Sunday Night Open Thread

The final season of Downton Abbey is about to begin.

I watched the Royals for the first time this weekend. It's incredibly trashy and very hard to follow. But better than what Hollywood has offered this year.

In unrelated UK news, ISIS released a video threatening David Cameron. It had a wannabe Jihadi John doing executions. Some think he is Abu Rumaysah al-Britani (protest video with him in UK is here.) From a production value standpoint, I thought it was pretty weak. While ISIS has multiple video departments, I wonder if the al Hayat media producers have all been killed off. Very few of ISIS' recent videos have a "wow" factor.

Saudi Arabia executed 47 people including a Shia cleric, angering the world. It also broke off relations with Iran. (Skip the NYT version, it has auto-play video.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Downton begins in 35 minutes on the west coast (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by shoephone on Sun Jan 03, 2016 at 10:28:16 PM EST
    and I have not read any spoilers for this season. I will stake my reputation on this: Tony Gillingham killed Mr. Green.

    Ack! My reputation is shot. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 01:23:52 AM EST
    But, c'mon, that neatly tied up storyline about Green's other rape victim pushing him under the lorry was just not very satisfying (not that I want any more of the Bates' unrelenting troubles...enough is enough with those two). Would have been fun to see one of the upper crust--pompous Gillingham--get hauled off to the slammer, so's he could threaten a cellmate with a shiv. After all, the Edwardians have it coming to them, do they not? It's 1925, and the times they are a-changin'. Fire up that gramophone.

    Mr Green's karma wasn't very satisfying for me (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 09:24:38 AM EST
    It was rather low key and proper :)

    It was fine - it just needed to be over (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:46:49 AM EST
    and done with!!!!! I could not have stood another minute of it.

    On tho their latest troubles...they are really boring at this point. I am in the camp that would have preferred he be hanged 3 seasons ago. I would have set aside my opposition to capital punishment for that.


    Bahahaha! Whoooo Ruff (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:12:40 PM EST
    I watch Downton Abbey to reset my entertainment meter after ingesting Game of Thrones, House of Cards, or Peaky Blinders :) Gotta slow down the crazy

    I don't know how they even make riding to the hounds look smooth, terrific fun, and effortless. Mary's fall was even smooth, right into the cushy mud. Nobody was knocked off by tree branches and laying there concussion with a broken collar bone, nobody had a horse with a bruising trot refusing canter bringing tears to their eyes. Everything's just perfect :)


    And her father's shock at seeing her riding (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 03:40:42 PM EST
    astride! Although not as much as his shock later about her exploits in Liverpool...

    But it all just raises his estimation of her leadership abilities...yes, he is a 1925 sexist - act like a man Mary, and you'll go further!


    Poor Robert (none / 0) (#30)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:03:20 PM EST
    So stuck in the old days, when men were men, women rode sidesaddle, and a husband could repeatedly squander his wife's fortune without reproach or self-loathing...though he is rather endearing as the great house's charming, happy drunk.

    Can't wait to see some happiness for newly executive mom, Edith.


    ... besides "Downton Abbey" was "Galavant" on ABC, which I guess is a send-up of Robin Hood-type films and shows. This was the very first time I saw it and I must say, it has to be the most unabashedly campy show I've seen on TV in a long time.

    Last night's premiere started out with a snarky musical number that half-lampoons ABC's surprising decision to pick up the show for a second season, featuring a hilarious cameo by Hugh Bonneville as the Pirate King, who sings to the title character that he "didn't win an Emmy, now it's time to move along." And pop star Kylie Minogue belts out a disco tune  as "The Queen," who's actually the proprietor of the Enchanted Forest's resident gay bar.

    I'm hooked.


    Yes - I loved it last season (none / 0) (#64)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:14:22 PM EST
    The song lyrics are really clever - Alan Mencken is one of the writers - you may recognize him from my favorite Disney musicals like Beauty and the Beast and others.  And the performances are just the right tone - basically Spamalot comes to series TV.

    'Off with his shirt'...that was great. and hey, who can argue with the sentiment...


    I completely missed it last season. (none / 0) (#79)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:48:06 AM EST
    And we caught last night's second season premiere entirely by accident, while channel surfing. The entire show was so completely over the top, it was just a hoot. I'll definitely have to watch the first season.

    I did want to feel more (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:14:12 PM EST
    Connected to Mr Green's karmic penalty. Who is this woman?

    LMAO (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:37:07 PM EST
    Apparently the Bundy crowd occupying a Federal property in Oregon failed to plan more than twenty minutes ahead.  They have sent out this plea.

    We do not stand for fame or fortune. We do this for our children and for their freedom. We do this for your children and their freedom. We don't want your money. If you have supplies or snacks or anything that may be useful to this stand then please send them to the address above.

    So they are depending on the United States Postal Service to deliver supplies? These guys are dumber than they look, and that was a low threshold to begin with.

    This should not take long.  Park a taco truck upwind.  When they beg to be allowed to leave, it should be in their underwear and crawling on their bellies.

    And they don't even (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 05:03:30 PM EST
    comprehend the irony here.  

    TPM's Josh Marshall describes it best: (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 05:14:58 PM EST
    "It's exactly the kind of white privilege performance art we love as a news story[.]"



    Or not (none / 0) (#83)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 08:39:56 AM EST

    ...But it's also worth noting the extent to which the Rice shooting--and many others--are fundamentally different from that of a standoff between armed fanatics and federal law enforcement. It's not just that these are different organizations--local and city police forces versus the FBI and other federal agencies--and different kinds of confrontations with different procedures, but that there's also a different history involved. Confrontations at Ruby Ridge and in Waco, Texas ended with scores of dead (white) civilians, and inspired the Oklahoma City bombing--the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil prior to Sept. 11, 2001.

    Law enforcement has been willing to use lethal violence against armed white protesters and the results were catastrophic. It's no surprise federal agents are cautious; they walk with the hard-learned lessons of the 1990s. Even if the Bundys are paper tigers, no one wants to relive the past. In that, law enforcement officials are correct.



    I think the problem is that you've got (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:51:44 PM EST
    this a bit backwards.  I think you think that we're all saying that because law enforcement has been more violent and less measured in incidents involving non-whites, that we expect law enforcement to be similarly hair-trigger with respect to the Oregon standoff.

    No.  I think what we're asking, what I'm asking, is why the measured, rational, nuanced approach law enforcement is bringing to the Oregon standoff cannot be applied to its interactions with people of color.

    We don't want more violence, we want less.

    I'm aware that not all situations are the same, ever.  But it's time a different approach and a different attitude was brought to bear in law enforcement's interactions with the citizens it purports to serve; if they can do it in Oregon, they can do it everywhere.  If they can do it in Colorado, with a hostage standoff and dead bodies, they can do it anywhere.  If they can do it in South Carolina, with a fugitive mass murderer on the run, they can do it anywhere.

    It's time to stop making excuses.


    Great! (2.00 / 2) (#100)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 06:40:38 PM EST
    Since you have all the answers, and think the answers are so plain and obvious, when can we expect to see you sign up for a law enforcement career where you can lead and train and consult?

    Just because I can see that the Packers defense is coming in constantly from the weak right side and getting to Matthew Stafford, doesn't mean I could be a coach.

    I think if you bothered to read the article, the author said the same thing you did.  But I know that would be too much to ask, I guess.


    It's a ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by sj on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 06:57:28 PM EST
    ... freaking opinion piece. By a man of color. It just happens to coincide with your opinion. No one but you says the answers are plain and simple.

    There needs to be a word for creating a false argument in order to rebut it.  Oh yeah, there is. Straw man.


    And yet you chose to highlight (none / 0) (#102)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 07:00:07 PM EST
    a very different portion of the article. No, not everyone is going to click on the link and read the entire thing, so if you were trying to make the same point that Anne made, you could have highlighted the last two paragraphs of Bouie's article instead. Hmm. I wonder why not. Such a mystery.

    Since Anne and Mr. Bouie are in agreement on those points, she actually did nail it.


    I think I find it rather odd that (none / 0) (#106)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 07:28:02 PM EST
    you're excoriating me for coming to the same conclusion Bouie did.

    The question isn't "when am I going to sign on for a law enforcement career?" it's how could you choose to pluck out the two paragraphs that supported something you thought you could flog Donald with and not realize the totality of the article didn't deliver the death blow you wanted it to?

    I hate to say it, but this is kind of a new low for you.


    Then explain the massive police presence, (none / 0) (#88)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:12:57 AM EST
    in full-on riot gear, when Black Lives Matter peacefully protested at the Mall of America.

    I suppose one can make the argument that these people are occupying a building in the middle of nowhere, endangering no one but themselves, while the BLM protest was in a highly-populated area; I still have to wonder whether law enforcement would be so hands-off if the Oregon occupation was being conducted by Muslims or people of color.


    Again (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:35:53 AM EST
    Different law agencies. And as the author points out, police HAVE been very hands on when white people were in a standoff, although I know it'sounds convenient to ignore that fact.  It doesn't make for as good a meme.

    Also, the Mall of America is private property and they have the right to call in the cops and bar the BLM protesters from being on their property to protest.  


    What's your point, jb? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:39:41 AM EST
    Did either I or Josh Marshall compare the Burns, OR standoff to the police shooting of Tamir Rice? This is armed sedition. Why are you rebutting an argument that nobody was making?

    "This is armed sedition." (5.00 / 4) (#99)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 05:32:33 PM EST
    lol.  It's trespassing.  They "occupy" a ranger station in the middle of nowhere.

    Man, I don't know if I've ever been so glad to have Obama in charge of the police state.

    All he has to do is order everyone to stand off, out of range of any over-nervous "seditionistas," let them get good and hungry, leave them a way out (Sun Tzu), and give them their last chance at a presser before a few of them are symbolically walked away in handcuffs.



    They are allowed to come and go as they please (none / 0) (#110)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 06, 2016 at 04:17:31 PM EST
    According to one report on TPM. This could go on for a while.

    Maybe start charging them rent?



    Which they are as likely to pay (none / 0) (#111)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 06, 2016 at 05:07:56 PM EST
    as Cliven Bundy is likely to pay the $1 million or so that he still owes the federal government for the grazing fees he owes.
    While he continues to graze his cattle on federal land, BTW.

    Hmmm.. (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:03:03 PM EST
    Maybe the whole "white privilege" thing gives you and JM away....

    Of COURSE you were making a comparison.


    I disagree, jb. (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:43:05 PM EST
    White privilege is very much in play here. Law enforcement at all levels has shown itself much quicker on the trigger finger, literally and figuratively, when dealing with people who are not white Christians.

    If the Oregon wildlife refuge occupiers were muslim or, say, the new Black Panthers, the feds would be planning and executing a massive takedown right now. They would not be pulled back and observing. And the news media would be screaming as loudly as possible about terrorists and evil-doers.

    Like it or not, there is a very real law enforcement bias against people of color that extends to anyone thought to be muslim. This bias infects all law enforcement entities in this country.


    I Don't Think It's Hard to Imagine... (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:02:55 PM EST
    ...the Fed taking a different course if these were native Americans armed and taking over 17 federal buildings with complaints about grazing rights, which BTW are severely discounted on Fed lands.

    It would be hard to imagine black or muslims Americans because there simply isn't a group that stupid as to brandish weapons and take over Federal buildings IMO.

    "We don't want it to end with violence," said Ryan Bundy, who with his brother Ammon has spoken for the occupiers. "We're not looking for bloodshed."

    I mean seriously, peaceful protests do not include guns.

    Members of his group began trickling into the area in December, brandishing rifles and handguns and proselytizing from the beds of pickups against federal land ownership. After a peaceful protest of more than 100 people Saturday night, a group of at least 15 men blocked the entry to the refuge and declared themselves its rightful owners.

    "We can enforce the Constitution in Harney County and that's what we intend to do," Ammon Bundy told reporters. "We have a lot of plans."


    Basically this is a bunch of white people who have prospered by getting cheap grazing land, now they want that land to be theirs and they are willing to fight the Fed, with guns, to get that.  Something no minority with sense would try IMO.  Something most people with sense would not do, but here they are basically taunting the Fed to stop them.

    I say block all vehicle traffic, they won't last long without supplies.


    Don't put words in my mouth, jb. (3.50 / 2) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:56:10 PM EST
    jbindc: "Of COURSE you were making a comparison."

    I said no such thing, and YOU don't get to tell other people in MY presence what I meant. I have no further patience for your strawman arguments and false equivalencies.

    Period. End of discussion. ¿Comprende, señorita?


    Blah, blah blah (1.50 / 2) (#97)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:42:23 PM EST
    Of course you meant it that way.

    But I'll leave you to your delusions.


    Senior Chicago City Attorney Resigns after Judge (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:36:26 PM EST
    rules he concealed evidence in fatal police shooting

    In overturning the jury's verdict and ordering a new trial, U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang imposed sanctions against the city and Senior Corporation Counsel Jordan Marsh, ordering that they pay attorney's fees to the plaintiffs that likely will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars even before a retrial could take place.

    "Attorneys who might be tempted to bury late-surfacing information need to know that, if discovered, any verdict they win will be forfeit and their clients will pay the price," Chang wrote in his 72-page opinion. "They need to know it is not worth it."

    Chang faulted lax training and oversight at the city's Law Department for hampering the production of records from the Chicago Police Department and other city agencies when officers are accused of misconduct.

    just a few bad apples just a few bad apples just a few bad apples just a few bad apples just a few bad apples just a few bad apples...

    I see that (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:54:11 PM EST
    ...they are now scraping the TOP of the barrel!

    Taxpayer dollars at work. (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 10:36:33 PM EST
    Trump article in NYT (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:46:05 PM EST
    I expect this piece was intended to be sympathetic to Trump. After reading it, I thought, "Wow, he's been a schm*ck for a long time." The part about cutting medical funds for the nephew with cerebral palsy turned my stomach.

    Of course, this is the Trump who punched his second grade teacher in the face because he thought the teacher didn't know anything about music. Methinks this loudmouth has always been a bit of a sociopath. Voting for this guy is not evidence of a desire to "make America great again.:"

    Video quality (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jan 03, 2016 at 10:23:58 PM EST
    Or lack of it is one of the reasons right wing talkers say Hillary made the video featuring Donald and not the boys in black.  Apparently.

    (Sigh!) If a truth is self-evident, ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:48:31 AM EST
    America's GOP 2016: "We can't hear you, la-la-la-la-la!"

    ... then it is likely one which today's Republicans prefer to not hear, fathom or contemplate.


    Just finished "Making a Murderer" (none / 0) (#3)
    by McBain on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:39:10 AM EST
    I broke my binging rules by watching Netflix epic 10 episode true crime documentary series this weekend.

    It reminded me of The West Memphis Three case.  Poor, unsophisticated defendants not getting a fair shake by the criminal justice system.    

    I guess it's a big deal in social media... everyone's talking about it.  I don't want to give anything away. It's a must see.  

    We watched it too (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 01:19:22 AM EST
    Can't say with certainty that Avery is innocent, but if he can be railroaded and treated unethically so easily then we all can be.

    Based on how the evidence was presented (none / 0) (#11)
    by McBain on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:03:41 AM EST
    in the series, he didn't get a fair trial.  Some say the filmmakers left important things out. Whatever the case, it definitely seemed that town was out to get him.

    Much evidence was left out, yes (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 01:42:30 PM EST
    as is (and was) well-reported in the state media (see a recent recap at jsonline.com) -- at least re Avery.  

    The filmmakers are advocates, not lawyers or reporters.


    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 02:19:02 PM EST
    ...it was clear the filmmakers weren't giving us all the info.

    The thing I can't get past was the judge not tossing the kids confession.  That was text book police leading someone into a confession that did not know any details.  I was in a trial in which two cops pulled a kid out of class, at some point his confession was tossed, or rather the entire communication was never revealed in court.  I assume there was a confession.

    I cannot get past the fact that he raped and murdered someone in a house full of junk and not one scrap of DNA was found.  Especially after the coroner mentioned how easily DNA could contaminate a sample.

    Also they never explained why her bones were in 3 different locations.

    But I am not convinced he did not do it, but he needs a new trial in a place where the police cannot influence the process.

    Either way, the behavior of the court and the police was abysmal in almost every function.


    Agree with all of your points (none / 0) (#70)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:56:19 PM EST
    There is no was Avery was capable of cleaning that property so well that no trace of blood was found, if indeed that bullet in the garage was what killed Ms. Halbach, or she was killed in his house. It just does not make sense.

    Not saying he did not commit the crime, or was involved in some way, but it did not happen the way the prosecution said it did.


    That Bullet... (none / 0) (#84)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 10:52:26 AM EST
    ...has to fall there, which is an impracticality.

    Either it fell out of the body when he was chopping it up, which would have left it covered in blood, or it miraculously went through her body and landed on the concrete, or he missed, it ricocheted and again, landed under the compressor on the concrete.

    That is not how high speed projectiles work, they don't land under stuff.

    My other problem was the keys showing up on search #7.

    The only reason I don't exclude him from killing her is my brain can't get past the level of corruption needed to pull off framing him.  Since bones were discovered in 3 spots, I assume that the cops burned and moved them, somehow they managed to get a car onto his property without any witnesses, but more importantly, the cojones it would take to assume no one will see you is enormous.  One witness and some of the cops would have gone to jail.


    Right...but when you see the same cops (none / 0) (#85)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:04:06 AM EST
    interrogating the developmentally challenged nephew with no lawyer, no mom in the room and feeding him a story to confess to....you realize they have enough nerve to do almost anything.

    It could very well have been a combination of things. Maybe the real killer burned the body and put the bones there, and put the car on the property, and the cops took it from there. It was pretty amazing that the search party went right to the car in that huge lot. Seemed like someone was tipped off somehow.

    I'd be looking more at the brother and the brother in law. they seemed on the ball enough to pull that off.


    Yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:17:56 AM EST
    That is, which "him" matters (none / 0) (#25)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 01:44:36 PM EST
    as the case of Avery is quite different from the case of Dassey.  The filmmakers also muddle the cases.

    I was trying not to give away too much (none / 0) (#32)
    by McBain on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:05:20 PM EST
    for those who haven't seen it.  I'll just say both trials stunk and need a do over.

    Broke What Rule ? (none / 0) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 01:55:54 PM EST
    I watched it by mistake.  I had put it in my list and my friend grabbed it to watch.  I thought it was one show, but after starting it we watched the all the episodes, which lasted until 5am.

    I kept waiting for the happy ending.


    I try not to watch more than one episode per show (none / 0) (#31)
    by McBain on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:03:45 PM EST
    per day.  I generally don't binge watch anything but, like you, I kept hoping for a happy ending.

    The kids confession was ridiculous. That and the disservice of his court appointed lawyer should warrant a new trial.

    In the Avery case, I don't understand why the defense wasn't allowed to test the blood sample.  And at his sentencing, the judge seemed to somehow use his previous conviction against him!!??


    I Will Binge... (none / 0) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:43:31 PM EST
    ...if it's not a continuation from the last program, like Dr Who.  I did that with Breaking Bad season one, and it wrecked it for me, because in one show they are on the edge of a total meltdown, then the next show, it's problem that takes 2 mins to clear up.  I really notice the flaws from show to show.

    My friend kept implying that the show was a drama-mentary and I was too lazy to get my phone from my car to check.  I was buying into it because I am from WI and never heard of the case.  But around #3 I realized that no one in their right mind would use an actual city for the cr@p going on there.


    Not sure what you mean (none / 0) (#86)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    the case and the documentary footage was real, in a real town in WI...edited of course, but it was not a fictionalization of anything.

    Crazy, I guess... (none / 0) (#7)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 08:31:00 AM EST
    but I would just as soon not be placed in the middle of these eruptions and conflicts between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and whomever else comes along.

    Anybody interested in disengagement?


    Anybody interested in disengagement? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 10:30:04 AM EST
    That worked only before the advent of airplanes, missiles,nukes and germ warfare.

    And only then because the ME wasn't filled to the brim with radical islamists determined to force Islam on the world.

    But I wish it would work. I can think of nothing better than letting them solve their own problems and quit bothering the rest of the world.


    I heard that (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:36:51 AM EST
    same mantra concerning the war in Vietnam.
    The dominoes.


    "We can't just leave".

    And guess what?

    We left.
    But only after we lost 50,000 servicemen and women, and our country was torn apart.

    But we left.
    And that part of the world was left to evolve in its own way.

    And we, and they, are better off for it.


    The difference between Vietnam and (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:07:04 PM EST
    the radical islamist is glaringly simple.

    The North Vietnamese never launched a single attack in the US and never attacked an embassy outside Vietnam...

    The radical islamists have time and again,

    As for "their own way..."

    Millions died in Pol Pot's Cambodia.

    Hundreds of thousands died in the re-education camps in Vietnam as well as those died fleeing.

    Are the ones who were not killed better off??

    As compared to not being killed?


    As compared  to where they would be if South Vietnam had not been forced into communism??



    another difference (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by CST on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:08:54 PM EST
    The "radical islamists" aren't a country.

    They didn't die because South Vietnam (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:57:08 PM EST
    was forced into communism so much as they died as a result of years of anti-communist jihad from the U.S bolstered by barbaric, terroristic saturation bombing, and years of the poisoning of farmers fields, rice paddies, and the groundwater..

    And you and Rush and Hannity and Bush and Cheney still demanded that others do your fighting for you.


    Ah yes (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 08:25:15 PM EST
    the evileeee South invaded the peace loving north...

    That's what started it.



    Evileee.. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 09:17:39 PM EST
    is that how they say it in Vietnam?

    Oh wait, I forgot, you were never there.

    The lesson of Vietnam is that a long suffering nation tired of waiting to be respected by racist colonialists and imperialists will take help and inspiration from where it can get it.

    Btw, the other difference between the Vietnamese and the terrorists is that the Vietnamese would've been morally justified in attacking the U.S.


    Honestly, I'm much more worried ... (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 05:24:32 PM EST
    ... about the potential threat posed by our own homegrown white-wing dystopian social misfits who are armed to the teeth, than I am about Muslims.

    Traitor! (none / 0) (#51)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 05:39:27 PM EST

    And (none / 0) (#72)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 08:26:31 PM EST
    9/11 never happened.



    What's currently happening in Burns, OR ... (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 09:19:23 PM EST
    ... is an act of armed sedition by our homegrown "Y'all Qaeda" against lawful authority. These right-wing crackpots have declared themselves outside the law, and they think that they can just seize something which otherwise rightfully belongs to all of us.

    Theirs are exactly the same sorts of painfully warped notions of tyranny and victimhood that led to a federal building being blown up in Oklahoma City over 20 years ago.

    It has nothing at all to do with 9/11. Frankly, I think your only interest in that particular tragedy is its convenience as a catch-all excuse to engage in wholesale discrimination against brown people who neither look nor act like you.

    And that's the sort of open display of bigotry when then encourages the truly dim bulbs amongst your own kind to think that it's okay to shoot up a Jewish community center in suburban Los Angeles, or a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee.



    There are "radical Islamists" (none / 0) (#36)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:21:16 PM EST
    all over the world...in the Middle East, in Africa, in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the North Caucacus...it's rather endless where those "radical Islamists" operate. Are we going to commit war in all the countries on all the continents to root them out? And wait, what's not "radical" about the Saudis, whose version of Islam compels them to chop off heads in stadiums, for the entertainment of the crowds? Are we going to commit war against the House of Saud, our ally??

    The Sauds (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:26:12 PM EST
    Are OUR radical Islamists.

    Well (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:38:24 PM EST
    They WERE our radical Islamists.   I think that's not entirely clear any more.  Still, I doubt you will see the ppj set setting their hair on fire about beheaddings in SA.

    What has happened there (none / 0) (#49)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 05:17:09 PM EST
    in the past few days is really concerning. It has escalated very quickly, and yet...our U.S. leaders can't/won't/don't say a word about the Saudis and their provocation. How this affects our agreements with Iran and our so-called alliances fighting terrorism is unknown.

    Ally. Terror. These words need new definitions.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:02:07 PM EST
    Saudi King Salman, and more likely, his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have exchanged the previous cautious strategies for aggressive and emotional actions, starting with the senseless military intervention in Yemen.

      The reactions to the killing of Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al Nimr, were predictable. And, the pressure the kingdom put on Bahrain, Sudan and UAE to provide support indicates that the Saudis are running scared in their ability to continue as in the past and to assure their influence in the Middle East in the face of the fall in oil prices and Iran's re-emergence. The Saudis have been concerned since the destabilization of Iraq (the fall of the Sunni control). But, now they are leaving the proxy fights and coming out more into the open.

     Their disruptive strategies, however, risk derailing the Syrian peace possibilities, prolong the war in Yemen, complicate relationships with Iraq, and boomerang with re-kindled uprising in Bahrain.  And, of course, hindering the fight against ISIS.  The Sunni/Shia power struggle continues at the foundations of it all.  Trump et al. always talk about Muslims, and do not seem to understand these important beginnings. But, then he and his followers like it simple.


    Well (none / 0) (#55)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:38:19 PM EST
    We sort of threw the Sunni Arabs aside in order to embrace Iran,
    And Iran cannot take their good fortune in stride,
    Seriously, they have to rub the nuclear deal in our face, knowing Obama will do nothing to jeopardize it.
    So now we have the Iranians laughing at us, and our former radical Islamists ignoring us, and sending them into the arms of another suitor...

    Ah yes, We live in interesting times

    Interestingly, Mr. Putin mentioned Saudi Arabia as a potential ally. The Saudis' oil interests have long competed with Russia's, and Saudi support of "Syrian rebels" helped give rise to the Islamic State, which Russia is now aggressively fighting.

    "We are now considering joint projects in military-technical cooperation with Saudi Arabia," Putin said. "It's a multibillion-dollar program."

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels, hailing other ships in the strait over maritime radio, announced they'd be carrying out a live fire exercise, Raines said in a statement. After 23 minutes, the Iranian boats fired "several unguided rockets" about 1,370 meters (1,500 yards) from the warships and commercial traffic, he said.

    While the rockets weren't fired in the direction of any ships, Raines said Iran's "actions were highly provocative."

    "Firing weapons so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law," he said.

    Conveniently forgetting something (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 09:24:48 PM EST
    that really emboldened Iran: the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq and overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime.

    How did that (none / 0) (#80)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 05:41:56 AM EST
    Effect our relationship with Sunni Arabs?

    It didn't,

    It was the abandonment of Iraq, by Obama, which handed Iraq to Iran.

    The consensus now is, We should have left 10 to 15k troops in Iraq, as was planned.

    Which is why the Afghanistan plan has been altered to leave troops behind,

    Even Obama can learn from his massive Iraq mistake

    But mainly, Obama has embraced the Iranians, they continue to laugh at us,
    And the Sunni Arabs that were once our allies now look to Putin


    That's absolute nonsense. (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:35:07 PM EST
    TrevorBolder: "It was the abandonment of Iraq, by Obama, which handed Iraq to Iran. The consensus now is, We should have left 10 to 15k troops in Iraq, as was planned."

    We didn't "abandon" Iraq. There was a binding status of forces agreement (SOFA) between that country and the United States which necessitated our complete military withdrawal from the country by no later than the end of 2011, and which was negotiated and signed by President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2008.

    President Obama inherited a timeline to exit Iraq from the late Bush administration, and he was obligated by international law to follow it. He reportedly did consider leaving up to 10,000 U.S. troops in strategic locations after the exit, subject to renegotiation of the SOFA with Iraq, but that plan faced very stiff opposition in both countries.

    There were high-level discussions between the Obama administration and al-Miliki's government for a smaller, continuous force of 3,500 troops and about a half-dozen F-16's to remain in Iraq. But those negotiations ran aground due to the Iraqi parliament's refusal to consider legal immunity from Iraqi prosecution for U.S. personnel stationed on Iraqi soil, were someone to commit a crime. Absent any renegotiated agreement, we were required by the original SOFA's terms to leave the country. Or do you not understand the meaning of the term "binding agreement"?

    But more to the point, what in the hell is the matter with you people on the right? You and your fellow conservatives don't get to freely ignore inconvenient facts and rewrite history for the sake of argumentative expediency, anymore than our country could've simply blown off the binding protocols of the original agreement signed by President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki.

    The claim currently being made by you, the former president's brother Jeb and other Republicans that there was a provision within the 2008 SOFA to allow 10,000 to 15,000 U.S. troops to stay in Iraq is patently false. There is no such provision, there was no such agreement and even if there was, there was no prevailing consensus in either country for such a residual force to remain behind after we pulled out in late 2011.

    Period. And this is NOT a debatable point.



    Yes (none / 0) (#104)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 07:19:11 PM EST
    It is not debatable. We abandoned Iraq. Every general and military adviser told Obama what would happen if we left, and we did not have to leave.
    The SOFA was to be negotiated, NEGOTIATED,
    But Obama did not want to negotiate, so he walked away, and fulfilled a campaign promise, and now the area is a complete mess.
    Deal with facts




    t was widely assumed a new plan would be negotiated after the 2008 version expired in 2011. There were no stipulations about a specific number of American military personnel to be left behind.

    Obama ran on the campaign pledge of bringing a responsible end to the Iraq War, and announced shortly after taking office that combat operations would end in 2010. A high of 168,000 U.S. service members were in the country after the 2007 surge, drawing down to about 43,000 after combat troops left in 2010.

    He said in October 2011 almost all troops would be home by Christmas. About 200 Marines would stay to train the Iraqi army and act as security for diplomatic personnel. In short, he kept the 2011 timeline Bush and al-Maliki had chosen.

    When it came time to renegotiate a new agreement, there was little consensus on whether a residual force should stay in the country. Military leaders in Baghdad and the Pentagon pushed for as many as 24,000, but the White House rejected that amount. (For the record, U.S. forces in South Korea number more than 28,500.)

    Obama reportedly did consider leaving up to 10,000 troops in strategic locations after the exit, but that plan faced opposition both in the United States and in Iraq. Obama ruled out a force that size during an August 2011 conference call.

    Yeah, Because Iraq Was Secure... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 06, 2016 at 09:44:00 AM EST
    ...before Obama took office.  The reason people wanted out was because it was a losing proposition.  This notion that is was ours to lose is completely false.  Remember the surge, that was because we had lost and were going to give on last push, the results were mixed, but only a complete tool would claim that Iraq was ours at any point.

    Terrorist were there almost instantly, the idea that we had Iraq secured is simply twisting what really happened.  Obama won in part because of Iraq and the overwhelming majority of citizens wanted out.

    Bush has 6 years, he failed.  Also this business doesn't explain why Afghanistan is not in any way secure.  The idea that the right cannot seem to comes to grips with, but to me is fairly obvious, we can not invade a country in the ME and think it's going to spread democracy.  It was a fantasy that turned into a nightmare.

    FWIW, Bush negotiated the agreement, your point seems to be that Obama should have renegotiated.  I mean seriously, even a majority of republicans admit it was a mistake, yet you here you are insisting that Iraq was a dream until Obama was elected.  Quit revising history to meet whatever pathetic delusion you want/need Iraq to have been.  The invasion was the mistake, the leaving was a president exercising the will of most people, including Iraqis.

    The simple truth is that has GWB not invaded Iraq, ISIS would not be in Iraq today.  We would not be launching campaigns to get back land that was lost because we invaded a country that did not pose a danger to the United States.


    NY Times 2011 (none / 0) (#105)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 07:23:59 PM EST

    BAGHDAD -- President Obama's announcement on Friday that all American troops would leave Iraq by the end of the year was an occasion for celebration for many, but some top American military officials were dismayed by the announcement, seeing it as the president's putting the best face on a breakdown in tortured negotiations with the Iraqis.

    And for the negotiators who labored all year to avoid that outcome, it represented the triumph of politics over the reality of Iraq's fragile security's requiring some troops to stay, a fact everyone had assumed would prevail. But officials also held out hope that after the withdrawal, the two countries could restart negotiations more productively, as two sovereign nations.

    "Our troops will definitely be home for the holidays," President Obama said in the White House briefing room on Friday.U.S. Troops to Leave Iraq by Year's End, Obama SaysOCT. 21, 2011

    This year, American military officials had said they wanted a "residual" force of as many as tens of thousands of American troops to remain in Iraq past 2011 as an insurance policy against any violence. Those numbers were scaled back, but the expectation was that at least about 3,000 to 5,000 American troops would remain.
     end of the Bush administration, when the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, was negotiated, setting 2011 as the end of the United States' military role, officials had said the deadline was set for political reasons, to put a symbolic end to the occupation and establish Iraq's sovereignty. But there was an understanding, a senior official here said, that a sizable American force would stay in Iraq beyond that date.

    Over the last year, in late-night meetings at the fortified compound of the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, and in videoconferences between Baghdad and Washington, American and Iraqi negotiators had struggled to reach an agreement. All the while, both Mr. Obama and the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, gave the world a wink and nod, always saying that Iraq was ready to stand on its own but never fully closing the door on the possibility of American troops' staying on.


    And what about "radical Islamists" (none / 0) (#40)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:25:34 PM EST
    in Britain, France, Belgium, Germany? Next American invasion target: put Western Europe on the list!

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 10:30:36 AM EST
    hitting threads that won't take a reply

    Apparently they have learned that trick.

    Google translates it (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:10:52 AM EST
    as spam for cleaning companies, insect control companies, duct cleaning companies, leak detection companies, etc. all located in Mecca  (the Mecca)

    It could be encoding communication.  There is strange repetition.  Who knows?

    I run sites using the joomla cms, pretty well hardened.  Spammers were able to register themselves directly (in the sql model (database,)) i.e., without registering.  Not that they needed to go to that much trouble - they had ways to post spam without being registered.  What stopped them was, in most cases, completely turning off registration, turning it into an administrator's duty, and IP geolocation - to block Russian Federation, Indonesia, etc, etc, etc, etc..  There was an amazing list of email addresses they apparently stole and used.  The PITA factor of dealing with this b/s is through the roof.


    Many strange words (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:02:45 PM EST
    and email info I've never heard of in your post Mr. Natural, but I believe you.  My AOL account has gone bonkers with spam since I changed passwords.  I've changed passwords five times in the last two weeks and one time a notice came up that I was registering from Pinecrest, Fl. which is about 75 miles from me.  I've about had it with AOL since they have never played nice with Apple.  I'm also almost out of stationary and business cards with that info.  Business cards, what a joke at my age.                                  

    Since I'm due for a trip to one of the malls in Miami, I'll go when I can get an appointment with a genius at the Apple store.  Those kids can fix most everything in minutes.  My two computers are now out of date and they are no longer repairing anything older than and including 2009 machines.  My big 27" iMac still chugs along beautifully, however my Macbook Pro is a disaster, but still kind of working.  Fortunately I do have a new iPhone 6s and an iPad air 2, but they're not really computers.  They act like computers but they're phones.  I don't go to my documents much anymore, but as long as I have my 8,000 photos and 21 films on board I'm ok.


    I can't believe (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:24:20 PM EST
    You use AOL.  I didn't even know it still existed.  

    Howdy, we elderly (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 07:11:06 AM EST
    still use AOL because I started with it when not much was available.  It was way back in the last century,

    I remember that (none / 0) (#82)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 08:08:09 AM EST
    Back when it was called GayOL

    I don't remember that but I do remember (none / 0) (#107)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 09:03:13 PM EST
    the old days of compuserve, delphi, etc etc etc text-only chat rooms.

    It was the wild west, where men were men - and so were the women.


    Ha (none / 0) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 10:38:21 PM EST
    It was a pejorative with a history-

    The original version of AOL. AOL originally rolled off hundreds of discs entitled 'gAyOL v1.0 - Unstable Release', as one of the employees in the disc printing department accidentally opened the template and forgot to rename it to 'AOL'. Although, all versions of 'AOL' are built from the 'Unstable Release' of 'gAyOL'. Because of this, AOL will never be a stable application and will always be slow, overpriced, and 'user-friendly'.

    I'm having a hard time (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:31:34 AM EST
    Getting into the election this year.  A bunch of manufactured controversies and a whole lot of noise about meaningless "issues" while people barely talk about the things that matter.


    I can understand Bernie's frustration that no one ever wants to talk about the economy.  Unfortunately when he gripes about it it just sounds like he doesn't understand foreign policy.

    I'm beginning to think (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:43:19 AM EST
    Bernie may be a bigger speed bump than many of us thought.   Have you seen recent fund raising numbers?

    Bernie is in it right to the convention I'm thinkin.


    I always (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:05:36 PM EST
    figured he would be in it until he ran out of money. The question is does he continue with that kind of fundraising after losing a number of states.

    He'll be down 28 states to 2 at best (none / 0) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:21:14 PM EST
    by the end of March. He can stay in as long as he likes but it's going to be long over before March is over.

    Never said he would win (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 12:28:31 PM EST
    A bigger speed bump is still a speedbump

    The entities that need a speed bump (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 02:34:16 PM EST
    and maybe a (metaphorical) IED or two, are the Wall Street investment banks, the people behind Citizens United who still claim money is "speech", the unweildy Leviathan that is the Military Industrial Complex, and the disgusting, gun-pimping NRA..

    For starters.

    Sanders is planting seeds; getting people thinking, and good for him. This country needs it.

    I seriously doubt that in his heart-
    of-hearts he believes he has a chance of ever being elected president..


    No argument here (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:20:06 PM EST
    And it's probably for better Bernie in the long run if he does not.   If he did he would come smack up against the wall of reality when it comes to doing a lot f the things he talks about.

    Please don't assume I undervalue the fact that he is talking about them.  I am not.   I completely agree with your comment.


    He did you feel about (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:21:18 PM EST
    Rev Chung Hee?

    HOW did you feel? (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 04:22:33 PM EST
    I have seen several (none / 0) (#58)
    by sj on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:51:52 PM EST
    Bernie signs and bumper stickers in my neighborhood. There are a couple of Hillary bumper stickers but no signs. I still like this Hillary T-shirt so I wore it out the other day. I didn't get a single comment whatsoever. This one causes people to walk up to me -- everywhere from work to sidewalks to street fairs to the upscale Cherry Creek Mall.

    Meant to add (none / 0) (#60)
    by sj on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:57:58 PM EST
    that I am refraining from making prognostications of any sort as to his chances. What it takes for anyone to win is votes.

    Some people like to vote for what they see as a sure thing or for the person who can "save" us from the other guy. That is their choice and I don't have a problem with that. Our vote is our one single voice and everyone should express it according their conscience.


    FURY ROAD? (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:30:00 PM EST
    Fans?  Anyone seen this?  I saw it and liked it.  A lot.  It's definitely my kind of movie but Im really a little surprised by all the Oscar buzz around it.  Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and who knows what else.

    As I said, I liked it.  I guess just not that much.  I wouldn't mind seeing an action movie get some love.  Just a bit surprised.

    Curious how others feel.

    Buzz (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:35:19 PM EST
    A little refresher course for anyone not so fluent in Oscar: This will be the fourth year of the "preferential voting" system where five to ten films get in based on the amount of films that receive a certain percentage of high rankings on voters' ballots. The system resulted in eight nominees last year, and nine both the years prior to that. So what does that mean this time around? Who knows. As noted earlier, the only film that seems like an absolute sure thing right now is "Spotlight." Beyond it, "The Big Short," "The Martian," "Room," "Carol" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" seem pretty likely given their collective precursor support and an inkling they each will be #1 or #2 on plenty of ballots.  But don't be surprised if one or two of them provide Oscar nomination morning with one of many major snubs. Especially if the last minute surge of "Star Wars" is bigger than we anticipate. "The Martian" and "Mad Max" could certainly suffer as a result, or maybe somehow we'll witness three blockbusters in the mix. The folks at ABC will certainly be rooting for that given the boost in ratings it will almost surely bring.

    I actually thought, and still do, the Force Awakens would be the years action film.  


    More from INDIEWIRE (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:42:36 PM EST

    The Sure Thing:
    1. "Spotlight" (Open Road)

    The Strong Bets:

    1. "The Big Short" (Paramount)
    2. "Room" (A24)

    The Close Calls:
    1. "Carol" (The Weinstein Company)
    2. "The Martian" (20th Century Fox)
    3. "Mad Max: Fury Road" (Warner Brothers)
    4. "The Revenant" (20th Century Fox)
    5. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Disney)
    6. "Bridge of Spies" (Disney)
    7. "Straight Outta Compton" (Universal)
    8. "Brooklyn" (Fox Searchlight)
    9. "Inside Out" (Disney)
    10. "The Hateful Eight"(The Weinstein Company)
    11. "Creed" (Warner Bros)
    12. "Beasts of No Nation" (Netflix)

    The Long Shots:
    1. "Trumbo" (Bleeker Street)
    2. "Steve Jobs" (Universal)
    3. "Sicario" (Lionsgate)
    4. "The Danish Girl" (Focus)
    5. "Joy" (20th Century Fox)
    6. "Son of Saul" (Sony Pictures Classics)
    7. "Youth" (Fox Searchlight)
    8. "Love & Mercy" (Roadside Attractions)
    9. "Black Mass" (Warner Brothers)
    10. "Tangerine" (Magnolia)

    I saw 'The Big Short' over the weekend (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:16:04 PM EST
    It was as good as everyone says....infuriating to those of us at ground zero of the mortgage crisis, but really well done.

    Looks like (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:24:09 PM EST
    Spotlights biggest competition so far

    Haven't seen it yet...hope to soon (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:48:38 PM EST
    if it sticks around here a couple more weekends. Brooklyn is on my list too, and The Hateful Eight in glorious 70mm widescreen.

    Sure wish they would release more movies I want to see in the summer.


    Have only seen four of the films so far (none / 0) (#103)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 07:11:02 PM EST
    Spotlight (exceptional in every way),

    Brooklyn (very good, hews closely to the novel, but like the novel, ends too abruptly),

    Trumbo (a disappointment--way too Hollywoodized, lacks punch), and

    Bridge of Spies (I totally forgot I had seen this long, boring, saccharined movie until I saw Rylance was mentioned for supporting actor). Please, please, please, can we have one movie year without a Tom Hanks movie?


    I loved (none / 0) (#57)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:48:07 PM EST
    Mad Max The Road Warrior, a classic for its time.

    So was expecting so much when Fury Road was announced,
    Then read the early reviews and criticisms, and lowered expectations, I was anticipating a Mad Max film, and some reviews said Hardy was given a backseat in the film.
    Saw the film and really really liked it, was not disappointed at all. Mad Max saved the day, and once again, slowly turned away from any semblance of civilization to wander the desert.

    Have given up on anticipating or even rooting for Oscar buzz anymore, Hollywoods choices and mine rarely coincide.  


    But do YOU (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:53:47 PM EST
    Think it was the best movie of the year?

    Would (none / 0) (#61)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 06:59:13 PM EST
    Place it in the top 8, from looking at your list above.
    But haven't seen many on that list,
    So it makes the top 8, for now

    Well (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:03:14 PM EST
    You place it higher than me then.  I liked it.  A lot.  But there is a wealth of great movies this year.  I'm not even sure it would make my long list and if you do a Google you will see that it's on just about everyone's short list.

    Just surprised me.


    Have a (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:10:58 PM EST
    Soft spot for Mad Max films, and this one did not disappoint.

    I'm With You... (none / 0) (#87)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:07:30 AM EST
    ...glad I saw it, but it didn't impress me.

    The issue I have with action movies, is they always take it way too far and it just becomes magic and I get bored.  I would say the first half was excellent, the second half, come on.  I hate when the opposition is this menacing unbreakable force, yet in the end all the obstacles that they took much effort to create in the beginning, all but disappear.  The story line held up right until they decided to go back, then it became silly IMO.


    Scott, one of the reasons (none / 0) (#95)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 01:16:13 PM EST
    for big differences in 1st and 2nd halves in films is the editors work for perfection, then the deadline approaches and they have to rush through the 2nd half.  I used to be guilty of this back in my editing daze.

    "Fury Road" was actually better than ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 09:24:52 PM EST
    ... the original "Mad Max" films which inspired it -- and that's really saying something. The movie deserves the Oscar buzz surrounding it.

    Bristol Palin's values: (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 07:02:03 AM EST
    Bristol Palin's rep, David Martin, told ET with regard to Meyer's lawsuit: "My values are such that a real American hero doesn't ask for child support."

    Oy (none / 0) (#113)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:23:00 AM EST
    We can't all get paid that well to preach hypocrisy.

    Bristol could opt for a DNA test (none / 0) (#114)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:27:16 AM EST
    to prove (or not) that her (at the time) fiance isn't the father. Otherwise, welcome to family court where custody and child support matters are settled (not on Entertainment Tonight)

    Jerry Springer (none / 0) (#167)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 08, 2016 at 04:36:45 PM EST
    LOL (none / 0) (#168)
    by sj on Fri Jan 08, 2016 at 05:32:29 PM EST
    It's Maury Povich now. Sad that I know that...

    The economy is confusing (none / 0) (#115)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:32:02 AM EST
    The stock market is off to a whimpering start to the new year.  Job news is okay but there are so many problems still and no one really seems to have recovered.  If another crash is coming...  I'm worried this could be ugly.

    At the same time, a lot of the fundamentals that were missing in 2008 seem to be there this time.  At least locally, this particular real estate boom feels a whole lot more secure than the last one.  The demand is there, the jobs are there.  I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that wants to see housing prices drop.  Even a stock market drop at this point would probably be better for me in the long run if I manage to keep my job this time.  But I do worry a lot about the ripple effects, like diminishing retirement funds.

    Worry not (none / 0) (#116)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:47:56 AM EST
    It's a China effect. Keep stashing that money in your 401K. You're buying low.

    I will (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:55:48 AM EST
    But at some point the "china effect" might begin to have real impacts here.  The same way a U.S. crash becomes a global crash.  And Europe isn't exactly in the best shape either.  It all just feels so precarious.

    I would not go so far as to say you are (none / 0) (#120)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 10:29:39 AM EST
    buying low.
    But, with your 401K you are dollar cost averaging. Since, you are in your 30s, you have time on your side, unless the whole system blows up at which point we will all have much bigger worries than 401ks :-)

    You said it better (none / 0) (#121)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:03:51 AM EST
    "dollar cost averaging" is the more apt description, and it's why you can invest with a smile when the market dips.

    Honestly (none / 0) (#122)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:08:41 AM EST
    My 401k is the least of my worries.  Yes, I contribute, and I am contributing a decent amount right now, because in the grand scheme of my life, I'm sure this is "buying low" no matter what happens.  I'm not worried about the stock market because of the money I have in it, I'm worried because of what it might mean for everything else.

    Really the economy makes me worried about 3 things - job security, the 2016 election, and buying a house (heh - let's face it, best I'll be able to do is a condo).

    What's become really hard to judge is housing.  It's gotten so expensive to rent, but buying doesn't seem much better.  As early as 2006 I could see the housing bubble, but this one I'm less certain about.  It could be a bubble, or it could be the new normal.  And I don't know whether it's better to jump in soon or wait it out a bit.


    The housing market (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:40:49 AM EST
    Is always a crapshoot.  I was so lucky when I bought the house n LA.  And I feel really bad for the guy who bought it.  Nice guy.  Took the yard cat with the house.

    I bought at the very beginning if the CA housing boom and sold exactly 2 years later-to the day, we waited to close, tax thing, for 100,000 more than I paid.   I bet the poor guy is still underwater 12 years later.

    Love to say it was planned but it was not.


    right now (none / 0) (#151)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:38:28 PM EST
    By historical levels, Boston prices are out of control.  Certain conventional wisdom suggests that therefore this must be a bubble.

    However - for whatever reason (it sure isn't the weather) - the population of MA, and especially the Boston area, is actually increasing these days.  And so a certain other conventional wisdom (low vacancies, high demand) would suggest that this is the new normal.


    Same with Seattle (none / 0) (#154)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:48:11 PM EST
    and it's surrounding suburbs. Rents are out of control unaffordable for most people, as are house prices, which rose another 15.5% in December...that's a 15.5% jump in just one month. Average price of a home in Seattle went from $440,000 to $508,000. A lot of those are two-bedrooms, and available stock is extremely low.

    We're living in another bubble.


    Yes (none / 0) (#157)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:53:23 PM EST
    A headhunter called my husband about working for a company that does 80% of their business in Seattle. Therefore it would require relocation and he said no simply because of the housing issue.

    Everything is expensive here now (none / 0) (#162)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 03:15:10 PM EST
    And the traffic is just awful. If you're wealthy and live in the same neighborhood where you work, it's great. For everyone else, not so much.

    Also... (none / 0) (#163)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 03:24:08 PM EST
    ...all cities on a coast have this issue because they have half the space to grow, but the business epicenters are not hampered by the same geographic constraints because they are generally located in the same central place.

    So essentially an office building in Boston vs Houston can incorporate the same number of workers, but the workers here can live, and do, in any direction, whereas Boston the workers are confined to half, well a little over, the space.  You and other coasters are essentially trying to put the same number of workers in half the space and the market is reflecting tbhe shortage.

    I would say the norm is prices increasing far past wages, and because the population is always growing, it's only going to get worse, everywhere.  The coastal cities are simply seeing this issue faster than the rest of us.

    I have always though, although it's simply not happening, that in a global market and with communication so advanced, that large economic centers would start popping out well beyond the suburbs to grab talent that would rather take a dip in wages than commute downtown.  Lower wages and cheaper land is a business dream, but for some reason, they like being at the epicenter of any city.


    Boston and Seattle are both (none / 0) (#164)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 03:30:18 PM EST
    surrounded by waterways, and that makes more  sprawl difficult and density attractive.

    One thing about Seattle though, the $15 an hour wage fight has demonstrated that it is simply not possible to live on a measly $9.50 an hour, anywhere near the urban centers of Western WA.


    we're actually seeing the opposite (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 03:39:44 PM EST
    In that businesses are looking to move closer to downtown.  A few years ago a lot of commercial growth was out in the "outer ring".  But the problem is public transportation wasn't out there, and the traffic became horrendous for people driving from one suburb to another, and then no one wanted to work there.  In order to be competitive with the labor market, you gotta be downtown or close to transit.

    Any place with even a rumor of expanded transit is seeing huge price increases right now.  And most of the growth in rental prices is being seen in areas that were traditionally lower-income, but located - you guessed it - near transit.

    Commuting is terrible, no one wants to waste their life dealing with M@sshole drivers, least of all other M@ssholes.  And moving the jobs to the suburbs didn't help, because people didn't  live in the same suburb that they worked in, so it just made suburban traffic almost as bad as what you see at rush hour downtown, with none of the perks.


    can (none / 0) (#166)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 05:19:41 PM EST
    only speak for Atlanta but the issue here is the airport. The only businesses that relocate out in the burbs are the types of businesses that do not have people in and out of the airport.

    I share your concerns about housing. (none / 0) (#133)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:15:02 PM EST
    In the months before we moved down to FL, I was keeping track of housing prices and saw how fast prices were going up. The community that was #1 on my list saw prices go up by $200k for the kind of house I wanted in the span of 18 months. It was enough to spook me.

    My husband and I have always rented because we have moved every few years and also because we were not planning on staying in the US long term. I just did not want to rent anymore, so we bought a townhouse. We figured if we hated FL and wanted to move back to the NE after a year or so, it would be easy to sell or rent out and we would not lose much and if we decided to stay, it would give us time to get a better feel for the housing market here.
    It looks like we will be here at least a couple more years and home prices seem to have stalled for now, so we are planning to buy a house by this summer and just take our chances with a price correction.


    Just thought about the fact that (none / 0) (#153)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:46:55 PM EST
    the $200k I mentioned above is not very useful without this bit...it was a 47% increase in price in about 18 months.

    I share your concern (none / 0) (#136)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:19:38 PM EST
    What are my kids going to do? I'm already trying to plan for Josh, and he's going through the "get the hell away from my parents" thing. For him I was thinking one of the new tiny houses. He is going to have difficulty with cleaning and maintenance, and he's going to be a tiny person.

    My daughter with 3 kids though? My parents were home owners when they had 3 kids. Older houses in Alabama are also poorly constructed. They only began requiring adherence to building code 2 yrs ago. At these prices you can't afford to buy anything that doesn't meet code and very few homes do.


    Tiny Houses... (none / 0) (#142)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:38:46 PM EST
    ...has you seen he documentary on Netflix ?

    I find it fascinating, yet the idea of living in a something smaller than a trailer does not appeal to me in any way.

    TINY: A Story About Living Small


    I haven't seen the doc, buy will put it on (none / 0) (#143)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:47:20 PM EST
    My list

    I'm looking at a model that has a second level for storage space. You or I would have to walk bent over in that space, but Josh due to short stature won't. It has two bedrooms on each side of the main living space and the "storage" is over each bedroom with an overhead walkway connecting them. You and I would probably be miserable trying to traverse the upper areas but Josh wouldn't. What's the resale on it? Probably not good, but perfect living space for Josh.


    And it looks super easy to cut the cupboards (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:49:24 PM EST
    Down, and create the counter height Josh would need.

    I Think You Are Thinking... (none / 0) (#147)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:23:33 PM EST
    ....they are something different.  Tiny houses refers to more than their size, if I were to define it, I would say the movement is more about conservation, the challenge of building it yourself, and being tied to an unencumbered and minimalist life that is assured by living in a 8x12 house.

    Watch it, you will laugh like I did because I was thinking the same thing, that they are just small houses.

    FWIW you can still buy homes in Detroit for a couple hundred bucks.


    meanwhile (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:44:08 PM EST
    Here they started calling those "micro-apartments/units" and are marketing them as "luxury housing" because in a city where the average home is over 100 years old (give or take), anything built in the last 5 years is "luxury housing".

    We call them "apodments" (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:49:17 PM EST
    Are they (none / 0) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:50:14 PM EST
    turning old commercial buildings into housing there like they are here in Atlanta?

    We actually looked at apartments in NJ (none / 0) (#158)
    by vml68 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:56:18 PM EST
    that were converted from old warehouses and one from an old hospital.

    Btw, I was in Atlanta just before Christmas. Drove down there. Have never seen so many pro-life billboards in my life as I saw on my drive there. Made me very uncomfortable.


    DRiving through (none / 0) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 02:19:01 PM EST
    Georgia up from Florida?

    I haven't noticed all that many in Atlanta and the surrounding burbs but I also my just have not been paying attention to what is on the billboards.


    mostly old industrial sites (none / 0) (#159)
    by CST on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 02:00:08 PM EST
    But some shorter commercial buildings are being turned into housing. Although there is still a big market for commercial too.

    Boston is going tall and dense as quickly as possible - but it's not that simple here.  Construction costs are high, land costs are high, there's a lot of regulatory structure that takes time - and as an old city there is only so much space.  Finally, the airport is extremely close to downtown, so the FAA has height restrictions that keep many of the new buildings in the fast growing seaport area looking like skyscrapers that got cut off half-way up.


    The commerical (none / 0) (#161)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 02:20:39 PM EST
    real estate market here seems to have continued to be slow even while the housing market has picked up somewhat.

    I'm looking at a kit we would probably (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:24:57 PM EST
    Put on a foundation.

    And where you and I have to challenge (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:29:18 PM EST
    Ourselves to have a smaller footprint, Josh simply has a smaller footprint.

    Visiting Warsaw and seeing what they can get out of a space made us feel like ugly Americans too. Warsaw is like the New York City of Poland, and space is just as costly.


    And when in Detroit (none / 0) (#150)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:32:36 PM EST
    If I was 30, I wouldn't worry so much, either, (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:54:19 AM EST
    but at 62, and looking ahead to retirement that's a few years away, not decades, it's hard not to.  Yes, I'm still working and contributing to my 401(k) (which my employer also contributes to), and I also tell myself that my contributions are buying more at lower prices, so when - if - the market comes up, I will get the benefit of that, but...someone like me doesn't have the luxury of time that someone in her 30's would have.

    Even in retirement, I can get the benefit of market increases - it's not as if the account is frozen and I get stuck forever with a lower value.

    I am already getting distributions from a 401(k) I inherited from my uncle, and fortunately, the net drop in value wasn't significant, but still...

    All that being said, my worry if I'm in my 30's is whether the long-term ripple might include job losses due to economic slowdown - if you don't have a job, it's a lot harder to save for retirement!


    In a few weeks I will be 64, and (none / 0) (#134)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:17:46 PM EST
    the antics of the market make me very worried, especially as circumstances made me a retiree years before I planned such a move.

    How much do I keep in the market? Do I move more IRA money out of stocks, which could be good but could be bad, and into CDs which earn little, but do not ever lose value?

    And, given how the Wall Street grifters and conmenmanaged to , well,  con many local governments into ridiculous financial schemes, how do I trust any investment in municipal bonds?

    I, too, have started taking the required minimum distribution (RMD) on an inherited IRA. The 2015 RMD was much greater than the one I must take in 2016 due to a drop in the value of the stocks that IRA holds.

    I do not know nearly enough about investing to feel confident making these decisions. As to a financial advisor, now that we know advisors are free to give whatever advice they find profitable and not give advice that benefits their clients, I feel even more adrift.


    FWIW... (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:55:28 PM EST
    ...IMO anyone over 40 should have a financial planner/adviser and especially later in life, when your investments less risky, the cost in nominal.

    In my experience, financial advisers as not the demons they are made out to be.  They can't build clients if they are looking out for themselves.  It takes a while to find one you like, but the alternative, at least for me, who has a financial background, is making decisions based on emotion rather than sense but thinking otherwise because of my background.  Like a lawyer representing themself.

    Obviously, there are no guarantees, but my level of confidence in my decisions is greatly increased with what is essentially, a second opinion.


    I've always heard (none / 0) (#139)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:22:46 PM EST
    more money should be in less volatile investments the closer to retirement one gets. There are safe funds and the like that are not bonds.

    "Y'all Quida" (none / 0) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:47:57 AM EST
    How much do you think (none / 0) (#119)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 10:16:29 AM EST
    John McCain enjoyed saying this?

    "I know that came up in my race because I was born in Panama, but I was born in the Canal Zone which is a territory. Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was territory when he ran in 1964," McCain said.

    McCain added that he was born on a U.S. military base, which he said is not the same as being born in Canada.

    "That's different from being born on foreign soil. I think there is a question. I'm not a constitutional scholar on that, but I think it's worth looking into. I don't think it's illegitimate to look into it."

    Asked if the Supreme Court might have to weigh in on the "natural born citizen" issue, McCain said, "It may be, that may be the case."

    McCain's going birther too? (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:32:14 AM EST
    He must hate Ted Cruz

    Of course he does (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:36:00 AM EST
    Everyone hates Ted Cruz.  This is why it matters.

    All the stuff about republicans (none / 0) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:42:22 AM EST
    Not wanting Trump to win?

    I would say this is a perfect example of them wanting Cruz to win even less.


    This is getting massive media (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:02:34 PM EST
    As no doubt McCain knew it would.

    Do a google


    Damn (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:11:15 PM EST
    I hate being a grateful observer of John McCain political theater:)

    I would have to agree (none / 0) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:05:26 PM EST
    I keep waiting for someone to mention (none / 0) (#132)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:13:06 PM EST
    that Cruz didn't give up his Canadian citizenship until 2014...

    No need to wait (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:18:56 PM EST
    already being reported.

    The whole thing is stupid. What's worse IMO is media reporting Trump is driving the agenda when all that needs to be done is stop reporting on the stupid comments that are not relevant.


    I would say John McCain (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:22:28 PM EST
    Is driving today.

    You can't possibly think this is not Karma.  Can you?


    certainly agree karma (none / 0) (#140)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:24:15 PM EST
    but it's still stupid.

    Of course it's stupid (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:25:14 PM EST
    And fu@king wonderful

    Wait no more (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:19:55 PM EST

    Donald Trump incorrectly says Ted Cruz has had a 'double passport'

    Raise your hand if you think he did know the truth.

    The really funny part is he's "trying to be really supportive". By tweeting that Ted should go the the courts and "get it resolved"

    "I'm sure you would prevail". He said



    People have got to stop calling (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:54:42 PM EST
    Trump a douche. If he was a douche, he'd give you a rash :)

    Oh, man (none / 0) (#124)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:35:31 AM EST
    you know he's laughing his a** off behind the scenes and I bet Obama is doing the same. Another self created monster of the GOP.