Tuesday Open Thread

In other news, here's an interesting article about the FBI's domestic flying program using front companies.

Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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    More Catholic Than the Pope, Part MMCLVII: (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:54:05 PM EST
    Say what you will about Rick Santorum, but he is a man who's managed to prove that "professionally ignorant and outraged" can be a viable career option. And this week's target of his ire is none other than Pope Francis himself, the author of a forthcoming papal encyclical about climate change:

    "The Church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we're probably better off leaving science to the scientists and focus on what we're really good on, which is theology and morality. When we get involved with political and controversial scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible."

    Did someone not bother to tell Mr. Panties-In-a-Perpetual-Bunch that His Holiness actually holds a master's degree in chemistry? Or that he is a Jesuit, and that the Society of Jesus to which he belongs has long held dear to education and the dissemination of knowledge as primary cornerstones of that order's mission in this world?


    You say "oy" AND (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:13:26 PM EST
    I say "ugh" when it comes to judgmental Santorum.  Undoubtedly, he only likes the Church to be judgmental in areas with which he agrees.

    Not for nothing does Charlie Pierce (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:20:39 PM EST
    refer to Santorum as a colossal d!ck.

    Metaphorically, of course. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 10:00:18 PM EST
    Anatomically, let's just say I have my doubts due to that shrill voice of his -- although admittedly, that could also be a case of him wearing jockey shorts that are two to three sizes too small.



    Tell me this (none / 0) (#148)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 07:59:01 PM EST
    Have you ever seen

    Rick Santorum
    Tiny Tim
    in the same room?

    No.  You have not.


    Leaving (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:22:50 PM EST
    science to the scientists doesn't even work with the likes of Santorum as they won't believe the scientific data. There's probably no one less qualified to talk about this than him.

    The next thing you know he'll be calling the pope a communist.


    I was actually quite surprised, (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 11:41:36 PM EST
    pleasantly so, watching a PBS Special recently regarding the Science Department at the Vatican. I didn't detect any attempt to "spin" the research done there, on the contrary. The hosts appeared very proud of the state-of-the-art equipment they owned, and even more so, of the extremely high caliber, award winning, scientists employed there. The host gave a long list of scientific "firsts" discovered by the Vatican's team of researchers, and seemed convincingly truthful when stating that the church's theology has never interfered, nor conflicted, with the mission of the science department.

    Naturally, the PBS narrator attempted, quite a few times, to add a little controversy to the program by asking somewhat leading question regarding the intrinsic conflict between science and "faith." It was a pleasure, for me, seeing the Vatican's representative handle those "questions" with such (you'll have to excuse me) "Amazing Grace." Using just the right proportion of humor, and respect for truth, he emphasized that the science department was no different than the sewer department or the dedication given to the Vatican's world class gardens. In each case, the Department heads were given just one instruction: (paraphrasing, "be the best at what you do, and don't worry about what you might find, God can take care of Himself."


    Santorum may be shocked (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:17:55 PM EST
    to learn of the long-standing astronomy studies of the Vatican at a joint venture Observatory in  Tucson-a partnership with the University of Arizona.  The study of the stars and its commitment to the sciences has been ongoing.

    However, Santorum may feel better when he finds out (and overlooks the acronym) that the telescope is called "Lucifer"---Large binocular telescope near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field unit for Extragalatic Research.   Clearly, a mouth-ful and something that a jesuit concocted.


    I cannot help but think that (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:35:23 PM EST
    Somewhere, some how, Galileo is laughing his @ss off.   ;-)

    I'm a product of Catholic school education. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:08:49 PM EST
    I had nuns for my teachers in grade school. My high school algebra and biology teachers were Sacred Heart sisters, and my chemistry teacher was a Lasallian brother. I've always held fast to the opinion that anyone who insists that faith and science are mutually exclusive is an idiot.

    Also, my cousin is a Jesuit priest who founded the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, for which continues to serve as executive director. I think Jeralyn would really enjoy meeting him. He works directly with families of the incarcerated, and serves as guardian ad litum for I don't know how many minors caught up in the justice system in on form or another. And he's the one who convinced me years ago that trying juveniles as adults for criminal offenses is immoral.

    Every time I hear about some scandal in the Catholic Church, I inevitably think of my cousin, my former teachers and other clergy, such as my cousin's fellow pastor at Dolores Mission in east L.A.'s Boyle Hts. neighborhood, Fr. Greg Boyle.

    Because these aren't the people in the gold robes and ruby slippers. No, they're the ones who are out there in the field each and every day, walking the talk and doing good works, much of which is on behalf of the less fortunate and forgotten.

    That's the Roman Catholic Church I believe in and love. And I believe that as a Jesuit, Pope Francis is cut from the same cloth. I also think Rick Santorum is an idiot.



    Donald, it sounds like you (none / 0) (#111)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:20:22 PM EST
    May have gone through some "nun bopping" during your education.

    Actually, I had some pretty nice nuns ... (none / 0) (#129)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:04:08 PM EST
    ... during grade school, with the noted exception of "Sister Mary Shotamaninreno," who taught 6th grade English and Reading. Heaven help those who failed to punctuate their essays properly, because she was truly merciless with that red pen of hers, wielding it without pity.

    But hey -- I sure learned how to punctuate, didn't I? And I really do have to give her a lot of credit for building academic self-esteem in her students. While she maintained some pretty high and even rigid standards, she always gave everyone second and even third chances to meet them in their assignments. And if she corrected you in class, she never did it in a way that made you feel stupid.

    If she didn't like the essay or book report you wrote, she'd ask you to see her after class, and then hand it back to you privately -- red pen marks and all -- without having ever formally graded it. She'd then offer some very pointed suggestions regarding the re-write she expected from you, and her smile always made it clearly understood that she knew you could do much better. But other than that, that nun was all business.

    Now, the lousiest grade school teacher I had -- in fact, the lousiest teacher I EVER had, K-12, period -- was a 24-year-old lay instructor in 4th grade. She was a functional but borderline neurotic who, I swear to the Heavens above, was employed by St. Elizabeth's School in Altadena for the sole purpose of tormenting me during that entire 1970-71 school year.

    I mean, "Miss Ihateallmen" did not like me one iota, and would call my mother so often to complain about me that Mom quickly grew to despise her, and in a meeting with the school principal called her the youngest old maid she had ever met.



    The nuns in my grade school (none / 0) (#152)
    by scribe on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:36:08 PM EST
    were from a missionary order.

    They'd do 5 years or so with the natives in New Guinea, 5 years American grade schoolers, 5 years Kalahari Bushmen, 5 years American grade schoolers.

    None of them seemed to be taller than 5 feet even, but they were some of the baddest, toughest, intimidating people you ever met.  Didn't need a ruler - just a look was enough.

    My third-grade teacher was fresh back from New Guinea;  had a shrunken head on the map rack.


    Was she using that shrunken head to convey some sort of subliminal message to you kids in third grade -- as in "Wise up, or else"?

    Our nuns just had the proverbial crucifix mounted on the wall above the front blackboard. The clocks were over on the side near the door, so the teachers could easily spot any student glancing over to see how much time was left in class.



    I absolutely love the idea (none / 0) (#157)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:17:04 PM EST
    of a nun with a shrunken head.

    To that nun (and all the others, too) (none / 0) (#168)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 07:29:41 AM EST
    about the worst thing you could be was a pagan.

    Shrunken heads were things pagans did.  Or how they wound up.

    The slide show we got one day, I still remember.  The nuns in the slides would be in their tropical white habits - how they kept them white in the mud of the New Guinea jungle is still a mystery.  And there were pictures of natives in loincloths, bird-of-paradise feathers and such, carrying bows.


    Reminds me of the Christopher Durang (none / 0) (#169)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 07:32:59 AM EST
    play Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All to You.

    are going to Homeboy Industries and meeting with Fr. Boyle next week.

    ... to accompany your son and his troop. If you've never met Fr. Boyle before, you'll find him to be quite an inspiring and engaging character, and the passion he has for his mission leaves a lasting impression on you. Homeboy Industries is one of the nonprofits we support generously, because its impact on the community is readily apparent.

    Yes, I agree. I sat with him at an LMU (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:46:48 PM EST
    basketball game last fall.

    Are you an LMU alum? (none / 0) (#138)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:10:13 PM EST
    My older brother graduated from there in May 1980. Unfortunately, I had to miss the ceremony because I was playing baseball at UW, and it was the same weekend as our season-ending series with Washington State. Lordy, but we had a lousy team that year. I should've cut out and flown south for the occasion.

    No, a buddy of mine is. (none / 0) (#144)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 07:01:17 PM EST
    I Just Saw That on the TV... (none / 0) (#125)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 04:09:37 PM EST
    ...and if I remember correctly, the Arizona University professor said they were world renown astronomers or astrophysicists.

    So to Summarize... (none / 0) (#118)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:34:39 PM EST
    ...Rick Santorum believes 'The Church has gotten it wrong a few times'.

    Duly Noted Rick, and I concur wholeheartedly.


    I guess Hillary Clinton and I have a (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:30:35 AM EST
    different idea about what "grassroots" means:

    To take part in a "Conversation with Hillary" at a home in Chestnut Hill on June 10, three days before the Clinton campaign's official launch in New York, attendees are asked to pay $2,700 per person. For the "Conversation with Hillary" earlier that day in Boston, a "Friend" of the campaign can attend for as little s $1,000.

    The private events are described in the invitation as part of Clinton's "grassroots campaign."

    There's a screenshot of the invitation at the link.

    That list of places (none / 0) (#51)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:11:05 AM EST
    Is like a (wealthy) Dem constituency grab-bag.  You've got Chestnut Hill for the wealthy suburban Jews.  Osterville for the yacht club crowd.  Western Ma for your academic hippies (I'm assuming that's the part of Western MA she's going to - that's a pretty vague "place").  Provincetown for the gays.  And Boston for the urbanites.

    Note - that's not all the people who live in those places, but there are a lot of those people in those places who will give Hillary a lot of money.  I doubt the fishermen, farmers, and firefighters are on the guest list.


    I don't have a problem with her going (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:29:04 AM EST
    where the voters are, but I think she could benefit by really taking in the concerns of those at the more average-to-blow-average end of the economic spectrum.  And I don't mean by walking through the local diner and shaking hands or having a beer.

    But if a candidate needs 100 million to run, well we all know what that means, don't we?


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:54:32 AM EST
    that is what she has been doing at round tables. You know, when she ran for senator in NY she went to every county in the state and talked to voters. In 2008 she held a ton of town halls where she talked to voters and listened to their concerns. I imagine she probably will do the same.

    Yeah, I know (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:49:04 PM EST
    It's called running a successful campaign :). It could even be construed as finding out what a constituency wants or something pandering like that :)

    The NYT has reported that after (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:01:18 AM EST
    meeting with "ordinary" people Ms. Clinton instructs her staff back in Brooklyn to investigate issues people have told her about and try to come up with measures to help solve the problem. For example, illegal drug culture in rural areas of Iowa.

    Let me guess....... (none / 0) (#68)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:16:48 AM EST
    build more impenetrable, super-max prisons in farm country for first time offenders.

    Kills three birds with one stone:

    1. Gets those drug-crazed goons off the streets.
    2. Provides jobs, jobs, jobs.
    3. Goldman Sachs can create some Houdini-like financing and sell it to the Japanese.

    What's not to like?

    You go, girl!  


    I sure hope not (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:29:26 AM EST
    And actually, I'm gonna give Hillary a bit more benefit of the doubt since she's already indicated a willingness to move on crime in the right direction, and she's nothing if not a shrewd politician, the political winds are shifting.

    There's a heroin epidemic all over the country right now, and even some police departments are tired of treating it like a crime.

    But make no mistake, it is a public health crisis.  And should be treated as such, not shoved under the rug and ignored either.  A lot of people are dying.


    I really should be more careful. (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:13:00 PM EST
    My comment, obviously not so obvious, was directed pretty much to Oculus. She tends to give short, snarky, prosecution leaning comments, and I just enjoy trying to respond in kind.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    p.s. I whole-heartedly agree with your comment, btw.


    Spreading anti-Hillary memes (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:22:40 PM EST
    from the NYT isn't a glamorous task, but somebody has to do it.  

    Always this perception of oculus (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:37:37 PM EST
    And oculus is nothing like that.  Not snarky, at all, just points out with few words rather obvious things I don't want to see sometimes :). And in the rear view is often correct. At least as correct as the rest of us.

    I agree, MT (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 08:22:17 AM EST
    Oculus is one of the nicer posters here.  States her point then moves on.

    i can't wait (none / 0) (#69)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:18:42 AM EST
    for someone in the WSJ, WaPo, or anywhere else in the MSM to call it pandering to the voters.

    Yep (none / 0) (#78)
    by sj on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 11:36:43 AM EST
    That's not new behavior. She has been doing personal research with actual staff follow up since at least her days as First Lady of Arkansas.

    I'm guessing that Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:22:58 PM EST
    will raise the $$$$ that are needed to run a successful campaign, that she will talk to supporters like the groups you note who will contribute as well, and that--as she has been doing in designated key/swing states, meeting with diverse & representative small groups of people.

    'Almost the newer version of being able to walk and chew gum (or whatever) at the same time.  With Hillary, undoubtedly, she'll add thinking and issue-resolution approaches to the mix.  Hey, maybe something really different for any politician running for any office these days: I'd bet that--as the early stages of the campaign deepen (and maybe even before Iowa's State Fair)--this candidate will engage individuals on their home turf.  

    Anne: To the extent that your concern is that candidates either are constricted by the campaign or constrict themselves in the matter of one-on-one exchanges with voters, I have the same sadness about the reality of it all.  Because the candidate running for President at genuine Town Hall open meetings has moved on with Alexis d' Tocqueville ... if it ever existed even in the small population days when only free white men could vote.  What I do expect is that Hillary Clinton will make a strong effort to meet, talk with and hear from, or at least "say hello" to as many of us as possible ... for a number of reasons, foremost among them being that is what leaders should do.


    Why would you think that? (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:20:47 PM EST
    We just held our first Hawaii for Hillary organizational meeting two weeks ago yesterday. We had over three hundred people in attendance, and they represent a broad cross-section of constituents from across the state, urban and rural alike. (90% of our state is rural.)

    I would urge people to check out such meetings first and see for themselves, rather than make such sweeping assumptions about who's supporting Mrs. Clinton based upon what they hear from TV and internet punditry. This campaign is not going to be reliant solely upon money. We're organizing at the district and precinct level, as did the Obama campaigns of '08 and '12.



    Organizing meetings (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:31:38 PM EST
    House parties (aka social organization) are being set up in each US Congressional district to correspond with Hillary Clinton's Saturday, June 13th speech scheduled on Roosevelt Island near NYC. The speech--and, the individual house gatherings--are very open to all.

    The location of house meetings/parties on the 13th can be found via the HRC Hillary for America site.


    All true (none / 0) (#173)
    by sj on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 12:39:03 PM EST
    But your little house parties aren't going to get you any "Conversations with Hillary".

    the cost (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:10:03 PM EST
    Is $1000 a head at least.  That's why.

    I don't think those are her only supporters.  But given the sticker price and location, I'd say its a safe bet of who will attend these events.


    A lot more than "sticker prices" (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:41:16 PM EST
    ... getting involved in the organization does not cost.  BTW, I'm sure that you know that every campaign (every campaign) has a "sticker price" at some level.  I have always favored federal financing for campaigns...but, the reality is that we are not there ... and, I grouse about that (because we should) ... still, we are not without sticker prices at some point in all presidential campaigns that have a chance of breaking through.  You know that.

    Honestly (none / 0) (#171)
    by CST on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 09:10:31 AM EST
    I think you're detecting more judgement than I intended in my first post.  It is what it is.

    Today is ten years (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by sj on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:20:28 PM EST
    since the car accident that took my Mom and my brother. Somehow it seems so much more recent and fresh than that.

    I guess I just miss them.

    Oh, i'm so sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:35:03 PM EST
    What a terrible thing to have happen.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by sj on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    It's still hard, you know?

    Condolences (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by smott on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 02:56:19 PM EST
    I'm sure it's still hard. Hang in there.

    Geez, sj (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:40:18 PM EST
    My heart goes out to you, sincerely

    I know the feeling personally, and you're so right about the speed of time.

    Please, please, feel better


    Geez, sj, the anniversary (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:46:34 PM EST
    is a tough day, no matter how many years have gone by. Take care as best you can today.

    I have been told that it gets easier as time goes by. Each year diminishes the pain and sorrow of loss. That has not been my experience, and it sounds like it is not your experience either.

    So, take car. I will hold you in my thoughts.


    Because we can't help going back (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:52:06 PM EST
    to where we were and living it all over again - I do the same thing every year on the anniversary of my father's death.  I re-wind to the initial medical crisis, to the diagnosis, and everything that happened between the beginning and the end that came less than 4 months later (not from the cancer, but from a massive heart attack - I like to think God was sparing him from what was surely coming otherwise).

    And I think about all that has happened since that day in 1989 - births, marriages, graduations, great-grandchildren - and I just hope he somehow knows and sees, and is proud of who we are now.

    My heart aches for your heart.


    I am so sorry (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:28:56 PM EST
    I know how hard it is to lose someone so unexpectedly - the pain receded, but never really goes away.

    Virtual hugs and good thoughts to you on this day.


    A tough day, (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:41:19 PM EST
    among many. My thoughts are with you on this day.

    So very sorry, sj (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:41:47 PM EST
    No, we never forget, and the anniversaries of such deaths bring them even closer to mind.  You honor their memories by remembering and missing them.   {{Hugs}}

    Thank you all (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by sj on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:45:53 PM EST
    Thanks for your support. I can't tell you how much it means to me. I had hesitated to say anything here on TL but now I'm glad I did.

    Yes, Anne -- it's just like that, the way the anniversary starts me to living it all over again.

    Shooter and jb, I am sorry for the pain of your losses as well.

    Casey, it really does get easier with time. I know your loss really is recent, and probably not a lot of scar tissue has built up but I promise you that the gaping hole fills in. Now, usually, thinking of them can make me smile or just plain appreciate them. But anniversaries, man... these are brutal.

    I still find it impossible to grieve for them both at the same time. I don't think I would be able to breathe. So I hold one in my heart, then the other.


    These are anniversaries we don't ... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:26:41 PM EST
    ... want to recall, but can never forget. As long as we remember our loved ones in our hearts and thoughts, they'll never really leave us.

    You should go out and do something special today or this evening, just for you. I think your mother and brother would enjoy that.



    Sorry sj, that is really tough. (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:35:53 PM EST
    Thoughts and prayers.

    I'm (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:54:42 PM EST
    at a loss for words.

    You are in my thoughts, sj.


    I'm sorry for you loss (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:10:58 PM EST
    and the pain it has cost you. I'm not sure that the missing part ever goes away but sometimes we come to the time when we focus on the good times we had together somewhat more than the loss.

    Take care of yourself today and always.


    So sorry sj... (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:09:07 PM EST
    So sorry to hear that (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:16:49 PM EST
    Lost my brother in an accident too, much longer ago.  Such a shock, can't imagine losing my mother at the same time. Take your time to think of them and miss them. It is really hard.

    What about Edward Snowden? (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 02:26:59 PM EST
    The US Congress passed and the President signed the US Freedom Act.   The whistleblower revelations of Snowden forced NSA reform, revised sections of the previous Act, especially the odious Section 215--the bulk collection of all Americans data, and lead to a Federal Court ruling that mass surveillance was illegal.  

    Many US senators  (except the eye-rollers) are pleased with themselves, the president is pleased with himself and the American people seem pleased.  Senator Rand Paul improved his electoral and financial stock.

    Edward Snowden is in stocks in Moscow and the Obama Administration is still seeking "justice" in the form of prison--with charges under the spying relic of World War I, the Espionage Act, Snowden will not be able to use truth as a defense--in fact his best defense is likely inadmissible.

    Time to let Ed come home.  If the Administration cannot drop charges and give him a medal, it can, at least, modify the charges so as to give Ed a fighting chance. If it was up to me, I would give him a first class ticket on Aeroflot, make him a free man, and use that money designated for a grand statute of the former Republican Speaker, Dennis Hastert, for one of Ed.   My only dilemma is its location: The WH South Lawn, Capitol steps, or the Supreme Court chambers.

    Having flown Aeroflot, ... (none / 0) (#126)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 04:24:25 PM EST
    ... I can duly attest that there's nothing about that airline which should be considered first class. You're much better off with Delta Air Lines or one of the other European carriers such as Lufthansa.

    And just to clarify, that proposed $500,000 statue of Dennis Hastert was originally intended by state legislators for the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, and not the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. There was no federal funding involved in the project.



    Yes, Aeroflot (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:24:28 PM EST
    is all one class, first and last.  But, after experiencing a flight from Moscow to Beijing on China Airlines ( a "highlight" being the spending of a duration of flying time in the bathroom owing to a serving cart parked/abandoned in front of the door), I did become nostalgic for the "luxury" of Aeroflot.

    As for my plans for Ed Snowden, a Russian carrier was an attempt at nuance (cf. Evo Morales grounding). And, I suppose that additional clarification never hurts.  But, the link to the Illinois legislature's plans for a Hastert bust that went bust, was as you note, an Illinois project.  I was just, in my mind, making the funding fungible for my stated purpose.  


    If you're thinking of getting married in Alabama (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 02:27:46 PM EST
    Alabamans (none / 0) (#107)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 02:43:56 PM EST
    may be putting themselves in a pickle.  The "non-marriage" contract would be fine and dandy as long as they reside in Alabama and do not travel out of state. Then they may not be Legal. Nor, their children.   Other states may not recognize that non-marriage contract.  

    But, they may want to consult same sex couples wed in other states for their guidance, and to consult with the Obama Administration on IRS and other federal issues that may apply.


    Mosby wants to block release of autopsy (2.00 / 1) (#151)
    by McBain on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:23:36 PM EST
    in the Freddy Gray case....

    I hope it gets released. I'd like to learn more about the cause of death.

    This is funny (1.50 / 4) (#167)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 07:12:51 AM EST
    from the SUN yesterday:

    [...] According to the latest filing, attorneys in Mosby's office had "attempted to reach an agreement" for more time to respond to the defense motions with Michael Belsky, the attorney for Rice and the "designated contact attorney" for all of the officers.

    Belsky agreed to give the state more time to respond to the motions to dismiss the case due to prosecutorial misconduct and for Mosby to recuse her office from the case, the filing said, but only "in exchange for the State releasing certain discovery," including Gray's autopsy report, medical records and "all statements made by the defendants."...

    Mosby's filing said her office did not agree to "barter" over the documents....

    Awwwwwwww -- she didn't want to "barter". She thinks she is at the Welfare Office and is entitled to get whatever she wants for free. And she wants more time for her homework assignment.

    She is being outlawyered and they are letting her dig her own hole deeper and deeper.  


    More race baiting. (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 11:35:34 AM EST
    Is that the only place you ever go?

    Until Jeralyn wakes up, (none / 0) (#175)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 at 07:44:34 AM EST
    and sees what he's really about, you can expect more of the same between he and McBain.

    Game of Thrones final episodes season 5 (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    well it looks like it's going to be s big finish.  Next Sunday episode 9 Dance of Dragons looks like it will live up to the tradition of the 9th episode being the big one of the season.
    The final episode is the one getting all the buzz.  Mothers Mercy.  If you have been watching you know this could means many things.  Cerci still has her walk of shame.  The title could be a reference to one "sentencing option" mentioned by the high sparrow.  It could be a reference to sacrificing, or not, Stannis daughter to turn his floundering military campaign around.
    But the buzz is Around a listing that popped up on IMDB.  HuffPo says it's a hoax.  Is it?
    The Lady Stoneheart storyline was supposedly abandoned by the series.  Disappointing many last season.  Google that name if you don't know and are curious.  Supposedly Sansa would be given the task of avenging the killing of her family.
    I really hope it's not a hoax.
    I have spent the last couple of days reading various theories about the series.  Interesting stuff about the true identity of the High Sparrow and Roose Bolton among others.  If the one about Roose is correct Ramsays fate could be delicious.

    Bolt-on (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 06:15:35 PM EST
    Watch this if you hate Ramsay.  And really, who doesn't?

    Oooh, of course I do hate him, but I don't want to (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:06:26 AM EST
    have my fun spoiled even a little so I will read all these things after the season is over.

    I have been listening to the Grantland podcasts on GoT - they do a good job of pointing out the diversions from the book, which are many, especially this season.

    I did finally recently listen to the first book and most of the second, but there was an audio glitch and I never got done, and decided to abandon the project. Even by that time in the story there were so many differences, like the Reek/Theon storyline, that keeping them separate in my mind was not worth the effort.  I expected more real insight out of the books than was there, though they are rich with description.  I'd rather enjoy the TV series on its own terms and read other books.

    Anyway, in retrospect I like the way this season has laid the groundwork for these last episodes. Looking forward to seeing wha happens to dear Ramsey. I hope it involves an encounter with Oathkeeper.


    The Roose Bolton thing (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:47:48 AM EST
    is pure speculation.  It's not really a spoiler.  But trust me if its true it would be a much more fitting end for Ramsay that anything I can think of.

    Yes,Nathan was some interesting speculation (none / 0) (#158)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:31:32 PM EST
    It could happen!

    Other speculating I did today - I fear Cercie won't make it out of this season. She is a rather tragic figure when you think about it, and it just seems time for the end of the line for her. I would really miss her talking without moving her teeth.


    Nathan? No idea where that came from (none / 0) (#159)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:33:32 PM EST
    We shall see! (none / 0) (#161)
    by Jack203 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:48:20 PM EST
    And yes, Lean Headey nails Cersei brilliantly...

    The Roose Bolton thing (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:48:14 AM EST
    is pure speculation.  It's not really a spoiler.  But trust me if its true it would be a much more fitting end for Ramsay that anything I can think of.

    This was very interesting (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:58:30 PM EST
    I hope it happens.  Just about no one would have seen that coming...

    I thought so too (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:05:34 PM EST
    Try this one

    Who is the High Sparrow.   Also if you look at the list on the right on both those pages there is tons of this stuff.


    I was thinking the whole time (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 11:03:24 PM EST
    No way.   Howland follows the Old Gods.  I'm glad they covered that as even the author of the clip thought it was unlikely.

    I liked those clips.  I am going to watch some more.

    Interestingly, they spoiled a fairly big death coming up, but didn't reveal something even bigger.  Can't say anymore, but I expect episode 10 to deliver.


    Unless (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:27:18 AM EST
    the fact that he follows the old gods helps him get away with what he's doing since it would not be expected.

    There was an interesting bit of dialog with Cerci just before she was hauled off to the dungeon where he was talking about how old the sept was and how men had worshipped there far longer even than that.


    I can't wait for Howland to make an appearance (none / 0) (#162)
    by Jack203 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:51:53 PM EST
    in the show or books.  We need another "good" guy.  And any best friend of Ned Stark has to be pretty solid in my book.   Not to mention the last survivor of the Tower of Joy, which was an unbelievable showdown.  

    If Howland is HS.  (I highly highly doubt).  It will be quite the appearance....


    Did you read the books? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:46:01 PM EST
    I read them twice.

    Not sure there is too much more than the books have with Roose Bolton and the high sparrow.

    Tyrion though may be more than he seems.


    as a book reader (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:52:07 AM EST
    How do you feel about the fact that Tyrion's adventures skipped what seemed to me (reading the books) the introduction of a critical character?

    Is that character not actually critical?  Are they removing him entirely?  Will he show up at a later date, some other way?

    Trying to ask the million dollar question without potentially spoiling.  I'd be disappointed if he doesn't show up at some point.  Also - there appears to be a missing Dornishman as well, although I'd be more willing to see him disappear, it begs the question - why are they messing around in Dorne on the show so much?


    are you aware of (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 11:03:08 AM EST

    the Dornish Master Plan theory?

    It's long.  There are several videos.  But it's interesting.


    can't watch videos now (none / 0) (#76)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 11:13:14 AM EST
    But IMO, there must be something going on with Dorne, I don't think the show took us there by accident.

    Well yes but the Dornish Master Plan (none / 0) (#163)
    by Jack203 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:04:13 PM EST
    has been quite derailed in the HBO show....I can say pretty definitively it has been quite dead in the water the moment we saw Trystane back in Dorne.

    And Myrcella in love with Trystane?  Huh?

    One of many major differences from the book this season.  The show and book are veering off in completely separate directions.   But I kind of like it.  I hope George RR Martin finishes the books (a decade from now at this pace) vastly different than the last 2 years of the HBO show (finishing 2017).  

    That way we have twice the fun with game of thrones, and everybody won't know the ending of the books before they're written.


    Honestly CST (none / 0) (#164)
    by Jack203 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:14:10 PM EST
    I'm not sure who you mean.  There are about 50 characters not in the hbo show.  So without any spoilers....

    Yes Tyrion was handled quite differently.  I am not sure we see the characters in the first half of his voyage or the golden company in the hbo show. I think they can probably cut them out without too much difficulty.

    Missing Dornishmen.  Hmm.  There are a lot of missing ones,  do you mean Trystane?

    There is a long list, but the ironborn are the ones really being neglected the most IMO.  Maybe next season they'll introduce Euron?


    yea it's hard to say without saying too much (none / 0) (#176)
    by CST on Fri Jun 05, 2015 at 09:51:29 AM EST
    I'm referring to the relative of a major character that was assumed dead, but then shows up on Tyrion's journey in disguise.  Although now I've read theories that that person was a fraud in the books so who knows - he may get cut.

    The missing Dornishman who was sent out of Dorne to woo a major character - the same major character whose dead relative may have reappeared in Tyrion's journey.

    And yes, I had noticed that the Ironborn are being neglected, I assumed they were just cutting that from the story, which I have no problem with, but they could show up in the future.

    Also - I imagine Sam's storyline will continue next season (given the screentime he's getting now).


    Ahh (none / 0) (#177)
    by Jack203 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 at 12:24:26 PM EST
    Now I know exactly who you're talking about now.

    Yes, great point!

    He does seem to have a major role coming up in the books...


    I have not (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:52:47 PM EST
    i will but I want the series to finish first.  They departed from the books in some significant ways this season.  Big departures from the books in several areas.  And I believe there are going to be two? more books.
    I have decided I will start the existing books.  I just have to get around to it.  I'm looking forward to it.   I do obsessively read the fans stuff on the web.

    2 more years, 2 more HBO seasons (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:01:35 PM EST
    I wonder if Winds of Winter will be done before the end of the HBO series...

    It will be interesting to read how different the book will be than the TV show.

    This season has veered off from the books extensively.  Huge differences.  Overall the books have been better, but the show has its moments.


    fan sites (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 11:10:37 PM EST
    Do any talk about Tyrion?

    I actually think that conspiracy is likely, and I really hope is accurate.  If you don't know what i'm talking about look at the color of his eyes in the book not show.  What color does green and purple make?  Very interesting.


    Yes (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:46:17 AM EST
    I'm up on the Tyrion speculation.  I love the idea.

    In the Winter war to come (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:55:20 AM EST
    If the Boltons are a weird blend of man and white walker, I see an opportunity for them to ally with the white walkers in the fight.  They could cut a deal where they then rule the South when winter recedes. They like to cut an evil deal.

    Sir Jorah will obviously command the stone men in the fight to come, though who they will fight for isn't clear to me..


    That actually fits perfectly (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:59:32 AM EST
    with the Bolt-on theory.  Did you watch it?

    I did (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:03:18 AM EST
    I always thought Bolton descriptions were linked to how dead his soul was.  Maybe there is a genetic reason :)

    I love the idea (none / 0) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:09:19 AM EST
    since it would give Ramsay exactly what he deserves AND allow him to continue being a character you love to hate.

    Watching that I was thinking about the conversation Roose had with Ramsay recently.  Can't remember in exactly which episode.  He was telling him about his mother.  The awful way he was conceived, which tells you all you need to know about how sick a puppy Roose really is,  and how when his mother came with the baby he was going to have her whipped and the baby tossed into the river until he saw his eyes.


    Roose doesn't like Ramsay's inability (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:33:56 AM EST
    To even be able to appear noble or benevolent. It seems like Roose has decided to use Ramsay, but longs for a different son to be his heir.  There might be a stand off where father and son try to kill each other or out fox each other attempting to get the other killed. Makes for a good story.  I can't stop watching.

    Do you believe George R R Martin (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:11:38 PM EST
    When he says he dreamt all this up through observing his pet turtles interaction?  Those must be some wild and crazy turtles.  The fight for the turtle throne!

    Funny (none / 0) (#174)
    by Jack203 on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 11:05:02 PM EST
    I always heard it was from the French novels Les Rois Maudits (The Accursed Kings).

    Which are on my "to read" list.


    Awful news (none / 0) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:03:40 PM EST
    That was her? (none / 0) (#120)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:44:10 PM EST
    I read about this incident just the other day in the South African media. We visited Lion Park when we went to southern Africa five years ago. It's a great place, but park personnel very specifically warn you that they are a wildlife preserve and not a zoo, that the wild animals are free to roam about, and that you need to keep your vehicle windows rolled up at all times, no exceptions.

    Unfortunately, this isn't the first time this has happened at Lion Park, and apparently every single similar incident was one in which the victims either failed to heed the park's instructions about keeping vehicle windows rolled up, or actually got out of the vehicle to get a better look.

    How sad.


    There's a website... (none / 0) (#166)
    by unitron on Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 02:58:14 AM EST
    ...westeros.org, which has a good section for discussing the books (and theories about what's coming next), and they also have a section for discussing the TV show.

    I'm not personally familiar with the TV show part  (haven't seen any of the show, so didn't see the point), but based on what I do know about the site, it's probably pretty good as well.


    Now here is a super-bizarre topic: (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 06:38:27 PM EST
    Islamic pigeons (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 06:44:25 PM EST
    must be hung better than the North American variety.

    I wonder what the cleric's position is on (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:17:41 AM EST
    moth balls.

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:53:11 AM EST
    Moths have balls?   ;-)
    That would put them ahead of pigeons, which don't have "genitals," they have cloacas.

    You've got to do the googling (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:50:17 AM EST
    on that topic.

    Here are further results re my chosen topic of research:

    a biograher of Mohammed stated the pigeons at Mecca must not be harmed.


    Physician, heal thyself. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:51:10 AM EST
    Well, I kind of figured there were ISIS clerics (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 06:48:54 PM EST
    But who knew they were inspecting the genitals of pigeons?

    There are (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:00:32 PM EST
    About 1,090,000 results (0.41 seconds) on google for Muslim clerics. Most people who study Islam or are knowledgeable about the subject probably know that there would be ISIS clerics.

    OTOH, I doubt many people dwell on pigeon genitals or have done a study on what effect viewing them has on female morality. ;o).


    More info: (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 10:11:04 PM EST
    And more: (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 10:18:34 PM EST
    Caitlyn Jenner (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:21:12 PM EST
    Specifically this image and the accompanying photo spread.

    Everyone has had their say about this but me.   First, I think it's great that this much maligned and tormented community is getting some good press.   I am very happy for this person who shows us it's never to late.
    I just wonder if I am the only one who wonders if this is the perfect person to be the face of a segment of the population.  Beyond the years of trash TV and a family of publicity wh@res all the rest I look at those pics and wonder how attainable that really is for most normal people.  People who can't afford the most expensive cosmetic surgeons and the best of the best makeup artists.  And Annie freakin Leibovitz to make you look like a goddess at 65.
    There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good.   I think it's great that Caitlyn looks great.  I just wonder if, like the pencil thin models who make young girls anorexic, this is going to be a dream realized for one and an impossibly high bar for most.

    Now I think I will just go eat some worms.

    I wish Caitlyn Jenner a lot of Aloha. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:59:23 PM EST
    Given some of the appalling comments thus far from the Neanderthal right about her transformation, she's going to need it from all of us. But the former Bruce Jenner was one tough soul as an Olympic decathlete, and that will remain with Caitlyn, so I have every confidence in her perseverance.

    You go, girl!


    The cr@p from the right (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:21:04 PM EST
    was certainly expected.  Honestly I really think Caitlyn has pretty much all she needs.  If I am going to be concerned for a transgendered person it would be the rank and file who often find employment difficult to impossible and to often end up homeless and have families who hate them

    I'm pretty sure Caitlyn will be fine.


    Well, it has not been easy for her, ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:32:47 PM EST
    ... being in the public eye as she's been with the Kardashians, etc. Sometime wealth and fame can compound a problem, and she's admitted that at one point when the media was really hounding her over her changing looks, she actually contemplated suicide.

    But yes, I would agree with you that since Jenner's an older woman of independent means, she won't necessarily face the troubles that so many young transgendered people have to endure on an almost daily basis, just to survive.

    So, if Jenner's going public can give people pause to reconsider their own sometimes-truly-wretched attitudes toward the transgendered, maybe she can give young people hope and confidence to embrace themselves for who they are, as we move forward as a society.



    I truly hope so (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:39:43 PM EST
    i really do.  My point, such as it is, is that I'm not sure that person with that history of, for example, reality TV and years of making every list of cosmetic surgery disasters is the person to make this

    if Jenner's going public can give people pause to reconsider their own sometimes-truly-wretched attitudes toward the transgendered

    Happen.  I hope so.  


    Well, hope springs eternal. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 10:05:04 PM EST
    Heroes are sometimes the most unlikely of people, the ones we'd otherwise have never guessed in a million years that they'd rise to the occasion.

    P.S.: ESPN announced yesterday that ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:22:57 PM EST
    ... Caitlyn Jenner will be the recipient of the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the network's annual ESPYS awards ceremony, which will be broadcast live at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15:

    "Bruce has received many accolades over the years for being one of the greatest Olympians of our time but The ESPYS are honored to celebrate Bruce becoming Caitlyn. She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces."

    Good choice.


    Let the narrow-minded pettiness begin! (none / 0) (#134)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:45:51 PM EST
    Jennifer Bradford is sponsoring a public petition drive, which urges the International Olympic Committee to revoke the gold medal in men's decathlon that was won by Bruce Jenner at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

    Cue Styx.


    It's all just SO complicated (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:12:52 PM EST
    Thanks to their iconic 1977 Wheaties box, General Mills and the Bruce Jenner persona are inexorably linked. But the company had a strange reaction when called for comment on Jenner's transformation into Caitlyn.

    "Bruce Jenner continues to be a respected member of Team Wheaties," a GM spokesperson told TMZ.
    Then, when the TMZ reporter pointed out that Caitlyn is using her female name now and offered the spokesperson an easy out for the first statement, the company doubled down on its misgendering: "We stand by our statement."

    It may be a fake, (none / 0) (#143)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:44:00 PM EST
    Or at least have started as a 4chan fake.

    It's thought that 4chan's infamous b board is responsible for its creation on change.org, as a deliberate attempt to troll.



    I wish her all the best and also am glad this (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:16:23 AM EST
    might help the community.

    Your second point is interesting though since it touches on what all of us women have always had to deal with as far as having idealized selves projected back to us on every magazine cover. Maybe men do not feel that as strongly as women do.  I bid transgendered new women welcome to the club. It ain't for the faint of heart, no matter how you got here.


    Maybe there is never a "perfect person" (none / 0) (#9)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:51:42 PM EST
    Serving as a role model is burdensome, and--I think--that was quite evident in the former Bruce Jenner.  My first (and second) reaction to the Vanity Fair cover, tho, has been very positive and very hopeful for Caitlyn.  Granted, a photo shoot by Anne Leibovitz would be a great debut for anyone ... but, it is challenging for even the greatest artist to convey serenity when there is none there.  I felt a sense of serenity from Caitlyn. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that serenity truly pervades her spirit now.

    BTW, in the last year, I came to know that the oldest son of a close first cousin--a warm and generous and caring person, a doctor in his 40s--is coping with all the societal and personal issues of his personal recognition that he is transgender. His mother told me about this as the matter was thrust forward with Dr. J's impending divorce (a very angry wife and three young offspring.) Because Dr. J & I have always talked about so many things and because his mother will tell him that she told me, I expect that the next time we all share dinner and martinis together that we will talk...for a long time.  As his mother told me when he spoke with her: "J, I thought that I could never be prouder of you and that I could never love you more than when I bore you ... I was wrong."  Yes, we all love him; and, my husband & I ache to tell him so.  Maybe the very publicized event of Caitlyn (nee Bruce) will ease his way.


    Perhaps it will (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 07:57:33 PM EST
    i hope it does.   Personally I find Laverne Cox a more interesting person and story.  

    What if Caitlyn Jenner was ugly? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:38:45 PM EST
    Or fat?  Would Vanity Fair still have wanted her on the cover?  Is the magazine celebrating her courage because it comes in an attractive package?

    Years ago, a very good friend of my brother's, someone we had grown up with, who lived down the street from us, transitioned from male to female.  It was my first experience knowing someone in one context - male - and then that person is gone, replaced by someone in a new context - female.

    It was also a window into a lot of pain.  My brother's friend dated women, got married, and later divorced.  At one point, he told my brother he was bisexual.  He had relocated to the south for his job, so he and my brother didn't have as much contact.  Then, one day, he called and broke the news: he'd been living as a woman for more than a year and was preparing for the surgery.

    As much as it rocked my brother, it was like an earthquake for his friend's family - Irish Catholic to the core, they more or less disowned him.  Here, this now-woman had freed herself from the prison of her male body, only to find herself without the love and support of her family.

    The good news is that over the years, they were able to reconcile and come to terms with it, but it was a giant ache in her heart for a long time.

    My brother's friend was not the most attractive woman - but she'd never been a good-looking man, either.  But attractiveness and beauty weren't the goal, weren't the issue: it was that the outside didn't match the inside.

    I'm glad that more and more, we're living in a world that is more open to people being able to be who they are, and to the extent Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair spread helps someone who's struggling with gender identity issues, I think it's great.  But.  Like a lot of other celebrities with significant wealth, Jenner had - and has - access to so much more in the way of resources than ordinary people do that I hope the glamour of Vanity Fair doesn't minimize the struggle.


    I Don't Think... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:17:45 AM EST
    ...Vanity Fair really knew what they were getting beforehand.  Some of the other pics I have seen were not what most would consider cover material, and even when she was Bruce, he had some questionable, no bad, cosmetic work done.

    Plus we have no idea how much airbrushing went into those pics, even the glitterati get airbrushed, and as good as she looks, she is not the glitterati.  That issue of VF was selling no matter what she looked like IMO, and if it was bad, knowing America, they would have sold even more.

    I also, unlike Howdy, think this is good.  She was a gold metal winner, one of the first people I can remember sporting the Wheaties box, a person I think many looked up and admired, certainly my generation.  She is bridging groups few can, she is also getting a lot of backlash for it.  I think everyone forgets how truly popular Bruce was before the Kardashians.

    And speaking of, Bruce never seemed at ease in front of the camera the few times I saw him on the show.  I can't believe all of a sudden she is down with all the publicity.  I would imagine the publicity right now is a means to an end for her.  The end being a beautiful woman. I don't expect to see much of Caitlyn once the original hoopla dies down.  Some paparazzi shots, but not all the interviews and talk show circuit IMO.


    Maybe I was not clear (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:44:52 AM EST
    wouldn't be the first time.  It's not that I don't think it's good.  I definitely think it's, in its own way, good.

    Not so much (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:39:59 AM EST
    In my mind (none / 0) (#77)
    by sj on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 11:32:30 AM EST
    that docu-series* is part of the original hoopla Donald talked about. It is described as an eight-part documentary series rather than an on-going "reality" series.

    * Docu-series? Info-tainment? Morning "news" magazines? "Reality" TV? This is where people get their information? Jeebus. Well... out of the lot of them I guess "docu-series" has the greatest chance of actually having some substance.


    Sigh...I feel like for most people, this (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:44:18 PM EST
    will be less about wanting to learn more about the struggles and pain of someone with gender identity issues, and the journey to a happy resolution, and more about the sheer voyeurism of it all.  

    IMO (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 11:59:55 AM EST
    she will not go quietly into the night as a woman.  This person has been a reality show staple for years.  
    Understand, this may be good.  All I'm sayin is, if I think if I was transgendered this is not the person I would want to be my public face.
    But I'm not,  so what do I know.

    I Always Got the Feeling... (none / 0) (#96)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:11:51 PM EST
    ...Bruce was not part of the decision making process.  He was always in the background, and seemed like he did not like the cameras.  Not saying I am right, just what I always thought.

    Who knows (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:01:41 PM EST
    she could become for the trans community what Ru Paul has become for drag queens.  
    Maybe not a bad thing.  Maybe.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 08:44:01 PM EST
    my point exactly.  How will this photos make the person feel who ends up looking like Dick Butkus on a dress.   Which sometimes happens.  Let's be honest.

    ... are reflective of that in our society as a whole. The truly gorgeous ones are out there in public for all the world to see, touted and acclaimed by the media.

    And then, there's Dennis Hastert, a deeply closeted troll of a man who creeps furtively in the shadows. He would deny the core essence of his being simply for a big payday, all the while hoping that nobody will notice that he really likes boys.

    Hope eventually proved to be fleeting, in his case.


    Well ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:08:33 PM EST
    For some reason, I'm remembering Betty Ford.  Mrs. Ford, of course, was not alone in suffering with breast cancer in the late 1970s ... and, also of course, she was fortunate in wealth and in looks and in her position as an admired First Lady ... but, her disclosure about breast cancer and her openness about the process was both unusual at the time and transformational ... at first, I thought, what about all the other not-so-fortunate women (like a few relatives of mine) who had discovered cancer and may not have been so fortunate, etc. etc.  A natural reaction.  But, come to find out that Betty Ford's directness led to a huge upsurge in self-awareness and medical evaluations and ability to move forward.  Her forthrightness has long been credited with shedding a positive light on dealing with breast cancer and, consequently, on saving untold numbers of lives.

    Who knows what will happen as a result of the disclosures that Bruce made as he made his final transformation to Caitlyn.  We can say that "Well, he has all the fame or the riches or the what not...," but who knows how his personal transparency will help others.  We don't know, obviously; but, I'm guessing that it won't hurt.

    Howdy: It seems that you are really holding back here ... maybe, tho, Caitlyn deserves the benefit of the doubt.  Or--in fairness--at least as much benefit as you would ask of others for concerns of yours. Don't you think?


    ... with the humanity of the courageous and forthright Betty Ford, and less of the angry and demented shriekmeisters like Sarah Palin, Betsy McCaughey and Michelle Malkin.

    In the immediate aftermath of the Watergate scandal, listening to Mrs. Ford's candid remarks on subjects like breast cancer and premarital sex was the equivalent of someone opening all the windows after a hard winter to air the place out. A proud feminist who was also the first First Lady to have been divorced, she effectively used the White House stage to drag a lot of people into the 20th century.

    One can only wonder what she and her husband Jerry would think of the insane rodeo clowns who've since taken over their party.



    The shocking thing about (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:33:03 AM EST
    Caitlyn Jenner is that she is a Republican....

    Someone should probably tell (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:44:03 PM EST
    Alex Jonex

    Mike Huckabee and

    Michael Savage

    abbout her party affiliation


    Well, she's obviously not a real Republican. (none / 0) (#160)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 09:44:10 PM EST
    She used to be once upon a time when she was still her alter ego Bruce and was oozing all that manly testosterone from the cover of Wheaties boxes, because everybody knows how GOP and muscular masculinity walk hand in hand with one another like a couple of superbutch boyfriends in the Castro, but she's not any more because, uh -- because she -- well, just because and everybody knows why, so there!



    I don't know what you mean exactly (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:24:21 PM EST
    i have said I wish her well.  I have said I am pleased she got the cover of vanity fair.
    Would you like me to not hold back?
    I held Mr. Jenner in the same high regard I hold pretty much all reality TV personalities and the Kardashians in particular.  IMHO that show and in general that family is a blight on the nation.

    I also think the nations fascination with the transformation has more or certainly as much to do with obsession with the Kardashians than any real interest or concern for the transgendered.   You want my honest opinion.  I think it's an unfortunate person to be considered the face of a community that is made up of some of the most courageous people on earth.

    I've been lucky enough to know a couple of transgendered people.  One in each direction.  In my experience the last thing they wanted was publicity.  

    I respect the courage and strength it took to do what he did.  I am very glad for the positive response.  But the truth is I didn't like Bruce Jenner much.  Maybe I will like Caitlyn more.  I will be interested to see what happens next.

    Just me.  Not holding back.


    i understand your point, Howdy. Many (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 10:21:52 PM EST
    trangender people lack the resources to transform themselves the way Jenner has. Still, I think Jenner's more or less public transition, the publicity and the Diane Sawyer interview and, yes, the Vanity Fair photo shoot, are good things.

    Over these last few days I have had conversations about Caitlyn and transgender people in general with my mother and other older relatives. These are talks I doubt we would have had without Jenner's public transition.

    An old friend of mine transitioned from female to male some 20 years ago. Things were so different then. We barely had a vocabulary for discussing it. Now, thanks to Jenner, and before her Chaz Bono, being so public about it, there is a known vocabulary. And a degree of acceptance. Now people make the effort to use the correct pronouns.

    It is a process, often a long difficult process, but I think that now, instead of going one step forward and two steps back, we are going two steps forward and one step back.

    It is progress.


    I appreciate your honesty,Howdy (none / 0) (#31)
    by christinep on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:36:26 PM EST
    Low self esteem... (none / 0) (#100)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 01:35:28 PM EST
    ...from looking at the glitterati in magazines is not an exclusive issue to TG folks.

    I do agree with you, but I think that point holds true for most women's magazine covers, and some men's.

    How do you make the issue mainstream without effecting esteem.  They aren't going to put the female DB on the cover of anything.

    It's funny you say that about DB.  I thank god I am not TG, because I am 6'3" with size 13 shoes.  I would look hideous even with the best surgeons know to man/woman and the best cloths in the word.  I checked out size 13 heels once at the adult store, they look puppy boats, not things you put on your feet.  


    Well, fat people of any orientation (none / 0) (#87)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:38:18 PM EST
    are unlikely Vanity Fair cover subjects. I think VF looked at all the publicity and press generated by Jenner's transition and all the noise that accompanies any Kardashian family member  and saw a good way to sell magazines.

    As to the way Annie Leibovitz chose to portray Jenner, well, here is an interesting take on that from LA Times critic Christopher Knight.

    One woman picturing another (also "of a certain age") as a standard sex symbol does nicely smudge conventional strictures around bodily shame. And what happens to established theories of the male gaze when a transgender woman is photographed by an artist who may have been shy to identify as a lesbian, while happy to celebrate being the lover of the late Susan Sontag, the cultural critic whose book "On Photography" is standard reading?

    Still, in the context of all those other red-carpet Jenners and Kardashians -- Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kylie, Kendall and Kris -- a rather momentous social and cultural event seems somehow diminished by representation as a mere me-too pinup picture.

    Gender is so much more fluid than many of us are comfortable or conversant with.

    h/t to Historiann.


    I wonder how I would look as a woman? (none / 0) (#121)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:52:10 PM EST
    The photo bothers me (none / 0) (#30)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 09:35:45 PM EST
    I think there had to be a better edit in there. I realize it's Annie freakin Leibovitz, but that doesn't mean it's her best shot :P  Something about the lighting . . . and head angle.

    Now I'll go feed some worms to my bird, she'll enjoy them more . .  :D


    John Stewart on Ms Jenner (none / 0) (#104)
    by Palli on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 02:15:14 PM EST
    Why (none / 0) (#45)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 07:25:26 AM EST
    does this depress me so much?
    Bush is seen in a favorable light by 52 percent of those surveyed, compared with 43 percent who still view the 43rd president unfavorably.

    It's because (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:21:39 AM EST
    no one sees him. Let him come out of hiding and start spouting the rhetoric of a crazy cowboy and watch those numbers sink.

    No way (none / 0) (#50)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:50:30 AM EST
    the Republicans much less Jeb would let that happen. So we get to sit back and watch recent history being airbrushed. 9/11, the folly in Iraq, Katrina, the implosion of the economy and other abject failures are quickly being forgotten. Eat your heart out Orwell, your Ministry of Truth has nothing on our corporate owned media.

    George W. Bush admits he never got (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 12:55:04 PM EST
    around to reading the Patriot Act:

    Andy Borowitz


    Did anyone think he had? (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Palli on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:11:47 PM EST
    He didn't even finish (5.00 / 4) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:14:50 PM EST
    My Pet Goat

    Now that is funny. (none / 0) (#145)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 07:01:44 PM EST
    Polls are Funny (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:34:17 AM EST
    According to a National Geographic survey, 77 percent of all Americans "believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth", and according to a recent Harris poll only 68 percent of all Americans believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God. That means that the number of Americans that believe that UFOs have visited us is now greater than the number of Americans that believe what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ.

    That isn't whether they believe in aliens, it is if they believe there is actual proof they have been here.  3 of 4 say hell yeah.

    The Bush name is Jeb's albatross, and it ain't because of GHB.


    Dynasty, Schmynasty (none / 0) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 08:38:08 AM EST
    I didn't have time to post in the other thread.

    Are people idiots ?  All the dynasty talk is comparing the two as equals.  That is like saying the current Patriots and Raiders 'dynasties' are one in the same, they aren't. One is really good and one is really bad.

    Clinton was awesome, Bush was atrocious, their Dynasties are in no way comparable.  Not a fan of Hillary, but hot damn the name alone ensures some level of confidence, whereas the name 'Bush' makes most cringe.

    There you go again, (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:08:00 AM EST
    getting all analytical and nuanced, and stuff. You asked, and answered, your own question with this:  "Are people idiots?" Answer: Why yes, yes they are, or at minimum, 50% are.

    Don't you know by now that our 21'st century Media has determined that the American public must be spoon fed nooze, one tid-bit at a time? To have to explain why every case of two related people attaining high office is not, necessarily, a dynasty, or even if there were two dynasties they are not necessarily equivalent, why, that would be just so confusing.

    To illustrate:

    Here's a mind bender for you; everyone knows that 97% of Climatologists (scientists specializing in the study of the earth's climate) believe that MMGW is a serious threat to our planet. But, our vaunted media has determined that the American public is just too stoopid to figure out that 97 is way, way bigger than 3, to be more precise 33 times bigger! So, they make it easier for us to understand.

    "Let's see, 97?......3? Nope, too, complicated. Ah Ha! But, there are two sides, yeah, that's it, 2 sides." And, so the mind-bender is this: have you ever, even one time, seen a program where Global Warming is the topic, and NOT HAVE a representative from EACH side there debating the issue, as if the two sides were equally valid?

    I rest my case.  


    Shooter, you're just saying that (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 02:56:43 PM EST
    Because you know jim's not here for a while. :-)

    Shooter is baiting the hook. (none / 0) (#123)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 04:00:43 PM EST
    This week's "Todd Akin Award" goes to: (none / 0) (#115)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 03:26:59 PM EST
    Gov. Scott Walker (R, WI).   Walker said in a radio show that he is willing to sign a 20-week abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, adding that most people who are concerned about that (rape or incest), it's in the initial months.  

    Wisconsin's a beautiful state, and ... (none / 0) (#124)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 04:08:57 PM EST
    ... I really hate to say it but unfortunately,  Wisconsinites are getting exactly what they asked for.

    Maybe they didn't realize it at the time that they were asking for it, but they really should have. They saw what this putz Walker was all about from the get-go, and despite his abysmal record they re-elected him -- twice!! -- AND turned the state legislature over to the GOP. And that's all because a good portion of the state's Democratic electorate couldn't be bothered to show up at the polls and cast a ballot on Election Day.

    Well, I wish them all luck, because they're going to need it. Same thing for their neighbors to the south in Illinois, who inexplicably elected Bruce Rauner as their governor last November. First thing he did was to appoint former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle as the state's chief financial officer -- and all she did in the islands was saddle us with a $823 million operating budget deficit when she left office.



    Yes, Illinois made (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 04:46:52 PM EST
    a big mistake with Bruce Rauner.  His "super-star" Linda Lingle is not doing so well, either. .  No budget, $105 billion retirement system liabilities in the face of the Illinois Supreme Court's unanimous decision that "diminishing or impairing" government employee's pensions and benefits violates the Illinois Constitution.  A contract is a contract.

    In response to the State's argument that the Constitution needs to be put aside, since there was an economic emergency, the Illinois Supreme Court held that "a crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law, it is a summons to defend it."   Rauner does not want to extend a special tax, he wants to change the Constitution.  


    They Also Voted for Tommy Thompson... (none / 0) (#127)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 04:24:49 PM EST
    ... and he totally gutted educational funding, IMO Walker is the byproduct of TT, an uneducated electorate.

    In their defense, the Koch brothers poured more money into the state then it has ever seen, and say what you want, there is one thing that will almost always determine a vote outcome, dollars.


    Gene Lyons (none / 0) (#133)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:33:45 PM EST
    That Dan Merica guy (none / 0) (#136)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:52:15 PM EST
    is going to get a "Dutch Uncle," from his CNN boss.

    Yep. That pretty much sums it up. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 05:58:35 PM EST
    And you know, I find it amazing how much of the east coast media's disingenuous tripe about the Clintons, which Mr. Lyons derides and laments in his column, has been dutifully recycled here at TL for everyone to pile on -- such as Bill Clinton's appearance at a fundraiser for the Happy Hearts fund.

    Cue "2" rating.


    Don't ya just wonder why now? (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 07:29:34 PM EST
    An agenda by some here ... my and my, my!

    I'm retired (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 07:35:28 PM EST
    and basically watch tv all day and I still have better things to do with my time.

    As usual (none / 0) (#142)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 06:20:27 PM EST
    Gene Lyons cuts through the BS to give you the story.

    How dare Hillary speak to nobodies when the press is waiting. It seems they are projecting their own queenly attitude onto Hillary.


    Donald (none / 0) (#165)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 03, 2015 at 10:50:23 PM EST
    I'm sure this is a bit painful for you, but is it time to admit the SEC is the new top dog in NCAA Softball?

    site violator (none / 0) (#180)
    by fishcamp on Mon Aug 31, 2015 at 07:25:53 AM EST

    site violator (none / 0) (#181)
    by fishcamp on Mon Aug 31, 2015 at 07:27:24 AM EST