Thursday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full. Here's another one, all topics welcome.

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    Well, I guess the long knives are out for (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:04:33 PM EST
    Hillary over at the place Charlie Pierce refers to as "Tiger Beat on the Potomac."

    Here are a few excerpts from Politico, in an article titled, What is Hillary Afraid of?, along with Charlie's reaction:


    For years, beleaguered Clinton advisers tried to improve the toxic relationship with the media. Political hands, like Mandy Grunwald and Harold Ickes, and various communications aides, like Howard Wolfson and Lorraine Voles, counseled her to engage more consistently. So did younger staffers whose interactions with her can have the gentle, hectoring tone of children trying to get their mother to turn on the high-tech gadget they bought her for Christmas.


    Nice metaphor, and one that absolutely never would be applied to a male politician.


    It's certainly true that by that point Clinton had a strong aversion to the national media. "Little Rock is not Washington," sniffed the Washington Post's Sally Quinn when the Clintons and their two-for-one act first came to town. The first lady responded in kind, according to William Chafe's Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal, saying that Quinn "has been hostile from the moment we got here. Why should we invite somebody like that into our home?" Clinton refused other entreaties to embrace the "establishment" by her social secretary, Chafe writes. Perhaps because she never felt welcome, Clinton never created the alliances with the media elite that other politicians of her stature have established. She always viewed the courting of columnists as "worse than pulling teeth," in the words of one longtime confidant, and would often bridle when opinion leaders, like Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius, pushed for more access than she wanted to give.


    It is not necessary to point out what a load this passage is.

    If you think these little excerpts are bad, better brace yourself for the treats the full article has in store for you.

    It won't be any surprise why you suddenly feel the need for decontamination, followed by a long, long shower.

    And if this is a preview of the 2016 campaign...well, "yeesh" isn't strong enough, but maybe it says enough about how awful it's going to be.

    I really hate politico (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:20:09 PM EST
    IMO it's FOX news for people who finished high school

    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Anne on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:27:48 PM EST
    Explains why Pierce's almost-daily post titled "Things in Politico That Make Me Want to Guzzle Anti-Freeze" is "Part, the Infinity."

    Kills me that it's viewed as a "progressive" site.

    I kind of hope they choke on the saliva pouring out in anticipation of another couple years of "Get Hillary."

    Meanwhile, I get the feeling the GOP crazy train will be all decked out in red, white & blue and made to look credible.

    Just kill me now.


    Holy hell (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:29:57 PM EST
    I just clicked on that politico link.  What a pic of Hillary.  Really you don't need to read the tripe just look at the picture.  Which was the point no doubt.

    I know, sorry. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Anne on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:40:57 PM EST
    Politico's really good at misogyny - and they're just getting warmed up.

    Does anyone think that Joe Biden (hair plugs and Ross Geller-level, glow-in-the-dark white teeth), or John Kerry (he of the obvious, and not very good, plastic surgery), would get the same treatment - the unflattering photos, the references to the doddering, elderly parent, cracks about their figures?

    Yeah, me neither.


    If Kerry (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:53:01 PM EST
    Gets one more Botox injection he won't even be able to speak.

    Would it be unkind of me to say, (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:55:21 PM EST
    "load up the syringe?"

    Yeah, probably.

    Guess I'll just go ahead and slap myself on the wrist.


    It is a revelation that Politico (none / 0) (#24)
    by christinep on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:00:48 PM EST
    is "viewed as a 'progressive' site."  In my area, Democrats have come to view it as a bit right-of-center site that presents itself as moderate.  Anecdotal (as all our reactions are) ... but, fairly wide-spread view among my associates.

    The knives have indeed been out for sometime.  Personally, I kind of believe that the now-famous Barbara Bush interview comment about not wanting to see son Jeb run while also noting that citizens may not want to see more dynasty wasn't just a flip comment about Jeb & the Bush family.  It is a colonnade across the bow toward Hillary (especially given son Jeb's uphill chances in the Republican base of today.)  

    As reported in TPM yesterday, Glenn Beck made an absurdly insulting remark about Hillary Clinton couched to look like an offhand fear that if she became President amidst all the social change and general acceptance of it, he wouldn't be surprised to see Hillary on a desk in the WH entangled with a lesbian.  Oh ... the derogatory and insulting and sexist comments directed toward the former Secretary of State, Senator, & First Lady are hitting new lows ... and, undoubtedly, this crap is only the first phase.  

    Most important, tho:  Politico and its enablers are really going nowhere.  Hillary knows what is in store ... she has nerves and firmament of steel ... and, the more of the garbage they throw, the more it will boomerang.  Go Hillary!


    The main (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:14:17 PM EST
    advantage she has is they have been slinging this garbage for literally decades. People know her. They know what she stands for. They either like her or they don't and not much the press can say is going to change anybody's opinion and I think that is what worries them more than anything.

    To me the whole article comes across as we are telling you peons out there what you should be doing and who you should be voting for.


    Perhaps it would be more accurate of (none / 0) (#33)
    by Anne on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:55:54 PM EST
    me to have described Politico as being viewed as left of center by conservatives - as opposed to being viewed by actual progressives as progressive/moderate.

    Sorry - I try to avoid Politico as much as I can, getting small helpings via Charlie, who slices and dices them and highlights the abysmal quality of their offerings.

    Foe some reason, they seem to be viewed within the Beltway as being purveyors of conventional wisdom - which doesn't say much for that crowd, does it?


    They do get way with posing as progressive (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:06:10 PM EST
    A lot of the time.  The two who wrote that piece are regular features on MSNBC.  I really dislike Haberman but I had a bit higher opinion of Glen Thrush.  Which is now in review.
    But the whole staff is practically regulars on the nations liberal news network.  So, yeah, I think lots of people see them as on the progressive side.  One who doesn't is Rachel. She rips them regularly.  But she still has people like Thrush on a lot.

    Politico is the go-to source ... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:00:44 PM EST
    ... for vicious gossip and unattributed rumormongering amongst the Beltway's self-anointed hoi-polloi. If I might include a cinematic metaphor, I'd offer that it's more Heathers than All the President's Men.

    I certainly (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:11:34 PM EST
    knew this was coming. It happened in 2008 and I fully expected it to happen again.

    I guess they're going to ignore the crazy train over at GOP central again too.


    I like looking (none / 0) (#46)
    by MKS on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:43:46 PM EST
    at the Quinnipiac polls today out of Florida....

    They will re run the same ole anti-Hillary stuff.  But it won't matter.



    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 342 (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Dadler on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:15:07 PM EST
    She sleeps with both eyes open. (link)

    v. 341
    v. 340

    Have a great night, my friends.

    Ha (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:25:24 PM EST
    Points for 341

    Good news (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:36:02 AM EST
    CNN (TV) reporting Unemployment Rate drops to 6.3% in April - lowest since October 2008.  288,000 jobs created.  Very strong month.

    That is good news (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:03:25 AM EST
    Yes, very good news (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:50:16 AM EST
    And, the internals/the subcategories of the unemployment data are reported by the several news sources to show positive movement as well.

    This is one area of concern (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:57:34 AM EST
    But the good news was tempered by a drop of 806,000 in the number of Americans in the labor force, pushing the labor participation rate down sharply. And despite the fall in joblessness, average hourly earnings did not rise at all.



    Agree. (none / 0) (#101)
    by christinep on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:13:50 AM EST
    The cause & effect of that aspect in future years is something lurking as a factor also ... i.e., what effect will the growing retirement numbers from my "baby boomer" cohort have on the labor profile?  Or the move to part-time as people age?  I've heard lots of speculation and read speculative articles as well; but, the stew of the new mix in coming decades--undoubtedly--will present a challenge in managing the economy.

    It's not just the coming decades (none / 0) (#103)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:16:32 AM EST
    It's now.

    Yes, the economy added 288,000 jobs, but many of those jobs are low paying, so we need to figure out how to get better paying jobs back, and soon.


    Not to be a pessemist (none / 0) (#139)
    by Slado on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:08:59 PM EST
    But one big nugget in the report...

    The drop in the unemployment rate from March's 6.7 percent came as the agency's survey of households showed the labor force shrank by more the 800,000 in April. The so-called participation rate, which indicates the share of working-age people in the labor force, decreased to 62.8 percent, matching the lowest level since 1978, from 63.2 percent a month earlier.

    In addition we learned earlier in the week that GDP grew 0.1% in the 1st qtr.

    To me these discouraging economic signs.   Yes the unemployment rate dropped but if more people are not working then last month what good does it do?

    3 times more people left the workforce joined it.  

    That's a net loss for the economy and we have fewer people working then last month.

    An economy can not "recover" with fewer people working each and every month.

    Just saying.


    Nor can an economy recover (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:22:28 PM EST
    when Conservatives have adopted the strategy of:
     "what's good for America is bad for us."

    Nor can an economy recover when Conservatives have, successfully, engineered the greatest transfer of wealth from the Middle Class to the 1% in American history.

    Nor can an economy recover when the Conservatives work day and night for the express purpose of destroying the middle class (2/3 of the "economy")
    (Minimum wage, food stamps, health care)

    The fact that the 1% have never been better off, and, that Corporate profits have reached record levels, while the middle class struggles just to survive, is proof positive that doing the bidding of their 1% Masters has  been very successful for the Conservatives.

    The economy would recover overnight if Conservatives would only adopt a policy of fairness, morality, and, just plain decency.

    Amazing how simple Economics would become if our Representatives, simply, represented ALL of us.


    Yes, it's a drag on the economy. (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:27:24 PM EST
    But a fair-sized portion of 800,000 who've left the workforce are members of our own now-aging "baby boom" generation. The first boomers -- generally considered to be those persons born in this country between 1946 and 1964 -- are now in their mid- to late 60s, and they're starting to retire in sizable numbers.

    After 1964 our birth rate plummeted somewhat sharply, which means that in general, the U.S. population is now older than at any time in our history, with a median age of 40-plus years old in many states. We're living longer than ever, and the older we get, the more expensive we generally are to maintain. In 1950, there were 16.5 contributors for every beneficiary receiving a check from the Social Security trust fund. Sixty years later in 2010, that ratio had fallen to 2.9:1.

    This is but one significant factor for which we'll eventually have to account, if we want our economy to continue to grow. And here's another thing we've got to consider, for which the data contains some rather eye-popping if not hideous statistics, and about which some people in positions of influence and power would prefer that the general population not know. (And yes, I'm talking about the distribution of wealth, so if you prefer the comfort of your right-wing hobgoblins to actual economic facts and figures, you best stop reading now.)

    If one looks at financial wealth distribution in this country for the year 2010, the wealthiest 10% of the U.S. population either owns outright or controls 77% of the country's net worth and 88% of its investment assets, yet accounts for only 53% in local, state and federal tax revenues. Inversely, the remaining 90% of us only account for 23% of the country's net worth and 12% of its investment assets, yet we pay almost half of all tax revenues collected various levels of government. What's wrong with this picture?

    To put this in even further and somewhat more horrifying context, back in 1976 the wealthiest 1% of Americans held a 19.9% share of the nation's overall wealth. By 1994, that share had nearly doubled to 38.9%, before settling back to its current 35.4%.

    (SOURCES: (1) Domhoff, G. William, Ph.D., "Wealth, Income and Power", Dept. of Sociology, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2010; and
    (2) Johnston, David Kay, "United in Our Delusion," Syracuse University, October 2010.)

    In short, the wealthiest segments of our society have clearly benefited disproportionately from the overall growth of the U.S. economy during the past 35 years, often at the overall expense of the now-struggling American middle and labor classes, while the country's working poor are generally much more worse off than they were in 1980.

    And I need not point out to most TLers here that nearly one in four American children under the age of 18 are now growing up in households which fall below the federal poverty line. I'd also be curious to note just how many of us have adult children still living at home due to economic circumstance -- I'll raise my hand on that one -- or how many of us have had to move back in or combine households with our parents or in-laws for mutual economic benefit.

    For the long term interest and overall socio-economic health of our country, these are numbers which dearly need to be changed in both their amounts and direction.



    In memoriam: Al Feldstein (1925-2014). (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:07:23 PM EST
    The longtime editor of MAD magazine, who turned that monthly publication into a mid-20th century cultural icon and further inspired the creation of such biting socio-political satire as The Onion, died Last Tuesday at his Montana ranch at the age of 88.

    Mahalo for the laughs and elevation of social consciousness, and Aloha.

    This is pretty terrifying (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:47:19 PM EST
    `Devastating' implications of drug-resistant superbugs now a reality - WHO

    Deadly antibiotic-resistant superbugs are a `serious threat' to world health and no longer merely a prediction for the future, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Previously treatable illnesses can now once again kill.
    "The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill," said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security.

    The new resistance has the capacity to strike anyone, of any age, on a global scale according to the WHO report, entitled `Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance', released on Wednesday. It's the organization's first ever global report on antibiotic resistance.

    "The implications will be devastating," stated Fukuda.

    Data spanning 114 different countries was utilized in the study and superbug resistance was found in all regions of the world. The infections were even resistant to a class of antibiotic which fall into a category known as carbapenems - a broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic considered one of the last resorts in the treatment of infectious bacterial diseases.

    The WHO (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Zorba on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:13:37 PM EST
    is a bit late to the table.
    Mr. Zorba and his molecular biology colleagues have been worried about this for years.

    One of the things they talk about (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:22:41 PM EST
    Is Staph as being the one most commonly already in the US.  My nephew who was living in my house had this for almost a year.  It simply would not go away.  It was very bad.  They actually talked, not to him, about the possibility if taking the foot.

    My (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:27:02 PM EST
    mother's neighbor got one of those infections from a C Section. It was horrible. She was having to go on the IV drip three times a week. I think it took literally months for her to get rid of it.

    Also it said that it had (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:25:22 PM EST
    Been discussed and spoken of as a future threat for years but now it's here. Everywhere it seems.  So yeah.  Probably a day late and a dollar short.

    The Who! (none / 0) (#186)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:28:10 PM EST
    Better late than never. Happy Friday!

    Why you should start using your middle initial (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:50:59 PM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Zorba on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:15:11 PM EST
    Perhaps henceforth I should be known as Zorba D. Greek.

    That's actually appropriate (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:16:41 PM EST
    AND funny!

    My namesake: (none / 0) (#158)
    by Zorba on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:56:05 PM EST
    Zorba the Greek.
    And yes, I can do the dance.  Or at least, I used to be able to do it, when I was younger and my knees and back were okay.

    Who knew... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu May 01, 2014 at 03:59:57 PM EST
    protecting yourself from std's and unwanted pregnancy was suspect?  Possession of 2 or more condoms is evidence of prostution of NY.  I'm a suspected gigolo everybody! ;)

    Good news is even prosecutors agree this is some bullsh*t and the legislature is working on fixing it...the NYPD seems to like the status quo though.  

    That reminds me (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by jbindc on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:04:09 PM EST
    When I was in grad school, I took a job at the local supermarket. I worked in what they called the "drug wall" - which actuall consisted of two aisled of pain and cold medication, diapers and baby stuff, toothpaste, diet products, vitamins, etc.  It was located next to the pharmacy, as you'd expect, but oddly enough, the feminine hygiene and condoms were halfway across the store.

    Sometimes I'd come in on Sunday morning and find open boxes of condoms stuck in a back shelf in the corner, with only one or two condoms taken (usually by freshman and sophomore boys who were too embarrassed to buy them).  I always laughed and thought, "C'mon boys.  If you're gonna steal them, show more ambition than just taking 1 or 2. Doesn't say much for your prowess or hopes!"


    My favorite line so far (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:07:45 PM EST
    From Walking Dead--

    "You see 11 condoms, I see 11 minutes of my life I will never get back."


    Quick Draw McGraw (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:13:44 PM EST
    US Customs Stop Woman For Condoms (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by squeaky on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:08:00 PM EST
    This is a harrowing story, hard to believe (not really)..

    What do you do when you're detained by powerful officials, everything you say is presumed deceptive, arbitrary "evidence" is held against you, and you're treated like a moral deviant? And what if its 2013, you're a woman, and the "evidence" is that you possess condoms?

    It happened three times in two weeks -- being detained by U.S. border officials on my way to or through the States.

    Oh for (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Zorba on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:37:42 PM EST
    f*ck's sake.
    This is unbelievable.  Who would have thought that the Puritan Ethic was still so alive and well in the 21st Century???
    Years ago, I sent both my kids, the male and the female, off to college with a package of condoms.  And, yes, we had been talking for years about sex and protecting yourself against unanticipated pregnancies and STD's.
    Of course, both were a bit embarrassed by my "gift," but you  can never be too safe.      ;-)

    Good parenting! (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:45:02 AM EST
    I got my first box from Santa, in my stocking at 15.  Awkward! But necessary;)

    My pops was like...I hope ya wait till your older, but when it's time, not without a rubber son.

    I know I've said it before, but I really hit the birth lottery with my parents. As did your brood Z.


    For some reason (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:15:28 PM EST
    I was expecting the southern border

    My god... (none / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:36:06 AM EST
    this particular rabbit hole runs deep. Customs and the NYPD, arseholes in arms.

    The sh#t women are subjected to sometimes, in 2014, boggles the mind. The customs experience is a national embarrassment on a good day, never mind that crap.

    I'd say she should sue, but then she'd just have to suffer the company of authorities further...Ya can't win.


    Stupidest thing (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:26:19 PM EST
    I ever heard of.
    And I guess my son had better be careful when he visits NYC, or he, too, will be suspected of being a gigolo or a male sex worker.   ;-)
    This is a way to target women and men who are in the sex trade.  And it's not only stupid, it's dangerous.
    "Oh, no, you have a few condoms and want to protect yourself against STD's?  Horrible!"
    Stupid is as stupid does.  I hope that the legislature does the right thing.  And that the NYPD will sit down and STFU.
    (Of course, I think that prostitution should be legal, regulated, and the sex workers regularly tested for STD's.)

    Quite a few NYPD brethren keeping an eye (none / 0) (#50)
    by vml68 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:52:05 PM EST
    on the demonstrations going on at Union Square this afternoon.

    I briefly wondered if you were in the crowd. Then realized you were most probably at work.


    A little May Day action... (none / 0) (#111)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:44:07 AM EST
    in Union Square eh?  I was there in spirit vml!

    I wouldn't have recognized you even if you (none / 0) (#113)
    by vml68 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:55:10 AM EST
    were there!
    I stayed for a few minutes to check out the various causes. Occupy Wall Street, Immigration Reform, Anti-CIA,....they had all your favorites covered.
    And then, there was one joker with a sign claiming to be an unemployed by choice 30+ year old, living in his mother's basement, whose only ambition in life was to be an a$$ slave to a beautiful woman. Not sure what that job entails but I guess he got the 15 minutes of fame that he was looking for!

    If only we could get the 1%... (none / 0) (#114)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:02:58 AM EST
    to have such simple ambitions like the a$$man, what a wonderful world that would be! ;)

    I'm not sure that isn't their ambition (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by jondee on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:33:11 AM EST
    they just think they need all that $ to get laid. And they're probably right.

    2????? (none / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:43:36 PM EST
    Bragging again....



    Hardly :(... (none / 0) (#118)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:18:59 AM EST
    I should check the expiration date Jimbo, prophylactics as dust collectors.

    But when the love light is shining, hell yeah 2 minimum! ;)


    lol (none / 0) (#148)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    Dr Annette Bosworth (R- Batsh!t) (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:42:46 PM EST
    "The food stamp program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture," the graphic reads. "They proudly report that they distribute free meals and food stamps to over 46 million people on an annual basis."

    "Meanwhile, the National Park Service, run by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us `please do not feed the animals.' Their stated reason for this policy being that ... the animals will grow dependent on the handouts, and then they will never learn to take care of themselves," the post continues. "This concludes today's lesson. Any questions?"

    These people (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:10:11 PM EST
    are downright cruel. I don't know that I've ever seen anything like it and this person is a doctor apparently.

    Thankfully (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jbindc on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:16:01 PM EST
    She is so far behind in the primary that she really doesn't stand a chance of winning.

    Then she can go back to being the caring, private citizen she was before.


    To bad for us (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:18:23 PM EST
    More on her (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:20:49 PM EST
    that's good news but I have to wonder if the others aren't just as bad as she is.

    Cougar sightings in Portland (none / 0) (#30)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:19:21 PM EST
    just blocks from where I live. Portland has many urban green spaces and is riddled with creeks that wind through neighborhoods. It is saturated with coyotes. I see them occasionally - there is a couple who's territory includes my neighborhood and my sister's cat was eaten by one. It came back for the second cat and my teenaged nephew strapped on the 10" combat knife I had given him for xmas and went out to confront it. Actually he just ventured out the front door and it ran away.

    Now there are cougar sightings right next to the large park I like to walk in. I hope it's not hungry.

    Maybe they're just... (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by desertswine on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:19:17 PM EST
    very large rats.

    They have been showing up around here too (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:33:59 PM EST
    I love listening to the coyotes and last summer I was out in the yard with the dogs at night and they were singing.  The dogs pretty much pay them no mind any more because we hear them so much. Then we heard this and all three dogs looked at like WHAT THE ... and we went inside.
    They have gotten a couple of dogs.  Makes me glad I have a good fence.  Can't imagine one would come in the yard.

    Be careful with your dogs anyway (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:15:22 PM EST
    Coyotes have been known to entice dogs by mimicking play bows and other invitations to play.

    Good fence (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:33:59 PM EST
    My dogs are big enough that I don't think they have much to worry about from Coyotes.  Packs I know.  But I also have sort of a pack.
    There are worries tho. Grey wolves are showing up a lot around here.  Along with black bears.  Lots of bears sightings , see YouTube. And most incredibly spotted hyenas.  I know that sounds crazy but it is the rural legend do that won't go away.  More and more people, usually hunters but also cops and people who do not seem to be meth heads have been reporting this.  It was in the news a lot last year.

    Not sure which I would rather see, a spotted hyena or an alien.


    Spotted hyena in Arkansas? (none / 0) (#44)
    by vml68 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:40:52 PM EST
    Somebody is smoking something!

    Yeah (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:48:56 PM EST
    That's been a popular reaction for a couple of years now.  But my nephew who work for fish and game says that is no longer the official position.

    Remember, they can take down a deer. (none / 0) (#54)
    by nycstray on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:16:52 PM EST
    There's already been one killed by my Mom's house this year.

    Any updates on the puppy? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by vml68 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:47:21 PM EST
    Have the owners claimed her? If not, have you decided to keep her?
    Or,should I get ready to buy her a one way ticket to NJ/Fl?

    No owners so far (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by nycstray on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:01:52 PM EST
    so you can buy a one way ticket :)

    She's a great dog, especially for her age. She's a 'take anywhere' pup and she goes along (happily) to get along personality wise. She's easily amused :)


    I have never understood when dogs like (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by vml68 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:25:20 PM EST
    her (ones that are obviously well taken care off) don't get claimed by their owners.

    I seriously would love to take her and I definitely would if we were going to continue living here in NJ.
    As it is, I am having a really hard time finding a decent rental apt/home in FL that will allow the two I currently have because of size restrictions. What I find even more incredible is that even when you own a home there, the HOAs have all kinds of restrictions on pets. It is so different from the NYC/NJ area.


    I had a hard time when I moved (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by nycstray on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:40:29 PM EST
    For some reason, the few places that were pet friendly, seemed to think a pet should fit in a pocketbook :P HOAs are crazy. Some don't allow clotheslines (yup, no saving energy and hanging your sheets out on a lovely day, IN YOUR BACKYARD!), some control what you use in the way of blinds curtains INSIDE your home (WTF?!?!) As I get older and crankier about things like pet policies and HOAs, I find myself yearning for the freedom of rural living and more big dogs with zero restrictions on the number of animals I have, not to mention I'd never be down with someone telling me what I can do on my property!

    When we were looking at homes to buy in NJ, (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by vml68 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:28:12 PM EST
    we did not run into any of these issues.
    So, I was quite shocked at all the rules and regulations that come with an HOA in FL.
    My first reaction was also, "you cannot tell me what to do on my property". I was quickly disabused of that notion!

    I had this vision of having a beautiful backyard garden, planting vegetables, fruit trees, etc. Apparently, that is a no-go in some of the communities I have looked at because fruits and vegetables attract fruit rats and other wild life.

    One of the reasons I am looking at rentals is because I am having trouble finding a home that meets all my criteria. We can't live too far from downtown because the traffic sucks and my husband does not want to be stuck in the car for an hour each way.

    Another thing I have found (which I absolutely hate)is that most communities have these enormous houses on tiny lots. As one person told me, "I can reach out my bathroom window and get the toilet paper from my neighbor's bathroom"!

    I will quit my ranting now or I won't be able to stop! I try to tell myself these are all first world problems but sometimes it does not work :-)


    I'll admit, the rent Goddess was smiling (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by nycstray on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:39:35 PM EST
    on me yet again. My LL had 3 cats and a 50lb dog in the house I'm now living in. And yes, she wanted someone who was cool with gardening since she had veggie patch space out back. Plus, the house was built in 1875 and she wanted someone who appreciated that. So for me looking for a place to live with multiple cats, a 50lb dog, lover of homes 100+yo and wanting to grow food, PERFECT match :) I always count my LL blessings :)

    I can almost touch my neighbors, but this is because of the historic build of the 'hood, not because we have over-sized houses on small lots. I seriously would not look forward to looking for housing again in certain areas. I hope you can find something you are comfortable with soon, and where they don't think a dog should fit in a pocketbook! Have you looked at private owners vs through a reality company? Every cool LL I have had, has been a private owner. Which would pretty much be every LL I have ever had ;)


    Your place sounds lovely! (none / 0) (#76)
    by vml68 on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:19:50 PM EST
    Some of the houses we were looking at in NJ were a 100+years old. Such beautiful craftsmanship.

    I have  looked at private owners but no luck as yet.  Running into the same issue, if they accept a dog, it has to be one of those itty bitty breeds. The other thing I have found unusual is that they also have breed restrictions.  My spaniel gets a pass but I have to get a note from my vet stating that my Labrador is in fact a Labrador and not a Pit bull, Staffie, etc., or a mix of any of those breeds.

    I have found a few condo complexes where my boys should be ok. So, our back up plan is to buy a condo to move into first and then rent it out once we find a house.


    We took a tour of a retirement community (none / 0) (#78)
    by oculus on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:43:23 PM EST
    today. Dogs must be approved by a committee if the dog is ver a specified weight.

    Have you offered to buy sep insurance for (none / 0) (#81)
    by nycstray on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:57:36 PM EST
    the dogs? Many companies that the LL may have, have breed restrictions. Even though your Lab is a Lab, it may help that you are willing to come with your own insurance because 'you have dogs'.
    It really shouldn't be this hard :( But State Farm (IIRC) will cover your dogs under renter's insurance. And it doesn't cost much.

    Also, where you are moving may have pit restrictions. I'm pretty sure some parts of FLA do. Which totally effin' sucks because anyone with a mix, says it's a Lab mix. People used to think Dot was a pit because of her patched face.

    Another thing you can do is put up a website with your dogs and you through the years and your bio's, so they can 'meet' them and see you aren't  whatever the f@ck they think dog owners are :) I had a flickr page with my pets so people could see them.


    I already worry that I share too much (none / 0) (#115)
    by vml68 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:04:55 AM EST
    info here on TL.

    I am Kdog's twin when it comes to social media. Don't want to and wouldn't know how to.
    Will think about putting their pics up on Flickr.


    I'm the same way :) (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by nycstray on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:32:19 PM EST
    But to find a pet friendly home, I went the flickr route. Now, I would prob put up a FB page (when I moved, I was in the dark ages, 4 years ago! lol!~) It helps to have a pet resume/history and some photos of you with your dogs. Also, if you own, pics of your yard/home with the dogs, so they can see you don't have destructo dogs. If you rent, a LL letter about what great tenants your dogs are. I had references from my shared wall neighbors about how quiet my dog was. Wasn't needed in the end, but the fact I could say I had one helped.

    You also can check with the Humane Society where you are moving and see if they have pet friendly listings or can point you towards where to look. Some areas are more pet friendly than others. With conviction (which I know you have), you will find the place that works for you and your dogs :)I ended up on crazy animal lover street, the same can happen for you ;)


    Our Chiweenie (none / 0) (#77)
    by MKS on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:30:43 PM EST
    got her backside bit by a big black lab today.  She has been taunting the lab, and had nipped his nose.

    The Chiweenie is now Ms. Drama Queen and moping around and yelping when anyone touches here near the little bite mark.  Big deal when we put on anti biotic.

    RE: Coyotes--they have taken little dogs right of the leashes of little old ladies, much to their horror.


    My neighbor has a 5lb ball of fluff that (none / 0) (#110)
    by vml68 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:41:16 AM EST
    has a Napoleon complex. She constantly taunts my dogs and the only reason she is still alive to do so, is because I keep my dogs on a very tight leash when she is around.

    Had to google images for Chiweenie. Very cute!


    Long, sleek (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:53:36 AM EST
    black body.  Head like a Chihuahua.  Chihuahua ears that stand up, but long like a Dachshund.  Looks like the sleek dogs from Ancient Egypt.

    They'll come in the yard (none / 0) (#149)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:08:13 PM EST
    or in the garage... when hungry they'll go almost anywhere.

    Get yourself a couple of donkeys. They'll keep
    'em away.


    From a local tv station last year (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 05:53:55 PM EST
    (KATV) Many have claimed to have mountain lion encounters over the years and much to their dismay were told it was probably another cat or something else. But now the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says mountain lions are in Arkansas. But the biggest controversy with is no longer if mountain lions are here, but if they are reproducing.

    David Goad, who represents the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, says they know mountain lions are in Arkansas

    "We've had another confirmed sighting or two around the last couple of months, so we believe they're here," Goad said.

    The issue with the Arkansas Game and Fish is not whether mountain lions are in Arkansas, but if they are actually breeding.

    "There's just no evidence of it. We don't get pictures of cubs. We do have people say they've seen cubs," Goad said.


    Why wouldn't there be some ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:26:30 PM EST
    ... mountain lions in Arkansas? They have been a protected species for some time now, and they are increasing their numbers and claiming new territories in the process. They've been recently spotted and tracked in Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

    Good question (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:17:39 AM EST
    But the "authorities" kept rolling their eyes at people until video started showing up.  Same with black bears.  Maybe that's why they are taking a more wait and see approach with the new mystery species that lots of people have said were hyenas.  
    Personally I would be VERY surprised to see one of those in my back field but folks around here may pretty dumb about lots of things but one thing they do usually know pretty well is the local wildlife.   And they say this is something new.  My fish and game nephew says maybe it's some weird hybrid but they also know crazy people release or lose exotic animals all the time an it only takes two to make more.  And they have said they could live in the climate.  But now with everyone having a movie camera in their pocket, if they are here we will see or hear one soon enough.  

    As an example of the BS people have sort thru (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:45:56 AM EST
    This is from a wildlife web site --

    I have received numerous responses from readers across the state with accounts of seeing what they believed was a grey wolf.
    Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told me that what people were seeing is likely wolf-dog and wolf-coyote cross animals, possibly containing some bloodline from the, now extinct in Arkansas, red wolves which once were abundant in the region.

    This is from the US Fish and Wildlife site --

    The FWS is currently monitoring the following populations of the Gray wolf
    Population location: U.S.A.: All of AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MO, MS, NC, NE etc etc ...

    Both posts are from this year.  Links not provided but available.


    Maybe the difference (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:54:28 AM EST
    Is between a grey wolf and a gray wolf?

    ZtoA, are these sightings in Forest Park or (none / 0) (#38)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:17:14 PM EST
    Washington Park? I am not surprised if cougars appear in parts of Forest park, but Washington is another matter entirely.

    Be careful out there.


    That's the strangest thing Casey (none / 0) (#47)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:44:45 PM EST
    It was at Pendleton Park which is a relatively small park attached to a grade school. Its very near Gabriel Park which is around 90 acres and has forested areas, a community center, playing fields, off leash areas and a beautiful group of community gardens. I've seen coyotes there.

    They kept the kids in at recess. Its not far from Alpenrose Dairy and Gabriel Park, but really, it is a green urban area. Forest and Washington Parks are huge and certainly house many wild critters. This park is right by a grade school! link


    Whoa! Pendleton Park? (none / 0) (#88)
    by caseyOR on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:23:17 AM EST
    That is not good. I would not even expect to find those animals in Gabriel Park, especially around the community center, dog park, etc.

    Next thing you know those critters will show up in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

    Any theories on why these animals are venturing out of their usual habitats?

    Oh, and be careful out there.


    Coyotes enjoy an innate capacity ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:18:01 AM EST
    ... as a species to adapt easily to their surrounding environment. They are apparent equally at home in rustic natural settings such as forests, mountains and prairies, and highly urbanized areas such as Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago. Further, they are opportunistic and prolific animals, and when the population is under stress numbers-wise, females will enter into estrus at more rapid rates than they otherwise would be seen in normal times.

    Thus, despite longstanding efforts to eradicate them as pests and vermin, coyotes have actually been able to expand their range in North America. They were not known to be on the east coast at all in the 18th and 19th centuries, nor were they a common species east of the Mississippi. Mother Nature abhorring a vacuum as she does, the eradication of apex predators such as puma and wolves -- which both saw coyotes as competition for food and would also prey on them -- gave the species an opportunity to spread from its original range in the western United States into the rest of the country.



    Haven't heard any reasons yet (none / 0) (#127)
    by ZtoA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:13:39 AM EST
    I'm about to go for a walk in the wilds of Gabriel Park. I did see a coyote once there in the ruff by the beautiful community gardens. I am considering wearing my new polka dot lounge pants with non matching polka dot socks. That should scare them. But actually I probably can't make myself do that.

    NYC kid can't relate... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:55:51 AM EST
    Menacing stray dogs, rats, and late night raccoons are about it...I'd sh#t myself if I strolled upon a big cat.

    But at least your brave nephew can tell all his friends he's gotta fight off the cougars with a knife. ;)

    And what a cool Aunt...great gift!


    But if you head outside NYC proper ... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:23:49 AM EST
    ... and into the metropolitan areas outer suburbs, you should not be surprised to see coyotes.

    Cook County, IL recently undertook an intensive survey of its own growing coyote population. 50 years ago, there weren't any. Now, they're found everywhere, including downtown Chicago.

    Coyotes are fascinating animals, and their capacity to endure as a species by developing a uniquely perverse yet very symbiotic relationship with man is certainly worth further exploration. You may yet see coyotes in your neck of the woods during your own lifetime.



    Coyotes are already in Kdog's neck of the (none / 0) (#105)
    by vml68 on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:30:57 AM EST
    I always rooted for (none / 0) (#106)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:35:35 AM EST
    Explains your affinity (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:40:03 AM EST
    For republicans



    I also root for Sylvester (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:54:59 AM EST
    I hate Tweety.

    Maybe you could say I'm a Super Dem since, knowing the coyote and Sylvester will never win, I champion the underdogs.  :)


    There you go. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:38:34 AM EST

    Kdog , (none / 0) (#126)
    by ZtoA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:10:35 AM EST
    my nephew is also 6'6" and has a long sword I gave him. And now he is a black belt. He'll graduate from high school this year and I'm pondering what to give him.

    He and I are very close - not just that we live a block apart. He visits often. Sometimes he brings friends or we just sit around an play phone app games with each other. Once, somehow oh-so-casually, he found out my facebook password and changed the language setting to "Pirate". I didn't do facebook much then but kept getting notices like "Ahoy! Ye have someone who wants to be your scurvy dog! Yo ho ho!" I was thinking WYF??


    That I can relate too... (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:26:46 AM EST
    being an uncle/aunt is the best job in the world...all the joy of children/young adults, none of the responsibility!  Right up my alley;)

    My brother's daughter & son are young adults, 22 & 21, now we get to party together.  My nephew and his girlfriend are supposed to join me and the concert crew this year for our first Mountain Jam...I'm so stoked for that.

    Now about that gift...long sword & knife covered...how about a battle axe? He'll be all set for a cougar invasion, or the zombie apocalypse...whatever comes first.


    Haha! (none / 0) (#136)
    by ZtoA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:57:25 AM EST
    He'll be traveling next year. Last time he flew on a plane they found the 10" knife at the bottom of his backpack. He had forgotten it was there. Nothing like getting him in trouble. However whatever I do he always gets out of it with a smile. TSA allowed him to mail his knife home and that was all.

    Dude, you are ... (none / 0) (#180)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:57:13 PM EST
    ... the Uncle Buck of TalkLeft. ;-D

    Helly Nahmad Convicted (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:18:48 PM EST
    Looks like the judge did not go for Nahmad's offer spend $100K to mentor poor kids in a Bronx homeless shelter. He offered to spend $100K by taking them on weekly visits to the Metropolitan museum.

    "I think I could really teach young people in a good way and hopefully introduce them to a world they might otherwise never visit."

    He was a first time offender, yet got a stiff sentence. Again, contrary to poplar belief, the rich and famous often get harsher sentences than other's.

    Art dealer Hillel "Helly" Nahmad was sentenced today to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty last November to a federal gambling charge. He was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and to turn over $6.4 million and his interest in a Raoul Dufy painting that was the subject of an allegedly fraudulent transaction.

    Nahmad must submit to drug testing after his release and must perform 300 hours of community service. He is also required to participate in a gambling addiction program.

    A year and a day in custody (less time served) (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:30:16 PM EST
    is a generous gift to him.

    Interesting case (none / 0) (#129)
    by ZtoA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:20:54 AM EST
    I never agree with rulings against gambling.

    A dealer charging a collector more than the established price is rather common. In that price range it is the buyer's fault. But he seems to have burnt a lot of bridges in his art dealings and personal style and it looks like his lawyer was the only one pleading for community service that includes a lot of money. (since I am mildly dyslexic I read his name as Barfman) Do you know the gallery or family or their reputation?


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by squeaky on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:42:03 AM EST
    Famous art collecting and dealing family in the secondary market.
    Helly is the son of

    Historically they would buy artists when they were out of favor, hold and sell when they became popular.. the family is worth billions.

    They are out of my circle as they do not really deal in contemporary...  and when they do, as in all their dealings, their  trade is in the secondary market.

    The roots of the Nahmad family are in Aleppo, Syria, where Sephardic Jewish[3] banker Hillel Nahmad lived until just after the second world war. Following anti-Jewish violence in 1947, Hillel Nahmad moved to Beirut, Lebanon and when the situation there became difficult, Hillel took his three sons, Joseph (Giuseppe), Ezra and David, to Milan in the early 1960s.

    As teenagers in the 1960s, they began to deal in art. Ezra and David skip school to trade on the Italian stock market. At a Juan Gris exhibition in Rome organised by cubist dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Ezra and David bought two works - the only pieces sold. Kahnweiler befriended them, selling them works by Picasso, Braque, Gris.[4] With the emergence of the Red Brigades terror group in the 1970s, Milan was perceived as too dangerous, and the family moved again. Joseph and Ezra headed for Monaco, and David to New York.

    Helly Nahmad Gallery, on Madison Avenue, is a company run by David's son Hillel "Helly" Nahmad, who took over his father's earlier Davlyn Gallery in 2000.

    Jeffrey Deitch, a former dealer and current director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, once described the Nahmads as "like a major brokerage firm in the stock market", adding: "The market needs a force like this to function."[3]

    David Nahmad is also the 1996 Backgammon World Champion,[5] and is known for betting incredibly large amounts of money on the game.



    I confess (none / 0) (#41)
    by lentinel on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:22:12 PM EST
    to have been watching a real piece of unrepentant dreck called, "Scandal".

    The propaganda dripping from this tirade in episodic dress is positively alarming.

    We are to accept torture.

    We are also made to feel that it ain't all that bad.
    The recoveries made by the victims once they are freed are total and they are back in action the next day.

    The portraits of the torturers and murderers are both that they are evil, and then we are made to feel that they're good and emotional people just doing their job.

    The president has personally killed someone to prevent her from revealing that he has rigged voting machines to steal his election.

    He is presented as sympatico. The murder has left the plots. It isn't even referenced.

    The vice-president has murdered her husband, and that too has been covered up - and we move on.

    The star of the show, Kerry Washington, has zero morals - she is in on every cover up and every murder - yet we are made to feel that she is on the right side of things and a good person.

    This show seems to me to be the stunning expression of the permanence of the innovations of George W. Bush.

    This is the new normal.

    And we just have to know it and accept it because absolutely everybody is in on it.

    And everything is justified by the mantra that they are torturing people, murdering people, stealing elections because it is all for our own good and the good of the country.

    I really have to wonder about Shonda Rhimes - because I get the sense that this is the way she feels. I don't think that these scripts are parodies. She certainly had enough characters killed or maimed in her other interminable epic, "Gray's Anatomy".

    Maybe the last episode, may the day come soon, will have all of these characters killed off and Shonda will come on and say, "April Fool!".

    I hope so, but I don't think so.

    Sounds even worse, (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:42:01 PM EST
    or at least as bad, pro-torture propaganda-wise, as 24.
    Thanks for the heads up, because I won't be watching it.

    That is (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:22:47 PM EST
    what I was thinking. I have not watched Scandal but honestly could it be any worse than 24?

    I've watched neither. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:33:00 PM EST
    24 looked horribly jingoistic from the very get-go, so I never bothered with it. I gave Scandal a shot, but decided that the show was television drama's equivalent of Cheez Whiz. I've noticed over the years that I tend to not like shows which I feel insult my intelligence.

    Some Fans and some critics (none / 0) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:25:29 AM EST
    Agree that 24 helped shape public opinion about the need and usefulness of torture in the 2000s.  The actor who played the black president has ever opined he helped Obama get elected. Not so sure about the last prat but I probably agree with the first part.

    People need to learn to identify ... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:02:02 AM EST
    ... the fine line between patriotism and jingoism. A history professor once challenged me to define the difference, and I replied that patriotism can allow a people to survive a collectively stressful situation by encouraging unanimity of purpose, while jingoism is the means by which they give themselves permission to expand their range in an opportunistic fashion, by offering a compelling rationale to justify any aggressive moves towards their immediate neighbors and / or others across the globe as both their due as individuals and their destiny as a nation.

    Thus, patriotism is what girded and underscored the British people's will to survive a very difficult ordeal in both of the 20th centuries world wars. Conversely, jingoism is what drove them to build an obscenely huge empire in the first place, one which ultimately spanned fully one quarter of the earth but also proved beyond their physical capacity to sustain after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The collective nationalism and tribalism in man to survive as distinct and independent peoples is indeed strong, while the collection of an empire is but a very expensive proposition.



    True but also (none / 0) (#102)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:15:14 AM EST
    People need to learn the difference between fictional TV shows meant for entertainment and what goes on in the real world.

    But the arts have always used ... (none / 0) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:36:33 AM EST
    ... the real world as both backdrop and canvas. And oftentimes, because man has the capacity to be swayed by emotion, the arts can be easily used as a tool of enticement and seduction for purposes of politics, indoctrination and propaganda.

    You might say that the real world is thus, while I would argue otherwise, that thus have we made the world.



    Eh (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:12:06 AM EST
    I watch TV shows and movies to be entertained, although I never watched 24.

    I don't like lots of gore, but I like car chases and explosions and cool gadgets used in spy stories. I like cop and law shows (even though they are so outrageous sometimes). I like dramadies.  I like a few comedies, (but there really haven't been lots of good ones in years, even though some have been popular). I like some Sci-Fi shows.  I like some period dramas.

    But, like most people, I do like seeing the bad guys get their due in the end in the shows I watch. Which is why people watch them.

    If you want to worry about things on TV that are having a huge negative affect our country, I would suggest you start with cable "news", as I think that industry has done more to bring incivility and a refusal to even rationally discuss issues to the forefront because each side is so entrenched in their positions, they can't even possibly begin to have open minds. Nor are they interested in actually working together to solve problems.  They just want to score cheap points and shout louder than "the other guys".

    Next, I would worry about the dumbing down of our country and the idea that absolutely anything goes that comes from watching many reality shows whose only purpose is to exploit while really mocking (Honey Boo Boo, Teen Moms, Toddlers & Tiaras), show hyped up bad behavior (Real Wives of Anything, The Bachelor, Bridezillas) or are just grasping to show people that have no talent other than being friends with famous people can make them celebrities (Keeping up with the Kardashians).

    But that's JMO.


    We totally agree (none / 0) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:41:09 AM EST
    About reality shows

    Agree ... your last 2 para.s very strong (none / 0) (#161)
    by christinep on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:24:39 PM EST
    Twice in one day, agreement :)  

    The cable "news" situation is sad & bad.  Years ago, I thought that the advent of CNN would generate new interest in analysis.  Was I wrong!  Seeing Christiane Amanpour early on, it seemed that we could be exposed to in-depth segments about various international issues.  That example didn't go very far.  The ratings & $$$$ positioning only meant that the same short-hand (often "jingoistic") superficial stories would be repeated for a minimum 24-hour cycle.  Reportage became spin ... and, spin followed the recognizable direction of the growing cabal channels' political expectations.

    Even recognizing that my growing nostalgia for an Edward R. Murrow incarnation is probably the result of looking at the "old days" through the incomplete memory of a child, it still would be nice to have journalists report the news as news rather than entertainment.  Even recognizing, too, that all reporting necessarily reflects a bit of the human slant of the reporter, it would be nice to see the regeneration of the storied Ernie Pyle.  

     Then, I realize that--as in most endeavors--the incentive/disincentive (aka reward/punishment) structure has a lot to do with what we want for ourselves and, in turn, what we get.  Consider:  In the 90s, one of the desired outcomes--taught in management classes in the private & public spheres--centered on "entrepreneur" and the goal of entrepreneurial success ... the prototype was Donald Trump and others like World Coms Kozlowski (sp?) and Enron's cast of characters. As a society, we may have been redefining "keeping up with the Joneses" reaching for the golden $$$$ goal.  So ... the media hyped that version.  Etc. etc.  Honestly, the circular who-started-it may be unanswerable.  Maybe the almost circular how-to-move-off-it to something better in news reporting and in the TV entertainment programming is less difficult to crack.  Somehow it has to do with who gets rewarded ... and for what.  Right now, for example, the new reward mechanism--imo--appears to favor more & more cynical programming at all levels together with more & more explicit violence.

    Indeed, your comment about news & entertainment opens up thoughts upon thoughts upon thoughts.


    Media outlets, especially cable "news" (none / 0) (#165)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:46:46 PM EST
    are the worst.

    Tomorrow night here in DC, the White House Correspondents Dinner will take place. Traditionally, this was a closed, private awards event for the White House Correspondents' Association, but the President, VP, and other politicians attended - it was the one time when journalists and politicians who live and work side by side, could let their hair down, all out of the eyes of the public - with a couple of big name stars for the evening's entertainment.

    But now it has turned into a whole weekend extravaganza, with many Hollywood A-listers also in attendance.  What they have to do with the press is beyond me. It's almost as big as the Oscars. This year, there is also a big corporate presence - here's who's coming.

    Do we really expect these people to cover these same politicians objectively?  And doesn't this and other events like this just prove that it's all complete BS because the cable news talking heads (I won't call them journalists, because they aren't) can scream and yell their preferred party's talking points, and then actually hob knob with "the enemy" at night. I mean, I'd love to be a the WaPo tables - Rick Santorum and Stephanie Shriock (president of Emily's List) will be sitting there) - can you imagine the conversation?  [Actually, I can, since all the posturing is just BS, I'm sure there will be lots of laughs and genial conversation].

    They don't call it #nerdprom for nothing.


    The self-congratulation thing (none / 0) (#166)
    by christinep on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:03:42 PM EST
    has reached new levels.  "News" shows promote their TV programs as if it were news ... see, e.g. ABC early morning "news" and "Dancing with the Stars" or "news" anchors interviewing other "news" anchors/reporters for prime-time viewing.

     News?  Small wonder that the public gives "news media" this week an "approval" rating in the single digits along with similar attitudes toward Congress and corporations.  (Sorry on this one that I can't recall which well-known national poll ... believe that I saw a reference in the past day while skimming through either PoliticalWire or TPM.)  But then, why do so many of us, including myself from time to time, keep "rewarding" that tacky behavior by watching???  There are trails to walk, books to read, art to appreciate ... perhaps, we all like a bag of potato chips late at night.


    And here's how it all started (none / 0) (#171)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:03:44 PM EST
    Rather, thus have we made it and further, willingly so. I don't doubt any of the points you've raised, but nevertheless each one of those points did not arise in a vacuum.

    In all too many respects, we are responsible for having created our own many initial misrepresentations and subsequent misimpressions about the true nature of the society and world in which we live, in large part by turning both our politics and our civic life into vicarious and curiously detached forms of public entertainment.

    If we truly want to get a grip on reality, we really need to stop falling for our own bull$H!+.



    You mean (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:58:47 PM EST
    We are NOT the ones we have been waiting for?

    Oh, great. Now you tell me! (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by oculus on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:03:39 PM EST
    No, we're not. (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:08:05 PM EST
    Rather, we are the people our parents warned us about.

    You knew that was coming, didn't you? ;-D


    I (none / 0) (#60)
    by lentinel on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:48:11 PM EST
    have not watched 24, but I do think that Scandal sets the bar pretty high, or low...

    People being tortured with a drill grinding out their innards.

    Teeth being pulled out of someone's face with pliers.

    Waterboarding of course.

    Good stuff.

    Anything like that on 24?


    Yes (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:01:33 PM EST
    24 made famous the mythical idea of the terrorist who know "where the bomb is" or some such nonsense and that they can be forced thru torture to reveal it's location.  
    I never liked 24 not because of its politics but because it was stupid and badly written. Just  an opinion of course but I never understood the popilarity.
    If you are interested in a dramatic exploration of this subject this is a much better bet.  Unthinkable. It really goes right to the logical extension of that kind of thinking.  And it will make you squirm.

    One (none / 0) (#116)
    by lentinel on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:09:17 AM EST
    of the many little concepts we are supposed to feel is that the government is justified in shooting down a civilian plane if they have reason to believe a bomb is on board.

    This is a tricky one - I suppose.
    Framed as sacrificing the lives of 300 to save a potential 1000.

    But it stinks as far as I'm concerned. In fact, in the show, it turns out there was no bomb on board. Ooops. Sorry.

    What it left me with is the concept that the government can kill any one of us - and justify it by saying it is for the common good.

    Who are these people sending this crap out to us?


    From what I heard (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:01:43 PM EST
    yeah, it was full of gore. I never watched it though I heard plenty about it. Anyway, there probably is someone here who actually watched it and can tell you more.

    Are you surprised who that is? (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:03:35 PM EST
    You're the one (none / 0) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:19:50 PM EST
    I was thinking of when i wrote that. I almost put paging Cap Howdy. LOL.

    Thanks for (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:41:07 PM EST
    the head's up on 24.



    Pro Torture? (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:49:04 PM EST
    If they could stuff any more liberally-minded ideological topics and conservative stereotypes in a show, this would be it.

    Many conservatives think that the show is all lies meant to smear GOPers.

    If anything the acting is over the top but I found it compelling. Certainly the bad guys are the GOP in this show, and I really do not see how you can possible say that the show condones torture.

    The CIA agent, on Olivia's team, is a seriously damaged individual from his stint of torture in Iraq.

    I enjoyed the show, and particularly liked the fact that the superhero fixer is cast as a Black woman.


    I think the show is fun :P (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by nycstray on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:15:32 PM EST
    Just watching a guy on teevee (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:58:59 PM EST
    Making a serious straight faced argument for bringing back the gulliotine. On hard ball.  Tweety seems intrigued. He keeps asking the anti death penalty lady why things that were once ok are no longer acceptable.


    Those people (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:03:30 PM EST
    wanting the guilotine to come back need to be the first ones who really shouldn't want it to come back. They should remember the Bastile. Our economy is becoming much like it was in France back then with conservatives screaming at people to eat cake.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#70)
    by Slado on Thu May 01, 2014 at 09:54:40 PM EST
    Obama's been running the show for five years and the economy is becoming more "conservative".

    How so?


    Not making (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:06:34 AM EST
    any excuses for Obama's lack of action but you have to realize that Obama also is a full on supply sider. Supply side economics reward wealth not work and people like Paul Ryan want to put the current system on steriods which would accelerate the problem.

    Might have been imprecise (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:27:44 AM EST
    To say the economy has gotten more conservative but it's hard to say there has not been a conservative backlash since 2008.

    MSNBC (none / 0) (#71)
    by Slado on Thu May 01, 2014 at 10:08:26 PM EST
    You can hear pretty dumb stuff on the cable shows but this one was a doozy.

    Animal Farm an anti capitalist book

    I'm no literary major but I remember pretty clearly it was a scathing commentary on the problems of The Soviet Union.  They seemed to agree since it was banned till the end of the Cold War.

    You are correct, but ... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:21:00 AM EST
    ... the beginning of Animal Farm also served as an allegory to the problems besetting pre-revolutionary czarist Russia, represented by farm owner Mr. Jones. George Orwell was actually an outspoken socialist who fought on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War, but through his interaction with the doctrinaire Soviet advisors who were assisting the beleaguered Republican government, he grew to detest Josef Stalin.

    (While Gen. Francisco Franco and the Falangists were openly supported in the conflict by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, both of which sent arms and military units to assist Franco, only the Soviet Union came to the aid of the Spanish Republic Franco swore to destroy.)



    The fire-breathing left wing anarchist (none / 0) (#122)
    by jondee on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:47:08 AM EST
    Emma Goldman also detested and publicly spoke out for years about what she saw first-hand occurring in the S.U.

    This dumbed-down paradigm (which still gets traction) that you were either a jingoist for the U.S, or a left wing jingoist for the S.U, never jibed with the complexities of real life and history.


    ... later helped to create an awful lot of fall guys for the likes of "Tail-Gunner Joe" McCarthy, Richard Nixon and other professional Cold Warriors in the late 1940s, early '50s and beyond. Generally speaking, American society has never really done political nuance very well. But that said, once the blinders are finally ripped away and a majority of people see things collectively for what they truly are, changes in public opinion and their resultant political course corrections can prove both swift and decisive.

    As an aside, given that significant evidence points to Sen. McCarthy having perhaps been a pretty serious closet case, I've always found the campaign-oriented caricature of him as "Tail-Gunner Joe," which was originally meant as a reference to his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps during the Second World War, to be rather amusing -- an ex post post facto double entendre, so to speak.

    In fact, even though McCarthy publicly claimed to have flown in 32 combat missions overseas, he had actually been assigned to a desk job as a radio operator, and flew only in domestic training missions during the war. Nevertheless, that fact proved of little or no deterrent value during the 1946 GOP primary for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, when McCarthy attacked three-term incumbent Robert La Follette, Jr. for not enlisting during the war. (Never mind that at age 47 in December 1941, the senator was already too old for military service at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.)

    Even more despicably, McCarthy further and falsely accused Sen. La Follette of war profiteering, without providing any evidence whatsoever to corroborate such a serious charge. The challenger's campaign of innuendo and smear probably proved fatal to the senator's chances for re-election, and McCarthy won that 1946 Republican contest by less than 5,400 votes out of over 410,000 cast. La Follette, who was very deeply and personally hurt by the false claims, retired from politics and seven years later committed suicide.

    Now, I don't know whether McCarthy was really gay or not, but it's pretty obvious that the guys with whom he liked to hang out sure were. Like I said, Americans collectively have never done nuance particularly well.



    joe and the Marines (none / 0) (#190)
    by the capstan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:09:00 PM EST
    "He served as an intelligence briefing officer for a dive bomber squadron in the Solomon Islands and Bougainville. McCarthy reportedly chose the Marines with the hope that being a veteran of this branch of the military would serve him best in his future political career.[18]

    "He would leave the Marines with the rank of captain. He flew twelve combat missions as a gunner-observer, earning the nickname of "Tail-Gunner Joe" in the course of one of these missions.[19]"

    Some exaggeration in TL about Joe and his desk job..  My brother-in-law, now abiding in an Arlington niche, was in that squadron.  Joe did fly on some missions--testified to by my b-i-l who piloted those dive bombers all thru that war and helicopters in Korea. (Later worked at Pentagon on how to produce a 'copter from which one could safely escape in water, I think it was.)

    He visited Joe on the "hill' sometimes; did not seem to hold him in disdain, having accepted him as a wartime comrade.


    From George Washington Univ.: (none / 0) (#195)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:02:10 PM EST
    "Five years later, even though his service on the bench excluded him for military service, McCarthy joined the Marines, hoping that his combat experience would enhance his political stature. As an intelligence officer stationed in the Pacific, he spent the war debriefing pilots after they returned from bombing raids over Japan. Yet, when he returned to campaign at home, he transformed himself into 'tail-gunner Joe,' the battle-scarred veteran who survived hazardous missions over Japanese-held territory and, in the process, 'fired more bullets than any marine in history' during his fourteen (a figure he later changed to seventeen and then thirty-two) engagements with the enemy. To prove his courage, he asked to receive (and was awarded) the Distinguished Flying Cross." LINK.

    I'll have to defer to your brother-in-law's version, given his own claim to have served in the same unit with McCarthy. But probably due to the senator's own later political exaggerations regarding his military service, the record appears to fairly muddied with regards to what he actually accomplished during his time in the Marines. Even the various right-wing websites set up to counter the senator's tarnished legacy are in disagreement as to the actual record.

    Further, local historian Thomas C. Reeves' examination of that record leaves little or no doubt that McCarthy clearly falsified substantive portions of his World War II military record while campaigning against Robert La Follette, Jr. for the U.S. Senate in 1946. He misled Wisconsin voters about his actual rank, about being wounded in combat (rather, he suffered a broken foot upon falling from a ladder), about serving three times the number of missions he flew in the South Pacific, and even about serving as a tail gunner. There's also a very distinct possibility that he even used his subsequent status as a U.S. senator to retroactively forge a military citation and falsify official USAAC flight records, in order to support his earlier campaign claims.

    (SOURCE: Reeves, Thomas C., Ph.D. "Tail Gunner Joe: Joseph McCarthy and the Marine Corps." Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 62, No. 4, Summer 1979)



    Correction: (none / 0) (#196)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:05:19 PM EST
    Those flight records were from Marine Corps, and not from the Army Air Corps. My bad.

    truth ? and Joe (none / 0) (#198)
    by the capstan on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:01:24 PM EST
    I had heard the stories about McCarthy.  But my brother-in-law was there with him--the entire war, apparently, having had already joined up and learned to fly.  He eventually spent his first night under fire on an island with the Black Sheep Squadron.  (They yelled, "Run like hell and get a hole.")  When Joe got over there, I do not know, but I early on knew he'd been there.

    No one 'in my crowd' had any liking for Joe. but B-i-l maintained Joe was not a coward and contributed to the squad.  I've seen my in-law's medals and commendations and attended his funeral at Arlington.  He could rag a teen-ager (me) to death, but lie about that war--never.  As to Joe's lies, I do believe he often did so for political gain, but he WAS part of that squadron and he did fly in their planes.


    Orwell The Prophet... (none / 0) (#86)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:07:33 AM EST
    Though Animal Farm and 1984 were written as critiques of authoritarian communism/socialism, I find they work well as critiques of authoritarian capitalism as well. iow, authoritarianism in any flavor.

    Power corrupting the connected class is a problem, maybe the problem, with all systems of government and all economic systems.  Whether that power is derived from obscene wealth or the color of authority...or in our case, the partnership of wealth and authority.


    Via anti capitalist (none / 0) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:02:55 AM EST
     Everything we feared about communism - that we would lose our houses and savings and be forced to labor eternally for meager wages with no voice in the system - has come true under capitalism.
    Jeff Sparrow

    I'd gladly keep my place (none / 0) (#140)
    by Slado on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:12:59 PM EST
    in this oppressive capitalist society then trade it for a place in North Korea or Cuba.

    Just saying.

    It's a stretch to call our system oppressive.   Can it get better, yes.  

    So how to make it better?   More control at the Federal levers of power?   More control of the economy by the bright minds in Washington?

    Been doing that for 5 years now.   How's it going?


    I find (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:53:14 PM EST
    that an interesting comment considering the fact that George W. Bush did all that you wanted and the economy collapsed. We are doing all that here in Georgia and we are hemoraghing jobs. We are above the national average on unemployment.

    Oh how quickly we do forget: (none / 0) (#153)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:34:59 PM EST
    By STEVEN A. HOLMES (NY Times)
    Published: September 30, 1999

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders


    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

    ''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''


    BTW - Clinton was President.

    Now, Bush did try to get things back under control.

    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

    The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

    The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.


    Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

    ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

    Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.



    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:49:09 PM EST
    it is never George W. Bush's fault for anything. You will never take responsiblity. Of course, you're also positing that George W. Bush was a moron too stupid to see what was happening and do anything about it just like Katrina come to think of it.

    You need to understand that ... (none / 0) (#191)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:21:00 PM EST
    ... sometimes Jim's right and you're wrong, and sometimes you're wrong and he's right. I'm sure that Jim did think once upon a time that he was wrong about something, but then he probably decided afterward that he was mistaken.



    I love how Jim, Fox (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by jondee on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:21:11 PM EST
    and AM talk radio endow Barney "Anti-Christ" Frank with these God-like powers that enabled him to singlehandedly thwart every effort on the part of farsighted Republicans to forestall the financial crisis.

    Apparently Jim's GOP heroes were so preoccupied looking for arguments for deregulation in the Book of  Revelations that they were forced to leave Barney alone at the switch..    


    Same old, same old (none / 0) (#193)
    by Yman on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:53:40 PM EST
    ... tired links from wingnuts at AEI blaming the economic collapse on their own, silly theories.



    Site violator (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Thu May 01, 2014 at 11:45:06 PM EST

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 343 (none / 0) (#120)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:36:00 AM EST
    Take it easy... (none / 0) (#123)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:50:22 AM EST
    on my man Boyardee...most of my nest egg is tied up in cans of Beefaroni.

    A sound investment as any, it's not like you can eat 401k, ya know?


    I am hording Spaghettios (none / 0) (#128)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:20:12 AM EST
    Cuz I'm not so sure the "beef" in Beefaroni din't finish last by thirty lengths at Aqueduct last week.

    Good enough... (none / 0) (#133)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:29:49 AM EST
    for Kramden and Norton, good enough for me.

    Kranmar's Delicious Mystery Appetizer


    Friday Morning Music... (none / 0) (#125)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:05:54 AM EST
    been on a serious Jack White kick lately...started my day with this jam off the last solo record and the sweet reverb will get me all the way to 5, maybe it will do the same for some of y'all.

    Good start to the day (none / 0) (#131)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:25:59 AM EST
    Tom F&ckin' Waits... (none / 0) (#162)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:39:29 PM EST
    an original's original.

    One more I've been meaning to turn you, Sarc, and all the Cali TL Music Lover's on to since he's headed your way before a European Tour.

    Run, Don't Walk, to check out the heavy-duty Soul stylings of Charles Bradley.  Love this guy!

    Here's his upcoming dates.


    Holy Sh*t, thanks for that (none / 0) (#172)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:13:52 PM EST
    proofreading is your friend (none / 0) (#173)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:14:45 PM EST
    you'd think english was my second language. oy.

    One more (none / 0) (#174)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:20:40 PM EST
    I lied, one more from Waits (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Dadler on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:31:15 PM EST
    Tight as tight... (none / 0) (#187)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:38:38 PM EST
    I was captivated by the mole on bass...can't get enough stand-up bass.  

    Los Lobos, Hidalgo man...ever hear him own Tomorrow Never Knows?  


    especially like interviewing the sleeping cat (none / 0) (#138)
    by ZtoA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    I often like music where I don't understand the words, or just instrumentals.  I like this video. Orishas.

    Orale... (none / 0) (#184)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:12:11 PM EST
    that was a pretty cool layering effect.

    Hooked again (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:22:57 AM EST
    I had so far avoided True Blood.  But they have been airing last season in preparation for the final season that starts in June and I am hooked.  Guess I have some binge watching in my future to catch up by June.
    Good thing I am retired.

    Obviously (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:31:37 PM EST
    what ever you pay for in sattelite is worth it.

    I don't know how he comes up with (none / 0) (#134)
    by Anne on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:38:43 AM EST
    these lines, but I think I might read Charlie Pierce as much for his way with words as his perspective on all things political.  

    Found this gem in one of his posts today, in connection with how the GOP is handling - or should I say, pushing - the latest non-news on Benghazi:

    The moon is moving rapidly into the House of Stupid again.

    "Again?"  Not sure it's ever come out of that house, or ever will from the looks of things, but I still love the line.

    You might like this one (none / 0) (#137)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:59:11 AM EST
    Charlie talking about Fox's "Fox and Friends."

    "Fox And Friends makes every species on the planet dumber just by its presence in the biosphere. I blame it for birds that fly into windows."


    Now now... (none / 0) (#142)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:23:43 PM EST
    if you're looking at Fox & Friends as news or morning talk you're looking at it all wrong...it's a comedy program and a damn good one at that.  Laugh out loud funny.

    I am amused by (none / 0) (#141)
    by Slado on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:19:31 PM EST
    the self fullfilling opinion of many on Benghazi.

    At first the story was about Mitt Romney's comments rather then the failure of the state department.

    Then it was a bout a video.

    Then it became about politics on the side of Republicans for saying there was some sort of coverup.

    Never has the story been about the failure of Hillary Clinton or the policy of being in Libya in the first place.   Never has the story been about why this administration hasn't held a single person responsible.   Never has the story been about how this administration lied repeatedly about the cause.

    It is painfully obvious that in an election year the administration made the incident about a video to deflect crticism for their failed policy of invading Libya and their overall policy of fighting terrorism.

    The White House made the story about a video, the MSM swallowed it hole and enough time has passed that we're all just supposed to move on no matter what evidence comes up.

    If you don't care that the administration lied and covered it up then just say so.   But don't act like if the shoe was on the other foot you wouldn't be up in arms about it.

    This is not going away for only one reason.   The administration is still lying.   To the point that even the WH press corps thinks Jay Carney lied his ass off earlier this week.

    Some of us find it disgraceful that the administration lied about the cause of the attacks for political reasons and have never admitted their failures to protect those dead Americans.    Hillary Clinton being on top of the list.   She lied to the families of the victims or was incompetent.   Take your pick.


    The sad reality is that we don't punish (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by Anne on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:45:21 PM EST
    the powerful anymore - of any political affiliation; we fine them - sometimes - and treat the monies paid as just part of the cost of doing business.  Unless they're caught in a sex scandal and then we reward them with another term in office or a promotion or a book deal.

    Sometimes we make the argument that there is nothing to be gained by arresting people and holding actual criminal trials.  I mean, so what if Wall Street and the banking industry engaged in reckless and illegal activities, so what if banks threw people current on their mortgages out of their homes, so what if people's retirement plans went up in smoke, so what?  So what if the DOJ knew and had evidence of crimes?  No biggie - give us a big wad of money; we'll exchange winks, and we'll go away so you can get back to finding new ways to steal money from people.

    So what if known torturers have, as Marcy Wheeler puts it, "retired with impunity?"

    Torturing on behalf of the United States appears to be a career move that results in a comfortable lifestyle after moving on from government service. Jose Rodriguez, who both ordered up torture and then personally destroyed video evidence of it, now profits from those events through book sales. James Mitchell, who was integral to the design of the torture program, now lives quietly in Land O'Lakes, Florida and until very recently didn't even have to bother talking with reporters, let alone crime investigators. Of course, if you choose to expose US torture, it's prison for you, as John Kiriakou has demonstrated.

    But the disgusting free status of Rogdriguez and Mitchell pales in comparison to the level of depravity in the known history of personal involvement in torture for Haji Gulalai and how it was revealed yesterday that Gulalai is now living a quiet, comfortable life just outside Los Angeles. [Just as a bit of life advice, never piss off Julie Tate, as her work in finding Gulalai is perhaps the best bit of investigative journalism in the US in decades.]

    We didn't hold the torturers accountable, and we didn't hold anyone in the Bush administration accountable for starting a war on bald-faced lies, did we?  No, we didn't.  We punish the people who expose the wrongdoing now, who spill the dirty secrets.

    So why are Republicans being so psychotic about Benghazi?  That's an easy one: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Republicans could take a picnic on the South Lawn of the WH and turn it into a plot to bring down America if the two people sitting on the blanket were Obama and Clinton.

    And, please: don't make me laugh about House Select Committees, especially not this House, and especially if people like Darrell Issa are involved.  That man wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and bit him on the nose - but he'd spend his last breath, though, holding investigations to prove that the truth was really a Democratic plot.  I'm sorry - did I say "investigations?"  I meant witch-hunts, kangaroo trials, kabuki theater.  If these people were light bulbs, you could put all of them in a small room and still not be able to see your hand in front of your face.

    Please stop acting like Republicans are the only ones traveling the moral high ground, on this or any other issue - there is no moral high ground, just slightly-less-toxic sludge here and there in the fetid swamp that is the United States Congress. To pretend otherwise is to be willfully blind to the reality of where government is these days, ensuring that nothing will change.

    Give me a fking break.


    Ben-GHAAAAZEEEeeeee ... !!! (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:22:33 PM EST
    The new Whitewater!!! Bwa-hahahahahaha ...!!!

    Please be sure to give us a call, if ever you decide to return from perpetual orbit in your own parallel and fact-free universe.



    State Department knew immediately (none / 0) (#143)
    by Slado on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    that attacks were terrorism

    But that was politically toxic.

    So Hillary the head of the state department carried water for the administration to the point she lied to the families of the victims at their memorial service.

    Here is Hillary video showing her lying at the service when she knew it wasn't true.

    Let's just say for sake of argument there was evidence it was the video.  Best case was it was a muddy issue.  Best case.

    So why did Hilliary so forcefully blame the video in front of the family members and say she would catch the creator of the video to the families when she at least knew it was possible that it was terrorism?

    You know why.  At least your subconscious does.  Because it was politically expedient and we had an election 8 weeks away.

    Now the argument is what does it matter?   It matters because we know this administration and Hillary will go to any length, even lying to the families of dead Americans, to improve their political position.

    Enough said.


    Slado... (none / 0) (#145)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:40:46 PM EST
    politicians lying and misleading is not a scandal...we've been paying them to do just that for as long as I've been alive.

    I don't like it either, but let's not pretend it part of the definition of a politician.

    Listen, I'm a politician which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops.

    Give it up (none / 0) (#147)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:58:02 PM EST
    The five minutes of Benghazi are up. I know the GOP is desperate to change their low rating in foreign policy after George W. Bush but if all you're going to do is screech about lying well, it certainly reminds the everybody of biggest liar of them all George W. Bush. He lied to millions of Americans and sent thousands off to war to die. None of that upset the GOP one iota.

    And all this focusing on Benghazi also is pretty much the GOP admitting that nobody wants what they are selling. It's been going on now for over a quarter of a century. It's all we get from the GOP is screeching about this or that.

    Benghazi,a noun, a verb and stir in some fake hysteria. I guess you can have fun amongst yourself with all that. Nobody else is listening.


    Incorrect (none / 0) (#151)
    by Slado on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:17:53 PM EST
    House appoints select committee

    It's about 12 months too late but the recent emails (only because of a lawsuit mind you) show the WH was knee deep in political spin and lied about it the cause of Benghazi

    That's what's so stupid about this whole thing.   If they'd just admitted Mitt was right the issue would have died.   But winning the next day's news cycle (see comments from MSNBC no less) is more important to this administration then policy or telling the truth.   They lied about the cause and now have spent 18 months lying about the lie.  

    To answer kdog's question why should we care?

    We should care some of the time and this issue shows to what lengths this administration will go to hide the truth.

    To be completely honest from a partisan standpint this issue has legs because Hillary is smack in the middle of it.  

    She and her allies in the administration pushed to invade Lybia.   Her State depatment along with the administration botched the post war phase (and continues to do so) and the result was the attack.    Then she lied to the families to cover for herself, Obama or both.

    We all know Obama is a liar and he's now a lame duck so who cares.  

    But Hillary has big ambitions and  I can see the adds now.   Hillary lying to the families of the dead and a question runs across the screen...

    "Do you trust this women to be president?"

    I sure don't.


    The question is... (none / 0) (#152)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:31:31 PM EST
    are you gonna trust whoever Brand R trots out?

    If your answer is no, then it does not matter what the spin is/was/will be.  Cuz we demand no better.  

    Even the Benghazi brigade doesn't care about Benghazi really...they care about winning a "gotcha" game.  


    I know (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:58:40 PM EST
    they don't care. It's been obvious from the start. It's mass hysteria on their part. It's getting to the point where they are getting more hysterical by the day.

    Nary a one of them spent this much time on Iraq in which thousands died and told us Sadaam attacked us on 9/11. I guess they just don't realize that they're only playing the far right 25% of the country.


    You guys (none / 0) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:52:55 PM EST
    are more hysterical and even more desperate than I thought possible.

    I guess Hillary besting Jeb Bush in the polls is really driving hysteria in the GOP.

    You know you only can cry wolf for so long before no one listens to you.

    Again, you can scream and cry all you want and yell gloom and doom but nobody wants what you are selling.

    How many select commmittees did the GOP have when Bill Clinton was president and how many of them turned into laughingstocks to most of the country?


    Maybe (none / 0) (#163)
    by christinep on Fri May 02, 2014 at 02:45:07 PM EST
    More than anything now, the new B e n g h a z i
    rah-rah from some Repubs (notice a bit of a rift in the ranks, tho) is really all about Hillary Clinton.  The old softening routine of early undermining her work as Secretary of State by trying to make some kind of trumped-up scandal stick in foreign policy; and, then, attempt to tie that charge to Clinton.  (Hey, look how far and how much $$$ spent by the Repub bunch on Whitewater.  They could figure that they could go the same route again.)

    She (none / 0) (#157)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:55:52 PM EST
    isn't worried about you. As a matter of fact she could care less what you or any of your GOP cohorts think. You are going to show up to vote for Ted Cruz or whatever clown the GOP ends up nominating.

    If she becomes president you guys are going to whine and beg and long for the days of Mr. PPUS Obama.


    Speaking of lies (none / 0) (#197)
    by Yman on Fri May 02, 2014 at 07:59:13 PM EST
    So why did Hilliary so forcefully blame the video in front of the family members and say she would catch the creator of the video to the families when she at least knew it was possible that it was terrorism?

    You know why.  At least your subconscious does.  Because it was politically expedient and we had an election 8 weeks away.

    Sorry - that's your imagination, not my subconcious ... thankfully.  If you look at her remarks at the funeral, she was not speaking about only the attack at Benghazi.  She was speaking about anger and violence caused by the video at numerous places during that entire week, which is indisputable.  But the wingnuts are so fixated on Benghazi, you guys can't even comprehend basic English:

    "This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable. The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob".

    Keep swinging, though!


    BTW - Ansar Al Shariah (none / 0) (#201)
    by Yman on Fri May 02, 2014 at 09:37:42 PM EST
    Apart from being yet one more attempt to keep this fake scandal alive, how is Beth Jone's reference to Ansar Al Shariah news?  The State Department security officer Eric Nordstrom already testified that he immediately suspected Ansar Al Shariah, based on their prior attack of the Tunisian embassy over what they perceived as an anti-Islamic video:

    NORDSTROM: The -- the first impression that I had was that it was going to be something similar to one of the brigades that we saw there, specifically the -- the brigade -- and it's been named in the press -- that came to my mind was Ansar al-Sharia.

    It was a -- a unit or a group that Lieutenant Colonel Wood's personnel and I had -- had tracked for quite some time, we were concerned about. That specific group had been involved in a similar but obviously much smaller scale incident at the end of June involving the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi where they stormed that facility and it was in protest to what they claimed was an anti-Islamic film in Tunis. [House Oversight Committee hearing on consulate security in Benghazi, 10/11/12.

    Just to spell it out very clearly for you, what this means is that the two explanations are not mutually exclusive.  Beth Jone's email (and Nordstrom's testimony") are entirely consistent with the CIA's assessment at the time, which was that Ansar Al Shariah was involved in the attack and the attacks were motivated by the video, which were also supported by eyewitness reports at the time:

    According to reporting by David D. Kirkpatrick and Suliman Ali Zway of The New York Times, eyewitnesses have said there was no peaceful demonstration against the video outside the compound before the attack, though a crowd of Benghazi residents soon gathered, and some later looted the compound. But the attackers, recognized as members of a local militant group called Ansar al-Shariah, did tell bystanders that they were attacking the compound because they were angry about the video.

    Just like the attack in Tunis.

    Oops ...

    Guess the conservatives pushing the "lying" theory should take a look in the mirror ...


    Why would it be about wingnut lies? (none / 0) (#194)
    by Yman on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:55:08 PM EST
    Never has the story been about the failure of Hillary Clinton or the policy of being in Libya in the first place.   Never has the story been about why this administration hasn't held a single person responsible.   Never has the story been about how this administration lied repeatedly about the cause.

    That was easy ...


    Sneak peek... (none / 0) (#150)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:16:19 PM EST
    at a new monument to be placed in front of the Oklahoma Statehouse, along with the existing 10 Commandments Christian monument.

    Seems especially poignant to post, with what Oklahoma was up to this week.  

    No offense intended to Satanists or other worshippers of the Dark Lord;)

    I thought this was a joke (none / 0) (#175)
    by ZtoA on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:22:06 PM EST
    but it's not. Will be entertaining to see how this unfolds.

    Brilliant (none / 0) (#177)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 04:31:51 PM EST
    Kingdom of Fear beat... (none / 0) (#154)
    by kdog on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:40:10 PM EST
    I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by...

    So you can fingerprint scan me, interview me, and background check me?  

    Killer closing arguments from the article...

    But why stop with ice cream trucks? What about people who live near a school? Or a park? Or anyone who can ever potentially come in contact with a person under 18--should we not have their fingerprints and retina scans and DNA swabs on file, just in case? Family members are statistically more likely to harm a child than a complete stranger, so we can't forget about them, either.

    Or even better, we could decide it's not worth giving the police more power to address problems that exist only on your Aunt Kathy's Facebook.

    unobtainium (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:49:23 PM EST

    Atoms of a new super-heavy element -- the as-yet-unnamed element 117 -- have reportedly been created by scientists in Germany, moving it closer to being officially recognized as part of the standard periodic table.

    What Happens When A New Element Is Discovered?
    To the dismay of high school students everywhere, yet another element has been discovered and added to the ever-growing periodic table.

    Researchers at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, an accelerator laboratory located in Darmstadt, Germany, say they have created and observed several atoms of element 117, which is temporarily named ununseptium.

    From the YOU CANT MAKE IT UP file (none / 0) (#170)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 03:58:32 PM EST
    AutoExec Wheelmate Steering Wheel Attachable Work Surface Tray

    The reviews are pretty funny--

    Adding this desk to my car's steering wheel has been baby Jesus awesome. I love emailing the Highway patrol while I drive to let them know the tag numbers of cell phone using drivers. Lordy!

    My husband Brad always warns me not to try and update my Facebook page while I'm driving. "You'll hit another pedestrian," he says. "This isn't the Enterprise, there isn't a deflector array." Then along comes a miracle product like this! I can now happily fly at warp speed down the streets of Los Angeles, laptop or mobile device perched right in front of me, so I can keep both eyes right on it AND on the road. It's so much easier to ignore all the frightened screams and annoying honking when you've got Facebook to look at while driving. Thank you, Wheelmate!


    First case of the deadly virus MERS (none / 0) (#188)
    by jbindc on Fri May 02, 2014 at 05:55:40 PM EST
    reported in Indiana.

    5 things to know about MERS

    Politicians discussing global warming (none / 0) (#192)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 02, 2014 at 06:40:49 PM EST