Thursday Open Thread

The DEA is putting out bids for equipment to unlock iphones, including the new iPhone X

Grayshift, the company behind GrayKey, provides two different versions of the product: an online model for $15,000 which provides 300 unlocks, and an offline version for $30,000 with unlimited uses. The DEA is looking for the latter, according to the listing.

The Judge in El Chapo's case has unsealed (over the objection of the government) the letter El Chapo wanted to read to the court at his latest court hearing.

Vicente Zambada-Niebla is finally going to get sentenced in December. He'll have 6 years in good time. (One awaiting extradition in MX and 8 here.) He's likely to get a 10 year sentence, which means time served. Assuming he testifies against El Chapo, which many media reports and pleadings suggest, how can he go home to Mexico safely? He can't. In his plea agreement, the U.S. agreed to make efforts to allow him and his family to stay in the U.S.[More...]

Additionally, if the Defendant requests, and in the judgment of this Office the request is reasonable, this Office will recommend to other offices in the U.S. Government that the Defendant and, if appropriate, his family members, be allowed to remain permanently in the United States through appropriate means. Defendant understands that this Office has authority only to recommend such a course of action and that the final decision whether to grant such relief rests within other offices of the Department of Justice and with other agencies of the U.S. government, which will make their independent decision in accordance with applicable law, policy, and procedures.

Remember the iconic photo of the hooded detainee at Abu Graib? He's come foreward and telling how awful the torture was. watch the short clip.

Obligatory Trump comment: Sounds like he's still re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Di Genova (and Toensing) Not Joining Trump's Legal Team | Wednesday Open Thread >
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    THE AMERICANS (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    Final season started last night and it's going to be good.

    It could not be more topical even tho it happens in the 80s.  The hook of the first episode is the battle between Gorbachev and the KGB.  Warning whoever wins will run the country.

    THE TERROR started on AMC and it's amazing.

    I am already sick of hearing about Roseanne.

    KGB are just tools (none / 0) (#131)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 10:17:54 PM EST
    There was a great Marxist called Lenin
    Who did two or three million men in.
    That's a lot to have done in,
    But where he did one in
    That grand Marxist Stalin did ten in.

    Trying to get my wife ... (none / 0) (#162)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 01:49:16 PM EST
    ... to watch The Terror.  I thought the first episode was amazing.  Looking forward to the rest of the series. - and the Americans last season.

    2020 crowd (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CST on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 02:55:59 PM EST
    One of the names that never seems to come up, or comes up very rarely, is Tammy Duckworth.

    Now, maybe she's just not interested, or maybe she's decided having a new baby is enough work.  But man - of all the people being mentioned, she's the only one I can think of that can really dish it out without coming across hokey (Elizabeth Warren), out of touch (Joe Biden), elitist (Nancy Pelosi), or bitter (Bernie Sanders).

    And I think it will take someone with that kind of rhetorical skill to make an impact.

    Case and point:

    "An article by the conservative Red State blog said Duckworth "doesn't have a leg to stand on" over her support of Miguel Perez Jr., the veteran convicted of a drug crime who was deported earlier this month.

    Duckworth, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, lost both of her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade shot down the helicopter she was piloting over Iraq in 2004.

    She corrected Red State Blog on Wednesday, telling them she has two legs that are "made of titanium" and "don't buckle.""

    To be fair, the optics alone of an immigrant-woman-disabled-veteran-who gave birth while senator, taking on Trump, makes me swoon more than it should.  But I also think she's got just the right amount of snark to pull it off.

    I believe it was Senator Duckworth (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 03:08:44 PM EST
    who coined "Cadet Bone Spurs." Which I immediately stole and use here when referring to the pretender at 1600 PA.

    Democrats have (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 10:46:24 AM EST
    permitted Republicans to label its leaders as out-of-touch, elitist and excessively liberal.

      Nancy Pelosi has been used as a Republican boogeywoman for years with, essentially, impunity,  Now, some Democrats are inoculating themselves against against such attacks on Mrs. Pelosi by shying away from or trying to jettison her.

     Such courage, especially when using the saw of needing someone younger---where the likely replacement for the 78 year old Pelosi will be Steny Hoyer, age 78.  

     Yes, there is talk of a real younger leader, maybe in the 60ish age zone, but this effort may only result in a contentious leadership election,  something not needed when so close to the 2018 mid-term elections.  After all the goal is to win the House not to defeat the Democratic leader.  And, the former does not depend on the later...in electoral reality, just in Republican scare tactics.

    The Democrats might try presenting a case for Mrs. Pelosi--hardly an elitist. For example, it was Mrs. Pelosi who dragged the ACA across the finish line. And, from the Democratic House members perspective, Mrs. Pelosi is the most effective fundraiser...providing resources for the campaigns of the younger members/candidates.  And, she knows how to manage her caucus.

    Some Democrats in the House may be persuaded not to support Mrs. Pelosi owing to the successful distancing of her by Connor Lamb...a special election and special case.

     Or, maybe some feel overwhelmed and defenseless by the stepped-up attacks on the liberal Pelosi by the odious Mike Pence.

     It is not too late to counter the lazy defense of Mrs. Pelosi against the likes of Pence and his ilk, if for no other reason than to realize that the center of that target on Mrs Pelosi's back is misogyny ringed by "San Francisco Liberal"....the realization of which by many Democratic and Independent voters is not a winning shot.  Once the Democrats take the House, thought can be given by both Mrs. Pelosi and the Democrat caucus as to future leadership.  


    Better to have a San Francisco Liberal ... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:04:55 PM EST
    ... in high office, than an Indianapolis Idiot.

    FWIW (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:01:25 AM EST
    I'm not talking about their policies, I'm talking about how they come off when speaking "truth to power".

    I like Nancy Pelosi a lot, I think she's a great house leader, but she would not be a good presidential candidate and would not do well in a debate setting with Donald Trump.  That's the only criteria I'm measuring here.  Not house leadership which is a one-party game and an entirely different proposal.  I could give a $hit what Republicans or Independents think about Dem house leadership.  But we have to care - to an extent - what they will think about presidential candidates.

    And when I say she comes off as elitist what I mean by that is she comes off as dismissive.  She tends to repeat talking points and brush aside anything she doesn't want to discuss.  That is elitist in the sense that she doesn't feel the need to answer questions as posed.  This is something I've seen from her in interviews myself, and while it may be beneficial for protecting house members from controversial opinions it doesn't win the public over.  As house leader she doesn't need to win the public over, except the members of the house.  As presidential candidate she would.


    While recognizing that Pelosi has (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:21:19 AM EST
    been very effective within the confines of the House, both as Speaker and as Minority Leader, I don't think that specific talent translates to the global arena of a presidential contest.

    And for me, there's something about her speaking style that grates on my last nerve.  Maybe it's that she always seems to be sort of mentally stuttering and casting about for words - I don't know.  Maybe it's that she seems a bit programmed in her responses, that they are more talking point than discussion.


    You must be a frazzled wreck (none / 0) (#42)
    by vicndabx on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:02:26 PM EST
    someone who barely gets media coverage has a voice that "grates on your last nerve"

    Please don't start this BS again:

    Maybe it's that she seems a bit programmed in her responses, that they are more talking point than discussion.

    Susan Collins has the same effect on me, (none / 0) (#45)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:14:54 PM EST
    what can I say?  I work with someone - a grown woman - who has this itty, bitty baby voice that would sound more appropriate coming from a 5 year old.  I know she can't help it, but it's hard to listen to.  I know someone else who seems to have one volume setting: LOUD.

    I've always been sensitive to sounds, and I'm not going to feel bad about that, and certainly you aren't going to make me feel bad about it.

    You can't tell me you don't know people whose voices get on your nerves.

    I think Nancy Pelosi is superb at her job, and I hope she gets to keep it for as long as she wants it; I don't think her forte is speaking to the media or the public.  I agree with CST, who said she thought Pelosi would not be good in a debate, but I notice you didn't rake her over the coals for her opinions.

    I guess we all have our BS, vic, don't we?


    I completely agree (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:30:31 PM EST
    Except I think a other speaker might be good.

    It reminds me a little of Joycelyn Elders who I loved but could listen too.


    Difference between comments (none / 0) (#51)
    by vicndabx on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 01:00:16 PM EST
    You are talking about how someone sounds where CST was talking about debate style.  I.e. Nancy P might be more polite in a debate while Tammy Duckworth won't be.  I don't necessarily agree with that either.  Nonetheless, I didn't feel a need to chime in there.

    Personally, I try not to let those things that people cannot control bother me, nor color how I view them.



    Not to worry. Nancy Pelosi is not going (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:26:51 AM EST
    to run for president. I would be surprised if she ever gave the idea so much as 10 seconds of thought.

    She is, however, one of the the best, and i think she is the very best,  House speakers and caucus leaders in the history of the House of Representatives.

    Her knowledge of how Congress works, how to work the levers of power, is enormous. That she has so successfully managed the Democratic caucus is a testament to her skill as a leader. And, yes, she is a prolific fundraiser.

    The Democrats would be shooting themselves in the face if they jettisoned Pelosi. Come on! Speaker Steny Hoyer?Please.

    Which does not mean that the Democratic caucus needs no new leadership. There is a very real need to start moving younger members into the leadership pipeline where they can develop the necessary skills to effectively lead and manage the Democratic caucus, advance the Democratic policy agenda, and hold the line against the Republican assault.

    No need to demonize yet another politically gifted and powerful woman to reach the goal of a more diversified leadership team.


    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:04:19 PM EST
    for the clarification. I just have not been aware that Nancy Pelosi's name has been bandied about for a 2020 presidential run. But, that was clearly what you were discussing.

     What I have have been aware of is the distancing from Pelosi by some Democratic House members/candidates, such as Conor Lamb. And, my concern that such distancing is owed to acceptance of Republican framing---particularly, such tags as "elitist."  My take on elitism is not so much being dismissive to questions as a portrayal of being above the fray.  More dismissing questions and concerns by those considered lessers.

    And, motivation for dodging questions is key, or we would be in the odd and untenable position of attaching elitism to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    I do not believe Mrs. Pelosi's record is one of elitism. as her failed challenger, the economically anxious Ohio Congressman, Tim Ryan, discovered.  


    I'll be honest (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 01:43:27 PM EST
    I never really meant to talk about Pelosi at all. She was just the first person that came to mind when filling in the type of problems potential Dems would have in 2020.  As in - I don't actually think that Pelosi is running for president, but that argument will be used against other Dems running, and Pelosi was the stand-in because she's the first person I thought of as an example of that problem that Tammy Duckworth overcomes.  

    This has now taken on a life of it's own - which I understand as she has been taking a lot of hits from the left lately.  At least we all seem to agree that Warren is hokey and Bernie is bitter!


    I'm with you (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:23:13 PM EST
    Dan. Frankly I think we need to quit worrying about what the GOP is going to say and take a page from the Parkland gang and just tell the GOP to STFU.

    The GOP plays personality politics because they know no one likes their issues.


    The GOP really doesn't care (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:36:32 PM EST
    If they burn the world down. I've never seen anything like this. I'm so sick of it. And it's far from over.

    I have never, ever understood why (none / 0) (#72)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:42:44 PM EST
    Democrats spend so much time contorting themselves to try to head off GOP criticism.  Yes, I get that Dems did not just roll off an assembly line, with views that are identical, with identical opinions about how best to accomplish our goals, but even if some of us are more conservative Democrats, and others of us are more liberal, or more centrist, we agree on some pretty core, basic issues.  

    We should treat the GOP the way the Parkland kids treated the NRA: not going to them, but through them and around them.  


    Easy (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:49:19 PM EST
    answer to that, the media. Democrats on attack get savaged in the right wing media and at least tut-tuted in the rest of MSM.

    Republicans on attack get praised by the right and of course only given an "equal" dose of scorn from the rest of the both-siderist press.

    I'm not saying that the Democrats didn't help paint themselves into the corner by losing the messaging battle and cowering in front of the propaganda machine, a machine that has been well funded, relentless, ruthless and unfortunately successful.

    On the other hand the kids have an immunity to the whole thing. The predictable right wing attacks come off as extremely tawdry and are instantly countered in force on social media. Meanwhile the rest of the media sit in absolute awe at these kids speaking truth to power with a clarity they can only dream of.


    It is not Dan (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:08:50 PM EST
    But right now we are underestimating how much she is hated
    We did that in 2016

    Jus sayin


    To be clear (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:16:12 PM EST
    I'm sure anyone in her position will be demonized.

    But the fact is she has near universal name recognition.  That matters.

    She could raise just as much money, maybe more, if someone else was Speaker.


    The first woman ever (5.00 / 6) (#49)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:47:41 PM EST
    in the line of presidential succession was bound to be a target for Republicans, as well as Democrats with tiny hands.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:51:09 PM EST

    You are (none / 0) (#56)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 03:00:04 PM EST
    right, Mrs. Pelosi has been demonized to the extent that she may be a drag on 2018. And, the Republicans would be greatly dismayed if she were to bow out...losing a good foil.

     But, they are likely to be determined as in the case of Hillary, who has not been in government for over five years but will continue to be a favorite villainess--to be "locked up."

      Republicans will always be Republicans, but my hope is that the Democrats will not, or will, at least try, to mount an offensive rather than acquiesce to the attacks, and run away from them as fast as they can.  


    Xavier Becerra, whom Gov. Brown (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 04:46:23 PM EST
    appointed to fil out Kamala Harris' term as CA AG, looks good to me. Former Congressman.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 01:35:04 PM EST
    I thought that Xavier Becerra would have been a good running mate for Hillary Clinton.  The son of Mexican parents, came from a very humble background, a graduate of Stanford and Stanford Law, California State Assembly, US Congress for 24 years, liberal positions and  a liberal record.  And, now, is doing a good job as CA AG.

    Tim Kaine was OK and would have made a good vice president. But, he hurt Mrs. Clinton by not helping her.  In addition to the qualifications of Becerra (or say, Elijah Cummings), his place on the ticket may have improved turnout.  


    Kaine was the 'safe' (none / 0) (#54)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 01:57:08 PM EST
    whitebread pick for VP.

    one of the castro brothers (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 04:56:47 PM EST
    julian especially

    FYI (none / 0) (#11)
    by linea on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 05:15:38 PM EST
    Re: `immigrant-woman-disabled-veteran`

    Tammy Duckworth in not an immigrant. She is a US Citizen not a naturalized citizen.


    Daughter of immigrants, or at least of (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 05:19:29 PM EST
    one immigrant. Naturalized citizens are not eligible under the Constitution to run for President.

    You're absolutely right (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 05:23:02 PM EST
    My bad.   Daughter of an immigrant.

    She is also a proud graduate of ... (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:09:40 PM EST
    ... Honolulu's McKinley High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

    Always reassured by her (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 06:08:43 PM EST
    That someone is fighting the good fight.

    I wasn't all in for her initially because she ran fairly centrist. I'm used to veterans who do that banking right after they get elected. She banked left.


    My EGGSHIBITION egg (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 04:11:47 PM EST
    is about to leave the nest

    It's called SMILE

    It looks a little like (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:17:35 AM EST
    that creature that sat at the end of the banquet table in Pan's Labyrinth.

    Feedback? (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 04:21:52 PM EST
    It's supposed to be vaguely creepy

    It is vaguely creepy. (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 04:43:07 PM EST
    I'll second oculus on that. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:00:55 PM EST
    If that creation doesn't win an award, then the entire process is rigged.

    Thank you Donald (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:42:50 PM EST
    Truth is it's a pretty competitive thing.   I always wait till the last week.  Some people work on the things for months.  And they have opened the thing up to all kinds of art and sculpture.  Not just eggs any more.  I like working with the eggs.  I have already decided what I will do next year.  I'm going to do an egg being penetrated by a bullet.  something like this
    Was going to do that this year but I waited to late and couldn't get the supplies in time.  I think I missed the moment.  Story of my life

    Those are my teeth.  Well, a mold of my teeth.


    Heh (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:19:58 AM EST
    I just put SMILE in the mail.  I don't usually attend.  It's really sort of a snore and it a long drive for me.

    Since its late and I had to get it in route very few live people have given me feed back.  So I requested it while standing in line at the PO.

    If there is a hell I'm sure I will burn in it for admitting my favorite response was a preschooler who started crying.  But his mother thought it was great.


    RIP, Stephen Reinhardt, age 87 (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 08:38:48 PM EST
    38 years as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A true "liberal jurist" (unlike many who are unjustly "accused" of being). Largely responsible for the Ninth Circuit's (inaccurate) reputation as an out-of-step "liberal" appeals court, most often reversed by the Supreme Court (a fact of which he was proud). A true believer in liberty and enforcing rights. One of the greats.

    Also passing... (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 10:52:16 PM EST
    Linda Brown, the namesake of the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that abolished school segregation, has passed away at age 75.

    Reinhardt was the last judicial appointee ... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 06:36:40 PM EST
    ... of President Jimmy Carter who was still serving in that capacity, which makes me realize that I'm an older adult now.

    Regarding your point that he was "[l]argely responsible for the Ninth Circuit's (inaccurate) reputation as an out-of-step 'liberal' appeals court," some of us here might also remember Stephen Reinhardt as presiding judge of the 9th Circuit panel that upheld U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's August 2010 ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the landmark decision in which Walker had determined that California's Proposition 8-imposed ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. SCOTUS refused to overturn Reinhardt on that one.

    I've often heard Judge Reinhardt and his political contemporary, retired California State Senate President John Burton, referenced in local media as the "last liberal lions" in public service, which of course is nonsense. Those two men were merely one of many liberals who've served, albeit they were among the best of the pride. And no doubt, they will continue to inspire others to join the cause.

    He will be very much missed.


    Heavy Hearted Opening Day... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:40:13 AM EST
    with the passing of beloved Mets all-time great player and personality Rusty Staub, or as he was known in Montreal "Le Grand Orange".  The only player to have over 500 hits for 4 different teams, and as well known for his good cheer and philanthropy as well as his skills on the diamond.  May you rest in peace Rusty, thanks for all the memories!

    On the field, the Metsies won one for their old slugger 9-4 over St. Louis behind Thor's 10 K's in six innings of work and 3 RBI's from Cespedes.  Hope strings eternal!

    I remember him and Joe Morgan (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:26:07 AM EST
    and Don Wilson for being the first top shelf players Houston had back when they were an expansion team.

    Them and that other guy they called "the toy cannon"..little guy that hit 480 ft homeruns..


    Jimmy Wynn (none / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:27:21 AM EST
    How can you mention the (none / 0) (#114)
    by ragebot on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 11:42:34 AM EST
    Colt .45s without mentioning Turk Ferrell.  I still recall the Sporting News' analysis of his 10-20 record and his selection to the All Star games.  They said something like how good does a pitcher have to be to lose 20 games.  As long as a pitcher is winning, even if it is someone like Dave McLucky, the manager keeps starting you.  But to lose 20 games you really have to be good or the manager will start someone else.

    Noor Salman Acquitted (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by RickyJim on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 03:44:25 PM EST
    What was the government thinking when they brought charges?
    We all know that elected prosecutors bring charges even though they can't prove them beyond a reasonable doubt (Zimmerman case was a prime example) but the Feds are supposedly more objective.  Bringing the case against the widow for not acting on her husband's suspicious actions is about as just as prosecuting all those law enforcement officials who ignored the abundant evidence that Nikolas Cruz was about to perform a massacre.  

    I'm glad she was acquitted (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by linea on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 04:08:54 PM EST
    So proud of and excited for the defense team (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 04:17:21 PM EST
    especially my old friend, outstanding Tampa/New York/London attorney Linda Moreno.  And the defense consultants from the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women (a good place to throw a charitable contribution, btw, in honor of their 30th anniversary of helping defend women all over the U.S. unjustly prosecuted or imprisoned for alleged crimes growing out of their being subjected to domestic violence, as in this case).

    Hindsight is always 20/20. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 06:52:43 PM EST
    I daresay we all possess the clarity of hindsight and from time to time, we've all second-guessed our own particular judgments or actions in the wake of some unfortunate event in our lives.

    Lord knows my mother, siblings and I are doing it right now regarding my younger sister and the extent of her alcoholism. We all saw the warning signs this past fall that her life was spiraling out of control and her health was in serious decline as a result of her drinking. For whatever our reasons, we rationalized our concerns and told ourselves it wasn't as bad as it appeared. It took her heart attack and resultant hospitalization -- and now, rehabilitation -- to compel us to acknowledge that she had a major problem which required our help.

    I could kick myself for failing to act earlier.


    I actually did it! (5.00 / 10) (#68)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:32:02 PM EST
    I made it to retirement. I'm a free man!

    Congratulations (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:46:07 PM EST
    It's a wonderful thing

    Hasn't fully sunk in yet. (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:59:44 PM EST
    Realizing I don't have to get up early on Monday might do it.

    Welcome, MileHi, to the (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:19:11 PM EST
    wonderful world of retirement. I am happy for you.

    Friends who have retired have told me (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:53:45 PM EST
    that for the first couple weeks, you just feel like you're on vacation, and by the end of the first month, you realize, yeah, you ARE on vacation: forever!

    I have a million things I want to do around the house - I'm determined to purge and de-clutter and organize and simplify - hoping to help out more with the grandkids, do more work outside, etc.

    And while I don't have near the health issues you've been dealing with, I'm determined to get my own health in better shape - it takes a lot of energy to keep up with 4 little boys under the age of 6! - just recently started going to a new doctor, since i hadn't really had a doctor for over 10 years.  My blood pressure was too high, my cholesterol was really high, etc.  Have already lost some weight, and am feeling good about that continuing.

    Hope things continue on the upswing for you and you have plenty to keep you engaged and energized!


    Congrats! I'm looking to do the same, (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:56:10 PM EST
    by the end of the year at the latest (the closer I get, the farther away it seems to be!), but I don't know if I can make it that long...now, I'm thinking Labor Day.

    I'm just so done with working - I'll miss the paycheck, but I haven't ruled out picking up some part-time work at some point.

    Hope you have some great plans for your free time, and that whatever you do, you have fun with it!


    For the final year (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:10:59 PM EST
    I had a tiny magnetic calendar on the fridge marking off the days.

    That's wonderful news, MileHi! (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by vml68 on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 10:56:30 PM EST
    Now that you've made it to retirement, I hope you get to feel as relaxed and content as this :-)

    Congratulations!!! (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 04:01:56 PM EST
    Welcome.  Every day will be like Summer Vacation.  Your stress levels are really going to drop like a rock in the water.

    Good for you! (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:10:07 PM EST
    So many people told me they wish they could retire. Lots of unhappy workers. I say if you can, do it. LIfe is way too short.

    There's contract work I can and may do. But first I want to get my health back to somewhere were it was before the brain infectio/surgery and intestinal superbug. A year ago, I was relearning how to walk and talk. Been a long road back and lots of things to take care as a result. Now I have the time.

    Not sure why that nested wrong. (none / 0) (#79)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:14:06 PM EST
    Was supposed to be a reply to Anne.

    OMG, my brain is turning to mush already!


    Happy (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Zorba on Sun Apr 01, 2018 at 05:24:15 PM EST
    Easter for those in the Western tradition, Happy Palm Sunday for those of us in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, and Happy Pesach to those who celebrate Passover.

    And 2 u 2 (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 01, 2018 at 06:12:28 PM EST
    The Sinclair war on media (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 07:34:32 AM EST
    This is as frightening as anything that has happened in Trumps America

    How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media

    Earlier this month, CNN's Brian Stelter broke the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner or operator of nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., would be forcing its news anchors to record a promo about "the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country."

    You seriously need to see this video

    This is the danger of consolidation of (none / 0) (#103)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 07:51:08 AM EST
    the media - when you think about how many people are seeing and hearing the same propaganda - verbatim - all across the country, it's frightening.

    They are currently (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:13:02 AM EST
    Trying to do a deal that would give them many more.  Think this will make Trump and his minions think that's a good idea?

    We can only promote the backlash (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:16:11 AM EST
    Sinclair Merger (none / 0) (#106)
    by jmacWA on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:32:43 AM EST
    Of course we will see NO pushback from Trump's DOJ on this Merger, unlike the ATT Merger.  BOTH of these mergers are likely bad for the consumer... but only one of them is bad for Trump's ego; the other one is sure to give it a boost.

    John Oliver (none / 0) (#108)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 10:36:17 AM EST
    had a similar piece on the Sinclair "must runs," parroting pro-Trump propaganda in the best traditions of Herman Goebbels.

    This morning (none / 0) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 12:25:42 PM EST

    Donald J. Trump

     So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.

    8:28 AM - Apr 2, 2018

    R.I.P. Bob Beattie age 85. (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 09:13:27 PM EST
    Bob was the U. S. Ski Team coach since the early sixties. I saw him last year in Aspen when they showed my ski movies and he was in pretty rough shape in his wheel chair.

    Bob started the World Cup ski racing tour when the Americans were always unfairly treated in the European races.  He also started the professional ski racing circuit where Spider Sabich won most of the races the first two years stunning all the Europeans.  And he also started Nastar which was a short fun dual slalom race where any two skiers could race.  That is still happening in over 100 ski areas.

    "The Coach" lived in Aspen and was a long time friend.  His presence will be missed.

    Condolences fishcamp (none / 0) (#136)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 07:52:22 AM EST
    RIP, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936-2018). (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 10:19:04 PM EST
    The renowned anti-Apartheid activist, who took the worst the white minority regime could dish out while campaigning tirelessly for the release from prison of her late former husband, South African President Nelson Mandela, died today in Johannesburg at age 81.

    Current South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in Soweto tonight (SA time) that Mrs. Mandela will be honored with a state funeral on April 14. And former President F.W. de Klerk - who freed Nelson Mandela from prison and presided over the end of Apartheid in his country - offered his condolences to the Mandela family for their loss, calling Winnie "larger than life."

    Always outspoken and controversial, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela became the face of the ANC in South Africa during its wilderness period, and kept her then-husband's name always in the forefront of black South Africans as a symbol of their resistance to white minority rule.

    Unfortunately, one of the casualties of the struggle was the Mandelas' marriage; they had grown apart during Nelson's 27 years of incarceration, and they divorced a few years after he became the country's first post-Apartheid president.

    She will be missed.

    In 1990 (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by CST on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:15:37 AM EST
    Winnie and Nelson Mandela came to Boston and my parent took me to see them speak.

    I was 5 at the time, but it left a distinct impression on me and I subsequently named my favorite Teddy Bear Winnie - after Winnie Mandela, not Winnie the Poo, and I was very clear about this distinction.

    At the time I didn't know much, but I knew that even as a child I was impressed by this woman who wasn't standing in her husband's shadow, but had her own power and her own voice.

    I'll end here with Trevor Noah's thoughts on Winnie:

    ""Because so many of the struggle leaders in South Africa were either imprisoned or exiled, the movement in South Africa was held together in large part by women in the country," Noah said.

    "I grew up in a world that was very matriarchal and where women were the most dangerous freedom fighters that existed," he added.

    "Nelson Mandela was an icon, but the police in the country were afraid of Winnie Mandela."

    Noah shared a South African phrase still used today, popularised during the 1956 Women's March against apartheid: "Wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo'."

    Translated, the phrase means: "You strike a woman, you strike a rock.""


    For many South Africans, ... (none / 0) (#182)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 05:26:29 PM EST
    ... Nomzano Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela embodied the ANC movement in their country during her husband's imprisonment in the last 20 years of white rule under Apartheid. Her given Xhosa name is Nomzamo, which (most appropriately) means "one who strives." And she certainly lived up to that. While she was an imperfect human being for reasons noted by linea, she was also a hero.

    We visited South Africa for a month in November 2010. Some of the most moving and spiritual places we saw were all connected to the struggle against Apartheid, which was a real horror show for the black majority population. Winnie Mandela lived in Soweto, the black township bordering the city of Johannesburg. Today, although there are still pockets of extreme poverty, Soweto is a relatively thriving suburban center. But 40 years ago, Soweto was roughly the black equivalent of the Second World War's Warsaw Ghetto.

    The story of the Soweto uprising on June 16, 1976 is a truly heartbreaking one, in which the white majority government's utter ruthlessness was made fully apparent in its wanton slaughter of over 700 unarmed black schoolchildren who were protesting the imposition of Afrikaans -- a derivative of old Dutch -- as the language of instruction in South African public schools. The profound shock of this disgraceful atrocity finally drove the black majority throughout South Africa into open rebellion against the white regime, and it shamed many white South Africans as well.

    The best cinematic depiction of the Soweto tragedy, which is arguably THE watershed moment in modern South African history, is found at the conclusion of Richard Attenborough's 1987 epic "Cry Freedom." While nobody knew it at the time, obviously, what happened at Soweto in June 1976 served to effectively seal the fate of white minority rule in southern Africa. The white government in Rhodesia surrendered four years later. By 1990, President F.W. de Klerk compelled his fellow white Afrikaners to bow to the inevitable and start to give up power.



    According to Wikipedia (none / 0) (#133)
    by linea on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 11:20:19 PM EST
    She publically `endorsed the practice of necklacing (burning people alive using tyres and petrol)' and ordered her personal security detail to abduct and beat `14-year-old James Seipei and three other youths from the home of a Methodist minister.'  After the kidnapping, `Seipei was accused of being an informer, and his body later found in a field with stab wounds to the throat.' In 1991, she was convicted of the kidnapping but her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine on appeal.

    The final report of the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission, issued in 1998, found "Ms Winnie Madikizela Mandela politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights committed by the MUFC" and that she "was responsible, by omission, for the commission of gross violations of human rights."[5] In 1992, she was accused of ordering the murder of Dr. Abu-Baker Asvat, a family friend who had examined Seipei at Mandela's house, after Seipei had been abducted but before he had been killed.[22] Mandela's role was later probed as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in 1997.[23] She was said to have paid the equivalent of $8,000 and supplied the firearm used in the killing, which took place on 27 January 1989.[24] The hearings were later adjourned amid claims that witnesses were being intimidated on Winnie Mandela's orders.[25]

    As I said, Winnie Mandela was controversial. (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 02:49:48 AM EST
    And as someone who had been regularly surveilled, detained, imprisoned, tortured and banned by South Africa's Apartheid-era white minority regime, she was not surprisingly also one of the ANC's real hardliners.

    "We have no guns, we have only stones, boxes of matches and petrol," she told a crowd upon her return to Soweto township following a year of banishment to Brandfort, a small, remote town in South Africa's white Afrikaner heartland. "Together, hand in hand, with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country."

    That's not to excuse what happened to young James Stompie Seipei, but to offer you an opportunity to understand why Winnie Mandela would have taken a very dim view of informants for the racist Apartheid regime during this particular period. The ANC suffered grievous losses over its many years of struggle with the white minority regime due to betrayal by informants who had infiltrated their ranks.

    Throughout history, most liberation movements that ultimately succeeded often did so in part because its members were necessarily ruthless in quelling and suppressing dissent amongst their own people. The IRA treated terribly those Irishmen and Irishwomen who were suspected of aiding the British during their country's long struggle for freedom. During the Irish War for Independence (1919-21), the IRA likely killed more of their own Irish people than they did British soldiers.

    During our own American Revolution, nearly one-third of the colonial population considered themselves Tory -- that is, loyal to the British Crown -- and many took up arms with the British against the Continental Army. In response, many Tory families were driven from their homes by rebels, and a goodly number of them were compelled to relocate to Canada. In many respects, our American Revolution was also very much a civil war, as well as a war of liberation.

    Rebellion isn't for sissies. It's war, and awful things can happen in wartime -- particularly to those who are perceived to have betrayed the cause.



    Not really taught in school (none / 0) (#145)
    by linea on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:12:16 AM EST
    I remember inquiring of the topic but I wasn't really provided any detail (not on the test I suppose). The teacher also failed to correct my mispronunciation of apartheid; something which still irritates me to this day.

    Lots of things weren't taught in school. (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 05:42:19 PM EST
    When I was in grade school, the subjects of world history and American history were both filtered through the warped prism of Cold War paranoia, in which the United States was almost always idyllically but inaccurately portrayed as that proverbial "bright shining city on the hill," to paraphrase President Ronald Reagan.

    The brutally harsh realities of the Vietnam War's end and the Watergate scandal, which occurred when I was in middle school, eventually served to effectively undermine that particular shared national delusion. By the time I was in high school, history was taught from the perspective of polite skepticism, that is, one does not merely accept official government versions at face value, but instead strives always to seek the truth.



    Happy Tuesday, my lovely TLers (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 06:05:09 PM EST
    WOW!! (none / 0) (#197)
    by linea on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:55:45 PM EST
    OMG! That is so beautiful and amazing! It's from an old fiddle song from the 1800s?

    It reminds me of this ballad (which makes me cry) from True Grit which I'm told is a hymn sung by the particular American Protestant denomination that handles snakes to demonstrate how the Holy Spirit protects them from harm:

    Leaning On the Everlasting Arms - Iris Dement


    New trial for Adnan Sayed (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 03:35:20 PM EST
    whose case was the subject of the original radio "Serial" podcast.  Order for a new trial upheld by the Maryland state appeals court.

    Sessions declines to name second special (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 04:37:18 PM EST
    counsel to investigate allegations of surveillance abuse within the Justice Department, despite pressure from the Republican Party for him to do so.

    In his letter to GOP committee chairmen Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Bob Goodlatte (Va.) and Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Sessions said the appointment of a special counsel only occurs under "the most 'extraordinary circumstances.'"

    "To justify such an appointment, the Attorney General would need to conclude that 'the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for the matter from the Department of Justice,'" Sessions wrote.

    He went on to say that he had named federal prosecutor John Huber to lead the investigation into Republicans' allegations that the FBI abused a surveillance program against a former Trump campaign adviser.

    "The additional matters raised in your March 6, 2018, letter fall within the scope of his existing mandate, and I am confident that Mr. Huber's review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts," Sessions wrote.

    The attorney general said that upon completion of the investigation he will receive a recommendation from Huber about whether the allegations merit the need for another special counsel.


    I can only imagine the rage tweets Trump will blast out...

    Andrew McCabe started a GoFundMe (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 05:44:25 PM EST
    To cover his legal expenses. He has raised $200,000.00 in 5 hrs.

    He raised $4,000 in the last 4 minutes (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 05:45:40 PM EST
    More than he needs (none / 0) (#17)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 06:49:14 PM EST
    He should donate 25% to the ACLU and 25% to his choice of Dem candidate for Senate.

    He no longer has a pension (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 07:00:40 PM EST
    I was responding to (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 07:25:13 PM EST
    "To cover his legal expenses." No doubt many would contribute to help him compensate for his stolen pension. But to raise money on the Internet for one purpose and then use it for another, as any FBI agent could tell you, is the federal crime called "wire fraud."

    It says the goal was 250,000 (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 07:33:33 PM EST
    They have 260,550

    I guess that's what he thinks he needs.  If he doesn't use it I would bet he does the right thing


    Andrew McCabe Legal Defense Fund - GoFundMe (none / 0) (#22)
    by linea on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 08:12:03 PM EST
    Unfortunately, the need for a legal defense fund is a growing reality.  Media reports indicate that at a minimum, there are a number of congressional inquiries that he will be required to respond to, as well as the broader Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation that is ongoing, and any potential lawsuits he might consider.

    Mr. McCabe's legal team is being led by former Department of Justice Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich at Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP.  

    Please note: Mr. McCabe and his team are working to gain clarity around the lasting impact his firing - 26 hours before his planned retirement - will have on the pension and healthcare benefits he earned over his two decades of service to the FBI.  However, no funds raised for the Andrew McCabe Legal Defense Fund will be used for anything beyond his defense of the allegations against him.  He will continue to fight for the pension and benefits he deserves, rather than accept any crowdfunding for that purpose.  Following the conclusion of any related legal proceedings, any funds that remain in the Legal Defense Fund will be donated to charitable organizations of the McCabes' choosing.

    I think he has a partial pension Capt (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2018 at 08:01:26 PM EST
    I'm not familiar with the new military retirement step-downs. Mostly because they won't hold like other attempted step-downs in the past. But GS employees   also have hard decks they cannot fall below, and their union had held fast so far.

    He isn't receiving his full pension though. And this may have disqualified him from his service disability and some healthcare benefits as well.


    As I understand McCabe's situation, (none / 0) (#41)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 11:31:41 AM EST
    if his firing stands McCabe will have to wait until he is 57, instead of 50,  to start collecting his pension, he and his family will lose medical benefits and his pension will be approximately 20% less than if he had not been fired before his 50th birthday.

    His pension is a law enforcement pension which differs in some ways from other federal employee pensions.


    Hogg v Ingraham (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:37:10 AM EST
    Hogg 1

    Ingraham 0

    I mentioned this in another thread yesterday but it's worth mentioning it again because yesterday it was 4 advertisers last I counted it was 9.

    Hogg did this with one freaking tweet.

    Tell me more about how these kids can demonstrate and not much else.

    The Newtown (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:14:11 AM EST
    survivors said the difference between them and MSD is that they asked and the MDS survivors are demanding change.

    Steve Schmidt made the point that these kids will stand up to the talk radio/Fox crowd whereas people like Paul Ryan act like scared rabbits.


    There was an interview I read recently (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:32:31 AM EST
    Between one of the Parkland survivors and one of the Columbine survivors, and one of the more heart-wrenching questions came from the Columbine survivor who basically asked "did we fail you?"  The Parkland survivor gave a very kind and diplomatic answer to that, but as someone of the Columbine generation I can't help wondering the same thing myself.

    Hindsight (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:45:23 AM EST
    is 20/20. However I think a lot of people myself included did not see Columbine as the beginning of a trend moreso than an isolated incident. I do see however no excuse for right wing defenses after Newtown.

    I was living in Colorado then (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:51:14 AM EST
    Everyone was in shock. Columbine seems like it is one of those events that you remember where you were at when you first heard, but cable news allowed everyone to kind of be there too.

    Everyone I worked with walked through that day looking shell shocked.


    I was standing in the... (none / 0) (#69)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:35:06 PM EST
    check out line at the North Face store when I heard. My partner at the time was a Columbine grad. Those were some rough days.

    Everyone's first thought was those poor boys (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 10:22:43 AM EST
    Were bullied. Which alone was depressing and shocking, but the truth was much more depressing and shocking.

    The NRA is attempting to make the Parkland shooter a bullying victim too.


    We all asked (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:54:09 AM EST
    I'm embarrassed to admit I only seemed to have the courage to ask. And I grieved the Newtown kids, but not enough to quit asking.

    These kids are great (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 02:09:46 PM EST
    And the pro-NRA crowd are getting their panties in a twist and whining and moaning about Hogg.  Geez, talk about snowflakes- these gun worshippers are some of the worst.  If they can't stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen.
    In the meantime, I have a couple of right wingers as friends on Facebook, and they are posting the companies who stopped advertising on Ingraham's show (including all the subsidiaries of those companies), urging people to boycott those companies.
    I thanked those posters for letting me know which companies I will henceforth support and buy from.  
    That went over like a lead balloon, and frankly, I am way beyond giving a sh!t what these idiots think.

    What confounds the far right and ... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 07:41:29 PM EST
    ... especially the professional political commentariat on the east coast is that by and large, the Parkland kids, et al., are refusing to respect and abide by the generally accepted rules for political combat as dictated and imposed by the D.C. cocktail circuit all these many years.

    Not surprisingly, the GOP establishment looks like that long column of British soldiers strung out on the road between Boston and Concord on April 19, 1775, beset from all sides by numerous colonial snipers hiding behind every wall and tree and forced into retreat.

    For example, Meghan McCain -- who got her present job as a political commentator by sole virtue of being a U.S. senator's daughter -- openly criticized David Hogg a few days ago on ABC's The View for his choice of words and use of profanity while haranguing the angry masses at the March For Our Lives in D.C. last Saturday:

    "One thing I will say is that you don't move the narrative when you use language like this. He said, `It just makes me think what sick blankers out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder our children and honestly just get reelected. What type of blanking person does that? They could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they don't take action because all they see are dollar signs.' I wish we could have it where the rhetoric isn't that any of us could `have blood splattered on our faces and your life perspective wouldn't be changed.' I don't think it's productive."

    Within an hour, the self-anointed Miss Manners' Twitter account was under siege by teens and their friends. And for his part, David Hogg simply refused to acknowledge her and instead targeted her father, Sen. John McCain, asking publicly why he took all that money from the NRA.

    The Parkland kids and their growing legion of young allies are generally much better versed in the use of current communications technology than are most of their elders, such as thee and me. Wielding that technological superiority with the deftness of Uma Thurman and her samurai sword in the "Kill Bill" movies, they are effectively waging an assymetrical battle against an out-of-touch opponent who -- much like Britain and France in May 1940 -- was all too ready to fight the last war against the type of enemy that no longer really exists except in their own minds.

    Not surprisingly, the Republicans and the NRA are completely befuddled by what's happening to them in the wake of Parkland. Their vitriolic reactions toward their tormentors, borne of immediate frustration, are only making things worse for their cause, by alienating a lot of parents and grandparents who are appalled that right-wing adults would verbally assault teenagers who survived a mass shooting.

    The sudden turn of events has been stunning to behold, and the momentum is now such that it would not surprise me at all this fall to see many Republican officeholders hastening to repudiate the NRA and distance themselves from that organization, in a desperate attempt to save their jobs in the face of an exasperated electorate.



    Someone just pointed out (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 09:17:50 PM EST
    If Ingraham gets cancelled she will end up in the White House.

    Oddly I had not thought of that.


    David Hogg's not letting up. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 02:57:37 AM EST
    Atta boy:

    "I would like to [appear again on Laura Ingraham's show.] But first I would need her to be more objective in the way she talks about us. Any time she talks about us on her talk show, she speaks to her audience and she gets this threatening tone about us that we don't have. ... She's only apologizing after a third of her advertisers pulled out. I think it's really disgusting, the fact that she tried promoting her show after apologizing to me."

    I very much doubt that Laura Ingraham's show will be cancelled by Fox News. But the public backlash to her verbal attacks on the Parkland teens does show for the first time in quite a while that there are certain boundaries which shouldn't be crossed. She and her white-wing network cohorts can no longer necessarily act with impunity, heedless of the potential consequences.

    The First Amendment guarantees our right to say what we want. It doesn't guarantee that there won't be any recoil or blowback to our statements. Ideally, free speech should also be responsible speech. The folks at Fox News are learning an expensive lesson about what can happen when it isn't.



    The First Amendment (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 07:54:43 AM EST
    protects our right to speak free of government interference, which isn't the same as the right to say whatever we want.

    But you're right that it doesn't mean there won't be consequences that follow from the things we say.

    I think some of the pushback is really just resentment at being schooled by people just barely or not quite adults. My guess is that people like David Hogg and Emma Gonzales have parents who encouraged their children to be open and express their opinions and in doing so helped them think for themselves and become their own people.  My sense is that those who have been demeaning and belittling these kids are threatened by people - whether teenagers or adults - who don't think for themselves, and those of them who have kids themselves may believe that indoctrinating is the same as teaching.  Credit to the Parkland kids for their activism, but credit to the parents and teachers who paved the way.


    Were I on the right, ... (none / 0) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 07:46:14 PM EST
    Anne: "I think some of the pushback is really just resentment at being schooled by people just barely or not quite adults."

    ... I'd likely counsel that the adults in the room need to start acting as such. Verbally abusing and denigrating teenagers simply looks bad, regardless of how right you might think you are. Most rational people will object and tell you to get a grip. Even AM talk show host Mike Cernovich was publicly imploring Laura Ingraham to not go there. But these folks at Fox News and on AM squawk radio have huge egos, and they are incredibly easy to bait.



    I think young (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 10:26:32 AM EST
    people has been toughened and shrapened up by their dealing with internet trolls.  Countering at first, then mocking, and then ignoring  All good practice for the Laura Ingrahms of the world.

    Let's try it again: (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by KeysDan on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 10:27:51 AM EST
    ....people have been toughened and sharpened up...

    I just heard (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 12:20:46 PM EST
    It's now a bakers dozen.

    Jeff Sessions poking the Cheeto (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 10:00:47 AM EST
    Says no 2nd special counsel is needed.

    We don't need no communications directors round here, we don't need no chief of staff. Do we really need an AG?

    I think Sessions (none / 0) (#61)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 06:39:41 PM EST
    ...has no fks left to give.

    He tried to resign, it wasn't accepted. Even by the low current White House standards, he's mailing it in and hoping for a pink slip.

    No sympathy from me. When evil people suffer, a kitten survives. I just don't think he cares enough at this point in his dying political career to do any more harm. This was his last stop before spending more time with the family.


    Sessions (none / 0) (#71)
    by FlJoe on Fri Mar 30, 2018 at 08:39:54 PM EST
    is exactly were he wants to be, in some kind of weird immunity zone yet still holding immense power for his plans to roll back civil and voting rights and to expand the American gulag system.

    tRump would love to fire him but he is afraid that Sessions would rat him out. Sessions has plenty of allies on Capitol hill even Democrats are quite happy to deal with the devil they know given his recusal.

    Mueller has such a target rich environment that he does not need to pressure Sessions, at least for now . I think his refusal to be a complete toady has earned him a bit of cache in the DOJ.

    Certainly nobody loves Sessions but aside for the tRump loyalists most of the powers that be on both side of the aisle want him to stay, and he won't go willingly.


    This is just shocking and shameful. (none / 0) (#90)
    by vml68 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 11:51:56 AM EST

    I confess I am pretty ignorant about the school system in this country. I came to this country when I was 18 and have no kids, so I have no personal experience in this area at all.
    I had no idea things were this bad even though I've read the comments here about teachers being underpaid and overworked.

    Yet another despicable trend that (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by caseyOR on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 12:38:09 PM EST
    started during the Reagan administration. A systematic campaign to destroy the public school systems across the country by any means. Also, teachers are in a union, and the GOP loves destroying unions. And, when cutting taxes, the budget for public schools in each state is such a big ripe target.

    An educated citizenry is much harder to bamboozle. The Reagan years were also when grade schools and high schools started phasing out the teaching of civics and American government.

    I realize I went to school in the dark ages of the 1950s and 1960s. Still, we had a required civics class in 8th grade and a required American government class and an American history class in high school. Could not graduate without them.

    Additionally, at that time Illinois, where i was raised, required that all 8th graders pass tests on the Illinois constitution, the U.S. constitution, and flag etiquette. Had to take and pass a more advanced version of these tests to graduate from high school.

    Now, these requirements were enacted during the Red Scare in the Fifties to keep us all from becoming Communists. They came from a place of fear on the part of Illinois legislators, but it was still a good idea.

    I do not know if any school system requires its students to learn how our government now. And that is not a good thing.


    Hawaii public schools now again require ... (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:10:35 AM EST
    ... high school students to take and pass both a year-long class in U.S. history and a semester in American civics in order to graduate.

    That's thanks to an initiative undertaken by union members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, who successfully advocated for that restoration of those requirements eight years ago.

    I believe Illinois is still the only state in the country which instructs and tests students on the subject of the state and federal constitutions.



    I see the anti-education (none / 0) (#93)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 04:17:22 PM EST
    anti-intellectual trend continuing with some of the pronouncements of youtube right wing guru-figure Jordan Peterson, who's given to advising young people to skip college altogether and go to "trade school", because, according to Peterson, the colleges have been taken over by "postmodern neo-marxists."

    Of course a college education will continue to be fine for a certain refined conservative pedigree that mans all the think tanks and foundations..


    Really? (none / 0) (#96)
    by linea on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 08:53:13 PM EST
    Re: `high schools started phasing out the teaching of civics and American government.'

    News to me. I had to take American Government and Civics as well as two semesters of U.S. History.


    Varies by state and school district (none / 0) (#95)
    by linea on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    Re: `Oklahoma is among the bottom three states for teacher salaries, where educators often work about 10 years before reaching the $40,000 salary mark.`

    I know a 3rd grade teacher who makes 80k in a school district north of Seattle. I did a Google search and the same is true for police salaries (about 80k for police in Seattle while the average salary for police in places like Mississippi or Arkansas is about 35k).


    My nieces in Wisconsin, after several years (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Towanda on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 04:39:48 PM EST
    of teaching, make about $40,000. One is in Madison, with the highest cost of living in the state. (You do know, I hope, that your focus on Seattle is not the best, because of its cost of living.)

    Fortunately for that niece, her father is a physician, so she has no student loans.

    However, the other niece, a high school teacher, is the daughter of two teachers. So, she had to take out student loans. And so, she works three jobs.


    Entertainment (none / 0) (#97)
    by linea on Sat Mar 31, 2018 at 10:20:14 PM EST
    Season 2 (10 episodes) of A Series of Unfortunate Events is now on Netflix.

    Film Review: READY PLAYER ONE
    A Steven Spielberg film. About 2/3rd of the film is animated/CGI and the rest occurs `in the real world.' The intended audience is teanage boys and adult video gamer enthusiasts. The music is 70s and 80s and there is a constantly shifting jumble of pop-culture film references, comic book anime, and video game `easter eggs' and trivia. The film has the Delorian from Back to the Future, the Holy hand grenadine, the original batmobile, light-sabers (what makes them sabers?) and other items from Star Wars. There is Mechagodzilla, King Kong, the Iron Giant from a children's animated film, and a few other film characters that may spoil the suprise so I won't mention them. There is also extensive scenes, quotes, magic incantations, and general dialog borrowed from SciFi and fantasy films of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. To me, the film was a mostly meaningless jumble but I think a few people on this forum might enjoy this film for the nostalgia.

    Lots of good tv (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 01, 2018 at 07:21:43 AM EST
    Starting or returning in April

    3rd 10:00 p.m. Legion: Season 2 (FX)

    6th 11:00 p.m. Vice: Season 6 (HBO)

    8th 9:00 p.m. Howards End: Miniseries (Starz)

    11th 9:00 p.m. The Expanse: Season 3 (Syfy)

    22nd p.m. Westworld: Season 2 (HBO)

    22nd 10:00 p.m. Into the Badlands: Season 3 (AMC)

    here is a longer list

    Stormy Daniels (none / 0) (#101)
    by ZtoA on Sun Apr 01, 2018 at 10:39:00 PM EST
    Her 60 minute interview has been picked over...and over. But I have yet to hear discussed the fact (that she asserted) that stood out to me. Stormy and Donald has unprotected sex. He did not wear a condom. That CD or DVD might be a lawyer's tease but it could contain information other than pictures that Donald might be afraid of being released. Any thoughts?

    Did He Ask if She Had Been Tested for HIV? (none / 0) (#107)
    by RickyJim on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:50:17 AM EST
    -- In a 1997 appearance, Stern and Trump talked about the possibility of requiring women to get HIV tests before Trump would have sex with them. "I wouldn't say I do this, but you could send lots of people you really like to the doctor before you ever get to know them," Trump suggests.

    Stern then followed up on a line of questioning he had started in an earlier interview (which has been available previously, and widely discussed) in which Trump agreed with Stern's suggestion that Trump "could have nailed" the recently deceased Princess Diana. Stern again posits that Trump "could have nailed her."

    Referring back to their discussion of HIV testing, the radio host then acted out a scene where Trump tells her to get tested first. "Hey Lady Di, would you go to the doctor?" Stern mockingly asks. Trump then gets in on the joke, imagining the conversation with the British royal. "Go back over to my Lexus, because I have a new doctor," he says, as if addressing her. "We wanna give you a little checkup."


    Guessing game? (none / 0) (#129)
    by linea on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:50:30 PM EST
    Re:  `He did not wear a condom. That CD or DVD might be a lawyer's tease but it could contain information other than pictures... Any thoughts?'

    If you have some wild speculation about condoms or the lack of condoms, feel free to post it.

    To me, the only thing notable about condoms is that Anderson Cooper keeps asking women whether they used condoms. Maybe AC is going to launch his own brand of cherry 🍒 flavored condoms.


    Of course it is (none / 0) (#185)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 06:13:51 PM EST
    To me, the only thing notable about condoms is that Anderson Cooper keeps asking women whether they used condoms. Maybe AC is going to launch his own brand of cherry 🍒 flavored condoms.

    All of the logical inferences that can be drawn from the fact that Clifford pointed out that they had unprotected $ex, and that's where your mind goes???

    Not very surprising.


    The Orange psycho (none / 0) (#109)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 10:47:44 AM EST
    Just prayed that there really isn't a name for the building he lives and works in but sometimes they call it Tippy Toppy Shape. Silly me, I thought that building was called the White House.

    And the Dow fell 100 points (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 10:48:38 AM EST
    As he spoke about how great the economy is.

    Don't even mention the Dow. (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:49:21 PM EST
    Another day like today and I'm putting myself up for adoption.

    Oops...not prayed....SAID (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 10:49:20 AM EST
    He's better effing figure this whole (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 11:15:05 AM EST
    trade war/company-bashing thing out PDQ, because I am not liking what's going on, and neither is the damn stock market.

    A person might start to believe he's manipulating the markets to make money, but I don't know if he's that smart.

    Honest to God, everything this man touches turns to crap.


    He believes fairytales (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 11:45:28 AM EST
    He told everyone that it was supposed to be rainy and cold, but look, it isn't, it's beautiful. Yeah, I agree it's beautiful. And I found some primrose this morning coming up in my yard that someone planted, beautiful. AND IT'S RAINY AND COLD :)

    He's not going to figure out anything. And he's jacking with wine. How am I supposed to survive this jagoff?


    Kind of like how he said the sun came out (none / 0) (#117)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 12:15:32 PM EST
    when he took the oath of office... I guess all those people getting rained on were having some sort of mass hallucination.

    I'm really coming to hate the whole Trump crowd, because they are all completely fking up people's lives, and they don't care.


    WSJ pay wall (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 01:56:27 PM EST
    But they have reports that investigators have a 2016 email of Roger Stone's where he claims to have had dinner with J Assange.

    Should run soon by a source not behind a pay wall.


    here (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by FlJoe on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 03:36:08 PM EST
    you go
    Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team is reportedly probing longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone's claim that he met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. According to The Wall Street Journal, Stone said in an email to another former Trump adviser, Sam Nunberg, on Aug. 4, 2016 that he "dined with Julian Assange last night." Stone told WSJ that the meeting never happened and that he was joking about it in the email to Nunberg. Stone claimed that he was flying from Los Angeles on that night.
     Nuberg is singing like a canary, I supsect he fingered that Malloch guy for his welcome home party the other day.

    If Nunberg fingered him (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 03:55:41 PM EST
    What a Santa!!! I did see where Stone melted down on Twitter and called Nunberg an (adjective, adjective) liar. Seemed a little disassociative until now.

    The Trumps, (none / 0) (#113)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 11:15:52 AM EST
    with Tiffany, all decked out in their Easter finest.

    Trump hides from the press (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 12:00:48 PM EST
    Until today.

    Then he covers himself in children, and I mean covers himself in them, so nobody asks him a Stormy question.


    He was going to run into the high school under fire even if he didn't have a weapon, because you can always grab a kid and use him or her as a sheild.

    George Popadopoulos (none / 0) (#120)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 03:28:13 PM EST
    and his wife, Simon Mangiante, were spotted by a patron while at Chicago's Hydrate, a gay dance club, who joined the couple at their table.

      Jason Wilson, a Chicago computer engineer, claims that their conversation turned to the Russia investigation and George's claim that "Sessions encouraged me to find out anything on the hacked DNC/Hillary Clinton emails."   The Popadopouloses,  later denied telling anything out of school, but Mr. Wilson did take a photo of the three of them outside the Club (the address of 3458 is in the photo--the full address is 3458 N. Halsted).

    It was in a London Club that Popadopoulos spoke of the Russian matter in the presence of an Australian diplomat, who reported the conversation.  

    AND THIS GUY (none / 0) (#122)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 03:51:01 PM EST
    He gets drunk and tells whoever is there everything. What a hoot. His wife tried to clean up this morning, some things don't clean up well. Did Sessions? If he did he's sleazier than even jaundiced eye Tracy thought.



    The best people, (none / 0) (#124)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 04:28:24 PM EST
    but, just a coffee boy.

    Falcon loses first round to block (none / 0) (#125)
    by ragebot on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 05:06:33 PM EST
    Cuban deportation.  Seems like the feds may have caught a break with the judge.  Any immigration lawyers wanna chime in about an appeal.

    THE VVITCH (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 07:37:33 PM EST
    this came out in 2016 but I never got around to it.  After reading about it for years and waiting for it to show up on NETFLIX or PPV I rented It on AMAZON.  So worth it.  
    I try to shun horror based on religious dogma but this one works.  Really really creepy.

    I was reminded of it because it was mentioned in a review of A QUIET PLACE.  Which starts Fri and I will be there.  Nearly every review of A QUIET PLACE says you really should see it in a crowded theater.
    It has that rare 100% on RT.  

    PS (none / 0) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 07:47:19 PM EST
    If you are a fan of THE OFFICE you will recognize the writer/director/star.  Or maybe from one of his rom/coms.
    This is a bit of a new thing.  Also his real life wife Emily Blunt and a real life deaf child playing (apparently shining as) a deaf child.

    Trump seems more frightened this morning (none / 0) (#137)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 07:56:49 AM EST
    Attacking not just Amazon because of its Wapo owner affiliation, but also CNN. He seems panicked.

    Swell... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:08:58 AM EST
    good things do not happen when Trump's given himself a wedgie.

    Could it be that he's livid that Rosenstein gave Mueller the authority to investigate Manafort's Ukrainian ties?

    In a federal court filing submitted Monday night, prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller revealed that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller the specific authority to investigate former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort's work for Ukrainian officials and his time in the Trump campaign.

    The revelation came in the Mueller team's response to Manafort's push to dismiss the Washington, D.C. indictment brought against him by arguing that Mueller did not have the power to investigate his work lobbying for Ukrainian officials.


    The August 2, 2017 memo attached to the Monday night filing grants Mueller the authority to investigate allegations that Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States" and "committed a crime or crimes arising our of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych."

    Memo's there, too - I haven't read it yet.


    Executive time so far today (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 09:47:51 AM EST
    Has been a shootout inside a fireworks display.

    Since blowing everyone off, there seems to be expanded executive time scheduling :)


    But he's thrilled that Rasmussen has (none / 0) (#140)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:39:53 AM EST
    him at 50% approval:

    Thank you to Rasmussen for the honest polling. Just hit 50%, which is higher than Cheatin' Obama at the same time in his Administration.

    Zogby 40%, AP 35% (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 09:45:03 AM EST
    Nobody knows how Rasmussen got to 50.

    It tends to be the outlier, always off (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:05:49 AM EST
    by enough that it's hard to take it seriously.

    Hilarious that Trump is thanking them for being "honest," while labeling Obama a cheater.

    I just can't even believe sometimes that this person is the president, still.  That the GOP has just gone along with this insanity.  That there are living, breathing human beings who think he's doing a great job.  

    We know people we thought were smart and rational and had their heads on straight that we feel completely disconnected from now because they have joined the Trump Cult.  Try as we might, we haven't been able to make sense of it, and even though we try to stay off political conversation, it's just not the same.


    My ranch cousins are Trumpers (none / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:17:30 AM EST
    But uhhh...they are nervous as heck about this trade war thing. My generation, as far as farming and ranching, has been market protected but voting like they weren't.

    Suddenly they are beginning to discuss the dangers of trade wars, but it's mostly stories the generation before ours told us. My cousins really don't know why to be afraid right now. Their parents were Democrats, this generation didn't have to understand why until now and it's probably not going to be okay for them by the time they figure this out. But nobody could tell them anything different....so...there they are.


    I don't think (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:22:25 AM EST
    Most elected republicans think he is doing a great job.

    They are literally between a rock and a hard place.  They are already facing what looks like a blue tsunami in Nov.  The ONLY hope they have is the base with whom Trump is 80%.

    Karma is a b!tch.

    I really believe enough republicans will defect if Mueller brings what we expect.  Even before the election.


    They called 50 (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:52:09 AM EST
    people in rural Alabama.



    By being (none / 0) (#144)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:07:12 AM EST
    Matt Drudges favorite poll.

    THE CROSSING (none / 0) (#148)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:33:25 AM EST
    This started last night on ABC.  It was good.  And I'm not a fan of networks.  It's being marketed as the network that brought you LOST.

    Trump reassures Pruitt (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:12:35 AM EST
    Who does he need Pruitt to replace?

    Maybe once Pruitt has proved (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:43:38 AM EST
    himself to be sufficiently corrupt, Trump will can Sessions and install Pruitt as AG.

    Pruitt's going behind the WH's back to give raises - huge ones - to two of his aides may just do it:

    After the White House rejected a request to grant significant raises to two of his top aides last month, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt used a loophole in a law meant to ease the hiring of environmental experts to give the staffers raises himself, the Atlantic reported Tuesday.

    The raises went to Pruitt's senior counsel Sarah Greenwalt and EPA scheduling director Millan Hupp, the Atlantic reported. Their pay increased from $107,435 to $164,200 and $86,460 to $114,590, respectively. Both staffers had worked for Pruitt when he was Oklahoma attorney general.

    The Safe Drinking Water Act allows Pruitt to hire up to 30 people without White House or congressional approval. But instead of using that authority to hire environmental experts needed in certain understaffed offices at the agency, the Atlantic reported, Pruitt used it to give Greenwalt and Hupp the increased salaries he'd wanted -- after the White House had rejected his request for the raises, according to unnamed sources familiar with those aspects of the story.

    Pruitt and Zinke are like the slime you can't even scrape off the bottom of the barrel.


    I think that's what he is doing (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:49:14 AM EST
    He needs to make sure Pruitt will do what he's told, then he's going to fire Sessions and replace him with Pruitt. Pruitt will fire Mueller.

    Can he do that though? (none / 0) (#154)
    by CST on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:56:51 AM EST
    I was under the impression that in order for this to work - Sessions would have to resign/quit, not be fired.  I don't think Sessions is going to resign.

    That's the trouble he's running into at the VA right now, although who knows if it's actually going to be an issue or if he's just going to brazenly ignore it and congress won't do anything...


    He can replace Sessions with Pruitt (none / 0) (#158)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 12:41:46 PM EST
    Without having to meet any standard for 210 days. Probably long enough to fire Mueller.

    The trouble with replacing Shulkin (none / 0) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 01:35:20 PM EST
    With someone who hasn't been newly confirmed is Shulkin was really fired because he would not agree to privatizing the VA. His deputy won't agree to do it either. Anyone Trump puts in for the 210 day period who would then privatize the VA, that decision in this country would be in the courts forever. And whoever has Trump's ear on this wants the VA successfully privatized badly.

    Putting Pruitt in would probably end up in court too, but I think Trump is going to do anything trying to buy time. Maybe the OLC can convince him to resign. I don't know if that guy would back Trump, I just know he signed off on Bush administration torture memos.


    The Baltic nations fluff Trump (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:37:38 AM EST
    On the tele

    Pouring kerosene on his raging internal fires.

    What are the odds (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by jmacWA on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 02:37:45 PM EST
    That Trump can even name the Baltic nations.

    Not taking that bet (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 06:32:24 PM EST
    The idiot can't even remember the name of the building he lives in.

    "I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all of the people that work so hard with Melania, with everybody, to keep this incredible house or building, or whatever you want to call it -- because there really is no name for it; it is special -- and we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it sometimes tippy-top shape. And it's a great, great place."

    Sorry - I mean the "tippy toppy shape" he lives in.

    If this was a sit-com, I'd complain the writing was too over-the-top.


    It's a sh!tcom (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 06:58:53 PM EST
    The (none / 0) (#189)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 07:17:23 PM EST
    bespectacled bunny standing next to him with the permanent WTF look on his face was precious.

    Let me see . .. (none / 0) (#168)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:14:04 PM EST
    Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, no, no no, Iowa, Kansas, East Dakota, uh, isn't it next to China??

    This is a ridiculously uninformed comment (1.00 / 2) (#155)
    by linea on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 12:09:07 PM EST
    The Presidents of the Baltic States are trying to convince Trump to take a more aggressive stance toward Russia to counter Russia's increased military belligerence in the region.

    Recent Russian `military exercises' have included fighter/bomber aircraft violating Estonian airspace, ship-fired missles that cross Latvian territorial waters threatening a high number of small fishing vessels, and large-scale military exercises in the Baltic Sea that have affected Swedish commercial shipping.


    Speaking of raging internal fires, (5.00 / 4) (#156)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 12:24:35 PM EST
    are you aware that you can disagree and inform without insulting someone, or going for the jugular in response to a comment that may have more truth in its brevity than you can appreciate?

    Perhaps not.


    Garbage (1.00 / 5) (#190)
    by linea on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:23:11 PM EST

    speaking of raging internal fires, (5.00 / 3) (#156)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 12:24:35 PM EST
    are you aware that you can disagree and inform without insulting someone....

    ARE YOU AWARE that it's possible for Militarytracy to make an uninformed comment on Lituania, Latvia, amd Estonia without overtly stating that the Presidents of those countries SUCK Trump's D!CK? That's what she posted.

    And you have the hubris to to tell me I'm being impolite?


    Get some help. (5.00 / 4) (#193)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:58:43 PM EST
    Seriously, you have allowed a comment on a blog - a comment on a blog - one which you have not even translated correctly, to completely unhinge you.

    And no, I don't want or need you to define "fluff" for me, but you should be aware it can refer to egos, perhaps even more than male genitalia.  This isn't about p@rn, it's about stroking an already inflated ego.

    And I don't need hubris - I have two eyes, and know impolite when I see it.


    I"m pissed!! (1.00 / 5) (#192)
    by linea on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:30:31 PM EST

    Militarytracy makes the most vile disgusting comment and the sycophants on this forum chastise me? It was a filthy filthy stupid uniformed comment!

    Get the eff over yourself. (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 09:03:57 PM EST
    Tracy's comment was neither vile nor disgusting.

    I won't pretend to know what in the ever-loving hell is wrong with you, but whatever it is, I'm a little weary of it playing out here on an almost daily basis.

    Get a freaking grip.


    Yeah, thanks linea (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 09:24:34 PM EST
    thanks to you I was forced to look up "fluff up", and despoil my sweet childhood images of Peter Rabbit and Farmer Brown.

    I hope you're happy.


    It's okay Anne (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 12:48:39 PM EST
    I don't feel insulted. I really wish the Baltic nations had a good faith partner in the U.S. right now.

    Trump has already convinced himself (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 01:31:55 PM EST
    that he's been harder on Russia than anybody - he said so today in that joint presser...along with other Trumpisms that make you wonder how the press isn't just barking in laughter - or running screaming from the room.

    I'm not sure at this stage there are many countries that feel America is a reliable partner.

    We don't really have a functioning State Department now, do we?  I can't even imagine how any career diplomat can tolerate working under the conditions that have deteriorated so badly these last 15 months.


    The depletion of the State Dept (none / 0) (#163)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 01:51:50 PM EST
    Has begun to affect my spouses job :(

    The two attorneys we met after the march said they have friends who could not deal with this administration and left their jobs after years of public service in DC. They said morale is very low, many hanging in there very depressed.


    I know (none / 0) (#157)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 12:25:33 PM EST
    But he's not going to help them with that linea. Not really. And he asked then to fluff him right in front of the press and they did, but they only enable him to be more lawless and insane doing that.

    Better to sit down with the other 5 eyes nations and avoid Trump. He's practically an active Russian agent.

    You have a point though. I shouldn't judge so quickly, maybe they're cultivating him too. Maybe they have a covert plan.


    NEXT! (none / 0) (#165)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 02:45:57 PM EST
    I had to laugh (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 05:02:55 PM EST
    ...at the Russki trolls and their local associates on the Disqus boards.

    When the Manafort lawyers filed their brief, the RWNJs high-fived and spiked their law books in the end zone, because Mueller had just been BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER!

    Mueller let them celebrate and when they had finally stopped applauding, he produced the memo from the duly constituted authority, specifically written to counter any such argument.

    "Oh, that?"

    Rustle, rustle.



    I'm pretty sure Mueller (none / 0) (#180)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 05:08:54 PM EST
    Is several steps ahead of the people he is looking at.

    All the people he is looking at.


    Trump has to be losing what was left (none / 0) (#173)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 04:00:17 PM EST
    Of his mind

    I'm afraid (none / 0) (#174)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 04:03:53 PM EST
    That ship has sailed

    POLITICO (none / 0) (#166)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 02:54:08 PM EST

    President Donald Trump and his chief of staff may be telling Scott Pruitt they have his back, but other White House officials are making it clear that the EPA leader's future in the administration is still very much in doubt.

    It was a familiar mixed message for anyone following the daily soap opera in the White House, where even public expressions of confidence in an embattled official can't guarantee the person won't be fired in a matter of days -- or hours. It's even true for an agency chief like Pruitt, who took another huge step Tuesday toward fulfilling Trump's pledge to dismantle former President Barack Obama's environmental regulations.

    "The notion of calls backing him up, etc., is good PR for a very frustrating situation," said one person close to the White House, responding to reports that Trump and chief of staff John Kelly had reassured Pruitt in separate phone calls over the last 24 hours.

    White House officials and people close to the president said Trump himself has been annoyed by the constant drumbeat of negative headlines pertaining to Pruitt, from his lavish first-class travel to his decision to the $50-a-night lodging he secured for several months last year in a lobbyist's Capitol Hill condo.

    Trump offered only muted support for Pruitt on Tuesday. "I hope he's going to be great," the president told reporters.

    Meanwhile, Pruitt's longtime allies in the oil, gas and coal industries were largely silent Tuesday, with few offering public pleas for Trump to keep him. And Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo became the first Republican in Congress to call for Pruitt to either resign or be fired, tweeting that his "corruption scandals are an embarrassment to the Administration, and his conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers."

    Fellow Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen soon followed, tweeting that "distractions and scandals have overtaken" Pruitt's "ability to operate effectively. Another person should fill that role."

    DailyBeast (none / 0) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:09:53 PM EST
    Also has a lead story on Mr P

    Before Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt rented a room from a top DC energy lobbyist, that lobbyist and his wife funded Pruitt's efforts to climb the political ladder in his home state of Oklahoma.

    Campaign finance records in the state show that Steven and Vicki Hart, the power couple who last year rented Pruitt a room in their Capitol Hill home for $50 per night, began donating to Pruitt's campaigns for Oklahoma attorney general in 2010. Steven Hart even hosted a fundraiser for Pruitt's reelection effort.

    The cascading controversy over Pruitt's living arrangements has roiled his standing in the administration. The New York Times reported on Monday that a client of Hart's firm, Williams & Jensen, received EPA approval for an oil pipeline project while Pruitt rented a room in Hart's home. Also on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was investigating Pruitt's conduct. And on Tuesday, The Washington Post revealed that a top Pruitt aide who oversaw a pair of allied political groups had been tasked with finding living arrangements for the administrator in Washington.

    But one detail has remained murky: how, and when, the relationship between Pruitt and the Harts began. A Daily Beast review of public records reveals that that relationship goes back years, and has resulted in significant financial upside for Pruitt's political operation

    So, an "active shooter" at YouTube (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:41:46 PM EST
    So every news channel instantly goes into wall to wall chopper speculation of how many COULD be dead.

    Maybe it would be enough to say we have a situation we will update as we have more information?


    That's just me.

    Brian Williams has arrived (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:46:36 PM EST
    Break out the sleeping bags

    Oh god (none / 0) (#171)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:47:55 PM EST
    The shooter is a woman

    It will be days


    Wearing a headscarf. (none / 0) (#196)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 10:27:03 PM EST
    More: (none / 0) (#198)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:13:08 PM EST
    A law enforcement source identified the alleged shooter as Nasim Aghdam.

    Yikes (none / 0) (#201)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 04, 2018 at 07:49:40 AM EST
    I turned out before I heard that

    And clear backpacks (none / 0) (#172)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 03:57:57 PM EST
    Surely that will fix this.

    More (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 04:13:06 PM EST
    good gals with guns is the obvious fix.

    I don't think Donald (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 04:15:13 PM EST
    Will be fully onboard with that.

    Here's the live feed of local coverage ... (none / 0) (#177)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 04:20:34 PM EST
    ... from the YouTube corporate campus, which is about two miles northwest of San Francisco Int'l Airport in San Bruno, courtesy of San Francisco's ABC affiliate, KGO-TV News. To their credit, KGO's anchors have repeatedly cautioned viewers to refrain from jumping to conclusions with each preliminary report.

    Youtube was an effing clearing house (none / 0) (#181)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 05:19:41 PM EST
    for paranoid nutjob videos claiming that shooting victims were Deep State sponsored "crisis actors." I wonder if that will continue after this.

    I was thinking (none / 0) (#187)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 06:35:51 PM EST
    the same thing.

    Bill Cosby's accuser talked about (none / 0) (#191)
    by McBain on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 08:30:14 PM EST
    framing a celebrity before she accused Cosby of sexual assault, according to this article.
    Judge Steven O'Neill said the defense can call a witness who says Cosby's accuser talked about framing a celebrity before she lodged sexual abuse allegations against Cosby in 2005. The judge also helped the defense case by ruling that jurors can hear how much Cosby ultimately paid the accuser, Andrea Constand, in a 2006 civil settlement.

    I'm open! (none / 0) (#199)
    by linea on Tue Apr 03, 2018 at 11:33:18 PM EST
    Is the trial broadcast or a daily transcript available? Maybe a more accure running twitter account?

    I'm certainly open to the facts presented at trial being wildly different than the media narrative. For me, Bill Cosby is too old for me to have any childhood attachment too. I do know he created Fat Albert which I have seen shorts of. Of course, the narrative so far inclines me to view him negatively (absent other information) but I do acknowledge that media narratives are often false.  


    Get a room (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 04, 2018 at 07:48:59 AM EST