Thursday Open Thread

I'm mostly following ISIS and El Chapo in my spare time. On the plane crash:

Egypt and Russia say no one has shared information with them showing a bomb brought down the metrojet.

From Charlie Winter in the Guardian, urging caution, but nonetheless expounding on what it would mean if ISIS did down the plane. Shorter version: Move over al Qaida, you're no match for ISIS.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    So maybe there's a reason turnout is do lie (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:31:56 PM EST
    The message isn't getting sold as well as the blogosphere would have you believe....

    Democrats have increasingly seized the offensive on social issues in recent years, using opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage to paint Republican candidates as extreme and backward. In some cases, this has been successful: Red-state GOP Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost after making incendiary comments about abortion and rape in 2012, a year when Obama successfully leaned into cultural issues to galvanize the Democratic base. "The Republican Party from 1968 up to 2008 lived by the wedge, and now they are politically dying by the wedge," Democratic consultant Chris Lehane told the New York Times last year, a view echoed by worried Republicans urging their party to get with the times.

    But the Democrats' culture-war strategy has been less successful when Obama is not on the ballot. Two campaigns that made abortion rights their centerpiece in 2014, Wendy Davis's Texas gubernatorial bid and Mark Udall's Senate reelection campaign in Colorado, fell far short. In most of the country, particularly between the coasts, it's far from clear that regular voters are willing to come to the polls for social change. Gay marriage won four carefully selected blue-state ballot campaigns in 2012 before the Supreme Court took the issue to the finish line this year. Recreational marijuana has likewise been approved only in three blue states plus Alaska. Gun-control campaigners have repeatedly failed to outflank the N.R.A. in down-ballot elections that turned on the issue. Republicans in state offices have liberalized gun laws and restricted abortion, generating little apparent voter backlash.


    (My bold)

    To be sure, Tuesday was an off-off-year election with dismally low voter turnout, waged in just a handful of locales. But liberals who cite this as an explanation often fail to take the next step and ask why the most consistent voters are consistently hostile to their views, or why liberal social positions don't mobilize infrequent voters. Low turnout alone can't explain the extent of Democratic failures in non-presidential elections in the Obama era, which have decimated the party in state legislatures, governorships, and the House and Senate. Had the 2012 electorate shown up in 2014, Democrats still would have lost most races, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist, who told me the turnout effect "was worth slightly more than 1 percentage point to Republican candidates in 2014"--enough to make a difference in a few close races, but not much across the board.

    Liberals love to point out the fractiousness of the GOP, whose dramatic fissures have racked the House of Representatives and tormented party leaders. But as Matt Yglesias recently pointed out, Republican divisions are actually signs of an ideologically flexible big-tent party, while Democrats are in lockstep around an agenda whose popularity they too often fail to question. Democrats want to believe Americans are on board with their vision of social change--but they might win more elections if they meet voters where they really are.

    Two things come to mind (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:48:25 PM EST
    We need to pick back up the Dean 50 state strategy, and as you said, meet more voters where they are on a state level and make inroads where we can.

    There is no reason to abandon the platform for a national candidate (president) if it can win, win big, and help win down ticket.


    Isn't that the problem? (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:41:42 PM EST
    The national platform ISN'T winning down ticket, big or otherwise.  The question is why not?  Allegedly, poll after poll shows people agree with inividual positions that are more "liberal", yet they don't traslate into votes.  Liberals are supposed to be smarter than everybody else, so wouldn't those who want to see liberal positions enacted (or at least, conservative positions NOT enacted) show up to vote - even if their candidate or position doesn't win - just to send a message?

    It does translate to more votes (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:03:17 PM EST
    During presidential election years.

    I see no reason why we have to abandon that just to run more moderate candidates in the off years, or in some cases downticket in presidential election years.

    My point is, compromise where you have to, but don't compromise where you don't.  And it doesn't seem like there is any need to compromise on these positions for national races.

    And you are the only person I've ever seen argue that liberals are supposed to be smarter and therefore more likely to show up to vote.  I think most of the time the argument is that cultural liberals at least are often younger and therefore less engaged in the nuance of the political process, but will show up more when it's a national election.  It's less that they are smarter and more that they are "in tune with the times and the future" so to speak - on the culture wars at least.  But that certainly doesn't make them more engaged politically.


    Actually, jb, the problem is that ... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:02:13 PM EST
    ... the DNC's efforts have of late maintained a overly resolute but myopic Beltway-centric focus, both in its efforts and results (for better or worse), while state and local party organizations have been left by and large to fend for themselves.

    Thus far, that hasn't really posed a problem -- not yet, anyway -- in states like California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts and Hawaii, where Democrats have long maintained a robust and resilient political presence and have fairly strong state parties as a result of that.

    But in other states across the country like Georgia, Indiana and Nevada, the Democratic Party's once-promising initiatives to build capacity at the local level, which were commenced during Dr. Howard Dean's tenure as DNC chair, have since been allowed to languish, unravel and wither.

    Instead, the monies raised by the DNC have once again been redirected toward campaigns both favored and promoted by congressional incumbents. And that policy is what first got us into the weeds back in the late 1980 and early '90s.

    Presently, since 2008 the GOP has been pouring money into building the capacities of their own respective state party organizations. The resultant dichotomy of spending and effort between the two major parties has been nothing short of disastrous for Democrats at the state and local levels, in my opinion. We've since lost 30 legislative chambers and 12 governorships across the country.

    And speaking as a former ranking state party official, from my perspective that's both a shame and unconscionable, because the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) were both created ostensibly to help elect Democrats to Congress. Not content with that, Beltways Dems have once again co-opted the DNC for that purpose, as well.

    The DNC's governing council is composed of the chairs and vice-chairs of each state Democratic Party Committee, and over 200 national committee members elected by Democrats in all 50 states and the territories. Unfortunately, seven of the nine-member DNC executive committee -- wherein most any DNC decision making of consequence actually takes place -- are elected federal officials, five of whom are members of Congress. Only two are from outside the Beltway, Vermont Gov. Peter Peter Shumlin and Iowa State Sen. Michael Gronstal.

    Charles Pierce perhaps said it best yesterday. We need to recognize that the Louie Gohmerts, Trey Gowdys and Joni Ernsts of our present-day congressional politics were first hatched at the state and local level, and not in Washington, D.C.

    Therefore, if you seek to kill crackpot politics in its infancy, then that exorcism needs to be performed at that state and local level. You can't wait until the problem finally manifests itself on Capitol Hill and even in the White House, as it did during George W. Bush's presidency, to instead become part of the Beltway's so-called "conventional wisdom."

    And that, in a rather lengthy nutshell, is the underlying dilemma posed by the DNC's present top-down approach, and why current Democratic efforts to support our candidates at the state and local levels have been generally hamstrung, if not completely moribund.



    also to clarify (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:20:59 PM EST
    By win big I meant on the presidential level.

    That matters too, especially on social issues, since social issues have been swinging more in the courts than the legislature.


    The article (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:47:58 PM EST
    is thought-provoking for Democrats, but I am not entirely convinced that championing human rights and other social issues  is the culprit. The success of the Republican opposition in, essentially, red states is the "death rattle" phenomena.

     The Democrats have not adequately countered the fear and anger existent in a changed and changing America. As Miss Bloom acknowledges, extremist and wacky views, such as "the whole thing shuts down" are rejected when call out.  The Houston wide-ranging anti-discrimination bill, hinged on flat-out lies of singled out "perverts" gaining access to bathrooms for rape and pillage. Not, on the discrimination of a small gender-based minority.

    KY governor-elect, Matt Bevins, ran on his Christian faith, against providing health care to the poor through ACA, if called Obamacare, and was clearly in Clerk Davis' corner--although he did not win Rowan County, one of the few he didn't (49.7% Conway, 46.7% Bevins)v (statewide, 43% Conway, 53% Bevin).

    The "death rattle" plan will increasingly involve scare tactics, lies, and voter suppression if it is to be prolonged by Republican resuscitation. Xenophobia is critical to the plan (cf. Trump, Donald).

    Democrats need to call out this strategy for what it is.  Not run from its strengths as soon as the going gets rough. And, of course, work at the state levels.

     The challenge to Democrats is great--it would seem with the likes of Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz as serious Republican contenders, yet neither Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Sanders ahead of any of them by, at least, 70 points, the story and its effective marshaling has gone missing. The Democrats are on the right side and they need to protect and defend it.


    By jove I think you've got it... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:08:21 PM EST
    In other words, fear & bitterness are maybe greater motivators to go to the polls than reason & love.  Democrats have not been very good at convincing people there is nothing to fear about social change.  

    And when it comes to legislatures, state and federal, lets not forget gerrymandering.  Even if liberal ideas are winning the hearts and minds, they ain't winning seats because of gerrymandering.



    a beacon of hope (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:15:20 PM EST
    on an otherwise rough night

    Ohio voters said "no" to gerrymandering.

    But the truth is more complicated than that.

    We might have more people but they tend to be more concentrated, and that just makes it harder to win more areas of land, which is what the whole districting process is about.

    And frankly, none of that changes the math on governor races, which we're also losing.


    In the Senate... (none / 0) (#136)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:27:08 PM EST
    we are constutionally f&cked, yeah...but in the House we're straight up gerryed.

    As for governors, not my state not my problem...sh&t I got enough problems with the Democrat governors who govern like retro-Republicans we elect, never mind the Republicans.  


    "vision of change" (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:40:39 PM EST
    It is not a secret that strongly held opinions are highly resistant to change.

    Especially if they aren't the majority. (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:48:36 PM EST
    This is an abtract argument (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:32:31 PM EST
    Which policy positions do you think Democrats should be flexible on?

    Reproductive rights?  Nope.

    Marriage equality?  Nope.  That issue is decided.

    Legalization of drugs?  Maybe this is what you are talking about.  But Democrats are far from unanimous on this issue, so flexibility already exists....


    I think you're proving the authir's point (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:36:28 PM EST
    You seem to be blind to any position where there could be discussion or any other views on those positions with anyone be who doesn't think exactly like you.

    Well, tell us (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:36:50 PM EST
    where you would want to have a different opinion.

    Some things are open to compromise, some are not....Constitutional rights to choice and marriage equality are not something I am interested in compromising.....

    I am happy to discuss those issues, but I won't give away someone else's constitutional rights out of expediency.....


    So far you haven't stated which (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 10:39:35 PM EST
    rights you want to give up or which republicans policies do you want to adopt.

    Please tell us exactly how you want to restructure the Democratic Party to  accomplish your goal.


    So nce it is Molly Ball's thrsus (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 07:34:37 AM EST
    You may want to make this demand of her.  Why do YOU think liberals can't sell their ideas in more places and how would YOU convince more people who already agree with you to getbtobthr polls?  Haven seen you answer that ye, so here's your chance.

    But her point remains, if liberals have such good ideas, why can't they get their own voters out to vote in off election years?  Maybe many of those people only get excited about the personality and celebrity at the top of a presidential ticket?  Let's face it, it isn't really "cool" to have to think about such mundane things as local propositions and school board members (especially if you don't have kids, right?) and County Commisioners and Water Board members.

    This is precisely why the Democrats have a weak bench going forward for a while - there's been a diminishing bench because liberals don't vote and can't sell their ideas even though many people agree on the issue if asked specifically.  Republicans hold most of the governorships and state houses in this country - why?  Their voters don't turn out in huge numbers in off year El tions either.

    Liberals tell us they are smarter and more educated than those on the right.  How come they can't figure this one out?  This isn't a new phenomena - the trend has been decreasing for at least 40 years.

    So, I'd love to hear your proposals on how we make that happen.


    You put forth her thesis in support of (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 08:19:02 AM EST
    your position and yet, you still will not answer the question of which rights you personally want to give up and which conservative policies do you want to adopt in order to sell the Democratic Party.

    You have read all posts suggesting that the Democratic Party (I.e. the DNC) have  left the state and local party organizations for the most part to fend for themselves. You choose to discount that and continue to support the idea that liberals and liberal policies are to blame. So once again, which of what you designate as liberal policies (I consider the Democratic) do you personally want to abandon and which conservative policies do you want to sell instead?


    As I figured (none / 0) (#133)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:56:15 AM EST
    You have no answer.

    It's obvious you don't understand "my position", do just admit it.  I am not advocating that the Democrats should DROP anything  per se, but rather,  that Democrats aren't getting DEMOCRATS and LIBERALS out to vote because they can't sell their ideas.  Liberals are supposed to be mart people - do they need hand holding and constant messaging to understand the importance of voting in local elections??  Maybe they really ARE that dumb that they do not know that we vote more than just for president every four years. Do they not sure understand that state legislators get to gerrymander and redistricting?  Did they miss those days in middle school?  Seriously - do we need to spoonfeed liberals - it:s that what you mean by the DNC not doing its job?

    And the fact that some here continue to point to the DNC as solely to blame shows a basic half-understanding of the problem.  When voter turnout is around 30%, then that means there are not huge waves of conservative voters coming out either.  Understand now?  So why are they winning across the country?? Is it because of magic fairy dust?  No, it's because their message and ideas (howeverisguided you and I might find them) are resonating with lots of people.  In other words - they are selling it better.  It's why Democrats have lost over 900 state legislators' seats, 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats, and 12 governors' sests. Since 2009.

    Which was Molly Ball's point.  And mine, as you assumed, even though I actually made no comment one way or another about it until I had to respond to this nonsense.

    Matt Ygluesas was right - Democrats are in denial.


    These are your words not the words (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 01:03:51 PM EST
    of Ms. Ball:

    This is precisely why the Democrats have a weak bench going forward for a while - there's been a diminishing bench because liberals don't vote and can't sell their ideas even though many people agree on the issue if asked specifically.  Republicans hold most of the governorships and state houses in this country - why?  Their voters don't turn out in huge numbers in off year El tions either.

    As usual, you are using liberals as your go to scapegoat.

    Once again, Conway was not a liberal Democratic candidate. He was a moderate to conservative candidate. Kentucky Democrats are overwhelming moderate to conservative. Where were all the moderate and conservative Democratic voters. By the numbers:

    The total number of registered voters - 3,175,905

    Of the registered voters, 2,923,556 are affiliated with either the Republican or Democrat party.

    Democrats currently make up 53.09% of Kentucky voters. (2,923,556 x 53.09 percent = 1,552,116)

    According to census data, 76% of Democratic voters are moderate or conservative. (1,552,116 x 76% = 1,179,608)

    Votes casted for Jack Conway 426,944. (1,179,608 - 426,944 =

    752,644 =  the approximate number of moderate or conservative Democratic voters who did not bother to vote for Jack Conway if no liberal Democratic voters voted for Conway. The number of moderate or conservative who did not bother to vote for Jack Conway would be higher if even a small percentage of liberals voted for Conway.

    Approximately 750,000 moderate or conservative Democratic voters.....

    'Many of them stayed home and did not vote. Maybe they really ARE that dumb that they do not know that we vote more than just for president every four years. Do they not sure understand that state legislators get to gerrymander and redistricting? '



    Actually I understated the number (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:20:44 PM EST
    of moderate and conservative Democratic voters who did not vote for Conway. The calculation should be:

    The total number of registered voters - 3,175,905

    Of the registered voters, 2,923,556 are affiliated with either the Republican or Democrat party.

    Democratic voters currently make up 53.09% of all registered Kentucky voters. (3,175,905 x 53.09 percent = 1,686,088)

    According to census data, 76% of Democratic voters are moderate or conservative. (1,686,088 x 76% = 1,281,427)

    Votes casted for Jack Conway 426,944. (1,281,427 - 426,944 = 854,483)

    854,483  (67%) =  the approximate number of moderate or conservative Democratic voters who did not bother to vote for Jack Conway if no liberal Democratic voters voted for Conway. The number of moderate or conservative who did not bother to vote for Jack Conway would be higher if even a small percentage of liberals voted for Conway.

    Approximately 854,500 moderate or conservative Democratic voters.....

    'Maybe moderate and conservative Dems "really ARE that dumb that they do not know that we vote for more than just for president every four years. Do they not understand that state legislators legislators get to gerrymander and redistricting? ' Did the moderate and conservative Dem voters miss those days in middle school?  Seriously - do we need to spoonfeed moderate and conservative Dem voters and hold their hands while walking them to the polls. Evidently we do because approximately 67% of them did not vote for Conway.

    Think about it. Over twice as many moderate and conservative Dems failed to vote for Conway as the total number of all liberal Democratic voters in the entire state of Kentucky.


    Another Molly Ball opinion (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:01:56 AM EST
    On this morning's Meet The Press, Atlantic Magazine staff writer Molly Ball explains the troubles facing the Clinton campaign in 2016. She says understanding Hillary's ideology is quite simple because it is infinitely changeable: "I'm for whatever you're for and that's my identity."

    The Democratic candidate, Jack Conway, (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:01:21 PM EST
    is not a liberal Democratic candidate. He is a moderate to conservative politician.

    Based on census data, 76% of Kentucky Democrats are moderate or conservative. A better question might be why the moderate and conservative Democrats did not turn out in large numbers to support their moderate to conservative candidate.


    That is a good point, MO Blue (none / 0) (#149)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 01:32:15 PM EST
    In reading this thread, I'm asking myself variations of the same questions that both you and jbindc pose.  

    Clearly, the party--in its state & regional capacity to begin--needs to look at the off-year elections in terms of both the question & real answer(s) to the why-the-discrepancy-in Dem vis-à-vis-voter-turnout that we keep experiencing.  In the sense of jbindc' resolve to push for an answer rather than a defense, I concur with starting from such a hard-nose look.  BUT, I'm also thinking that your comment about the Kentucky fail for the Democrats cautions against evaluating the matter with a simple response focused either on views or message.

    For starters, we might consider the Kentucky situation as one where the trends for years have been decidedly Republican, while--at the same time--we Dems consider that a House, Senate, or Gubernatorial seat should revert to or stay with the onetime Democratic Bluegrass pattern.  Perhaps, Kentucky illustrates the need for region/state specific Democratic party approaches grafted onto national positions in relevant issue areas.  Looking at Donald's comments here, the state party might best be able to lead more boldly than Washington's DNC; and, looking also at CST's earlier comment that a degree of compromise might be appropriate in unique situations to allow for the possibility of a win with half-a-loaf rather than a sure loss with no lasting sustenance.

    Kentucky suggests to me the real need for process reform in our party ... e.g., start with the necessary presumption that there are key national Democratic positions to which all state parties & candidates adhere; fund the state parties better in terms of increased share from DC/DNC via renewing the Howard Dean-type model; allow & encourage the strengthened state party operation to recruit, actively, for all down-ballot positions (everywhere); and, recognize the need for regional/state special messaging, occasionally.  

    As for messaging: I personally believe that our communication approach on a national and local level needs major retooling.  When one thinks of a number of issues on a national level, we were clearly myopic or outmaneuvered in our seeming certainty that people would understand--without more--and, flock to us.  Maybe this is unfair on my part, but ... a prime example of letting a "they will understand" assumption almost undo big portions of foreign policy can be seen in the communication missteps early on regarding Benghazi and, later, ISIS.  In that regard, Repubs have a methodical way of focusing their message--usually wrong, bad, and all that (but focused, direct, clear)--while our national message usually suffers from lack of clarity. That lack of clarity and wandering focus doesn't play well in inspiring any portion of an electorate. In sum: Identify the message, figure out the communication avenues well in advance, & sell our message loudly and repeatedly.  There is no such thing in the message & selling business as too much repetition.

    The zinger, of course, is that defining & marketing takes tremendous discipline at all levels.  To ensure that dedication, the message has to be pre-tested in a series of venues, groups, etc....and, that would call for asking questions, nationally & in the several states, which might yield answers that we might not like to hear. To the extent, then, that jbindc stresses that aspect of building a message, I would agree.


    Republicans use fear to GOTV; and they (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    don't mind flat-out lying or grossly distorting in order to generate it - it's how they managed to sink the anti-discrimination measure in Houston, for example: they made it all about the bathrooms!

    Common sense gun legislation gets demagogued as "they want to take away your guns!"  Education reform transforms into, "they want to teach your children how to be gay!"  Health care reform becomes, "death panels! the government will pick your doctor!"  

    I mean, pick a topic - any topic where Democrats have good, sensible, ideas designed to improve the quality of people's lives, and I guarantee you that Republicans will kill them with fear.

    Is there an equivalent fear on the other side, on our side, that could be used the same way?  Not sure that that wouldn't just blow up in our faces, too.

    And let's not forget that as Democrats are working to make it easier for people to vote, the other side is constantly trying to make it harder, but only for the demographic most likely to vote Democratic.

    Because, in general, not enough people vote; it's really kind of embarrassing that in the so-called greatest democracy, close to half - and sometimes more - of those eligible just don't make the effort.


    I Think (none / 0) (#153)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    you hit the nail on the head here. If you turn the question around and ask why do conservatives show up to vote.

    I am convinced it's fear. Fear of having their guns, bibles, men's rights, white rights, rebel flag and many more of their precious rights taken away. They are convinced that this is happening now or tomorrow at the latest.

    Liberals on the other hand only have a milder "discomfort" that seems less immediate.

    American's have been historically slack about voting, it just seems that conservatives are driven to the polls by their paranoia, a level of concern that liberals can't seem to muster.


    Yes, rights are precious (none / 0) (#164)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:14:58 PM EST
    Fear of having their guns, bibles, men's rights, white rights, rebel flag and many more of their precious rights taken away. They are convinced that this is happening now or tomorrow at the latest.

    Hey! (none / 0) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:21:50 PM EST
    How about that Hillary email?

    Yup... (none / 0) (#171)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:29:21 PM EST
    ...and if the idiot brigade would understand that, they would also understand they ain't going nowhere.

    Just because someone convinces you the boogie man is real doesn't make him real.  But please Jim, explain to us those delusions aren't really delusions.


    Well (none / 0) (#200)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:55:29 PM EST
    When Hillary refers to the Australian method of gun control  (gun confiscation)  that does sort of reinforce the fear that is the ultimate goal...Correct?

    And (none / 0) (#175)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:36:57 PM EST
    Paranoia runs deep , into your heart it will creep.

    Paranoia, the Destroyer (none / 0) (#183)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:22:35 PM EST
    It is also about age (none / 0) (#186)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:32:55 PM EST
    Older voters are on average more conservative....And older voters vote more often and more often in off-year elections.....

    Is it a defense to say that the DNC is not (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:34:07 PM EST
    providing the support needed at the local and state level? Or is that a fact that needs to be addressed if the Democratic Party wants to build their infrastructure and win at the local and state level?

    Is it a fact that a good GOTV strategy and implementation is a vital part of winning elections? If it is not, I wasted a lot of my time over the years trying to make sure Democratic voters actually went and voted.

    As far as I'm concerned those are facts that need to be addressed when pushing for solutions. Are they all of the facts that need to be addressed when pushing for solutions? Of course not.

    Does the Democratic Party need to develop better messaging and better way to sell their ideas. No question. But if the Democratic Party is to develop a different national platform what rights and policies are you personally willing to abandon.

    Did Conway lose because he was a liberal candidate? No, because he wasn't a liberal Democrat. Were liberal voters the cause of Conway losing the election because they did not vote? The numbers suggest that twice as many moderate and conservative Democratic voters did not vote as the total number of all liberal Democratic voters in the State of Kentucky. So facts and the numbers do not support the premise that the lost should attributed to liberals and their policies.


    Again, your questions are good ones (none / 0) (#168)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:22:41 PM EST
    I think that what most here are saying is that there are multiple questions swirling around all of this ... and, that forward movement requires a full & open airing.  Soon.

    The questions that you raise need to be addressed ... in a methodical way throughout the precinct levels. The process of development as well as the enhancement of GOTV are central, certainly.

    ALSO: We need to evaluate, consider what our message is--are we relevant & all--and, we cannot fear asking what all Democrats & factions think.  


    While we cannot fear asking (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:03:59 PM EST
    what all Democrats and factions think, this constant need to blame the liberal faction of the party for Democratic loses, regardless of actual facts, only masks existing problems. It does absolutely nothing to identify and correct the problems that need to be resolved. It has become much too convenient to place all the blame on liberals not voting. It has become the go to knee jerk response to use liberals as the scapegoat while ignoring the actual facts that moderate and conservative Democrative voters are not voting and that their lack of participation has much more impact on elections than liberals who get all the blame. 67% of moderate or conservative Dem voters did not vote for Conway yet the current meme is that he lost because liberals did not vote. Conway would not have needed even one liberal vote to win if the moderate and conservative Dems had voted for him in larger numbers.

    Also (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:09:21 PM EST
    It ignores the fact that a socialist preaching fully liberal ideas has been consistently drawing the biggest crowds of this election so far.

    Agree with you there (none / 0) (#190)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 05:41:26 PM EST
    My point is a bit different than seeking to assess blame.  Frankly, it is ludicrous to blame the liberals in our party or anyone else, really.  That would only result in an endless
    pi%$ing match.

    What I would like to see is a direct statement of vision, mission, & strategy.  Sometimes the hardest part of a long term action strategy is the initial statement of vision/mission ... because people at a search conference or other avenue of inclusive planning typically tend to think that is the easiest part & that everyone is of common mind.  Actually, strategists have long recognized that is the most difficult part: Getting an organization's individuals to stop & focus long enough to identify where they agree as well as where they might disagree ... the key, btw, is to leave pre-judging at the doorstep for awhile to focus on what, when, & why.  It should be more of a definition process of where, specifically, an organization (or a political party) wants to go & why, with the how to get there.  It should not be a "who" bashing opportunity.

    BTW, I'm not just espousing theory.  The inclusive structure of a search conference (or similar) has worked for these kinds of purposes in a number of international communities (as well as my longtime EPA and other large groups.)   Qualified, disinterested leaders--with demonstrated experience in leading groups to review where they are at followed by revitalizing future action--are essentially in this kind of multi-day conference.  Attendees: Can be in the hundreds ... but, definitely should represent a cross-section in terms of location, experience, outlook, etc.  The purpose is to build; not destroy and to winnow down the many ideas that such an approach generates into the basic tenets & consensus on a manageable list of actions that move across all lines.  It is a fundamentals recheck & revitalize approach that actually yields more than a bunch of ideas that get plastered on a flipchart for a few hours. It works if organizations want to do more than ask What's Wrong with Off-Year Elections & the Democrats?


    Progressives can't (none / 0) (#185)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:28:16 PM EST
    stay away from the fool's gold that is Kentucky.....It is a red state.....

    Off year elections--sure progressives could do better.   But giving up constitutional rights is not the "right" way to go.


    Kentucky may be a red state (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 05:01:34 PM EST
    But it elected a Democratic governor in 2007 and reelected him again in 2011.
    The current governor is Steve Beshear, who was first elected in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011

    Also, his son Andy Beshear (D) just won the election for Attorney General garnering 479,929 votes.

    Based on those facts,  I'm not convinced that trying to win in Kentucky is pursuing fools gold. More like having to finds creative ways of mining a very difficult claim.

    Having said that, I strongly agree that giving up constitutional rights is not the "right" way to go.


    I don't have time (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:49:47 PM EST
    to read the article but in actuality the GOP is not winning the culture war. They lose on every issues. However what they are good at playing to the cultural grievances of people who long for "the old days" where "everybody knew their place".

    This type of grievance mongering is also the reason why the GOP in Washington is in such a mess. You can't deliver on these grievances. They use fear to motivate people and it's all about being against instead of being for something.

    We heard a similar discussion back in 2014 and it didn't turn out well for the GOP. Low turnout elections favor the GOP in these instances. The next step will be the GOP thinking they have some huge mandate for their radical policies and more craziness to follow.


    A Police Apologist Quandary: (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:34:17 PM EST
    Louisiana officials on Thursday were investigating the death of a 6-year-old boy who was killed after the police fired on a car driven by his father during a chase.

    Now I know what you're thinking.  But you're wrong.  As you can see in the photograph in the Times article, little Jeremy Mardis (he deserves to have his name known, doesn't he?) was a cute little white kid.

    The coroner said in a telephone interview that the boy was struck several times in the head and chest.

    That's a heckuva way to go.

    To those who always trot out the rationalizations and well, it's just policy, when innocent blacks get gunned down by cops, you're looking at the surface of an iceberg.  Chicken$h$t excuses are coming home to roost.  Gunning down innocent blacks was just the warm up act.  Think about it.  White targets outnumber black targets six to one.  Hunt where the huntin's good.  Those safe, sterile enclaves won't protect you anymore.

    Overarmed, underbrained, skinhead police thugs literally blanket and suffocate this nation with their sociopathic, authoritarian ideology.

    Doesn't sound like the father cared much about (1.00 / 1) (#24)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:14:14 PM EST
    the life of his son, if it's true he led the police on a car chase with the kid in the SUV.  Even if the cops acted inappropriately, this guy deserves most of the blame.

    Doesn't sound like (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:39:26 PM EST
    ... the police cared either.   We can assume the guy with the warrant had some sort of criminal past, but that does not give police the right to execute his son because of HIS bad deeds.

    Or do you think the father's bad acts are the only excuse necessary for police to execute a kid?  My father was in the insurance business.  In accident cases the standard for blame is "the last clear chance," i.e. who had the last clear chance to prevent the accident.  In this case it was clearly the police.  If they hold their fire, no matter what the father does, the kid does not get shot.

    If police want to be considered the "good guys," they shouldn't act worse than the bad guys.


    I've been thinking a lot about this one (none / 0) (#31)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:45:21 PM EST
    In a gang shooting, if a stray bullet hits a kid - who get's blamed - the shooter, or the person being shot at, regardless of their criminal history?

    Just wondering.


    The police might not have known there (none / 0) (#32)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:01:08 PM EST
    was a kid in the SUV.  I seriously doubt they decided to "execute" him.  

    We'll have to wait and see if the cops have any blame in this.  If the article is correct, the father has plenty.


    no one thinks they decided to execute anyone (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:11:28 PM EST
    But if you shoot into something you can't see clearly then you are responsible for the consequences.

    Repack seems to think they "executed" (none / 0) (#35)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:17:49 PM EST
    someone. I've heard that word used a lot in describing police shootings.  

    But if you shoot into something you can't see clearly then you are responsible for the consequences.

    Are speaking legally or morally? The law is different for police when it comes to use of force.  This is one reason it's hard to convict or even indict a cop for shooting someone.


    at this point (none / 0) (#42)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:33:28 PM EST
    I mean morally.

    I know what the law thinks, that's why we're having this national conversation.

    But we have so many accidental shootings - and they are the result of too many guns and too many trigger happy people, be they cops, or civilians, it's absurd.

    Maybe this time it's really 100% dad's fault and he was driving his car directly at a bunch of cops and was about to run them all over.  Maybe.  Or maybe he was actively shooting at them too.  But it's getting harder and harder to give the cops the benefit of the doubt.


    The cops pulled the trigger. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:20:06 PM EST
    I think that's an indication of blame.

    I think we (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:22:51 PM EST
    Need to know more

    From NY Times (none / 0) (#68)
    by thomas rogan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:44:16 PM EST

    "Dr. Mayeux said he examined what appeared to be multiple bullet holes in the vehicle.

    He said he spoke to some of the troopers, who told him that a warrant was out for Mr. Few's arrest and that he appeared to have been trying to back into the officers' vehicles after reaching the end of the street."

    Um, exactly what sort of father engages on a high speed chase running away from the cops with his six year old son in the car?  And if it were really true (hopefully there was video) that he was trying to get out of a dead end street at the end of a chase by smashing cop cars and injuring officers, what do you make of this?


    I am Shocked to Read Your Rationalization... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:23:17 AM EST
    ...for cops who kills kids.

    Of course the guy who pulled the trigger wasn't at fault...


    They are in a panic (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:51:34 PM EST
    Trying to destroy Quentn Tarantion.  Good luck with that, btw.

    Trying to get people to boycott his new movie.   I just decided I'm seeing it in the theater which I probably would not have done.

    Tarantion is a blowhard.  But calling murders murders and murders murders is not exactly a fring idea.


    I don't particurly like his movies (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:11:52 PM EST
    but I think I'll pay the price of a ticket for this one.

    I like most of his films (none / 0) (#20)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:02:24 PM EST
    His critics say he glorifies violence but so do a lot of filmmakers.  Tarentino's movies have far more dialog than gun shots.  The tension he creates with interesting characters and long scenes of dialog gives the violence in his films more impact.

    While I wouldn't mind seeing him suffer a bit for his recent stupid comments, I don't support the boycott strategy.  You can enjoy someone's work even if you don't like their politics, views or actions.  

    I don't even know what his latest movie is about but I'm sure I'll see it some point.  


    Well said on the boycott strategy... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:12:36 PM EST
    To deny oneself the pleasure of art over the politics of the artist, is to primarily punish oneself.

    If I refused to enjoy the films, music, art (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:17:04 PM EST
    of people I didn't agree with, I would have a very boring life.  Most of my favorite films were made by people who's politics is mostly different than mine.  

    Trying to prevent others from seeing a film isn't that much different than  book burning.  


    It's their right to boycott... (none / 0) (#148)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    and not support something/someone they don't agree with, that's similar to me avoiding Walmart or not having a bank account...when ya cross the line to trying to censor or stop others, yes that is akin to book burning.

    Hey Mr K, on the topic of artists (none / 0) (#83)
    by vml68 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 09:07:17 PM EST
    are you familiar with Chris Stapleton?
    I had never heard of him but saw these two videos from the CMAs today. Love his voice!

    Drink you away

    Tennessee Whiskey


    What about all the other songs on his CD? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:21:07 AM EST
    • Life Through a Pint Glass
    • Friday Night Is Party Night
    • Jack Daniels, Old Granddad & Me
    • Saturday Night Is Party Night
    • Wasted My Days Gettin' Wasted
    • Let's All Get Drunk Together
    • They're Prettier at Closing Time
    • Sunday Night Is Party Night
    • Last Beer Run at Bull Run
    • Daddy's Face Down on Christmas Again
    • Ladies' Night Is Party Night
    • Make Room in That Bottle for Me
    • A Toast for the Toasted
    • Every Night Is Party Night
    • I'm Drunk, You're Ugly (But in the Morning I'll Be Sober)

    I was not... (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:54:13 AM EST
    but I am now!  Thanks V...that's some good time drankin' music.

    Heh (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 07:47:51 PM EST

    actually it looks really good.  Great trailer too.


    I might just buy (none / 0) (#91)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 11:08:32 PM EST
    the ticket and then not see the show. Personal tastes varies.

    I'm not a fan of violent films.


    Enjoy, and let me know what you think. (none / 0) (#189)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 05:23:24 PM EST
    I started giving up on Quentin Tarantino with his "Kill Bill" films, and just wrote him off with "Inglorious Basterds," a movie which I absolutely despised. I've never bothered with "D'Jango Unchained," and I've really no desire to see "The Hateful Eight." I fully realize that mine is probably a minority opinion, but it is what it is.

    That said, the call by the LAPD and NYPD unions for a public boycott of Tarantino's new film in the wake of his remarks is both unbelievably silly and terribly juvenile. I might buy a film ticket just out of solidarity with him, even if I would probably leave shortly after the curtain rises. Oh, that's right, they don't have curtains at the Hell's Plaza Octoplex. My bad.



    My first thought with that (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:53:55 PM EST
    Are they trying to piss off white men too now? Because that seems like a good way to do it.

    Good point (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:01:28 PM EST
    Tarantino (sans spellcheck) has a big megaphone and an audience that might be new to this debate.

    He was on Chris Hayes show last night.  Interesting interview.  I don't think this is a fight they win.


    Police skin... (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:11:15 PM EST
    sure is thin.  Now if we can get the police to be as sensitive to our civil rights as they are to our criticism, we'll be in business.



    Have you ever seen Tarantino's TCM interview? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:13:17 PM EST
    Man oh man does he know movies.

    I have yes (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:23:47 PM EST
    And yes, he sure does know movies.

    Now now Mr. Natty... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:03:13 PM EST
    6 year old autistic kids have super human strength comparable to a 250 lb. man high on PCP.  That's science.  The marshals feared for their lives!!!

    Ben Carson and the pyramids (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:21:12 PM EST
    I posted this on the last open but it's just too good.

    He thinks Joseph built them for grain storage.  I just saw him asked about it again.

    The hilarious part, or perhaps the disturbing and frightening part, is how cable news is covering it.  They are covering it in the typical "two sides to every story" krap.

    Well, they say, this is what "many" believe.

    Many are stupid superstitious uneducated hicks.  I needed to be said.

    Yes, one side is just as (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:49:37 PM EST
    good as the other: if the Jews entered Egypt in about 1200 BC that would be about 2000 years after the Pyramids were built. So, the fact that the Pyramids were already 2000 years old when the Jews entered Egypt is on a par with "the personal theory of Carson" and, also, a guy I met in the bar who says that Jesus rode into Galilee on a dinosaur. .

    Honest to god (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:57:46 PM EST
    That fact that this guy is doing as well as he is frightens me.

    Makes me glad I'm 64 (on Sunday).

    And at the same time I read about new polling that shows people who express no religious choice is growing every year and is higher than its ever been.  Now actually the largest group in the Democratic Party.
    The part that sucks, we are called the "nones"

    64 years a refusenik and I end up a GD nun (none)


    Happy Birthday, Capt. (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:16:26 PM EST
    Happy Birthday.

    We'll still need you, hope we still please you! (5.00 / 4) (#80)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 08:34:36 PM EST
    When you're 64....

    Well Happy Birthday on Sunday, Capt.... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by desertswine on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:21:36 AM EST
    Enjoy the  day and I hope you have a zillion more wonderful days ahead.

    Happy birthday, fellow Scorpio! (5.00 / 3) (#191)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:09:15 PM EST
    My BD is today.

    Happy, happy birthday (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:34:29 PM EST
    May today be the start of a very good year for you.

    And to you (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:38:46 PM EST
    I noticed once that (I'm not actually into astrology) many of my close friends tend to be Scorpios.   Like, an oddly high number.

    Just sayin.


    Yep... (none / 0) (#197)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:44:03 PM EST
    My closest friends are Scorpios.  My best friend since Jr. High has his birthday on Sunday.

    Ha (none / 0) (#198)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:46:01 PM EST
    My best friend since college has a birthday tomorrow and my best friend from work years is the day after mine.

    Happy Birthday, MileHi (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:49:59 PM EST
    Hey, if you happen to be at Racine's for early dinner tomorrow (5:30 or 6:00ish), husband & I will be there ... usually sitting on the upper level (husband with a beer; me with a Boodles gin martini.) So ... if there, give a wave & we'll treat.  But then, you have to talk politics :)

    It does give new meaning to the food pyramid (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 07:14:37 PM EST
    If it wasn't for his crazy religious beliefs (none / 0) (#43)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:40:13 PM EST
    I could vote for him.  I like what he has to say most of the time.  I don't mind politicians being religious, or pretending to be, but I have a limit to how much nonsense I can handle.  

    Does he even try to explain why someone would put so much effort into building a grain storage facility?  The Pyramids took years to complete or maybe he doesn't believe that either?


    Please show your work (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:02:12 PM EST
    Does he even try to explain why someone would put so much effort into building a grain storage facility?

    Assumes facts not in evidence, i.e. that there might be a logical framework behind a loony statement.

    The idea that "[you] could vote for him," requires some explanation.

    Remember when Obama was derided as "only a community organizer" even though he had been a senator and had a distinguished academic background in Constitutional law?  

    Carson is a guy who has never had executive authority over anything.  He is a paid shill for snake oil.  He clearly has less grasp of how the United States works than the average eighth grader.  He is an evolution denier.  He has not yet been caught telling the truth about anything.  He tells a story about himself in which he deflected a robbery by redirecting the criminal's attention to another, less worthy person.  He wants to deny poor Americans the same government assistance that allowed him to rise out of poverty.

    And you say it is only his stance on the PYRAMIDS that loses your vote?  Help me out here.  What is there in the man that gives you confidence that he could run a convenience store, much less something complicated?


    I generally like his views on (none / 0) (#51)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:17:48 PM EST
    money, crime and education.  I'm not all that interested in voting for a career politician. I just can't get past the extreme religious stuff.  

    Funny, Yet Sad (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:45:08 PM EST
    The GOP ideal candidate, a lying moron who doesn't know much about anything, but how to rip people off.

    It's funny how the GOP hates the very politicians they elected, remarkable really, but even more remarkable, the solution to their bad judgement is backing folks with no experience what-so-ever.

    I never thought they could do worse than GWB, but hot damn if they can't prove me wrong.  At least they support people who have almost no chance of getting elected, that certainly is a plus.


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#62)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:08:57 PM EST
    Carson is a registered voter in Florida--having a second home in West Palm Beach (no state tax in Florida).  Yet, he was stumped when a Miami reporter asked him about the "wet food, dry foot" Cuban immigration policy long in effect.   He never heard of it.  I am about to do a search to cofirm that Carson really graduated from University of Michigan Medical School.   Stranger things have happened; he is a fraud on so many other levels.  

    Andy Borowitz on Carson: (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:23:20 PM EST
    :D (none / 0) (#98)
    by Nemi on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 07:49:08 AM EST
    Neurosurgeon Harland Dorrinson

    said that he was cheered by Carson's pronouncement over the weekend that Muslims should not be President. "Now you can cross politics off the list of things that people will expect me to be knowledgeable about," he said. "I think I speak for a lot of brain surgeons when I say, `Thank you, Ben Carson.' "

    I'm watching Tweety (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:14:18 PM EST
    And I have to give him credit.  He is, for one f the first times I've seen, calling out the idiot reporters who are rationalizing this insanity.

    Well, you have to admit...

    NO! I DONT HAVT TO ADMIT ANYTHING.   THIS NAKES NO SENSE. (Spittle spittle spittle)



    That Cuban immigration policy (none / 0) (#66)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:40:37 PM EST
    is "Wet foot, Dry foot," not wet food, dry foot, as was correctly asked as such.  Not that it would have made a difference. Food, foot,  is just a "personal theory" that I believe, food and foot are equivalent.

    But Carson is Starting... (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:31:09 PM EST
    ...to cross over from idiotic religious beliefs, to things that that simply make no sense.

    His greatest hits.

    • Gayness must be a choice, because prisoners who are raped come out gay.
    • Obamacare is worse than slavery. We live in a Gestapo age.
    • The Big Bang is a "fairy tale" and the notion of evolution was encouraged by the devil.
    • There's no war on women; there may be a war on women's insides.
    • Nope, I don't see any global warming.
    • Nope, I don't see any racism.
    • Planned Parenthood is a plot to kill black babies.
    • The President Can Ignore the Supreme Court
    • Homosexuality Is Like Bestiality
    • Holocaust Could Have Been Avoided if Jews Had Guns
    • God gave him the answers to his college chemistry final.
    • You know, we live in a Gestapo age, people don't real­ize it.
    • The No. 1 cause of death for black people is abortion.

    But I saved the best for last, here are videos of way crazier stuff that I can't even post as no one will believe it.


    Carson began the speech with an extended riff on his prostate cancer, and told the crowd how Mannatech's products had rid him of his prostate cancer symptoms. And THEN it got weird:
    "I actually toyed with the idea of not having surgery done...But then I began to realize that having a high profile, that if I did that, a lot of other people might follow that example, too, but they may not be quite as diligent about taking the product as I was, and there would be a lot of needless deaths, and I didn't feel as though I could have that on my conscience. So I went ahead and had the surgery done."


    Yes, the brain surgeon only had prostate cancer surgery to save others, because the product he was pushing would have cured it.


    Or he would have said (none / 0) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:43:32 PM EST
    Wet food is bad for their teeth.

    The fact (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 08:17:30 PM EST
    that he has zero compassion for a woman who has been raped by a stranger or a member of her own family holds no interest for you apparently - or do you put that in the same bag as "the extreme religious stuff"?

    I don't.

    The guy is a cruel stiff.


    Sarcasm ? (none / 0) (#105)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:03:05 AM EST
    He is the first guy here to whine about the injustice done to men by women.  I would say that is a plus in his Carson column, not a minus.

    I assume you're talking about abortion? (none / 0) (#184)
    by McBain on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:26:51 PM EST
    I tend to lump that in with religious beliefs.  I'm in favor of abortion in many instances.

    I might sit this election out.  There really isn't anyone on either side I feel good about at this point.  Maybe something will change.    


    Better than sitting out... (none / 0) (#193)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:32:22 PM EST
    is voting 3rd Party imo. I haven't voted for a D or R for Pres since '04, and only 2 since '96. And I regret those two votes! And unless Bernie shocks the world, it won't be a D or R next year either.

    Effectively pointless, sure, but I've got an hour to kill on any November day. I like the ritual. Last time Jill Stein got locked up running, least I could do was pull a lever for her. Considered Gary Johnson too and could have voted for him in good conscience.

    Obama or McCain/Romney, Clinton or Last Clown Standing? No way Jose.


    Check out his rap ad (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:59:07 PM EST

    Ben Carson's new rap-based campaign ad is wiggity, wiggity, wiggity wack

    This is real.  It is not a satire.   I'm not sure it could be satirized.


    This comment about covers it IMO (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 10:53:52 PM EST
    Posted 11 minutes ago11 minutes Reply keith Haynie says at 0:07:

    LMAO, I swear this just lost him every black vote he already didn't have

    He seems to be his own satirist (none / 0) (#79)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 08:32:55 PM EST
    - (he's doing his bit for government efficiency.)

    Another leak in the dike (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:31:07 AM EST
    You must be running out of fingers.

    I could vote for him.  I like what he has to say most of the time.

    Turns out that a pivotal story about the good doctor is another fabrication. Not admitted to West Point with a "full scholarship."  (Every West Point admission is a full scholarship.)

    The conservatives are going crazy, claiming that Obama was never vetted like this.



    More than Joseph & the Pyramids (none / 0) (#158)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:40:53 PM EST
    It is beginning to seem that Carson's stories about a number of matters--the Pyramid belief; the misstatements about our Founding Fathers (C. initially asserted that none of the Founding Fathers had held elective office prior to their remarkable venture in drafting constitutional documents); the admitted lack of knowledge about our current diplomatic status with Cuba; the apparently false narrative about redemption in his book that his life was demonstrably violent (attempting to attack another, physically, as a youth) before a significant character change that made him who he is today and demonstrates his good strength of character] and, now, the admission that--contrary to his tale about meeting, as a youth, respected General Westmorland in 1969...whereupon the General endorsed his desire to attend West Point and provided for Carson's admittance, that claim is not only unsupported but denied by West Point after a search of the records.

    Well ... McBain, even in these early stages of scrutiny, it appears that Dr. Carson's statements about events & happenings in his life do not comport with the facts known to date.  The areas of--er, um--factual discrepancies, seem to be growing much beyond that to which you allude. What is really striking: Several of these statements-at-odds-with-the-facts relate to image-building about his character, in the first instance.

    What my experience teaches me is that a person who is found to have engaged in a pattern of enhancing/embellishing his curriculum vitae or key events of the life-story enters the realm of major dishonesty.  When people seek higher level positions and/or run for political office, it is taken as a kind of given that certain stretching of the truth will be involved in their narratives.  With Dr. Ben Carson, tho, the developing facts--as opposed to beliefs--suggest a pattern of tales creating a person who is nowhere near the character he presents this political season.  

    IMO, the fanciful tales/mistruths uncovered to date show much more than occasional & inadvertent straying from the truth; rather, what may be coming into view about Dr. Carson, is a methodical lying about major portions of his background and about who he is.


    CNN (none / 0) (#95)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 05:39:23 AM EST
    Delves into Carson's self described violent past and find absolutely nothing. Carson accuses CNN of calling him a 'pathological liar'. The reporting actually looks solid with interviews of many of family, friends and classmates, none of which remember any violent acts from him.

    Link from yesterday. It's heating up this morning,with Carson set to appear @ 7 am this morning.


    Seems to me Carson would be (none / 0) (#118)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:44:51 AM EST
    more attractive to most voters if he hadn't stuck his mom w/a hammer or tried to kill a family member.

    It's (none / 0) (#124)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    the "redemption" story he is selling, there just seems something very fraudulent about this guy.

    I think Carson was very combative during is CNN interview. He kept referring to a "pack of lies", throwing around words like garbage, silly and stupid, almost like an understated Trump.


    He clealy has a very low tolerance level (none / 0) (#162)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:57:24 PM EST
    for questioning ... maybe, his profession (as well as his personality) led him to believe that he should not be questioned. Period. :)

    Those two things get a lot of attention (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:25:27 AM EST
    Personally, I find the "throwing rocks at cars" more disturbing.

    At least with the former you can imagine some "reason".   Some incident or some offense that might cause the behavior.

    Throwing rocks at random cars is just f@cking psychotic.


    As a mother, I surely do (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:50:43 PM EST
    hope this is snark!

    Meanwhile , Carson never applied to West Point. And also was never offered a scholarship there, as it is free.


    If you mean on his part (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:14:16 PM EST
    The "joke" was about police brutality.  Not the fact he threw ricks at cars

    Ben Carson, notably the only black man running for president, made a joke Wednesday afternoon about running away from the cops as a kid.

    "Throwing rocks at cars, I really liked that," he said, describing his childhood. "Sometimes, the police would come, always in unmarked cars. And, they'd be chasing us across the field."

    Carson said he would hop over 10-foot-tall fences, to run away from the police.

    "Now, that was back in the days before they would shoot you," he said, laughing. The crowd joined in laughter.

    "I'm just kidding!" he said. "You know, they wouldn't do that."

    He made the comments here at the University of New Hampshire at the beginning of a speech to a ballroom full of white voters, a mix of graying baby boomers and college-age millennials.

    The joke hung strangely in the ballroom air. The surgeon-turned-politician then quickly pivoted.

    "In fact, I will use that segue to say I really have a tremendous amount of respect for the police," he said, "because they put their lives on the line everyday for us."

    The crowd erupted in applause

    Naw. The hammer to mom's (none / 0) (#159)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:49:09 PM EST

    Ah, I see (none / 0) (#161)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:54:58 PM EST
    You mean "as a mother" you find trying to bash his mothers head in with a hammer the most terrible thing he coukd do?

    Well, as the child of a mother, and a person who personally know several mothers who are candidates for hammertime, I would disagree.


    Did I say it was the most (none / 0) (#165)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:15:04 PM EST
    terrible? Rhetorical question.

    That May Be... (none / 0) (#169)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:23:08 PM EST
    ...but in general, physically damaging a car isn't even the same strata as trying to murder someone, even if that someone deserved it.

    Who hasn't throw rocks at cars, joke, but we used to pack tomatoes with rocks and throw them at cars.  Along with every kind of fruit or vegetables available, corn cobs, apples, it's how country kids passed the time in the summer.  Sit in the corn field and throw S at cars, if they stopped you took off running, and when you reconnected with your friends, laughed and laughed, but most people did not stop.  Semis were the best, everyone could pelt them and they would never stop, but they were rare.  Keep in mind, these are cars going highway speeds, hitting them from a corn field was no small feat as you didn't want to be seen, so generally you didn't throw until the driver couldn't see you.

    I think 'rocks' is up for interpretation, rocks can be the size of your thumb all the way up to something you can barely lift.  For us it was small rocks, gravel sized.


    Mmmmmm K (none / 0) (#172)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:32:32 PM EST
    Acorns and snowballs (none / 0) (#173)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:32:40 PM EST
    were the projectiles of choice for us Jersey boys.

    You do I hope realize (none / 0) (#174)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:34:23 PM EST
    At least at this point that by throwing rocks at a moving car you could in fact cause the death of everyone inside the car?

    Ok (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:42:49 PM EST
    Apparently this is why, or at least one reason, I was always considered that weird "Stephen King kid" growing up.

    At whatever age if someone had suggested we go have fun by throwing rocks at moving cars I would have looked at them like they were crazy.   And gone home to watch tv.


    The urban nerd version (none / 0) (#177)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:52:27 PM EST
    I had a friend who would put ketchup packets on train tracks, so that when the train came anyone standing on the platform would be sprayed with ketchup (it was the greenline which is more of a streetcar).  Occasionally pennies too which would make the worst sound imaginable and seemed like they might derail the train.

    He now works for the DNC.


    I would totally do that (none / 0) (#181)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:10:36 PM EST
    Yes, at 45 I Realize There is... (none / 0) (#182)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:21:57 PM EST
    ...a small chance of injury, death unlikely.  And for the record, every single car I have owned has had a cracked windshield due to rocks from big truck tires.  It's startling to see a rock launched in your direction, but the idea that my life was ever in danger, even on Houston freeways, is a little silly, and this was the country.  But I do believe, that my luck with windshields is karma related.

    But as a kid, that wasn't even in part of the equation, we were just see if we could hit a moving target with the only fear our parents finding out.

    I think you are in the minority on this, I think most boys threw S at cars at some point.

    TV, what in hell did you watch on TV in the summer time before cable & VCR's, soap operas ?


    Story (none / 0) (#187)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:37:00 PM EST
    In my formative years, approx 7-8 through 10-12 we lived deep in the country.  We could only get one tv station.   And it was a startup.  Eventually, after a year or so as I remember, It had somewhat normal programming in prime time but all day long it was cartoons and classic movies.   God I loved it.  I was despondent when a network finally bought them and it became a regular tv station.   I spent so many hours watching classic unedited for political correctness Warner Brothers and Flescher cartoons.   And classic b/w movies.  More that anything else horror movies.   I guess old b movies were easier to get.
    Anyway if that house was still standing you would find my shadow burned into the wall in front of the tv just like in Homer Simpdons homestead in that one episode.

    That tv station raised me.   Both my parents worked.  My siblings were grown and gone.  I have often said it's the reason I never had a heavy Arkansas accent.   Because I learned English from the tv.

    And I really never did.  I can remember and a child people saying "why don't you have an accent like the rest if your family"


    Film idea for Quentin Tarantino. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:21:23 PM EST
    "The Life and Death of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz,"  The bizarre story of a Fox Lake, Il police officer who was shot and killed by three suspects; a search across northern Illinois, a hero's funeral, a criticism by Republican presidential candidate, Scott Walker, of President Obama for his creating an environment of great risk to law enforcement officers.

     And, then...all to be put in reverse: a staged suicide, embezzlement from a youth fund for private use, including adult sites, mortgage payments. A hit planned by mobsters on an administrator who might discover his misdeeds. And, more to come in the look for conspirators, active and passive.   Lot's of good prospects for casting.

    Drama or comedy? (none / 0) (#41)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:32:45 PM EST
    Or Both?  It feels more like a Coen brothers movie.  

    I have a casting idea (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:46:17 PM EST
    How about (none / 0) (#69)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:44:33 PM EST
    Trey Goudy for Joe's role.  The screen play could be a job for Patrick Lynch, chief of the NYC police union and acquaintance of Tarantino.

    And, it looks like (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:48:23 PM EST
    the wife and son can play themselves in this movie.  They are good actors.

    ... Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood or Spike Lee. There are simply not enough dead bodies in this story to interest Tarantino, who specializes in the stylized orchestration of violence and mayhem.

    The 100 Club... (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:26:45 PM EST
    ...has asked for the $15k back, first they have every asked for a donation back.

    Motorola in a very cool move, had originally put up $50,000 reward, has decided to donate to Fox Lake Explorer post to help replenish what he stole.

    Other groups have said the donations were for the family and will not ask for them back.  But the bind he put his family in, financially and psychologically is simply unreal, no pension, no insurance, donations pulled...

    The guy was bad, but damn if I don't really feel for that family, to find out your dad is a scum bag and have to deal with it on a national level.  They have defamed his memorial, and I can only imagine what kind of things people in a small town are saying and doing.

    So I wonder who he was texting, who knew that he was stealing and that he was thinking about harming the person investigating his thefts ?


    According to the Chicago Sun-Times, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by caseyOR on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:38:23 PM EST
    the police are now investigating the cop's wife and son. The texts you mention, Scott, were sent to his wife and his son. It seems that the police investigators believe the family were accomplices in the embezzlement.

    You Just Blew My Mind... (none / 0) (#58)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:49:12 PM EST
    ...this interview lead me to believe the wife was clean, she seems very so genuine.

    I remember reading something about a woman with connections to a biker gang, and I assumed that maybe he had a side dish and that is where the money went.


    A movie (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:28:22 PM EST
    I would see

    Crazy news day, first with Carson, now this... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by NJDem on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:31:42 PM EST
    The emails that helped trigger the on-going FBI inquiry into Clinton's private email set-up turn out not to be highly classified after all!

    "A top expert in classification procedures called the development " an astonishing turn of events.  

    LINK from Politico

    This (none / 0) (#157)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:38:47 PM EST

    "Usually, when an agency commits itself to a judgment that is this consequential, the agency will tend to dig in its heels and insist--no matter what--it was right. What's unusual here is an agency said we reconsidered and we changed out mind. That's a difficult thing to do, and they're liable to be attacked for doing it," Aftergood said.

    And attacked they most certainly will be.

    Counting down to boiler plate right wing talking points from the resident Benghazi/email trolls.

    I can't wait.


    Absolutely! (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by NJDem on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:53:28 PM EST
    I'm sure they're drafting the conspiracy theories now...

    BTD is justifiably gloating--he just put up a post about this

    Happy Birthday, btw. :)


    Captain (none / 0) (#163)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:10:40 PM EST
    What a nice Birthday gift for you ....

    Happy Birthday and--most definitely--Happy Full Retirement!


    Next year (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 03:25:39 PM EST
    I get full retirement AND president Hillary.  

    I was never in the military but I have heard from friends who were that the worst time was when you were "short".  
    When you are just before going home you get the most nervous about surviving to make it.

    That's how I feel.

    Starimaster every day.  Little less vodka.   Lots of sleep.


    Odd thing (none / 0) (#178)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 04:01:58 PM EST
    I have MSNBC on.   Not a word about this.

    Hey J - (none / 0) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 01:15:24 PM EST
    Did you know Mike Littwin uses the same "The pump doesn't work" quote as you?  Although, he doesn't attribute to Dylan...

    Wishing you a "Happy B'day" a little (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by vml68 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 09:17:25 PM EST
    early MileHi. Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

    Same goes for you CaptHowdy. Happy 64th on Sunday!


    Thanks v (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 07:27:00 AM EST
    Scorpios unite!

    It's the big one for me.  I already have the calendar up to start making off the days to pension land and full retirement .


    Hey, happy birthday, Captain... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 08:24:18 AM EST
    curious about one thing, though.  I can't remember if you started collecting SS at 62, but I remember when my husband decided that's what he would do, SS told him that when he reached his full retirement age, he would not be able to take the higher benefit unless and until he paid back the benefits he'd already received first - there's no automatic bump to the higher benefit upon reaching the magic "full retirement" age, for those who started collecting early.

    If someone was receiving a $1,500/month benefit starting at age 62, he or she would have to pay back approximately $72,000 in order to then begin to collect "full" benefits at 66.  Would guess that most people don't have that kind of money just sitting around to make that happen.

    So...hope that's not your situation, or that if it is, you're in a position to qualify for the higher benefit.


    Correct (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:03:02 AM EST
    I will continue collecting what I currently get from SS for as long as I require it.   I understood that when I jumped at 62.

    Fortunately I have quite a good deal coming from IATSE local 839.    It comes in two parts .  A monthly payment that will give me 7-8 hundred a month plus a lump of about (the last time checked) 60,000.

    If I had not had that I would have waited till 65.


    Btw (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:06:53 AM EST
    If I had 10 years instead of 7 vested I would have also gotten the pension money at 62.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#192)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:14:52 PM EST
    Took the day off and slept in this morning and out for steak dinner tonight - not a bad day!

    well he should (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 02:28:18 PM EST
    attribute it to Dylan. And I've been using it as TalkLeft's tagline since 2002, which is a lot longer than he's been writing for the Independent. (he used to write for the Rocky Mountain News or Denver Post, I forget which.)

    I think it was the Post (none / 0) (#111)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:46:50 AM EST
    hmmm (none / 0) (#28)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 03:28:46 PM EST
    my fav Repub and the friends who knew him when he was younger are being surprised by his claims of violence while younger . . ..

    Is DNA infallible? (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 04:19:10 PM EST
    How can a child's DNA not match one of his biological parent's DNA?

    How can a man's cellular DNA not match his own sperm's DNA?

    How can a woman's cellular DNA not match her own ovum's DNA?

    Short answer: He/she is a chimera. He/she, as a fetus, absorbed a sibling twin's fetus.

    (This caught my eye because I have a relative who has a similar but different situation; she has a calcified fetus of a sibling twin w/in her body)

    Great article, sarc (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:13:38 PM EST
    Yes, chimerism exists, and also mosaicism.  (And "vanishing twin syndrome" has been known for quite awhile.)
    Google an image of baseball player Max Scherzer, who has heterochromism (two different eye colors).  Could well be because of chimerism or mosaicism, both very similar, if not pretty much the same thing.  

    In addition to different colored eyes, google says that chimeras created from fetuses of both genders may lead to hermaphroditism or other intersex characteristics.

    This also raises the possibility of false (none / 0) (#77)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 08:09:30 PM EST
    exoneration in rape cases, as a cheek swab DNA test would not match the sperm DNA.

    Maybe but a false exoneration is better than (none / 0) (#84)
    by McBain on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 09:11:57 PM EST
    a false conviction

    Here's another interesting speculation, (none / 0) (#86)
    by Zorba on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 09:17:50 PM EST
    in the (I would think an exceedingly rare) case of a suspected chimera rapist.  
    While courts have ordered in the past the accused to provide a cheek swab for DNA testing, could they order an accused to provide semen for a DNA test?
    Or would this be a violation of his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination?
    I mean, presumably, he would be required to masturbate in order to provide such a sample, and I would think that this would skate way into 5th Amendment violation territory.
    I think that the odds of this happening are vanishingly small, but it's interesting to speculate about.

    Ya, I was thinking the same thing. (none / 0) (#92)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:08:06 AM EST
    Odds are for sure crazy small. But could you legally force someone to produce a sperm sample? Not just self incrimination, but also privacy issues?

    I read a story about a woman who applied for some kind of federal assistance which required a DNA test for her and her children, and her DNA did not match her children's because she was chimeric (which she found out while defending herself from the feds who accused her of falsifying records or some such thing).

    Actually, you just made me think of something. I think I'll save it for tomorrow, I need to think it through...


    I read about this some time ago. (none / 0) (#122)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    It was in relation to a woman who had immigrated to the US under refugee status and was trying to bring some of her children over and her DNA did not match theirs.
    The US now requires DNA testing of parental relationships (for refugees) to prevent fraud.

    What I find really cool is that most women will have some DNA of their child/ren from every pregnancy whether they carried to term or miscarried. And, even more fascinating, if you are a younger child, then there is a small possibility of you carrying some of your older siblings DNA!
    Of course we are talking very small amounts but still very cool!

    OT, I was catching up on some older posts and saw that you went to Clarkson U in Potsdam. My brother went there too. I visited once. Talk about the middle of nowhere!


    Ha! Yes, the middle of nowhere is a great (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:08:56 PM EST
    description. It was fun for 4 years, but that's my limit.

    What year did he graduate?

    To follow up on my comment last night. Chimerism is when one fetus of a pair of twins is subsumed by the other fetus in vitro. And the surviving twin has cells/dna from the other twin as part of their physical makeup.

    Sometimes chimerism is obvious, like when the person has different colored eyes, or "two-toned" skin, or a shock of different-colored hair on someone's scalp, etc., and other times not obvious, like when the subsumed twin's cells/dna predominate the reproductive organs or some other non-obvious part of the body.

    Literally like blending a milkshake. You never know where in the fetus the cells of the twin will end up.

    As I said earlier, I read about chimerism sometimes resulting in intersex characteristics, which led me to wonder, in the case of chimerism resulting from a mixed sex pair of fetal twins, if one of the results could be homosexuality.

    ie, if enough of the cells/dna of the opposite-sex twin end up in the brain to control sexual orientation.

    Googling around it seems there are some others who ask the same question, but I can't find any actual scientific research on it so it's really just an abstract thought.

    What is interesting though is the idea that chimerism could more common than we may think.

    It can occur anytime the mother produces multiple eggs. (And also when a single zygote splits forming "identical" twins, and one is absorbed by the other. In this case though the effect is very difficult to observe, due to both fetuses being "identical" from the get-go)


    He graduated in '93. (none / 0) (#146)
    by vml68 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 01:04:27 PM EST
    Sorry, if my earlier comment was confusing.

    I believe the woman with refugee status turned out to be a case of chimerism.

    The rest of my comment was just stuff I found fascinating and was not meant to be confused with chimerism.



    An interesting day in L.A. Times country. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:07:20 PM EST
    First off, the Los Angeles Superior Court jury which has been hearing the civil lawsuit brought by former sports reporter and columnist T.J. Simers against the Los Angeles Times has just rendered its verdict, finding for the plaintiff to the tune of $7.13 million, and effectively upholding Simers' contention that he was discriminated against by his now-former employer on account of his age:

    "Foreman Orie McLemore said afterward that the panel could not reconcile Simers' history of positive performance reviews with The Times' response to the ethics violation, which involved taking away his column but keeping him on staff as a reporter.

    "'It seemed that they didn't deal with Mr. Simers in a proper manner,'" McLemore said. 'How can you take someone who's been doing that well and then all of a sudden he's not up to par? I have got to feel there's something there.'"

    Earlier today, the L.A. Times' parent company Tribune Publishing offered to pay $3 million in bankruptcy costs for Freedom Communications in exchange for the right to bid when the Orange County Register, its sister publication Riverside Press-Enterprise and their parent are sold at auction.

    Coming as this does on the heels of Tribune Publishing's earlier purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune, it's become obvious that the Chicago-based media giant's intent here is to consolidate all four major Southern California print publications under its roof.

    Is that really a good thing, with respect to us as consumers of news and information? Because that leads us to the article also posted today by the Columbia Journalism Review, which offers a rather interesting backstory on the L.A. Times and its increasingly fractious relationship with Chicago and Tribune Publishing, which also owns the Chicago Tribune.

    In its analysis, CJR notes the tremendous local pressure now being brought to bear upon Tribune Publishing by prominent L.A. citizens and civic leaders, who've been increasingly disturbed by and unhappy with the direction the Chicago company has been taking the city's premier newspaper:

    "In August, Angeleno billionaire Eli Broad began preliminary talks with the board of Tribune Publishing about buying the Times from the national chain. The board eventually rejected the overture, right around the time it voted to fire the Times' publisher and chief executive, Austin Beutner. He was just one year at the helm.


    "Regardless of whether the two events were related, they've been linked by the letter--sent to Tribune Publishing's board days after Beutner's September 8 departure. More than 50 local influentials, including business leaders, philanthropists, and two former mayors, protested Beutner's  firing. 'As you move ahead,' it reads, 'we strongly urge you to continue with leadership that knows and loves Los Angeles and shares our commitment to its future.' Broad's name sat inconspicuously midway down the list. Left unmentioned were continuing discussions in local circles about possibly buying the Times. Those circles, it should be noted, often radiate from Broad.

    "The public drama was perhaps unprecedented among the nation's top newspapers: a national chain firing a publisher whose billionaire associate made an unwanted attempt to buy the chain's flagship property. The sequence of events made for a bizarre, high-stakes circus that shows few signs of abating."

    If you have the time, all three articles are pretty good reads which offer us some insight on the present state of our ever-consolidating media in the United States, which is increasingly leaving an awful lot to be desired.


    I must read up on Simers. He always (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:58:52 PM EST
    amused me but absolutely infuriated others.

    I always enjoyed his columns. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 07:10:53 PM EST
    Matt Reynolds of Courthouse News Service had a good summary of the closing arguments in the Simers trial.

    Hmmmmm. Simers jumps to the OC Register. (none / 0) (#119)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:48:06 AM EST
    reires a yr. or so later saying he's burned out and wasn't even going to the games. How the heck did the jury come up w/such a huge verdict w/o punitive damages.

    Pain and suffering, I suppose. (none / 0) (#142)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:41:48 PM EST
    I'd been kinda / sorta following the trial, and to be quite honest while the jury's verdict didn't really surprise me, the size of the award sure did.

    But then, it was pretty apparent from the evidence that the L.A. Times management was looking for an excuse to shove T.J. Simers aside to make room for younger (and cheaper) talent. Further, they chose a rather sketchy reason to do so, given that Simers' own editors had initially approved his side work that management much later claimed was an irreconcilable conflict of interest on his part.

    Their own now-former editors refused to support that contention in court, and testified that Simers was at all times open and above-board with them regarding his video project. I can see why management thought it was a conflict, but if anyone dropped the ball here, it's their own editors who signed off on it in the first place.

    All in all, Simers didn't deserve the bum's rush he received from Times management, which did handle the entire matter rather badly, so perhaps jurors wanted to send a message.



    The Gift (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 05:39:37 PM EST
    Speaking of movies.

    Excellent excellent movie.  Ran across a review that made me interested so I  PPVed it.  So good.

    Written directed and starring Joel Edgerton.  You would recognize him if you saw him.   Solid actor.  Recently Ramses in that awful Riddley Scitt Moses thing.  He was actually pretty good in it.   Allison Tollman, the lady sherif from last seasons FARGO,  Wendell Pierce from The Wire.  Rebecca Hall from Transcendence.  Jason Bateman and others.

    Really really creepy.  In the best sense.  No blood or violence to speak of.  But wow.  It grabs you.

    93% at Rotten Tomatoes

    Bryan Cranston: Oscar gold? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 06:54:15 PM EST
    We just saw an early preview of the new biopic "Trumbo," in which Cranston plays title character Dalton Trumbo, the acclaimed left-leaning screenwriter and member of the U.S. Communist Party who arguably became the biggest casualty of McCarthyist Red-baiting in the 1950s, and yet still had the last laugh on his rivals.

    It's a great film about the First Amendment, and it opens nationwide on Friday. I can only gush about the former "Breaking Bad" star's performance, which I think may be a virtual lock for an Academy Award nomination as best actor. But I also loved Helen Mirren's catty turn as the vicious Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, who proves to be Trumbo's most persistent nemesis.

    Mirren may also be an early Oscar favorite in the supporting actress category, and she'll hopefully earn history's gratitude for her acidic portrait of Hopper, the widely-read but vile gossip maven who rigorously enforced the infamous Hollywood Blacklist for the House Un-American Activities Committee, and was every bit the horror show in real life that we see in the film.

    For example, only a few years after she'd been singing the praises of then-up-and-coming actor Larry Parks, Hopper almost gleefully destroyed his career after he admitted to HUAC that he'd been a member of the Communist Party.

    When John Wayne initially protested that Parks should be given a second chance, Hopper attacked The Duke twice in her columns, eventually forcing him to apologize to her publicly, which got him out of her crosshairs. Then, for good measure, Hopper tried to blacklist Parks' young wife, actress-comedienne Betty Garrett, for the crime of simply for being married to him.

    Garrett, though, outlasted her husband's tormentor and years later at a Hollywood party, when John Wayne commented to her how good it was that she had stood by Parks all those years, she simply retorted, "Too bad I can't say the same for you."

    Go see "Trumbo."

    Can't wait to see it. (none / 0) (#81)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 08:38:40 PM EST
    That would mean Cranston would only need a Grammy to pick up the EGOT. Maybe he can sing? Hope he is working on a recording of some type....

    You can win a Grammy (none / 0) (#110)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:39:24 AM EST
    Fir spoken word.  He has a completely unique voice.   Not impossible at all.

    I saw 'Steve Jobs' last weekend (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 08:46:49 PM EST
    Really liked it. Not a typical biopic, more of a character study. Fassbender may give Cranston a race for that Oscar. He is really spellbinding.

    For some reason (none / 0) (#102)
    by Nemi on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 08:30:47 AM EST
    I've only seen Michael Fassbender in one movie, Shame. But what a tour de force! His acting totally blew me away and was so convincing that he seemed to totally be rather than act the part.

    He and Carey Mulligan both were phenomenal and their characters heartbreaking. Whatever happened to these two during their upbringing? The director doesn't give an answer and leaves it up to the spectator to speculate. Which this one does, without ever being able to come up with the answer. Haunting to think about.


    John Garfield was a very big (none / 0) (#87)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 09:58:43 PM EST
    tragic victim of the reactionary inquisitors of the McCarthy era..

    Some changes at the GOP debate (none / 0) (#72)
    by CoralGables on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 07:02:47 PM EST
    next Tuesday.

    Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee have been kicked to the kiddie table.

    Lindsey Graham and George Pataki have been kicked off the kiddie table.

    ... anywhere near my dining room, kid's table and adult's table notwithstanding.

    Today's Republican Party (none / 0) (#89)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Nov 05, 2015 at 10:43:55 PM EST
    is not our father's Barnum & Bailey Circus.

    Clown acts hold the Center Ring.  

    Serious acts? They're stuck on the periphery.


    Don't forget the Dems get together (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:21:23 AM EST
    With Rachel tonight

    I forgot Pataki was running... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:29:48 PM EST
    apparently, so have Republican voters lol.

    I'm starting to wonder if the GOP Primary is some kind of elaborate money laundering scam.  


    The darling NYTimes (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 05:28:07 AM EST

    Carson Holds Off on Wooing Black Voters


    Ben Carson has a unique possibility of drawing blacks to vote in the Republican primary, but his campaign has yet to hire a staff member dedicated to turning out black voters.

    I know that this is supposed to be whatever it is supposed to be - this kind of reportage -- but it reads like unbelievable racism to me.

    "Drawing blacks..." --- ooof!

    It doesn't seem to occur to the scribe penning this that if Carson had a program that might help people in the inner cities, that people of whatever race or color might be motivated to vote for that person.

    It seems obvious to me that the writer - and the Times - assumes that because Carson is "black", he should be drawing "blacks".

    This is the level to which our political dialogue has sunk.

    Ben Carson's rap (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:04:29 AM EST
    I'm all for attempting to (none / 0) (#114)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:10:55 AM EST
    expand your party.

    But that had to be one of the most tone deaf things I've ever seen in politics.

    Just astounding.


    Um. Isn't that what ALL the candidates do? (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 07:52:41 AM EST
    And what all polling does?  And all analyses of political races do?  It sure worked for Obana, didn't it? And Hillary Clinton will probably get some votes based on her gender from people who may like Bernie Sanders better, but would rather see a woman in the White House.  Should there ever be an atheist candidate, my guess is many atheists will vite for that person based on their non-belief. (And that candidate will also have people to "draw in" religious voters).

    You realize that campaigns also have people to reach out to women voters, Latino voters, Asian voters, LGBTQ voters, etc.?  They also have people who try to "draw in" voters from urban areas, suburban areas and rural areas.  

    There's lots to be offended about.  This is not one of them.


    Offensiveness, like most things (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:37:35 AM EST
    is a matter of degree..

    No candidate in recent memory has had the chutzpah to so brazenly insult the intelligence and political acumen of the targeted "identity" voter the way Team Carson is here..



    His name is Ben... (5.00 / 4) (#152)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 02:09:45 PM EST
    and he's here to say,
    Joseph stored his grain,
    in an unusual way.

    He knows brains,
    and surgery too.
    But not much else,
    that much is true.

    Said he was stabbin' nigg*s,
    at the age of 14.
    But ask those that knew him,
    they'll say "whaddya mean?".

    Habitual liar,
    makin' it up on the fly.
    The GOP nomination,
    not this time guy!

    But for Dr. Carson,
    don't sing the blues.
    He'll get what he was after,
    a cushy gig at FOX News.


    I Don't Think Offended... (none / 0) (#115)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:19:09 AM EST
    ...is the right word.  But it is very odd.

    Along the lines of what you said, generally candidates don't have to make an effort to reach out to like people.  The atheist for example, isn't going to wake up one day and think, geez maybe I should court atheists.  I doubt it ever occurred to HRC that she should not specifically court women, it's a gimme for most candidates.  But for Carson, black people seem to be an after thought, much like most GOP candidates, to be unsuccessfully courted every four years.  And when they do, it's uncomfortable and generally has the opposite effect.

    Take his new rap, I mean seriously WTF ?  Beyond the dumbassery of believing a rap song will get black votes, it's just plain bad.

    Even Carson agrees:

    MIAMI (AP) -- Even Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson doesn't seem to think his campaign ad featuring rap lyrics is the best idea.

    Carson said Thursday he "probably would have taken a little different approach," when asked about the new ad during book-signing events in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    Side note:  That quote is Carson in a nutshell, it makes no sense, if he would have taken a different approach then why didn't he.

    SONG (ad intensive link)  LYRICS

    If we wanna get America back on track
    We gotta vote Ben Carson matter of fact

    The article includes statements of (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:53:02 AM EST
    a black voter who came to a Carson appearance to check him out. The former voted for Obama twice.  He knew of and respected Carson long b/4 he announced he was running.  

    I've been really worried (none / 0) (#107)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:17:54 AM EST
    About this recovery, and in a lot of ways I still am.  But this is undoubtedly some good news.

    "he American economy added 271,000 jobs in October"

    "The unemployment rate dipped to 5 percent, from 5.1 percent in September. Average hourly earnings also bounced back, rising 0.4 percent in October after showing no increase in September; that lifted the gain to 2.5 percent over the last 12 months, the healthiest since 2009."

    "Before the report on Friday, economists had been anticipating a payroll increase of about 180,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged from September's level. The Labor Department revised upward the total number of jobs created in August and September by 12,0000." (I imagine that extra zero after the comma is a typo)

    And, what affect did this good news (none / 0) (#123)
    by NYShooter on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:03:10 AM EST
    have on our stock market? Obviously, the labor force, adding almost a hundred thousand more jobs than predicted sent the stock market soaring......right?

    Well, you would have thought so, but, you would've been wrong. The market, which had been nominally higher prior to the jobs report did just the opposite. It tanked approximately 80 points in the blink of an eye. Of course this is the kind of market action that people who are not too familiar with financial markets point to in exasperation. "Why is such good news such bad news for the stock market?"

    Anyway, there is a valid reason for what seems to be a contradictory market response. But, this is boring stuff, so I'll just let it go at that.


    It:s possible (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:31:53 AM EST
    The Fed will raise interest rates - one reason the market may have dropped after the announcement.

    they are also (none / 0) (#144)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:57:59 PM EST
    already pretty much back where they started.

    Wall St. Casino gamblers... (none / 0) (#141)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:31:48 PM EST
    hate payrolls...that money should be theirs for sitting on their arse holding stock, not wasted on people who actually work for a living.

    one crook is out, it seems . . . (none / 0) (#112)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 09:55:48 AM EST
    christie does not have the poll numbers to be in the top-line debate . . .

    huckabee is also out of the top-tier of cand for the debates  . . .

    Lame duck Obama (none / 0) (#116)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:22:14 AM EST
    Expected to reject the keystone pipeline today.

    Elections have consequences.

    There's also a downside, (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by NYShooter on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:30:39 PM EST
    Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

    And, unfortunately, I really, really mean it.

    The full text of the, up till now, secret, TPP   was put online by New Zealand yesterday, and early reviews indicate it is worse, far, far worse than even its most strident critics imagined.

    Not only were all the most devastatingly damaging provisions successfully passed, they included those that were so bad that our negotiators, fearing a severe backlash, and crippling revolt should the secret terms leak out, assured us that the terms were only being "penciled in" temporarily and would be made acceptable before final approval. They lied; every single one is in the final agreement.

    And, believe it, or not, that's the "good" news. That's right; it gets worse, much, much worse. Not content with stuffing such a large volume of job killing provisions, including all kinds of autonomy forfeiture into these agreements they reached down to levels of depravity not seen in even the worst  betrayals from past trade agreements.

    In all prior trade agreements some truly onerous items were agreed to, but, with an understanding that the worst of these would be mitigated in future deals. And, many were renegotiated subsequently, and made somewhat more palatable. This current agreement, however, went back almost twenty years, and, virtually all those renegotiated terms were reversed, making the rules that were simply too hurtful & damaging for working people then, suddenly palatable, and acceptable now.

    Make no mistake about it, this deplorable betrayal to our working men and women is Obama's true, final legacy.

    But, there may be a bright spot to this piece of inhumane dreck. It's so bad, so sadistic, there's a good chance that this document will survive only to the extent of showcasing how far into depravity some political "leaders" will sink in betraying their constituents while forfeiting their humanity, and, submitting their souls to their financial masters.

    The Agreement is very long, and very complicated. For those who may want to attempt trudging through it, The Washington Post has made an effort to give you a more readable version. Yves Smith, over at naked Capitalism also has a very interesting column on this.


    This is one thing (none / 0) (#147)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 01:10:45 PM EST
    that still needs congress.

    I'm hopeful that those with future election hopes will balk at it as well - but point taken.


    can we now agree (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 10:36:28 AM EST
    That there was a difference between Obama and McCain?  And Obama is not going to let them slink away by witdrawing their application.

    I Would Imagine... (none / 0) (#121)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:00:21 AM EST
    ...if crude was $100/barrel, Keystone would move forward.

    I don't believe Obama cares about the environmental aspects of a pipeline beyond the optics of his legacy.  The House has already voted to end the ban on exporting oil and Iranian oil will soon flood the markets.  

    Right now it would be overkill.


    The Ben Carson meltdown is about to hit Iowa (none / 0) (#130)
    by CoralGables on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:41:17 AM EST
    Who benefits most? Trump or Cruz?

    I would (none / 0) (#138)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 12:30:27 PM EST
    say Cruz, he has more appeal to the evangelicals then the Vulgarian or the Lightweight

    hmmmm (none / 0) (#131)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 11:44:58 AM EST
    apparently my favorite adventist is getting caught in a list of lies, now about West point and a west point scholarship, but he never applied . . .

    Oh well . . .  should I cheer for Rubio?

    Digging up dirt about the past--I can't imagine anyone who would do such a thing about a political candidate for POTUSA . . .  

    Who would have thought that people would check up on his past stories?

    Watching Ben Carson press conference (none / 0) (#196)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 06:41:05 PM EST
    He s completely losing his sh!t,  turn it on please.

    Yep (none / 0) (#201)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 06, 2015 at 07:29:56 PM EST
    he almost came unhinged when we started ranting about William Ayres and Rev. Wright, or why don't you point the gun at Obama instead of me(hey it worked at popeyes). Definitely Carson as I have never seen him.

    One thing for sure he does not know how to handle the press, he has been more or less calling them all a pack of liars all day long(not a new thing) all but declaring war on them. He was very angry and bellicose, his voice got squeaky at times very different from his normal time.