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Week In The News: Fed Tapers, NSA Pushback, Billie Jean King To Sochi

A Fed step back, NSA pushback, Billie Jean King will go to the Olympics. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The Fed will begin to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion in January because of a stronger U.S. job market. (AP)

Hardly time for news this week, with all the Christmas shopping and everybody checking that their credit card wasn’t ripped off in the massive data heist at Target. Forty million cards at risk. But there was news aplenty. A budget. Bernanke’s last move. And pushback on the spying of the N.S.A. China on the moon. Genocide fears in Africa. New steps to stop sexual assault in the US military. Billie Jean King, not the President, will go to Russia’s Sochi Olympics. “Duck Dynasty’s” big daddy is in trouble. This hour On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Diane Brady, senior editor at Bloomberg Businessweek. (@DianeBrady)

Bryan Monroe, Washington editor of opinion and commentary for CNN. (@BryanMonroeCNN)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

GQ: What the Duck? — “There are more things Phil would like to say—’controversial’ things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut. (This March, for instance, he told the Christian-oriented Sports Spectrum magazine that he didn’t approve of A&E editing out ‘in Jesus’ from a family prayer scene, even though A&E says that the phrase has been uttered in at least seventeen episodes.) Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out.”

Bloomberg: Billie Jean King’s Message To Vladimir Putin — “These gestures are first of all important for the countries making them, which like to think they are being consistent about standing up for universal values (even if their own societies only rather recently saw the light on gay rights). They are also important in letting gay men and lesbians inside Russia know they have international support.”

USA Today: Stocks mixed after Fed’s mini-’taper’ – “The Fed said that starting in January, it will reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. The reductions, or tapering, will be the first step toward winding down a program that has been in place since the 2008 financial crisis.Asian markets were mixed Thursday, although Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index soared 1.7% to 15,859.22.”

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  • Ray in VT

    I do find it interesting that the President has chosen a number of openly gay athletes, given that country’s recent path regarding the gay community. Plus Brian Boitano came out. I’m sure that some will be outraged regarding at least the former.

    • Wahoo_wa

      The President’s own anti-gay opinions have “evolved” since taking office.

      • Ray in VT

        As have others on this issues, and as have others on other issues previously. I would imagine that you might be more favorable to such an evolution than to those politicians whose views are closer to Phil’s from Duck Dynasty. There been some pretty rapid change on the issue of gay marriage in the last 20 years. 20 years ago coming out in favor of such a position would likely have been electoral suicide,

        • Wahoo_wa

          I am more of a universal rights man myself. Rights and privileges should not be dependent upon marriage (gay or straight). But I do understand and respect your point. I must admit it is sad to see certain cultural traditions and venues disappear as homosexuality becomes more mainstream. I doubt the younger generation (and I am only 40) even knows where the term “tea dance” comes from. Acceptance is a double edged sword.

          • Ray in VT

            It can be a double edged sword, and I am not familiar with the term “tea dance”. While the disappearance of some cultural traditions or institutions are lamentable, it is true that that has always happened, and it will continue to be the case. We no longer celebrate Pope Day in New England on the 5th of November by burning an effigy of the Pope, and I think that it is unlikely that my kids will end up playing “smear the queer”.

          • Wahoo_wa

            It’s good you don’t know the term “tea dance”! It means we still have our traditions reserved for our own for a bit longer.

    • Don_B1

      The President is sending a message to President Vladimir Putin and homophobic Russians that homosexuals are good human beings worthy of respect.

      But it is the press which has emphasized the nature of the appointment of these worthy representatives, who will represent American sport at its best.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Jim Matheson’s retirement means that Mia Love will be the Tea Party Congress Woman from Utah.

    http://youtu.be/q19nBVZ5k2s

  • Wahoo_wa

    Is it really necessary to focus on the sexual orientation of King and Boitano? There are many ways I would define myself but ‘gay’ is not the first word that would come out of my mouth if asked to describe who I am. I understand highlighting the sexual orientation of a representative delegation is a provocative (and gratuitous) act meant to call attention to Russia’s cultural attitude toward gays. I think the more noble representatives are the athletes who are gay and who will compete in the spirit of the Olympic regardless of the host nation’s cultural norms. I don’t think they should hide their sexuality but, at a sporting event, stating “Hello I’m gay and I run track.” seems less appropriate than “Hello I compete in track events. …why yes I am gay. Why do you ask?” Boitano has a similar attitude I suspect from what I have read.

    • HonestDebate1

      I agree with you. At some point acceptance doesn’t need caveats. Events of this magnitude are already lessons in dedication, perseverance, athleticism, beauty and grace. There are compelling personal story lines throughout. I don’t really need artificially imposed social or political statements.

      • Wahoo_wa

        I am also reminded of the spirit of the original games. The Olympic Peace tradition called for every nation-state to set down their political conflicts for the duration of the games. Wouldn’t that be a nice tradition to revive?!

        • Ray in VT

          But back then they didn’t have host countries that used hosting the games as a tool of national self promotion. In some regard the Games have likely had some political element since at least 1936.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Sure but just because it happens doesn’t mean a political element is appropriate to the event.

          • Ray in VT

            True, but it is the way that is.

          • Wahoo_wa

            LOL…so you advocate the status quo? (poke, poke)

          • Ray in VT

            Sometimes.

          • brettearle

            The only time deep-thinking Liberals can be backed into a corner, is when they are too stoned to understand the prior question or comment.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe.

          • brettearle

            Touche…..or…..

            “A hit…..a very palpable hit.”

          • Ray in VT

            “I never felt too comfortable living anywhere without a prearranged route of escape.” – Dr. Noonien Soong.

          • brettearle

            With that comment, I think you gave me that Christmas present that you never owed me.

          • Ray in VT

            I am glad, as always, to be of service. There’s nothing like quoting some Trek as far as I’m concerned. I came across this book the other day:

            http://www.amazon.com/Gender-Sexuality-Star-Trek-Allegories/dp/0786444134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387552536&sr=8-1&keywords=star+trek+gender

            I thought that it sounded interesting, and I told my wife about it. She thought that it sounded terrible. Different stokes and all.

          • Don_B1

            I just looked at your link and liked the end of the last sentence of the review:

            “… and the ways in which Star Trek: Enterprise’s adoption of neoconservative politics may have led to its commercial and aesthetic failure.”

            But this is just one more point of support for the way Star Trek was successful (particularly early on) in showing the way the world really works, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson pointed out for its use of physics for explanations of space travel:

            http://io9.com/neil-degrasse-tyson-explains-why-he-prefers-star-trek-t-509517637

          • Ray in VT

            There certainly was a sort of militarism/wild west piece and Cold War analogy that was going on there, and I’ve always thought that mini skirts in the 23rd century was a bit funny, but it broke some new ground and was able to somewhat address some issues.

          • TFRX

            Neocon politics? I didn’t notice at the time.

            All I remember about Enterprise is how it seemed to squeeze all the charm out of Scott Bakula–a real trick, says I.

            Plus Diane Warren–the world’s worst beloved pop songwriter–wrote the theme, and it had lyrics.

            That’s a lot to overcome.

          • brettearle

            God, Ray, I looked at the link…it’s beyond my pay grade.

            And yet you, and some of the rest of my brethren, are talking about it, responsibly and even hilariously, here.

            These insights were lost on me.

            All I can really say is that Shatner could shake his role, later on–at least to some degree.

            But Limoy, I think not. Even though both are eminently talented.

            [Limoy does Intros for IMAX]

            I thought the series was Camp–and I left it at that.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe this one goes off the rails. It’s hard to say without reading it a bit, but I did read The Physics of Star Trek and the Metaphysics of Star Trek for fun once upon a time.

          • brettearle

            OK, final word on this:

            I once entered a Grand Hotel, somewhere; I think that it was in Boston. And I thought that I was on some sort of controlled substance:

            Everyone was dressed up as Spock or Kirk.

            You guessed it: I was intruding on an International Star Trek convention.

            Maybe they all got 10 years-in-advance private charter tickets to have the Enterprise land them at Logan….

          • Ray in VT

            The only reason that I ever had to go to Vegas was Star Trek: the Experience, but they shut it down.

          • brettearle

            Then, how about this…..

            “The only time deep-thinking Liberals can be backed into a corner, is when Conservatives decide that ADD is indeed a neuropsychological disease and so they swallow a pill or two of Ritalin, on the same day that the Liberals forget to take theirs.”

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps. I try not to get backed into logical or factual corners. It happens to everyone at some point, though, but if one takes time, checks sources and leaves oneself wiggle room, then one can avoid it a lot of the time.

          • brettearle

            I noticeably agree

          • brettearle

            I would have loved to have seen the scowl or anguish on Hitler’s face.

          • Ray in VT

            That must have been great when Jesse Owens smoked the guys from the master race.

          • brettearle

            Which would have struck–at that time, especially–symbolically, a severe blow to the eugenicist concept of Supremacy much less Supremacy, itself.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nothing in the universe could have made the statement more powerfully than his athletic excellence.

          • Ray in VT

            But that statement was made more powerful by certain facts about the person making it. It was a direct affront to Nazi ideology and belief that someone of African descent could best an Aryan.

    • brettearle

      The need for acceptance–politically or otherwise–is certainly, to me, why this sort of emphasis is considered priority by the homosexual community.

      But after a number of years of this effort, it becomes a bit on the, `too much’ side.

      It should be more implicit, by now–as if silently, without actual words, it could be, “yeah, I’m gay…so what?

      Unless of course, one needs to confront specific and blatant bias.

      And so, in the case with Russia, this bias apparently is a `state-sponsored’ Ethic. And, therefore, it seems to me that there ought to be a clamor about it.

      • William

        But should we not respect other countries beliefs, laws and customs? Singapore has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses and Unification Church for years. Most Muslim countries don’t accept any other religions and are very anti-gay. At some point countries are going to retaliate against the USA for something they find offensive in the USA.

        • brettearle

          I think you have a point.

          But, ultimately–whether we are hypocrites or not–we, as a country, ought to advocate positions for individual freedoms.

          • William

            True, but cultures overseas have different view of individual freedom (Singapore is very restrictive) compared to us.

        • Ray in VT

          To a certain extent we should, although what if those beliefs, laws and customs run directly contrary to those values which we consider essential or universal?

          • William

            It seems that we have been rejected what were established norms for years now and even the mention of a society with guard rails is rejected.

          • Ray in VT

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0

            Dire predictions were made when Civil Unions passed here in 2000. Things still seem fine. Much was made by some with the Loving decision, yet society continued.

          • William

            True, but not every country in the world reacts the same to changes in their culture.

          • Ray in VT

            True, but should we not stand for something, especially in at least a nominally Western nation where the rights of groups are being cracked down upon in the case of Russia.

          • William

            We used to stand for many things but sometimes that got a lot of people killed. JFK and his doctrine led us into the Vietnam War and we suffered huge numbers of deaths and destroyed several nations in the process. Should we not just voice our concerns and let it go? Drawing the line on this issue with Russia but ignore the same issue with Islamic nations makes us look like fools.

          • Ray in VT

            Nation building has often been a fools errand. We also stood with dictators and oppressive regimes in Central America and South Africa. Some of those issues get overlooked, I think, because we didn’t have our people dying there. Sending a couple of openly gay athletes isn’t exactly the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. I don’t think that we should be silent on the mistreatment of gays and lesbians in the Islamic world, but if we’re going to be doing something, we ought to at least be criticizing places at least nominally in the West where bigotry and intolerance are on the rise. There’s also quite a bit of racism and anti-semitism in Russia these days. We should be talking about that as well.

          • Don_B1

            I don’t see that much difference between the “beliefs” of some Muslims and those of the Richardsons in Duck Dynasty, but the reactions of conservatives to the condemnation of such attitudes is really remarkable.

            “Free Speech” is ONLY protected from GOVERNMENTAL retribution. Nothing protects anyone from retribution from his employer who may suffer economic loss as a result of the statements of an employee.

            Conservatives are all about EMPLOYER rights, not so much individual rights such as the right to join a union. But the exception is when the conservatives want to appeal to an intolerant segment of their supporters, but this just “promotes” those intolerant ideas which do not represent the recognition of the rights of all people to live a decent life without being subject to invective.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Slavery was “traditional” in this country for over 200 years.

    • NewtonWhale

      I can’t agree with you.

      I think the “provocative (and gratuitous) act” of Tommie Smith and John Carlos was meant to call attention to the civil rights movement in the US.

      Or don’t you think that was a good thing?

      • Wahoo_wa

        I do not think it was a good thing. The Olympics is not the appropriate venue for political discussion.

        • NewtonWhale

          It is a fact that Russia is persecuting gays:

          http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-anti-gay-bill-passes-protesters-detained/

          Putin sees these Olympics as a propaganda vehicle to curry favor with right wing Christians, and it’s working::

          http://www.creators.com/conservative/pat-buchanan/is-putin-one-of-us.html

          “In 1936, Hitler saw the Games as an opportunity to promote his government and ideals of racial supremacy, and the official Nazi party paper, the Völkischer Beobachter, wrote in the strongest terms that Jews and Black people should not be allowed to participate in the Games. However, when threatened with a boycott of the Games by other nations, he relented and allowed Black people and Jews to participate,”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1936_Summer_Olympics

          Without that boycott threat, the world would never have seen Jesse Owens put the lie to Hitler’s racial theories.

          I think we have a moral obligation to deny Putin the ability to use these Olympics to paint Russia as some kind of moral beacon and paint gays as subhuman.

          • Wahoo_wa

            I don’t think I ever questioned Russia’s persecution of gays. Hitler had no power to decide who was to compete. So that point is a bit invalid. I don’t think Putin’s expressed intention is to paint gays as subhuman. Again, Putin has no power to decide who competes in the Olympic games.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Who knew “Partisan Taunting” was such a stressful class?

    FTA:
    Eldo Kim, the 20-year-old Harvard University sophomore accused of emailing a bomb threat that cleared out Harvard Yard on Monday, had been “analyzing partisan taunting” and chronicling the school’s drug and arts scene.

    http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/12/harvard_student_charged_in_bomb_threat_studies_partisan_taunting

    • NewtonWhale

      Must be a huge Monty Python fan.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Does Obama really believe that people are dumb enough to believe that he can’t attend the opening of the Sochi Games, an event probably scheduled years ago, because of a “scheduling conflict”? If you believe that one, then you probably believed that “if you like your health care plan, you could keep your health care plan…PERIOD”. He should have simply chosen to be honest (a novel concept) and say that he wasn’t going in order to make a political statement and poke Putin in the eye. Also, besides gays, there are other groups that are strongly discriminated against in Russia such as evangelical Christians. I certainly hope that some overt evangelical Christian (Tim Tebow?) would be included in the U.S. delegation as well. Or is the administration solely concerned with the rights of people on the left? Remember “bringing us all together” and “we are all Americans”? I forgot. The campaign is over.

    • Ray in VT

      Maybe evangelicals will get a nod when the host country passes laws forbidding evangelicals from spreading their “propaganda”.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Actually, Russia does outlaw numerous religious groups such as evangelical Christians, so the laws are already passed. I’m sure that you would consider yourself an “inclusive” individual, but your comment smacks of hatred and anti-Christian bias. Apparently, “inclusive” is limited in your mind to people who only believe as you do. I’m sure that people such as yourself would have been screaming “separation of church and state” if someone else had been president and had sent a group of evangelical Christians to represent the U.S. delegation. The blindness, bigotry, and hypocrisy of the left never ceases to astound me.

        • Ray in VT

          My quick searching didn’t turn up references to Russian laws that outlaw “numerous religious groups such as evangelical Christians”, so perhaps you could enlighten me. There are certainly plenty of references to groups being denied permits to build houses of worship.

          Your take on my comments is interesting, although I will admit that I have little use for the sorts of bigots who, for whatever reason, advocate discrimination against groups of people, and you seem to have come to some very interesting conclusions about my beliefs based upon your ignorant caricature of “the left”.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Referring to what tens of millions of Americans honestly and legitimately believe as “propaganda” doesn’t sound very inclusive or tolerant to me. The left talks about tolerance, acceptance, etc. But when push comes to shove, they frequently belittle and bully anyone whose point of view is different than theirs despite their false platitudes. Your reference is a perfect example of that narrow mindedness.

          • Ray in VT

            I used that term because of how the Russian law defines talking about discussing homosexuality, but feel free to take it how you like if it validates your feelings of persecution. Presumably if they were seeking to outlaw religious groups in Russia, they might take a similar line.

            Feel free to hold your own narrow minded view of others, or do you get a free pass because you “honestly and legitimately believe” those things.

          • Don_B1

            Intolerant attitudes leads to discrimination in hiring, renting housing, and other aspects from joining golf clubs to other social groups.

            All of that type of discrimination demonstrably hurts those individuals who are its subjects and results in worse living experiences than those people deserve.

            Sure, life is unfair, but that does not justify deliberately encouraging making life even more unfair for some based on ineffective and undeserved metrics.

    • NewtonWhale

      Sorry, FR, but the right wing does not own Christianity, not even evangelical Christianity.

      http://www.christianpost.com/news/author-new-evangelical-left-pushing-bounds-of-christianity-49287/

      Jimmy Carter is a Christian Evangelist, as is Jim Wallis.and the Sojourners movement:

      http://sojo.net/blogs/2011/02/28/sojourners-supporters-and-partners-challenge-congress-budget-cuts

      Seems to me you could use a lesson in bringing people together, especially at Christmas time.

      • Don_B1

        Thank you!

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Do we know if “BAND NAME THAT CAUSE COMMENT DELETION” members Maria Alyokhinia and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been released yet? Or is Putin still afraid of a bunch of girls?

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      A little hard to “bring us all together” when the conservative right and their incipient racism vowed to block and obstruct Obama in any way they could. In my opinion, he tried more than he should have given the entrenched position of the right wing.

    • Don_B1

      Maybe if the Tea/Republicans were not scheduling the next threat over raising the debt-ceiling for that time, President Obama might find the time to go.

      But President Obama is not running that schedule, so he has to plan to be available to avoid being called uncaring, absent, etc., which happens when the right wing wants to create diversions from their devastating policies.

  • lobstahbisque

    Bravo to Mr. Obama for sending Putin a s#!t sandwich in the form of King, Boitano et al. It shows international solidarity between the LGBT communities whose members probably number 500 million world wide.
    Remember, “SILENCE=DEATH”.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Please explain the cultural phenomenon that is “Duck Dynasty”. A diverse group comments here, and I’d love an explanation.

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s just funny and wholesome.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Funny? In a sad way. Wholesome? You are nuts.

        • HonestDebate1

          Yea, wholesome.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            You can hear the elite disdain and snobbery out there, and simply imagine how badly such folks want to get their hands on the reigns of power to remake the world in their self righteous image.

            This is really the kind of stuff that made it impossible for me to support the Democrats anymore, even though I originally voted for Obama, having previously voted Nader, and like all good young people, being sympathetic to Progressive causes and wishing I could impose my great wisdom on all the ignorant jerks out there.

            Now I like the libertarian angle because while I believe in “progressive” values personally, I don’t believe that a small “elite” imposing their will, by social policy, or monetary policy, is a path to long term peace, prosperity and stability.

            Nor, having explored classical liberalism more, and looking at the way the two parties have worked for so long, do I believe they have anything like our best interests in mind, and they actually abhor the notion of the masses having the freedom and self determination, socially, and economically, that the Constitution should allow.

            There is no party that I can point to or real “candidate”, but I would say libertarian populism is about where I stand now. Its interesting to read about those ideas, and see the interesting intersections between some progressives and conservatives. (Not Rs and Ds).

            This was an interesting roundtable on these ideas:
            http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/08/09/what-is-libertarian-populism

    • MrNutso
      • JGC

        (SShhhh…don’t tell my kids, but they are getting the Duck Dynasty Chia Beard kits for Christmas…)

        • TFRX

          What, Chia pets? You got something against those singing coal lumps for bad kids?

          (Wait, you are punishing your kids by buying them Chia pets, right?)

          • JGC

            I had to laugh when I spotted them at my local Canadian Tire store, and I am sure the Robertson Family is laughing, too – as in all the way to the bank.

    • northeaster17

      I don’t watch tv. But I don’t think he should not have been suspended. His views need more circulation. All the easier for the bigot to dig his own PR grave. But then his bosses knew that also. Whatever….At least the war Christmas has taken a back seat to this non story

      • Ray in VT

        A&E likely looked at this as a liability issue. They want to make money, not controversies. However I don’t really think that he should have been suspended either. If you’re going to have “reality TV”, then let people be who they are, warts and all. But reality TV isn’t really about reality.

        • HonestDebate1

          It broke all kinds of viewer records, it’s huge. I think A&E shot themselves in the foot.

          The language was colorful but I must say it made sense to me… uncomfortable sense. I’m not talking about it being a sin, I don’t think it is but the visual he painted hit home. I don’t see it as hateful at all.

          • 1Brett1

            How, exactly, did Phil Robertson’s comments make sense to you?

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s an anatomy thing, figure it out.

          • 1Brett1

            I see, so the way in which you felt compelled to reply to Ray’s comment was to say that Phil Robertson was making some attempt in your view at being physiologically accurate in the complementarity/differences between men and women…okay, then, way to nail the prominent issue, there. [By the way, my last line was sarcasm, since you have stated before that you get confused about sarcasm...you're welcome]

          • HonestDebate1

            My comment to Ray was more about A&E shooting themselves in the foot.

          • 1Brett1

            I see, so don’t focus on the stupid things you say that are despicable, just the stupid things you say that aren’t despicable. Got it!

            But really, for that to have been your comment’s point, you spent more time and space talking about Phil Robertson’s comment itself.

          • jefe68

            He’s a maroon and despicable…
            I like how he always shoots himself in the foot, rhetorically speaking that is.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s weird.

          • Ray in VT

            Seems to me that plenty of men across all nations across time have found some of his remarks to not be logical to them, or, at the very least, they didn’t feel compelled to stick to only one path.

      • TFRX

        This is pushing the war on Christmas off Fox News?

        I submit there are plenty of seats for TWOC and the Duck Dynasty kerfluffle.

        • northeaster17

          Ok, I agree.

    • hennorama

      Shag_Wevera — I have not watched the show, but as is the case with virtually all “reality” TV, and paraphrasing H.L. Mencken, “no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of American TV audiences.”

      • TFRX

        If you’ve ever wondered what reality (sic) TV considers television-friendly, look at the clean-shaven pics here and here and ask yourself, “Would this bunch get greenlighted in a reality TV pitch meeting?”

        (PS I only read Us Magazine for the articles, I swear.)

        • hennorama

          TFRX — thanks for the links.

          One supposes that if A&E and the DD people split up, that Fox will scoop them up, and rename the show “Redneck Royalty.”

          Personally I’d prefer “Redneck Retinue,” but one must always consider the audience. No doubt Frank Luntz could focus group it for them.

    • JGC

      I occasionally watch “Duck Dynasty” with my younger son. It is amusing and they do show a tight-knit family with a good sense of humor, not least about themselves.

      Random other thoughts about this:

      With all those Robertson grandkids, one of them is statistically likely to be gay.

      Whenever some older person made some intolerant comment, one of my lesbian friends would just roll her eyes, and say, “There is nothing you can do to change a mind like that. You just have to wait for them to die off.”

      Thanks in part to the support from the Robertson family, the Louisiana 5th district recently elected Vance McAllister to the U.S. Congress, an upset victory over the much-favored Tea Party candidate. While McAllister is a conservative Republican, he favors the Medicaid expansion of the ACA and he also favors working across the aisle.

    • hennorama

      Shag_Wevera — again, I haven’t watched the show, but perhaps this article may help:

      “9 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about ‘Duck Dynasty’

      Posted by Dylan Matthews on December 20, 2013″

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/20/9-questions-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask-about-duck-dynasty/

  • HonestDebate1

    It’s interesting how the left has a new hero in the Pope. All it took was a little capitalism bashing and the next thing you know he’s Time’s “Man if the Year”. Meanwhile Phil Robertson holds the same exact view as the Pope regarding homosexuality.

    Maybe the difference is the beard.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Are you Catholic? If not, your post is disgusting.

      • HonestDebate1

        No, what did I get wrong?

        • jefe68

          You get it wrong just putting your shoes on the morning.

    • northeaster17

      Capitalism needs a good bashing. Just take a look around your neighborhood.
      Maybe the differance is not the beard. Maybe it is the changing of peoples minds and a move away from the bigotry that is always trying to single different ones out.
      For some that change can be difficult when the social ability to legally discriminate and hold those who are different from you down is taken away.

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea but it makes strange bedfellows.

        • northeaster17

          I think the long term change ushered in by this Pope makes the Duckman and his attitudes as irrelevant as those toys that he makes. In other words. Francis is just getting started, while the Duckman is in the broiler.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I missed where Pope Francis discussed bestiality and happy singing negros in the Jim Crow era. Dummy.

      • Ray in VT

        That statement about African Americans was pretty shocking to me, and it doesn’t seem to be getting as much play, although I’m rather avoiding this media feeding frenzy.

        • TFRX

          While Martin Bashir is saying “I got fired for…what, again?”

          I guess the Duck fellow can go onto the wingnut gravy train. They didn’t build that support structure for nothing.

          • HonestDebate1

            No one on the right called for Bashir to be fired.

        • Don_B1

          The racism was actually more insidious for its unconsciousness than the blatant homophobia, with the possible exception of the reference to Blacks not “singing the Blues” before welfare came, when that was the period when, as Jon Stewart pointed out, the Blues was invented.

    • TFRX

      You really didn’t do your homework, troll.

      • brettearle

        Now, Now…TF…Now, Now….

    • jefe68

      Wow. Talk about bringing a new low to bottom feeding.

    • jimino

      The lens through which view the world is obviously so distorted that any comment by you on what is happening is pretty worthless. Stick to abstract opining where at least your foolishness can’t be fact checked.

    • 1Brett1

      It’s interesting how you would allude to Phil Robertson’s views without expressing a few words of contempt for his views.

      You chicken?

      • Labropotes

        Like Obama is chicken to appear in public without an American flag on his lapel? Looks like HonestDebate1, in not bowing to fake popular pieties, is anything but chicken.

        • 1Brett1

          The Obama reference seems a little tortured…not sure what your point is with that or that you are understanding mine.

          If you notice, when it comes to anything to do with gays, HonestDebate1 will talk all around the topic but won’t really come clean about his views. He said in another comment that Phil Robertson’s views make sense; his only qualifier about any direct opinion otherwise was that Robertson’s language was “colorful.” This seems pretty chicken (or, evasive, if you will) to me.

          • Labropotes

            Who’s talking about Torture?

            You are suggesting that HonestDebate1 say, “not that there is anything wrong with that,” everytime someone else says, “homosexual.” This is your uptight piety.

            Obama, after a typically short stand on principle, began wearing an American flag pin to accommodate another idiotic piety, that we all must vaunt our patriotism, lest we be taken for someone who is against us.

          • 1Brett1

            “Uptight piety”? Because I’ve seen the sum of HD1′s comments about homosexuality and feel he really just stops short of saying homosexuality isn’t natural or may be subject to some punishment on the proverbial judgment day?

            Also, you totally missed my use of the word “tortured.” …Sorry, but you are really straining way too much to try wringing out some comparison between Obama’s pin-wearing habits and HD1′s evasiveness about his views on homosexuality, to put it another way. Comprenez vous?

          • 1Brett1

            HD1 just said above how disgusted he is by homosexuality, and you would say that my calling him out is “uptight piety”? Unbelievable.

          • Labropotes

            But read it with sympathy, and listen to the duck guy likewise — though I’m not saying they share an exact view. Both are identifying with a homosexual, both are imagining standing naked with another naked man. And they are saying they find the image distasteful, even revolting. I find zero cause for controversy in their reaction. I certainly don’t want them to lie or to shut up about it.

            I grow from your reactions to things too, Brett, like a vote in the chorus of my imagination and conscience.

          • 1Brett1

            I think, at best, you are over-analyzing both Mr. Duckbrain and Mr. MasterDebater…there’s nothing controversial or unique about either person’s views; they’re just bigoted.

          • HonestDebate1

            If being attracted to women makes me a bigot, then fine.

          • 1Brett1

            No, it’s assessing whether or not a person makes you “tingle” sexually and condemning sexual orientation based on such adolescent/arrested development criteria that makes you a bigot.

            You do seem to have to emphatically articulate how attracted you are to women. Maybe that’s a kind of latency on your part? Who knows? Who cares? It must be important for you make sure strangers know you are heterosexual…

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t condemn anyones sexual orientation at all. Where do you get this stuff?

          • 1Brett1

            My opinion, if you really are accepting of differences in sexual orientation then you wouldn’t say things like,

            “…males like myself are not comfortable with the logistical anatomical couplings [of homosexuality]. When it comes down to it I agree with Phil’s [Robertson] choice in the matter and concur [with him].”

            Or,

            “I happen to think there is nothing more disgusting than a naked man but that’s just me.”

            So maybe you are just playing a baiting game and are intentionally being provocative; it’s kind of the same thing you do with racial stuff by intentionally saying something you know is racially charged then you spend the next twenty comments backing away from what you said ( so that makes sense as an approach you would have). as if you are trying to show that liberals just don’t understand plain language and go out of their way to pigeonhole conservatives. Maybe that’s your game…so you can then point fingers and claim I am just making stuff up or something.

            Essentially, I believe you are being intentionally deceptive if you truly are accepting of differences in sexual orientation.

            Who gay people fundamentally are has been fundamentally rejected in society. So, while in your mind you have some remote form of acceptance for gay people, when you express it, it sounds like this, “I don’t care what kind of sexual orientation a person has, that’s their business, but I find homosexuality to be unnatural for people, and I find it completely disgusting.” Sounds like a rejection of differences in sexual orientation, whether you intend for it too be or not.

            I believe people can and often do have disparate and disconnected thoughts about something and it puts them in a kind of contradiction; I don’t think that is anything unique to you, but regarding your sentiments on gay people, there is a kind of (sorry, I’ll use the word for a third time) fundamental rejection of them as people who are simply born different, than you and I, to say what they do is disgusting, or who they are is disgusting

          • HonestDebate1

            You sure are making something out of nothing. I’m fine with gay people, I don’t hate them. I don’t think they are disgusting or vile. I am comfortable in social settings with them. I am also in touch with my inner woman. I don’t care what anything sounds like to you, you have always told me what I think. I didn’t say anything was unnatural. In short, you’re just ranting and making things up.

            It’s not a provocative tactic it’s an observation. It’s not a game, it’s a harmless comment of immense common sense. What is so controversial about a man prefering female sensuality and companionship as well female body parts for sexual pleasure to that of another man? It’s not hateful or intolerant in any way shape or form.

          • 1Brett1

            It’s the context in which you’ve said what you have that is suspect and subject to anyone finding similar scrutiny. You didn’t say anything about a preference but about being disgusted instead.

            I never said you hate gay people, btw.

            Sorry, but you aren’t going to convince me using your usual games of being provocative then back peddling. And I don’t belief you started out with the statements you made with a desire for harmless common sense…maybe you did; and, if so I then I apologize…for the ostensible ignorance of people like you and Phil Robertson who say things that sound intolerant, I’d say at least listen to the way that what you say sounds and think about how you’d feel if that was said about you. It’s called empathy or understanding.

            I can’t say about you, but I know and have known people like Phil Robertson, and their attitude is very much one of not feeling they need to watch their speech at all, that the hell with people who don’t know what’s on their minds and only go by the insensitive things they, that any self-monitoring of speech is that stupid, liberal political correctness crap, etc.

            Yeah, words matter. Phil Robertson’s bigoted, ignorant, offensive, fundamentalist Christian stuff is disgusting…of course, I don’t mean anything by that; I accept him as a person and respect his opinion. Why would anyone think I have contempt for him? See how that works?

          • HonestDebate1

            So you can see into Phil Robertson’s heart and think it’s disgusting. That’s mighty judgmental of you. You should see someone about that.

          • 1Brett1

            We all go by what people say, you included. I am not judging the man just the words he has said. (See how that works and can be misconstrued?) It isn’t my problem/responsibility if he can’t articulate his thoughts in a less bigoted sounding way.

            I don’t know Phil Robertson, but when you express yourself publicly, are you going to say something controversial that will cause divisiveness and misunderstanding then not give a damn, feeling as though you don’t have to be careful with your words? Or are you going to simply be an ignoramus who hasn’t a clue about his responsibilities in public?

            Another commenter mentioned ‘piety.’ You seem so pious about others so-called judgments and arrogantly justified with expressing your own. I am not responsible for your lack of self-awareness.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t like the way raw chicken livers look either but they are tasty when fried. I’m not crazy about the color lime green. Not only that think dog poo is disgusting. I love my dog though. I don’t think any of this is controversial. Only a real jerk would say I am intolerant of chickens, dogs and neon. It’s not complicated.

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, yeah, sure, one’s view/”tolerance” of chicken livers (in relationship to one’s “tolerance” to the chicken), or the color lime green, or even that dog “poo” is disgusting but one loves one’s dog, are all the same as accepting differences in sexual orientation…of course…that is such an intelligent comparison…

            You love your dog but you hate his “poo’? Really? That philosophical distinction is to be applauded [sarcasm]. Sarcasm aside, I’m guessing Mr. Duck Dynasty would nod in agreement to that, anyway.

            I suppose by anyone’s view (of those whom you would consider as employing a little reason), the changing acceptance of sexual orientation is not controversial, or at least no more controversial than dog ‘poo’ or the color lime green?

            Okay, then, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree with how one arrives at one’s views; although, I’d like to think that you have better discrimination when it comes to choosing ways/words/concepts to defend your views.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t hate my dog’s poo, I just think it’s disgusting.

          • 1Brett1

            So, you’re disgusted by what a homosexual does (and by ‘poo’ as you say)? You have a profound disapproval for what the homosexual does (and for ‘poo’ as you say) and that disapproval (for homosexual acts and for ‘poo’ as you say) is aroused by the idea of something unpleasant and offensive (homosexual acts and ‘poo’ as you say)? You have a feeling of revulsion toward what the homosexual does (and for ‘poo’), etc.? By being disgusted by what the homosexual does (and ‘poo’), you are caused by him (or ‘poo’)/thinking about his acts (or ‘poo’) to feel this revulsion and profound disapproval from him (and ‘poo’)?

            Yet, in the midst of all of this disgust, profound disapproval for a homosexual’s acts (and ‘poo’ as you say), and revulsion, you accept the homosexual and love he himself, as a good Christian might say (not saying you are Christian, just that you have a Christian mindset toward the homosexual)?

            Sorry, but you can’t be disgusted by something so fundamental to what makes a homosexual a homosexual or find it unnatural (which is what Phil Robertson said, someone you said with whom you agree), then say you are fine with homosexuals.

          • 1Brett1

            I see you were up early on a Sunday to write those really important comments [sarcasm]

          • HonestDebate1

            Why do you make stuff up? I said no such thing. Geesh.

          • 1Brett1

            You said,

            “…males like myself are not comfortable with the logistical anatomical couplings [of homosexuality]. When it comes down to it I agree with Phil’s [Robertson] choice in the matter and concur [with him].”

            “I happen to think there is nothing more disgusting than a naked man but that’s just me.”

            Who gay people fundamentally are has been fundamentally rejected in society. So, while in your mind you have some remote form of acceptance for gay people, when you express it, it sounds like this, “I don’t care what kind of sexual orientation a person has, that’s their business, but I find homosexuality to be unnatural for people, and I find it completely disgusting.” Sounds like a rejection of differences in sexual orientation, whether you intend for it too or not.

            I believe people can and often do have disparate and disconnected thoughts about something and it puts them in a kind of contradiction; I don’t think that is anything unique to you, but regarding your sentiments on gay people, there is a kind of (sorry, I’ll use the word for a third time) fundamental rejection of them as people who are simply born different, than you and I, to say what they do or who they are is disgusting or unnatural.

            Maybe you are just intentionally trying to bait people when you say provocative things? Another reason is that you just are awful at explaining yourself (which I don’t believe).

          • 1Brett1

            You did say something that is like “such [a] thing.” Geesh.

            Do you find the word “disgusting” to be a word of acceptance? Do you find the phrase “not comfortable” to be a word of acceptance.”

            If someone were to say, “I find Gregg Smith to be disgusting and I am not comfortable at all with the things he does or his open displays of who he is…” Would that make you feel accepted?

            See below for more.

          • HonestDebate1

            I said the sight of a naked man is disgusting. That’s my opinion. Don’t expect me to understand how you can interpret that to mean I find the man himself disgusting. Or think anyone who doesn’t think the sight of a naked man is disgusting, is disgusting. I didn’t say anyone was disgusting. I don’t want to see my best friend of 30 years naked either. I would find that disgusting and I love him like a brother.

          • 1Brett1

            Look, it’s context and you know it. You said what you said in the midst of comments about Phil Robertson’s GC interview [how he feels about homosexuality] and about homosexuality in general. Are you so dumb/tin eared that you can’t get how misconstruing what you say can be?

          • HonestDebate1

            I made a brilliant analogy with the Pope, that’s all.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — for those who haven’t read the article, here’s the first “colorful” quote from Mr. Robertson (this may test the parameters of OP’s censorship algorithm):

            “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

            See:
            http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2o2dgDCxr

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, Mr. Robertson’s views are despicable. Almost as despicable is to make a comment that those views “make sense,” or to euphemistically say that they are merely “colorful.”

          • Don_B1

            I don’t find any of that in the Bibles that I am acquainted with.

            But using the Bible to preach hate and division is an old trait and using the Bible to bring disparate groups together is rare.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s a matter of decorum Brett. And I do think a lot of males like myself are not comfortable with the logistical anatomical couplings. When it comes down to it I agree with Phil’s choice in the matter and concur. God bless you if you see it differently.

            I celebrate every glorious difference between the sexes. Some more than others. I happen to think there is nothing more disgusting than a naked man but that’s just me. I can love the man who digs the naked man, I just don’t get the tingles.

          • 1Brett1

            Do you really have to imagine homosexual sex to have an opinion about it/respect for the differences those who are born differently than you? (Wait, don’t tell me, you do respect their differences just not their vile acts? You are a genuine screwed up piece of work.) Wow. Do you judge heterosexual persons/couples that way? You know, whether or not the women would give you “the tingles”? …Talk about decorum. I guess you don’t believe that gay people are born that way?

            Anyone who feels the way you do can’t help but feel homosexuality is not natural/against nature/disgusting. Sorry, maybe feeling that way is one thing and keeping it private would keep one’s bigoted view to oneself, but expressing that on a public forum is certainly bigoted…it would be one thing if you made no claims of being open minded. At least Phil Robertson has no pretenses about his bigoted views and doesn’t try to pretend he is enlightened.

            If you play a gay men’s party (as you take some pride in mentioning having played a lesbian party), let’s hope you keep your mouth shut. I doubt you would announce your views if asked to play at such a party.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say any of that. I am just not attract ed to men. If you are, that’s fine. I have no problem. God bless you.

          • 1Brett1

            You sound like you have spent more time thinking about how attracted you might or might not be toward naked men than I ever have spent…maybe you might look up the word homophobe; it doesn’t seem like it’s in any of your dictionaries.

          • HonestDebate1

            I honestly have no idea why what I’ve written seems so off base to you.

          • Don_B1

            No one is asking you or anyone else to find another person of the same sex sexually attractive.

            What is being asked is that you and others no longer discriminate against those who, through no deliberate choice of their own, do find another person of the same sex that they come to love as deeply as you and others love your spouses.

          • HonestDebate1

            Neither Phil nor I have anything against gays. Why should we?

          • Don_B1

            I don’t think you can say that because an act that occurs outside your view between consenting adults makes you feel uncomfortable, so that you can condemn it and then say you have nothing against those consenting adults.

            That is what both Phil Robertson and you are doing, trying to have it both ways. It doesn’t fly.

          • HonestDebate1

            There are people who drink urine, I don’t hate them either but I’m not comfortable with the thought.

          • Don_B1

            Like most of your comparisons, that is an apples and nuts comparison: totally not comparable and inane.

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t have contempt for his words. He’s entitled to his opinion, who am I?

        • 1Brett1

          Oh, gee, God forbid that you would express contempt for someone; who are you, after all? Gee whilikers. Of course, that doesn’t stop you from regularly expressing contempt for liberals.

          Besides, you’ve already expressed why you don’t have contempt for his words: you agree with them! For you to now suggest your lack of expressing contempt has to do with Robertson’s freedoms, is disingenuous.

          • Labropotes

            I am not saying I agree, but that is just a fantastically well expressed thought. Bravo, Sir!

          • HonestDebate1

            You are smarter than me, I didn’t get it at all.

          • Don_B1

            You are smart enough to have “gotten it.”

            But you have developed to a fare-the-well the ability to fake/claim ignorance when it suits your argumentation, which is all you are here for.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, I don’t even know what the argument is.

          • HonestDebate1

            Why would I express contempt when I have none? I have long been on record respecting peoples religious beliefs. I do not know the ultimate truth.

        • Don_B1

          Phil Robertson has preached against the act and those that commit it.

          That is hurtful to people who have done Mr. Robertson (and you) no harm and is thus worthy of condemnation by everyone.

    • Labropotes

      HonestDebate1, let’s gild this lilly! Let the pope bash capitalism AND put on a general’s uniform. That way anti-opium-of-the-masses progressives can support him too.

      I’m not chicken to say I like this pope.

  • Ed75

    About o-care – how many glitches make a failure? Even if it works, unfortunately, it will be substandard health care, and perhaps much worse.
    Christmas this week – the Epiphany of the truth made visible in the world. “Jesus is the answer to the question of every human heart” John Paul II. But it feels like we’re on the edge of a radical change in the world, we need to repent while there is still time. Mary told us at Fatima that ‘mankind would be granted a period of peace’, it might be coming to a close.

    • Shag_Wevera

      As one who positions himself as the consumnate Catholic, your statement on the ACA is most disappointing.

      • Don_B1

        He obviously has a selfish view of religion.

      • Ed75

        Just someone trying to be a devout Catholic. I do think that O-care isn’t a good plan, that government administration is not the way to go and will not work well. But I’m not an expert in economics or insurance.
        It does tend though against the Catholic principle that solutions should be found as close to the problem as possible, not at a federal center, except where necessary (subsidiarity). It’s not as effcient, and the Church is strongly against socialism.
        I don’t even think O-care will give more people meaningful insurance than had it before, but it will cost many of us our current health care. Still, my real problem with O-care is precisely on Catholic grounds: it promotes and requires coverage for contraception and abortion, and putting aside some sleight of hand, uses tax money to pay for abortion. It’s a windfall for Planned Parenthood, which I think is one of it’s purposes.
        That’s why 60 faith groups, including 15 Catholic dioceses and 30 or so Catholic-associated institutions (EWTN, Catholic hospitals, etc.), are suing the government over Obamacare. We’ll see what the Supreme Court decides this spring, I think they will decide for the Church. (And O. lied to Cardinal Dolan saying that O-care wouldn’t cause conscience problems for the Church.) 1/6 of U.S. hospitals are Catholic hospitals, and this law threatens their existence.

    • Ray in VT

      When has there been a period of peace for mankind?

      • Don_B1

        “Periods of peace” are still quite short, but violence among humans has been declining roughly since the Enlightenment, though quite slowly at first:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

        Clearly there are surges and declines, but particularly lately the declines have exceeded the surges.

        • hennorama

          Don_B1 – This is a fascinating and seriously under-discussed and under-reported topic.

          The fourth explanation is compelling:

          “The fourth explanation is captured in the title of a book called “The Expanding Circle,” by the philosopher Peter Singer, who argues that evolution bequeathed humans with a sense of empathy, an ability to treat other peoples’ interests as comparable to one’s own. Unfortunately, by default we apply it only to a very narrow circle of friends and family. People outside that circle are treated as sub-human, and can be exploited with impunity. But, over history, the circle has expanded. One can see, in historical record, it expanding from the village, to the clan, to the tribe, to the nation, to other races, to both sexes, and, in Singer’s own arguments, something that we should extend to other sentient species. The question is, if this has happened, what has powered that expansion?”

          This forum itself is an example of “The Expanding Circle” in many ways.

          Thanks for presenting the topic, Don_B1.

      • Ed75

        Mary predicted the Second World War to the children at Fatima, if people did not change the way they lived. She said there would be a sign, and there was – a large burning that was reported in the newspapers, some thought it was the northern lights, some thought Buckingham Palace was on fire.
        But she said also that there would be a period of peace granted to mankind after that, I think she meant the absense of a world war, which indeed has happened.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s some shaky reasoning based upon a religious belief. What we may think of as a “world war” is a relatively unusual occurrence historically, so the existence of one, historically, is the anomaly, and local conflicts and smaller wars can easily rack up high body counts.

          Keynes looked at the what he thought would be the economic impact of the Treaty of Versailles and predicted economic chaos, which very often leads to instability and conflict.

      • Steve__T

        Their have been several, lasting an avg. of about 200 yrs., (depending where and when, in the world you lived). But not 1 yr. reported since WWII.

        http://www.megaessays.com/essay_search/period_200_peace.html

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_peace

        • Ray in VT

          I think that that is shaky, taking into consideration where one lives. One listing was the Pax Romana, but while there was relative peace within the borders of the empire, Rome did engage in wars during that time.

          Defining what is peace can be tricky. Does one count civil wars or internal uprisings or just wars between nations.

          I think that to argue that humanity has ever really had a period of peace of any substantial duration, if we define that as a lack of war, in recorded history is a tough sell.

          • Steve__T

            You asked a question. I gave an answer. you did not request a definition of Peace or a specific time line. I gave none. I believe that Peace is, what it means. Do I want to argue the recorded history of the world? NO.

            If you think it shaky, to consider that where you live and not consider the when, you dismiss much. That’s a tough sell

            I know your question was to Ed75. But his time line in his post is between May 1917 to today. Maybe your question should have been for that time period.

          • Ray in VT

            That is all true, Steve. Ed used the words “mankind would be granted a period of peace”. I took that to be all of mankind, and peace to mean the absence of war (internal or external). Based upon those assumptions, I think to say that mankind has ever had a period of peace is shaky. While it is true that some areas or nations have had long periods of peace and stability, other areas, at the same time, experienced tumult.

    • 1Brett1

      Does the Catholic Church “need to repent” for the widespread sexual abuse of children it allowed to perpetuate and its subsequent coverup/sweep under its proverbial carpet?

  • Ray in VT

    The White House released the NSA Review Board report this week:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/12/18/liberty-and-security-changing-world

    Some 300 pages with 46 recommendations. The professional organization to which I belong appears to be taking a cautiously optimistic stance.

    Senator Tom Udall has also been mentioned as demanding that the CIA release, at least to Congress I guess, a 6,300 page CIA study on detention and interrogation:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/18/us-usa-congress-cia-idUSBRE9BH00U20131218

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    If they want to send Edward Snowden to jail then they first must send Director Clapper there for lying to Congress.

    FTA:
    “Senator Wyden had warned Director Clapper prior to the hearing that he would ask the question,” the letter states. “Following the hearing, Wyden privately offered Clapper the opportunity to correct the record. Clapper declined.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/patriot-act-architect-says-intel-boss-should-face-jail-time-for-lying-to-congress/article/2540997

    http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sensenbrenner_letter_to_attorney_general_eric_holder.pdf

    • NewtonWhale

      Wyden set up Clapper, and showed himself to be a coward not fit to have a security clearance.

      If you accept the premise that our government must be able to keep some information classified, and that our elected officials are there to make sure that this power is not abused, you should not applaud what Wyden did.

      “Wyden is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and had long known about the court-approved metadata program that has since become public knowledge. He knew Clapper’s answer was incorrect. But Wyden, like Clapper, was also under an oath not to divulge the story. In posing this question, he knew Clapper would have to breach his oath of secrecy, lie, prevaricate, or decline to reply except in executive session—a tactic that would implicitly have divulged the secret. The committee chairman, Senator Diane Feinstein, may have known what Wyden had in mind. In opening the hearing she reminded senators it would be followed by a closed session and said, “I’ll ask that members refrain from asking questions here that have classified answers.” Not dissuaded, Wyden sandbagged the director.

      This was a vicious tactic, regardless of what you think of the later Snowden disclosures. Wyden learned nothing, the public learned nothing, and an honest and unusually forthright public servant has had his credibility trashed.

      Wyden’s Options

      But let’s turn the glass around and look at it through Wyden’s end. Wyden concluded that the special court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was interpreting the law in a wholly novel way that permitted the government to collect vast quantities of telephony metadata. Telephony metadata is like the information on the outside of an envelope going through the mail. The Supreme Court has held that it has no constitutional protection. Unlike an intercepted call, metadata means only the number called and calling, the time of the call, and various other technical attributes of the call—but not its contents. The intelligence committees were told of this interpretation, and they did not object to it for two very good reasons. First, they were persuaded, as I am, that by doing so, the government was saving lives. And second, they were persuaded that while the data could be collected, it could not be accessed except under stringent procedures that were rigorously audited for compliance with the court’s orders. Among the hundreds of billions of calls made during 2012, this metadata was accessed only 300 times. This is an infinitesimal fraction, and on each occasion there was a documented justification. I do not believe, however, that most members of Congress, when they passed FISA, contemplated that the law could be interpreted as the FISA Court did, to permit the collection of bulk metadata.

      Wyden therefore concluded that the FISA court was making secret law. This was at best an exaggeration. It is not unusual for legislators to accuse judges of making new law when they don’t like a judicial interpretation. Whether it was wise to classify so much information about the rules under which NSA was operating—in my view, it was not—that’s another matter. But let’s accept Wyden’s “secret law” position for the sake of argument. He served on a committee and took an oath to keep its secrets. The Senate intelligence committee has 19 members. Only one other member shared his view. The House intelligence committee has 23 members. None of them appeared to share his view. So what was a conscientious legislator to do?

      The senator had two choices. He could have done what legislators are elected to do, which is to legislate. Without breaking his oath, he could have introduced a bill stating, for example, “Neither the National Security Agency nor any other agency or department shall acquire, collect, or otherwise gather bulk metadata (which he could define) of communications, all parties to which are in the United States.” That would be the gist of it. That bill would have generated ferocious debate, though realistically it would have died quickly. But Wyden is in a small minority in the legislature of a representative democracy. He doesn’t get to make the rules.

      That would have left him with one honorable alternative: civil disobedience. He could have broken the law and, in the tradition of Socrates, Thoreau, Gandhi, and King—but unlike Edward Snowden—remained in the country to face the laws he deemed unjust and in the process, sought to undermine them. The consequences would probably have included resignation or removal from the intelligence committee and destruction of the committee’s reputation as a group that can keep secrets. But unlike Clapper, Wyden could probably not have been prosecuted for releasing top-secret classified information, because the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause would have immunized him from being “questioned in any other Place” about his statements in the Senate.

      Wyden did neither of these things. He lacked the courage of his conviction, and instead of running any risk himself, he transferred it to the director of national intelligence, putting Clapper in the impossible position of answering a question that he could not address truthfully and fully without breaking his oath not to divulge classified information. Unlike Helms, Clapper was not under oath and therefore not liable to a charge of perjury, but Wyden did put Clapper in jeopardy of making or concealing a material fact or giving a false statement, a charge that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

      It was a low dishonorable act, and nothing good will come of it.”

      http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113714/ron-wyden-sandbagged-james-clapper-history-intelligence-oversight

  • Shag_Wevera

    Forget Billie Jean… How about Billie Jack?

    • MrNutso

      Maker of Native Americanploitation films.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Billie Jean Is Not My Lover

      She’s Just A Girl Who Claims That I Am The One

      But The Kid Is Not My Son

  • Ray in VT

    Violence continues to wrack Iraq, with this year appearing to be the deadliest since 2008:

    http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/a-wave-of-violence-sweeps-iraq

    • Shag_Wevera

      I only care on a christian level, which means I am unwilling to do anyting about it.

      • Ray in VT

        Oh, that’s a little harsh, even in (I think) jest. Maybe it’s a bit like kids being denied health insurance for having preexisting conditions: it’s awful, but we shouldn’t do anything about it; just let the market take care of it.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          …wearing pajamas

          drinking hot chocolate

          studying for Political Taunting Finals

          http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/12/18/a-few-of-the-best-pajamaboy-photoshops/

          • TFRX

            The fleckspittles are in full force today. I guess you win the pool for “which right-winger is going to go full wingnut on this first”.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            “I have not yet begun to fight.”

            ― John Paul Jones

          • Ray in VT
          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Do you have any alternative history on King Herod? Perhaps a proof that Joesph and Mary were just tax evaders?

            http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/dec/20/king-herod-bethlehem-bedroom-tax

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. Alternative history is fun fiction, but I was merely checking to see if that much referenced quote is accurate, and that is questionable.

          • TFRX

            So quoting from Pajamas Media isn’t your best shot?

            Please, go to some place where your crap is found as “funny”.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Don’t be so sour it could curdle your Hot chocolate.

          • TFRX

            Sour?

            Ah, the Internetz: Unable to convey exactly how much chorlting I’m doing at you.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            “And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

            Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

            O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

            He chortled in his joy.

            I imagine that you indulge in a lot of chortling.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT — that gets a [Vote up] for bringing it to our attention, and not the horrific content.

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s awful. Praise be to Allah that Hussein isn’t still in power slaughtering his people.

      • Ray in VT

        Yeah, it’s a good thing that he got rid of his WMDs in the 1990s.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        He used the weapons he got from the USA on the Kurds and others.

        • Ray in VT

          We certainly played some role in that acquisition, and we also provided him with the military intelligence on the Iranians that allowed him to effectively gas them during the Iran-Iraq War.

          • Labropotes

            “Effectively” is kind of like a little success, right? I mean, there was a time when we could produce meaningful intelligence, right? That’s kind of a good thing. /sarc

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s a good thing he’s gone, that’s all.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Glenn Reynolds puts today’s national culture-war controversy (revelations that the Duck Dynasty cast is… wait for it… Christian) in the context of a much greater scandal that isn’t being treated as such, quoting a commenter who wrote:

    I suspect this is an attempt to get Obamacare off the front pages and I suspect that we are all falling for it.

    Here in Rhode Island, we’ve been seeing our share of the phenomenon.

    http://oceanstatecurrent.com/longer-twitter/recent-controversies-are-ink-from-the-leftist-squid/

    • hennorama

      RWB — paraphrasing a quote misattributed to P.T Barnum:

      “There’s a conspiracy theory born every minute.”

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        No conspiracy required. Just an acknowledgement that Tom & Jack would rather talk about Sochi than about the failings of Healthcare.gov or Obamacare.

        • hennorama

          RWB — you may be correct as to Messrs. Ashbrook and Beatty, but the opinion you quoted is all suspicion and speculation.

          If “this is an attempt to get Obamacare off the front pages,” as claimed, that would require some coordinated nefarious effort on the part of at least two people, would it not?

          AKA: a conspiracy.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            There is/was a coordinated messaging service for the Democrat/Progressive/Left is/was called “journolist” and was run by Ezra Klien. I guess you could call that a conspiracy. I think of it as more of an example of group think. George Sorros is sending off e-mails or firing reporters who stray. It is more subtle or nuanced. Which is the real reason why the attacks on FOX news are so vicious. FOX is transgressive media in action but only to a point. Project Veritas, and the bloggers in the Army of Davids are even more so and receive even more vitriol.

            So no Group Think affecting the selection of headline stories in certain media outlets is not a “conspiracy.”

          • hennorama

            RWB – thank you for your thoughtful response.

            Let’s suppose that there is some “Group Think” that is “more subtle or nuanced,” as you claim. Your logic then would extend this “Group Think” into all the coverage of the controversy surrounding Mr. Robertson’s remarks as reported in GQ.

            The problem with this logic is that if it’s merely “subtle or nuanced,” and by implication, perhaps more unconscious than conscious, and even reflexive, then no active action would be required, as this “Group Think” would take over almost automatically, without any need for coordinated effort.

            This idea is rebutted by the writer of the opinion you quoted:

            “It’s possible that it’s all a coordinated, top-down effort to create a distracting narrative. Progressives, after all, are the real practitioners of “astroturf.” It’s also possible that the reality-lite community is in a state of heightened stress owing to across-the-board failure of its preferred policies (see: Rhode Island) and is lashing around for targets, spreading distractions that make its members feel as if they’re ideologically safe, not unlike a squid squirting ink.”

            Again, AKA, a conspiracy.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            hennorama – thank you for your thoughtful response.

            There are a few things that you have overlooked.

            Firstly you have quoted Justin correctly because he has used the word “possible” ie “It’s possible that it’s all a coordinated, top-down effort to create a distracting narrative.” As defined by http://www.thefreedictionary.com/possible

            possible adj.

            1. Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances.

            2. Capable of occurring or being done without offense to character, nature, or custom.

            3. Capable of favorable development; potential: a possible site for the new capital.

            4. Of uncertain likelihood.

            He is opining as to it is possible (Capable of occurring or being done without offense to character, nature, or custom) that this is coordinated top-down effort. He further opines that whether it is or is not then our response needs to be the same.

            Secondly I have expanded on Justin’s observations by pointing out a specific incidence of when a coordinated, top-down effort to create a distracting narrative did occur. (Ezra Klien and his journolist project) And then I dismiss it. “George Sorros is not sending off e-mails or firing reporters who stray.” Because of simple logic of Occam’s Razor or to quote Sherlock Holms: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

            This does not preclude the existence of a conspiracy of Democrat/Progressive/Leftist agents. That is not the point of Justin’s post or my comments. Even if I had all the tools of the FBI and a month of Sunday’s to use them I still could not “prove” to some that there isn’t a plot hatched by the Bilderbergs to protect President Obama from the consequences of doing their bidding. So I need not waste more time on that.

            The reason I posted the Ocean State Current link was to educate. That is the only reason I comment here, or anywhere else. Granted I am a poor teacher, but I have had some successes some students have advanced. Others require more tutelage, and I am willing if not keenly able. In this space I attempt to help people become exposed to alternative opinions. I must confess I have learned here just as often.

            Again thank you and in the spirit of good will I wish you and all those you love a Merry Christmas.

          • hennorama

            RWB — backatcha.

            Please reread the quote in my post, It is the epitome of a conspiracy theory, is it not?

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    President Obama has caused the ending of Democrats controlling the Senate.

    http://youtu.be/hYyMMs-WO4U

    • NewtonWhale

      That would be the same Politifact that previously ruled the statement “Half True”.

      Our ruling

      Obama has a reasonable point: His health care law does take pains to allow Americans to keep their health plan if they want to remain on it. But Obama suggests that keeping the insurance you like is guaranteed.

      In reality, Americans are not simply able to keep their insurance through thick and thin. Even before the law has taken effect, the rate of forced plan-switching among policyholders every year is substantial, and the CBO figures suggest that the law could increase that rate, at least modestly, even if Americans on balance benefit from the law’s provisions. We rate Obama’s claim Half True.

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jun/29/barack-obama/barack-obama-says-under-his-health-care-law-those-/

      So how do we rate Politifact’s claim that the statement by Obama is the “lie of the year”?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        PolitiFact = Corinthian Leather |=| Fact

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Yes, Politifact appears saves their most honest critique of high-profile Democrats when they are safely outside election cycles.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I like your idea that there is a “we.” It brings to mind a song lyric; “There’s only you and me and we just disagree.”

  • Coastghost

    The latest in the debut of the Patient Persecution and (Unaffordable) Ad hoc “Care” Tax Act: granting exemptions from the “mandate”! Whatever will become of a program that requires a mandate and allows exemptions from the mandate when expedient or politically necessary?
    (Why NOT fire Sec Sebelius, if actually she is responsible for this policy perpetration?)
    Obamafraud cannot enroll Americans who cannot afford Obamafraud insurance premiums that are higher than rates were without Obamafraud. The Obamafraud “system” is not helping Americans pay for or afford health insurance coverage: instead, the entire health insurance market and the larger health economy are being disrupted simply in order to accommodate Obamafraud.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/12/20/utter-chaos-white-house-exempts-millions-from-obamacares-insurance-mandate-unaffordable-exchanges/

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      Maybe if you stopped with the schoolyard name calling and whining and actually thought more, you would understand why Obama and most Americans supported health care reform. Is the ACA ideal? No – single payer would be the solution but the right has spewed too much propaganda for that to be possible in the current political climate.

      • Coastghost

        Unfortunately, MOST Americans don’t support the Affordable Care Tax Act: even our friends at the NYT who are not guests on today’s show are willing to admit as much:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/us/uninsured-americans-are-about-as-skeptical-of-health-care-law-as-the-insured-poll-finds.html?hp&pagewanted=all&_r=0

        • Renee Engine-Bangger

          Yes, because of the right wing propaganda machine and the disgusting scare tactics of “death panel” rhetoric.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Do you mean like this one?

            http://youtu.be/7KHjg6mtewI

          • Coastghost

            Or, in other words: Obamafraud partisans could not find enough truth in the ACTA legislation to counter the criticisms leveled against it.

          • TFRX

            Your critiquing is pathetic. Hope this is not your best.

          • OnPointComments

            Was it the right wing propaganda machine that cancelled six million policies? Was it the right wing propaganda machine that told the “keep you plan, keep your doctor” lies? Who promised that the ACA would save a family $2,500 and has now offered an exemption for unaffordable exchanges? The tactics used to sell the ACA to the American people would make Bernie Madoff proud.

          • TFRX

            Are you really that purposefully ignorant about buying insurance?

            Or are you one of those Galtians (all of whom seem to be on this page) who never had their insurance cancelled or changed? Never had to play “healthcare roulette” every October?

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            You seem to spew a lot of distortion, noise and hate here. That’s sad.

          • Labropotes

            You are wrong. OnPointComments is not at all hateful.

          • Don_B1

            And OPC can jump over the Moon.

          • Labropotes

            The Brain – is wider than the Sky-
            For – put them side by side-
            The one the other will contain
            With ease – and You- beside-

          • keltcrusader

            no, that would be the insurance companies themselves in the vast majority of cases who didn’t have to cancel grandfathered policies, but did so anyways. You know those costly but worthless policies you wouldn’t wipe your……

          • Don_B1

            Most of the “cancelled policies” were newly generated by the insurance companies after the passage of the PPACA and sold to insurees without the disclaimer that they were thus not subject to the grandfather clause.

            They were part of the rapid turnover of policies sold in the independent insurance market as the companies fine-tuned the policies to allow reneging on benefits when the insuree got sick.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s bad enough all on it’s own.

        • TFRX

          First, Fox and co have been shoveling sht on the ACA from the get-go.

          Second, stories of Americans who went two seconds on the Obamacare site, then ran to a TV reporter wailing “This doesn’t work! wahwahwah” are legion.

          So many of them were stories that fell apart in two seconds of investigation. But that really drove the narrative you seek to prop up.

          Third, shouldn’t repealing the ACA be more popular? All those right-wingers, all those months to come up with something besides There’s always emergency rooms!, and they’ve got squat.

          • Coastghost

            No: FIRST, the Democratic Party unilaterally passed Obamafraud without a single Republican vote.
            The Democratic Party has itself to thank for the unfolding debacles with Obamafraud.
            We’ll begin to see next November how grateful Americans are to the Democratic Party for shoving Obamafraud down out throats.

          • TFRX

            Wake me when Fox News and the right wing media machine starts reporting accurately on the ACA. Otherwise I’ll just chalk you up as being inundated in the avalanche from Bullsht Mountain.

          • keltcrusader

            So what the cowards didn’t vote for it, their grimy little pathetic fingerprints are all over it. They made many changes and addendums to the bill and then deserted it en mass, just like they planned all along, so they could make it look like they were against it the whole time.

          • Don_B1

            The Democrats, particularly in the Senate, bent over backwards (maybe forwards?) to adopt Republican proposals that were offered with the hint that some Republicans would vote for the PPACA, but when push came to shove, the Republicans obeyed Minority Leader McConnell and all voted against it, after achieving the goal of delaying its passage to where the Democrats no longer had cloture power in the the Senate so the imperfections between the House and Senate bills could not be fixed in a conference committee.

            The PPACA was built on a Heritage Foundation proposal that Republican Presidential Nominee and MAssachusetts Governor Mitt Romney proposed and signed into law in Massachusetts and is working just fine.

            In no way is the PPACA a “partisan” bill in the usual meaning of the word, only in the way Republicans ran a scorched-earth campaign against it, unheeding the harm their efforts would cause uncounted numbers of people who have not been able to get health insurance and would not be able to without the provisions of the PPACA.

          • OnPointComments

            Four polls from 07/01/2013 through 12/16/2013 all show that a majority support repeal of the health care law.
            http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/repeal_of_health_care_law_favoroppose-1947.html

          • Ray in VT

            And how many of those favor replacing it with something like single payer?

          • pete18

            I love how the self-anointed wizard of objective media coverage regularly indulges in mythology and talking points
            when talking policy and then accuses everyone on the right of using the tactics that he’s the master of. The Republicans have had many serious and comprehensive health care plans and proposals that they have been promoting since the mid 1990s. This even includes one proposed by W in 2007, which the democrats, the supposed party of “yes,” declared “dead on arrival.” The Bush plan would have come closer to universal coverage than the Obama plan and without a mandate. Go figure?

            OK, back to bashing Fox.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08/28/seriously-the-republicans-have-no-health-plan/

          • Don_B1

            That is worse than the usual kettle calling the pot black; it is the black kettle calling the shiny stainless steel tea pot black.

          • pete18

            Who’s the shiny stainless steel pot in that equation?

      • OnPointComments

        “Is the ACA ideal?” This has to be the understatement of the year (or at least the understatement of this radio show).

      • Labropotes

        The egregious misrepresentations played a big role in building support for the ACA. Likely if the truth were told, it would not have passed.

      • pete18

        Most Americans may have supported some kind of health care reform but there was never a time when most Americans supported Obamacare. It has been unpopular since it’s inception. “Less than ideal” is quite the euphemism for something that has been such a train wreck, has not delivered on ANY of it’s promised goals and has caused over 4 million people to lose their healthcare policies.

        • Don_B1

          Well, the train is still on the tracks and gathering speed as it brings its passengers to their desired destination.

          Those that have tried their hardest to claim it will not make it are soon to have egg all over their faces. What a waste of eggs!

          • Coastghost

            Don: MILLIONS MORE have LOST health insurance coverage than have GAINED it through Obamafraud.
            The wheels on the engine may yet be spinning, but this train ain’t movin’.

          • pete18

            Those tracks have been heading in the opposite direction of the promised “promised land” for quite awhile and they
            continue over the edge of a cliff.

            I do admire your blind optimism though, it’s the same vision that believed the cost curves would be “bending down,” “If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor,” “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits now or in the future,” and most infamously, “If you like your plan you can keep your plan.”

    • OnPointComments

      Could anyone in private business fail as spectacularly as Kathleen Sebelius and not lose their job?

      • jimino

        Maybe not. But those in private business would walk away with millions as part of their golden parachute. Makes failing and getting fired almost something to look forward to if you’re a CEO in the private sector.

        • Coastghost

          Obama may well see failure and leaving office the same way, he looked pretty worn out through his one-hour presser yesterday.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Likely, it was the NSA who stole the Target data and used the cash it obtained to build a legal defense fund for all of the upcoming court cases coming. I wouldn’t put it past Alexander {NSA} or Clapper {DNI} to run this game.

    Rats of a feather, you know?

    Thanks much. Vietnam-era Draftee/Veteran

  • Yaron Shragai

    Probably the reason we don’t have the chipped credit cards is that there is a contingent in the US that is paranoid about having chips with identifying information on their credit cards – much harder for the big bad gov’t to track you via pen&paper signatures…

  • Labropotes

    This is funny right? When they count GDP, they count the cost of gasoline. When they count inflation, they exclude it.

    • Don_B1

      Food and energy prices are highly volatile, so their inclusion in the Core Inflation Rate would make all the adjustments built into contracts, etc. difficult and not reflective of what is happening in the actual economy over time.

      But trends in each of those categories influences prices in the rest of the economy in a smoothed-out way that does include their effect on inflation over time. So they are really not “left out.”

      • Labropotes

        Inflation delayed is inflation denied. Just gasoline spending is about 9% of household spending. So if gas prices double in 5 years, as they have, families are being crushed. Statistics in the USA are massaged beyond meaning, and that serves the political/financial oligarchy well. Everyone but the very privileged feels the disconnect.

  • William

    Bernanke rewarded Wall Street but all those billions have not trickled down to main street.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Don’t worry William, Central Bankers and Technocratic appointees are Well-Meaning, which is much more effective than trickle down. Just trust them.

    • Don_B1

      There does not appear to be a single Republican in Congress that would do anything to change that either.

      But Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat is working to change that against a uniform opposition from the Republicans and from some in the Democratic Party.

  • JBK007

    I will remember Bernanke as the guy who orchestrated the financial collapse, then bailed out all the criminal bankers leaving us taxpayers holding the bag and our hand out because living-wage jobs are not still available in our current economy…..

    • Don_B1

      The path to the banking collapse was “orchestrated” long before Mr. Bernanke was even nominated to the Federal Reserve, by Chairman Alan Greenspan, as he himself admitted before Congress.

      Where Chairman Bernanke failed was in not pushing for requirements that the big banks rewrite mortgages where they had encouraged people to apply for mortgages the mortgagees could not afford. And the banks should have been proscribed from giving out “bonuses” (or pay raises) for two to five years, or, better, until the unemployment rate was back below 6%.

      • JBK007

        Good points Don….I would still contend that Bernanke had to be a player from the beginning to be allowed to eventually sit at the head of the orchestra ;) Greenspan, Poulson et al are heads of the cabal.

        Any leverage the Fed or USG had when bailing out the banks was lost when the criminals were allowed to spend some of their scurried away rainy day funds in order to buy and play a get-out-jail-and-remain-free card

        …and then to continue their Vegas-like gambling with our pension funds, because solid regulations have to be put in place…..

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Lets not forget that Central Bank Central Planning created the mess in the first place. Now we pat them on the back for “fixing” it with more debt and inflation, benefitting and hurting the same classes who caused and suffered it in the first place?

    Wow. Just a few years ago and history sufficiently re-written.

  • SherylT

    If you’re afraid of compromising your credit/debit cards, USE CASH! You are hurting small businesses by using cards anyway.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      The best answer is disposable credit cards, I use them on-line often. They cost a buck but that is cheap for peace of mind.

      https://www.greendot.com/greendot

      • SherylT

        Doesn’t solve the problem of what credit card usage does to small businesses.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I don’t see how small or micro business is hurt by credit card usage. Esty is a good example.
          http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/corner-office/etsy-ceo-leading-country-commerce

          • Don_B1

            The comments on the link you referenced don’t seem to support any claim that Esty is good for small “mom and pop” operations.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            But NPR claim it is. And I have received no evidence that reputable small business is harmed by credit cards.

  • Labropotes

    The insurance companies agreed to hold people covered after the Insurance Regulator in Chief, Obama, “strongly encouraged” them to. Read, “Nice company you have here, be a shame if anything were to happen to it.” There is no line between corporations and Washington any more. I’m sure he’ll throw some tax dollars their way to make them happy to live in an orwellian state.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      It has a name. Fascism.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Wow, this extra-legal “tweaking” of Law, being bandied about as fine because it’s “needed”, is alarmingly like the NSA arguments.

    Breathtaking Lawlessness today. Breathtaking.

    Glenn Greenwald/XXXX Paul 2016

    • nj_v2

      Here we go again.

      I was good until “Paul.”

      • Labropotes

        I was with Paul until Colossians 3:22.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Such a ticket would attract more plurality that anything we have seen for decades.

  • stephenreal

    And the Feds are like zero in nine prosecuting these type of cases. Their attorneys suck. I could site a few cases for you like the extremely well known Kirk Wiebe case. Unless Snowden’s legal team is totally incompetent this should be a smack down in court.

    Snowden is gonna walk.

  • NewtonWhale

    So much for the theory that Obama is a Marxist bent on destroying the economy:

    US Economy Expands at 4.1 Percent Rate

    The U.S. economy grew at a solid 4.1 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest pace since late 2011 and significantly higher than previously believed. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/us-economy-expands-41-percent-rate-21287470

    Check out this graph of the S&P 500 since Obama took office:

    • stephenreal

      Thank God for Bernake. The US Congress would had, and tried, to tank the economy several times.

      • Labropotes

        Amen, Lord God, protect us from democracy by placing Your power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats.

        • stephenreal

          Unelected but he is an advocate for the people of the republic and their representatives. As the USA was the first republic in 2000 years.

          • Labropotes

            Now if we could just get Bernanke to appoint someone who will never die, we need never hold another election.

            Seriously, your desire to live like a sheep with a good shepherd is repugnant to me and I hate that we share the same polity.

          • Don_B1

            Anyone who wants to see what would happen without the steadying effect of the Federal Reserve on the volatility of the dollar, consider the high volatility of the BitCoin. Now there, with a BitCoin currency, is something almost worse than Zimbabwe!

          • Labropotes

            These kinds of things are basicly faith. The loss of 98% of its purchasing power over a century is not the kind of stability I like in a currency.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      See Corporatist (fascist) discussion above. I’m not actually suggesting Obama is a fascist (“not wittingly”, as Clapper would say), but I am making the slippery slope argument and expressing hilarity that anyone takes the Fed/Stock Market seriously as a measure of anything real anymore.

      Great for the broke clock right twice a day kind of political points though!

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “Fascist ideology consistently invokes the primacy of the state. Leaders such as Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany embodied the state and claimed undisputable power. Fascism borrowed theories and terminology from socialism…….. Fascism supports what is sometimes called a Third Position between capitalism and Marxist socialism.”

    Wiki

    • stephenreal

      they also got cool uniforms

    • Ray in VT

      “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini

      Fascism has also pretty consistently been tied to conservative social ideology.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Who makes the strongest arguments against Corporatism? Who even uses the term?

        Who practices it? (Hint they use the Capital Letters D and R).

        Actions speak louder than propaganda. We just have to actually know what corporatism is, why its bad, and be looking out for it.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that it is an easy argument that both of the major parties are, to one degree or another, in bed with or doing the bidding of, particular industries or interests.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Lets not forget Hitler rose with Socialist Propoganda. National Socialism.

        Pinning this type of stuff on Establishment Neocon Republicans could be arguable, along with Big Government Mandates-for-your-own-good Democrats, but to try and paint libertarian types with this topic is non-sensical. (Not necessarily you Ray, just anticipating).

        http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/hayeknaziism.html

        Socialist Roots of Nazism

        With Germany/Italy, Socialism/Fascism were in nasty flux, which regardless of which was more in play, ended rather badly.

        • Ray in VT

          National Socialism wasn’t Marxist Socialism, which the Nazis considered to be a creation of the Jews. Fascism, while totalitarian, tended to focus on “traditional” values, a hearkening back to the “good old days”, and an incorporation of existing aristocratic or business elites into the fold.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Tyrannical rulers and their corporate cronies are not going to parse words like this. We can leave that to the historians trying to explain the next dark chapter of human history.

            The overall ideas, and the mechanisms that Classical Liberalism have come up with to prevent them are clear, and historically supported.

            We give up our vigilance and principles at our own peril.

            I’m sure people who said that in earlier historical periods sounded hyperbolic as well.

          • Ray in VT

            Motives, ideas and ideology matter to people both at the time and studying it later. I think that one problem of proponents of libertarianism have is a sort of historical determinism that concludes that the sort of social welfare state that began to evolve in at least the late 19th century will inevitably lead to some sort of totalitarian dystopia. I think that Joseph Stiglitz wrote something about that.

  • reid rhodes

    I had to sign a privacy waiver at the dentist today, the waiver said the NSA could obtain my records! Really, the NSA is in my medical records, wild.

    • http://singingstring.org/ asongbird

      WHAT?!

    • northeaster17

      I guess if you did’nt sign you’d have to find a new dentist. Absolute bull.

      • reid rhodes

        They actually said I didn’t have to sign it, but my apathy kicked in and I signed it, I was just amazed that the NSA had made it into healthcare privacy notices. Maybe my phone bill will have it next month.

        • northeaster17

          Maybe you should give them a call and voice some concern. Make that form disappear.

        • Don_B1

          I think you need to get clarification as to just what that form was about. I doubt it was the NSA, but it could be some company wanting information for some other uses that you may not wish it used for.

          Then again, you might just be fooling with us.

    • Coastghost

      A new Obamafraud protocol, perhaps?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    We dropped our daughter at college in the upper mid-west this last August and came back through Canada. We only needed to stop for gas once, at the cheapest station between Sault Ste Marie and Ontario, no pay at the pump. The lady at the counter was taken aback when the credit card didn’t “read automatically”. She said she had NEVER seen a credit card without a chip.

    So, yes, we are behind Canada both on credit card security and health care.

    • Labropotes

      We are behind Canada in chips big time. I’m calling it the “chip gap.”

      • JGC

        mmmmmmm…More cheese curds, please.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    We agree to user terms with Corporations. Not so with the un-substitutable Government.

    Having said that, I still think we should demand wayyyy more privacy, via Rule of Law, from Corporations we do business with.

    I contract with a business for a product, for a price. The idea that they have the right to further use my information to sell to other people willy nilly is a joke, considering they are well aware we have no idea what they are doing with our info. The phone company can keep my call log if they need it for business, but thats it. I expect that. Nobody in their right mind thinks because the company I do business with has a record of our business, the Government gets automatic access to it.

    This is all madness, mostly because we are distracted consumer lemmings and have in effect given away, by lack of engagement, if not even awareness, of our basic Contitutional Rights, and WHY THEY EVEN MATTER!

    Tyranny? Sure, whatever, pass the iPod and buffalo wings.

  • Labropotes

    I think we should buy no oil from any country that doesn’t allow gay marriage, nor give them the Olympics. That’ll show ‘em.

    • stephenreal

      Too late for that since we just surpassed Iran, saudia arabia and Iraq combined in oil production.

      • Labropotes

        Difference is it cost them $5 to get a barrel out of the ground, and it cost us $85.

        • stephenreal

          well maybe fifteen years ago but that’s like ancient history in the oil technology business

          • Labropotes

            Well maybe you are incorrect. From 2009 in 2008 dollars:

            Oilfields Estimated Production
            /source Costs ($ 2008)
            Mideast/N.Africa oilfields 6 – 28
            Other conventional oilfields 6 – 39
            CO2 enhanced oil recovery 30 – 80
            Deep/ultra-deep-water oilfields 32 – 65
            Enhanced oil recovery 32 – 82
            Arctic oilfields 32 – 100
            Heavy oil/bitumen 32 – 68
            Oil shales 52 – 113
            Gas to liquids 38 – 113
            Coal to liquids 60 – 113

          • Ray in VT

            They still have a lot more of the easy to get at varieties. A bunch of our stuff takes a bit more creativity.

          • stephenreal

            I understand but take into consideration the fact and the reality we produce more oil than anyone on the face of planet.

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262370404172590

            Market economics makes your political position tenuous at best.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Apparently not.

            This from Aug 19, 2013:
            http://business.financialpost.com/2013/08/19/oil-sands-crude-not-as-expensive-to-produce-as-it-used-to-be/

            “The report pegs supply costs for oil sands projects in the range of
            US$50 to US$90 per barrel. That compares to the US$70 to US$90 a barrel
            needed to blast light, sweet crude through underground fissures in North
            Dakota’s Bakken shale, the Eagle Ford play in Texas and Colorado’s
            Niobrara shale, the bank said.”

          • stephenreal

            Canadian oil sands are American? Ok.
            This does not preclude the fact the markets are flooded and awashed in oil. His political point is moot. no doubt in the world of hard cash

            Here’s the latest stats on production homes.
            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/pdf/0383er%282014%29.pdf

            We be breakin all sorts of records up in here.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Everybody like how the Russian and Chinese Benevolent Dictators let a few people go for good optics?

    Coming Soon (came?) to a USA near you. Mandate Waivers?

    • hennorama

      Government_Banking_Serf — one might view recent Presidential Pardons as similar acts, but more for domestic rather than international audiences.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Indeed.

  • http://singingstring.org/ asongbird

    Re: Target ripoff etc. ….The growing trend of stores not requesting or requiring you to sign for purchases is one of the most dangerous, disturbing trends I see in this whole scenario; I make a scene, complain to management, even call the banks about this, but I only see it growing worse. It’s insecure enough as it is…why on earth is this trend growing in the stores? I just don’t get it, and I don’t understand why people aren’t yelling their heads off more about it!

    • Labropotes

      Under US law you are liable for a maximum of $50 of unauthorized charges to you account if you are at fault. No fault, no liability. Plus, credit card banks never seek to collect this $50. 99.94% of charges are legit.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      We need RFID credit cards and debit cards. But the banks are addicted to usury practices…

  • stephenreal

    I like Anthony Romero from the ACLU but he don’t have the mad political and legal skills to handle the Snowden case. Just looking at it as a case study. Personally I hate Snowden.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Can’t the NSA and Target just get together and bring us Retina Scans for crying out loud?!

    Take my freedom and my money, please!

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Don’t even kid about that.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I wish more folks would see it as a sick joke…. I think huge numbers would be fine with it.

  • reid rhodes

    What about our drone strike in Yemen that killed 12 civilians in a wedding convoy? We, the U.S. are perpetrators of violence across the world.

    • dale_dale

      When the blowback comes, we’ll be as dumbfounded and reactionary as we were a decade ago.

  • TFRX

    If you’re worried about Phil Robertson’s free speech, I hope you were furious over what people did to the Dixie Chicks.

    (And I don’t remember duck calls being burned, or death threats, to the former.)

    • northeaster17

      Being a Neo Con means never having to say your sorry

      • TFRX

        Are you referring to Robertson, or his have-it-both-ways defenders?

        I don’t know that he counts as a neo-con, foreign-policy-wise. If “culturecon” or “Valuista” is a word, then maybe that applies.

    • HonestDebate1

      I was in Greenville, SC for their first concert in the States after the remarks. They were great!

  • nj_v2

    Rethuglicon/right-wing/regressive jacka**ery of the week

    Poll: 42% Of Republicans Think Santa Is ‘Verifiably White’

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/poll-42-of-republicans-think-santa-is-verifiably-white

    Megyn Kelly might have been on to something when she proclaimed that “Santa is what he is,” which is white.

    [[ While the American public at large remains split about the shade of Santa's skin -- 32 percent say he is white, while 36 percent say he is not, according to a new poll by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling -- Kelly may find a more receptive audience on Fox News.

    Forty two percent of Republicans believe Santa Claus is not just white but "verifiably white," while 23 percent said he is not, according to the poll. Only 24 percent of Democrats, on the other hand, said he was "verifiably white" while 48 percent said he is not. ]]

    (snipped)

    Not the Onion…
    Boehner Rents Apartment From Tanning Bed Lobbyist

    [[ House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), one of the most bronzed members of Congress, rents his D.C. apartment from a lobbyist for the American Suntanning Association, according to the Daily Caller.John Milne, a lobbyist with the firm mCapitol, which represents the American Suntanning Association, reportedly lobbies on issues that the Speaker works on.

    Boehner has also accepted campaign contributions from the Indoor Tanning Association, according to the Daily Caller. ]]

    (snipped)

    North Carolina Home Schools to Get Public School Money

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/north-carolina-home-schools-public-vouchers

    [[ In July, the increasingly right-wing legislature in North Carolina passed a bill to divert $10 million from the public school budget to create vouchers that would give low-income students up to $4,200 a year to pay for private school tuition. Such vouchers are a popular conservative proposal for "reforming" failing public schools.

    North Carolina's vouchers, which will become available in 2014, allow public money to go to unregulated private schools that are not required to meet any educational or teacher preparation standards. In addition, thanks to the way the law was written, the money will be available to "home schools"—literally schools set up in someone's house. Homeschooling traditionally has been done by parents. But the state recently changed its home schooling law to allow people who aren't parents or legal guardians educate kids in a group setting. The only requirement for such schools is that the teacher have a high school diploma, that the school keep immunization and attendance records on its students, and that it give kids a national standardized test every year. ]]

    (snipped)

    For First Time, Anti-Terrorism Law Used to Have Americans Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline Arrested

    http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/12/17/for-first-time-anti-terrorism-law-used-to-have-americans-protesting-keystone-xl-pipeline-arrested/

    [[ A demonstration against Devon Energy and the company’s role in fracking and tar sands mining, including the Keystone XL pipeline, ended with four individuals being placed under arrest last week. Two of them were arrested by police on the basis that they had violated an Oklahoma anti-terrorism law prohibiting “terrorism hoaxes.”

    It is strongly suspected that this happened as a result of advice that TransCanada has been giving local law enforcement in states, where protests against the Keystone XL pipeline have been taking place. They have been meeting with law enforcement and suggesting how terrorism laws could be applied to stop citizens from protesting the corporation’s activities.A demonstration against Devon Energy and the company’s role in fracking and tar sands mining, including the Keystone XL pipeline, ended with four individuals being placed under arrest last week. Two of them were arrested by police on the basis that they had violated an Oklahoma anti-terrorism law prohibiting “terrorism hoaxes.”…

  • Coastghost

    NO, Mr. Monroe: A&E was pleased to associate itself with Duck Dynasty, until–

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Christ, Family and Beards? How dare she mutter the C word. That caller should be NSA’d and thrown in jail! At least an IRS audit.

    -Atheist

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      While we’re at it, can we stop using the word/idea “family”? Its so…… 1700′s!

      We need RFIDs, Retina Scans, NSA body chips and more Test Tube babies. And just a little SOMA.

  • Ray in VT

    Somewhat related to Mr. Robertson’s comments: New Mexico Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage constitutional, saying in part that “Prohibiting same-gender marriages is not substantially related to the
    governmental interests advanced by the parties opposing same-gender
    marriage or to the purposes we have identified. Therefore, barring
    individuals from marrying and depriving them of the rights, protections,
    and responsibilities of civil marriage solely because of their sexual
    orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause under Article II,
    Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution. We hold that the State of New
    Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to
    marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and
    responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/new-mexico-gay-marriage_n_4474507.html

    • Coastghost

      Related to this: the Navajo Nation claims its own statute(s) prohibiting homosexual marriage stand, regardless of the ruling from the NMSC.

      • Ray in VT

        Native American tribes do get to make some of their own rules.

        • Coastghost

          At least as long as the Dept. of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs say they can.

  • Mike

    Are we the ChiComms or the Saudis? Are Christians supposed to have their faith ONLY if they keep it private? What about double standards? Consider the shows and personalities they do support, produce and promote. Now those views and values are OK but Biblicaly grounded values are not? Saying one is 5 foot tall is not “judging” saying one has long hair is not “judging”. It just is. Christians know the rules, know the laws, we know sin. We all sin, each and every one of us. We can point it out and call it what it is, that isn’t judging. We are not the judge. We need to be the light that attracts.

    • Don_B1

      People are responsible for their interpretation of the Bible. The Bible has been used to support any number of discriminatory actions, including slavery.

      Do you think that someone advocating the return to slavery because the Bible says it is just, or even OK, should be accepted as a valid subject for adoption by any country? Many today think that thoughts that generate gratuitous insults or discrimination against classes of individuals should be called out. But no one are calling for jailing people who advocate harmful actions such as these, unless they take steps to make the actions happen.

      • Mike

        So, should Christians be allowed to share their view publicly without fear of persecution?

      • Mike

        I am sorry you feel that way. The Bible, taken in its entirety is clear and sound. You must read with an open mind and look at the entire body of work. When you do – the fog lifts.

  • TFRX

    No time for FoxBlonde’s “Santa is white” and her apology*?

    *”I can see by everyone’ stunned reaction and uneasy silence that I was just kidding.”

    She got off light. Maybe On The Media will cover it.

    • Ray in VT

      The Daily Show has had some pretty good fun on this.

    • OnPointComments

      What color is Kwanzaa Claus?

      • jefe68

        What color is inanity claus?

        • TFRX

          There ain’t no inanity clause.

          (adapted from Chico)

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I’m not sure but the Grinch is Green…

          • jefe68

            What a maroon.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Merry Christmas.

    • OnPointComments

      I found it mildly amusing that the article from Slate (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/holidays/2013/12/santa_claus_an_old_white_man_not_anymore_meet_santa_the_penguin_a_new_christmas.html ) that prompted the Santa discussion has this correction at the end of the article:
      Correction, Dec. 10, 2013: This article originally misidentified penguins as mammals. They are birds.

      I can just imagine those who fret over White Santa sending out photographers to document the mother penguin suckling her chicks.

      • TFRX

        It’s not “fret over White Santa”.

        It’s “some idiot says this with all the certainty like water is wet“, then half-asses her way into I was kidding territory because she has overstepped even what normal people will put up with from Fox.

        So many Fox idiots sound just like the SNL skit “Drunk Uncle”, then show up “apologizing” later. If anything, it’s fretting over a mediascape where morons like that get to do that, and no matter what they do, some jagoff like Hannity or Limbaugh or Weiner-Savage has their back.

        • Ray in VT

          I love Drunk Uncle.

        • Coastghost

          You make Fox idiots and SNL skitsters sound a lot like defenders of Obamafraud . . .

  • Ray in VT

    Wait, what? Polygamy’s legal in Utah again? Cohabitation is now legal in Utah, and people can claim that they are married, so I guess that in that sense it is legal, or at least decriminalized, but one can’t legally marry multiple people:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/things-ruling-utah-bigamy-law-21238000

    • Labropotes

      Quick, someone adjust our unfunded SocSec Trust Fund for the new survivor benefits.

    • TFRX

      “But that’s bigamy!”

      “That’s big of me too. That’s big of all of us.”

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT – this was followed by another surprising ruling out of Utah:

      Headline: ‘Judge strikes down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional’

      FTA:

      “A federal judge struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings an increasing nationwide shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.

      “U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling saying Utah’s law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

      “Shelby said the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.

      “In the absence of such evidence, the State’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens,” Shelby wrote.

      AND

      “The Salt Lake County clerk’s office started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Deputy Clerk Dahnelle Burton-Lee said the district attorney authorized her office to begin issuing the licenses but she couldn’t immediately say how many have been issued so far.”

      See:
      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/21/judge-strikes-down-utah-same-sex-marriage-ban-as-unconstitutional/

      And there’s this, from cnn.com:

      Headline: ‘In Utah, judge’s ruling ignites same-sex marriage frenzy’

      FTA:

      “It was joyful mayhem Friday night in the county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City, Utah, after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law “conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law.”

      “I proposed to my partner of 27 years in June, but I said, ‘We’re not going to get married until we can get married in Utah,” state Sen. Jim Dabakis, who is openly gay, told CNN.

      “He said, ‘So, that’s just an excuse never to get married.’”

      “Not so. As soon as the judge’s ruling was reported, “We ran down here,” Dabakis said as he surveyed the crowd. “It’s a madhouse down here. There’s hundreds of people, wedding certificates are being issued, there’s marriages taking place all over the hallways. Everybody’s embracing. It’s just a warm, wonderful moment in the state of Utah.”

      “In striking down the state law, which voters had approved in 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby wrote in a 53-page ruling that the state’s “current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.

      “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional,” he said.

      See:
      http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/20/justice/utah-same-sex-marriage-ruling/

  • Walt

    Billie Jean King to Russia? That’s kind of like the Taliban entering a float in a 4th of July parade!

    • hennorama

      Walt — the unsubtle message to Putin is this:

  • Ray in VT

    I read this regarding the judge in the “affluenza” case:

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/12/18/affluenza-judge-poor-black-kid-sentence/

    Would someone care to make the case that race is not potentially a factor, when the 15 year old whose actions killed 4 people got far less time than the 14 year old, whose actions killed 1 person.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      It’s fairly clear that race had no bearing. However, money clearly did.

      The sentence included two years at a $450K/year school in CA for the kid. Also, the parents are barred from contact since they were deemed by the judge to be root cause.

      Have you seen any defense of the judge’s ruling? I haven’t.

      • Ray in VT

        I’m not so sure that a poor white defendant would have received such a punishment so disparate.

      • Labropotes

        A judge’s whole job is to conduct the trial and mete out equitable justice. She failed. What makes you say that it’s fairly clear that race had no bearing. Is it an assumption?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Yes, I probably should have said there is no evidence race bias this case. Race was not involved in this case.

          To charge racism you would have to have a similar case with an affluent minority defendant with the same judge and see if you had a different result.

          I’m not saying there isn’t racial bias in the judicial system but I just don’t see this as the poster child for that charge.

      • John Cedar

        You are wrong about race not being a potential factor. There is ample evidence, that if the victims had been black, the perpetrator would have been prosecuted with much more vigor by our justice system. While the MSM and the POTUS would convict him in the court of public opinion before all the facts were known, and other famous blacks would try to publish the address of the parents and suggest vigilante justice, with impunity.

  • Ray in VT

    “According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over
    land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was the highest for November
    since record keeping began in 1880.”

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/ncdc-releases-november-2013-global-climate-report

    • Coastghost

      According to NASA remote sensing, the coldest temperature ever measured on Earth was recorded in Antarctica in August 2010.

      • nj_v2

        So?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      These are land surface results. The ‘warmth’ is due to the so-called, “Russian hot-spot” land temperature records.

      What is interesting is the November satellite measurements are nowhere near a record.

      UAH Nov 2013 9th warmest Nov (0.20 C cooler than warmest Nov.)
      RSS Nov 2013 16th warmest Nov (0.22 C cooler than warmest Nov.)

      Compare this satellite map to the one you linked.
      http://nsstc.uah.edu/climate/2013/november/November-2013-map.jpg

      It will be interesting to find out the scientific reasons for this major discrepancy.

      • Ray in VT

        Land and ocean. Regarding the satellite data, I would also be interested to know what standards are used, as some methods have been shown to be off in their measurements, and adjustments have been made accordingly.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Are you curious about the Russian temperature standards too? Apparently, this russian hotspot has been coming and going since 1990. Also, with the November 2013 reading 40% of the Russian data was missing. Perhaps it doesn’t change anything but …

          http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/map-land-sfc-mntp/201311.gif

          • Ray in VT

            Are you assuming that they do not take such contingencies and considerations into account when putting together such reports?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Maybe that is why NOAA issues a disclaimer saying the report is preliminary and subject to change.

            “Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed.”

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. Like employment figures. Maybe that will change some ranking. We’ll see.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        LOL!!!

        3 down votes for scientific data.
        Must have been from deniers of science.

        • Don_B1

          More likely for bad, faulty interpretation of a scientific result.

          Dr. John Christy has a long record of misrepresenting scientific data or performing transformations that misrepresent it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Source for your attack on the data and the good Dr. ?

            Also, is the chart I posted attributed to Dr. Christy?

            Also, apparently the government disagrees with you since they continue to fund his research.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      FTA:
      The IPCC report obliquely refers to an August study in the journal Nature Climate Change finding that the observed rate of warming during the last 20 years was half of what a representative sample of the models relied upon by the IPCC projected. Looking at just the last 15 years, the models were four times hotter than the actual trend in the average global temperature.

      http://reason.com/archives/2013/12/18/ugly-climate-models

  • TFRX

    A media crit with a much better record than Politifact, and doesn’t need to impress Jake Tapper, or Politico, has its year in review.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “media crit” or hack?

      My response to picking the 60 Minutes Benghazi errors as the top whopper:

      What difference did it make #4deadAmericans

      • TFRX

        It gave every Fake Fox journo a stiffie and made them run around saying “See we told you.”

        Then when the half-assed 90 second retraction was made by CBS, the right wing media machine didn’t change a thing. They doubled down on their wrong.

        Go home, troll.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Gee, the news reports I saw on Fox say that they spoke the 60 Minutes source a year earlier and decided NOT to use him.

          I’d say Fox came out looking pretty good.

          But I guess that doesn’t fit your narrative so you ignore it.

        • HonestDebate1

          It was the video, right?

      • JGC

        Not a hack! I just saw this was from the Poynter Institute, which is at the forefront of journalistic ethics.

        The person at the head of the Poynter Institute for many years, was Eugene Patterson, Pulitzer Prize winner while at the Atlanta Constitution Journal, and briefly at the Washington Post and the moral force that pressed publishing the Pentagon Papers when the NYTimes was being threatened by the Nixon White House, and finally at the Tampa Bay (St.Petersburg) Times, where his journalistic excellence continued. He was such a stickler for truth and ethics in the newspaper industry, that when he was pulled over for drunk driving, and his staff was unsure on how to proceed, he insisted they publish the entire incident as both the truth and as an example.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Lol …forefront of journalistic ethics. LOL

          • JGC

            theamericanconservative.com/mccarthy/conservatives-have-an-ethics-problem-not-a-news-problem

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thanks for the suggestion Mr. McCarthy isn’t a writer I pay much attention to.

          • JGC

            .

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Perhaps ‘hack’ was a bit too harsh. I had missed that his piece was for ‘media errors’.

          However, I disagree with his selection based on his own criteria. The 60 Minutes error was large but it had no impact on anything except 60 Minute’s reputation.

          Clearly the Boston bag bomber story ( his runner-up) had much more impact since it led to the arrest of innocent folks.

          • JGC

            I agree with your reasoning that the Boston bag bomber story had more horrific impact because of the possibly harmful outcome that could have befallen the two men (with the outraged public potentially meting out their own brand of justice against them.)

            Maybe Poynter put the Benghazi piece at the top because CBS News would presumably have a higher ethical reporting standard than the New York Post. Just guessing.

          • Don_B1

            Exactly!

            People certainly called attention to the Post’s glaring error, but as soon as the word got out, it was widely dismissed because, like so many right-wing promoting scandal sheets, it was forgotten as “the Post just being the Post.”

          • JGC

            Even the National Enquirer has its moments of reporting the truth. But it is another leap for the audience to get past the reputation, when trying to digest the source of the infomation, right?

            Rupert Murdoch has all his niches for getting out his message: the supposedly low-brow NYPost tabloid to reach the broader newspaper reading audience, the Wall Street Journal for the business class, and FOX News to reach the mainstream conservative television audience. In the end, it is all the messaging system of one financially powerful person shaping almost half of the American news audience: Rupert Murdoch.

  • TFRX

    “Didn’t do any Homework” Department: Listening to Upchuck Todd admit to all the WHPC that he doesn’t know the first thing about healthcare coverage i nthe real world.

    I guess that’s the price one pays for being part of a community as inbred as the Hapsburgs.

    • HonestDebate1

      “Upchuck Todd” is Rush’s pet name. Since I know you didn’t hear it there, I’ll chalk it up to great minds thinking alike.

  • Buster1

    The biggest Media biff is reporting that Gary Gensler as a hero of financial reform the man missed 55 trillion swaps market he had no idea it even existed. 55 Trillion is more than the worlds entire GDP I guess it was hiding in a musty box in the back yard and Gary just couldn’t figure out where it was Maybe the map was up side down or he couldnt get it on blues clues. Gives a whole new meaning to CFTC oversight. Mr Magoo ie Gensler regulating.

  • jefe68

    This is the only show with the word Duck in it that I ever watched…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-k5J4RxQdE

    • jefe68

      What’s a’relevant starts at about .58 of Duck Soup…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td3p2XKHP2M

      • JGC

        You make me smile!

        Oh wow, funny coincidence! I am looking at the display of other clips at the end of the Duck Soup clip (bottom row, far left): Is that Duck Commander Phil with Osama bin Laden??!!!

        Can you see it?

  • JGC

    I wonder what Duck Commander Phil Robertson has to say about polygamy and sister wives?

    Tom, can you book him as a commentator for the Monday show?

    • hennorama

      JGC — don’t forget about:

      The Amish and their “Mafia”
      The Amish and their “Breaking”
      Gold seekers in Alaska and elsewhere
      Men and their Axes, especially those in Louisiana swamps
      Hell, and its Kitchen
      Boo boo, Honey, and Bear (Grylls)
      Hands, and Hillbillies who fish with them

      Stopping now, as this list is insanely long.

      See:
      http://www.realitytvworld.com/realitytvworld/allshows.shtml

      • JGC

        I have seen “Honey Boo Boo”, but that is just depressing and makes me uncomfortable, because I feel like I am being encouraged to laugh at these people. The Gordon Ramsay shows are fun. Haven’t seen (or even heard) of many of these others.

        A&E should have a “Duck Dynasty” special where the Robertsons are all seated around the kitchen table, discussing the fallout from Phil’s GQ interview, and during the hour, people like Vance McAllister and Sarah Palin “drop by” to offer their support or insights.

        • HonestDebate1

          A ratings bonanza!

          • 1Brett1

            Then, on the Monday morning On Point debriefing of the “Very Special Palin- Krauthammer Duck Dynasty” episode, we could listen with rapt attention about your opinions about how brilliant/what a class act Palin was…

          • HonestDebate1

            She is a class act but you don’t need me to tell you that. It’s pretty obvious.

        • hennorama

          JGC – thank you for your response.

          My post presumed you were referring to the reality show “Sister Wives,” ergo my reality show premise/title riff.

          Your “coffee klatch” concept is an interesting and subversive idea, making it highly unlikely to occur on a “reality” show.

          Perhaps they should instead all go on a hunting/blowing stuff up tour of Louisiana.

          Do they make camouflage outfits with shoulder pads? If not, Mr. Krauthammer might not tag along, as he clearly has a sartorial fetish for them.

          No doubt Mrs. Palin would be comfortable firing off a few rounds, and she has no aversion to “targeting” various people, animals and things. Plus, she already knows the DD folks.

          As to Rep. McAllister — he ran on a checklist of issues, including that “…Vance will stand strong for the 2nd Amendment…” so he might also enjoy such an excursion.

          Perhaps they could also discuss the fact that, as Matt Pearce pointed out recently on latimes.com, that

          “Sodomy, meantime, is still technically a crime in Louisiana. State law allows a punishment of up to five years in prison for perpetrating a “crime against nature,” as the statute calls it. The statute isn’t really supposed to be functional anymore; the Supreme Court in 2003 struck down anti-sodomy laws across the U.S.

          “But the state has not come along willingly. The legislature never got around to stripping the law off the books, so it still reads as graphically as some of Robertson’s comments to GQ: “Crime against nature is the unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex. … Emission is not necessary; and, when committed by a human being with another, the use of the genital organ of one of the offenders of whatever sex is sufficient to constitute the crime.”

          “Some Louisiana police, too, have still been enforcing the law: A Baton Rouge Advocate investigation published in July revealed that the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s office had arrested at least a dozen people under the anti-sodomy law since 2011.

          “The local prosecutor refused to pursue the cases, but the sheriff’s office was not repentent.

          “This is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson told the Advocate at the time. “Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”

          Perhaps they could swing through East Baton Rouge parish on their tour, and Mr. Robertson could “bump into” the sheriff, for a little tête-à-tête.

          Sources:
          http://www.mcallisterforcongress.com/

          http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-pn-duck-dynasty-louisiana-gay-sex-20131219,0,5552156.story#ixzz2o8aythVh

          • 1Brett1

            Excellent “treatment”! Perhaps you and JGC could pitch this to A&E executives. Then, later, they could publicly distance themselves after everyone has made a pant-load of money!

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — thanks for your very kind words.

            I’d add that they could visit the state capitol steps, all carrying their firearms, to discuss both Louisiana’s anti-sodomy statute, as well as Louisiana’s open carry of firearms provisions, and why they aren’t allowed to carry inside the capitol itself.

            That would allow a twofer discussion of both the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and how anyone should be able to say and shoot anything they like, everywhere and anywhere.

            Oh yeah, it would need to be a Live Special, so that those damn editors at the network couldn’t censor the Robertsons and their guests.

            No doubt Disney and Hearst (who co-own A&E) would love the ratings. And if they don’t want to do it, there’s always the Fox Entertainment Group, Inc.

          • 1Brett1

            …you know, I’m sitting here, and for the life of me I can’t understand why Louisiana wouldn’t just find some way to combine the anti-sodomy law AND the open carry law into one complete law; I’m envisioning, oh, say, a kind of “stand-your-ground-against-sodomy” law designed for the righteous, Christian person to root out and eradicate any potential antecedent of a sinful act in close proximity to his/her sanctimoniously personal space. (They could even employ the ten-foot pole rule!)

            The earnest George Zimmerman’s of the world could then call police and say they “see someone up to no good, looking like he’s reaching to pull down his pants/commit sodomy.” Then neocons could say how they too have been afraid when they see someone who looks like they’re getting ready to commit sodomy. Then On Point neocon commentators could produce some report of an incident where a group of sodomites wilded along some town’s streets and committed violence against righteous citizens, which could then be used as an example of how those who would commit sodomy are more likely to commit violent crimes; of course, then would come a huge denial that anybody is doing any stereotyping of a whole group of people based on the behaviors of a few, but that those who would commit sodomy DO actually commit more violent crimes, as a ubiquitous double-down move…

          • hennorama

            One imagines the lovely folks at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at work on just such an idea, as a sort of Christmas Gift to the state.

          • HonestDebate1

            You just make up your own little world don’t you. That’s fine but it really is disrespectful to those you claim to have in your best interest.

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, now, you’re just pissy because you know I’m poking fun at you and you haven’t any witty zinger loaded up as a retort; then, again, wit isn’t something anyone would consider as your strong suit.

            By the way, who are these people you say I claim to have in my best interest? And, when did I claim this? …talk about making up some imaginary world…

            I do have to give you the proverbial tip-o’-the-hat, though, HD; you’re nothing if not amusing. Thanks for the laughs…well, they are more like faint chortles, but you get the idea.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not really. I just think about how you view things or imagine your manufactured mindless glee as you pretend to be smart and it makes me sad. That’s all.

          • 1Brett1

            Now you are telling me what I think and are convinced you know what motivates me to express what I do.

            No, you don’t know what I think regarding any of that.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes I do.

          • 1Brett1

            Now, now, Just because a law states that an act is a “Crime against nature [and] is the unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex.” it doesn’t mean the law condemns the human beings committing that act.

        • 1Brett1

          Brilliant!

    • HonestDebate1

      Wouldn’t that be awesome? If Tom can pull that one off I’ll be impressed.

    • TFRX

      Nope. PublicRadioPolite is exactly the wrong thing for a guest like Robertson. It’ll be a waste of an hour.

  • pete18

    Obama Repeals Obamacare

    “So merry Christmas. If ObamaCare’s benefit and income redistribution requirements made your old, cheaper, better health plan illegal, you now have the option of going without coverage without the government taking your money as punishment. You can also claim the tautological consolation of an ObamaCare hardship exemption due to ObamaCare itself.

    Mr. Obama is doing through executive fiat what Republicans shut down the government to get him to do.

    The President declared at his Friday press conference that the exemptions “don’t go to the core of the law,” but in fact they belong to his larger pattern of suspending the law on his own administrative whim. Earlier this month he ordered insurers to backdate policies to compensate for the federal exchange meltdown, and before that HHS declared that it
    would not enforce for a year the mandates responsible for policy cancellations. Mr. Obama’s team has also by fiat abandoned the small-business exchanges, delayed the employer mandate and scaled back income verification.

    “The basic structure of that law is working, despite all the problems,” Mr. Obama added. His make-it-up-as-he-goes improvisation will continue, because the law is failing.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304367204579270252042143502

    • JGC

      In my mind’s eye, I see you wearing the “Winter Wimsy” Hoodie-Footie and sipping a hot cocoa while you think about Obamacare.

      • pete18

        Now I can see why the Obama team thought “Pajama boy” would be the image that would attract people to sign up, it’s the dreamy, repressed symbolism of the left.

  • davecm

    Concerning Duck Commander Phil Robertson

    He had more people back him in 24 hrs. for his beliefs,
    than Obama had sign up for his belief (Obamacare) in three months!
    Maybe there is still hope for America!

    • HonestDebate1

      Flyover America does not get the hate. Mr. Robertson didn’t attack anyone. He expressed an opinion in graphic terms that is as basic as it gets and he is treated like the devil. It’s bizarre.

      • 1Brett1

        “Flyover America”? Please, that’s just another pseudo-clever, oblique way to describe Americans in divisive terms of “un-Americans” vs. “Real Americans” that your lot likes to throw around…I’d say that Mr. Duck got a healthy helping of criticism for his remarks as much as he got support, but I guess “real ‘Mercans” support him, so that’s what matters, in your view? What nonsense…By the way, Duck Daddy has decided to pick and choose which passages in the Bible he arbitrarily wishes to honor, I guess: Leviticus 10:16 (Do not let your hair become unkempt), as far as that goes, he’s said, “to hell with the Bible; I’m not honoring that.”

        • hennorama

          1Brett1 — pssst … it’s Leviticus 10:6 (NIV).

          Please do not mistake me for a Biblical scholar, but it appears that Mr. Robertson was paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) in some of what he said in GQ:

          “(9) Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

          and that he might have decided to, as you wrote, effectively say “to hell with the Bible; I’m not honoring that” as to later parts of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, such as 1 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV):

          “Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,”

          as well as various other Bible passages that discuss one’s hair (and beard).

          No doubt some more habitual Bible readers will regard this as no big deal, but if one says ““We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” then it would seem that such seeming contradictions are fair game.

          Sources:
          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/20/does-phil-robertson-get-the-bible-wrong/?hpt=hp_c2
          http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/11.htm
          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011&version=NIV
          http://protheist.com/blog/homosexuality-hair-length
          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/21/my-take-bible-condemns-a-lot-so-why-focus-on-homosexuality/
          http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2oDWMCCCq

          • 1Brett1

            Thanks, hennorama, I fixed it…That Leviticus 10:6 is one hell-fire sounding piece of vengeance! I guess if I don’t brush my hair this morning I run the risk of endangering my neighbors! …Man, I’d better get at it; I don’t want God angry! Also, I accidentally tore my pocket this morning…Jeesh, now I really am in trouble!

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            This is a non-sequitur, I realize, but what the hell?….

            I want your opinion on something:

            Would you read for me, please, the Very Top front page article in Saturday’s Boston Globe (yesterday).

            I want your opinion on it.

            Knowing you, you might `Grok’ it, right away.. But, admittedly, the story has some convolution to it–and it leaves out some pertinent information.

            So you might have to peruse it, a couple of times–before it sinks in.

            Now, I realize that I might have jumped to the wrong conclusion, about the article. From my way of thinking, the thrust of the article may not be unbelievable–but it is not far away from it.

            And, although this does not pertain to anything that has ever happened in my life, I know of incident after incident, of related stores that have occurred, with ramifications–that, at least symbolically, are similar.

            It’s a potential outrage.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — the BG is behind a pay wall; perhaps you can “read me into” the article a bit so I can view it or similar reporting elsewhere.

          • brettearle

            key words for Google:

            Children’s Hospital

            Pelletier

            Dr. Korson

          • hennorama

            brettearle – oops! I misread the BG’s subscription solicitation as a prohibition.

            I had read or heard about the Pelletiers’ plight previously, and it reminded me a bit of the circumstances where Native American children were alleged to have been “kidnapped” by the state of South Dakota.

            The prior reports in the Boston Globe, which discussed the case and its background in greater detail, do indeed leave out the answer to one very important question that is always involved in health care:

            Who is benefiting financially from this case?

            According to dailymail.co.uk, the father “Lou … believes Massachusetts taxpayers will ultimately pick up the million dollar-plus medical costs for Justina’s care.” This implies a HUGE bill from Children’s Hospital, of about $100,000 per month.

            See:
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513257/Shock-decline-Justina-Pelletier-kidnapped-doctors-use-guinea-pig.html#ixzz2oF2CknG7

            What seems most outrageous is that the staff at Children’s Hospital took these actions without the child ever having been seen “by her longtime gastroenterologist, who had recently moved from Tufts to Children’s,” and also without consulting her specialist at Tufts, Dr. Mark Korson.

            It also seems logical that the diagnostic disagreement involved in this child’s case, between Dr. Korson’s working diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, and Children’s staff diagnosis of somatoform disorder, should be resolved by the health care professionals through consultation rather than conflict.

            The parents are being accused of “medical child abuse,” formerly known as Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS). One must weigh the fact that similar allegations against the parents had previously been made in Connecticut, and ultimately dismissed.

            Add to this the fact that the oldest child of these parents, now aged 25, had the same diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, and was treated by Dr. Korson.

            One imagines that evidence of “medical child abuse” would be borne out in the medical records of the siblings as well. There is significant indication that there might be such evidence in Justina’s case, as the BG article says “The Pelletiers had butted heads with other doctors in Connecticut — Justina’s pediatrician there would accuse them of doctor-shopping and “firing” multiple providers.”

            It’s pretty clear that the judicial system will be the final arbiter. Children’s Hospital is in a difficult position of trying to be an advocate for the patient, and since the patient is a minor, they have to act using their best judgment, even if that conflicts with both the patient’s wishes and thoseof her parents. For Children’s, erring on the safe side seems the better course of action.

            Regardless of the outcome, the child is a victim. The best result for everyone would be her recovery, and I certainly hope that comes to pass.

          • brettearle

            I subscribe to the Globe–so I am allowed to enter its comment areas and participate.

            As I expected, we’re seeing parents describing their own similar horror stories at Children’s–wherein, I highly suspect, are examples of Mothers and Fathers, who are much less contentious than the Pelletiers.

            The pathological backlash to Munchausen was identified in a “New Yorker” article, some years back–wherein accurate medical diagnoses were being neglected by MDs, out of deference to dysfunctional crusades, resulting in the misevaluation of the psychiatric conditions of some mothers.

            These examples of zealotry resulted in, apparently, provable deaths (not from inflicted injury).

            I much appreciate you taking the time to give me a quality analysis and summary.

            I am quite troubled by this story.

            Boston has so much to answer for–in a way that you would believe and in a way that you wouldn’t.

            And while it might seem unfair for me to condemn a city for 1 Institution’s Ethical Lapses–especially when I may be unfairly prejudging (partially based on what you have uncovered)–I can assure you of this:

            The dark underbelly of this Yankee and Crucible city–beyond 9/11; beyond the Boston Marathon; beyond the Church Scandal; and beyond the earlier tradition of Red Sox racism–is very much Alive and very much Well, here.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — this and similar stories are indeed troubling, from both sides. It may even be true that all the parties are at least partially right.

            As to Boston — it’s an old city, with plenty of sacred cows, closet skeletons, and deeply embedded powers that be.

            Not to mention cow paths masquerading as streets.

          • brettearle
          • hennorama

            Dude. You’re #1. What’s your friggin’ prolem?

            It a pissah.

          • HonestDebate1

            Jesus had long hair too.

          • jefe68

            How do you know? Based on what 16th century paintings?

          • HonestDebate1

            Mine’s on velvet.

          • jefe68

            That figures. Next to Elvis no doubt.

          • HonestDebate1

            No silly, it’s next to the poker playing dogs.

          • 1Brett1

            Just goes to show that the Bible is to be taken with a grain of salt and one should be careful in citing the Bible for the best way to live one’s life.

            Also, there is no historically account of what Jesus looked like, so you can probably take down that velvet painting of him you got at the gas station last year; it won’t get you into heaven any quicker, no matter what the Phil Robertson’s of the world might say.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — Assuming that the lives and deaths of Jesus and Paul the Apostle were as described by Christians and others, not only is there “no historically [sic] account of what Jesus looked like,” there’s the very simple fact that Paul’s letters were written about 20 years after the death of Jesus.

            This makes it quite unlikely that a corporeal Jesus would have read Paul’s admonitions from his letters.

            Again, please don’t mistake me for a Biblical scholar, but I am pretty good at arithmetic.

        • HonestDebate1

          This just in, the capitalism bashing “Man of the Year” believes gay sex is a sin but he’s still the left’s new darling.

          • jefe68

            Wow, you really do like trolling on the bottom of mucksville. There’s a huge difference between the Pope and Duckster the Huckster.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not in their views on gay sex and abortion there isn’t. Although my guess is Phil doesn’t oppose contraception like the Pope does.

          • 1Brett1

            If it’s “just in” why did you make this very same inane remark three days ago?

            Look, Gregg, all this shows is that you will strain so hard when making your stupid frames for your stupid arguments.

            Let’s say the Pope is some kind of darling to the left (however lacking of nuance that sentiment is) for being more moderate than his predecessors have been. So what?

            What’s your point? That the Pope’s view of sin and Phil’s view are similar? Whoopty-doo! That liberals are more tolerant of the Pope’s views on homosexuality than Phil’s? That they agree with the Pope about viewing the poor so they are blind to his other opinions? And in your fairness barometer you feel some something foul is afoot?

            People can’t agree with someone on one issue and disagree with him on another, even if he is the Pope? WHat, exactly, specifically, are you accusing “the left” of here?

          • HonestDebate1

            My point is the left will embrace anything, including the Pope whom they vehemently disagree with, if capitalism is bashed. Otherwise they get the Phil treatment.

      • 1Brett1

        So, people who are disgusted (to borrow your words) by what Phil Robertson said “hate” him? …I suppose you want a pass for your expressed feelings about homosexuality, you want a pass for Mr. Duck Dynasty, but those who would be critical of Mr. Robertson’s words are haters? Nice way to make your ilk smell better and demonize the opposing viewpoint.

        You’ve distilled this whole thing down into haters who demonize vs. those who are just stating an honest opinion of obvious truisms. Maybe a neocon of davecm’s mentality might be impressed…

        • HonestDebate1

          Mr. Robertson took a position but his position is not being attacked, he is. That’s the difference.

          It’s the same with you. I have criticized your position but I have not criticized you. Your main point is I am a bigot and homophobe, That Phil is intolerant and hateful. None of that is true but this is what we’ve become. This is why we can’t move discourse forward. I’m not going to be lectured to by you.

          And what is the basis for these judgements of yours? What position are you tacitly left with to defend? I am a bigoted, intolerant homophobe because I believe the male species prefers a vajajay to a man’s bung. That is not to say anything at all negative about gays. It is not hateful. It is correct. It is the normal dynamic of humanity. This cannot be argued yet you are trying to tell me I’m a bigot because I don’t see the orifices as interchangeable willy nilly. So you hate.

          • brettearle

            How would you feel if Religion didn’t condemn Homosexuality?

          • HonestDebate1

            No different. I don’t agree with religious dogma on homosexuality. I would rather no one condemn it.

          • 1Brett1

            But you agree with Phil Robertson’s fundamentalist religious dogma on homosexuality? Jeesh, you are talking in circles.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I reject it as I’ve said all along. I don’t view gay sex as a sin. I don’t view it as a ticket to purgatory. I have been clear. You just love telling me what I think.

            I agree with him about the desirability of the respective orifices and I further believe it is not a unique view, it is not an intolerant view and it is not a controversial view.

          • 1Brett1

            Fair enough, so the only thing you agree with Phil Robertson on is he likes vaginas…you sure have been going off on tangents if that is all you can find agreement with him on.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s all I ever said, that and the Pope thing which I still think is interesting. You’re the one that went on the tangents.

          • 1Brett1

            This comment shows how dishonest your “honest” debating is, nothing more. You are a fool if you expect anyone to believe that all of your opinions expressed are imaginary and that all you have said is that you love vaginas and that this is your whole point.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are obsessed with telling me what I think.?From the beginning I’ve said:

            “It broke all kinds of viewer records, it’s huge. I think A&E shot themselves in the foot.The language was colorful but I must say it made sense to me… uncomfortable sense. I’m not talking about it being a sin, I don’t think it is but the visual he painted hit home. I don’t see it as hateful at all.”

          • 1Brett1

            What? “The Pope thing is interesting…”? What, in the silly way you’ve framed it, comparing people’s views on Phil Robertson’s remarks to those who’ve applauded a more liberal Pope than his predecessors (and your reductionist view that those on the “left” have made him their “darling,”whatever that means) and that because of this phony thing you’ve made up, the “left” have given the Pope some kind of pass on issues pertaining to homosexuality and abortion?

            Maybe put down the reefer once in a while, Gregg, because your Pope vs. Phil Robertson thing, and all you’ve infused that silly idea with, is total nonsense.

          • HonestDebate1

            Please explain the difference between the views of Phil and the Pope regarding Gay sex and abortion. When you get done, I’ll tell you about the double standard in the press and in the logic of liberal Obama defenders.

          • brettearle

            disqus

          • jefe68

            So lets see, this poluka is being interviewed and makes his views on homosexuality known. He made his personal views, and he has said that they are his personal viewpoints, known.
            And yet you somehow think that by being critical of this rube one is somehow not being critical of the said rubes views.

            Oh brother.

          • HonestDebate1

            One can hold those views with love in their heart and zero malice. As soon as you bulldoze right over that point and assign malice the argument becomes dishonest.

          • jefe68

            So you really think making a long winded nasty comment about peoples sexuality is without malice? Do you really believe Duck the Huckster was acting out of love in his heart?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, love.

          • 1Brett1

            Would you feel loved if someone said they were disgusted by the life you lead? Would you feel loved if someone used the Bible as a way to say you might just find yourself at the short end of the stick come the proverbial judgement day? Would you feel loved if someone lumped you in with thieves and murderers because of your sexual preferences?

            You are being disingenuous if you are saying that people on Phil Robertson’s side of history are not introducing the concept of malice when they are public with their views.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nobody loves me but my mother and she might be jiving too. It’s not society’s job to love me.

            Phil didn’t say he was disgusted by the life they lead, he said he loves them. He didn’t say they were murderers and thieves. So there’s that.

            Religion makes a lot of judgements. The Pope says contraception is murder. I don’t see any point in painting every Christian in the world who answers a question honestly as a mean-spirited homophobe. These are core beliefs believed by the mega masses. And don’t get me started on the Muslim view, Mr. Tolerance.

          • 1Brett1

            No, you said you are disgusted by the life a homosexual leads, as it involves naked men (something you said you are disgusted by).

            Also, you brought up the idea of love, I didn’t. I think people are worried about discrimination, lack of acceptance, how views expressed might touch off others to act against homosexuals, etc., I don’t think any homosexual would care whether you love him, but he might care that something Phil Robertson says might cause someone to act out against homosexuals.

          • HonestDebate1

            I said I think the sight of a naked man is disgusting. I stand by it. Then you took it to the moon, quit making things up you might find you have no beef.

          • 1Brett1

            Like I said before, CONTEXT. You put your statements in a larger context. You did that, no one else.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • 1Brett1

            No, that is just what you want to turn it into. You are also trying play bait and switch with the difference between beliefs and actions.

            I neither know Phil Robertson nor you. I believe both Phil’s and your views are homophobic, bigoted and intolerant of others’ views and toward fundamentally who they are as people. It doesn’t matter how nice either of you is, or whether you or Phil would ever act badly toward a gay person, or whether you or Phil like vaginas.

            See, that is what you are trying to reduce this to, that I am saying you are bad people somehow or that your intolerance might translate into some form of bad behavior or discrimination, or that there is something wrong with you for being heterosexual (no just that you have a view of homosexuals as being freaks of nature).

            Fact is, neither of you has the power to be discriminatory (Phil might, but you don’t). However, there are people in power who hold your same bigoted, intolerant views who do have the ability to discriminate, as much as your default mode is to deny that. My beef is that this is a perpetuation of these narrow views of yours or Phil Robertson’s

            I’m not playing tought police and you’re not just thinking, you are expressing, and you’re expressing something that is bigoted and intolerant…but I guess you can’t make that subtle distinction.

          • HonestDebate1

            And by views, do you mean the crazy notion that men prefer vaginas and any proclamation to the contrary is intolerant? You can have that logic. You own it.

      • TFRX

        So another wingnut who doesn’t know a single racist chimes in.

        Let’s just get all those dancin’ singin’ happy black people in the old Deep South to chime in. (Caveat: None of that “MyBlackFriend” crap flies here.)

        • HonestDebate1

          I have black friends who are racists… but I thought we were talking about assholes.

          • 1Brett1

            But no white people you know are racists…no. No, sir. But you, a white man, in rural NC, is friends with black people who are racist toward you? Or are you trying to say they are racist toward other black people?…Your position is a little muddled in this area, so, I’m just asking.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who said any of that?

          • 1Brett1

            Which pat answer is that? #27 or #39?

          • HonestDebate1

            It was a simple question.

          • jefe68

            From a very simple mind.

        • 1Brett1

          HD1: “why, shucks, land sakes, shut my mouth, I just don’t know ever-so-much what you’re talking about…” (Of course, the word “about” is pronounced as four syllables.)

    • 1Brett1

      Yeah, those people who condemned or otherwise criticized Robertson, they’re not real Americans anyway, right? Do people not “believe” “Obamacare” (as oddly as you put that), or would they simply like to see it improved/otherwise some changes made? Do you think that those who are past being a young person/have a pre-existing condition/otherwise would be uninsurable are saying, “get rid of Obamacare, I don’t want that!”? Or, as you might quote them, “I don’t believe in Obamacare, get rid of it!”?

      What is it with you neocons that you come up with such strained analogies, anyway?

      • brettearle

        Simple Answer?: Their morbid zealotry interferes, fatally, with their thinking.

        Complex Answer?: Their morbid zealotry interferes, fatally, with their thinking.

      • jefe68

        One explanation is a collective madness or blind adherence to their regressive dogma. How else could one explain Mike Huckabee dragging in president Obama into this nonsense about these ducks running amuck and causing so many of them into this huff.

        To Duck or not to Duck, that is the question…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9x2VvhA743w

      • davecm

        In the beginning, remember the talking points?
        Thirty million people without healthcare, children dying because they had no healthcare, people screaming for help who had no healthcare, pre-existing conditions, etc, etc.
        Thirty million people screaming for a solution.
        Obamacare begins in Oct., problems, we are now a day away from deadline and only a little over a million people have signed up!
        Six million have received cancellation notices,
        300,000+ signed up for medicaid.
        If Obamacare is the solution we were sold on, where are the remaining 28+ million who have not signed up????? They fussed about not having healthcare, well! here it is, where are they???
        If Obamacare was so great, these 30 million would all have jumped on it like a duck on a junebug!
        Instead, the plan all along was to collapse the present system for the government controlled single payer. If that is true, big govt. will be in control. 1Brett1 will then jump when the govt. says jump, and remain silent when govt. says silent. Possible?????? we will see!

        • 1Brett1

          While there would definitely be some points you raise that are valid, it is the sensational, exceedingly paranoid, one-dimensional, overly-simplistic way you introduce your position that makes it a parody of reasonable discussion. That is why it really isn’t worth having a serious discussion with you. Sorry, nothing personal.

          And for you to use Phil Robertson’s remarks in GC as your starting point of comparison to talk about the ACA, or even a platform for you to invoke Single Payer as a way to talk about Big Brother, that is even cheesier.

          So, let me end with your last sentence of your last reply and reply to that: Yes, the government will come and herd me down a hole and I will be silenced forever. FOR. EVER. I’ll sure be sorry then for my marionette ways! Maybe that won’t happen today; maybe that won’t tomorrow; but it’ll happen soon and for the rest of our lives!!!

          • davecm

            Time will tell, America is headed down the same road as all great civilizations.
            Unless we are a rare exception, we will repeat history.

  • Coastghost

    Has any enterprising journalist learned what Mikhail Khodorkovsky thinks of American expatriate Edward Snowden: seems he would have grounds for seeing Snowden as Putin’s dupe or stooge.
    Or should we understand from Khodorkovsky’s release (along with members of that notorious punk outfit and the Greenpeace activists) that Snowden is now counseling Putin on Russian domestic policy?
    (You might think that sooner or later Snowden would have to begin living up to the title of “human rights campaigner” with which he has been so generously crowned outside of Russia.)

  • hennorama

    Yet another firearms fatality: Claire Davis, the 17-year old victim of the Arapahoe High shooting in Colorado, died Saturday December 21, 2013, as a result of a point blank shotgun blast to her head.

    May she rest in peace.

    • Steve__T

      Amen.

  • TFRX

    Who is winning the “Stupidest Thing Said about That Pajama Guy” Sweepstakes?

    Current leader in the clubhouse: ManlyMan Jonah (My Momma Got me This Job) Goldberg:

    Pajama Boy is a Low-T liberal who wears a “this is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt and flinches whenever his girlfriend makes a sudden movement…

    But given how much the right specializes in soft men fascinated with other males’ masculine failings*, I expect a heated competition.

    Has Tucker Carlson weighed in?

    (*I’m gonna chalk that up to projection.)

    • pete18

      Nothing that has been said about Pajama Boy could ever be stupider than the Pajama Boy idea itself. And neither of those things could come close to being stupider than the lame defenses given for the lies used to sell Obamacare, which has to be one of the stupidest policy ideas to have ever been implemented.

      • TFRX

        We have another horse in the barn.

        Rich “Starbursts” Lowry imagines sht about images the government puts up:

        She progressed through life without any significant family or community connections. He is the picture

        of perpetual adolescence. Neither is a symbol of self-reliant, responsible adulthood.

        All these RW “Fringebreds” suckling on the right-wing welfare teat cannot remember a thing that happened during the

        8-year long reign of error that was Commander Fake Codpiece. But they obsess over two images in the campaign to to

        get goverment to work.

        Again, it wouldn’t matter a shat except this will be driving the Beltway Inbreds like Diane Sawyer and Jake Tapper.

        Hey, NPR: Not telling you what to do with your news org, but don’t be the sucker for this baitless hook (again). These right wing trolls you debase yourself to attract are like “friends” back in grammar school who don’t have time for you once you stop giving them candy.

        • pete18

          One can see why your focus would be on the trivial sideshow of Pajama Boy critiques, the news about the actual policy itself is all bad for the blindfolded cult of Obama defenders:

          “An analysis by The New York Times shows the cost of premiums for people
          who just miss qualifying for subsidies varies widely across the country
          and rises rapidly for people in their 50s and 60s. In some places,
          prices can quickly approach 20 percent of a person’s income.

          Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10
          percent of annual income. By that measure, a 50-year-old making $50,000 a year, or just above the qualifying limit for assistance, would find the
          cheapest available plan to be unaffordable in more than 170 counties
          around the country, ranging from Anchorage to Jackson, Miss.”

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/21/business/new-health-law-frustrates-many-in-middle-class.html

          • TFRX

            Hey, these aren’t trivial sideshows. These are your wingnuts, driving the idiots in our mainstream press.

          • pete18

            I’m much more worried about the wingnuts making bad policy and the enablers who turn a blind eye to the results, as opposed to the people commenting on the pathetic advertising promoting the bad policy. But hey, everyone has their priorities.

      • OnPointComments

        I agree, nothing that has been said about Pajama Boy could ever be stupider than the Pajama Boy idea itself.

        I don’t know which company is in charge of advertising for the Obama administration and his campaign, but they have come up with some really loony and demeaning ideas. They gave us Julia, making her way through life as a ward of the state; the daughter asking her mom for $18,000 for birth control; the suggestion that women should vote with their lady parts; the 20-something woman who thinks about how easy it is to get a guy between the covers because Obamacare pays for her birth control; assurances to 20-something men that they’ll still be able to afford their kegs of beer after paying for Obamacare. Now they give us the metrosexual pajama boy. I assume that the Obama advertisers are speaking to the Obama base, who look to the government for everything, because none of it resonates with me.

    • JGC

      Tucker wears a bowtie with his Onesie, and takes his cocoa with mini-marshmallows and a dusting of cinnamon.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s funny. I always wondered if Tucker was Margaret Carlson’s son… or something. He let the bow tie thing go a while back. t was kind of silly. Rush used to call him Chatsworth Osborne Jr. But you know what? He’s grown on me. I actually think Daily Caller is a worthwhile site. The turning point for me was, after the silly tie of course, a video I saw of him fly fishing in NYC. Somebody walked up to him with a camera and he was by himself fishing with flies he had tied on a drizzly day. No one does that if they aren’t expecting to catch fish and no one expects to catch fish if they haven’t caught them before. I respect the lone fisherman.

        I’m going to try to find it.

        • HonestDebate1
          • JGC

            You can see Carlson was surprised and apprehensive (at first) about being filmed (as most people would be). But he recovered well and had a nice arm’s length chat with the videographer. Maybe Carlson was also surprised because New Yorkers normally are not this intrusive, as notable people go about their lives in the city.

  • TFRX

    The NYT misses the boat about healthcare reform. Again.

    The front-pager features a couple who make $100k who’ll spend (they say) $1000/mo for health insurance.

    To make their case, the Times quotes unnamed “experts”: “Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income.” And forgets that the part employers kick in is part of a paycheck.

    The Times couldn’t find anyone in that income range or even less who’d be grateful for only paying that much for insurance. Think about how insular the range of thinking. The NYT’s fascination with the travails of a certain niche of well-off folks is bad enough when it comes to the Dining or Business (“Investors class”) sections. But jeez, it sucks like sht in economics coverage.

    The Kaiser folks have factchecking here.

    Seriously, can’t the Paper of Record stop privileging the lies about one ACA complainant in real time? How many people died because of no health insurance? The Times will never worry us with that.

    • pete18

      Of course the Kaiser data is from 2012, but don’t let that stop you.

    • OnPointComments

      The article does not state that the Chapman family has employer-provided health insurance. Regardless, the article does state that the cost of insurance that the Chapmans pay will increase from $665 per month to about $1,000 a month, an increase of 50%. President Obama promised them a savings of $2,400 a year, not an increase of over $4,000 a year.

    • hennorama

      TFRX — it is notable that a story with such detail about a family consisting of “Ms. Chapman, who is 54 and does administrative work for a small wealth management firm,” and “includes Mr. Chapman, 55, a retired fireman who works on a friend’s farm, and her two sons,” does NOT include the details as to whether the health insurance plan/policy they currently have is employer-sponsored or not.

      And one must also read the article all the way to paragraph 18 to find out that “…their current insurance plan, which costs $665 a month, expires in September.”

      Of 2014.

      If it IS employer-sponsored and is being cancelled, will the employer then instead raise wages/salaries to compensate the employees for the changes?

      One also must point out that this is what’s known as A Good Problem To Have. The Chapmans have choices, and time.

      In marked contrast, about 50,000 low-income New Hampshire residents are presently left without the benefits of health care coverage, as the state remains one of those that have not moved forward on Medicaid expansion.

      A single person with gross income of $956/month (close to the amount of health insurance premiums the Chapmans are concerned about) in NH is ineligible for Medicaid. If this one individual, age 55, is living in Sullivan County, NH, based on household size and income, they would not qualify for help paying for coverage.

      For this person, who is Mr. Chapman’s age, the least expensive plan costs $396/month, which is more than 41 percent of gross monthly income.

      This is known as NOT A Good Problem To Have.

      Sources:
      http://kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/state-activity-around-expanding-medicaid-under-the-affordable-care-act/
      http://www.vnews.com/opinion/editorials/9511477-95/editorial-improved-but-not-expanded-mixed-news-on-nh-medicaid
      http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dfa/documents/FamAsstFactSheet.pdf
      https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/#results/&aud=indv&type=med&state=NH&county=Sullivan&age0=55&employerCoverage=no&householdSize=1&income=11480
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/health/millions-of-poor-are-left-uncovered-by-health-law.html?_r=0

      • pete18

        But of course the Chapmans were promised by the President of the United states that they would not be graced with these “good problems.”

        • OnPointComments

          There’s not enough lipstick in the world for this Obamacare pig, but his sycophants keep trying. Hennorama can try to put a good spin on the situation that Obamacare has forced the Chapmans into, but it isn’t what President Obama promised them over and over again. At least Henny refrained from using the liberal sham that their psychic abilities enable them to magically determine that the policy the Chapmans lost wasn’t suitable for them in the first place.

          • pete18

            Yet he does dip into the creative euphemism that states that the president didn’t lie about his healthcare promises, he just made a few “unadjusted statements.”

          • StilllHere

            Like a good sheep… unadjusted statements..

        • hennorama

          pete18 — there is nothing in the article that indicates the reason the Chapmans’ policy is going to be cancelled.

          But don’t let that stop you from leaping to your assumptions.

          • pete18

            No, but it does indicate that their costs are going up by a large degree rather than being reduced by $2,500 as the President told us was going to happen.

            By the way, a rather simple and direct question, is it or is it not still a lie if an all encompassing promise like, “I’m going to give you all of my money,” “I will not have any cake this week,” “I will always be faithful to you,” “No one will have their house taken away,” “For those Americans who already have health insurance, the only changes you will see under the law are new benefits, better protections from insurance company abuses, and more value for every dollar you spend
            on health care. If you like your plan you can keep it and you don’t
            have to change a thing due to the health care law.” is only partially fulfilled?

            “I gave you some of my money,” I didn’t have cake on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday,” I only cheated on you once,” Some of you still have your houses,” or “Not all of you lost your insurance plans,” are examples of lies in that context or not?

          • hennorama

            pete18 — it interesting that you characterize a passage containing more than 100 words as “a simple and direct question.”

            In order for someone to answer your questions, they would need to know the definition of “lie,” as that word is in both of your questions. Until and unless you present your definition, no answers are possible.

            As to your first sentence, the statements including the $2,500 figure were often qualified by the preface “up to.”

          • pete18

            Long can still be both simple and direct.

            I’m trying to find out according to your definition. However, let’s put in in the context of something a business promises you. If Cracker Barrel runs an advertising campaign for over three-years that guarantees that anyone who comes to their restaraunt and orders a small serving of grits will get 50% off of any Duck Dynasty merchandise that they sell in their stores, yet it turned out that only 70% of the people who purchased the grits got the discount when the bought the merchandise, would their advertising be considered fraudulent by you, and could they be sued by the 30% who received no discount?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – thank you for your response.

            You are veering off into the area of commercial speech, which is highly regulated. This does not apply to the topic at hand.

            Political speech is quite different, and no contractual obligations attach to it.

            If a statement is neither 100 percent true nor 100 percent false, is it a lie?

            If a statement is 100 percent false, but there was no prior knowledge of this falsity on the part of the speaker, is it a lie?

            If a statement proves to be partially false, but there was no deceptive objective on the part of the speaker, is it a lie?

            If a statement is made and it is later shown to be false, due to intervening events beyond the control of the speaker, is it a lie?

            If a statement is true at the time it is made, but 10 days, 10 weeks, 10 months, 10 years, 10 decades or 10 centuries later, it is no longer true, is it a lie?

            Finally, if the following statement isn’t fully true, is it a lie?:

            “No, but it does indicate that their costs are going up by a large degree rather than being reduced by $2,500 as the President told us was going to happen.”

            Thanks again for your reply.

          • pete18

            “You are veering off into the area of commercial speech, which is highly regulated. This does not apply to the topic at hand.”

            I’m not sure why. We are not talking about legal structures here, we are talking about what the public perceives as dishonest and fraudulent behavior. Political speech and policy can affect commerce in much more dramatic ways than commercial speech and policies can. People can be equally if not more injured by the fraudulent activities of the government than by that of a business.
            While there may be a set of different legal parameters around business
            activities and advertising (ironically enough set up by the government) why
            would that change how an injured party would feel about, or how they would measure, the honesty of the activities in either realm?

            So back to my question, if we are just discussing the commercial realm for the
            moment, would you not agree that in the Cracker Barrel scenario that I
            described, it would be fair to say that Cracker Barrel misrepresented themselves to the public, and their activity in that instance would be considered fraudulent by yourself or the average customer?

            I will happily answer all your other questions if you can give me a straightforward answer on that one.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – if you don’t understand the differences between commercial speech and political speech, nothing I write will be of any use to you. There is no “may be” as to the fact that they are significantly different.

            Perhaps you simply see all politics as transactional in nature, like commerce.

            You did not ask about “what the public perceives as dishonest and fraudulent behavior.” Rather you first asked two separate questions:

            “would their [Cracker Barrel's] advertising be considered fraudulent by you,” and

            “could they [Cracker Barrel] be sued by the 30% who received no discount?”

            Now you’ve asked three additional questions:

            “would [it] be fair to say that Cracker Barrel misrepresented themselves to the public,”

            “would [it] be fair to say that Cracker Barrel['s] … activity in that instance would be considered fraudulent by yourself”

            “would [it] be fair to say that Cracker Barrel['s] … activity in that instance would be considered fraudulent by …the average customer?”

            Taking the second of your five questions first, the answer is Yes, obviously. Cracker Barrel can be sued for virtually any reason, regardless of whether or not the suit has merit.

            As the the first, third, fourth and fifth questions, there is insufficient information to conclude that either misrepresentation or fraud was involved. Given the insufficiency of the scenario, the answers would therefore all be No.

            For example:

            There is no mention at all as to intent.

            There is no mention at all as to the reason(s) “that only 70% of the people who purchased the grits got the discount when the [sic] bought the merchandise…”

            There is no mention at all as to the method of receiving any discount. For example, was a coupon involved?

            There is no mention at all as to the distinction between “Duck Commander” merchandise, and “Duck Dynasty” merchandise.

            There is no mention at all as to the distinction between in-store purchases and other methods of purchase, such as by telephone, mail and online.

            Etc.

          • pete18

            The discussion will have to continue after the holidays, Merry Christmas.

          • StilllHere

            Nicely done. You have more patience than most.

      • TFRX

        Sounds like this Medicaid thing would do well for Hamshans. Kentucky’s outcomes for this stand in stark contrast to every other red-state which decided to throw their lower-income folks into the abyss.

  • pete18

    Some of the democratic politicians who have to face the voters soon are not buying the spin:

    Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has urged delaying a penalty for people who do not enroll for health insurance in 2014 under the law, told CNN that a transitional
    year was needed for the complex healthcare program, commonly known as Obamacare, to work.

    “If it’s so much more expensive than what we anticipated and if the coverage is not as good as what we had, you’ve got a complete meltdown at that time,” Manchin told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

    “It falls of its own weight, if basically the cost becomes more than we can absorb, absolutely.”

    news.yahoo.com/democratic-senator-says-obamacare-could-39-meltdown-39-172125028.html

    • HonestDebate1

      I may be mistaken but as I recall, Manchin had a campaign ad in 2010 where he took a rifle and literally shot a hole in the Obamacare bill. He was one of the few bright spots for democrats in 2010 and he didn’t win in the historically devastating Tea Party year by embracing Obamacare.

      It’s painfully obvious a delay would have been better for America. The political intentions of the lawless delays by decree after stubbornly refusing to do the same through the legislative process are vividly clear. The gut wrenching truth is any delay only prolongs the misery and ultimately solves nothing. This is awful.

      • pete18

        Ah, if true then he hasn’t come to his senses, he never lost them. Yes, it’s amazing how capricious
        and impulsive the changes made by the white House are, and of course completely illegal. But for some people as long as the President sounds earnest and caring, legality, constitutionality
        and effective governing are of no concern.

  • HonestDebate1

    Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:

    When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

    You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

    We listened.

    Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.

    And, we apologize for offending you.

    We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.

    We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.

    https://www.facebook.com/CrackerBarrel

    • 1Brett1

      Well, if you wish to continue defending Phil Robertson, that’s your business. I don’t really see what point you’re trying to make with your above comment.

      Corporate people are just looking at damage control. They (Cracker Barrel) removed items that were about Phil (and only him, btw; they continued to sell Duck Dynasty/ A&E products, which is where the real issue lies). When they feared sales would drop off in their restaurants, they brought back the Phil products. So what? Besides, Cracker Barrel? You really are scraping the bottom of the ‘barrel’ on this one.

      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/defend-phil-robertson-heres-youre-001248300.html

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s not comment about Phil Robertson’s views, it’s a news development. You have a strange way of looking at things. I am not defending Robertston’s religious views, I’m defending his right to hold those views and am saying it’s not intolerant or bigoted to do so. Are you really unable to draw that distinction?

        It just goes to show you that the intolerance and bigotry hurled at Phil Robertson was seen for what to was, hate. Kudos to Cracker Barrel for recognizing that.

        • 1Brett1

          No, you have a strange way of denying your motives for posting something. You say you are just posting news items…you specifically posted this for its content and its relationship to other posts you’ve made on this topic.

          You also have shifted to an emphasis on “defending” Phil’s “right to hold those views.” You don’t seem compelled to defend any liberal’s right to hold his/her views with the attention you’ve given this.

          I don’t think people hate Phil but they condemn his views, which is their right as much as Phil has the right to “hold” his views.

          I also think this comment of your is ridiculous:

          “I’m defending his right to hold those views and am saying it’s not intolerant or bigoted to do so.”

          You make it sound as if defending freedom of speech i something i am arguing against. It’s also not intolerant/bigoted to “hold” views, but some views are intolerant and bigoted, like Phil’s. It’s also funny that you are trying to turn this around and say I am intolerant and bigoted because I am against intolerance and bigotry, which is typical of your ilk.

          Phil is an intolerant bigot, sorry…look at an excerpt from this speech (the speech is also on YouTube…I’ll have to post it.).

          http://bangordailynews.com/2013/12/21/news/nation/duck-dynasty-star-phil-robertson-critical-of-gays-in-2010-speech/?ref=latest

          • HonestDebate1

            Your rewrites, projections and assured sense of knowing my motivations are really quite astonishing. I don’t know what any of it has to do with my comments though.

            It’s not about me.

          • 1Brett1

            Yours is a pat, non-answer. Yes, your comments defending Phil Robertson on this forum are ALL about you. You have an opinion and I am challenging that opinion. You didn’t just post that Cracker Barrel story because it is some random news event, you posted it for its specific context, and in the context of your other comments on this topic.

            Look, I don’t know specifically what your motives are, I just know that they are not what you say they are (e.g., “it’s a comment…[about] a news event”)

            Why are all of your opinions grander than your own, to the point where they are separate from you and loftier than from a mere mortal or something (your nonsense that “it’s not about me”). All that does is say “end of story” in an interaction. And if you don’t want an interaction, why to you reply?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knl31_oliZ0

            And here’s a longer version where he fear mongers a little bit asking this congregation the rhetorical question “are you going to run with them (homosexuals)” and then reminding them they are going to die someday (so I guess they’d better be careful about associating with and accepting gays?):

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knl31_oliZ0

            Yeah, I’d say Phil has some bigoted and intolerant views and is somewhat inciting people here, which is hateful/intolerant/bigoted in its effect.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re entire comment are always directed at telling me what I think, why I comment, what I mean by it and how terrible a person I am. That’s what I mean by it not being about me. You’re obsessed with me. I’m happy to debate the issues but you just want to insist on telling me what I think.

            It’s a big deal when feigned outrage from the left influences corporate decisions and then it’s learned it’s just a few vocal ideologues with a big megaphone so the decision is reversed. If you don’t think that is an interesting development, fine.

            It is heartening to know when someone is unfairly attacked that the majority of folks get that. It is easily seen when the Pope is given a pass for the same views because he bashed capitalism. If you don’t acknowledge the hypocrisy of the left siding with the Pope, their ideological nemesis, then you’re not paying attention.

            These things interest me so I post them. Make of it what you will. I have no control of what you imagine.

          • 1Brett1

            What “majority of folks get that”? Cracker Barrel customers who comment on Cracker Barrel’s Facebook page?

            What “hypocrisy”? If people agree with one thing the Pope expresses and disagree with other things he says, they are hypocrites for being disgusted by Phil Robertson’s comments about gays and blacks? That is some twisted logic there.

            Whenever you have nothing (and you clearly have nothing here) you always start in with how obsessed with you I am…If I am obsessed with you (as you imagine), why do you obsessively reply to me? …

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not the one stalking you. I rarely reply to your threads you always reply to mine.

          • 1Brett1

            You make it sound like your “threads” are sacrosanct or something…A more accurate statement is that you sometimes reply to my comments and I sometimes reply to yours. The words “rarely” and “always” are used in a spin manner here in your comment.

          • StilllHere

            He’s creepy, no doubt about it.

          • StilllHere

            All libbies know what you’re thinking and believe you need them to know it yourself.

          • jefe68

            Alas some of it is about you.

          • StilllHere

            Man, you really need to get a life.

        • StilllHere

          It’s sad you have to explain it.

      • jefe68

        The real kicker here is that this whole Duck Dynasty thing is really nothing short of fake red neck stuff. If you look at their past they are not exactly what one would call backwoods or even rural red neck types.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/20/1264354/-Duck-Dynasty-is-a-Fake-Yuppies-in-Red-Neck-Drag-Con-Job?detail=email

        • 1Brett1

          Phil Robertson’s first business venture was owning a bar. He got into a fight one night with his business partner and put the guy in the hospital! Robertson was regularly getting into brushes with the law, then he would take to hiding out in the deep woods to avoid arrest (of course, to hear him tell it, that was back when he was under Satan’s spell; and, once he was protected from Satan by Jesus, his life turned around…Praise the Lord!). He avoided prosecution on a number of occasions because of who he was, and those small town judges also liked his Satan story).

      • StilllHere

        More pathetic than usual.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      PC police: -1
      Everyone else: +1

  • pete18

    Bono, on history’s greatest anti-poverty program:

    U2′s Bono Speaks at GU Global Social Enterprise Event from Values & Capitalism on Vimeo.

    • OnPointComments

      This is a quote attributed to Bono:

      In Ireland, people have an interesting attitude to success: they look down on it.

      In America, you look up at the mansion on the hill and say, “One day…that could be me.”

      In Ireland, they look up at the mansion on the hill and go, “One day I’m gonna get that ****ard.” It’s a different mindset.

      The Democratic party has co-opted Ireland’s attitude. It’s the mode of President Obama’s demonization of “millionaires and billionaires.” If successful, it will smother the greatest engine for prosperity — especially for the poor — in human history. Capitalism has lifted far more people from poverty than all the government programs and all the charities combined.

      • jefe68

        What a load bull. Do you have to post this kind of nonsense every time someone posts something that’s is not a regressive right wing meme? Or is this some kind of mental problem that you have?

        • pete18

          Jeff is definitely Irish.

          • jefe68

            Nope. Only been there once in my life and that was to Belfast Northern Ireland.
            I just found this chaps comment to be complete bull. Not Bono’s, but using it to make a bullshite point about Obama. It’s in line with the regressive rights mindset of blaming everything on him. Pathetic.

          • pete18

            No, not everything, just 98% of stuff related to the economy, health care and international security. The rest can be blamed on ATMs.

            I haven’t been to Ireland but it’s on my list, looks like a beautiful country.

          • jefe68

            I guess that is also a statement about our do nothing Congress, which is one of the worst in modern history.

          • pete18

            If we had a “do nothing president” we’d be in far better shape than we are now.

      • JGC

        Someone should tell President Obama his nefarious scheme to smother the U.S. prosperity engine is not working – the stock market is at an all time high, and the Medicare/Medicaid cost curve has been bent to less than 1% GDP from the “normal” 4% GDP seen in the years prior to 2009.

        Bono’s quote may have something to do with his irritation at the Irish government for suspending the tax break on artistic earnings a number of years ago.

      • StilllHere

        So true, and they use the government as their weapon.

      • J__o__h__n

        Bono needs to pay his taxes.

  • OnPointComments

    Results of the latest CNN poll on the Affordable Care Act show support for the country’s new health care law has dropped to a record low. 62% OPPOSE. The majority of those who oppose the law oppose it because it is too liberal.

    CNN|ORC poll 12/16-12/19/2013

    Q: As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country’s health care system became law in 2010. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?

    35% Favor
    62% Oppose

    Q: (IF OPPOSE) Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?

    43% Oppose, too liberal
    15% Oppose, not liberal enough

    • TFRX

      “Based on what you have read or heard” is cute: It demonstrates how much the press has let itself be played about the facts of Obamacare.

      Let’s drill down and see what these pollees think.

      • StilllHere

        Pathetic as usual.

  • HonestDebate1
    • pete18

      That will certainly get Pajama Boy excited about enrolling.

    • OnPointComments

      In my opinion, liberals are obsessed with anything that has a sexual component (consider how much of Obamacare promotion focuses on free birth control), so this beefcake video may be effective in luring liberals into Obamacare.

      • StilllHere

        Part of their low iq.

    • 1Brett1

      For someone so absolutely disgusted by the male body, you sure spend a lot of time looking at stuff like this, Gregg.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Susan Rice implies that Hillary Clinton not up to the task of the Presidency when pressed by 60 Minutes.

    Leslie Stahl pressed Susan Rice on why Clinton did not go on the Sunday talk shows after Benghazi instead of Rice — who was not involved and was therefore a poor regime spokesperson — she replied that Hillary had a tough week consoling (and lying to) the victims families. Really? Should we expect the President to abdicate communicating to the American people after consoling victims? Or a tough week?

    Was this dig on Hillary by Rice inadvertent or intentional?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/12/22/susan_rice_talks_nsa_iran_benghazi_in_60_minutes_interview.html

    • OnPointComments

      According to this article in Commentary Magazine, there’s a reason Susan Rice might not like Hillary Clinton.

      “When Rice became the center of controversy, Hillary Clinton saw an opportunity. She doesn’t get along with Rice, and didn’t want her to step in as the next secretary of state. So she began making her preference that Rice’s name be dropped from contention clear. Her friends and allies in the liberal media took the cue, and began assailing Rice in harshly personal terms far beyond anything Graham or McCain were saying. That gave Obama cover to ditch Rice.”

      http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/06/05/susan-rices-consolation-prize/

  • OnPointComments

    The blurb at the top of this program mentions the hacking of Target customers’ personal information.

    Hiding the Hacking at HealthCare.gov
    If your personal info is filched from the site, the government doesn’t have to tell you.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/366964/hiding-hacking-healthcaregov-john-fund

    Excerpt:
    “But at least Target informed its customers of the security breach, as it is required by federal law to do. HealthCare.gov faces no such requirement; it need never notify customers that their personal information has been hacked or possibly compromised. The Department of Health and Human Services was specifically asked to include a notification requirement in the rules it designed for the health-care exchanges, but HHS declined.

    “…two commenters asked HHS to ensure the exchanges would promptly notify affected enrollees in the event of a data breach or unauthorized access to the exchange’s databases…HHS responded: ‘We do not plan to include the specific notification procedures in the final rule. Consistent with this approach, we do not include specific policies for investigation of data breaches in this final rule.’ ”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/366964/hiding-hacking-healthcaregov-john-fund

ONPOINT
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Aug 21, 2014
In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

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