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Week In The News: 2013 In Review

Our weekly news roundtable –live and lively–in the studio looks back over a whole year, 2013.

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.  (AP)

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP)

And so, the year 2013 is about to make its exit. Not a banner year. Not a bust, either. Most Fridays we take on a week and its news. Today, we take on the year, from the Super Bowl blackout and Obama’s second inaugural to typhoon, twerk, Twitter and a “Duck Dynasty” dust-up. We’ve seen Edward Snowden light up the N.S.A.’s secret work. Obamacare stumble to life. George Zimmerman walk. A a marathon booming. A new Pope making new waves. And American trying to figure out what feels like the beginning of some new age. This hour On Point: Our weekly news roundtable takes on 2013.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. (@ktumulty)

David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times. (@SangerNYT)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: White House Tries to Prevent Judge From Ruling on Surveillance Efforts –”The government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.”

Washington Post: Republicans reassess after shutdown debacle — “The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partners. And that near-unanimity presents an opportunity for the establishment to strike back — and maybe regain some control from the insurgent wing.”

Boston Globe: The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev — “Federal investigators have suspected that Tamerlan, the 26-year-old boxer from southern Russia who is believed, along with his brother, to have set off the deadly Boston Marathon bombs in April, was motivated, if not deliberately directed, by real life jihadist revolutionaries on the other side of the globe. But an investigation by the Boston Globe suggests that Tamerlan was in the perilous grip of someone far more menacing: himself.”

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  • LianeSperoni

    There was a great article in the NYT today how Chinese businessmen are investing in Toledo.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/us/in-blue-collar-ohio-a-windfall-of-chinese-investments.html?hpw&rref=us

  • Ed75

    This past week was Christmas, the end of Advent. There are five advents of Jesus in history:
    1. in the prophesies of Israel
    2. in the historical person of Jesus
    3. in the Church, especially the sacraments
    4. in the individual Christian
    5. in the second coming, when he comes as judge.
    Several wars broke out this past week, those trying to bring about peace are trying hard but they have their work cut out for them. Eventually we will beg for the prince of peace.

  • JONBOSTON

    Question for Tom Ashbrook and panel: By almost all accounts 2013 has been a terrible, horrible, no good very bad year for Obama. Will 2014 be even worse? How could Obama begin 2013 as Master of the Universe after his re-election and victory in “fiscal cliff” battles with Republicans only to suffer public opinion and credibility ratings worthy of Richard Nixon? It’s too simplistic to blame everything on the ever-evolving ACA fiasco. There was failure on gun control and immigration reform legislation, AP and Fox News reporter investigations, Benghazi hearings, IRS scandals, Edward Snowden and the NSA, Syria humiliation, weakness on Iran, renewed aggression and outright disdain from Putin and the Chinese, and the list goes on.. Yes the economy has seemingly improved but can anyone really point to any policies of Obama as the cause? Yes the unemployment rate has gone down, but was it more due to increased hiring of part time employees and people leaving the workforce ? The middle class was such a focus for Obama during his campaign. But with incomes stagnating, weren’t they the real losers in 2013?

    One additional comment : Another outcome of 2013 , in addition to Obama being exposed for his incompetence, is that the mainstream media, and especially the White House press corps, has never been held with less respect by the American public. Will 2014 be a year when the Washington press corps evolves from PR spokesmen for Obama and Democrats to its more traditional role of holding our leaders in Washington accountable?

    • Don_B1

      President Obama was never “Master of the Universe” as shown when Speaker John Boehner could not deliver on his statement that [paraphrase:] “Obamacare is the law of the land, and we must live with it.”

      There was no victory in the “fiscal cliff” battle, except for the Tea Party, which kept austerity strong, slowing the economic growth necessary for the 99% to have better lives in the future. The F.I.C.A. temporary rate cut ended, leaving workers with smaller paychecks thus lowering aggregate demand.

      Certainly the PPACA rollout deserves condemnation, but it is not indicative of how the law will work when the computer glitches are fixed.

      It is clear, and most control advocates agree, that even checks before gun purchases will take some time to achieve. Just because efforts were made this year that did not bring a strong achievement does not mean that it was a failure. The steps taken are a necessary but not final steps.

      When Republicans uniformly oppose every and any proposal by President Obama, and it is no surprise that even a Tea Party Republican like Senator Marco Rubio is denigrated for attempting to come up with some form of immigration reform, it therefore is not a defeat for President Obama, but it is a defeat for Americans because a minority has been able through ignorance of the voters, to stop progress for the remaining Americans.

      It has been proven a myth that the PPACA has driven a growth of part-time jobs:

      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/myth-obamacare-causing-part-time-135441398.html

      and

      http://www.factcheck.org/2013/09/obamacare-myths/

      The number of people leaving the workforce has been increasing due to the growing number of people retiring due to the aging of the baby boomers. That does not account for the total increase but it is a big part of it. And now the Republicans are working to throw 1.3 million people out of the workforce as they will no longer get unemployment checks and will have no money to do even a job search. They will be come totally dependent on relatives if they have any and many will become homeless, where not having an address will make getting hired even more difficult.

      Anyone who thinks that the Press Corp, WH or other, has been spokesmen for President Obama has not been listening carefully. The press’s uncritical acceptance of Republican claims that the rollout disaster is indicative of the whole law’s efficacy is not the action of a spokesman.

      And as the fact that the American people need and want better healthcare in spite of the bad publicity of the PPACA rollout will push the ratings of the Republican members of Congress and the press further into the tank, where it is at record lows, while the support of Democrats will grow stronger as their work becomes appreciated.

      • OnPointComments

        The polls don’t support your statement that Americans want the PPACA.

        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?

        62% Oppose
        35% Favor

        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

        • Don_B1

          I did not say that the American people want the PPACA today; what I said was that they want improved healthcare delivery, and about half of the people that say they are disappointed in the PPACA want it improved, not “repealed.”

          But just keep setting up strawmen, because that is the only way you and “win” a debate!

          Note that Republicans do not advocate any alternative because they look like parts of the PPACA, although just those parts will not work on their own without the other provisions of the PPACA.

        • jimino

          So you’re saying Americans are unhappy they can’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions? Or is it being told the policy they pay thousands of their hard-earned dollars for doesn’t cover the care their doctor decided was medically necessary and provided to them that really troubles them? Perhaps it is being able to insure their children through the completion of their schooling that gets their blood boiling.

          Just what is it that the polls indicate they so oppose about the ACA? Or do the polls actually reflect just how ignorant the respondents are, which as we see here every day, doesn’t preclude a strongly held opinion on the matter?

          • OnPointComments

            Picking out tiny parts of the ACA for approval is like Mrs. Lincoln being asked “Other than your husband being killed, how did you like the play?”

          • keltcrusader

            superb non-answer, but a non-answer just the same

        • TFRX

          So over 50% like it or want it to be more complete?

          • OnPointComments

            No, of the 62% who oppose the law, 43% say they oppose it because it is too liberal.

          • hennorama

            OPC — that is absolutely false.

            Half the poll respondents either favor the PPACA, or oppose it because it’s not liberal enough.

            You may want to reread your sources.

          • hennorama

            OPC — in case your unmentioned source also has it wrong, here’s a link to the results on those two questions:

            http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/12/23/cnn.orc.poll.health.care.pdf

            And quoting from the above:

            Base = Total Sample

            Favor 35%
            Oppose, too liberal 43%
            Oppose, not liberal enough 15%
            No opinion 8%
            Sampling Error +/-3.0

          • OnPointComments

            Quoting from the poll:

            21. 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?
            22. (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?

            RESULTS FROM QUESTION 21 ONLY
            35% Favor
            62% Oppose
            3% No opinion

            RESULTS FROM QUESTIONS 21 AND 22 COMBINED
            35% Favor
            43% Oppose, too liberal
            15% Oppose, not liberal enough
            8% No opinion

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for the repetition of my post.

            As you can see, it is not true, as you wrote, that “of the 62% who oppose the law, 43% say they oppose it because it is too liberal.”

            Rather, it is 43% of the entire sample who “say they oppose it because it is too liberal.”

            And, as stated in my post below, “Half the poll respondents either favor the PPACA, or oppose it because it’s not liberal enough.”

          • OnPointComments

            In my opinion, it’s significant that those who think the law is not liberal enough still oppose the law as it is. 62% oppose the law that we are living under today. They did not answer that they favor the current law, but wish it was more liberal.

          • hennorama

            OPC – the percentage of respondents who “Oppose, not liberal enough” has barely budged over time. In the Mar. 19-21, 2010 polling period, 13% of respondents expressed that opinion, versus 15% in the most recent poling period.

            Similarly, the percentage that “Oppose, too liberal” is absolutely UNCHANGED at 43% in both polling periods.

            These figures have barely moved over the long term.

            See:
            http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/12/23/cnn.orc.poll.health.care.pdf

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

          How is it “liberal” to have all of your health needs covered by health insurance? Is it okay to pay for one health issue, but not another? Is having a healthier society not better for everyone?

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

        Yeah, it is really horrible that millions of people now have medical insurance.

        It is awful that the longest US war is almost over.

        It is scandalous that we are eeking out a recovery, despite Congress’ best efforts.

    • toc1234

      great comment. my summation.. Obama has no clothes. (and the Wash press corps are shameless)

      • OnPointComments

        2017 and the End of Ethics
        Will the Obama-era hypocrisy continue when the next president takes office?

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367010/2017-and-end-ethics-victor-davis-hanson

        Excerpt:
        “We have become inured to the press as an adjunct Ministry of Truth and to the notion that the president feels that he can do whatever he wishes without much worry over public audit. Such obsequiousness and exemption are now institutionalized, just as, after the divine Emperor Augustus, there was little accountability for the emperors or free speech allowed in criticizing them. So we are entering a new period in presidential history, and it may be difficult to go back to the status quo ante 2009, when reporters were not state megaphones and the president paid a price for not telling the truth.”

        • JONBOSTON

          Great piece by VDH….Victor davis hanson and Charles Krauthammer are terrific columnists.

    • OnPointComments

      2013 has been the year of the lies, many of them so brazen that President Obama should have started each lie with “Because I think you’re stupid enough to believe this…” President Obama was outraged when it was revealed that the IRS targeted conservative groups, but then reneged on his outrage 8 months later, and kept silent when the IRS announced regulations to do the same thing again. He drew a red line in Syria again and again, then denied that he had drawn the red line. President Obama was troubled that Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department secretly seized reporters’ telephone records, so he ordered a review of DOJ guidelines — by Eric Holder, who lied to the House Judiciary Committee when asked about the search warrants for reporters’ records. And when President Obama’s most often repeated promise, “You can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor,” was exposed as a lie, he thought we would believe him when he claimed he said “if it hasn’t changed.”

      But the most enduring lie of his presidency has been his promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He has re-written laws to suit himself, decided that enacted laws won’t be enforced, and declared through executive fiat that unpassed laws
      will be in effect anyway. As Professor Jonathan Turley testified before the Judiciary Committee: “The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model.”

      • Don_B1

        The vast majority of the lies of 2013 are of Tea/Republican origin:

        Rep. Darryl Issa (R, CA) requested that the IRS auditor only investigate “I.R.S. targeting of conservative groups” and only published statements selected to embarrass Democrats. However, when the full story came out (too late to get the wide publicity that the initial story did, as Rep. Issa probably counted on) even more liberal groups were “targeted” and the only group denied 501(c)(4) status. The real “scandal” is the result of a 1959 decision by the I.R.S. to treat the word “exclusively” in the law’s wording, “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare” to mean “primarily for the promotion of social welfare” which was what gave all those political groups, the majority of which are conservative, the “wiggle room” to seek tax exempt status in the first place.

        And just who thought that President Obama’s statement that “you can keep your doctor” applied universally when the doctor died, gave up his practice, etc.? But he did promise that if you lost your policy you can get a new one, and for the vast majority, that new policy will provide better coverage at a cheaper price than what the insurance company otherwise would have offered.

        • TFRX

          Darrell Issa has basically been at this shtstorm for so long it’s no longer “newsworthy” when he shoots his foot off while shooting off his mouth.

          He’s becoming a George W. Bush type, whose every dissembling gets a pass because that’s what the “savvy people” in our beltway press corps expect of him.

        • JONBOSTON

          I read your defense of Obama’s “lie of the year” and nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Were you serious in defending his lie by pointing out that some docs die , others give up their practices so no one should have interpreted his comments the way they were interpreted? If so , then if Obama’s comments were the lie of the year, then yours were the dumbest.

          Also , get your facts straight on the IRS scandal. Liberal groups were not targeted. The acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller in testimony before the House Ways and Means committee admitted as much. Also IRS Inspector General J. Russell George concluded in his May report that the IRS inappropriately targeted tea party groups and that of 298 cases the IRS selected for political review between May 2010 and May 2012 , just three included the term “Progressive” in the organization’s name ; none included the term “Occupy”.

    • John_in_VT

      This has been my problem with Pres. Obama from the start. George W barely snuck into the White House both times yet conducted himself as though he had a mandate.
      This president, with a virtual mandate, has conducted himself timidly on domestic policy as though he snuck in. He has pled with Congress instead of taking them where he wanted to go. (The supposed Obamacare was crafted by others with very little guidance from the White House).

      My black friends say that he’s acted out of self preservation. If he had acted with the imperiousness of Bush he would have been assassinated, they say. They point to the level of invective level at Obama as he’s tried to accommodate the GOP as evidence of this.
      .

      • Don_B1

        And, unfortunately, your Black friends do have a strong point. Just remember the vicious pushback that came from the right-wing media (Rush, Glenn, Bill O’Reilly, etc.) when President Obama commented on Trayvon Martin’s murder. The Republicans are doing everything in their power to subtly remind a certain group of the “uppity black” syndrome, which is nothing more than a myth, but like a lot of “American myths,” it has a lot of support out there.

      • JONBOSTON

        There are several flaws in your comments that Obama received a virtual mandate. First he received about 52-53% of the vote, hardly a mandate. And in Romney the Democrats had the perfect candidate to make into a cartoon figure “plutocrat” or “oligarch” as often referred to by some of our socialist friends on this board. And the Obama campaign organization ( esp. Stephanie Cutler) engaged in one of the most vile and despicable campaigns ever, even to the point of suggesting that Romney was responsible for the cancer death of a steelworker’s wife. Add in a sycophantic mainstream media and you have Obama re-elected.

        Finally , with the exception of his promoting the ACA ( which we all now know was full of lies , distortions and misrepresentations) ,Obama never really campaigned on programs and policies. His was a campaign of demagoguery, platitudes, and outright lies that the dumbest electorate ever just ate up. Especially the 47% of the electorate who pay no federal taxes, demand more benefits, and otherwise leach off the producing public. Combine that with public sector union parasites , private sector unions , idealistic but grossly ignorant and ill-informed young people, clueless academes and Sixties-liberal types and you have a winning constituency.

  • RolloMartins

    As the GOP is leading in the polls which bodes badly for the Dems in next years election, how do we explain Americans forgetfulness of the GOP gov’t shutdown? How is it we have forgotten their treasonous behavior already and are presumably ready to give them the reins of power?

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

      Perhaps more Americans are seeing it as desperate attempt to protect them from the disaster that Obamacare has inflicted on us.

      • jefe68

        Unless you’re buying insurance on the open market or did not have insurance the ACA has no effect on most people in the country.

        • OnPointComments

          Correction: Unless you’re one of the 5 million to 6 million who buy insurance on the open market…and, in 2014, one of the 80 million who have an employer health care plan that will be cancelled.

          • jefe68

            Oh the inanity.

    • John_in_VT

      The plain truth is that Obama has few friendly outlets in the press. Given the onslaught of bad news about Obama and the Democrats America turns its short attention span there. No one ever went broke exploiting America’s inattention to details.

    • James

      Because on the aggravate the government shut down didn’t effect the average person at all. There were tourists who couldn’t see the national monuments and national parks. (And I, like most right wingers, maintain that at least some, if not all, of these properties could be opened on a limited basis with the security they used to keep people off these properties in the first place)

      There were also fisherman and the like who couldn’t do they business without government approval and at least some of these fishermen probably resent the government treating them like children in the first place.

    • northeaster17

      Next November is a million years in politics. Anything can and probably will happen.

    • TFRX

      “Treasonous” I wouldn’t use.

      Our press corps is so inbred that I’d settle for someone saying “The shutdown was caused by the GOP and it was bad for them politically”.

      Because one thing to do if someone wants to stayon TV and on the rolodex is to never, ever say “Incident X is bad for Republicans” for more than two days.

  • Labropotes

    Isn’t the president raising federal employee salaries by 1% by executive order rather undemocratic? I’m not saying that federal employees are unworthy, but seems like a bribe coming from one man.

    • jefe68

      nope.

    • northeaster17

      The federal workers have been hit with sequester and shutdowns. It’s clear Congress will do nothing. Maybe it’s a moral boost.

      • Labropotes

        They lost nothing in the shutdown.

        A moral boost that was not democratically approved. Doesn’t that bother you?

    • Don_B1

      The pay raise was authorized by Congress as part of the budget deal that President Obama signed yesterday, and which needed an executive order to put it in effect:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/10/17/budget-deal-allows-for-january-federal-pay-raise/

  • toc1234

    any reporter who gives Obama credit for the bin Laden raid is suspect.

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

      So, Bush let him live just to give Obama a boost?

      • jefe68

        Mission Accomplished.

  • jefe68

    The regressive right wing zealots are out and about today.
    No doubt fueled by their consumption of Christmas puddings.
    I guess it’s time to unleash Megalon…

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

      Isn’t he the monster that gets his “tail” kicked by Godzilla? Good choice for a mascot.

      • jefe68

        He’s not a mascot. He will oblige you however to crawl back under that rock you came from.

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

          How’s that working for you?

          • jefe68

            Working fine. Now go on, back to your hole troll.

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

            You need to check your Tolkien, I ‘m a Hobbit. Just ask Senator McCain.

  • Coastghost

    “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort (sic) of things A true American Hero!” reads the placard being waved before the Reichstag.
    Truth in advertising, if applicable to German protest placards, would require recognition that Snowden now resides in Putin’s Russia, which we well know spies on no one. (Wonder if Snowden will get free passes to Sochi?)

  • SpeakTruth2

    David E. Sanger says we sat on the sidelines with Syria.
    How does he think America should have gone into that conflict?

    Does he really want us to go into another war. SERIOUSLY ??
    If he really thinks we should have a world without nuclear weapons,then it’s only diplomacy will bring people together at the table. It means toning down this hawkish rhetoric.

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

    Edward Snowden.
    Malala.
    Pope Francis.

    • Human2013

      These folks gave of some hope and promise for humanity among a sea of greedy, dishonest and troubled individuals.

  • Labropotes

    Two examples of NPR campaigning on behalf of Democrats.

    Yesterday Ari Shapiro said that Assad HAD used chemical weapons killing thousands. The UN has not said so, and they are the only entity that has investigated. It’s an Obama administration equivalent to WMD in Iraq.

    Julie Rovner listed three causes for Democratic losses in polls during 2012 before mentioning the ACA. If gerrymandering — which I deplore — is the cause, there would not be a Democratic president now. The ACA debacle is obviously the primary cause.

    • Don_B1

      The Presidency is determined on a statewide basis (except in Nebraska and Maine) so gerrymandering does not apply.

      President Obama won in both population count and Electoral College count in both 2008 and 2012.

      What let George W. Bush beat Al Gore in 2000 (besides the Florida legislature, governor and secretary of state plus the Supreme Court) was the bias in the Electoral College based on two counts for states in the Senate irrespective of population added to the House count which does represent population. This gives low population states like Wyoming more representation per citizen than states like California. Thus Al Gore, who won the in the population count, lost in the Electoral College.

      • Labropotes

        Fair point. Do you think a) Gerrymandering, b) Syria fiasco or c) ACA debacle had a greater impact on voters’ view of the Democratic party? If you think a), you may want to apply for a new job.

  • Human2013

    2013 is an Omen of things to come. Capitalism is turning out to be just a system of feudalism. The checks that were in place to maintain some equity in capitalism continue to be eroded. The vision, foresight and integrity that were once a small part of US governance have dissipated. President Obama has turned out just to be another politician that won’t address the real problems this country is facing. I don’t foresee 2014 getting any better.

    • Labropotes

      What do you think could change things for the better?

      • Human2013

        For starters, overturning Citizens United. How can my vote be equal to that of Exxon or Apple – ridiculous. I don’t believe that it can get any better. Democracy and Capitalism are opposing forces. The sole purpose of Corporation is to return money to its investors – not to contribute to society, not to increase the quality of life for humanity and sadly, not to care for its own employees. They have all the resources and they will continue to enrich the life of only a few.

        • OnPointComments

          At the end of 2013, we should all be thankful …

          …for the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United declaring that just because people are organized as a corporation they don’t lose their right to free speech.

          • Don_B1

            Reversing the Citizens United decision would NOT deny people their right to free speech, only limit their right to spend large (unlimited) amounts of money that they want to pool when organized as a corporation.

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

            Putting some of your money in someone else’s hands is an action – not speech.

            That is another SCOTUS decision that needs to be reversed.

          • OnPointComments

            Has any of the money spent after the Citizens United decision changed your vote in the elections?

  • toc1234

    a more succinct/truthful answer is to acknowledge the Obama and his handlers are in over their heads w regard to, well, most things, but most glaringly, foreign policy.

  • toc1234

    how did this IRS call get thru Tom’s screeners???

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

      The IRS “scandal” isn’t.

      • OnPointComments

        President Obama was outraged at the IRS scandal.

        • TFRX

          He had to say something to placate the baying press corpse, led by the right wing shatstormers.

          This is not your first day watching TV, is it?

          • Labropotes

            How do you know when Obama is telling the truth and when he is placating someone? Might he be placating everyone all the time?

          • TFRX

            Placating the press corps is part of a President’s job. Note, however, when the President is a Democrat, the press is much more tempermental in pressers.

            When GWB was at the podium, “the press” included the male prostitute Jeff Gannon, who was the “bailout questioner” of choiice whenever things threatened to get tough. really, Gannon (aka Guckert) worked for a “news organitzation” that didn’t place agoddamn story in a real newspaper anywhere and existed to inject right-wing talking points there.

            Now that Obama is there, “the press” includes Conservative “News” Service, which doesn’t place a goddamn story in a real newspaper everywhere, and exists to inject right-wing talking points there.

          • OnPointComments

            I don’t know of anyone, other than you, who believes that placating the press corps is part of the President’s job. When the President is asked a question, it is expected that he will tell the truth.

          • TFRX

            See anyone’s actually investigating–actually, perfunctory reading– about the lying hack Darrell Issa, who made up lots of the “facts” that your beloved “press corpse” asked the President about the IRSgategategate.

            Or, go home, troll.

          • OnPointComments

            “I have now had the opportunity to review the Treasury Department watchdog’s report on its investigation of IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. And the report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable. The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.” –President Barack Obama, May 14, 2013

          • TFRX

            Go home, troll. You’ve already shown you have no interest in the facts.

          • Don_B1

            It was not so much “placating” the press but responding without full knowledge of how misleading what was known at the time, which was how Rep. Darryl Issa (R, CA 49) had hidden the full scope of what had been done by requesting the auditor to only look at “targeting” of conservative groups and not examining the origin of the loophole, created by someone at the I.R.S. back in Dwight Eisenhower’s administration, to use the word “primarily” instead of the word in the law, “exclusively” in reference to the requirement for “promotion of the public welfare.”

            In that sense he was “talking before he knew all the facts” to show that he was taking notice of the problem and would deal with it.

          • TFRX

            Yep. In the “normal world” someone should just laugh at someone whose chief questions come out of Darrell Issa’s mouth.

            But this particular press corpse (no sic) running to the WH press conference with half-assed Darrell Issa leaks, if not outright lies?

            No room for pushback on Obama’s part. A Democrat would be crucified for telling all those Beltway Inbreds fearful of losing their jobs to someone more eager to destroy a Democrat “intrepid” if he were to say “Darrell Issa’s a lying hack

            and if you look at his crap for three days and come back, then we’ll talk.”

          • Labropotes

            I love to find agreement, Don. I am not convinced there is a scandal here. The nuances of not politically discriminating against a wave of political organizations that are abusing the law, especially when they announce their intent to use an organization to advocate for policies and parties, are difficult to navigate. The law itself is dumb.

          • OnPointComments

            It would be better to say nothing than to feel compelled to speak and lie.

          • TFRX

            Yep. A president saying nothing at a press conference–you really gotta get out more.

          • OnPointComments

            I can’t believe you’re coming out in support of lying. Actually, I can believe that you support lying, but I thought you’d lie about it and say you didn’t.

          • TFRX

            First, stop putting words in my mouth. This isn’t Fox and Fkers–it doesn’t fly here.

            Second, you were born yesterday, weren’t you?

          • Don_B1

            The Tea/Republicans are the liars, and you are repeating their lies.

          • Labropotes

            It’s depressing that people think lying is okay. As someone just said on the radio, lying is the royal road to chaos.

          • Labropotes

            Do you give corporate executives the same slack?

            I think we need to expect 100% integrity from everyone and shame them when we don’t get it.

          • Don_B1

            He didn’t “lie.” He did say that an investigation would take place and the problem would be corrected. He could have roundly criticized Rep. Issa if he had known the full facts.

    • Coastghost

      Plus, she was calling from Lincoln, Illinois, which lately has been treated to trashing by NPR’s own Kelly McEvers, a former resident whose profile of the town apparently earned her some local rebukes, perhaps for very good reasons.

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

      The truth will out. Or if you like “Serenity”…

  • James

    I just tried to sign up for Obamacare. My options were A. a penalty of $200.00 for the year. B. Health Insurance of $150.00 a month. C. Health Insurance of about 50-200 dollars a month depending on my tax credit. Considering that I had no idea how to apply for the tax credit and I had no idea what my tax credit would be. I decided to pay the fine.

    P.S. I am a healthy 27 year old, I might have signed up if the price was right.

    • Labropotes

      James, don’t forget the $5000-plus deductible you have to pay before you benefit (unless you are on the pill), and the coinsurance of up to 30%. If ACA were a good deal for you, they wouldn’t need your premium so badly.

      • jefe68

        All of what you are complaining about is private insurance policies. This is on them. The only reason for the high deductibles is to increase their profit margins. Get rid of for profit insurance companies, which is what is done on most other industrial nations, such as Switzerland and France. You see your anger is misplaced or is guided by ideology. I dislike the ACA as well, but at least it’s a step in the right direction: single payer.

    • TFRX

      When you break your leg, don’t come running to me.

      You’re to be congratulated on your picking the right genes. Millions of people in your age range aren’t so smart as you were.

      Seriously, it’s no coincidence how our mainstream press has taken the FoxFkers idea that “living wihtout healthcare is a breeze” and spewed it everywhere. Don’t try to be coy about that here.

      • James

        When you break your leg, don’t come running to me.

        Don’t worry, I won’t.

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

          Superman, you gave away your secret identity!

          • James

            I was talking about running to TFRX not breaking my leg.

            Nice guess though.

          • Labropotes

            In a free market, attending to a broken leg would cost $3000 on the outside. The real cost is keeping moribund old people on life support.

          • jefe68

            Such as yourself one day.

            An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never to take root in the first place. Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way. An idiot is suicidal in a certain way, definitely self-defeating, for the idiot does not know that privacy and individual autonomy are entirely dependent on the community. As Aristotle wrote, “Individuals are so many parts all equally depending on the whole which alone can bring self-sufficiency.”1 Idiots do not take part in public life; they do not have a public life. In this sense, idiots are immature in the most fundamental way. Their lives are out of balance, disoriented, untethered, and unrealized. Tragically, idiots have not yet met the challenge of “puberty,” which is the transition to public life.

          • Labropotes

            I am your fellow traveler to the grave.

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

            You didn’t need to post your age – it shows in your sense of immortality. Bad things only happen to … old people.

            I got news for ya’.

        • jefe68

          You will get a bill for this.
          Chances are you like most Americans are a good candidate for a medical bill bankruptcy. I understand some of your complacency, because most health insurance policies wont prevent this from happening.

    • jefe68

      Do you believe in being part of society or not?

      • brettearle

        Do you think, jefe, that ACA ought to levy a stiffer fine?

        I had no idea that the punishment was so light.

        It seems to me that it’s nowhere near enough of an incentive to sign up.

        • jefe68

          I think it’s time we rebuilt the entire health care system. The fines go up every year.
          This person response says more about rampant self-centeredness that seems to engulf this nation like some kind of libertarian plague. That’s the real problem in my view. More Americans have no problems spending billions a year on lottery tickets but ask them to pay a little more in taxes so we can have a single payer health care system and they scream tyranny…

          • James

            You know what you remind me of. Me when I was in college, and I had student loans which I never saw that covered all my food and shelter and utilities. I was living my head up my ***.

            Tell you what, when I start making enough money to pay for my basic needs and pay down my student loan debt before I turn 40, then we can start talking about how self centered I am.

          • jefe68

            Judging by all the other inane immature comments you have made on this forum I think the you that was in college is still the same. You area delusional, immature and in need of some critical thinking skills.

          • brettearle

            It’s a good point.

            But some of those who live on a double standard will need to be especially coerced.

            If they don’t comply, the fines become much stiffer, with each successive sign-up cycle.

            It’s the only way out of non-compliance.

            Unfortunately, it will need to be treated like Tax Evasion.

          • nj_v2

            Except the Insurance Windfall Act is not single payer, but you knew that.

            Do i really need to describe the difference between Obamacare’s requirement for people to buy crappy private products which will still siphon off billions for private profit and overhead vs. a true, public system?

        • James

          Penalty is 1% of annual income or $95, which ever is bigger penalty.

          Next year it’s 2% of annual income or 325 dollars

          and in 2016 it goes all the way up to 2.5% or $625.00

          http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/13/news/economy/obamacare-penalty/

    • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

      If you get injured and do not have health insurance go to the emergency room, they will treat you. If you do not have ins. you will get a bill for the treatment (at a much higher rate than if you had ins). If you do not have the money to pay it, they will take anything of value you possess after bill collectors hound you daily. If you work they will garnishee your wages. You are not going to get a free ride. And you still are going to have to pay the fine after all that. You may ought to reconsider buying health ins., I really don’t want to pay one penny for people like you.

      • James

        Health insurance is a luxury I just can’t afford right now, I haven’t needed it for a while, hell even my father who is 55 is pretty sure he’s put in more then he’s gotten out.

        I know there is a risk, but the odds and the prices just don’t add up right now.

        • hennorama

          James — sorry to point out the obvious, but you don’t actually know whether you can afford health insurance or not, as you are ignorant of the facts of the tax credit.

          • HonestDebate1

            I know as a country we can’t afford the tax credits (aka redistribution). A tax deduction would be much healthier for the economy.

        • jefe68

          What you are complaining about is our absurd market based health insurance system. The odds and risks don’t add up for a lot of Americans. But here’s a sat that will. One in 4 Americans will get and die from cancer in their lifetimes.
          You or your father might and most likely will get ill.

          Pardon me, but you seem to be confused about the market based system we have and somehow putting the blame on others who are pointing out the obvious.

        • jimino

          I’ll bet your dad is upset his house hasn’t burned down or he wasn’t made a quadriplegic in need of lifelong care in a car accident. Then he really could have got his money’s worth.

          Try informing yourself on the concept of insurance.

          • James

            My dad also makes in excess of double what I make. He can afford it.

          • HonestDebate1

            One of the things about the numbers of uninsured in the gazillions trotted out in an effort to pass this thing is many of the uninsured could indeed afford it. Many were covered by other government programs. And many were illegal aliens. We really didn’t have a crisis.

        • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

          You cannot afford ins but you can afford a computer and no telling what else. If a drunk driver hits you, a fall down steps, etc, etc, you cannot imagine what that is going to cost you and you will pay. They will write it off their taxes and the rest of us have to pay it, but you still will have to pay also. Been there, done that. Maybe a lesson on being a responsible citizen is needed. I don’t know you, I didn’t raise you and I damn sure don’t want to pay for your mistaken priority’s. The ins will cost you a little now, but it could be a hell of a lot more later if you don’t have it.
          Living on luck doesn’t always work out favorably. I understand if you qualify there is help with the costs. Damn what do you want, free?

          • James

            If I drunk driver hits me, or I fall down stairs (assuming the stairs were in poor condition) I’ll just sue the person responsible.

          • jefe68

            This is your answer? You’ll sue.
            You know what, your what my father use to call a class “A” expletive.

        • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

          When I was a little younger than you I was bullet proof, I could ride a bike through a blackberry patch naked and not get a scratch. Then Vietnam came along and I lost a lot of friends and I found out that I wasn’t bullet proof at all, it was in my mind. A good friend of mine came back without a scratch then a tractor trailer changed all that. He was in the hospital for over a year. Think about choices long and hard.

      • TFRX

        JPD, your point is succintly made by quoting the legions of right-wing pols and panelists who’ve told working class Americans,

        Hey, there’s always Emergency Rooms!

    • hennorama

      James — sorry that you let ignorance weigh on your decision. (“…I had no idea how to apply for the tax credit …”)

      Did you make any effort to get answers, or is your ignorance preferable to knowledge?

      • TFRX

        I’m willing to cut James a break for not running to the NYT or such with his chief complaint being “I had no idea how to apply for the tax credit”.

      • James

        I wrote about my experience on the website, unfortunately it is behind a firewall right now. I’ll get back to you and see if you could have done any better.

        • hennorama

          James — in which state are you a resident?

          One infers from your posts that you are single, with no dependents, age 27, and expect to make $20,000 in 2014.

          There are various online calculators that will give very close estimates based on the above, but one needs the state info.

          • James

            New York

          • hennorama

            James — the results I’ve found range from $323 – $568 annually for a Bronze plan, after the credit, depending on zip code.

            Since the penalty would be $200, you might be able to get coverage for another $10 or so per month.

            You should take another look.

          • James

            I am almost positive that the premiums you have listed are monthly where as the penalty is annual.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are the the ones who have to pay the freight. This can’t work. My advice (not that you asked) is pay the fine and vote for politicians who promise repeal.

          • JGC

            Worst. advice. ever.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s heartfelt. The young are getting screwed.

          • hennorama

            JGC — the advice was from the forum’s equine excrement expert, who would be well advised to stick to hot horse hockey rather than corporeal care counsel.

          • HonestDebate1

            And your qualifications?

            I believe to the pit of my soul with every fiber of my being no bill this sweeping and transformative passed on such a partisan basis can survive. I believe there can be no significant economic recovery as long as Obamacare exist. I believe it is extremely unfair to young healthy people like James. It seems James has a handle on it. You are entitled to your opinion.

        • Don_B1

          There is local help anyone can get in finding and picking an appropriate healthcare policy:

          https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/

      • James

        Here you go

        Once you get to the page where you can actually search for plans there is a button that says

        “Apply For An Exemption”

        you click it you get this message

        If you are filing an affordability hardship exemption, the lowest cost bronze plan is $218.28 per month. Click here for more information on how to apply for an affordability hardship exemption.

        If you click here the link takes you here

        https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/exemptions.html

        1. Apply for help paying for health insurance on the Marketplace.

        2. Print or make a copy of your Eligibility Determination notice with your maximum APTC, when the notice is available. You can also print your eligibility results in your Marketplace account.

        3. From the Plan Selection Section’s Find a Plan Screen, click on the “Apply for an Exemption” button. Print the entire page which includes the maximum APTC amount and cost information about the lowest cost bronze plan available to you.

        4. Go to http://www.healthcare.gov to obtain more information about applying for an affordability hardship exemption. We will update our website when more information becomes available.

        5. Mail the copy of your Eligibility Determination notice or results, the information you printed from the Plan Selection section, and your completed exemption application, when available, to the address listed on the exemption application.

        • hennorama

          James — thank you for your responses. I am consolidating my replies here.

          The estimated premiums I listed below are annual, not monthly, and are net of Federal tax credits. The source was a Kaiser Family Foundation calculator:

          http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

          You absolutely should make whatever choice you feel is best for you. Just be sure you are fully informed.

          You may be getting confused about affordability, exemptions, etc.

          Unfortunately, the NY site does not seem to allow you to browse plans and get estimated costs without registering. However, the site has this calculator listed under the Resources tab:

          http://www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/PremiumEstimator

          “Table I – Tax Credit Estimator for Individuals and Families:

          “The Tax Credit Estimator for Individuals and Families (Table I) displays the estimated maximum percentage and monthly cost for the second lowest priced silver plan available in a selected county. This amount is calculated by multiplying the Annual Taxable Income amount entered for the individual or family by the percentage contribution established in federal law. The contribution will vary based on the Annual Taxable Income and the total number of individuals in the household entered. Table I also displays the Estimated Advance Premium Monthly Tax Credit Available to Apply to Any Plan (other than a Catastrophic Plan) in Your County.”

          It’s a downloadable spreadsheet that gives you more information specific to your county. All you need to do is plug in the answers to a few questions, and it gives you the results. For example, in Nassau County, a single adult age 27 with $20K income in 2014 could get Bronze coverage for as little as $4.34/month after credits, according to the spreadsheet.

          You also could call the toll-free number, or chat online with a rep. Just click the Chat With Us under the Get Help tab.

          My sole point is to make an informed decision.

          Thanks again for your responses.

    • sickofthechit

      James, my understanding is you have a choice of the tax credit being applied monthly to “supplement” your monthly premiums or have it at the end of the year when you do your taxes as one large credit. charles a. bowsher

  • TFRX

    Karen Tumulty had it half correct about “Obama showed he can’t fix Washington.”

    It’s not “fix Washington”. It’s “Fix the Republicans”.

    All the schmoozing, private talks, dinners, etc in the world used to be the way to make deals in DC.

    Not with these WATB Republicans. Not since about the days of Bob Dole. These righties want to grind up government because 1) A Democrat is in the White House, 2) Every ‘serious person’ inside the Beltway will say “Bothsides”, and 3) There will always be someone to say “It’s bad news for Obama when the Republicans tank the approval of government, by any means available”.

  • OnPointComments

    At the end of 2013, we should all be thankful …

    … for the top 60% of income earners who paid 96% of all federal taxes — income, social security, corporate income, & excise — and
    especially for the top 1%, who earn 15% of income but pay 24% of all federal taxes.

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

      Those uber-rich people have it soooo hard …

    • brettearle

      And so the Men and Women, who have talents and skills that draw high income, ought to believe, 1000%, in, “To the Victor, Go the Spoils”–without giving back, “disproportionately” to the community?

      They can simply sit back, blow cigar smoke in their dens and live guilt free.

      Why?

      Because they didn’t earn blood money nor did they earn it from breaking the backs of their workers.

      After all, just think:

      Some of these men and women, in the 1%, just might be directly and indirectly connected to the sweat shops in Bangladesh that collapse or the Gulf Oil Spills that helped to destroy the Gulf Coast economies.

      And even perhaps a whole host of other indignities that we don’t know about.

      Or…I know….these men and women who don’t have any blood on their hands:

      Why should they feel obligated at all?

      After all, too, if they pay more taxes, it’s throwing good money after bad–and it does nothing but encourage Joe-the-Plumber socialism.

      • OnPointComments

        As I said, we should be thankful that those who have talents and skills that draw high income give back to the community disproportionately.

        • Human2013

          Wow! Are you aware of the Unearned Income section on the 1040. It’s called “Unearned Income” for a reason – It WAS NOT EARNED. The millions and billions that investors place in this box is the theft of American workers wages. They pay a disproportionate percentange of taxes on this money — some little to nothing. Bill Gates put $7B in this box last year and paid less than the American earning $40K.

          • OnPointComments

            Please explain how any American’s wages have been stolen if I invest in a stock and sell it at a profit.

    • jefe68

      An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never to take root in the first place. Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way. An idiot is suicidal in a certain way, definitely self-defeating, for the idiot does not know that privacy and individual autonomy are entirely dependent on the community.

    • nj_v2

      Do you get paid according to posting volume, degree of inanity, or is there a formula that takes both into account?

      • StilllHere

        That deal appears to only apply to you and it’s made you rich.

    • jimino

      So federal income taxes, on income to which it is applicable, and that ain’t much of many of the highest earners’ income, is slightly progressive. A good counterweight to the vast majority of other taxes which are highly regressive, don’t you think?.

      • OnPointComments

        The amounts I referenced apply to federal taxes on income, social security, corporate income, & excise taxes. For these federal taxes, the average tax rate paid in 2010 for the bottom 20% was 1.5%; for the top 20%, the average rate was 24%; and for the top 1%, the average rate was 29.4%. The average income of the top 1% was 59 times higher than the average income of the bottom 20%, and the top 1% paid federal taxes that were over 1000 times greater than the bottom 20%.

        It looks much, much more than “slightly progressive” to me.

  • jefe68

    An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never to take root in the first place. Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way. An idiot is suicidal in a certain way, definitely self-defeating, for the idiot does not know that privacy and individual autonomy are entirely dependent on the community. As Aristotle wrote, “Individuals are so many parts all equally depending on the whole which alone can bring self-sufficiency.”1 Idiots do not take part in public life; they do not have a public life. In this sense, idiots are immature in the most fundamental way. Their lives are out of balance, disoriented, untethered, and unrealized. Tragically, idiots have not yet met the challenge of “puberty,” which is the transition to public life.

    http://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-126940186/teaching-against-idiocy

  • OnPointComments

    At the end of 2013, we should all be thankful …

    … that Dr. David Viner, a senior climatic research scientist, was wrong when he said that winter snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” and claimed “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” More than half of the continental U.S. had snow cover as of Dec. 15, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the most in 11 years.

    … that U.S. climate scientist Wieslaw Maslowski was wrong when he predicted that the Arctic’s summer ice could “completely disappear” by 2013 due to global warming arising from carbon emissions. In 2013, the Arctic had 920,000 square miles of ice more than it had in 2012, the largest year-to-year increase on record.

    • jefe68

      Oh more inanity. No more Christmas pudding for you!!!

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

      Sock puppet!

    • Don_B1

      The majority of climate scientists actually predict more snowfall, in bigger storms, because of the increased water vapor in the atmosphere due to global warming (the water vapor in the subtropics has increased by 4% since 1970). And the decrease in temperature difference between the tropics and the polar regions has decreased the speed of movement of weather systems, leading to more variation in the position of the jet streams, bringing cold arctic air down and warm tropical air up into the temperate zones like the United States experience.

      Several years ago when Rush Limbaugh tried to use a Washington D.C. snowstorm to deny Climate Change, this was all explained. But the Republican and other deniers of Climate Change just keep repeating their sad false claims.

      • OnPointComments

        But more snowfall isn’t what Wieslaw Maslowski predicted, is it?

        • Don_B1

          So what? He was wrong, as is his right. Has he acknowledged that?

          If you read his interview at Zero Emissions:

          http://bze.org.au/media/radio/dr-wieslaw-maslowski-predicted-2013-ice-free-summer-arctic-five-years-ago-now-he-says-ma

          you will understand that Dr. Maslowski predicted an earlier date that the climate models in use five years ago were predicting, and that that “could? be as early as 2013, but certainly would be sooner than the end of the 21st century.

          It seems clear that it was not a 100% certain prediction for 2013. But I don’t expect you to change your false position and accept the truth because it would destroy your ideology.

    • OnPointComments

      It’s telling that those who worship at the altar of the climate change cult aren’t thankful that these two climate prophets were wrong.

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

        Scientists don’t take anything on faith.

        • OnPointComments

          Climate scientists David Viner & Wieslaw Maslowski made predictions that were not only wrong, but were the opposite of what occurred. And I am thankful that they were wrong.

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

            Why are you ignoring all the scientists who are right about climate change?

          • jefe68

            You have to ask?

          • Don_B1

            When the Arctic sea ice is at a new minimum, getting ever closer to an ice-free Arctic for at least part of the Arctic summer, even that prediction is NOT the OPPOSITE of what happened.

          • OnPointComments

            Did the Arctic summer ice completely disappear by 2013? Was there less Arctic summer ice in 2013 than in 2012?

          • Don_B1

            Of course not, the extent of summer ice doesn’t have to decline uniformly each year in a “noisy” environment to be marching toward zero or near-zero within a decade or at least much less than 40 years.

            Weather can only be characterized by statistics and they are “noisy” by definition, as you undoubtedly know, but are just trying to toll this site.

          • Don_B1

            See:

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/sep/19/climate-change-arctic-ice-sixth-lowest-in-millennia

            for a graph of how the sea ice extent has declined over the years.

            But also take note (which you and other deniers won’t) that just the extent of the ice does NOT TELL the WHOLE STORY. The volume, which is harder to measure has been decreasing possibly at a faster rate and the old ice is not being replaced at sustaining rate.

            The volume could well be at an all-time low.

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

          Too many published papers go unchallenged.

          FTA:
          “Are more people doing wrong or are more people speaking up? Retractions of scientific papers have increased about tenfold during the past decade, with many studies crumbling in cases of high-profile research misconduct that ranges from plagiarism to image manipulation to outright data fabrication.”

          http://www.nature.com/news/research-ethics-3-ways-to-blow-the-whistle-1.14226

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

            So, go ahead and challenge the papers. All science is interrelated:

            Can you have Evolution without DNA?
            Can you have Geology without Plate Tectonics?
            Can you have Biology without Evolution?
            Can you have Chemistry without Physics?
            Can you have Paleontology without Geology?
            Can you have Astrophysics without Atomic Theory?

            Climate Science relates to ALL of these fields of science. Reject climate science and you must reject ALL science.

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

            False premise being used to support a false conclusion. Our children will look at anthropomorphic climate change the same way we look back on Piltdown Man: a Hoax.

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

            You are using a straw man argument. And you don’t have anything better to offer than FUD.

            Plate tectonics and DNA are far younger fields of science than climate change. We don’t know everything about *any* field of science and answering questions leads to more questions.

            Adding carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide *has to* have the effect of warming, because that is how chemistry and physics work.

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

            The central premise of anthropomorphic climate change is that common human activity will cause cataclysmic climate effects. This is not science it is superstition.

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

            You are badly misinformed. Do you even know what a superstition is? Because you obviously do not know what science is.

            It is anthropogenic climate change. Anthropomorphic is something completely different.

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

            You are correct it is anthropogenic and not anthropomorphic. My apologies for my mistake and any confusion it may have caused. Thank you for the correction.

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

    Karen Tumulty has to learn “Making faith in the federal govt lower” and “making it less relevant in peoples’ lives” don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

    If these Tea Party sorts were so intent on that, why don’t they just stop suckling at the federal tax dollar they’re so good at getting?

    How many Right-wing states went to go on binges against gays, womens’ health cares, and on voter suppression crusades (really, no other word) while repeating “jobs is job 1″ until the mainstream press noticed?

    (Tom, here’s where an economist might steer the discussion into a useful direction.)

    PS All the regular stuff applies: Nobody was doing this on the right when a Republican was in the White House. And nobody was doing this in the press corps then either. These folks followed GWB down the cliff into his own pile of manure for many more years than the public at large. The “Democrats’ dozen” still holds: A Republican president will get the same narratives at X% approval which a Democrat only gets when the Dem is at X+12% of that approval.

    Perhaps some guests from outside the Beltway would help.

    • Labropotes

      TFRX, I don’t think there are important differences between the two parties. Both have encouraged the Fed to blow bubbles. Both have maintained forever war. Both expand the welfare state. What are the big differences you see?

      • TFRX

        I’m open to some unpacking of simple statements.

        In the meta media mode, someone flipped a switch and about 1/3 of the commercial media went from compulsory (if not compulsive) flag-lapel-pin-wearing “patrioticism”. The “mainstream” sorts didn’t really notice, and continue to get played. The GOP have determined to be scared of everyone thrown in Gitmo, describing them all as “terrorists” even if not charged, simply to keep that prison open, because President Obama declared that he would close it. The folks there have to be dealt with in a legal system and the GOP has simply decided to keep them there to deny the President the triumph of delivering on a promise*.

        (*This is a trend. I would like to count the number of dead righties who’d jump off a cliff should Obama say “I’m in favor of going to the edge of a cliff and walking backwards.” It is basically their only policy and strategy any longer.)

        In the human dignity mode, very few on the right seems to buck the trend of “I got mine, you shoulda been born straight, white (often male) and suburban”. I’m a bit surprised about the advance of gay marriage–a bright spot I didn’t see coming.

        In the economics mode, the whole of everyone inside the Beltway (especially our media gatekeepers) except for a certain segment of the Democrats have been fetishizing about cutting the deficit in, say, 10-20 years, while ignoring the simple fact that a few % of growth now reduces the deficit later, if nothing else is changed. And the Dems are the party in which you can find people saying “multiplier effect” while discussing the economy.

        Economically, if this whole thing is going down, why do so many people on the right fascinate themselves with absolute punishment of the working class and then say “it’s for their own good”? It’s as if the Titanic hit the iceberg and some crew members were going to their death making sure the steerage passengers didn’t go eat food from the second class dining room.

        • Labropotes

          thanks for your response. I don’t agree with your conclusions, but I agree on what you consider to be the important issues.

      • Don_B1

        Actually Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA 4th) was pleading with Alan Greenspan by 2004 to use the powers he had led Congress in the 1990s to provide the Fed to regulate the mortgage industry, including the “shadow banks.”

        If Fed Chair Greenspan had not refused, saying that the market would self-regulate itself and nothing needed to be done, the Great Recession might not have been the big “balance sheet” recession that has distinguished it from all other recessions since the similar ones that caused the Great Depression.

        As the United States has become a less agrarian economy (in terms of workers) the more volatile vagaries of the commerce and manufacturing industries have required more governmental involvement in helping workers and others obtain equal opportunities to progress in life.

        • OnPointComments

          Let’s not take advice from Barney Frank, especially with regards to the mortgage industry.

          “I think this is a case where Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are fundamentally sound. They’re not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investment these days from a long term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward. They’re in the housing market. I do think their prospects going forward are very solid.” – Rep. Barney Frank, July 14, 2008

          On September 6, 2008, less than two months after Rep. Frank’s comments in July, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed into conservatorship. The Treasury committed to invest as much as $200 billion in preferred stock and extend credit through 2009 to keep Freddie and Fannie solvent and operating. As reported by CNN on February 11, 2011, “the federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be the most expensive government rescue of the financial crisis — it already stands at $153 billion and counting.”

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

      Which Federal tax dollars are you talking about?

      • TFRX

        You should know this by now. You’re a decently informed sort.

        With very few exceptions, rural and historically-GOP-run states get more money from the Federal government than they pay in taxes.

        Recently, there’s also been a litany of fiscallyresponsible governors going behind the scenes for Federal money from the stimulus and other things during Obama’s first term while braying about their rugged individualism.

        It’s like that old Simpsons with Ron Howard, where Ron gives Homer a wad of cash.

        Ron Howard: Here, take this and do something fun with your kids. Leave us alone.

        Homer (indiginantly): I don’t need your money!

        (Homer puts the bills in his shirt pocket.)

        Ron Howard: Uh, you’re supposed to give the money back when you say that.

        I just want these “small government” types to make the slightest effort to give the money back when they say “Washington is broken. We don’t need it.”

        • jimino

          They really are clueless. Here in Nebraska our teabag Governor just appointed a like-minded person to fill a vacant State legislative seat. The guy is a retired military officer who now makes his living running a defense contracting firm, and proudly identifies himself as an “anti-tax conservative” despite being dependent his entire life (as is our Governor’s family) by tax dollars. And they will continue to be so supported in retirement.

          I really think they are so brainwashed they literally cannot see the hypocrisy in their stated positions. Or maybe they’re just manipulative liars.

          I fully favor giving the people what they say they want: remove every dime of non-essential federal spending from every district that sends a tea party candidate to DC.

          • TFRX

            I remember when Nebraska was a normal sounding place, and many folks said its unicameral lege was a big part of the reason.

            Wow, that was a long time ago.

          • jefe68

            I think it’s a mental illness or maybe it’s just a lack of intelligence not seeing the hypocrisy of their lives. A retired military officer who’s anti-tax… lets ponder that for a moment…

            OK, that was long enough.

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

            I find it curious that a band name the Tom repeated over the air last week will get a comment deleted. But this John Waters vulgarism is still A-OK because it refers to NPR’s political opponents. Such is the scope of NPR’s journalistic integrity.

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

          You are aware that Worcester is part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? It is telling that you have to use a cartoon to illustrate you point.

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

    This issue will not go away regardless of how much the Left would want it. Paul L. Caron of the Pepperdine University School of Law has blogged the developments in this story for 232 days!

    FTA:

    Washington Examiner: Report: RS Regs Would Silence Obama’s Critics, Set No Limits on Liberal Groups:

    On Wednesday, WND reported that new rules being proposed by the IRS are designed to silence conservative critics of President Obama while setting no limits on liberal groups.

    Mathew Staver, founder and chief counsel of Liberty Counsel, told WND that after the agency was caught “intentionally targeting conservative groups in the prior two elections, now the president wants his IRS to totally silence the voices of his political adversaries.”

    According to Staver, the new rules are “designed to silence and greatly restrict the activities of Liberty Counsel Action and other 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations during the upcoming election year.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/12/irs-scandal-1.html

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

      Always the victim…

      • jefe68

        And always whining about it.

    • TFRX

      Wingnut Daily. Pepperdine (Ken Starr) Law. Washington Examiner. All crap names not to be trusted.

      I know not a thing about the Liberty (sic) Counsel Action. But boy howdy, this seems predictable.

    • Don_B1

      If the I.R.S. used the word written in the law, “exclusively” rather than the word “primarily” that the I.R.S. adopted on its own in 1959, the political organizations of all leanings that have applied for tax-exempt status would all have been summarily denied.

      And unfortunately the new I.R.S. Commissioner has proposed new interpretations that, while limiting those that can get tax-exempt status, they do not go back to the way the law was originally written. So the possibility of further false “scandals” remains.

    • OnPointComments

      I doubt it’s a coincidence that the new proposed rules on “primary activity” apply to 501(c)(4) organizations, but not to 501(c)(5) organizations (labor unions), 501(c)(6) organizations (business leagues), or 501(c)(3) organizations (charities).

  • Crozet_barista

    I sense some remarkable ignorance among Tom and his guest Karen T when discussing at the end of the jour the problem of ever-rising inequality and the state of the economy. We have had a very prosperous series of decades yes, but to ascribe that success to inequality is truly insane. We can thank the New Deal and the strong progressive policies of the 1940s and on for that (when wealth increase was more equally shared across the socio-economic layers of society. The fact that these policies have been broken down since the 1980s has led to the reversal as we see now.

    • William

      Is it more about the failure of people to adapt to the changing economy, jobs etc..? Certainly there has not been a lack of federal, state, local, charities, and churches supporting various social safety net, education, schools, welfare programs. Have Americans just become too lazy?

      • Crozet_barista

        In fact funding for education (local and state that supply the bulk) has been dramatically reduced over the past decades. One cannot expect excellence when not investing in it. Your comment shows even more ignorance and the usual knee-jerk rightwing talking point devoid of reality. Charities and churches are not and cannot serve as the sole backbone of a thriving society. Get real.

        • OnPointComments

          Education spending from 2004 through 2018

          • StilllHere

            That certainly quieted him/her/it.

          • JGC

            That is the dollars spent in total from all sources. State education funding has been decreasing of late, so local and federal sources have had to provide more, just to try to keep up. Keep in mind also that the population of the U.S. is increasing each year, so presumably total education spending should also be increasing. But total spending is not increasing, as can be seen in this graph. Pay attention only to the blue, which is money actually spent on education, not “estimated” future spending (the “red” bars). The population of the U.S. in 2004 was around 290-million people, and in 2012 it had increased to 314-million. The growth is within the younger population, and yet the education per capita is decreasing over time.

          • OnPointComments

            None of the blue bars show the dramatic reduction in education funding which Crozet_barista claims.

          • hennorama

            JGC — note also that the charted figures are in nominal dollars, meaning they are not adjusted for inflation.

        • Don_B1

          OnPointComments

          Depending on how education spending is broken out, a lot of the sums totaled include things like team sports and inter-school sports, on which vast sums are expended. These programs typically only help those that are athletically endowed.

          And because of the poverty of inner city schools, there is a lot of money included in providing school security which does not directly educate the pupils, although it at least allows education to take place.

          • OnPointComments

            My guess is that it would be difficult to quantify that funding for education has been dramatically reduced, as Crozet_barista posited.

        • William

          Education funding is up in all but the very poor areas of the country. Even in Oakland CA there are students going to Ivy League colleges if they apply themselves. (Chinese Girl in the Ghetto – CSPN). Certainly the Dept. of Education has been well funded the last 12 years. You seem to fall back on the Liberal tried and true method of discussion – insult anyone that does not agree with you. Charities have received billions of dollars and are also well funded. It goes back to the reality that getting ahead in life is difficult but not impossible.

          • TFRX

            Really, go home, troll.

            You are eminently insultable and have no knowledge of how “getting ahead in life” is. It gets harder for working class people during every downturn. Tens of millions of Americans are working more efficiently, more prodcutively, and harder since the start of the Bush recovery, and all they have to show for it is “a few people have succeeded so it’s you’re fault” or “the universe doesn’t want these poor class folks to be middle class”.

            Still drawing that fat gummint NASA paycheck? Is that you?

        • TFRX

          You haven’t met William, have you?

          He is a master of JAQing it? Making stupid, simplistic statements that have question marks at the end? And then sitting back wondering why everyone doesn’t treat him with the deference they do a David Brooks? Maybe because this is the real world, and David Brooks lives in a bubble?

          • William

            It’s been a tough year for you huh? Your boy Obama lied and now millions will get the boot off their medical insurance. It is sort of like you are holding one of the lines to the Hindenberg as it goes up in flames. Don’t let go, I’m sure Obama will reward you and the other useful idiots.

          • TFRX

            I don’t know?

            Maybe I’m too busy watching you take your weekly weak-ass trips from Williamworld? Where you can’t find anything else to do than to imitate one of the biggest afhole twerps out there?

            PS Explosive Nazi gasbag? Nobody here said anything about Rush Limbaugh.

  • OnPointComments

    At the end of 2013, we should all be thankful …

    …for e-cigarettes and vaping, even though it is driving liberals crazy that there isn’t a reason to oppose e-cigarettes or to regulate them.

    • TFRX

      Hahahaha. You’re so fixated on hippie punching it’s not even funny any longer.

      And when the makers tell me what’s in the vapor coming out of those things…

      Until then it’s a “we manufacture and someone else uses a device that expels something into the air strangers breathe, and trust us!” scenario.

      • HonestDebate1

        Dude, our breath has been labeled a pollutant by the EPA. Don’t worry the E-cig Nazis are coming.

        • TFRX

          No more calls, please. We have a Godwin-loser.

    • jefe68

      Amazing, of all the things to be thankful for you pick this.

    • StilllHere

      They just haven’t found a reason yet … maybe the blue light is distracting in public places.

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    Motivation for the year: If you were going to have a grudge match then tell me about it considering who, what, where, when, why, and how.

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

      jefe68 and me in a dance battle!

  • HonestDebate1

    Maybe 2014 will be the year the libs stop blaming Bush for everything that’s bad… naaahh.

    • jefe68

      Maybe 2014 will be the year that regressive right wingers stop posting mendacity laced comments, (of which the above is a prime example)… somehow I doubt it.

      • JONBOSTON

        maybe 2014 will be the year that you finally offer comments worth reading other than your typical “regressive right wingers” bull crap.

        • jefe68

          Ahhh, poor baby. My comments seem to effect you enough to make this lame one. Here’s a tip for you. Don’t read them.
          Don’t respond, go do something else with your life, such as naval gazing or stamp collecting.

          • JONBOSTON

            Just so you know , I long ago followed your recommendation to ignore your comments. You may not have realized this but I rarely comment on things you’ve written since I often regard your comments as idiotic . As in stupid, disparaging, worthless crap.

          • jefe68

            Well, then why bother then?

          • brettearle

            Good work, jef.

          • HonestDebate1

            Don’t egg on the hate Brettearle. Click Jeffe’s profile at any time and his comments will amaze you. It’s a lot of contentiousness with little to add.

          • brettearle

            Your above comment reaches a new level of manipulation and triviality, even by those who might already suffer from a glaring deprivation in basic Cognition.

            Though brief, the manipulation and triviality work synergistically in the terse comment–so that one is left with a rousing milieu of high-octane morbidity.

            Another take on it might be that:

            Your carp, while compassionately brief, is almost unprecedented in its vacant appeal.

            I like both investigations–but, in the final analysis, I sort of hanker towards the latter….

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s your right, God bless you. But you are condoning hate, read his comment. And please click his profile, you would’t be caught dead with a profile like that. It’s like that always.

          • brettearle

            I was spoofing your comment by slurping mine with Pedantry.

            duh……

          • jefe68

            It’s amazing, is it not?

          • brettearle

            Rhetorical Question

          • jefe68

            Ahh yes, the guy who love Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and who posts reams of anti-black rhetoric calling me hateful all because I dare to be critical and point out the idiocies of the right wingers who post here. Really pathetic.

    • StilllHere

      Maybe it’ll be the year their hypocrisy is only exceeded by their mendacity.

      • jefe68

        Get thee hence troll.

  • 1Brett1

    Those young black hoodlums committing violence against whites again! -Wait, what?

    http://news.yahoo.com/39-knockout-game-39-attack-leads-hate-crime-012237553.html

    • OnPointComments

      For the first time in a knockout game attack, the US Department of Justice has brought a federal hate crime charge. What was different about this case?

      • 1Brett1

        Do give us some links, OPC, where a black person punched out a white person and there was ample evidence of it being a hate crime, yet the DoJ refrained from bringing hate crime charges…we’ll wait.

        I’m sure there probably have been situations where blacks committed crimes against whites just because the victims were white, but gathering evidence and proving a hate crime is another thing altogether…but we’ll still wait for some links of the DoJ giving a black criminal a pass before we pass judgment.

        As far as this case, there never would have been any charges at all if a series of missteps by the white criminal hadn’t put authorities on his trail.

        • HonestDebate1

          Hate crime legislation is stupid IMHO.

          • 1Brett1

            Stupid IYHO yet you wish to hang him for his acts. We already have laws and a court system to try, convict and mete out a punishment for the man, but hang the man?…Okay, then. However, his crime DID rise to the level of something more than punching a man in the face; if it didn’t, I’d say the death penalty for punching a man in the face would be excessive.

            There is a premeditated targeting of people for being in some minority group that makes certain crimes more severe than the face value of the criminal’s act. Also, you could argue for certain crimes to be treated more harshly and consistently by society, and I might just agree with you, but you aren’t; you are arguing for certain crimes, i.e., hate crimes, to be treated less severely than they are.

          • HonestDebate1

            I would expect you to support legislation based on mind reading because that’s what you do. But it’s stupid.

      • hennorama

        OPC — do you have an answer to this question?

        One obvious possibility is that the U.S. Attorney believes the evidence is very strong, and that the evidence justifies the charge.

        • OnPointComments

          No, I don’t have an answer. Do you have an explanation why the DoJ has never brought hate crime charges in any other knockout cases? It seems to me that these unprovoked attacks with the nicknames “Polar Bear Hunting” and “Get The Jew” would be ideal hate crime cases.

          • HonestDebate1

            Many are on video and some are even posted online by the attackers. That’s pretty strong evidence.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TY for your response.

            The simplest and most obvious “explanation” is that the U.S. Attorney in those jurisdictions did not believe the evidence was very strong, and that the evidence did not justify such a charge.

          • 1Brett1

            No, OPC, I don’t know why “unprovoked attacks labeled [whatever that means...labeled by whom and in what way?] ‘Polar Bear Hunting and ‘Get the Jew’” don’t get prosecuted as “hate crimes cases.” In fact, I am not familiar with these particular cases you mention. Can you provide links to reports of these incidents, so I can make a more informed comment about their not being prosecuted?

            You clearly have more information than you have provided, as you have ostensibly drawn the conclusion that those two cases you mention should have been prosecuted as hate crimes.

          • 1Brett1

            Are you saying, OPC, that the DoJ has never brought hate crimes charges against someone committing assault?

          • hennorama

            OPC – CNN.com and others have reported that NY police have charged a suspect under NYS hate crime laws.

            “New York police previously charged suspect Marajh Amrit with a hate crime in the alleged attack of a white Jewish man as part of a “knockout” game.”

            See:
            http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/27/justice/texas-knockout-charge/

            “Marajh is charged with aggravated assault as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and assault in the 3rd degree, police said. He was arraigned Saturday, according to Mia Goldberg, spokeswoman for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.”

            See:
            http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/22/justice/knockout-game-teen-assaults/

            “NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect was charged Saturday morning in a string of violent attacks in Brooklyn, known as the “knockout game.”

            “As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, four suspects were taken into custody Friday night.

            “One of the suspects, identified as Amrit Marajh, 28, was charged with aggravated assault as a hate crime, among other counts. The other three suspects were released without charges.

            FURTHER

            “There have been seven so-called “knockout” or “polar bear” assaults in the Crown Heights and Midwood sections of Brooklyn alone since October, Kelly said Wednesday. The alternate name “polar bearing” comes from the fact that the victims are white.

            AND

            “The attacks are being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.”

            See:
            http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/23/4-held-in-latest-alleged-knockout-game-attack-in-brooklyn/

            It may be that local prosecutors in NY and elsewhere are more aggressive in charging under hate crime laws. In contrast, Texas law enforcement and prosecutors may be less aggressive and more reluctant to do so.

            There are significant differences between New York and Texas in reported hate crimes per capita.

            Per the 2011 FBI UCR Hate Crime data:

            NY reported 544 “incidents” for a “Population covered“ of 19,297,804. For the same year’s data, TX reported 152 “incidents” for a “Population covered“ of 25,629,269.

            See:
            http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011/tables/table-12

            In the 2010 data, NY reported 699 “incidents” for a “Population covered“ of 19,307,186. For the same year’s data, TX reported 174 “incidents” for a “Population covered“ of 25,083,730.

            See:
            http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2010/tables/table-12-agency-hate-crime-reporting-by-state-2010.xls

      • hennorama

        OPC — since there was nothing in the Yahoo news article indicating that this was “the first time in a knockout game attack, the US Department of Justice has brought a federal hate crime charge,” two questions arise:

        1. From what source did you learn about “the first time …” aspect?

        2. Why do you think this “first time …” aspect is important enough to mention?

        • OnPointComments
          • hennorama

            OPC – TY for your response.

            Answering your question first: No, not particularly.

            These rare crimes have been sensationalized, and the public perception of their incidence has been greatly exaggerated by media attention and online amplification. This has led to idiotic copycats, like the person accused in this case, who seems to have wanted to get “nationally televised,” according to multiple reports.

            Your first source, The Washington Times, thought that the race of the accused individual was so important to this story that they included it in their headline: “Feds charge white man with hate crime in first ‘knockout’ prosecution.”

            The writer then added,

            “The charge marks the first time the administration has taken action on a “knockout” case after the game became an Internet and media phenomenon. It chose a case in which the person accused is white, even though most other cases reported in the news have involved black assailants.”

            Rather significant implications in those words, wouldn’t you agree?

            It’s also interesting that there is a sort of undercurrent that the decision to prosecute this individual under Federal law was made by the “Feds” and “the administration” and “It,” rather than by the individual prosecutor and the particular USA’s office involved in the case.

            All one need do is read a few of the comments associated with this article to see the audience to which the WT is catering. Here’s the latest comment (as of 5:35 PM GMT Monday, December 30, 2013):

            “OdinsChild • 2 hours ago −

            So lets see here, hundreds of black on white “knockout game” attacks occur in this country every single day and not one of them has been labeled a “hate” crime. ONE white on black attack and instantly “this will not be tolerated” comes from the feds. The double standard in America is absolutely disgusting. Spread this story and liberal hypocrisy to everyone you know. We must fight back!”

            And another from 8 hours earlier:

            “Nimadan • 10 hours ago −

            If White people had a country of our own, this wouldn’t be happening.”

            The other two sources you cited were written a day later, on Friday Dec, 27, 2013, and were a bit more reflective rather than “hard news.” They both discussed the “why this case?” aspect of the story, and gave possible answers to your question:

            From the foxnews.com piece:

            “A number of those cases probably would not qualify as a hate crime — prosecutors would need to have evidence that the victim was targeted because of race or religion.”

            “In some cases, the Justice Department might have no jurisdiction at all. There is no generic federal assault charge, though charges could apply if the victim is a government official or law enforcement officer. Without the hate-crime element, assaults typically are charged in a state court.”

            From the csmonitor.com piece:

            “The reason why you have black perpetrators and white victims being prosecuted asymmetrically hinges on what evidence there is about why they’re doing what they’re doing,” says Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University in New York.

            “If suspects call the victim racial names, and one of the other witnesses testifies to that effect, it would be prosecutable as a hate crime,”

            Apparently those possible reasons, from your own sources, were insufficient for you.

          • OnPointComments

            Your first source, Yahoo News, thought the race of the attacker was so important to this story that it mentioned it in the very first sentence of the article.

            Really, are you going to quote comments left by readers as proof of the audience to which an article is catering? Did you read the comments in the Yahoo News article you referenced?

          • hennorama

            OPC – thank you for your response.

            Yes, I read some of the comments about the Yahoo story. I also noticed that not a single one was made on the day the story was published. This implies that those making comments were “driven to” the story from elsewhere.

            OTOH, the WT story engendered comments virtually instantaneously, implying a ready and waiting audience.

            Indeed, the AP story, by Michael Graczyk, which was strictly “hard news,” mentions the race of both the accused and the victim in the first sentence, as those facts are pertinent to the hate crime charge. No mention was made as to “the first time …” aspect anywhere in the article, as this is not important to the facts of the case.

            In contrast, the WT headline mentioned only the race of the accused, and added the rather editorial comment that “[The administration] chose a case in which the person accused is white, even though most other cases reported in the news have involved black assailants.”

            The slant of the WT piece is quite clear.

            Again, your own sources gave multiple possible reasons for Federal prosecution of this case, but these possible reasons were apparently insufficient for you. That you fail to address this point is interesting.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            Are any of the facts in the Washington Times story untrue? How about the facts in the Fox News or CSM stories? It’s not surprising to me that you consider it essential to the story that the race of the attacker and the race of the victim be separately identified, yet believe it is irrelevant that this is the first time the DoJ has ever filed charges in a knockout game attack.

            I didn’t address the generic possible reasons given for the lack of Federal prosecution in other cases because I don’t believe they are the reasons for the lack of prosecutions.

            Two related questions:
            1. Should hate crime laws be enforced in a neutral manner, and applied equally to all groups, races, and ethnicities?
            2. Should some groups be exempt from hate crime charges?

            When Attorney General Holder was questioned about enforcement of hate crimes laws before before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 25, 2009, he said:

            “…We’re talking about crimes that have an historic basis, groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation. That is what this statute is designed to cover…

            “But one has to look at the history, the unfortunate history, of our Nation. There are groups who have been singled out, who have been the objects of violence simply because of their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, their ethnicity. We have to face and confront that reality: that which historically has been a problem for the Nation continues to be a problem for this Nation. In the absence of action by the Federal Government over the last 11 years, I think, turns our back on a reality that I think it is now time for us to confront…

            “The difference, I think, though, is that there is the historic nature of the kinds of conduct that we’re talking about, people who are singled out because of their race, their religion, under the new provision, their sexual orientation, where there is a history of these unfortunate kinds of conduct.

            When Attorney General Holder was asked by Senator Coburn if it was a hate crime when Abdulhakim Muhammad murdered Private William Andrew Long in Little Rock, Arkansas, killed as “an act of retaliation, an act for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also retaliation on the U.S. military,” Attorney General Holder answered:

            “Well, there’s a certain element of hate, I suppose, in that. But I think what we’re looking for here in terms of the expansion of the statute are instances where there is an historic basis to see groups of people who are singled out for violence perpetrated against them because of who they are. I don’t know if we have the same historical record to say that members of our military have been targeted in the same way that people who are African-American, Hispanic, people who are Jewish, people who are gay have been targeted over the many years.

            I agree with this editorial in the Washington Times: “Justice is anything but blind at the agency run by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr…Throughout his tenure as the nation’s top lawman, Mr. Holder has consistently treated some victims as more equal than others…”
            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/30/editorial-eric-holders-knockout-game/

            As former assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Tecce asked, “We have had a ton of these knockout cases. Part of your role as prosecutors and part of the role of the Justice Department is to send a message to the public that … the law applies to everyone. Why is this the first knockout case that the DOJ has decided to render an indictment on?”

            I wonder why too. But I bet I know why: Attorney General Holder told us why in his testimony.

          • hennorama

            OPC – thank you for the favor of your reply.

            Please allow me to clarify your apparent misunderstandings, and to apologize that I did not communicate in a more clear manner.

            I wrote, “… the AP story, by Michael Graczyk, which was strictly “hard news,” mentions the race of both the accused and the victim in the first sentence, as those facts are pertinent to the hate crime charge.” Please notice the word “pertinent,” which is not the same as “essential.”

            This was an AP story. Per poynter.org, AP updated its StyleBook in early 2012:

            “The update says that race is pertinent in stories about crime suspects who have been “sought by the police or missing person cases,” so long as “police or other credible, detailed descriptions” are used. When the suspect is found or apprehended, the update says, the racial reference should be removed.

            AND

            “In racially motivated crimes, such as the murder of James Byrd, race is an important element of the story. The AP Stylebook update explains other instances when it’s relevant:

            “In biographical and announcement stories that involve significant, groundbreaking or historic events, such as being elected U.S. president, named to the U.S. Supreme Court or other notable occurrences.”

            “When reporting a demonstration or disturbance involving race or such issues as civil rights or slavery.”

            See:
            http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/diversity-at-work/166506/ap-stylebook-updates-entry-on-racial-ids-in-news-stories/

            Further, I wrote, “No mention was made as to “the first time …” aspect anywhere in the article, as this is not important to the facts of the case.” Please note the complete lack of the word “irrelevant,” and the presence of the words “not important.”

            Allow me to reduce my two sentences to clear and simple statements:

            The AP “hard news” reporter included the race of the accused and the victim, since these facts are important elements of the story about the hate crime charge. The AP reporter did not discuss “the first time…” aspect of the Federal charges, as it makes no difference to the facts involved in this case.

            Whether it was the first or the eleventh time a Federal prosecutor got involved in a case like this makes no difference to the case.

            I hope this helps to clear up your misunderstandings.

            As to your initial questions:

            Since I don’t closely follow and track these sensationally reported cases, I must presume that “the first time…” aspect of Federal involvement is factual. I also can’t either confirm or dispute the related editorial comments involved in all three articles, and therefore must presume they are factual.

            It’s interesting that you write “…I don’t believe [the generic possible reasons given for the lack of Federal prosecution in other cases] are the reasons for the lack of prosecutions,” well AFTER you initially posed your question, and subsequent to also having written, “No, I don’t have an answer [to my own question]. Do you have an explanation why the DoJ has never brought hate crime charges in any other knockout cases?”

            All of which implied that you were asking an open question rather than a rhetorical one. It’s clear now that was not the case, and that you have a ready, albeit unexpressed, answer to your own question.

            Perhaps you should clearly state exactly what you meant when you wrote “…I bet I know why: Attorney General Holder told us why in his testimony.”

            Are you afraid to make a clear statement about your “bet,” and to answer you own question? If not, I invite you to do so.

            It’s also interesting that you wrote not a single word in response to my post about the fact that CNN.com and others have reported that NY police have previously charged a suspect under NYS hate crime laws. The post also mentioned that it may be that local prosecutors in NY and elsewhere are more aggressive in charging under hate crime laws when compared to Texas law enforcement and prosecutors. The post went on the demonstrate the significant differences between New York and Texas in reported hate crimes per capita.

            In case you missed the post, here’s a link:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/12/27/2013-year-in-the-news-review#comment-1180743505

            You also failed to address what might be the simplest and most obvious answer to your question – that the U.S. Attorney believes the evidence is very strong, and that the evidence justifies the charge.

            As to your later “related questions”: Yes. No.

            Now, I’d like to challenge you further. Please demonstrate that the evidence in any of the prior cases of this type were strong enough to justify Federal hate crime prosecution, either in addition to or in lieu of local prosecution.

            I look forward to your clear and cogent answer to your own question, as you clearly have one. I further look forward to your response to the aforementioned challenge.

          • OnPointComments

            In my opinion, it is clear what Attorney General Holder meant by saying hate crime charges should have an “historical basis,” and that some crimes don’t “… have the same historical record to say that members of our military have been targeted in the same way that people who are African-American, Hispanic, people who are Jewish, people who are gay have been targeted over the many years.” My interpretation of his remarks is that it is not the specific current facts of a specific crime that warrant a hate crime charge, but instead whether the victims are part of a group that “have been targeted over the many years.” It’s Holder’s own words. Is there a historical basis for a hate crime if the victim is white? In my opinion, Holder clearly answered this question “no.”

            Is it possible to believe that hate crime laws should be enforced in a neutral manner, applied equally to all groups, races, and ethnicities, and not exempt some groups from hate crime charges, yet believe there should be a historical basis for enforcement as Attorney General Holder does? I don’t think so.

            Where have we heard something similar to “historical basis” before? In an OIG report on the DoJ Voting Rights Section:

            “In recent years a debate has arisen about whether voting rights laws that were enacted in response to discrimination against Blacks and other minorities also should be used to challenge allegedly improper voting practices that harm White voters. Views on this question among many employees within the Voting Section were sharply divergent and strongly held. Disputes were ignited when the Division’s leadership decided to pursue particular cases or investigations on behalf of White victims, and more recently when Division leadership stated that it would focus on “traditional” civil rights cases on behalf of racial or ethnic minorities who have been the historical victims of discrimination.”

            I think it bears repeating: Should laws be enforced without regards to race? “Views on this question among many employees within the Voting Section were sharply divergent and strongly held.” Isn’t that something — some DoJ employees believe the answer to this question is “no.”

            I believe there may be a mentality at the DoJ that laws should not be enforced in an even-handed and fair manner, and that this mentality may be pervasive. The fact that NYS decided to prosecute a hate crime charge doesn’t explain the DoJ’s decision not to prosecute a hate crime charge in cases with white victims of the knockout game.

            I can no more demonstrate that the evidence in prior cases warranted Federal hate crime prosecution than the likelihood that you can demonstrate the DoJ thoroughly investigated the prior cases to rule out Federal hate crime prosecution.

          • hennorama

            OPC – the fact of your response is appreciated.

            It’s unfortunate that you still won’t answer your own original question: “For the first time in a knockout game attack, the US Department of Justice has brought a federal hate crime charge. What was different about this case?”

            I’m really trying to understand the problem here.

            You seem to be complaining that other crimes of this type should have been prosecuted under Federal hate crime law. (You wrote in another post “ It seems to me that these unprovoked attacks with the nicknames “Polar Bear Hunting” and “Get The Jew” would be ideal hate crime cases.”) Yet you now say “I [cannot] demonstrate that the evidence in prior cases warranted Federal hate crime prosecution…”

            This prompts some obvious questions.

            Do you understand that racial, religious, and ethnic differences between victims and offenders do not in and of themselves constitute elements of a hate crime?

            Forty-nine states and D.C. have hate crime statutes, with a variety of groups protected under these laws (e.g., religion, race or ethnicity, and sexual orientation). Are you also complaining about a lack of state prosecutions, and if not, why not?

            In the other cases of this type, is there evidence indicating that state hate crime laws would apply? If so, have state hate crime charges been made? And if there is evidence indicating that hate crime laws would apply, but no state hate crime charges, are you saying that Federal hate crime laws would apply, and that Federal prosecutors should have stepped in?

            That, BTW, is the position that AG Holder holds – that the Federal government should step in when and if there is a lack of ability, willingness or desire on the part of state prosecutors. Quoting from the same Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with which you are familiar:

            “ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, in some ways I don’t disagree with that statement, in the sense that what we’re looking for here is federal jurisdiction that would be — that would come into play if there was a demonstrated need, if the states did not have the capacity, did not have the willingness, the desire to prosecute these kinds of cases.

            “In terms of the legislative expansion that we’re looking for here, we’re looking to have the federal government have tools to backstop the efforts that would be done by our state and local partners. There’s no question that, with regard to the vast majority of these crimes, they would be handled by the state. But, for those cases that protect — that pose particular problems, or expose an inability or unwillingness for the states to prosecute them, we think that there is the demonstrated need for the federal government to become involved.”

            Now, on to your most recent post.

            First, I’m ignoring your Voting Section red herring, as it has nothing to do with the case(s) under discussion.

            Second, you are concluding that AG Holder has answered a question that was not posed to him.

            Third, AG Holder’s remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which you have only selectively quoted, are contrary to your “interpretation … that it is not the specific current facts of a specific crime that warrant a hate crime charge, but instead whether the victims are part of a group that “have been targeted over the many years.” Specifically, AG Holder said, “IT WOULD DEPEND ON – YOU KNOW, THE FACTS,” and “YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES.” (More below)

            Fourth, you have quoted AG Holder discussing, the way “… that people who are African-American, Hispanic, people who are Jewish, people who are gay have been targeted over the many years,” as though he believes that only those groups should be considered as hate crimes victims. You also imply that “if the victim is white,” then Holder believes that would not “warrant a hate crime charge.”

            How do you then explain a lack of Federal hate crime charges in the NY cases that involved victims that have been identified as Jewish? By your “logic,” AG Holder should have jumped all over these cases, due to the victims being “people who are Jewish.”

            ======

            It’s curious that you continue to selectively quote AG Holder’s remarks without any context, and without any of the questions he was asked by Senators Sessions and Coburn.

            Here is the entire exchange between Sen. Sessions and AG Holder, with EMPHASIS added:

            SEN. SESSIONS: Thank you Mr. Chairman.

            And Mr. Attorney General I think you are incorrect in referring to Senator Hatch’s question about the need to prove animus or ill will. The statute on page 10 says if you receive an injury to any person, quote, “because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion or national origin of any person” and the same language is in the next provision.

            And I would note that the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which six of the eight members have written this body and this Senate Committee and the president to oppose this legislation, say that the legislation does not, quote, “require that the defendant be inspired by hatred or ill will in order to convict”. It is sufficient if the act’s, quote, “because of”, closed quote, someone’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. They note that a robbery might well steal only from women, rapists seldom are indifferent to the gender of their victims, and they note that the objective meaning of the language and considerable legal scholarship would certainly include those kind of offenses as being covered by the act.

            How do you respond to that?

            MR. HOLDER: Well I disagree with the interpretation.

            SEN. SESSIONS: Well where in here does it say it has to have ill will and animus in the statute?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well it talks about — it says because of. And it seems to me that that is what defines the motivation of the person, the person who is the potentially defender or is the defendant has to have acted because of the other victim’s identity or inclusion in one of the protected groups. It does not simply say that — I don’t read it as nearly as broadly as you indicated.

            It seems to me that there has to be proof that the motivating factor was that the victim’s inclusion in and then the person’s motivation for getting at a –

            (Cross talk.)

            SEN. SESSIONS: — Senator Hatch doesn’t agree and neither does the civil rights commission of the United States who opposes this legislation stating in effect these are double prosecutions, not technically violations of the double jeopardy clause.

            I think that’s correct. I think you could technically argue that we have two separate sovereigns, but it is a violation of the double jeopardy spirit of the Constitution. And we can take this step perhaps lawfully but should we is the question.

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: But — look at the — (inaudible) — Senator, is that, you know, the section — because of the actual proceed — (inaudible) — or national origin of any person is the same as the current hate crimes law, 18USC245. So I don’t see that although we expand the number of groups, we’re not in anyway changing what I think is the actionable language. And that’s why I don’t think that the concern about this being overly broad is necessarily justified.

            SEN. SESSIONS: Okay. I think it is overly broad. I’m pretty confident of that.

            Let’s take a situation — I don’t know how to think this thing through: A man speaks forcefully for gay rights at a town hall meeting. An argument ensues and then he’s attacked by an individual. They get in a fight and one assaults him and says hateful words to him when he does that. Would that be a hate crime?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: IT WOULD DEPEND ON – YOU KNOW, THE FACTS are the things that will define –

            SEN. SESSIONS: But on the surface of it, that would meet the standard, would it or would it not?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: IT WOULD DEPEND ON WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION of the defendant. Did the defendant hit the other person because they were just involved in a dispute, an argument, and the person just happened to — the defendant just happened to go off? Or did the defendant strike the person because of his sexual orientation –

            SEN. SESSIONS: It wouldn’t be the words, but it would be the actual sexual orientation or gender or race of the person that would make the decision?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES in trying to decide what was the motivation of the person who actually committed the crime? Was it a person who was just mad, as we sometimes all get mad, and therefore hit the person?

            SEN. SESSIONS: Well, he used racial slurs, say, hypothetically before he attacked.

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, that would be an indication that there is a possibility that –

            SEN. SESSIONS: What about a minister who goes to a town hall meeting and quotes the Koran and the scripture and says homosexual activities are immoral and he’s attacked by a gay activist?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, the statute would not necessarily cover that. On the other hand, I think the concern that has been expressed has actually been the one that has been reverse where –

            SEN. SESSIONS: So is there a reason for someone to think that this is odd? Does that strike you as odd that one might be a crime and the other not?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: No. The question — you’re focusing on speech there. And the question is not –

            SEN. SESSIONS: No. I’m talking about assault.

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, but you’re talking about — if in fact a person — we’re talking about crimes that have a historic basis — groups that have been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation. That is what this statute is designed to cover.

            The fact that somebody might strike somebody as the result of speech — again, somebody gets into an argument and we don’t have the indication that the attack was motivated by a person’s desire to strike at somebody who was in one of these protected groups, that would not be covered by the statute.

            SEN. SESSIONS: Well, I think that’s part of the problem. The elderly are not protected groups, security guards are not protected groups, soldiers are apparently not protected groups. Some are protected groups and get special protection under this law.

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: But one has to look at the history of — the unfortunate history of our nation. There are groups who have been singled out, who have been objectives of violence simply because of their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, their ethnicity.

            We have to face and confront that reality, that which historically has been a problem for that nation continues to be a problem for this nation. In the absence of action by the federal government over the last 11 years I think turns our back on a reality that I think it is now time for us to confront.

            SEN. LEAHY: Thank you.

            ======

            And here is part of the exchange with Sen. Coburn, again with EMPHASIS added:

            SEN. COBURN: But I can point to specific cases on lots of things that states don’t do that we would like for them to do different that we don’t come and make a special law that we can step across that boundary between states and federal government to enforce them do that.

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: The difference, I think, though, is that there is the historic nature of the kinds of conduct that we’re talking about, people who are singled out because of their race, their religion, under the new provision their sexual orientation, where there is a history of –

            (Cross talk.)

            SEN. COBURN: I UNDERSTAND THAT AND I AGREE WITH THAT, and that’s why you have 45 states that have passed those laws.

            Let me go back. I asked you during last week’s hearing whether you viewed the June 1st meeting — murder of Army Private William Andrew Long — and it was targeted by a Muslim because he was a U.S. soldier as a hate crime. And you stated that it is potentially a hate crime, and you said the DOJ had responsibility to prosecute those who killed Private Long.

            And here’s what the gentleman who killed Private Long said. He said, “This was an act of retaliation, an act for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the lord of all the world and also retaliation on the U.S. military.” He remains unrepentant. He says I do feel I’m not guilty. I don’t think it was murder because murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason. How can this not be considered a hate crime?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, there’s a certain element of hate, I suppose, in that, but I think what we’re looking for here in terms of the expansion of the statute are instances where there is a historic basis to see groups of people who are singled out for violence perpetrated against them because of who they are. I don’t know if we have the same historical record to say that members of our military have been targeted in the same way that people who are African- American, Hispanic, people who are Jewish, people who are gay have been targeted over the many years.

            SEN. COBURN: So what we’re willing to do is elevate those crimes over the very intended hate crime that this man perpetrated upon this soldier. And we’re saying they have an elevated status?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, it’s not a question of elevating the crime, it is dealing with the reality that we confront; 80,000 crimes directed against people who this bill would cover. I don’t know if we have the same kind of statistical information with regard to members of our military –

            SEN. COBURN: My time has expired.

            ======

            And all of the above was prefaced by this exchange:

            SEN. LEAHY: Thank you very much, Attorney General.

            We did pass the federal hate crime legislation in 1968 in the wake of the assassination of civil rights icon, Martin Luther King. That was six years before I came to the Senate. But, when we see the shooting — we talk about the holocaust; the beating death of a Latino man in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania; gang rape of a woman in San Francisco because of her sexual orientation last December, these are very, very serious things.

            And I appreciate what you said about your testimony as deputy attorney general. I remember that very, very well. And I remember you were asked at the time, but how do you respond that these are really basically local crimes? I mean, every state has laws against murder. Every state has laws against assault. Why can’t we just say, okay, let the states worry about it?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, in some ways I don’t disagree with that statement, in the sense that what we’re looking for here is federal jurisdiction that would be — that would come into play if there was a demonstrated need, if the states did not have the capacity, did not have the willingness, the desire to prosecute these kinds of cases.

            In terms of the legislative expansion that we’re looking for here, we’re looking to have the federal government have tools to backstop the efforts that would be done by our state and local partners. There’s no question that, with regard to the vast majority of these crimes, they would be handled by the state. But, for those cases that protect — that pose particular problems, or expose an inability or unwillingness for the states to prosecute them, we think that there is the demonstrated need for the federal government to become involved.

            Source:
            http://votesmart.org/public-statement/435350/#.UsMrOtJDt9U

            ======
            One notices that AG Holder’s remarks are contrary to your interpretation “that it is not the specific current facts of a specific crime that warrant a hate crime charge, but instead whether the victims are part of a group that “have been targeted over the many years.” Specifically, AG Holder said, “IT WOULD DEPEND ON – YOU KNOW, THE FACTS,” and “YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES.”

            One also notices that Senator Coburn agreed with AG Holder.

          • OnPointComments

            “For the first time in a knockout game attack, the US Department of Justice has brought a federal hate crime charge. What was different about this case?” The difference is that the victim was black and the attacker was white, unlike the majority of other knockout game attacks where the victim was white and the attacker was black. Why would DoJ pass on hate crime charges on the majority of cases? I believe it is because the other cases don’t have the historic basis which Holder testified was a criteria: the victims were white. And for Eric Holder, whites as victims aren’t part of the “the unfortunate history, of our Nation…that which historically has been a problem for the Nation continues to be a problem for this Nation…there is the historic nature of the kinds of conduct that we’re talking about.”

            AG Holder said, “IT WOULD DEPEND ON – YOU KNOW, THE FACTS,” and “YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES.” And seconds later he added “WELL, BUT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT—IF, IN FACT, THE PERSON—WE’RE TALKING ABOUT CRIMES THAT HAVE AN HISTORIC BASIS, GROUPS WHO HAVE BEEN TARGETED FOR VIOLENCE AS A RESULT OF THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.” (emphasis added).

            Is it possible that employees of the DoJ believe that hate crime laws have a historical basis that excludes whites as victims? Sure it is, Eric Holder told us so, and other employees in the DoJ have expressed the same belief in other areas. The OIG report on the DoJ Voting Section is not a red herring. It shows that some DoJ employees are opposed to enforcing laws regardless of race, that their opinion is “strongly held,” and that this belief doesn’t disqualify them from being a DoJ employee. It’s amazing to me that any DoJ employee could express this view and not be fired immediately. If DoJ employees in the Voting Section are tolerated (and promoted, and in my opinion, celebrated) with this view, it isn’t difficult for me to believe that the mentality exists elsewhere in the DoJ.

            I note that you didn’t explain Holder’s “historical basis” statements. I further note that you provided no proof that the DoJ has thoroughly investigated knockout game attacks where the attackers were black and the victims were white.

            Incidentally, there is no proof that those making comments on the Yahoo News story were “driven to” the story from elsewhere as you stated. The date on the Yahoo story is December 26, and the first comment was posted the same day, not a day later as you claimed. The clock runs from 9:01 PM when the story was posted to 9:01 PM of the next day. Conspiracy theory laid to rest.

          • hennorama

            OPC – Happy New Year!

            Thank you for answering your own question. It’s too bad you didn’t answer mine.

            Moving on …

            Let me begin where you ended. I wasn’t positing a “conspiracy theory” as to those who commented about the AP story on the Yahoo site. When I used the term “driven to” I was not indicating that the commenters were prompted to go to the site by some other entity, but rather that the lag in response implied that they originally learned of the story elsewhere, then sought out other sites that posted the story. You no doubt have previously observed the influx of posters to the On Point forums who are interested only in one topic, and are never heard from again. The topic of secession comes immediately to mind as an example of this phenomenon.

            As to “Holder’s ‘historical basis’ statements,” the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was about expanding protected groups under Federal hate crime legislation, and why such expansion was needed. AG Holder had been working on this issue for more than a decade, and in the hearing, testified that,

            “Nearly 11 years ago — 11 years ago — on July 8th, 1998 I testified before this committee as deputy attorney general to urge passage of an almost identical bill — 11 years ago. While it is unfortunate that 11 years have come and gone without this bill becoming law, I am confident that we can now make the important protection that it offers a reality. Indeed, one of my highest personal priorities upon returning to the Justice Department is to do everything that I can to help ensure that this critical legislation finally becomes law.”

            So he already had an historical perspective when it came to this proposed expansion.

            He was then closely questioned by Senator Sessions (who had requested the hearing) and Senator Coburn (and others), as to why this expansion of law was needed. Chairman Leahy and AG Holder had discussed this at the beginning of the hearing, as noted in my previous post.

            Essentially, AG Holder said that the reason there should be an expansion of Federal hate crime law was that there was an historical basis showing that certain persons and groups had “been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation,” and there exist several “groups who have been singled out, who have been objectives of violence simply because of their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, their ethnicity,” and that this “historically has been a problem for [this] nation [and] continues to be a problem for this nation.”

            If no such historical basis existed, it would be difficult to justify either the existence of the law, or an expansion of the law.

            Kinda simple.

            As to your writing that you “further note that you provided no proof that the DoJ has thoroughly investigated knockout game attacks where the attackers were black and the victims were white,” that is not the DOJ’s function. These incidents are investigated locally, and decisions about charges and prosecutions are also made at the local and state level. The DOJ only gets involved under limited circumstances, which are delineated in the actual Federal law. (More on this below)

            ==========

            Implicit in your commentary is that you believe that at least some of “the majority of other knockout game attacks where the victim was white and the attacker was black” are in fact, hate crimes, and that the “DoJ pass[ed] on hate crime charges” only because “the victim was white and the attacker was black.”

            Again, I’m trying to understand the problem here, so I’ll reflect my understanding of your beliefs and concerns back to you, in an effort to avoid misunderstandings:

            Your concerns are not really specific to these sensationalized cases, but are more overarching. You see Federal involvement in the Texas case as part of some sort of overall “conspiracy” wherein the DOJ ignores victims who “aren’t part of the ‘the unfortunate history, of our Nation.’ “

            You specifically believe that AG Holder, and other “employees of the DoJ believe that hate crime laws have a historical basis that excludes whites as victims.”

            You believe that “some DoJ employees are opposed to enforcing laws regardless of race, that their opinion is “strongly held,” and that [because of] this belief … that any DoJ employee [expressing] this view [should] be fired immediately.”

            In essence, you believe that AG Holder and some significant number of DOJ employees are biased against white people, and that they go out of their way to not assist victims who are white, and to not enforce Federal law in cases where the victims are white. Conversely, you believe they look for cases with white offenders, and focus primarily on prosecuting cases with white offenders.

            Please correct any errors in the above.

            ==========

            AG Holder and Chairman Leahy also discussed the “nuts and bolts” of how the DOJ might get involved in prosecuting hate crimes, effectively only as a last resort:

            SEN. LEAHY: Again, going back to the state law enforcement — because there will be an issue, in the hate crimes legislation we have now there is a certification procedure, so that you’re not just coming in and telling the state to get out of the way.

            We’ve put similar — some would say, more exacting certification in this bill. Has that certification procedure worked well in the past in the hate crimes?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Yes, I think it has.

            And I think that the legislation wisely had a certification provision in it. It assures that, before the federal government would become involved in any hate crime prosecution, there would have to be sign off at the highest levels of the Justice Department, either by the attorney general or by the attorney general’s designee, which I think is appropriate.

            SEN. LEAHY: I know in the House — our bill allows for prosecutions, where you or your designee — and you said it would be the deputy, determines that prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and is necessary to secure substantial justice.

            The House bill has, as a criteria, where a state doesn’t object or doesn’t intend to exercise jurisdiction.

            Which version is better?

            ATTY GEN. HOLDER: We prefer the Senate provision.

            One of the things that we are concerned about is the possibility — at least the possibility that a state or local jurisdiction would be unwilling to pursue one of these matters. And to put the federal government’s ability to become involved in this in the hands of a jurisdiction — that perhaps would not want to become involved or would not want the federal government to become involved, we think is inappropriate.

            We think there is a balance that is struck here by ensuring that the highest levels of the Justice Department make the determination that the federal government should be involved.

            SEN. LEAHY: Thank you.

            ==========

            BTW, here are relevant portions of the actual law, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act:

            SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

            Congress makes the following findings:

            (3) State and local authorities are now and will continue to be responsible for prosecuting the overwhelming majority of violent crimes in the United States, including violent crimes motivated by bias. These authorities can carry out their responsibilities more effectively with greater Federal assistance.

            SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS BY STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.

            (a) Assistance Other Than Financial Assistance-

            (1) IN GENERAL- At the request of State, local, or tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that–

            (A) constitutes a crime of violence;

            (B) constitutes a felony under the State, local, or tribal laws; and

            (C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or tribal hate crime laws.

            (2) PRIORITY- In providing assistance under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall give priority to crimes committed by offenders who have committed crimes in more than one State and to rural jurisdictions that have difficulty covering the extraordinary expenses relating to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

            SEC. 7. PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN HATE CRIME ACTS.

            (a) In General- Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

            `Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

            `(b) Certification Requirement-

            `(1) IN GENERAL- No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or his designee, that–

            `(A) the State does not have jurisdiction;

            `(B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;

            `(C) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or

            `(D) a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

            Sources:
            http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.909:/

            http://votesmart.org/public-statement/435350/#.UsQ2ptJDtMR

            All of the above answers your original question, does it not?

          • OnPointComments

            Happy new year to you too!

            I have no idea to which of your questions you are referring. If it’s about the hate crime charge, yes, I believe the DoJ selected the Barrett case because the victim was black, and yes, if the victim had been white I believe there would have been no DoJ involvement. I believe that the DoJ is much more likely to act on behalf of black victims than white victims.

            A hate crime, as defined in the law, “means a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.” The law does not state that there has to be any historical basis for the crime.
            http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c103:1:./temp/~c103yIIsgM:e927518:

            It is a fact that the OIG report stated that there are employees in the DoJ who are opposed to enforcing laws regardless of race, and that their opinions are “strongly held.” Let’s assume the OIG report is correct. What is your opinion of these employees who believe that some laws should only be enforced when a minority is the victim? I believe they should be fired. Why do you think Attorney General Holder allows someone who is opposed to enforcing enforcing laws regardless of race to continue working at the DoJ? I believe it is because he approves of their actions.

            Under which of the four criteria did the DoJ act in its decision to charge Conrad Alvin Barret with a hate crime? To me, it looks like the DoJ acted in record time. According to the Yahoo News story, Barret was identified on December 6, and the DoJ filed federal hate crime charges twenty days later on December 26. The four criteria are:

            (A) the State does not have jurisdiction;
            (B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;
            (C) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or
            (D) a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

            We can rule out (A) and (C) as the criteria for the charge. I couldn’t find any news report that Texas authorities had requested that the Federal government assume jurisdiction. Which leaves us with (D), the DoJ determined in this case that it was in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice. Once more, even though you appear to dislike this fact, this was the first time ever that the DoJ decided a knockout game attack warranted a Federal hate crime charge. What was different about this knockout game case that enabled the Federal government to quickly determine within 20 days of Barrett being charged that it warranted a federal hate crime charge? One of the differences is that the attacker was white, and the victim was black.

            Let’s fantasize that the OIG investigated this hate crime charge, and wrote a report that stated there are employees in the DoJ who are opposed to enforcing hate crime laws regardless of race, and that these opinions are “strongly held.” Would this mentality of the DoJ employees be of concern to you? It would to me.

          • hennorama

            OPC – thank you for your continued engagement.

            Again, beginning where you ended:

            Yes, such a mentality is of concern, especially in the DOJ, where appearances matter almost as much as actions. However, the OIG report on the Voting Section, covering the period from 2001 to 2011, in its Conclusion,

            “…found insufficient support for a conclusion that Division leadership in either the prior or current administration improperly refused to enforce the voting rights laws on behalf of any particular group of voters, or that either administration used the enforcement of the voting laws to seek improper partisan advantage. Although we had concerns about particular decisions in a few cases, we found insufficient evidence to conclude that the substantive enforcement decisions by Division leadership in Voting Section cases were made in a discriminatory manner.”

            However, despite this “insufficient support,” and “ insufficient evidence,” of impropriety and discrimination, you “believe they should be fired.” For their OPINIONS.

            Perhaps you have not heard of the First Amendment.

            BTW, the only illegal actions mentioned in the Conclusion occurred during the prior Presidential administration.

            Source:

            http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2013/s1303.pdf

            ==========

            You ruled out the possibility of (B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction solely on the basis of being unable to “find any news report that Texas authorities had requested that the Federal government assume jurisdiction.”

            You do realize that a lack of news coverage does not mean that Texas did not request Federal involvement, right?

            Given both the lower per capita incidence of reported hate crimes in Texas, and the extremely low number of prosecutions and convictions under Texas hate crime laws since enactment in 2001, it would hardly be surprising if the state of Texas quietly requested Federal involvement, so that they could stay out of this controversial aspect of the case. (More on the Texas record below)

            ==========

            You’ve left out the most important element of what makes a crime a Federal hate crime – the motivation for the crime must be hate or bias towards a particular class or group, and not simply a selection of victim(s) based on “the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.”

            Here’s yet another relevant part of the law:

            “(2) Violent acts.—This division applies to violent acts MOTIVATED BY actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of a victim.”

            See:

            http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/249 (click the “Notes” tab)

            As you might expect, motivation and bias can be very difficult to prove due to their intangible nature, and that they can also be subject to interpretation. This alone makes any Federal prosecution of hate crimes under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act a rare event.

            As evidence of this, as of the 4th anniversary of its passage (Oct. 28, 2013), the DOJ noted that “44 people in 16 states have been convicted under the Shepard-Byrd Act for their discrimination and crimes against others on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.”

            See:

            http://blogs.justice.gov/main/archives/3358

            And regarding Texas specifically, an online article from the Austin American-Statesman, posted on Jan. 21, 2012, and titled “Texas hate crime law has little effect,” stated,

            “Each year for the past decade, local law enforcement agencies have reported about 200 crimes that police said were motivated by the perpetrator’s animosity toward the victim’s race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, among other identifiers , according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which collects statewide data.

            “Yet since 2001, when the Texas Legislature adopted its current hate crime statute, prosecutors have earned convictions on 10 cases — less than one a year statewide, according to figures kept by the state Office of Court Administration. Most have come in plea arrangements: Over the past decade, a single hate crime has been taken to a jury in Texas. An American-Statesman review of each filing shows that using the statute made no substantive difference in the outcome in many of the cases.

            “There are many reasons an incident identified as hate-driven never gets prosecuted as a hate crime, from no arrests to crimes driven by complex motives. “It’s a very subjective standard,” said Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. “There aren’t that many cases you’re going to have dead-on proof it’s a hate crime.”

            “Prosecutors add that there is often too little payoff for the extra effort. Texas’ bias law, which can enhance prison terms if a defendant is found to have acted out of hate, excludes most serious crimes because the range of punishment already goes up to 99 years in prison. That was the case with Carmichael, who eventually pleaded guilty to Clattenburg’s murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison last April.

            “Yet supporters say there is value in prosecuting bias-motivated crimes anyway. It can make an important statement to the community. If the convict is ever released, the parole board might insist on stricter conditions if it knows the crime targeted a protected group.

            “The number of Texas hate crime prosecutions also pales when compared with some other states. In 2010, California prosecutors filed 230 hate crime cases. New York state prosecutors convict on about a dozen hate crimes a year.”

            See:

            http://www.statesman.com/news/news/special-reports/texas-hate-crime-law-has-little-effect/nRjsf/

            ==========

            And as to your continued concern about “historical basis for the crime,” AG Holder did not say that was a requirement. Repeating here: the 2009 hearing in question was about an expansion of the law. Here’s what AG Holder said, speaking to this point:

            “…I think what we’re looking for here IN TERMS OF THE EXPANSION OF THE STATUTE are instances where there is a historic basis to see groups of people who are singled out for violence perpetrated against them because of who they are. I don’t know if we have the same historical record to say that members of our military have been targeted in the same way that people who are African- American, Hispanic, people who are Jewish, people who are gay have been targeted over the many years.”

            In other words, expanding the statute to cover “members of the military” (or other groups) has no reasonable basis, as there has been no “…historical record to say that members of our military have been targeted in the same way…”

            You’re beating a dead horse.

            ==========

            You have yet to address my point that, implicit in your commentary is that you believe that at least some of “the majority of other knockout game attacks where the victim was white and the attacker was black” are

            1. hate crimes

            2. not prosecuted by local and state authorities

            3. should have instead been prosecuted by the DOJ, but the “DoJ pass[ed] on hate crime charges” only because “the victim was white and the attacker was black.”

            Other than your “conspiracy” beliefs about the DOJ, what leads you to these conclusions? For example,

            Do you have any evidence that these incidents qualify as hate crimes under state laws?

            Do you have any evidence that local and state prosecutors decided not to prosecute under state law, and if so, why aren’t you complaining about a lack of local and state prosecutions?

            Do you have any evidence that all of the following are true in ANY of these other cases?:

            A) state hate crime laws would apply

            B) despite this, local and state prosecutors have foregone hate crime prosecution

            C) Federal hate crime laws would apply

            D) Federal prosecutors should have stepped in but did not, simply because, as you wrote, “if the victim had been white I believe there would have been no DoJ involvement”

            Do you recognize the possibility that in these other cases that you are so concerned about, the evidence that these were hate crimes was either non-existent or weak, and that therefore local and state prosecutors did not level hate crime charges?

            Do you also recognize the possibility that in the specific case you are concerned about, that Texas prosecutors either thought the evidence didn’t justify state hate crime charges, or that, as the Austin American-Statesman article stated, “Prosecutors add that there is often too little payoff for the extra effort,” and that may have happened in this case?

            Do you also recognize the possibility that the explanation may be as simple as the one I first offered, that the U.S. Attorney believes the evidence is very strong, and that the evidence justifies the charge?

            Thanks again for your ongoing engagement.

          • OnPointComments

            “Insufficient support for a conclusion” is not the same as saying the situation doesn’t exist. And despite there being insufficient support for a conclusion, the OIG report stated the following, without any reservation or qualification (emphasis added):

            Polarization within the Voting Section has been exacerbated by another factor. In recent years a debate has arisen
            about whether voting rights laws
            that were enacted in response to discrimination against Blacks and other minorities also
            should be used to challenge allegedly improper voting practices that harm White voters . Views on this question among many employees within the Voting Section were sharply divergent and strongly held. Disputes were ignited when the Division’s leadership decided to pursue particular cases or investigations on behalf of White victims, and more recently when Division leadership stated that it would focus on “traditional” civil rights cases on behalf of racial or ethnic minorities
            who have been the historical victims of discrimination.

            It is difficult for me to believe that in your opinion it is permissible for DoJ employees to maintain that laws don’t exist to protect white victims, and that it is acceptable to ignite disputes when a decision is made to pursue cases or investigation on behalf of white victims.

            Suppose there was a city police chief who stated “I believe criminal street gang laws were enacted to protect white citizens and prosecute black gang members, not the other way around. Some officers have pursued criminal street gang charges on behalf of black victims, which has ignited disputes among our officers, but I have stated to the police force that the department will focus on cases on behalf of white victims.”

            Would you champion the police chief’s rights to his opinion? Would you concur with the chief’s decision to focus on cases on behalf of white victims?

            If we can’t agree that those in a position of power who enforce the laws should believe in equal treatment under the law, there really isn’t much purpose to continuing the discussion.

          • hennorama

            OPC – insert the usual pleasantries here.

            You continue to ignore the questions I pose about the case you were so concerned about, and instead focus on the separate topic of the OIG report.

            If you wish to concede my arguments, please say so, rather than ducking the questions.

            The curious thing about the paragraph in the OIG report that you cite is that you completely ignore the paragraphs before and after it. By omitting these paragraphs, you have removed all context from your citation.

            To wit:

            The preceding two paragraphs discuss the :

            “Notwithstanding this conclusion, our investigation revealed several incidents in which deep ideological polarization fueled disputes and mistrust that harmed the functioning of the Voting Section. As detailed in Chapter Four, these disputes arose at various times both among career employees in the Voting Section and between career employees and politically appointed leadership in CRT. On some occasions the incidents involved the harassment and marginalization of employees and managers.

            “We believe that the high partisan stakes associated with some of the statutes that the Voting Section enforces have contributed to polarization and mistrust within the Section. Among other things, the Voting Section reviews redistricting cases that can change the composition of Congressional delegations and voter ID laws that have actual or perceived impacts on the composition of the eligible electorate. Moreover, the Division’s leadership makes choices on Voting Section enforcement priorities – such as whether to give greater emphasis to provisions intended to increase voter registration or those intended to ensure the integrity of registration lists and prevent voter fraud – that are widely perceived to affect the electoral prospects of the political parties differently. We found that people on different sides of internal disputes about particular cases in the Voting Section have been quick to suspect those on the other side of partisan motivations, heightening the sense of polarization in the Section. The cycles of actions and reactions that we found resulted from this mistrust were, in many instances, incompatible with the proper functioning of a component of the Department.”

            And the two paragraphs that follow the one you cited, the latter of which discusses illegal activity during the prior Presidential administration:

            “The scope of our review did not permit us to trace the source of mistrust and polarization within the Voting Section back to a single event or decision, if that were even possible. One significant event, and the earliest one we address in this report, was the decision by the outgoing Division leadership during the transition period in December 2000 and January 2001 to greatly accelerate the hiring procedure for new attorneys in the Section and elsewhere in the Division. We were told that this surge in hiring took place in the context of a longer-term increase in Division resources made available by Congress. However, as we discuss in Chapter Five, we concluded that the acceleration of this activity during the 2000-2001 period at a minimum created the perception, both among long-time senior career professionals who were involved in the process and among the political appointees in the incoming Division leadership, that it was done in order to hire attorneys perceived to favor the enforcement philosophy of the outgoing administration and to limit the ability of the incoming administration to make its own hiring and resource allocation decisions. We found that these actions generated mistrust between the incoming political leadership in the Division who discovered that the hiring campaign had occurred and the holdover career leadership who participated in the hiring effort.

            “The polarization and suspicion became particularly acute during the period from 2003 to 2007, including when Bradley Schlozman supervised the Voting Section in his capacity as Principal DAAG and Acting AAG. As detailed in a prior report by the OIG and OPR, Schlozman illegally recruited new attorneys into the Voting Section and other parts of the Division based on their conservative affiliations. As was evident from the e-mails we cited in our earlier report, Schlozman’s low opinion of incumbent career attorneys in the Voting Section was based in significant part on their perceived liberal ideology and was not a well-kept secret. During this review, we found that Schlozman’s decision to transfer Deputy Section Chief Berman out of the Voting Section in 2006 was motivated at least in part by ideological considerations.”

            In addition, there is nothing in the paragraph you cited that says “DoJ employees … maintain that laws don’t exist to protect white victims…,” or “that it is acceptable to ignite disputes when a decision is made to pursue cases or investigation on behalf of white victims.”

            Left out of this idea is the fact that some of the complaints made internally, regarding the spring of 2007, were that “some Section employees believed Division leadership had politicized the Section’s work and had acted in a manner that was inconsistent with the Section’s mission by, for example, preclearing the Georgia Voter ID submission, filing the Noxubee complaint to protect White citizens, and allegedly ignoring cases that would defend minority victims.”

            In other words, the dispute was that, for purely political purposes, the leadership (which was shown to have undertaken illegal conduct in hiring and other personnel practices from 2003 to 2006), had pursued cases involving “White victims” rather than “cases that would defend minority victims.”

            It is healthy for any organization to have internal discussions/disputes that question its decisions and actions. DOJ employees have the right to hold and express their opinions and beliefs, and unless those opinions and beliefs actually impact their actions, or rise to the level of insubordination, they cannot be fired for them. In the same way, anyone can hold racist beliefs in their heart and mind, and can publicly express such beliefs, but unless they act on those beliefs and discriminate or otherwise negatively affect those about whom they have such beliefs, they can’t be held civilly or criminally liable.

            I reject your “police chief” analogy as inapt. If you can find any instance where DOJ leaders said “I believe [certain] laws were enacted to protect [one race of] citizens and prosecute [only members of other races] …” please present the citations and quotes.

            As far as Federal prosecutions and convictions under hate crime laws are concerned, here are cases that involve victims that are “white,” or defendants that are “black”:

            “Amish Beard-Cutting Case

            Ohio Residents Sentenced for Hate Crimes

            02/08/13

            “Sixteen individuals were sentenced today for hate crimes involving attacks against Amish residents in Ohio—some carried out by the victims’ children—and the group’s leader received a 15-year prison term.

            “In response to a religious dispute among members of the Amish community, Samuel Mullet, Sr.—the 66-year-old bishop of the Amish congregation in Bergholz, Ohio—directed his followers to forcibly cut the hair and beards of other members of the Amish faith.

            “Male and female victims, some elderly, were held against their will in their homes while scissors and horse shears were used to cut their hair and beards. Head and facial hair is religiously symbolic to the Amish—some of the male victims had been growing their beards for decades.”

            See:
            http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/february/16-sentenced-in-amish-beard-cutting-case

            “2 men charged in videotaped beating plead guilty”

            “FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -

            Two men accused in the videotaped beating of a man in front of a southwest Atlanta store pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday.

            “Dareal Demare Williams, Dorian Moragne and Christopher Cain were charged in connection with the videotaped assault on 20-year-old Brandon White on McDaniel Street in Atlanta’s Pittsburgh community in February.

            “Williams and Moragne pled guilty to charges of robbery by force, two counts of aggravated assault and participating in a street gang.

            See:
            http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/18644166/men-charged-in-videotaped-beating-to-be-in-court#axzz2pHh33LQP

            “Two Atlanta Men Plead Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Against Gay Man“ (two of the three men mentioned above)

            “WASHINGTON—Christopher Cain, 19, and Dorian Moragne, 20, both of Atlanta, pleaded guilty today in federal court to beating a man because of his sexual orientation.”

            See:
            http://www.fbi.gov/atlanta/press-releases/2013/two-atlanta-men-plead-guilty-to-federal-hate-crime-against-gay-man

            How do these two cases fit into your belief system?

            I look forward to your answer to this, as well as the answers to my previous questions.

          • OnPointComments

            Nothing in the paragraphs you cite negates the paragraph I quoted. Regardless of what may have caused the division among the DoJ, the report states “a debate has arisen about whether voting rights laws…should be used to challenge allegedly improper voting practices that harm White voters;” “disputes were ignited when the Division’s leadership decided to pursue particular cases or investigations on behalf of White victims;” and “Division leadership stated that it would focus on “traditional” civil rights cases on behalf of racial or ethnic minorities.”

            Laws shouldn’t be used to protect white voters. Disputes arise when cases are pursued on behalf of white victims. The focus is on cases on behalf of racial or ethnic minorities. The focus should be race-blind justice, not cases on behalf of minorities.

            How important is this? Important enough that the Inspector General mentioned it in his report dated December 11, 2013:

            Public trust in the Department, its senior officials, and its employees is essential to every aspect of the Department’s operations. The Department must ensure that it strengthens and maintains its reputation for integrity, fairness, and accountability of its personnel and its operations.

            The non-ideological, non-partisan enforcement of law is fundamental to the public’s trust in the Department. Yet in a recent report assessing how the enforcement priorities of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division have changed over time and whether the voting rights laws have been enforced in a non-discriminatory fashion, the OIG identified issues in the handling of a small number of cases that the OIG believed risked undermining public confidence in the non-ideological enforcement of the voting rights laws. The investigation also revealed several incidents in which deep ideological polarization fueled disputes and mistrust that harmed the functioning of the Voting Section, including numerous examples of harassment and marginalization of employees and managers due, at least in part, to their perceived ideological or political beliefs. These incidents received substantial public attention through congressional hearings and media reporting, thereby feeding the concern that the administration of justice had become politicized. The OIG will monitor the Department’s corrective actions taken in response to our report.

            http://www.justice.gov/oig/challenges/2013.htm

            I do not have proof of any of the DoJ deliberations on knockout game cases. However, I, like others, wonder why the DoJ chose not to file charges in any of the numerous knockout attacks prior to the Barrett case that had been occurring for years. Was there a racial motive in the other attacks? It defies logic that there could consistently be so many attacks by blacks that selected nonblack victims and there not be a racial motive. I doubt that Eric Holder directed anyone to set up tip lines to dig up evidence of hate crimes on the flurry of black on white knockout game attacks. He probably doesn’t want these crimes to foment a national discussion about race either.

            You’re hung up on my previous wording and missing the point. Suppose there was a city police chief who stated “I do not believe criminal street gang laws should be used to protect black citizens. [a debate has arisen about whether voting rights laws...should be used to challenge allegedly improper voting practices that harm White voters]. Some officers have pursued criminal street gang charges on behalf of black victims, which has ignited disputes among our officers, [disputes were ignited when the Division’s leadership decided to pursue particular cases or investigations on behalf of White victims] but I have stated to the police force that the department will focus on cases on behalf of white victims.” [Division leadership stated that it would focus on “traditional” civil rights cases on behalf of racial or ethnic minorities].

          • hennorama

            OPC – I’m not “hung up on [your] previous wording and missing the point,” but instead am “hung up on” your continued ducking of my questions.

            I understood your analogy perfectly, but rejected it as inapt, as it attributed the “debate [that] has arisen” to the leader rather than to those outside leadership.

            As to the context surrounding your selected quote, these paragraphs describe the polarization and other issues that occurred over a period of more than a decade, and that it has not simply arisen under the present administration. Your single paragraph also ignores completely the ILLEGAL ACTIVITY of Bradley Schlozman, who supervised the Voting Section under the prior President, and who eventually resigned under a quite sizable cloud.

            For someone so concerned about the appearance of impropriety, and “Public trust in the Department, its senior officials, and its employees,” it’s not exactly consistent that you ignore actual illegal activity, is it?

            Instead, you cite only “debate” and “disputes,” and not actions taken. As to “focus” – it is well within the purview of DOJ leadership to determine departmental priorities, and is neither improper nor illegal to do so. Unlike the illegal activities that you continue to ignore.

            As to the rare type of assaults that you were so concerned about, you still fail completely to address this question:

            Do you have any evidence that all of the following are true in ANY of these other cases?:

            A) state hate crime laws would apply

            B) despite this, local and state prosecutors have foregone hate crime prosecution

            C) Federal hate crime laws would apply

            D) Federal prosecutors should have stepped in but did not, simply because, as you wrote, “if the victim had been white I believe there would have been no DoJ involvement”

            Instead, you substitute your suspicions and beliefs in the stead of the experience and expertise of every member of law enforcement involved in these other cases. Without the benefit of any access to the evidence and facts of these cases, you seem to feel more qualified than both the police and the prosecutors involved.

            Curious, that.

          • OnPointComments

            My analogy attributed the statement to police department leadership, just as the OIG report attributed the statements to DoJ Division
            leadership, not to those outside leadership.

            My paragraph ignores Bradley Schlozman, just as it ignores the misleading testimony of Thomas Perez, because neither is relevant to the discussion of the DoJ denying equal enforcement of the hate crime laws on knockout cases under the current administration. Please tell
            me we’re not going to revert to the tired liberal argument that always begins “But Bush…”

            As I’ve stated before, I do not have any information about whether the criteria you listed are true in any of the other cases, just as I suspect that you don’t have any information that proves the criteria are false in any of the other cases. I don’t subscribe to your belief that lack of action on the part of the DoJ proves that no action is warranted.

            Of course I’m substituting my suspicions about DoJ decisions; I believe Eric Holder and his cohorts are corrupt.

            You comment on the “rare type of assaults” that I am concerned about, black on white knockout assaults, yet have no problem with the even rarer type of assault that the DoJ is concerned about, white on black knockout assaults. As you say, curious, that.

          • hennorama

            OPC – got it. You think your suspicions and beliefs should be substituted for the judgment, experience and expertise of all the law enforcement professionals involved in the rare type of assaults you were so concerned about.

            Despite “not hav[ing] any information …”

            Now you write of “ the DoJ denying equal enforcement of the hate crime laws on knockout cases under the current administration,” again despite “not hav[ing] any information …”

            Isn’t it true that the criteria listed would all need to be true for there to be some disparate or selective Federal involvement in the Texas case, as opposed to a lack of involvement in other cases? You must then dismiss the collective judgment of all those involved in the other cases, if there was no prosecution. If those other cases had strong evidence that they were hate crimes and no local and state hate crime charges were brought, then you should be complaining about a lack of local and state prosecutions, and should be encouraging Federal involvement in those other cases, as there would be a clear miscarriage of justice if local and state law enforcement ignored strong evidence of hate crimes.

            Right?

            Instead, you do not address the point that there has been only one other known (and perhaps now disputed) case of state hate crime charges in those other cases. If local and state law enforcement thought hate crime charges could be proven, don’t you think they would have made those charges? After all, hate crime prosecutions are mostly undertaken at the local and state level, and properly so. Federal involvement is effectively a last resort, as previously discussed.

            It’s not that I “have no problem with the even rarer type of assault that the DoJ is concerned about, white on black knockout assaults,” but rather that I have a problem with your “conspiracy” ideas.

            For you to be correct, there must be a HUGE conspiracy, all the way down to the local level, where local and state law enforcement ignore evidence of hate crimes, and extending to the DOJ, where only hate crimes with “white” offenders are to be prosecuted, and those with “black” offenders are to be ignored, and conversely, where all “white” victims of such crimes are ignored, and only “black” victims are protected.

            However, you have not addressed the cited examples of the “white” Amish victims of Federal hate crime, and the the “black” offenders who pleaded guilty to Federal hate crime charges. How do these cases fit into your belief system?

            You clearly believe that at least some of the other incidents you described were hate crimes. Therefore, you must also believe that either local and state prosecution should have happened, and if it didn’t, Federal prosecutors should have gotten involved. You also must believe that the Texas case is a hate crime, and therefore there should be prosecution, either at the local or state level, or through the DOJ.

            Right?

            Instead of supporting the Federal prosecution of what you must believe is a hate crime, you complain about it. Odd, that.

            I don’t blame you for ignoring “testimony of Thomas Perez,” as he is not mentioned in the report’s Conclusion. In marked contrast, Bradley Schlozman IS mentioned quite prominently, as part of a discussion of the polarization you are so concerned with:

            “…polarization and suspicion became particularly acute during the period from 2003 to 2007, including when Bradley Schlozman supervised the Voting Section in his capacity as Principal DAAG and Acting AAG. As detailed in a prior report by the OIG and OPR, Schlozman illegally recruited new attorneys into the Voting Section and other parts of the Division based on their conservative affiliations,” etc.

            What I have done is to point out your inconsistency in ignoring actual illegal conduct, versus your concerns over “debate” and “disputes,” and not actions taken. I have not and am not engaging in a “Blame Bush” argument, but instead I’m pointing out your inconsistency.

    • HonestDebate1

      He should be hung.

      • 1Brett1

        “You seem to be of the opinion that only blacks can be violently racist.”

        Considering only you have ever posted crimes by black youths (posted on this forum and within your context that black on white crime is at epidemic proportions), I don’t see how you can come to the conclusion that I believe “only blacks can be violent…”

        Is this reply you could have come up with, to accuse me of something when you know full well that I was mocking your penchant for posting stories about blacks committing crimes?

        The question is, why have you posted so many stories about blacks committing crimes against whites yet not a single story like the one I posted?

        • jefe68

          Good question.

          • HonestDebate1

            I said he should be hung. What else do you want?

          • jefe68

            How about buggering off.

          • 1Brett1

            Your view about what the thug’s punishment should be is irrelevant to the thread, unless you want your comment to be about you and your personal opinions.

            You say your comments/issues raised on this forum aren’t about you, so your vacillation/contradiction about the thrust of your comments is puzzling.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s my opinion. I give my opinions.

        • HonestDebate1

          That’s not the question at all because it’s not about me. I was replying to what you wrote. I based my conclusion on what you wrote. How on earth would anything I’ve ever said have any bearing on my conclusions about what you just wrote? That doesn’t make sense. Why make it about me?

          Now, before you give me the satire/parody/whatever lecture, again, I’ll say I chose not to regard your comment that way because it failed on those grounds. No one has ever said there isn’t violence perpetrated by whites on blacks, ever. That is the basis of your attempt at satire but it’s not true. It’s just silly. Or it would be if not for the reality you are trying to dismiss.

          So my conclusion was taking your comment at face value. Live with it.

          BTW, you’re wrong about what I have posted too but it’s impressive how you are so sure of everything I’ve ever thought and commented on… as usual. I don’t even need to show up.

          • 1Brett1

            Dishonesty shows up once again…You were pretending to read my comment as if I was saying I only consider blacks to be violent and racist, when you knew full well that I have accused you of racial bias toward black on white crime before on a number of occasions. So, your saying that you read my comment at its face value without any past relationship to any other comments about you and race is not the least bit plausible.

            My statement and question still stand: you’ve not posted so much as a single comment about white on black crime, but you have posted more than a few comments about black on white crime, and you have even put those posts in the context of saying that black on white crime is at epidemic proportions. The question is why? Anyone who is familiar with your posting history knows of your racially charged comments regarding crime. You couldn’t possibly maintain such a level of denial to say you haven’t posted such things before.

            You say you are here to shoot holes through liberals’ notions of truth, but your past comments on black on white crime being an epidemic were not in the form of a reply to anyone. They were either a false/straw man argument or an out and out racially biased view, one of the two, with no relationship to anything anybody has said on this forum. Those types of comments of yours about black on white crime are part of a false narrative also perpetuated by conservative media, i.e., that liberals give black criminals a pass on their behavior.

          • HonestDebate1

            I took it at face value, sue me. But please, tell me more about me. Why do I do such things as you allege?

    • hennorama

      1Brett1 — Kenneth Magidson, the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District Of Texas, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate before beginning his tenure on Sept 30, 2011. He has about 30 years of Federal law enforcement experience.

      He also served as District Attorney for Harris County, Texas (where Dallas is located) under Gov. Perry, and was the “chief felony prosecutor in the 177th District Court and was responsible for the prosecution of major felony crimes including capital murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, kidnappings and more.”

      See:
      http://www.justice.gov/usao/txs/meetattorney.html

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m not sure I get your point. The judge was just enforcing the law as written. He was doing his job.

        • 1Brett1

          It could be that hennorama was just providing me with more information/background about Magidson…you know, as if one reads his comment on its face value, something you repeatedly ask others to do with your comments. Yet, you accuse him of some point beyond the face value of his comment (i.e., he had some point you don’t understand/you know he had a point beyond the contents of his comment).

          That said, conservatives on this forum tend to comment about there being an epidemic of black on white crime going on and that it is under-reported by “liberal media.” They bemoan the so-called phenomenon of black on white crime getting a pass by “liberal media” and “the liberal criminal justice system” going light on blacks who commit such crimes. They decry white on black crime getting singled out unduly “by liberals,” etc., and they tend to give the impression that white on black crime is exaggerated by liberals and, when it happens, is meted out in unduly harsh judgments and punishment by liberal power structures.

          Well, Magidson at least proves in this case that this isn’t just a “liberal thing,” that at least some of those notions expressed and otherwise intimated by conservatives on this forum about this topic do not prove to be true. Maybe prosecuting hate crimes has little to do with any liberal biases and everything to do with the very definition of hate crimes and how they are perpetrated on people who are in the minority?

          Yes, yes, we know you think hate crimes laws are stupid; there’s no need for you to repeat your broken record opinions. If people are just “doing their jobs” in enforcing hate crimes laws, then at least one is on shaky ground claiming there’s some liberal bias in enforcing those laws. So, those types of claims, it can at least be said in this case, are unfounded. Then, at best, all one is left with is: “hate crimes laws are stupid.” As much as that is your opinion, however nothing more than some schmo giving his two-cents worth, and poorly articulated at that, and you feel compelled to repeat it, it is just that: some poorly articulated, simplistic opinion.

          A good thread would tend to ignore such comments as, “hate crime legislation is stupid…”

          • HonestDebate1

            Ah, so it was a schoolmarm thing, okay. I didn’t accuse her of squat BTW.

            How is sucker punching a stranger to unconsciousness not hate? Why should race be a factor at all? Assault is assault.

            It’s stupid and racist.

          • 1Brett1

            Interesting that your only view of hate crimes pertains to race.

            No one said anything about violent acts not containing some form of hate, but in a court of law, intent has to be proven. Would you rather go by mob rule as far as intent goes?

            You claimed in another comment that liberals seem to be reading minds as far as intent goes (of certain white on black crimes and their intent), yet you don’t say that about black on white crime being racist in nature; you seem to straight up call those racist crimes…further evidence of your bias against black people.

            Assault is often the only thing that can be proven in a hate crime. As far as hate crimes go, our country has a history of crimes against blacks, Jews, gays, etc., just because of their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation and that needs to be stopped. If it is never prosecuted for what it is, it has much less of a chance of ending.

            Yes, you did accuse hennorama of having some point beyond the face value of the comment…that is so weaselly of you to deny it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Intent is one thing, reading minds is another. Hate is in the mind. The intent seems to be to knock the victim out and brag on Facebook. I am consistent, I don’t like hate crimes for blacks either but that rarely ever happens. What comments are you talking about? Just the other day you falsely claimed I never posted such things, now you are citing them. And quit with the stupid racist accusations, you have no idea.

            And hate crime legislation is all about the politics of race, remember James Byrd?

            And dude please, I made no accusations at all. I replied to a comment. If she had a point I didn’t get it but it seems to be the one you made above. Did I hurt your feelings that badly that the face value thing is still eating at you?

            Why are you so eager to dispel the reality of black on black and black on white violence?

          • 1Brett1

            So, regarding white on black hate crimes, are you saying you never used the term “mind readers”?

            I’m not dispelling the reality of “black on black and black on white crime.” Saying so is putting words in my mouth and telling me what I think.

            Also, telling my I have hurt feelings about your “face value” memes is telling me what I think. I was pointing out your continued hypocrisy.

            And, explain this nonsense of yours: “…hate crime legislation is all about the politics of race, remember James Byrd?” Are you saying hate crimes that don’t involve race don’t exist? Or are you saying that hate crimes involving race are trumped up and have nothing to do with race?

          • HonestDebate1

            ..

          • 1Brett1

            “…in Texas, GWB was governor [during the James Byrd murder trials]. The murderers got the death penalty. Death. GWB signed the ticket.”

            That isn’t quite accurate. You make it sound like GWB levied the death penalty himself or something. First, the governor of Texas would have only gotten involved after appeals had been exhausted, which they were not while he was governor. The only part you got right is that GWB opposed hate crime legislation. The thing is he was very vocal about opposing hate crime legislation during all three James Byrd murder trials, as crass as that was, as he didn’t know the outcome at that point. It’s not like he said, “I gave them the death penalty, what more do you want?!” as you tried to intimate.

            By the way, two of the men were sentenced to death, only one was put to death (in September of 2011, long, long after GWB was anything other than an ex-president in Texas), the other one sentenced to death is still playing out his appeals. The third man was given life…not that details mean anything in your false narrative.

            The NAACP reminded voters in the 2000 presidential race of GWB’s opposition to hate crime laws (BTW, those laws were passed after GWB left Texas for the presidency, by Rick Perry). This seems appropriate in a presidential race to bring up GWB’s opposition to hate crime laws during the trials of James Byrd’s murderers.

            As far as the rest of your comment goes, it rants and flits from one grievance to the next and has a tone of intolerance toward concerns about race in the US and any reasonable discussion about race relations. What you say is not new coming from you, and hardly the kind of nonsense one would want to rehash with you.

          • HonestDebate1

            I got nothing wrong unless you tell me what I think or make it sound like or infer I am intimating. That’s what you do. Show me one thing I wrote that was false.

            And thank you for copping out in total surrender about race relations. That was smart as you don’t have a leg to stand on.

          • 1Brett1

            For one thing, as I said, you got this wrong: “The murderers got the death penalty. Death. GWB signed the ticket.”

            In Texas, there is no “signing” of any “ticket” when a death sentence is given to a criminal; GWB didn’t “sign” any “tickets,” whatever that means. Only one of the three murderers was put to death in 2011 (GWB would have had nothing to do with that execution; which, involvement by the governor in a death penalty case would have been after the man’s appeal process, long after GWB even left the presidency). One man got life, another is still in the appeal process. GWB had nothing to do with signing anything as far as those murderers go.

            As far as all that stuff you said about blacks being more likely to be criminals/commit crimes; you’ve said all of that many, many, many times before. It doesn’t matter how well one argues those points against what you say, as hennorama did so much more thoroughly than I, you dismiss anything but your own views on this.

          • HonestDebate1

            You mean there is no ticket to purgatory? Really?

            This was about the politics of race. In 2000 during the campaign GWB was vilified for Texas being #1 in executions. He was flat out blamed for killing them over and over. And as Governor he could intervene but didn’t. Remember Karla Faye Tucker? So, feel free to interpret “signed the ticket” as you please.

            Here were some of the accusations at the time:

            http://ccadp.org/bushkills.htm

            http://www.salon.com/1999/08/07/death_2/

            Two of the 3 got the death penalty, the driver got life. They got the death penalty, as I said.

            Hennorama did nothing but spew racist accusations. He called the FBI stats white supremacist stuff. She discounted a 37.000+ disparity in rapes as a rounding error. It was one of the most shameful attempts at disingenuousness I have ever seen.

            You were the one who started this thread about race relations and I suspect it was directed at me. And now you run.

            I will never forget the pitiful comment from a black guy hoping how son would pass as white so he wouldn’t be murdered. It is the result of people like you and shows like On Point screaming the false narrative. This was the head line of the OP show.

            The shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and the price of “walking while black.”

          • 1Brett1

            On Point was “screaming the false narrative”? I “run” from any discourse on race relations? Black people have worries about the world in which their children grow up and all because liberals have perpetuated some false narrative about race? Sure, and you aren’t engaging in any hyperbolic/false narrative? sure…deny what you can; believe what you want.

            You believe that blacks are more likely to commit crimes than whites, that blacks have a sense of entitlement, especially due to liberal policies, that hate crimes legislation is stupid, that any challenges to what you say about blacks/race relations are racist, etc. We get that, as bigoted and ignorant as your view is, in my opinion (which, by the way, isn’t telling you what you think but offering an opinion about what you say) we get what you say about the matter. We aren’t telling you what you think; you are telling this forum over and over what you think. Anyone can look at your profile and judge for themselves. You know my opinion, at least as much as we know yours, anyway.

            If racism still exists (as you have conceded in the past) then what form does it take? Is it mostly a problem blacks have toward whites? You’ve said before that you know black people in your part of western NC who are racist toward white people; you’ve never said you know any white people who are racist toward black people. (I’ve lived in Weaverville, NC; it isn’t that difficult to see.) And, what solutions do you propose society embark on to attempt eradicating this racism toward whites? Or am I reading you wrong? Here’s your chance to make some declarative statements about what forms of racism still exist (or are you going to reiterate some non-committal statement about racism still existing followed by some links about black people behaving badly?).

            Would ending all civil rights legislation ameliorate race problems? Would rescinding all anti-discrimination laws help? Considering the ones that are in place in your view not only don’t somewhat keep a tight rein on societal racism but exacerbate the problem, what, then, can be done? Nothing? Remove all laws that concern discrimination that also only serve to exacerbate the problem?

            What exactly should one take away from the sum of your comments on race?

            It also seems that any data involving any topic, whether they are about race, climate change, or anything, can only be interpreted properly by you and by those who think like you, but those same data are always interpreted improperly by those who think differently than you. Okay, and others are just engaging in false narratives based on some inferior ideology to yours…

            We get it, “honest” debater.

          • HonestDebate1

            When OP put’s something on the top of the page and in the opening monolog, it’s screaming. When you say you won’t bother addressing my facts it’s running.

            I know all kinds of white racist who I have talked about often. I’ve told all kinds of stories about it. I hate racism all the way around. I didn’t say half the stuff you wrote. Liberal policies have been devastating to blacks but blacks don’t have a sense of entitlement because they’re black. Neither to the teat sucking whites who haven’t worked for generations. That’s just weird.

            Are you seriously saying you are cool with the OP headline about the dangers of “walking while black” and at the same time refuse to acknowledge whites being knocked out right and left by blacks? Do you seriously believe all the FBI stats are wrong?

            And your questions are soooo bizarre. It’s an alternate reality. First, you started the thread and have yet to take a position except for the first one that you didn’t mean and I took at face value. So there’s that but saying I conceded that racism exists!!!!! WTF!!! What in the hell have you concocted about my mindset? As many times as I’ve had the back of black friends in hostile situations, as much as I’ve seen playing every hole in the wall bar from Mississippi to Idaho to Pennsylvania and even considering black relatives in my own family, if someone came up to me and said racism didn’t exist I’d punch them in the GD face.

            End civil rights legislation??!!! Anti- discrimination laws???! WTF!!!! Where do you get this stuff? We are equal under the law that’s good in case you missed it. It is unreal how you draw your own caricature.

            And maybe I wasn’t clear, I think hate crimes are stupid. I don’t propose any laws to eradicate racism towards anyone. People are free to be racist against whites, blacks or anyone else. Legislating thought is stupid. There are laws against assault, murder, rape, vandalism. Apply them.

            As a society all we can do is expect much and quit making excuses and creating victims.

            And feel free to debate any data on any topic, you never do. You just tell me I’m a monster. I already know that.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — thanks for the mention.

            As to your merry discourse, please allow me to again paraphrase the late Sen. Barry Goldwater:

            “Ignoring the ignorant in the defense of sanity is no vice.”

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — pardon the interruption of your merry discourse.

            Posting information about USA Magidson’s background had dual intents:

            1. To show that he has extensive prosecutorial experience at the “street level.”

            2. To show that he has near-universal political support, meaning it would be unlikely that he would choose to prosecute someone simply to make a political point.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who implied that? No wonder I missed it.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — sorry for interrupting again. Just wanted to point out that the Omniscient One apparently does not discern a difference between a U. S. Attorney and “the judge.”

            Hippo nude deer’s eve!

  • TFRX

    A good week to have bad news for a failing Tea Party governor.

    Why is Wisconsin a chronic laggard?

    According to Wednesday’s report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin gained 23,963 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from June 2012 through June 2013, a 1.0% increase that ranks the state 37th among the 50 states in the pace of job creation during that period.

    Wisconsin continued to trail the national rate of job creation, as it
    has since July 2011. The United States created private-sector jobs at a rate of 1.9% in the latest 12-month period, nearly double Wisconsin’s 1.0% rate, the data show.

    Maybe if Scott Walker hadn’t been so fascinated with cramming things up womens’ hoohas…

    Hopefully these facts can be “disappeared” before Governor Tough Guy announces for 2016.

    PS The big fishwrap in Milwaukee is quite living up to its nickname “Urinal” in covering this.

    • eat_swim_read

      …or maybe the state didn’t lose as many jobs, leaving a gaping hole to be rapidly filled with low-end retail and service jobs – as is happening in Florida…

    • HonestDebate1

      The unemployment rate in WI is 6.3%. It ranks 20th in the nation. How fast do you expect it to drop?

      http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

      Back in the day when they said the same thing about Bush, focusing on the jobs added while everyone already had a job, I liked this analogy: Which is more impressive, finding a needle in a haystack or finding 100 in a needle factory?

      Don’t fall for the propaganda.

      • TFRX

        What you label “propaganda” is cutely misinformed.

        Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin led the nation in first-time unemployment claims.

        That’s not the narrative Walker wants as he plots his run for the Republican presidential nomination.

        But it’s real.

        According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4,420 Wisconsinites filed initial unemployment claims in the final week of November. The next two highest states combined — Ohio with 2,597 and Kentucky with 1,538 — couldn’t match Wisconsin’s total. And what’s particularly notable is that these numbers come at a point when states such as California, Texas, Florida and Michigan are seeing significant declines in jobless claims.

        Wisconsin sticks out like a sore thumb.

        • HonestDebate1

          I am not disputing the numbers, I’m disputing what they mean. There are factors, good and bad, out the wazoo and this is a snapshot. The caveman grunt, “Tea Party suck” is the propaganda part.

          You may not know it but there are folks on this blog who will scream plagiarist if you don’t put quotation marks around other peoples words.

          http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/scott-walker-makes-wisconsin-no-in-jobless-claims/article_edf3cc1b-732e-5199-8d2f-80e23e7a594d.html

        • hennorama

          TFRX — I’m sure that Wisconsin’s underperformance in 27 out of 30 (90%) of these measurement periods, including the last 24 in a row, has nothing at all to do with Gov. Walker’s policies, which were supposed to magically create an average of more than 5,200 jobs per month over his four-year term.

          The tally thus far, per politifact.com/wisconsin:

          “The latest monthly report, and revisions to previous reports, boost Walker’s tally by 10,890 jobs. That brings the total number of jobs added since he took office to an estimated 104,372, or about 42 percent of the total the governor promised.

          “Put another way, he’s got 145,628 jobs to add with 13 months to go.”

          Thus far, the average has been less than 3,000 per month. Wisconsin would need to add over 11,200 jobs/month from here on out in order to meet his promise.

          You can see a graphic for 2013 here:

          http://www.jsonline.com/news/128099318.html

          See also:
          http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/promises/walk-o-meter/promise/526/create-250000-new-jobs/

          • HonestDebate1

            No comment on the plagiarism?

  • hourly_PA

    Today, some group, somewhere, receives 40 billion a month for mortgage-backed securities, also known as toxic paper assets.
    Elsewhere, from another group, 19 billion a year is being withheld,
    none of its members can collect on unemployment insurance.
    The good news, as K. Tumulty [ WP ] points out, is that recently there has been some kind and moving words about the wealth gap, coming from the Vatican no less. And here at home the current President has also given us some fine moving language about the rich poor divide, but that was 5 years ago.

  • HonestDebate1

    The intolerant and bigoted A&E rightfully caved. All is right with the world.

    • HonestDebate1

      Not only did A&E cave, so did Cracker Barrel. Why? Is it because there are too many bigots in the world bringing fiscal pressure to bear? I would suspect that’s conclusion #1 for those who are told so and obediently comply.

  • OnPointComments

    An accurate and humorous excerpt from Dave Barry’s Review of 2013:

    JANUARY… which begins with a crisis in Washington, a city that — despite having no industries and a workforce consisting almost entirely of former student council presidents — manages to produce 93 percent of the nation’s crises. This particular crisis is a “fiscal cliff” caused by the fact that for years the government has been spending spectacular quantities of money that it does not have, which has resulted in a mess that nobody could possibly have foreseen unless that person had a higher level of financial awareness than a cucumber. At the last minute, congressional leaders and the White House reach an agreement under which the government will be able to continue spending spectacular quantities of money that it does not have, thus temporarily averting the very real looming danger that somebody might have to make a decision.

    FEBRUARY… Washington faces another crisis in the form of a “sequester” that will happen automatically unless Congress can agree on a budget, which seems unlikely inasmuch as Congress cannot agree on what planet this is. If the sequester goes into effect, federal spending will continue to rise, but not quite as fast as it would have risen without the sequester. To a normal human, this means government spending is still increasing, but to Washington, the sequester means “draconian cuts” and is a looming disaster of epic proportions. Panic grips the city, as grim-faced former student council presidents write talking points far into the night.

    MARCH…as the federal budget deadline passes without Congress reaching agreement, the devastating, draconian, historically catastrophic sequester goes into effect, causing a mild reduction in the rate of increase in government spending that for some inexplicable reason goes unnoticed by pretty much everybody outside the federal government.

    In legal affairs, the Supreme Court overturns the Defense of Marriage Act, eliciting high praise from many politicians who enacted the Defense of Marriage Act.

    In Obamacare action, the White House announces a one-year delay on the mandate requiring businesses to provide health insurance but insists that “we are right on schedule for rolling out the Web thing on the Intertubes.”

    OCTOBER… the federal government, in an unthinkable development that we cannot even think about, partially shuts down. The result is a catastrophe of near-sequester proportions. Within hours wolves are roaming the streets of major U.S. cities, and bacteria the size of mature salmon are openly cavorting in the nation’s water supply. In the Midwest, thousands of cows, no longer supervised by the Department of Agriculture, spontaneously explode. Yellowstone National Park — ALL of it — is stolen. In some areas gravity stops working altogether, forcing people to tie themselves to trees so they won’t float away. With the nation virtually defenseless, the Bermudan army invades the East Coast, within hours capturing Delaware and most of New Jersey.

    By day 17, the situation has become so dire that Congress, resorting to desperate measures, decides to actually do something. It passes, and the president signs, a law raising the debt ceiling, thereby ensuring that the federal government can continue spending spectacular quantities of money that it does not have until the next major totally unforeseeable government financial crisis, scheduled for February 2014.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/dave-barrys-review-of-2013-the-year-of-the-zombies/2013/12/20/c7cfa5fe-5dc2-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html?hpid=z1

    • HonestDebate1

      I want to laugh… I really do. But this is awful.

    • pete18

      Hah, so on target. This line, which sums up the defenders of government largess to a T, is my favorite : “To a normal human, this means government spending is still increasing, but to Washington, the sequester means “draconian cuts” and is a looming disaster of epic proportions. Panic grips the city, as grim-faced former student council presidents write talking points far into the
      night.”

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Thanks so much for restoring DOWNLOADS – now I can listen to your broadcasts off my phone, or can’t spare resources on comp. Now tell that to ATC.

    • darioqqo948

      my Aunty Emily got a new gold Mercedes
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      • hennorama

        Hey DISQUS — please delete this spambot.

      • JGC

        My nephew “David” went on the Obamacare website and got his health insurance in 20 minutes. try this web-site healthcare.g0v

        Wait a minute. That sounds like a scam (but it’s true! He really did get it in 20 minutes. Peace of mind for “David”, his dad and all the family.)

  • HonestDebate1
  • HonestDebate1

    There’s a Russian ship with scientist studying global warming stuck frozen in the Antarctic. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • jefe68

      Wow, you keep on proving over and over again how utterly ill-informed you are about anything regarding science. I guess public humiliation is a kind of sport for you.

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea, I made it up. There is no stranded ship.

        • jefe68

          Amazing.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, there is a ship of global warming scientist iced in, in Antarctica. Russia has a rescue ship on the way.

            My snark was an incredulous reaction to your comment. Now I find out you don’t even know about the incident. And you accuse me of being ill-informed. And what does science have to do with it anyway?

            I guess public humiliation is a kind of sport for you.

          • jefe68

            Actually I do know about it.
            What I was referring to was your lack of understanding of basic science, and how research works, and that your snark is just one more example of that.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say anything about science. I said a ship was stranded.

          • jefe68

            You forgot the whole point of your comment was to make a negative and joke about scientist studying global warming. As stated, you do seem to like to embarrass yourself. Or, your so clueless that when you make comments that expose your ignorance you then double down on the ignorance.

            Here he is folks, the energizer bunny of ignorance.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s ironic, that’s all. Lighten up.

          • jefe68

            I’m laughing… at your right wing clown show.

          • pete18

            Jefe’s improving, he didn’t say “regressive.”

          • jefe68

            Regressive, as in backward thinking as is witnessed in the above right wing laced comments.

          • pete18

            Backward in time or logic?

          • jefe68

            I would say both. You chaps remind me of the flat earth society.

          • pete18

            H-m-m-m, Obamacare, socialized medicine that makes costs higher, limits people’s choices, depresses the economy and adds to the deficit, while using magical thinking to promise the exact opposite, seems the epitome of”regressive” by both of your measures.

            The oldest idea in the democrats’ playbook, that ignores logic, economics and a basic understanding of how people behave.

            By the way, were you aware that the flat Earth Society believes in Global Warming-

            http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/flat_earth_society_believes_in_climate_change/http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/flat_earth_society_believes_in_climate_change/

          • jefe68

            The ACA is not socialized health care.
            Rising costs in our system are due to how our market based fee for service system is designed to not control health care costs, but to maximize profits.

          • HonestDebate1

            And you see zero irony?

          • pete18

            Adding to the absurdity, the ship that went out to rescue the scientists is also stuck in the ice, http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/27/world/antarctica-ship-stuck/

          • HonestDebate1

            Yikes!

  • OnPointComments

    At the end of 2013, we should all be thankful …

    … for the research published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics by Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr. Marcia Wyatt, which shows that the 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last into the 2030s and the Arctic sea ice has already started to recover. Not only does it explain the unexpected pause, it suggests that the scientific majority – whose views are represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – have underestimated the role of natural cycles and exaggerated that of greenhouse gases. The research comes amid mounting evidence that the computer models on which the IPCC based the gloomy forecasts of a rapidly warming planet in its latest report, published in September, are diverging widely from reality.

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s great news. I expect people will welcome it.

      • OnPointComments

        You’d think that everyone would welcome this good news, wouldn’t you? We should hear “Whew! I am relieved that the gloom and doom predictions may be wrong!” but instead we’ll hear more groupthink ranting that any research contrary to the cult of climate change must be ignored.

        WORDS THAT THINK FOR US
        http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/words-that-think-for-us-3/#.UsBIBY2A3hd

        “An accusation of “denial” is serious, suggesting either deliberate dishonesty or self-deception. The thing being denied is, by implication, so obviously true that the denier must be driven by perversity, malice or willful blindness. Few issues warrant such confidence…A charge of denial short-circuits this debate by stigmatising as dishonest any deviation from a preordained conclusion. It is a form of the argument ad hominem: the aim is not so much to refute your opponent as to discredit his motives. The extension of the “denier” tag to group after group is a development that should alarm all liberal-minded people. One of the great achievements of the Enlightenment—the liberation of historical and scientific enquiry from dogma—is quietly being reversed.”

      • OnPointComments

        My favorite climate change groupthink moment of 2013 was when CNN anchor Deb Feyerick asked Bill Nye if the asteroid that was headed in the direction of Earth, from the outer reaches of the galaxy, was an effect of global warming.

    • hennorama

      OPC — please quote the actual research, including and especially the part that supposedly “shows that the 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last into the 2030s and the Arctic sea ice has already started to recover.”

      • OnPointComments

        In the authors’ own words:

        “The stadium wave signal predicts that the current pause in global warming could extend into the 2030s.” –Dr. Marcia Wyatt

        “This prediction is in contrast to the recently released IPCC AR5 Report that projects an imminent resumption of the warming, likely to be in the range of a 0.3 to 0.7 degree Celsius rise in global mean surface temperature from 2016 to 2035.” –Professor Judith Curry

        “The stadium wave forecasts that sea ice will recover from its recent minimum, first in the West Eurasian Arctic, followed by recovery in the Siberian Arctic. Hence, the sea ice minimum observed in 2012, followed by an increase of sea ice in 2013, is suggestive of consistency with the timing of evolution of the stadium-wave signal.” –Dr. Marcia Wyatt

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/10/the-stadium-wave/#more-13302

        • hennorama

          OPC — aren’t these merely elements of the hypothesis offered by the two authors, rather than something that, as you wrote, “SHOWS that the 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last ….”?

          • OnPointComments

            Isn’t everything written about future climate change effects merely part of someone’s hypothesis?

          • hennorama

            OPC — Thank you for your unresponsive response.

            Please answer the question posed.

          • OnPointComments

            I doubt that you reached a different conclusion after reading my 2nd comment than you did when you read the original comment. If you were misled by the original comment, please feel free to substitute the verb of your choosing for “shows.”

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you again for your response.

            I was simply trying to understand what you think “we should all be thankful for,” as you wrote only about a hypothetical, rather than anything definitive.

          • OnPointComments

            I doubt that you didn’t understand the nature of the comment I posted. Using your logic, should we disregard all research about the dire future effects of climate change since it’s all hypothetical and not definitive?

          • hennorama

            OPC — Please note that I have made no comment as to the nature of the hypothesis, nor have I indicated that any research should be ignored.

            I was looking for something to be thankful for, and instead found only another hypothesis.

          • HonestDebate1

            With all due respect, that was weasely.

          • OnPointComments

            My interpretation of Hennorama’s perplexity over “shows” and my thankfulness for Dr. Wyatt’s & Professor Curry’s research: Hennorama may as well have said “I got nothing.”

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for your bravely indirect response.

            You did not write about your own thankfulness, but instead declared that “we should all be thankful … … for the research …”

            Then when asked to quote the research, you instead quoted the researchers talking about their hypothesis and related prediction.

            All of which SHOWS nothing, and certainly nothing “we should all be thankful for …”

            Thanks you again for your bravely indirect response.

          • OnPointComments

            Your comments have been disingenuous.

          • hennorama

            OPC — no. I was sincerely looking for something to be thankful for, and found only conjecture. I generally avoid climate change discussions, and was not familiar with the particular research you wrote about.

            A cursory scan of the linked blog was sufficient to observe the carefully qualified press release discussing only an hypothesis and “plausible explanation.”

            It’s interesting, but not worthy of thanks.

          • OnPointComments

            We’ll have to agree to disagree. Everything written about the future effects of climate change is theory, conjecture, and hypothetical. If we can’t be thankful when theoretical research shows predicts that the effects may not be as cataclysmic as predicted, then we shouldn’t be concerned when theory predicts dire effects.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bingo.

          • hennorama

            OPC — no worries.

            As stated, I generally avoid discussions of climate change, as they quickly devolve along ideological rather than scientific lines.

            It would indeed be something to be thankful for if the hypothesis and predictions of the researchers showed something, but as they did nothing of the sort, we are left with nothing other than further dispute.

          • HonestDebate1

            It shows the models were wrong, big time.

          • jefe68

            There is some issues with how Curry and Wyatt have used data.

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling-january-2007-to-january-2008.htm

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — thank you for your response, and the link.

            It would hardly be surprising if there were some data issues, but I certainly don’t have the expertise to make any judgment about specifics.

            Further, I don’t pretend to understand the intricacies, complexities and dynamics of climate, and climate change.

            What is unfortunate is that science has become so politicized in the U.S. that politicians who say things like,

            “God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. There’s a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually. How to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that,”

            can be a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

            (The above remarks were made by Rep. Paul Broun, of Georgia’s 10th District, who is currently running for the U.S. Senate)

            Source:
            http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/07/nation/la-na-nn-paul-broun-evolution-hell-20121007

          • jefe68

            I say one thing for the Rep. Paul Brown, he would have fit right into the 1600′s and would have been right at home condemning Galileo. How little religious zealotry has changed.

            Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vaincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable and that the Earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; for having disciples to whom you taught the same doctrine; for holding correspondence with certain mathematicians of Germany concerning the same; for having printed certain letters, entitled “On the Sunspots,” wherein you developed the same doctrine as true; and for replying to the objections from the Holy Scriptures, which from time to time were urged against it, by glossing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning: and whereas there was thereupon produced the copy of a document in the form of a letter, purporting to be written by you to one formerly your disciple, and in this divers propositions are set forth, following the position of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture:

            This Holy Tribunal being therefore of intention to proceed against the disorder and mischief thence resulting, which went on increasing to the prejudice of the Holy Faith, by command of His Holiness and of the Most Eminent Lords Cardinals of this supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the stability of the Sun and the motion of the Earth were by the theological Qualifiers qualified as follows:

            The proposition that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scripture.

            http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/galileo/condemnation.html

    • Don_B1

      OnPointComments HonestDebate1

      You just cite more false analysis from Judith Curry, who has long been discredited, as shown here:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/11/2603711/arctic-death-spiral/

      Ms. Curry seems desperate to find an “uptick” to claim that Arctic sea ice is “recovering,” and you tro;;s jump all over it to disseminate her lies.

      • OnPointComments

        If the peer-reviewed scientific journal Think Progress has questioned Judith Curry’s research, then surely Curry must be wrong. We can rely on the renowned scientists and climatologists at Think Progress to … — What? Think Progress isn’t a scientific journal? You’re telling me that Think Progress is just another George Soros-funded über-liberal propaganda rag? Oh.

        Never mind.

  • HonestDebate1
    • Labropotes

      Minus one is less than minus zero, right?

      • HonestDebate1

        Doh!

    • JONBOSTON

      Can there be any worse more disgusting cable network than MSNBC? All they seem competent at of late is apologizing for their outrageous vile comments. That they have any viewers at all is a sad commentary on the depths of stupidly of so many on the left.

  • OnPointComments

    A succinct characterization.

    OBAMA’S TEDIOUS ACT GROWN OLD AND STALE
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/12/27/obamas-tedious-act-grown-old-and-stale/

    Excerpt:
    “…here’s one of the many challenges facing Mr. Obama: Can he alter the patterns of a presidency? I ask because the president is a chronic whiner, a habitual complainer and excuse-maker. He relied on blame shifting for his entire first term, and I suspect it’s not merely a tactic for Obama. It is how he’s been conditioned, how he views the world and his place in it. He believes deep in his bones that every setback he encounters is due to outside forces. And so he has laid the blame for his failures on his predecessor, the congressional GOP, the Tea Party, conservative talk radio hosts, millionaires and billionaires, Wall Street, Japanese tsunamis, the Arab Spring, Fox News, and more. Those excuses no longer work–and because they don’t, one of the main political arrows has been removed from the Obama quiver.

    “…as the failures of the Obama presidency continue to multiply and his record of incompetence becomes even more indisputable, will Mr. Obama become more aggrieved, more prickly, and more detached from reality? The new year will go some distance toward answering whether you can teach a hubristic president new tricks. This much we know: the old ones have become tedious and monotonous.”

    • pete18

      It is not only his MO, it’s that of his supporters too. The buck never stops anywhere.

      • jimino

        Yeah, we are all well aware of how those responsible for 9-11, Iraq, Afghanistan, the financial-sector-caused depression, the worst job gains during any administration in history, etc. were all held accountable by those you support, aren’t we? Or maybe you could post something and list them and how they were sanctioned for their failures for those not as smart and informed as you claim to be.

        • pete18

          Are you kidding? The Republicans got hammered by conservative voters and pundits in 2006 because of Bush’s and the Congress’s poor performance, bad ideas and overspending.

          Bush also paid a price from the right for Iraq and Afghanistan, although I think both decisions were correct. There were huge problems with the execution of Iraq, at least at the beginning, particularly with the hubris and overconfidence of the Bush administration and I think that was shared by the voters on the right (including myself).

          I don’t think there’s much to complain about with the unemployment numbers under Bush before the crash and there wasn’t much in his policies that could be blamed for the crash. But he certainly spent way too much and made some bad appointments.

          So, could you please review who it is that you think was responsible for 9/11 and the financial-sector-caused depression?

          I do think there are finally some Obama supporters who are calling him on the disaster of Obamacare, since it is becoming too hard to defend anymore, but that is a much smaller number than one would expect given the uncontested facts on the ground.

          • jimino

            Well, Obama is taking huge criticism from the pundits on the left and the Democratic Party sustained significant losses in 2010 elections. So responsibility has been take by your definition.

          • pete18

            “Well, Obama is taking huge criticism from the pundits on the left..”

            Only very recently, and it’s still a tiny percentage. The pundits and media have been carrying his water with every free appendage from the get go.

  • HonestDebate1

    I would sincerely appreciate the thoughts of any gay OP commenters on the Obamacare enrollment ad targeted at gay males. Does it work for you or are you insulted? I’m insulted, I know a lot of gay men and women and NONE act like this. They go about their business just as anyone else. They are not focused on meat any more or less that anyone. The ad assumes, as I see it, the shallowest stereotypes and caricaturists them in a adolescent fashion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azoWedQH8zQ

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