Tuesday Night Open Thread

The predicted "arctic freeze" in Colorado has begun. It is really cold, and just started snowing. It's a perfect night to stay in and watch the premiere of El Chema on Telemundo. You can watch the first 20 minutes here.

The recount in Michigan is a mess. More here.

Two Colorado electors have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to be relieved of the obligation to vote for Hillary Clinton on Dec. 19. They are hoping to vote for someone else in an attempt to keep Donald Trump from being named President. The complaint is here.[More...]

Libyan militias cheered the clearing of ISIS from Sirte today. It's not the end of ISIS in Libya, but it's progress. From the AFP:

International Crisis Group analyst Claudia Gazzini said ­jihadists who escaped from Sirte had probably moved south to Sebha, closer to Libya’s borders with Algeria and Niger. Others from the group are believed to be operating in Benghazi and possibly in and around Tripoli. “Despite the demise of ISIS in Sirte we cannot rule out that they will continue to have cells in other parts of the country,” Dr Gazzini said.

President Obama gave a speech on counter-terrorism and GW University's Program on Extremism issued this new paper on the topic, reminding people ISIS is but one group, and there are plenty of other terrorist groups planning on attacks in the U.S. It crunches the numbers on those charged with terrorism in the U.S.

During the study’s sample period, from the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 to July 31, 2016, 178 people we charged in America with jihadist-inspired terrorist offenses. Of these cases, 79 were charged with offenses unrelated to IS.

...52 of the 79 individuals charged with non-IS-related jihadist terrorism offenses are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Four are refugees, two were in the country illegally when arrested, and one was in the U.S. on a student visa.

In Oakland, the "refrigerator theory" I reported yesterday is gaining traction as a potential cause of the tragic fire.

If you must have some Donald Trump news, he has fired Michael Flynn's son from the transition team for spreading fake news.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    So Flynn's son gets fired ... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 06, 2016 at 10:29:01 PM EST
    ... for doing the same thing (pushing false "news" stories on Twitter) that his father and the Donald do regularly?


    It has been posited that ... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 01:31:05 AM EST
    ... Flynn, Jr. was actually in charge of Dad's Twitter account and has been doing the tweeting for him, which of course doesn't excuse the incoming National Security Advisor by any means since it's his name that's on the account and masthead, and not Junior's.

    That said, like father, like son.


    Is Flynn Sr okay with Jr getting fired? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 11:12:46 AM EST
    I'd love for someone to ask him (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 12:28:20 PM EST
    Or,  for them to explain why he was fired for doing the same thing Trump does regularly.

    Just wondering how that's going to go down (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    After Flynn Sr mulls that over, gets it all digested.

    Michigan Voting Machine Issues (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by vicndabx on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 10:00:59 AM EST
    More Info Here

    It's already too late to get new voting machines for the presidential election in November. It's hoped that if funding is approved, voters will have updated voting machines in time for the 2018 elections, when Michigan will elect a new governor.

    Michigan's optical scan voting machines are between 10 and 12 years old, according to a state Senate Fiscal Agency report in Fall 2015.

    Michigan's not alone. Our voting machines, along with many around the nation, were purchased with the help of federal funds made available to states after the controversy surrounding vote counting in the 2000 presidential election in Florida, in which the world learned about hanging chads.

    No voter fraud here, just legislative roadblocks.

    Will not watch Trump ever (5.00 / 8) (#6)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 10:25:49 AM EST
    I haven't watched the news for a month on t.v.  Somehow I did watch a Van Jones special last night.  I like the guy, but he tries too hard imo to understand and make peace with those who need to be opposed not appeased.  

    But somehow CNN cut away to "Breaking News" of a Trump rally (huh?).  I switched the channel before Trump said one word.  

    I will never, ever listen again to a word that man ever says.  I can read in print what the facts are.  I don't want to listen to t.v. talking head marvel at how clever Trump is.

    Trump's mocking of a disabled person tells me all I need to know about him:  he is, in my opinion, a pathetic excuse for a human being that we will be lucky as a country to survive.

    And, we have the GOP posters here saying how Trump just cracks them up, he is so funny.  Ick.  I never want to hear about family values, or conflicts of interest, or about pay to play from the GOP ever again.  Stunted hypocrites, all.

    And, no, Van Jones, I do not want to understand the WWC of the Midwest who willingly threw People of Color under the bus, as your guest said he did.  That opinion needs to be opposed, not understood or "respected."

    Van Jones (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 11:23:41 AM EST
    was promoting his special the other night as a guest on Trevor Noah's Daily Show.  Jones' convinced me early -on in his discussion with Trevor that his Special was especially made for skipping. Seemed like an attempt to make amends for his "whitelash," comment. The equating of the reasons to "hold noses" in voting highlighted his priority: careerism.

    I'm going to watch it (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 01:01:19 PM EST
    Watch with me, and we can discuss it afterwards. It isn't like we would be increasing the ratings for Brietbart.

    I'm going to watch it, and on his racial issue approaches I'm going to watch and listen to PoC address what he has to say.


    Watch for the interview (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 01:59:11 PM EST
    of the Obama supporters who voted for Trump.  At one point, the father says he just ignored, as he gestured by indicating he was just throwing something over this shoulder, all of Trump's bigoted comments.  Just threw them away.

    So, this Ohio voter just threw away the disabled, People of Color, Latinos, People of Color, women, etc.

    The problem with Van Jones trying to make nice is who is going to say, "yeah, I voted for Trump because of his bigoted comments?"  But is that not what they mean when they say they like that Trump "speaks his mind?"   Many people may not be willing to even admit to themselves how much they liked his "outrageous comments."

    We cannot throw People of Color and Latinos and Women under the bus.  Democrats were closer to winning in Arizona (-3.5%) than North Carolina (-3.7%.)  They were closer in Texas (-9.0% in 2016, compared to -15.8% in 2012) than Iowa (-9.4%).  And Texas is trending Blue at an increasing pace.  Ohio was -8.0% for Hillary by comparison.  Texas in 2020 may be easier to win than Ohio.

    So, the future is  Arizona and Texas.  Not Ohio and Iowa.

    The anti-Latino Prop 187 in 1994 in California won 59-41.  It was a devastating loss.  But Latinos never forgot.  And now Hillary won California by more than 30 points.  And, Orange County,  Orange County, went for Hillary by 8.6%.   Obama lost Orange County both times.

    If you watch the Van Jones special, watch Ana Navarro, red-to-the core GOP Ana Navarro.  Listen to the emotion in her voice. Latinos will never, ever forget what this election means to them and their kids.  Just as the chickens did not come home to roost over Prop.187 in California right away, the effects of the GOP taking an anti-Latino turn will not be felt at full force right away.  

    No compromise by throwing people under the bus in an attempt to chase WWC who voted Trump.  Arizona and Texas are the future.  WWC who voted Trump are clinging to an idealized view of the past.  The future always wins.  We have to suffer through a reactionary response to the future first.  But the overall trend is clear.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 04:02:51 PM EST
    A political party that resents, if not hates, so many of the country's people has no future.  The Trump phenomena seems to me to have been a "last stand", a chance to hold off the inevitable that they surely recognize as being in the cards.

     Mrs. Clinton's popular vote and a shortage of about 80,000 votes across WI, MI and PA to win the electoral college, does not argue for a jettisoning of "identity politics," so as to be in a better position to chase "poorly educated" white men and Christian white women.  And, of course, the Democrats had to tack against the head winds of the media's coverage of Trump, hacking, misogyny, fear, and misinformation.

     And, then there was  Comey. His interference in the election occurred started in July when he did not just, as is customary,  announce that after investigation there was no case to pursue, but added his gratuitous editorializing.

     Then, once again, 11 days before the election Comey announced a renewed investigation of maybe new, maybe duplicate, emails along with a "never-mind" 48 hours before election day.

     The effect being the stalling of momentum in the final days, when, it appears, a critical proportion of the electorate made up its mind, and probably sent the otherwise Trump appalled back into their partisan corners.

    In light of these circumstances, it does not seem reasonable to conclude that the loss to Trump requires abandonment of a broadly-based coalition and the values it represented.

     To me, the underestimated polling for Trump can't be explained satisfactorily on the basis that the voters were "too shy" or "too reluctant" to reveal to pollsters that they disliked the TPP trade agreement or that their concern was for jobs. I think it was something else.

     However, Democrat's tactics need to assure that all working people feel that they are benefited by Democratic values, efforts and policies. No one is forgotten; a government lead by Democrats needs to know that it is for all citizens.  And, more than one for the few, lead by generals and billionaires.



    I watched a Trumpland documentary (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 05:27:32 PM EST
    That had Dan Rather in it earlier today. I thought it was rather awesome in that it said Trump voters do not want to be responsible for their life choices. They want middle class jobs for the uneducated like we had in the 50s 60s 70s and they refuse to be schooled about the global economy that isn't going away. We are all connected now. A trade agreement isn't going to stop that.

    And they are in shock at all the Latino and Asians in their country now and they believe them all to be immigrants, when the truth is they are 3rd generation or more Americans.


    Yes, (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 06:08:42 PM EST
    some apparently believe that their white privilege will be enough, just as it was in the past. Or, as they thought it was in the past.  

    Hey, General Barry McCaffrey is pulling (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 10:05:19 AM EST
    Support for Mike Flynn to be National Security Advisor. Barry said that Flynn's social media is that of someone demented. And Flynn's son also applied for a security clearance and seems just as demented. Gen Barry McCaffrey says an investigation is warranted.

    Hmmmm, I had not thought of that but with all the other ways you must qualify for a security clearance, spreading falsehoods on your social media should raise red flags as to your psychological stability.


    I don't think Van Jones is making nice (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 02:17:14 PM EST
    He's leaving the racism and sexism on the table with Conservative voters. He didn't bring that out  with the past Obama supporters because I think he genuinely believed them.  All politics are local, and their mills were being torn down during the election. When something like that is happening and it is something that has been an economic mainstay and that grandparents worked at there is a grief involved.  And they needed to see her.  They needed to see Hillary.

    We did many things wrong.  One of them this election was to believe that money bought more victory.  I have read the insiders working the Clinton campaign admit to it.  Based on past election they needed to be in California getting the big donors because you needed the commercials and such....except this cycle you didn't. Bernie and Trump didn't need any of that.

    I think the sliver of the population that fits this WWC scenario is small.  And a whole bunch of nasty racists and bigots are trying to wear this T-shirt. But it is out there to a small degree.

    I do not want to upset any Hillary supporters here, I am one.  We needed someone good on the stump.  Hillary speaks well on the stump to those who are good critical thinkers.  We get it. But the rest of the votes we need are the people following Biden out behind the gym.  We didn't have it, we didn't have the rally fire. It should have never been Kaine, and many of us knew that and said so but we weren't worth listening to according to the strategists that ran this.  And they should all probably be fired.


    IMO (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:31:46 PM EST
    Robby Mook was fine but there were too many Obama people on Hillary's team that thought they could win through data. I know this is not going to be a popular idea but she should have brought Mark Penn back on. He was publicly saying that he would have had her taking down Comey in public and hindsight being what it is that would have negated anything he tried to do at the last minute

    I must 5er you for taking down (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 10:27:26 PM EST
    Comey. I did not see this interview, but DAMN OBAMA! He went on the record having faith in Comey's integrity after the deed. Did he really still have faith in Comey's integrity then? If so how does he feel about Comey's integrity now? Cuz I know how I felt the day of...and now, and it's the same.

    I find little fault (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 05:51:57 PM EST
    with Mrs. Clinton as a candidate.  Her 11-hour testimony,under oath, before the Benghazi Committee demonstrated to all that she conducted herself with aplomb and competence. She won all three of the debates with Trump by a substantial degree by most all accounts.

     I found her to be inspiring both in what she said and how she said it, and, it seemed that that was the case with many, save for the picking of nits that came along with the Clinton territory.

     Certainly, Trump was no spellbinder, an Il Duce like presence during the Republican primaries, and, repetitious and limited in vocabulary and details during the general election. Of course, his stand-up Don Rickles performances were media-ready.  Sort of like looking at a two-headed dog at the circus.

     Mrs. Clinton was a hard-worker, even to the point of working, and being criticized, through a bout of pneumonia.  Mrs. Clinton's campaign did seem to be over-confident, lulled by the unanimous, essentially, polls since last summer. And, the campaign, fought, in some measure, the last election cycle tactics more than 2016. Tim Kaine did not hurt, but he did not really help. The ticket needed a running mate who could energize voters to turn out. Xavier Becerra or Elijah Cummings, for example.

     But, the country is closely divided and elections are close.  And, we are better looking at it all, retrospectively.


    You Don't Have An Explanation (none / 0) (#52)
    by RickyJim on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 06:04:06 PM EST
    unless you can explain how Trump managed to flip the states that voted for Obama in 2008, most important being Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    Basically he (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 06:27:40 PM EST
    did an economic con job and told them that he was going to reinstate the past and that they needed to blame everybody else but themselves.

    You have to remember too that the voting rights act was gutted in 2013.


    Turnout in both Ohio and Wisconsin ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:05:29 PM EST
    ... declined in 2016 by 1.5% and 3.0% respectively, in comparison to 2012. Those trends defied the same nationally, in which voter turnout had actually increased nationwide by 5.4% during that same period.

    Not coincidentally, perhaps, both OH's and WI's GOP-led state legislatures had enacted a slew of voter restrictions during the period between those two elections, which likely became a factor at least in part for the depressed turnout, particularly in Cuyahoga County (OH) and Milwaukee County (WI). Other than that, I'd have to look at the '12 and '16 turnouts by county in each state, to see exactly where the difference was.

    In sharp contrast, voter turnout in Arizona increased by 11.9%, and the corresponding margin shift between 2012 and 2016 favored Mrs. Clinton by 5.5 percentage points. Not surprisingly, Arizona proved to be much closer (3.5%) than had been initially prognosticated and in obvious retrospect, the Clinton campaign really ought to have poured a lot more resources into that state rather than in Iowa, which was never really in play for her.

    In Texas, turnout increased by 12.2%, and the resultant margin shift favored Clinton by 6.8%. And in California, where Trump and the state GOP were literally blown away by a Democratic tsunami, turnout increased by a 7.8%, and the margin shift again favored her by 7.2%.

    The margin shifts in each of those latter three states can likely be attributed to the large surge in minority support and turnout for Mrs. Clinton, particularly among Mexican-Americans. As a byproduct, that same surge ultimately proved fatal to right-wing Sheriff Joe Arpaio's re-election prospects in Maricopa County, AZ (which encompasses the greater Phoenix metro area).

    I'd have to first look at the turnout by county in both Michigan (where turnout increased 1.4%) and Pennsylvania (where turnout increased 6.2%), before I could offer an opinion as to what happened there. But in PA at least, given that Mrs. Clinton's numbers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh last month actually surpassed Obama's in 2012, the key to Trump's margin of victory probably lies in the increased turnout in that states rural counties, which are overwhelmingly white.



    Is winning by such a narrow margin a flip? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 10:22:12 PM EST
    It's not like it's the other side of the pancake. It was more like an ooze. We oozed Trump.

    what is WWC? (none / 0) (#60)
    by linea on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:39:22 PM EST
    Based on past election they needed to be in California getting the big donors because you needed the commercials and such....except this cycle you didn't. Bernie and Trump didn't need any of that.


    i feel bernie would have beaten trump. in my opinion.


    I feel he would've been crushed (5.00 / 4) (#65)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:53:43 PM EST
    My opinion.

    by donald trump? (none / 0) (#67)
    by linea on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:57:39 PM EST

    Yep (none / 0) (#68)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 09:01:39 PM EST

    linea, WWC means "white working class." (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 02:59:02 AM EST
    I really wish politicians, journalists, pundits and bloggers would stop resorting to internet jargon and abbreviations like "WWC," which assumes that everyone who reads it is going to automatically know what this shortcut mean. For all linea knew, it might just as well have meant "World Wrestling Council." How hard is it, really, to type out the phrase "white working class"?

    Twitter creates many of them (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 08:14:03 AM EST
    Out of necessity. And if you get information from Twitter it is an evolution that occurs without much conscious effort.

    thank you!! (none / 0) (#88)
    by linea on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:30:22 PM EST
    Your theory (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:32:01 AM EST
    was tested in NY-19 with Zephyr Teachout. Teachout was tied to Bernie and she lost by 10 points. So the evidence points to the fact that no, Bernie would have done worse. There is a reason why our GOP trolls like Trevor are always pushing for Bernie.

    Also agreed. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 06:20:05 PM EST
    In the wake of the 1994 election in California, the GOP controlled the governor's office, both chambers of the state legislature, and six of the seven statewide elective offices. Fast forward 22 years, and where is the California GOP today?

    That state's Republicans have no one but themselves to blame for their present state of marginalization. In the face of a rapidly diversifying and changing electorate, they chose to hold stubbornly to increasingly obsolescent social views and as a result, became the party of disgruntled Uncle Earl and resentful Aunt Minnie.

    And as their overwhelmingly white base's numbers withered accordingly through both the attrition of age and the population growth of California' non-white citizens, Republicans became increasingly reliant on political gimmicks and stunts in evermore desperate efforts to cling to power, rather than attempt to earn people's trust through responsible and competent governance.

    The totally unnecessary gubernatorial recall election of October 2003 is a good case in point when Gray Davis, the only recently re-elected incumbent of 11 months prior, was shown the door and action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger was instead given the keys to the governor's office.

    While "The Governator" proved to be punching ineffectually above his weight class in Sacramento, his fellow state Republicans squandered an opportunity to show leadership. Instead, they sought to impose highly unpopular ideological views on a moderate electorate, and exact retribution against those who thwarted their desires.

    California voters have since responded accordingly to that latest GOP performance by returning an older and wiser Jerry Brown to the governorship after a 28-year hiatus, handing all statewide elective offices to Democrats, and further giving Democrats in the state legislature a greater than two-to-one majority in both the Assembly and the State Senate.

    As a result, the state's finances and budget have been restored to a stable equilibrium, and the economy has once again become one of the biggest and best in the entire world. And given that California has proved itself to be something of a national bellwether over the last century or so, it can also serve as a crystal ball that portends the GOP's future.

    Do you think Republicans in Washington will ever wise up enough to take a peek? No, I don't think so, either:

    "Should California Republicans just pull up stakes and leave? I met California transplants in Texas, but I'm not ready to leave, yet. After three weeks of reviewing California's epic losses, I believe California can be saved. Trump's most enthusiastic supporters -- from Marco 'Taco Trucks' Gutierrez to We the People Rising -- all hail from California." (Emphasis is mine.)

    (Sigh!) Well, so too, for that matter, did Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. That doesn't mean that those two political mummies are still reflective of California's political orientation. And may Heaven protect the Golden State from those delusional far-right crackpots who would consider themselves its would-be saviors.



    What happened (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 06:31:36 PM EST
    with the governator in California is what looks like is going to happen nationally with the GOP using the government to take it to everybody they don't like mainly women and POC. I just hope they don't get 8 years to do it instead of 4.

    So (none / 0) (#78)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 06:46:00 AM EST
    How do you explain the flipping of 2/3 of the rest of the United States to Republican governors, and state legislatures in the last 8 years.
    I say it is also related to Democratic policies, not that Republicans concentrated on down ticket races. That is too easy and flippant a reply, and cannot explain the massive shift in state legislatures over the past 8 years.

    White working class has fled, and the signs have been in the local state elections for the past 8 years. A solid economic agenda that rises EVERYONE in the economy, not identity politics, picking out  slices of the populace and picking out policy to appeal to each slice.  


    I don't know (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:57:22 AM EST
    about other states but here in GA the GOP doesn't run on anything other than being anti-Obama and appealing to racial resentment. Even Johnny Isakson this year ran against Obama and not Hillary. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2018 when there is no Obama to run against.

    And polling FWIW says on 40% of the country supports GOP policies but the GOP is making the mistake of thinking that everybody agrees with them. They are going to be in for a rude awakening if they think that women and POC are just going to sit there and take it from the GOP declaring war on them.


    True (none / 0) (#87)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 06:48:36 PM EST
    In 2008 Obama ran against Bush

    One word (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by FlJoe on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 08:15:39 AM EST
    Tribalism, actual policy is a distant second(at best)among a majority of voters.

    More words: gerrymandering, voter suppression (none / 0) (#85)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 12:24:13 PM EST
    See: Wisconsin.

    And our recount, like our recall, shows that our courts will do nothing about the corruption here.

    So more words for you: lawyers, from corrupted law schools.


    Tracy, (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 04:21:18 PM EST
    I look forward to your reporting on the Van Jones special.  I will take a pass.

    Whaaaaaaaa! (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 05:17:37 PM EST
    I demand a whambulance immediately! I just got Josh his pneumonia vaccine. He feels okay so we are going out for dinner and I will watch it when we get home.

    Van Jones and Ana Navarro (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 01:45:56 PM EST
    Kicked Rick Santorum in the blankety blank up and down the street.

    I'm still on board with the Jones.

    Santorum was nervous, constricted, terse...he tried not to be but he was panicked and brittle and shallow while everyone else was relaxed. Even when they were hurt or harmed everyone else was relaxed. Santorum was in all five senses shattered.

    Ana Navarro spoke about the stories of those Donald Trump would deport and destroy. She said they must speak up. It is difficult though, people will get in your face. I would encourage all families who have a fragile health family member to speak up also as healthcare becomes even more shredded.


    Maybe so (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 01:07:38 PM EST
    Van Jones did say a couple of times during his Special that he had to cut away to a commercial to "eat."  Very much about earning money.

    I still like the guy.  Very talented.  

    He was right about "whitelash."  Making "amends" for that comment?  Good point.


    Ohhhh come on (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 02:19:54 PM EST
    He has to go to commercial.  He's trying find a gentle funny way to say that while someone is screeching in his ear because he has crossed the line several times already.

    He hasn't offended my sensibilities yet.


    I agree with every word (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 01:48:53 PM EST
    you have posted. Have had the news off since about a week before the election. Just could not stand to listen to one word Drumpf had to say. Double that since the election results.

    We tried to watch Anderson tonight (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 10:37:46 PM EST
    He insisted that everyone needed to stop interrupting the Trump surrogates, and we shut it the hell off. Everyone was interrupting the Trumpers cuz they are nucking futz. I'm not suffering through such false equivalencies anymore. Really, if I were interested in this skew I'd be hip replacement deep in Fox News. Why in the hell would I be playing with ametuers like CNN if I wanted the insane considered as competent as the sane?

    Predictably, (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by desertswine on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 03:09:44 PM EST
    Trump selects a climate-denier to head up the EPA.

    Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA to roll back environmental regulations and public health protections. This is bad news for the country, the planet, and all its children.

    Pruitt and his (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 04:18:19 PM EST
    fellow Oklahoman, Senator Inhoffe, are among the biggest critics of environmental and climate regulations.  Hope Al Gore did not make his trek to Trump Tower for naught; and poor Tom Friedman, just today in his NYTimes column waxed optimistic about how Trump may still save the planet.  After all, he did say in that NYTimes interview that he had an open mind (actually said so, many times) on climate change. When will it sink in that you can't believe what Trump says.

    75 years ago today, ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 09:13:40 PM EST
    ... U.S. military bases across the island of Oahu were subjected to a massive hit-and-run attack launched from six aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy's First Air Fleet.

    An event most commonly known today in this country by only two words, Pearl Harbor was the true watershed moment and turning point in modern U.S. history, a military disaster on our own home soil of such staggering consequences that it shocked, angered and united Americans across all spectrums of society and politics, immediately silenced all further talk of isolation in this country, and thrust the United States directly into the Second World War as a full combatant.

    This Japanese carrier battle group -- which constituted some 51 warships in all -- had quietly departed the naval base at Hittokapu Bay in the Kurile Islands thirteen days earlier in the early morning hours of November 26, 1941, and then had sailed across the North Pacific in total radio silence, while Japan's diplomats were still negotiating with our State Department in Washington.

    Once the Japanese strike force reached its pre-planned position of deployment some 200 miles north of its intended target in the wee morning hours of December 7 (December 8 in Japan), it then launched two successive waves of 360 aircraft, timed to unleash Hell upon an unsuspecting community of some 300,000 civilian and military residents, just as the Japanese ambassador prepared to formally inform Secretary of State Cordell Hull that Tokyo considered further negotiations between the two governments to be pointless.

    With surprise thus achieved at 7:45 a.m. Hawaii time, the first squadrons of Japanese warplanes screamed down from the sky at Kaneohe U.S. Naval Air Station in windward Oahu, Wheeler U.S. Army Airfield and Schofield Barracks in central Oahu, Ewa U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in west Oahu, and Hickam Army Air Force Base just west of downtown Honolulu. Within mere minutes, any American attempt that might otherwise have been forthcoming in resistance to the incoming waves of torpedo bombers and high-altitude bombers, had instead been completely smothered on the ground before it could even be mounted.

    That Japanese success was assisted inadvertently by Gen. Walter Short's order from three days prior to line up all U.S. warplanes on the tarmacs of these airfields in an ill-fated effort to thwart efforts of suspected saboteurs. It was an unfounded belief on the general's part, and it cost his command dearly and those planes instead became sitting ducks for their attackers when they arrived that morning.

    Only eight U.S. fighters managed to get aloft that morning to engage the Japanese warplanes. Another six fighters were destroyed on the runway at Wheeler as their pilots obediently awaited permission from the control tower to begin their takeoff roll, an order which never came because the tower itself had been strafed by a Japanese Zero, which killed the three occupants.

    At 7:55 a.m., with American air defenses having been effectively neutralized, the primary wave of Japanese bombers struck the capital ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, with their main target being the battleships at anchor on the east side of Ford Island, as well as other ships at anchor in the harbor on that quiet Sunday morning:

    • The U.S.S. California was hit by two torpedoes, and sank quietly in place in the shallow waters as her crew abandoned ship.

    • The U.S.S. West Virginia was hit by seven torpedoes, the last one completely destroying the ship's rudder.

    • The U.S.S. Oklahoma was hit by four torpedoes, which quickly caused her to capsize and trap hundreds of her crew inside.

    • The U.S.S. Maryland and U.S.S. Tennessee were each hit by two bombs apiece, none of which caused damage sufficient to disable their targets for any length of time. Both ships were again operable within eight weeks of the raid.

    • The U.S.S. Nevada quickly weighed anchor and got under way, making a heroic if somewhat foolhardy dash for the harbor channel entrance before its captain thought twice about what he was attempting to do, as Japanese warplanes swarmed down upon his ship and crew, killing 60 of them. Rather than risk getting sunk in the channel itself, which would have bottled up the fleet for Lord only knows how long, he instead beached his ship on Waipio Point.

    At 8:10 a.m., the U.S.S. Arizona -- the Pacific Fleet's flagship -- was hit in its foresection by a high-altitude bomb, which penetrated the deck all the way to the ship's forward magazine before detonating. The ensuing explosion blew out the bow and lifted the entire ship clear of the water. Its accompanying concussion rattled building windows across downtown Honolulu, and the blast was heard along Oahu's entire south shore. 1,177 of Arizona's 1,500-man crew were killed instantly, and the stricken ship quickly settled into the shallow harbor waters at its berth, BB-39. The fires aboard her would rage for nearly three days before finally self-extinguishing. To this very day, fuel oil continues to leak slowly from its broken hull.

    One of those aboard Arizona who died at that moment was Rear Adm. Isaac Kidd, Sr., who was on the bridge directing the defense of Battleship Row when the bomb stuck. The highest ranking casualty at Pearl Harbor, Adm. Kidd remains the only senior flag officer to ever be killed in action against a foreign enemy in the history of the United States Navy. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that morning. 32 years later, his son and namesake, Adm. Isaac Kidd, Jr., would himself become the commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet at Norfolk, VA.

    In one bit of fortuitous circumstance and luck for the Americans, the Pacific Fleet's three aircraft carriers had sailed from Pearl Harbor only four days prior to the assault, and thus avoided getting caught in the ensuing maelstrom which enveloped their fellow sailors.

    Their absence at Pearl Harbor as reported by his pilots prompted a very nervous Adm. Chiuichi Nagumo, commander of the Japanese strike force, to call off -- much to the dismay of his subordinates -- what would have been the climactic and perhaps decisive third wave of Japanese warplanes, which was to have been launched at the port facilities of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard itself. Had those facilities been destroyed, the base itself would have been rendered inoperative and the Pacific Fleet would have been obliged to withdraw to San Diego, leaving Hawaii dangerously exposed to a potential Japanese invasion and occupation.

    But since he did not know the exact location of the American carriers, which were actually on their way to deliver aircraft to the U.S. Naval Air Station at Midway Island (1,100 miles WNW of Honolulu), Nagumo was unwilling to further risk leaving his own carriers without sufficient air cover, should he order a third strike on Oahu only to get caught in the open by the Americans. Confident that his forces had already inflicted crippling losses on the Americans, he decided to end the attack.

    And so at 9:30 a.m., Japanese warplanes abruptly broke off combat operations and were recalled to their carriers, which were at that moment moving directly westward to withdraw from Hawaiian waters before any American carriers and submarines might find them. In their immediate wake lay a scene of utter devastation.

    In total, 2,403 Americans died in the attack on Oahu that Sunday morning, and another 1,178 were wounded:

    • U.S. Navy - 2,008 killed, 710 wounded (Note: over half that number were entombed aboard the Arizona, now a fiery ruin):
    • U.S. Army and Army Air Corps - 218 killed, 364 wounded;
    • U.S. Marine Corps - 109 killed, 69 wounded;
    • Civilians - 68 killed, 35 wounded.

    All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four of them being sunk outright. All but the Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. Additional Navy losses were three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. Another 16 ships were damaged. Of the 408 U.S. aircraft on Oahu, 188 were destroyed and a further 159 were seriously damaged.

    Japanese losses that morning were 29 planes, 4 mini-submarines, and 64 airmen and sailors. It should be noted that Japanese pilots were under strict orders to confine their assault to designated military targets only and avoid targeting civilian areas.

    Four members of the Honolulu Fire Dept. were killed and 12 wounded at Hickam Field, when the department personnel answered the alarm and raced to the scene after the first wave, only to get caught in the open when the second wave of Japanese warplanes arrived and again struck the airfield hanger facilities that they were attempting to save. Another three civilians were killed when their car was strafed while on the road between Pearl Harbor and Hickam

    Of the remaining 61 civilian dead in Honolulu itself, it has since been determined that all died from friendly fire, when military personnel manning anti-aircraft batteries at Pearl Harbor failed to set the fuses properly on their shells before firing them upward at attacking Japanese warplanes.

    Instead of exploding at a pre-set altitude, about 50 shells instead arced into the sky and rained down upon the city, where they subsequently detonated upon impact. Four of them fell in rapid succession around 9:00 a.m. near the corner of McCully St. and South King St. outside of Waikiki, destroying two entire city blocks and killing 13 people, including 6 children.

    "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

    "The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

    "Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

    "It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

    "The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

    "Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

    "Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

    "Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

    "I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

    "Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.

    "I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."
    - President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Day of Infamy" Speech to Congress (December 8, 1941)


    (Sigh!) And then there's ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 10:11:32 PM EST
    ... Newt Gingrich's version of the events of that day, in which he suspiciously sounds like he's praising the Japanese:

    "75 years ago the Japanese displayed professional brilliance and technological power launching surprises from Hawaii to the Philippines"

    An' that's probly 'cause Franklin Delano Rooooo-sevelt was one of them libtard Dumbocraps, an' he deserved it, yes'm, he did.

    Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ph.D: Piling it higher and deeper since 1978.



    Walter Scott Foreman speaks out (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 12:09:07 PM EST
    No surprise the media got things wrong.  It wasn't 11-1 in favor of guilt on Friday as had been reported.  There were 5 undecided and one who refused to vote guilty.  

    This isn't surprising either....

    The jury foreman in Michael Slager's murder trial told NBC on Thursday that the panel had focused on a manslaughter charge after deciding the North Charleston policeman had done nothing "malicious" in Walter Scott's shooting death.

    This should never have been a murder trial. People have been brainwashed by misleading media reports and unrealistic Hollywood depictions of police.  

    Here's a better interview (none / 0) (#34)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 12:20:46 PM EST
    where the foreman goes into more detail about the evidence and deliberations. He mentions the "scuffle" and basing decisions on the law, not emotions.  Sounds like a good foreman.

    In a bizarre twist, during the trial (none / 0) (#39)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 02:49:07 PM EST
    that same jury foreman had  felony charge against him dropped by the same police force that had employed the defendant.

    Yes, bizzare, but I can't seem to find much info (none / 0) (#44)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:37:40 PM EST
    on what exactly happened.

    As for the Scott trial, I found this comment interesting....

    "Initially it was going to be murder," he said. But after reviewing evidence and reading legal definitions of the charges and "the things that were presented to us by the judged, we had come to find out he didn't do anything malicious."



    Another interview (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 04:15:41 PM EST
    The View's Interview Was Poor (none / 0) (#45)
    by RickyJim on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:49:45 PM EST
    Are any of those gals lawyers?  A competent interviewer would have found out exactly what evidence convinced Mr. Montgomery that the shooting was not malicious, something that took the murder charge off the table.  I gather that only one juror was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Slager was guilty of murder while several were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of manslaughter.  Without knowing their reasons, it is hard to conclude anything about the decision.  

    This absolutely should've been (none / 0) (#66)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:56:31 PM EST
    ... and will be a murder trial.

    Heeeeeyyyyy ... this opinion thing is easy.


    Not in this juries (none / 0) (#69)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 09:05:53 PM EST
    Opinion. They were going for manslaughter

    Looking at the video (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 09:41:53 PM EST
    I can see a good case against manslaughter. When Slager makes his decision to draw his firearm, Scott is right next to him.  Slager doesn't know if Scott is going to run away or attack him.  By the time it takes Slager to squeeze the trigger for his first shot, Scott is about 10-12 feet away.

    The argument would be Slager didnt' have enough time to change his mind. People watching at home are like Monday morning quaterbacks asking why did the QB throw the ball right to the defensive player.  It's not easy to make slit second decisions when unexpected things happen.  


    How many pretzels (none / 0) (#71)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 10:12:00 PM EST
    are you going to twist trying to justify shooting a fleeing man in the back?

    There was evidence of a struggle Chuck (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 10:21:32 PM EST
    The jury looked at all the evidence and couldn't convict.  They didn't just glance at a video and come to an emotional conclusion.

    The real question is how much time does it reasonable take for an officer involved in a violent struggle to realize someone is no longer a threat....  Half a second? Two seconds?  


    you seem (none / 0) (#89)
    by linea on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:37:25 PM EST
    obstinately^ anti-police. are you an anti-authority anarchist?

    ^ not yielding readily to treatment, as a disease.


    "This jury" doesn't have AN opinion (none / 0) (#80)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 07:44:06 AM EST
    The jury wad made up of 12 people,  all of whom had their own opinions.  More importantly, the fact that THIS jury didn't vote to convict doesn't mean the charges were inappropriate.  Murder charges against a policeman acting in the course of their duty ate always difficult.  Jurors want to give them the benefit of the doubt.  

    But at least you're no longer stating your opinion as a fact.



    Why Did Donald Trump Win? Just visit (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:25:00 PM EST
    - Just Visit Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

    Eileen and Richard Sorokas loved Barack Obama. They made calls and even knocked on doors to get him elected president in 2008 and 2012 because they believed he would bring change to their stagnant corner of northeast Pennsylvania. (The couple even named two of their ducks after the president and his veep, though a coyote killed Biden.) But in early November, Eileen and Richard voted for Donald Trump for president, as they and the rest of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, flipped from supporting Obama by 5 points in 2012 to a 20-point victory for the billionaire. Reversals like that throughout Pennsylvania gave the state to the Republicans for the first time in a national election since 1988.

    ... Luzerne County, PA -- at least, it sure seems like it, judging by the content of that Newsweek article. One of the white Trump supporters mentioned in the article even blamed illegal immigration for the recent outbreaks of measles across the country.

    The American right has spent the better part of 40 years trying to dumb down the electorate. Behold, the results.

    Very sad.


    The Justice Dept,'s anti-trust division ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 03:02:32 AM EST
    ... has formally approved Alaska Airlines' $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America, subject to federal court approval. That action clears the way for Alaska to become the nation's fifth largest air carrier after American, United, Delta and Southwest, with major hubs in Seattle (where the company's HQ is located), San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), and secondary focus cities in Anchorage, Portland and San Diego.

    When I first moved to Seattle in the fall of 1979 for my freshman year at the University of Washington, Alaska Airlines was strictly a small regional carrier servicing ten Alaskan cities and towns out of Seattle.

    That year was also the first year of airline deregulation in the United States with the abolition of the Civil Aeronautics Board, and Alaska Airlines made its first efforts at expansion into the California market with service to San Francisco, Burbank and Ontario. Fast forward 37 years, and with its Virgin America purchase just about completed, this is what Alaska's route network now looks like. Its growth over the years has been steady, measured and impressive.

    It will also be interesting to see what Hawaiian Airlines has planned for its own expansion, once it takes delivery of its 18 new Airbus A-321 aircraft starting this coming January to complement its existing overseas fleet of 24 A-330 and 17 B-767 widebody aircraft, and its 20 B-717 aircraft which the airline uses exclusively on its interisland routes. Word has it that Hawaiian will aggressively expand service to Asia and the U.S. west coast as a means to appeal to business travelers in the growing Pacific Rim market.

    That said, the top four U.S. carriers still account for 80% of the domestic travel market. Despite Hawaiian's success in slicing off a significant portion of business on lucrative Hawaii-U.S. mainland-Asia routes, United Airlines remains our state's dominant carrier with a nearly 60% share, and it is the only airline providing nonstop service to the west coast from my hometown of Hilo.

    We seriously need more robust competition, not less, within the airline industry. While major U.S. cities do enjoy that competition which results in fairer pricing for local travelers, our country's smaller cities, towns and communities are often at the mercy of one carrier which has carved out and guarded its near-stranglehold on service, and it can charge whatever fares it wants.


    With United (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 09:24:50 AM EST
    now charging extra for a reserved seat or using the overhead bin, the door is open for Hawaiian Airlines to bury them.

    ... which they themselves first created, back when they first started charging an additional fee for checked-in baggage. That only encouraged passengers to bring suitcases on-board and stuff them in the overhead bins. When bins become quickly full, the carriers have had to start checking in large carry-on items at the gate, which has contributed to departure delays.

    Unfortunately, airlines have since discovered that all these additional fees are actually a rather lucrative source of revenue. And for an industry which has historically operated on thin profit margins, that proved to be a big development. That repeated surveys show customers becoming evermore unhappy at being assessed extra charges for services which was once included in the original price of a ticket matters not to them.

    I used to enjoy airports and flying. It's now become an uncomfortable and at times downright unpleasant experience, and something to be loathed rather than anticipated. And for us out here in the islands, where we have to catch a flight if we even want to go to a neighboring county, that's been a most unwelcome development in the industry's evolution / devolution.

    United Airlines was once a great company which once rightfully prided itself in its customer service. Flying that airline nowadays, you'd never know that without having personal memories of what once was.

    In fact, for the three largest carriers, which have become bloated by repeated mergers amid industry consolidation, and are further struggling financially with large debt loads / service and the necessity of replacing their aging air fleets, customer service has proved to be a disposable commodity.

    And that's where more nimble air carriers such as Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue, which have much lower debt overhead and have streamlined their fleets with newer and more versatile aircraft which serve on short-haul and long-haul routes alike, have made some serious inroads in U.S. domestic markets once thought to be impenetrable, where the legacy carriers have traditionally held sway.

    In California, as the larger carriers consolidated their operations at the state's major airport hubs at SFO and LAX, Southwest and JetBlue moved into the void left at smaller neighborhood airports such as Oakland, San Jose, Burbank and Long Beach, where they've now become the predominant presence.

    Southwest and Alaska are now of sufficient size where they can directly challenge and compete successfully with the large legacy carriers on transcontinental routes, and their corporate structures are certainly much more efficient than their legacy counterparts. And Hawaiian's growing fleet of new Airbus aircraft, as well as its wise utilization of Honolulu's strategic locale as a natural hub for long-haul trans-Pacific travel, leave it poised to seriously challenge United's longstanding dominance in the Pacific Rim business travel market.

    It'll be interesting to see how this all eventually shakes out.


    Glass half empty (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 11:46:59 AM EST

    You mean United charges LESS for an unreserved seat?  How wicked.

    No, that's not what he said and means. (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 02:18:35 PM EST
    CG is referring to United Airlines' increasingly noxious practice of charging additional fees for those amenities and services which not all that long ago were once included in that carrier's base price of a ticket, e.g., a reserved seat, checked baggage, and the use of overhead storage bins in passenger cabins.

    If you're going to participate in this particular conversation, please do so honestly, thoughtfully and constructively.




    The fact remains (none / 0) (#27)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 07, 2016 at 11:04:50 PM EST

    That they charge less for an unreserved seat than for a reserved seat.  For those on the tightest budgets the lower cost option is a welcome innovation.


    That's not an "innovation" (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 09:06:20 AM EST
    Charging more for something that was previously included in the price is not am "innovation".

    Southwest Airlines (none / 0) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 09:56:26 AM EST

    Southwest has been growing quite nicely with charging lower fares for unreserved seats exclusively. United is just responding to competition. How horrible.

    Strawman arguments (none / 0) (#32)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 11:22:52 AM EST
    They're "horrible" indeed.

    Abdul: "Southwest has been growing quite nicely with charging lower fares for unreserved seats exclusively. United is just responding to competition. How horrible."

    ... in a while. Because if you had, you'd have undoubtedly noticed that Southwest is not exactly a discount air carrier anymore.

    For example, let's say you want to book a round trip from Los Angeles-LAX to Las Vegas, leaving on Friday, Dec. 16 and returning the following Sunday.

    Southwest is going to charge you $504.00 for that round-trip, while United offers you an economy fare for that same trip of $290.00. Even accounting for United's check-in baggage fee of $25.00 per flight for one suitcase, that runs the total to $340.00.

    Don't believe me? I've provided you with the hyperlinks to both airlines online reservations. Check it out and see for yourself.

    So, please stop trying to feed us the corporate lines which you've swallowed with hook and sinker, and try to engage this issue of consumer-gouging honestly.



    I believe you (none / 0) (#91)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Dec 10, 2016 at 09:49:03 PM EST
    That said there is nothing wrong with an airline offering different classes of service for different prices. As for the prices you quoted, airline prices change frequently. Which airline has the lowest fares today may not be the lowest tomorrow.

    But you said Southwest charges lower fares. (none / 0) (#92)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 13, 2016 at 05:23:26 PM EST
    Speaking as a frequent flyer, while that may have generally been the case 15-20 years ago, it's not that way anymore.

    Sure, Southwest advertises low fare specials to select markets in prime-time TV commercials, but for someone like me who uses them for business travel between L.A. and the Bay Area, those advertised low fares are nothing more than loss leaders. I very rarely if ever have the luxury of being able to travel at those select times when Southwest is willing to fly me for those low rates. Thus, I generally pay full market rate, even if I book the flight well in advance.

    Further, due to their 80%+ dominance in select big-city markets such as L.A.'s Hollywood Burbank Airport and Ontario Int'l Airport, the Bay Area's Oakland Int'l Airport and San Jose Int'l Airport, the Miami area's Ft. Lauderdale Int'l, Dallas's Love Field and Chicago's Midway Int'l Airport, Southwest has actually become one of the more pricey carriers because people are willing to pay extra for its convenience of location.

    Speaking for myself only, I'd much rather prefer using BUR to LAX, OAK to SFO, and MDW to ORD. And if I have to pay a little extra to avoid the hordes of travelers at the major gateway airports, I'll pay it as long as it's not too unreasonable.



    Actually, Abdul, what they're doing is ... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:12:18 PM EST
    ... charging the same for a seat generally, and then assessing an additional fee if you want to reserve a specific seat on an aisle, or by the bulkhead or window. That's not an innovation.

    For argument's sake, let's say that I own a fast food restaurant which you've been patronizing for years, and (not counting for inflation) I've been charging $5.00 for your favorite, a chicken sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato.

    And then one day you come to my establishment, only to notice that while my price for a chicken sandwich hasn't changed on the restaurant bill of fare, I'm now assessing an additional fee of 10 cents for the lettuce, another 35 cents for the tomato slice, 5 cents for the mayonnaise, and 25 cents for the paper used to wrap the sandwich itself.

    That's roughly comparable to what United is doing. And what YOU'RE doing here is telling us, "Hey, you can still have a chicken sandwich for $5.00, so what are you complaining about?"



    I used to always check my bag (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:32:17 AM EST
    I don't fly often, but when I do, it's usually a straight shot.  I don't mind going down and getting my bag from baggage claim, since I fon't have to make a connecting flight.  But since they started instituting bag fees, I'm just another clown who is going to bring my back on board.  But I've learned that the trick is to willingly volunteer to have you bag gate checked - no charge, your bag is one of the first off, and it's brought to you at the gate.

    I'm sure that won't ladt either.


    No, jb, it certainly won't, ... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:55:38 PM EST
    ... now that you've given away the secret of how to get around it.


    Admittedly, I've done the same thing, too. Of course, the last time was involuntary, when I was on a United Express flight from San Francisco to Redmond, OR in September. My bag, which fit quite easily and nicely into the overhead compartment of the United Boeing 777 aircraft that flew me from Honolulu to San Francisco, didn't even come close to fitting into the much smaller overhead bin of the Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet I took from SFO to RDM.

    I'm generally not a fan of those small regional commuter aircraft for that very reason. But Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has a line of regional jets that have much roomier cabins than those of the Bombardier line, which is manufactured in Canada. I've flown the ERJ-175 between LAX and San Francisco, and it's a nice ride.




    The Sound of Silence, recut (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 02:48:15 PM EST
    Yikes! (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:54:09 PM EST
    LOL!! I realize that our individual musical tastes are entirely subjective, but wow! I mean, I'm speaking only for myself obviously, but talk about over-emotive and overblown! Heaven forbid that these people should ever get their mitts on The Beatles' "Let It Be" or Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris."

    Thank you, but I think I'll stick with the original acoustic version of "The Sound of Silence," as performed by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel on their debut studio album "Wednesday Morning, 3AM" (1964).  

    And as far as sticking with something, few groups nowadays perform heavy metal better than Mr. Draiman and Disturbed. "Return to your roots, son, and cease forthwith any further effort on your part to channel Michael Bolton."

    Aloha. ;-D


    John Glenn has passed away (none / 0) (#40)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 03:00:43 PM EST
    He was the first American to orbit the Earth.  The American hero was 95.  

    ... very first astronauts, on October 28, 1998 at age 77, John Glenn also became America's oldest astronaut as a member of STS-95 on the Space Shuttle Discovery.

    I know that a not-insignificant number of critics considered Sen. Glenn's participation as a payload specialist on that mission as nothing more than a NASA publicity stunt. But personally, I thought that was way cool on Glenn's part to agree to do it, not to mention pretty courageous given the obvious risks we now know in retrospect about space shuttle travel.

    Even if he accomplished nothing else on that mission, John Glenn still showed us all that no matter what your age, you're never too old to be able to make a proactive and positive contribution to mankind's cumulative base of knowledge.

    He'll be missed.


    I forgot about the 1998 mission (none / 0) (#49)
    by McBain on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 04:25:23 PM EST
    I also forgot why he didn't do better as a presidential candidate?

    Wrong place, wrong time, wrong message. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:16:24 PM EST
    That's usually the post mortem on most presidential candidates who stumble out of the starting blocks and quickly fall by the wayside during the primaries.

    Really cool article about finding dinosaur (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 04:32:26 PM EST
    Michael Crichton (none / 0) (#64)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 08:51:25 PM EST
    Is smiling.

    I might yet live to see a dinosaur  


    That really makes the imagination soar. (none / 0) (#90)
    by desertswine on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 08:17:00 PM EST
    Brown and white; I understand that in certain fossils they can determine the color of the fossilized feathers.

    RIP Greg Lake. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 06:55:54 PM EST
    Guitar player and singer of Emersom, Lake and Palmer. He wrote their hit song 'Lucky Man'. He also spent time in King Crimson.

    "Confusion (none / 0) (#58)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 08, 2016 at 07:13:47 PM EST
    will be my Epitaph, as I crawl a cracked and broken path..."

    I really think we need ... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 03:40:30 AM EST
    ... to listen to some Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Here are my picks:

    These songs are timeless, and take me back to my UW dorm days. ELP was pretty standard FM fare back then, when rock stations on FM radio were much more music-oriented and a lot less commercialized than they are today.




    Don't forget (none / 0) (#84)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    "I Believe in Father Christmas." Although an atheist and an un-xmas person, I have also like the song. Enjoyed listening to it just this morning whilst whittling away at work.

    I always liked the way he (none / 0) (#86)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 09, 2016 at 04:18:47 PM EST
    sang The Old Castle from the Pictures at an Exhibition album.