Thursday Open Thread: Coming Up for Air

February was short and busy. I followed the trial of Genaro Garcia-Luna and the temporary amparos against extradition given to Ovidio Guzman-Loera, which lasted until last week when Mexico timely received the formal U.S. request for extradition. Now he will start the appeals process, from inside the prison in Almaloya where he has been held since his arrest in in January, 2023.

Closing arguments just finished in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial. You can watch here. There will be an hour and 1/4 break and the Judge will come back to instruct the jury. If you've been following the trial, please listen to the instructions before making up your mind.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    CPAC. (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 09:42:49 AM EST
    Number one reason Democrats should own a firearm.

    We do (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 10, 2023 at 06:01:01 PM EST
    And we're not the only leftists who do.

    Weekend Reading Suggestion: (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 04:28:27 PM EST
    "The Courage to be Free", Florida's Blueprint for America, by Rhonda Santis.  

    Not the snappiest title, but less subject to ribald jokes than Pompeo's "Never Give an Inch."

    And, the DeSantis book cover has the added and rare occasion of the smiling author(the shoot must have had the photographer show DeSantis pictures of a baby seal being clubbed).

    Reviews have not been kind to Rhonda's Opus, but I refer the reader to the WaPo's Alexantra Petra for a good take.

     DeSantis humanizes himself by mentioning he has a wife, children and acquaintances and sets the pace with the page turner:  "In Florida, we recognized the implications of the ESG movement on both policy and constitutional accountability by prohibiting the state's pension fund managers from using ESG criteria when making investment decisions." And, of course, cleverly describes Democrats as "woke dumpster fires."

    He does not mention his stellar appointment to the College Board after his hostile takeover--the one who says LGBTQ are evil and drinking the tap water turns people gay.

    Overall, my review would borrow from Dorothy Parker's review of Atlas Shrugged. "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly.  It should be thrown with great force."

    Cartoon (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 04:50:09 PM EST
    Something in the water (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 06:28:24 PM EST
    I left a comment about how this just seemed like (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 08, 2023 at 07:52:48 PM EST
    a really bad idea.  And how I hope it would seem that way to others. It hard to kniw what is acceptable these days.  It seems like others agree.  It was a spectacularly bad idea.

    McCarthy's GOP tries to move on from Tucker Carlson-Jan. 6 drama


    How to Fight a Vulnerable Fox News
    March 8, 2023 at 2:00 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 48 Comments

    Dan Pfeiffer: "In some ways, my career in political communications has been defined by the rise of Fox News and the rest of the Right Wing media. For the entirety of the twenty-first century, Fox News has been the most powerful weapon in the Right's arsenal. From Capitol Hill, the campaign trail, the White House, and now from my perch in progressive media, I watched Fox start wars, beat Democrats into submission, drive reams of mainstream press coverage, and make Donald Trump President."

    "But they have never been more vulnerable. Here's how Democrats should adjust their approach to Fox News."


    Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
    March 8, 2023 at 11:30 am EST By Taegan Goddard 53 Comments

    "The idea of Tucker Carlson being in that mob that day and not wetting his pants is hard to imagine."

    -- Anderson Cooper, on CNN, criticizing the Fox News host's attempt to re-write what happened on January 6.


    January 6 Whitewash Will Backfire
    March 8, 2023 at 9:53 am EST By Taegan Goddard 90 Comments

    Tom Nichols: "It's one thing to assume that the Fox audience isn't very bright and will believe almost anything--I will gladly stipulate to that--but it's another to ask them to leap across a chasm of credulity..."

    "As counterintuitive as it might be, perhaps the best thing for American democracy would be for Carlson to keep bumbling his way through more January 6 footage and to keep images of the insurrection in front of millions of viewers for as long as possible."

    "If that's how McCarthy and Carlson intend to restore the image of the GOP as a normal political party, who are any of us to argue with such public-relations geniuses?"

    I think Tucker (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 08, 2023 at 08:04:46 PM EST
    will be leaving FOX.  

    Tucker's been there (none / 0) (#18)
    by leap2 on Wed Mar 08, 2023 at 08:07:58 PM EST
    ... at Fox News are not only numbered but further, his exit date may well be a lot sooner than we perhaps realize. The Murdochs' attorneys in the Dominion case have surely advised them that this lawsuit and the still pending one by Smartmatic represent an existential threat to Fox Corp., and that Carlson, et al., are now a potentially major liability.

    If we've learned anything about Fox News and the Murdochs, it's that:

    • Given its repeated out-of-court settlements over the years, that network has been particularly vulnerable to litigation; and

    • The owners are hardly folks who let sentimentality get in the way of a business decision, and if they perceive a threat to their empire, they will cut their losses, and nobody is indispensable.

    Let's remember that two of the most powerful and towering figures at Fox News, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, were both finally cut down to size by two high-profile lawsuits, and both men were actually sent packing rather quickly once the Murdochs reached costly out-of-court settlements with the plaintiffs.

    And so, I agree with you, Cap'n. There's really no reason to believe at this point that Tucker Carlson, CEO Suzanne Scott, and / or Jeanine Pirro, et al., will somehow avoid a similar fate. After all, it's pretty clear that Dominion will demand its pound of flesh, and someone will have to be the fall guy here.



    All true (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 09, 2023 at 10:46:50 AM EST
    But I think Scott and Pirro the other crazy on air woman, I forget her name, are probably even more likely to go.

    It's true about Ailes and O'Reilly but both were a different situation.   Both had harassment problems.

    Tucker's problem is he is giving the rubes exactly what they want.  And what got them into this whole pig fvck?  Ratings.  Tucker is I think literally the biggest thing in cable news.  Tucker is a possible presidential candidate.  He's a god to the FOX audience.  More than Hannity or anyone.

    Getting rid of him is a whole other thing.  


    Not saying Tucker will go away (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 09, 2023 at 10:49:31 AM EST
    He will go to NEWSMAX or OANN or whatever.

    And take his audience with him.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 09, 2023 at 08:38:38 PM EST
    But so what? As I noted, Tucker Carlson will be cut loose because he, perhaps more than Sean Hannity or any other of the zanies like Jeanine Pirro, set the tone and tenor for what happened at Fox News post-2020 election.

    And that's why parent company Fox Corp. is about to eat Schitt in civil court. Now, Fox Corp. can and will survive without Fox News, if need be. But the Murdochs are not going to let a reckless Fox News jeopardize their entire multi-faceted corporate gig, as has been clearly done with that network's pro-Trump election denial fiasco, for which Carlson has now become the poster child.

    And that's why Tucker Carlson will likely have to go. Because it's not about Fox News and its ratings. Not really. Rather, it's about Fox Corp.'s bottom line. If Carlson does stay, it will be because he had a come-to-Jesus reality meeting with Rupert Murdoch, not unlike the meeting that the rabble-rousing and delusional prime-time host Howard Beale (Peter Finch) had with CCA Chair Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) in "Network" (1976).

    Tucker has meddled with the primal forces of Nature. And he. Will. Atone.



    The (none / 0) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Thu Mar 09, 2023 at 04:54:37 AM EST
    GOP needs to "move away" from their own crazies before the madness stops.

    This latest McCarthy/Tucker stunt is incredibly stupid from any angle, reportedly this was a part of the "promises" he made to the loons in his caucus.

    Apparently MTG has his balls in a jar, more evidence that tRump broke the Republican party.


    Speaker of the House, Pro Tempore (none / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 09, 2023 at 12:22:06 PM EST
    the Honorable Marjorie Taylor Green.  Not from the "Onion", from fascist news, via MSM.

    Nothing (none / 0) (#24)
    by jmacWA on Thu Mar 09, 2023 at 03:32:26 PM EST
    shows how serious the GOP is about governing more than this.  A most enlightened political party

    The right goes after trans people (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Mar 11, 2023 at 07:42:21 PM EST
    because like jackals they go after what they imagine to be the weak and vulnerable.  

    But in their ignorance they wrongly, on many levels, lump Drag Queens in their victim pool.  Because they wear dresses too I guess.

    I have known many drag queens.  More than the average gay white male I think.  I was always attracted to them.  Not in that way.  I've had many long friendships.

    They have been some of the most fierce, least defenseless people I ever knew.  RuPaul is right.  They are the Marines of the gay movement.

    Thumpers will regret declaring war on them.

    Ooh (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by FlJoe on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    Drag Queens punching Nazi's, now that's entertainment.

    First stone at Stonewall (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 05:36:58 PM EST
    was a Drag Queen

    Florida Fascism (continued) (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 04:25:40 PM EST
    Rhonda and his merry band of legislators are going after bars and restaurants  that allow children to attend drag shows.  The parents may be jailed for up to a year and/or fined $10,000.

    Picking on drag queens and trans kids is not a random choice in the culture attacks.  They are small populations and few people have regular contact. Gender dysphoria seems unreal because they do not understand it, as if quantum mechanics is unreal owing to their ignorance of the subject. and, course, it would never occur to them to inform themselves. But, in fairness to these ignoramuses, books dealing with these subjects are banned or have been burned to protect them from knowledge.

    The vulnerability of drag performers and trans people make for handy targets and serve as a means to conflate them with the larger LGBTQ community and make it easier  to come after the whole lot.  And, of course, this is but a part of the fascist plot to "eradicate" or otherwise repress those Americans they do not like.

    The "anti-drag" law of Florida will put hundreds of parents at risk of being locked up on New Year's  Eve when the tradition of Sushi, the Key West drag queen, come down in her giant red pump to usher in the new year.  The show is outside of the establishment with families and others packing Duval Street, the main drag (pun intended). And, this event is aired annually on CNN's NewYear's Eve show on television.. Rhonda may raid Florida homes, I suppose, in case parents are letting thier children stay up to watch.  Because freedom.


    Nothing shows your concern for children's (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 05:27:04 PM EST
    welfare than locking up their loving parents because you disagree in any measure with their child-rearing practices.

    Of (none / 0) (#33)
    by FlJoe on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 06:22:39 PM EST
    course in the fourth Reich the childern belong to the state so our Meatball Mussolini (AKA Hitler in high heels) is just prepping the ground.

    What a sad and petty man who is CENTERING his campaign his this cruel bullying of the weak.


    Those heels are about to be (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 06:53:13 PM EST
    famous I bet.

    Great headline (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 06:55:51 PM EST
    Yes, poor (none / 0) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Sun Mar 12, 2023 at 09:16:01 PM EST
    judgment in footwear.  But, he seems to be trying to preempt more TFG's stature-derived nicknames and other ridicule (e.g., Meatball, Short Trump).  

    And, to clarify, no issue with cowboy boots or those white  shrimper boots made-for-walking.  Rather, it's about the wearer, , the choice, and the disingenuous  look. Just as the commentary on Michael Dukakis's sporting a helmet and climbing aboard a tank, reflected neither upon  helmets nor tanks.


    Perhaps (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 13, 2023 at 09:42:29 AM EST
    the drag queens will create a persona called Rhonda Santis wearing those white boots.

    Already done. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 13, 2023 at 11:26:24 AM EST
    Rhonda Santis is packing the crowds in the Tampa area. Already felt that drag queen's names were so creative---and funny.  Hedda Lettuce, Diane Tomeetya, Brooke Lynn Hyatt's, Lipsinka, Lucy Morales.are examples.  And, in your neck of the woods, Lady Chablis (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt).

    It has been ages since I have been to a drag show, but when I lived in Key West they were one of the places you would take visitors. They were of two sorts--the bejeweled and bling-y comics in fake diamonds and rubies, slinky gowns and full growth beards. The other, talented  performing artists who impersonated the famous:  divas and assorted celebrities.


    Pretty nuanced position he has (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 13, 2023 at 10:46:41 AM EST
    High heels are good as long as they are not TOO high.

    Florida Fascism (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 02, 2023 at 04:50:11 PM EST
    on the march..  Senate Bill 1316. Information Dissemination, would require all bloggers who write about the governor, his cabinet, or legislators to register with the state or face fines.

    The proposed legislation  appears to hinge on whether the blogger is paid, but the language is loose and may include remuneration  in a broad sense, such as advertisers or donors

    For bloggers subject to the law, they would need to register, disclose the total amount of remuneration, and file monthly reports with the state.

    There is a body of Supreme Court cases (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 02, 2023 at 07:40:18 PM EST
    from the 1940s (IIRC) to the '80s on local licensing schemes that are designed to repress or limit First Amendment activity.

    Here we go (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 08:07:06 AM EST

    South Carolina Woman Arrested for Aborting Pregnancy
    March 3, 2023 at 8:57 am EST By Taegan Goddard 17 Comments

    A South Carolina woman "was arrested earlier this week and charged with performing or soliciting an abortion," the Columbia State reports.

    "The incident report says the woman told medical personnel she had taken abortion pills to end a pregnancy. State law prohibits self-medication to abort a pregnancy. The fetus was stillborn and was determined to be 25 weeks and four days, according to the incident report."


    Both the ACLU and the National Association (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 08:59:29 AM EST
    of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) have been developing cross-training in reproductive rights law for criminal defense lawyers to be ready for these cases. Doctors and other health professionals are also at risk.

    I think the fact the world has changed (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 11:59:34 AM EST
    is still sinking in with "voters".

    Stuff like this will make it sink faster.


    Yes (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 04, 2023 at 01:18:00 PM EST
    sinking in is still going on. Far too many people think it won't happen to them. I predict is going to take a few women dying before all these laws are gone.

    My question (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 04, 2023 at 01:16:28 PM EST
    is why did she tell them she took the pills? It seems if she lied she would be better off?

    CPAC. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 09:42:49 AM EST
    Number one reason Democrats should own a firearm.

    And also number 2 (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 11:40:20 AM EST

    I wish this was a sign of inclusion and good will (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 03, 2023 at 11:55:54 AM EST
    but I don't think it is.  
    Still, he's not Herschel Walker.

    Could Senate Republicans Align with Tim Scott?
    March 3, 2023 at 1:02 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 0 Comments

    Some Republican senators are sounding very positive about the prospect of their colleague, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), possibly mounting a White House bid, Punchbowl News reports.

    Said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): "Tim can win. He can win the presidency."

    Oscar Pistorius is up for parole. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 05, 2023 at 10:42:48 PM EST
    The parole hearing for the Olympic double-amputee star known worldwide as "Blade Runner," who was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison for the 2013 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. will be held on March 31, 2023.

    Per South African law, he's eligible for parole once he served half his sentence. He could be released that same day. Reeva's father Barry Steenkamp, who met last year with Pistorius, has indicated that he will accept the parole board's decision.

    We'll see what happens.

    Isn't FOX in a lot of trouble beyond (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 10, 2023 at 01:59:41 PM EST
    the first 1.6 billion if Dominion prevails?

    Or maybe even if they don't?

    It would sure seem like the facts that have come out already opens them up to all kinds of civil litigation.   They lied to people. Established. If those people start suing them for the damage those lies have caused isn't that a really big, Alex Jones and Sandyhook kind of, problem.   How about the family of the woman who was shot?   And that's not including the national security aspect of stoking an insurrection.