt ceiling fight appears to be over. With no negotiation from the White House and the Dems, a clean debt ceiling bill looks to be happening again with a quick GOP cave.

    Why are they caving? (none / 0) (#170)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 11:34:31 AM EST
    The GOP House caucus (none / 0) (#172)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 11:41:55 AM EST
    can't come to an agreement on anything and leadership knows there is no negotiation coming from the White House on the debt ceiling anyway. Done and done. Vote planned on a clean debt ceiling increase in the House tonight.

    How John Boehner (none / 0) (#190)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 05:54:37 PM EST
    told the GOP the debt fight was over.

    For the past week, Boehner said, he had gone through all of the possible options with the conference, had mulled a variety of scenarios, all with the hope of getting 200-plus Republicans united. But nothing ever gained traction, even the military pension fix, which he thought could win Democratic votes.

    Ahead of the midterm elections, Boehner argued that now is not the time to get drawn into weeks of dramatic headlines and fiscal battles with President Obama. "We're not going to make ourselves the story," he said. He spoke about the need for the party to not get mired in damaging endeavors.

    Boehner's delivery was crisp; his decision was final.

    The room of Republicans sat up, stunned that Boehner was abruptly shifting away from the leadership's plan, which had been championed 12 hours earlier at a Monday night meeting in the Capitol basement. But there were no outcries or boos. A few members whispered to each other that Boehner was right, that due to conservative opposition to any hike, he was cornered.

    But they didn't speak up or clap. Boehner just stood there for a moment after he finished, eyed the room, and walked toward his seat. On his way there, Boehner shook his head, then turned to the nearly mute crowd and wondered aloud why he wasn't getting applause. "I'm getting this monkey off your back and you're not going to even clap?" Boehner asked, scowling playfully at some tea-party favorites.


    As House Republicans filed out into the cold winter air following Tuesday's breakfast, Boehner walked next door for a press conference. "Happy, happy, happy," he muttered as he entered, shrouded by Capitol Police.

    "You all know that our members are not crazy about voting to increase the debt ceiling," Boehner told reporters, his voice weary. "When you don't have 218 votes, you have nothing. We've seen that before, we see it again."

    Ten minutes later, as he departed, Boehner started to sing a ditty. "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-a," he said. "Plenty of sunshine coming my way."

    Members of the press and a handful of aides watching the speaker leave were bemused by his dark, singsong humor. Boehner winked and hustled out, having endured an awkward morning, but with a crisis avoided.

    Headline from Business Insider (none / 0) (#171)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 11:35:42 AM EST
    More great news today (none / 0) (#178)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 01:49:54 PM EST
    Governor Jay Inslee suspends use of the death penalty in Washington state.

    Lest no bandwidth be left unposted: (none / 0) (#185)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:48:41 PM EST
    Victor Davis Hanson -- an historian whose Ph.D. has to stand for "Piled higher, Deeper" -- laments the apparent demise of the manly man in western diplomacy, thinks that President Obama is a total wuss, and says that that Vladimir Putin's apparent true value is in showing American manhood that he is everything they are not:

    "Barack Obama, in his increasingly metrosexual golf get-ups and his prissy poses on the nation's tony golf courses, wants to stay cool while playing a leisure sport. It reminds us of Stafford Cripps being played by Stalin during World War II. 'Make no mistake about it' and 'Let me be perfectly clear' lose every time. Obama's subordinates violate the law by going after the communications of a Fox reporter's parents; Putin himself threatens to cut off the testicles of a rude journalist.

    "Putin is a reminder not just of our dark past, where raw force, not morality, adjudicated behavior, but, more worrisome, perhaps of a dark future as well, in which we in the West will continually overthink, hyperagonize, and nuance to death every idea, every issue, and every thought in terror that it might not be 100 percent fair, completely unbiased, absolutely justified. We will do anything to have the good life above all else; Putin prefers the bad life on his own terms."


    And speaking of wasted bandwidth, ... (none / 0) (#186)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:50:27 PM EST
    ... here's the LINK to Hansen I forgot to include.