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Week In The News: Russian Security, Obamacare Launches, Pot Legalized Out West

Bombs in Russia. Obamacare goes live. A dramatic rescue in the Arctic. And a brand new year. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Store owner Toni Fox, second from right, greets customers standing in a snaking line numbering several hundred people shortly after the opening of her 3D Cannabis Center in Denver at 8am on Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began legalized retail recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." (AP)

Store owner Toni Fox, second from right, greets customers standing in a snaking line numbering several hundred people shortly after the opening of her 3D Cannabis Center in Denver at 8am on Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began legalized retail recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling “Green Wednesday.” (AP)

Week one, 2014.  Well, half a week, anyway.  And plenty of news.  In Russia, where terror attacks have shaken things up just weeks before the Winter Olympics.  In Colorado, where pot is now legal and shopping baskets are filling up.  In Iraq, where the Syrian war threatens to spill and spread.  And in the USA, where Obamacare is in effect as of January 1.  We’ve got a would-be definitive telling of what happened in Benghazi.  A dramatic Antarctic rescue.  Drone testing sites in the US.  And a blizzard in the northeast.  This hour On Point: Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Reid Epstein, White House correspondent for Politico. (@ReidEpstein)

Jill Dougherty, foreign affairs correspondent for CNN. (@CNNJill)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico: White House stands by birth-control rule — “The Obama administration Wednesday said the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage regulations are fair — and they don’t really hurt the Denver-based religious organization that got a temporary New Year’s Eve reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. ‘We defer to the Department of Justice on litigation matters, but remain confident that our final rules strike the balance of providing women with free contraceptive coverage while preventing non-profit religious employers with religious objections to contraceptive coverage from having to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for such coverage,’ a White House official said.”

National Journal: Everything We Learned From Edward Snowden in 2013 — “He didn’t win Time‘s Person of the Year award or rank in Google’s year-end list of top searches, but Edward Snowden repeatedly dominated Washington’s policy conversation in 2013—and he did it without ever setting foot here. Beginning in June, Snowden’s leaks detailing the National Security Agency’s vast data collection programs prompted a seemingly endless torrent of exposés in major publications around the world. The disclosures not only reveal the size of the NSA’s phone and Internet metadata dragnet, but the at-times cavalier arrogance with which agency analysts boast about their surveillance muscle.”

CNN: Russia’s Vladimir Putin visits victims of Volgograd blasts — “Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a New Year’s Day hospital visit to some of those injured in two suspected suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd. More than 30 people were killed in the attacks on Sunday and Monday at a rail station and on a trolley bus, just six weeks before Russia is due to host the Winter Olympics. Putin’s unannounced visit to Volgograd Wednesday came a day after he delivered a New Year’s message on Russian state TV in which he vowed to fight until terrorists were defeated.”

Watch A Video Of the Record-Setting New Year’s Fireworks In Dubai

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  • Ed75

    There was a public radio story where navigators were trying to get homeless persons who were addicted to drugs to sign up for free healthcare, and these homeless people weren’t interested at all. One said ‘This conversation is over’. At the same time there are working people whose coverage has been cancelled, who can’t afford the new coverage. The reporter didn’t seem to have any sense of the ridiculous.

    • JGC

      Reporters are not supposed to give their personal sense of what is ridiculous. They report a story and people make an interpretation of the facts.

      • hennorama

        JGC — I have a new entry for the censorship list: the common Canadian term for whole milk.

        I discovered this during an exchange with [Mike in Canada] a few days ago. Here’s the relevant portion of my modified post that finally got past the algorithm:

        “No doubt we might spend a few loonies and toonies, enjoy some Timbits and a couple of double-doubles, and avoid this beauty of a kerfuffle altogether. (Or alternatively, a two-four, a handful of serviettes, and some poutine. Heck, I’d even go for a couple of beaver tails and some [here's where you insert the Canadian phrase for 'whole milk,' which the censorship algorithms do not like].)”

        • JGC

          I never heard that one! (Probably because I am in Quebec; is it an Ontario term?)

          It was -24 C this morning, and I definitely need my double-double.

          • hennorama

            JGC — -24 C is a wee bit chilly. Good icemaking weather, though. Keeps the hockey players happy.

            And Carnaval is only four weeks away!

            Perhaps you should consider the Siberia Spa experience. They’re running some special deals:

            http://www.siberiastationspa.com/promotions-spa-et-massotherapie-quebec.php

            And here’s a current image of the product in question, from a BC producer:

            http://islandfarms.com/product/homogenized-milk/

          • JGC

            We are a 1% lait partiellement écrémé family, ourselves. The next time I am at the grocery, I am going to have a close look at those cartons and bags of the homogenized whole milk in the refrigerated case. I’ll let you know what I see!

          • hennorama

            JGC — understood, and thanks, as always.

  • Ed75

    Governor De Blasio … the radical and radical pro-abortion mayor whose first statement on election was that he would close the pregnancy care centers and build abortion clinics with tax payer money through planned p. … was inaugurated. He used the FDR Bible, and the Bible went missing for about two hours after the ceremony … the Bible, and God, showed their disapproval of his policies and wanted out of there. And the next day the schools are all closed, and the UN is closed.

    • lobstahbisque

      Yes. The beginning of the progressive backlash. Enjoy being on the wrong side of history much?

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

        “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
        ― Martin Luther King Jr.

        I trust my actions will not be found wanting.

        • lobstahbisque

          The appearance of those noble words under your avatar, is a travesty.

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

            Glad to remind you.

      • Ed75

        Things certainly are continuing to move in the progressive direction … but we know how history ends.

  • Ray in VT

    The New York Times issued a piece/report regarding Benghazi that did not support many conservative claims about the attack, and right-wing media and figures in it freaked out. Apparently the piece is just cover to bolster Hilary in 2016 or something.

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

      So you support the movie-review-gone-wrong theory? Interesting.

      http://m.weeklystandard.com/blogs/new-york-times-whitewashes-benghazi_772382.html

      • Ray in VT

        The Times’ source on the ground certainly reported anger on that issue. I support that established facts on the matter, not conspiracy theories.

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

          Yes they take their youtube very seriously in Libya, just look at the assaults on the Bangles for “Walk like an Egytian” use of Colonel Quackers image.

          • Ray in VT

            How did things go in parts of the Islamic world when that magazine ran those cartoons of the prophet?

    • John Cedar

      Since it did not support “many” conservative claims,
      did it at least support “any” conservative claims ?
      And did they bring themselves to admit what Obama could not admit in his rose garden speech and follow up victory tour… that it was an act of terrorism?

      • Ray in VT

        It may not have supported any, considering how much bunk the conservative claims have shown to be over time. I do believe that the President accurately described it as an act or terror.

        • brettearle

          Not only that, Ray, but I believe it was within 2 days of the incident, that the President called for an investigation to determine whether it was a terrorist act or not.

          MSM dropped the ball, utterly, on not making this clearer to the Public.

          It is quite darkly exquisite as to how much undercurrent influence there is, throughout this country, of Right Wing Echo Chamber Propaganda:

          The more jaded, and subtly influential, Right Wing Propaganda becomes, the more hesitant MSM sometimes becomes, in counteracting the Disinformation.

          Why?

          An analogy, if you will…..

          It is like the pervasive politically correct movement:

          People are afraid to say something that may SOUND racist but isn’t.

          By the same token, fair-minded MSM journalists, in some instances, may actually be afraid of refuting Right Wing propaganda–subtly or unconsciously–because these MSM journalists think that they could wind up being accused of being subjective, too Liberal, or unprofessional.

          I actually believe that’s HOW BAD it has become, sometimes, when competent journalists contemplate disabusing the public of drivel and crap.

    • HonestDebate1

      The piece never mentioned Hillary, why? It never gave the view of the Pentagon, why? And why do you refer to Conservative claims? The NYT has zero credibility.

      • Ray in VT

        Yeah, but you give credence to dolts like Sarah Palin and repeat the claims of racist groups like the New Century Foundation, so your judgement about what is credible is worth less than zero as far as I’m concerned.

        The article focuses on the situation leading up to the and including the attack, not the aftermath. I refer to conservative claims, because, despite evidence to the contrary, those claims keep getting repeated on outlets such as Fox over and over again.

        • HonestDebate1

          They were simple questions.

          I have no idea what you are attempting to pinball off to regarding Sarah Palin.

          • Ray in VT

            Which I addressed when referring to the scope of the piece. I’m just pointing out some of the useless and idiotic things to which you ascribe great value. Have any good fights with the dictionary this week?

          • HonestDebate1

            You addressed squat unless you are contending the Secretary of State had zero input on Benghazi’s ambassador until he was dead. He shouldn’t have even been there. Are you saying the calls for more security beforehand rejected by Hillary are not part of the story? Or are you saying that the pentagon knew nothing about the previous attacks. You’re not making sense, you are just clinging to an editorial.

            Let the dictionary thing go Ray. They are on my side and have beaten you to a pulp. I’m embarrassed for you, why do you keep bringing it up?

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. I addressed it. You say that I’m clinging to an editorial, but you just cling to your stale right wing talking points, just like with GM. Just sad.

            I bring it up because it is just hilarious to me how incredibly out of touch with reality you are. Just stick to your lie, declare victory and go about your merry way. It’s far easier than to accept facts that don’t fit the reality that you’ve constructed. Sad, but not surpising.

          • HonestDebate1

            “The article focuses on the situation leading up to the and including the attack, not the aftermath.”

            If that wasn’t what you meant then what was?

          • Ray in VT

            It is what I meant. It must be sad for you when some real news outlet doesn’t run with whatever hyped up piece of partisan tripe the scandal mongers on talk radio and Faux News try to use to stir up their base.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then if that’s what you meant, I refuted your comment. Or can you say Hillary had no connection to her job as Secretary of State before the planned terrorist attack? You’re taking in circles.

            You can have the thoroughly discredited NYT. I” stick with the intelligence community and people like Petreus, Mike Rogers, Adam Schiff, The President of Libya and everybody else… and their brother.

            Cling away but you really ought not talk about partisan tripe as you get suckered by it.

          • Ray in VT

            Only in your own mind, which is somewhat out of touch with what one might call facts.

            I guess that we can disregard reports from the ground and what those people there were saying, because people who weren’t there “knew” without any evidence. Even top people in Libya thought that it was something that spun out of control for a time, but I guess that you don’t mean those people, because you get to label Obama a liar for being wrong, but give Bush a pass on bad intelligence. The latter even gets a pass when he outright lied to the American public. It’s pretty clear that you’re the real sucker here. You jump on command every time the right wing spin machine gets it’s panties in a bunch over something that it’s blowing out of proportion.

          • HonestDebate1

            Being wrong IS a lie according to your definition. If not, tell me the difference. Make up your mind. This is stupid. Have a nice day.

          • Ray in VT

            Not my definition. The dictionary’s. I’m just reading what is says. I’m not the one calling Obama a liar for being wrong but saying that Bush isn’t. I’ve made clear what I think is the difference repeatedly, but considering your inability to understand many clear things, then maybe you just didn’t understand that either.

      • brettearle

        The New York Times criticizes Obama, almost daily–especially by virtue of reporting public reactions to White House policy.

        But also demonstrating what may be going wrong or is risky.

        The knee-jerk reactions against NY Times journalism is ignorant.

        • HonestDebate1

          The NYT has a long record and even their editor says they have a liberal bias.

          • brettearle

            Not Journalism.

            the Bias is with OpEd, Editorial and other specialized sections.

            You’re the one who can’t make the distinction.

            Your above comment is typical spin Propaganda based on what you need to believe.

            Go back to Okrent’s comment and you will see your own Bias staring you in the face.

            Journalism IS THE issue.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you believe the NYT epitomizes journalism with integrity? I do not.

          • brettearle

            Your comment is a sweeping cliche without virtual foundation.

            You can go to the paper, many days, and see negative reports of White House policy, in articles of journalism. Reports of how and why the Obama Administration is under fire.

            There was tremendous coverage of things that have gone wrong with ACA.

            You’re full of crap.

            The same is true of NYT’s coverage of Israel.

            You don’t know what you are talking about.

            But that’s nothing new.

            You look and sound like a Fool.

  • Ray in VT

    Pew issued a new piece on the American public’s view regarding evolution, and there is some interesting stuff in there. Views on whether things have evolved over time were fairly consistent overall (60% say things have evolved over time), as well as for Democrats (up to 64% in 2009 to 67% in 2013) and Independents (down from 67% in 2009 to 65% in 2013). Views among Republicans, however, changed greatly (54% in 2009 versus 43% in 2013).

    • Coastghost

      Enjoying that global warming today, are you, Ray?

      • lobstahbisque

        It’s now called climate change. Ya know, like extremes in weather, the melting of the permafrost releasing CO2 stored for millenia while the seas turn acid killing the coral and ruining equatic ecosystems while in the meantime……

        • HonestDebate1

          Extreme fail, this year’s hurricane season was atypically mild, ditto tornados. All the predictions were wrong.

          • lobstahbisque

            Bugger off troll

          • HonestDebate1

            You know in your heart I’m right.

          • Don_B1

            You dreamer, you!

          • HonestDebate1

            I gave you NOAA, do you want more? Should I trot out the 2007 IPCC report?

            Can you cite a single source that predicted the virtual absence of a hurricane season this year?

          • jefe68

            Nope, you keep proving over and over again that you have very little understanding of basic science.
            Why should anyone even regard what you post with even a grain of NaCl.

          • HonestDebate1

            Were the predictions right or wrong?

          • Don_B1

            What “predictions”?

            Climate scientists do recognize the statistical nature of weather and the resulting statistical nature of climate events. It takes an increasing number of events, types of events, etc. over time, typically at least 15 years for temperature data.

            You are so full of claims of “wrong predictions” but seldom are specific about which ones, so no one can show how false your claims are.

          • HonestDebate1
        • Coastghost

          Applied technology giveth and applied technology taketh away: blessed be the name of applied technology.

        • Don_B1

          Actually, both terms have been used since at least the early 1980s; climate scientists soon appreciated that a warming earth would undergo climate changes, both in local microclimates and in larger tropical, subtropical, temperate and polar climates.

          But the radical trolls just show their ignorance and pathetically juvenile attitude in such ‘taunting” comments.

          • Coastghost

            Id est: progressives are quickly losing the sense of proportion that comes with cultivation of a working sense of humor. Gravity and dread seriousness would seem identifiable enemies of progressivism, as the New Year dawns, to see all the grumpy progressives here today.

    • northeaster17

      Not surprising but still disturbing.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT — this decline is bizarre, but perfectly in line with Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, a physician who sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. In 2012, he said

      “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.”

      Source:
      http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/07/nation/la-na-nn-paul-broun-evolution-hell-20121007

      • brettearle

        Imagine Broun delivering that sermon before one of the Crusades was about to embark.

        Or maybe before the Cavalry–of these here United States–would go off on one of its tirades against the American Indian.

  • Coastghost

    Two years ago the National Physicians’ Alliance was predicting that full implementation of the (Un)Affordable Care Tax Act would succeed in “bending the curve of health care costs”–

    http://npalliance.org/blog/2012/02/26/expanding-health-insurance-coverage-should-reduce-costs/

    The NPA got it right! But most unfortunately, the ACTA bends the curve of health care costs UPWARDS, per the new MIT study, which shows continued reliance on and access to emergency room visits for non-emergency care.
    –which only highlights yet another Obama misrepresentation of what the law can and does do.

    • Don_B1

      This study reflects an 18-month period, which is not long when determining the time it takes to change people’s habits.

      The results of the study was discussed by Julie Rovner on NPR:

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/02/259128081/medicaid-expansion-boosted-emergency-room-visits-in-oregon

      where she reported:
      __
      But this study doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those people who actually run Medicaid programs around the country.

      “This is not something that is unexpected and not something that we’re not prepared for,” says Kathleen Nolan. She’s director of state policy and programs for the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

      Nolan says most states are already working to help Medicaid recipients get care in more appropriate settings. “Things like nurse-advice lines, trying to work with the community clinics and community providers to expand hours and make sure that people who are working two and three jobs can get access to primary care after hours and on the weekends,” she said.
      __

      It seems clear that this is preliminary data, not the results of what may happen over a long time.

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

    If the average American can be trusted to decide what lighting to use what can they be trusted with?

    FTA:
    The light bulb ban provides a useful window into the mindset of liberals. Here’s how they see the issue: energy-saving bulbs are better, therefore the others should be illegal. The pattern repeats itself in nearly every other realm: they determine the best policy, then impose it in a top down manner with no regard for states, localities, or individuals. Arguing with them about choice is futile because they cannot fathom the idea that the debate has nothing to do with which bulb is better, but rather who gets to decide.

    http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-light-bulb-ban-provides-useful.html

    • northeaster17

      How do you feel about leaded gasoline and the controversial banning of that freedom loving substance?

      • John Cedar

        Mandating mercury containing light bulbs is akin to banning leaded gasoline?

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

          Light bulbs that have to be imported.

        • Ray in VT

          Except that the small amounts of Mercury contained in CFLs is contained when the bulbs are properly handled (I’ve used them for a decade and have never broken one). The lead in gasoline, however, goes out into the environment when used as intended.

          • northeaster17

            LED’s are the answer to that

          • Ray in VT

            I was looking at them in the store the other day. Life expectancy on them is quite long, and I may be installing them when I move into my new house in a couple of months and see which happens first: they burn out or my kids reach adulthood. I’ll let you know starting in about 2022.

          • Don_B1

            The only problem I have found in installing the many LED lights in my house is the incompatibility between some of the older design dimmers and multiple LEDs on the same circuit. But I see Lutron and others have newly designed dimmers which apparently rectifies this problem. I have not yet had the opportunity to check that out.

            It is possible that LEDs manufactured a few years ago may not make 2022, but I doubt there will be a big problem with those made now making 2030.

          • Ray in VT

            By dimmers do you actually mean dimming the lights? If so, then I don’t think that that is a problem at the new place, as there aren’t any of those.

          • HonestDebate1

            We break the all the time, horses are destructive. They are awful in the cold.

            Why aren’t you and your buddies pointing out this was a horrible Bush policy?

          • Ray in VT

            Because I don’t have a problem with efficiency standards.

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand that, mercury in the water too. But you could call complaining Republicans hypocrites. It seems right up your alley. Opportunity missed.

          • Ray in VT

            Not if you properly handle the bulbs. Why are you trying to blame someone else for what happens at your place? Take some personal responsibility.

        • northeaster17

          They are much less energy efficient than the newer bulbs. We burn less coal and oil using the new stuff. Get it?

    • nj_v2

      Of course there is no “ban,” merely efficiency standards, but distortion and dissembling is the Teabagger way. Are you going to break away and start an Incandescent Party?

      • pete18

        Yeah, and prohibition was a set of “efficiency standards” for sobriety. It’s amazing how well you can project your own practices onto the Tea Party using an LED light.

        • nj_v2

          ^ Winner, Bad-Analogy-of-the-Day Award.

          Congratulations!

          • pete18

            Great non-response. Keep it up.

          • Don_B1

            Self-categorizing!

    • jimino

      I hope this doesn’t get me arrested by the boogieman you so fear, but here’s a link where one can buy all sorts of incandescent bulbs. It’s on Amazon.com so maybe Bezos got a special exemption orchestrated by his friends at NPR to sell these banned items. I’ll stay tuned to my local Fox affiliate for breaking news.

      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aincandescent+light+bulbs&keywords=incandescent+light+bulbs&ie=UTF8&qid=1388762857

      • pete18

        Thanks for the link! I believe the ban…uh, I mean “new efficiency standards” only applies to the production of new bulbs not the sale of bulbs already produced.

    • Don_B1

      You are wrong right from the basic premise: the policy does not, repeat not, determine which type of light bulb should be offered for sale; what it does do is mandate that all light bulbs offered for sale must meet a minimum ENERGY EFFICIENCY level.

      The reduction of energy by the lighting and other energy-using equipment is a major benefit for all of humanity, in that it will slow the onset of climate change, which will cause immense hardship on most of humanity in the near term and all of humanity eventually.

      The setting of a minimum energy efficiency prevents the “race to the bottom” effect of so much of the ‘free market” which does not account for externalities, the costs imposed on others of some types of transactions between individuals or businesses.

      • pete18

        Why are you all trafficking in these euphemisms? The arbitrarily conceived “minimum efficiency level” to placate political concerns about an unproven hypothesis about man’s effect on global temperatures has eliminated a perfectly good and cheap product that people liked from the market.
        This was a collusion with big business who couldn’t make a large enough profit off the incandescent bulb to corner a market on the higher priced LEDs.

        You may think this is a benefit to mankind, which is fine if you do, but don’t pretty up up the language so you can pretend it isn’t the government banning a product.

  • lobstahbisque

    Typical dim bulb right wing harangue. Go shovel some snow.

    • J__o__h__n

      Don’t bring up light bulbs. That really winds them up.

      • lobstahbisque

        Yes. THE issue of our time.

      • nj_v2

        Could lead to incitement of the revolt of the Incandescent Party.

        • Ray in VT

          Not to worry. They’re burn out far sooner than the alternatives.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I sure wish that man made global warming would kick in soon. It’s cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • lobstahbisque

      And gratifyingly, you’ll be dead soon.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        A perfect example of tolerant, open minded liberal thinking if ever I heard it.

        • lobstahbisque

          So you’ve discovered sarcasm. You must be very proud of yourself. Yawn.

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

        I believe the quote you wanted is:

        “We will bury you!”

        Comrade…

    • Ray in VT

      Yes, there’s no global warming because it’s cold today. Bravo.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        It strikes me as funny that those who hold the position that man made global warming is a proven fact are so quick to latch onto a single event such as Hurricane Sandy, etc. to “prove” their position. But if someone picks some alternative event, they resort to name calling. As I say in my post above, I do believe that the evidence is that the climate is changing. I do not believe that it has been established that man is the cause. That is still a theory.

        • nj_v2

          “…those who hold the position that man made global warming is a proven fact are so quick to latch onto a single event such as Hurricane Sandy, etc. to “prove” their position.”

          Who did that? Examples, please.

          “That is still a theory.”

          Gravity is still a theory. Go jump off a tall building if you want to test is.

          Science appears to be a challenge for you.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            If you watch any news, you know that Hurricane Sandy and man made climate change are typically mentioned in the same sentence.

          • nj_v2

            So, once again, you can’t answer a simple question?

            And you expect to be taken seriously?

          • northeaster17

            Actually the main fact is that carbon levels in the atmosphere are the highest that they have been in many millennia. That’s whats cooking

          • Don_B1

            Yes, Hurricane Sandy is an example of the increased energy and frequency of hurricanes over years of hurricane data. Individual years with lower numbers of events just reflect the statistical nature of weather, which the science accounts for.

            Just because individual reports in the news do not make this as clear as they should is more a reflection on the incompetence of the reporter than any imputation against the climate science or the climate scientists.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sandy was only a cat. 3. Where were the hurricanes this year?

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

            nj-v2 asked “…those who hold the position that man made global warming is a proven fact are so quick to latch onto a single event such as Hurricane Sandy, etc. to “prove” their position.”

            Who did that? Examples, please.

            I offer Professor Nicholas K. Coch aka Dr. Doom:
            Making matters worse, of course, is the fact that these storms are getting bigger. “With climate change, we are going to see water levels like we have never seen before,” Coch says. “We can’t go by past experiences.”

            http://grist.org/cities/nyc-hurricane-expert-sandy-wasnt-the-big-one/

          • Ray in VT

            Seem fairly in line with thought coming out of the scientific community that rising sea levels are a problem, given that higher ocean temperatures are thought to feed into increased power for storms.

          • nj_v2

            “I offer…”?

            Seriously?

            Where in the article does the professor use the event of Hurricane Sandy to “prove” that global climate change is a “proven fact.”?

        • Renee Engine-Bangger

          Next you will want to have a “fair and balanced” debate on whether the Earth is 6,000 years old…because all theories are equally valid.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            That discussion and the evidence that supports the creationist view is never allowed to be objectively discussed. Those who even raise the issue for discussion are called idiots before any of the evidence is presented. Just like you are doing right now.

          • Ray in VT

            And the evidence is what exactly? A religious text?

          • J__o__h__n

            What evidence? They are labeled accurately.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            The “evidence” that the Earth is 6,000 years old? Sorry but Biblical literalism is the pinnacle of idiocy. And that’s a FACT, Jack.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Like I said, name calling without objectively examining any evidence other than only those who agree with you. End of discussion by the way, other than the fact that “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”. That includes your knee and tongue. And that is a fact, jack.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that you are confusing belief with fact.

          • J__o__h__n

            Serious scientific claims don’t fall back on religious nonsense.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            But you have no evidence. You have stories and fables written by men who later claimed it was the “word of God.” That is no evidence.

            Happy now? I engaged your nonsensical assertion. lol.

          • lobstahbisque

            Why discuss something that is a bronze age fantasy?

          • jefe68

            “That discussion and the evidence that supports the creationist view is never allowed to be objectively discussed.”

            That’s because it’s already been proven to be nothing short of rehashed biblical mythology.

          • Don_B1

            Actually, the “evidence” presented by those supporting the “creationist view” is objectively discussed in papers cited here:

            http://www.talkreason.org/index.cfm?category=10

            where those with “creationist views” are countered; but those arguments are not effectively countered because there just are not good arguments for that view.

        • Ray in VT

          It strikes me as funny that those who are so quick to believe in the factualness of an ancient book are often those who are most reluctant to “believe” in tested science.

          I think that the scientific community has largely settled upon human causes for a great deal of the warming that we are experiencing. That is the conclusion of the published research.

        • Don_B1

          It most definitely has been “proven” (with certainty above 95%) that it is man’s use of fossil fuels that is driving the increased CO2 in the atmosphere which is causing increased heating of the atmosphere and oceans, which is changing the climate, both of the whole earth and microclimates within the land areas of the earth.

          See:

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/2013-in-review-productive-SkS.html

          for a summary of the reasons that human actions are the causes.

        • jefe68

          So is gravity.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — all I can say is that where I’m currently residing, if the thermometer reads 19 degrees, I know it’s not using the Fahrenheit scale.

        Brrr .. 19 IS cold!

        • Steve__T

          I’m in sunny southern California it’s 72F.

          • hennorama

            Booyah!

        • Ray in VT

          19 is chilly, but I wouldn’t really call it cold. It all depends upon what one is used to, I guess. 19 is still single sweatshirt, toque and light gloves weather to me. I don’t really start thinking that it is properly cold until at least single digits.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think she meant Celsius which would be about 66 F. She was being cutsie from Hawaii.

            I love the seasons and enjoy cold crisp mornings when the sun is shining if it’s not windy but I don’t know how you do it in Vermont.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — indeed, it all depends on one’s acclimation. I used to be acclimated in a way similar to you, but now for me, 19 F is COLD, and 19 C requires a flipflops vs. sneaks decision.

            At one time, my standard for first going topless in the Spring (in my convertible) was 50 F. Now, that would involve significant layering of clothing, and certainly no flipflops.

            Stay warm!

          • Ray in VT

            The cold bothers me a bit more now than it used to, but it is one of the things that one must deal with here. Staying warm won’t be much of a problem today, as it is nearly 40 right now. It was pouring rain this morning. You stay warm too, however you may define that.

    • nj_v2

      ^ The message-board equivalent of walking around with an “I’m an idiot” sign taped to one’s back.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I didn’t say that I don’t believe that the climate isn’t changing. I believe that the jury is still out on whether it is being caused by man, or is part of a natural cycle. But now that you mentioned it, you better check your back, because your caustic response deems you worthy of wearing the sign that you referred to.

        • nj_v2

          Okay, i’ll play.

          What “natural cycle”?

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            The same ones that you believe have led to countless ice ages/etc. over billions and billions of years in the past.

          • nj_v2

            Okay, let’s try again.

            Specifically, what “natural cycles” are currently at work? First you said there was one, now, apparently there are more.

            What are you referring to?

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Whatever natural events caused all of the cataclysmic geological ages over the billions of years before man (or one of his primate ancestors) evolved and was able to influence the climate in any way.

          • nj_v2

            So if i ask, “What causes an object to fall to the ground?” you’d say, “Whatever natural forces that caused it to fall”?

            It’s a simple question, either you know what is theorized to have altered climate in the geological past or you don’t.

          • nj_v2

            I rest my case,

          • hennorama

            Key word: “Whatever”

      • jefe68

        It is amazing how confused the right is about the science of weather and how it is affected by the global climate.

    • hennorama

      Fiscally_Responsible — you may want to determine the differences between weather and climate before you comment further.

  • northeaster17

    Regarding Putin and the terrroists ” Putin’s unannounced visit to Volgograd Wednesday came a day after he delivered a New Year’s message on Russian state TV in which he vowed to fight until terrorists were defeated.”….I thought he said he would not stop until they were annihilated. Just a bit of a differance.

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

    FTA:
    “We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/194265-11-gop-attorneys-general-accuse-obama-of-using

  • nj_v2

    Right-wing jackassery of the week; holiday edition

    http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/8-worst-things-far-right-wing-said-holiday-week?akid=11338.1084699.qPmc9U&rd=1&src=newsletter941488&t=3

    8 Jaw-dropping Inanities Far Right Wingers Said This Holiday Week

    1. Joseph Epstein inWall Street Journal: The problem with America is the collapse of white rule.

    2. Paul Ryan lectures his hero, the Pope, on capitalism.

    3. Geraldo Rivera: Alec Baldwin’s comments not homophobic because everyone used to be homophobic.

    4. Alabama lawmaker calls “Duck Dynasty” star a hero.

    5. Brilliant and incisive, Bristol Palin ranks haters. LGBT community is the worst!

    6. Sarah Palin defends “Duck Dynasty” star without actually reading what he said.

    7. John Hagee spreads Christmas cheer by suggesting that people who don’t like hearing “Merry Christmas” get on a plane and leave the country.

    8. Mat Staver: If gay marriage is legal then everyone will do it and society will cease to exist?

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      In other words, it was a week of typical GOP nonsense and blather.

    • Ray in VT

      I submit for your consideration Keith Ablow’s assertion that “marriage is over”. It came as quite a surprise to me and my wife, but maybe we were just out of the loop.

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

    Do you stand with the people of Ukraine or with crony capitalists?

    FTA:
    This is a time when America should shine. But there is cause to doubt that it will. The reason is that in the midst of this crisis, the president has chosen to appoint as White House counsel Mr. John Podesta, a man whose brother, Anthony Podesta, is a high-level paid agent of the Yanukovych regime.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367372/how-we-can-help-ukraine-robert-zubrin

    • lobstahbisque

      These techniques have names. Guilt by association. Poof you’re a fairy. Rumplestiltskin. Poof!

  • HonestDebate1

    I forget whose ad it is but it has a great line: Keep your plan, change your Senator.

    • J__o__h__n

      It is the Representatives who need to go.

    • lobstahbisque

      Keep your views and shut up.

  • Markus6

    The most significant news I heard this week came from a study in Oregon where they expanded Medicare to millions and found that emergency room visits increased significantly for these people.

    This damages the argument that Obamacare will save money by reducing this activity. But does anyone on this forum really care about the cost of this legislation? I may be overgeneralizing, but I rarely hear cost as a factor in left leaning media. Barely a peep on the $500 million+ web site. And nothing on how many people are being subsidized (e.g. family of 4 making less than 80K can get subsidized).

    The web site will eventually be fixed. People will eventually get their insurance. Tens of millions will be subsidized. And the national debt will go up by hundreds of billions, but the impact of that is either too complicated or too in conflict with the ideology to matter.

    Frankly, I don’t know how Obamacare can lose, no matter how poorly it’s structured or implemented. You’re essentially buying votes.

    • hennorama

      Yet another on the long list of those who believe the nature of politics is entirely transactional.

    • MrNutso

      I heard about this story as well. Clearly the increase in ER visits is a result of having coverage. This could mean that people are now seeking treatment before health issues get critical. While ER treatment is more costly, it may actually be less costly if lesser treatment is required.

      I also wondered if there were not enough urgent care clinics or if people are not aware of this new avenue of care.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        ER treatment is expensive no matter what. You pay just to walk in the door to support the entire infrastructure from a stitch or two to heart attacks to trauma cases from head on collisions.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Ashbrook’s progressive mathematics: 58 hours into the New Year constitutes half a week. (Or are our weeks getting shorter and no one else told us?)

    • nj_v2

      How much more petty can this bloviating wind bag become? Stay tuned…

      • Coastghost

        How much more humorless can you be? Whatever import your grave demeanor aspires to is nullified by your ready resort to sterile ad hominem attack. Don’t blame your low Risibility Quotient on me, please.

        • nj_v2

          So you take an offhand, trivial comment on how far we are into the week, use it to riotously impugn “liberals,” (Whoa, good one, there! When are you going to quit your day job?) and you’re now invoking “ad hominem.”

          Grow a pair if you want to play these kinds of games.

    • lobstahbisque

      …..tiresome……

  • Coastghost

    Commercial drones will be the “golly gee whiz, look at what we can do!” preamble to widespread drone surveillance, no?
    Jeff Bezos is getting creepier by the day and year, but as long as he’s an NPR underwriter, I guess we should all sleep soundly.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Re: Colorado pot

    Weed at last
    Weest at last
    Thank GOD almighty
    We’ve weed at last.
    –Zonker Luther King

    Thank goodness my cabin is outside of Westcliffe. Hoober Doober

  • Coastghost

    Wow! Jack Beatty confesses that ObamaFraud is DOUBLE-BLIND!

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      Why do right wingers make up rude names for what threatens them? Such embarrassingly 5th grade playground behavior to see in adults. Did you all pick that up from Limbaugh? Is he the original 5th grade bully?

      • StilllHere

        Using an insult, in your mind, to castigate others for the same: priceless.

        • Renee Engine-Bangger

          Problem with reading comprehension there, Goober?

          • StilllHere

            Nice.

          • jefe68

            He’s a troll, best to ignore his banality.

      • brettearle

        Limbaugh’s still in the sandbox.

        And the Pope agrees.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that Limbaugh is more akin to what the neighbor’s cat may leave in the sandbox.

          • brettearle

            Normally, I don’t like to be upstaged–but when someone draws on his creative resources to explain harsh reality, then I yield…..and in a most deferential way.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you, Sir.

          • HonestDebate1

            Harmless fuzzballs?

          • Ray in VT

            Dried out turds.

        • HonestDebate1

          Do you agree with the Popes stand on gay marriage and abortion?

          • jefe68

            You really are a one dimensional kind of guy. Sad really.

          • HonestDebate1

            Quite the opposite. One dimensional would be praising the Pope for bashing Capitalism while keeping quiet about his views on abortion and gays.

          • jefe68

            Nope, one dimensional is how you are buddy boy. I for one agree with the Pope Francis’ comments on capitalism. I don not agree with his and the Churches views on abortion and gay marriage.

            Your problem here is your looking for black and white answers or to find fault in someone agreeing with Pope on some issues and not others. That’s one dimensional and it’s also a good example of you trying to be clever but ending up looking anything but clever.

            Pope Francis is a Jesuit. His recent actions of expelling German Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is something you might want to read up on.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you for the honest answer Jefe. It is not forthcoming from other commenters. That’s all I’m after.

          • brettearle

            I won’t dignify the question, with a response–wherein I, or anyone else, should call into question the soul of the Vicar of Christ..

          • HonestDebate1

            What? I’m not questioning the soul of anyone. I was asking a simple question about Catholic doctrine. The Pope and Limbaugh are in agreement on gay marriage and abortion although I don’t think Rush views gay sex as a sin as the Pope does. BTW, I disagree with them both on these issues.

            You made the point in your reply that Rush and the Pope disagree about Capitalism and that’s true. I think that’s what you meant, maybe you were just being nasty. But people don’t typically walk lockstep with another’s views. It makes the world go around.

            I have no idea what you find offensive about my question.

          • brettearle

            Disqus

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

        Really? I hadn’t thought that nj_v2 was a right winger.

      • jefe68

        It would seem so. And some of the regular right wing posters on this forum just love him and wax on about with such affection.

      • HonestDebate1

        Like “teabagger”?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Or how about “goober”? see below.

    • rickterp

      No surprise, Jack Beatty has long despised the ACA. You just haven’t been paying attention.

      • olderworker

        What is going on with Jack Beatty? I used to admire him so much, but lately he has been sounding very right-wing (for him, anyway)

        • brettearle

          Haven’t you noticed that we on the Left–led by the President–are subject to more justifiable criticism, these days?

          I’m being sincere.

          Are you going to support the President and Democratic policy, no matter what–even if it deserves criticism?

          How is that going to help the Dialogue?

          Beatty is not Right Wing. He is simply being more Objective.

          If someone is being Objective, it doesn’t mean he is becoming a political traitor.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Non ER visitors to the ER should be turned away. Give them references to doctors, immediate care centers, Community Health Centers. The reason the uninsured went to the ER is because they had no insurance, couldn’t afford other places but knew the ER wouldn’t turn them away. Now that they have insurance, they should be using the appropriate care source. It is all about education.

    • Coastghost

      But public education has failed them already: you want the poor ill-served all over again?

      • Ray in VT

        It seemed to work out pretty well for those whom I know.

        • Coastghost

          Well, there’s “education”, then there’s rank “indoctrination”.
          I’m more curious to learn how the Feds plan to correspond with and contact homeless people to keep them apprised of their new health care coverage: free post office boxes for the asking?

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, like believing that great northern lie about the Confederacy wanting to preserve slavery. They really pulled the wool over my eyes.

          • Coastghost

            Feeble, but at least a valiant effort at humor, Ray, keep up the good work!

          • Ray in VT

            Feeble? Like your claims regarding the Confederacy and slavery?

          • Coastghost

            As you take advantage of what ACTA has wrought, Ray, check out whether climate change has discernible effects on synaptic transactions: I fear the cold up there may impair critical thought, be careful as you shovel.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I often take advantage of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. I tend to think that heat is a greater inhibitor of most kinds of thought here in America. It would certainly help to explain the underperforming of the Southeast for the past couple of hundred years.

          • Coastghost

            Yeah, but that only means that we did MUCH MUCH less to foment the global climate change so many of you Yank–I mean, Northerners spend so much time complaining of these days.
            We’re all suffering from YOUR forebears’ ready appetite for mass industrialization, someone could argue.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, feel free to turn off all of those devices and technologies pioneered by them evil Yankees. I suppose that you would prefer to live in the 19th century? It seems fairly in line with your view of a time when there was a more tolerable form of government and its relation to society.

          • Coastghost

            Close but no cigar: I’m more an 18th century anti-Enlightenment, anti-rationalist type: Swift, Vico, and Burke, chiefly (when I’m not in 17th century anti-Cartesian mode, at least). You appreciate, too, that I’m a part-time Machiavellian (he of the Discourses on Livy, naturally).
            I positively thrive not watching television or cable fare. (In 2013, I barely put 2000 miles on my car.)
            Would you concede, Ray, that I demonstrate a positive talent for lighting fuses here in the OP forums? I’ve generated almost twenty responses today!

          • HonestDebate1

            Don’t take this wrong Coastghost because I sincerely enjoy your comments and perspective but getting a rise out of libs is pretty easy.

          • Coastghost

            It often does seem much easier than obeying gravity, as so many of our usual suspects reliably demonstrate.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m more of a 21st century digital boy myself.

            Sure, if that is what floats your boat. I don’t see such things are particularly useful, but I will admit that I like to stir the pot from time to time.

    • brettearle

      I’m not sure that ERs treat patients with non-emergency conditions–especially if they have PCPs and have coverage.

      • olderworker

        The E.R. may not “treat” non-emergency conditions, but the staff there still has to assess the patients who come in. That takes time and money, and may also overload the E.R. and prevent necessary care being delivered to true emergency cases.

    • jimino

      That would require doctors to actually make such decisions about providing care and be unable to blame lawyers and the government for making them provide unnecessary treatment that enriches them personally.

      It ain’t gonna’ happen.

      • olderworker

        It’s usually NOT the doctors in the emergency rooms who decide — there are triage nurses for that.

        • jimino

          OK. So this would require health care workers to actually make such decisions about providing care and be unable to
          blame lawyers and the government for making them provide unnecessary
          treatment that enriches their employers and doctors.

          I can’t see it happening. Can you?

          • olderworker

            Yes, that was my point. It may not be doctors making the decisions, but there are triage teams at hospital emergency rooms who do indeed make decisions about who needs to be treated most quickly and which patients can wait.

  • northeaster17

    The Bush led Iraq war. The gift that keeps on giving.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You say Fallujah
    I say Ramadi
    Let’s call the whole thing off.

    Oh, that’s right: it’s too late. We already took a big Bush dump in Iraq.

    Hoober Doober

  • rickterp

    I get, On Point. You really really REALLY hate the Affordable Care Act. How many times to you have to trash Obamacare before you get tired of talking about it? Jack Beatty in particular, just seems to love to rant about Obamacare. Whatever…

    On the substance of the Medicaid ER usage in Oregon, it’s really simple. There is no incentive for people who have no PCP and no experience of having regular checkups to do anything except going to an ER. If you have a health concern and now have coverage, of course you’re going to go to the ER — no inconvenience of setting up an appointment and no financial incentive to see your PCP (assuming you even have one), plus they’re always open! Why not add an ER copay to Medicaid to get people to take their non-emergency health issues to the doctor’s office instead of the ER?

    • brettearle

      Are you suggesting that ERs, as a rule, treat patients if they come in with non-Emergency conditions?

      • MrNutso

        Actually they do or used to. I can remember being people being directed to the ER when their primary doctor’s office was closed.

        • brettearle

          Then ER Management has a problem, not the ACA.

          However, there are plenty of problems that require an ER visit because one’s PCP is not available at the drop of a hat–and to ignore the problem, until a patient does gain access to his/her PCP, would simply endanger the patient.

          • MrNutso

            Agreed. I think now PCP’s are directing people to urgent care facilities. This is how care should evolve, and in fact, PCP’s should be associated with urgent care networks, so you don’t even have to contact your PCP, just go to the urgent care office.

          • brettearle

            Spot on….

            Urgent care is an excellent option–in between the choice of ER or the choice of a PCP visit.

            Somebody sure had the right idea with starting Urgent Care.

            I have been a caregiver and it “came in handy”.

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      Beatty loves to rant about anything in his whiny voice. But that’s what “pundits” do: they whine like Beaty or they gush with faux emotion like Ashbrook. It has become very tiresome.

      • rickterp

        Yet another case of an NPR program fully embracing last week’s conventional wisdom. I’m surprised they’re not still complaining about how the website doesn’t work and nobody has signed up.

        • nj_v2

          The program rarely does anything insightful these days (if it ever did).

          The Friday review show merely recycles the most high-profile, mainstream stories of the week. An hour isn’t enough time to add much, if any, background or depth, so it’s essentially a rendering of headlines.

          As with the yesterday’s economics program, when they do go into a particular topic in more depth, they tend to approach it from the Establishment Punditry point of view.

          On the rare occasions when they have people of a more radical bent (Bill Black, Chomsky, Joe Stieglitz, etc.) they do it so infrequently that it merely reinforces the notion that these are fringe views, well out of the mainstream.

          Same thing with the panels for shows on topics that are presumed to be somewhat controversial. The panels often tilt center-right, so that anything more progressive appears extreme by comparison.

      • J__o__h__n

        If you don’t like Tom and Jack, why not listen to something else?

        • Renee Engine-Bangger

          I mostly do but the dumbing down of this show (and WBUR/NPR shows in general) has occurred gradually so although I still turn them on out of my original interest and later habit, I am now gradually turning them off.

          • J__o__h__n

            I agree with you on a lot of the other WBUR programs. I switched to another local NPR station in the morning as I couldn’t take any more of Bob stammering, uh uh uh, and saying things like “during the day today.”

          • GTV

            You might want to check out the Diane Rehm Show. She often cuts through the bull. As for the best interviewer on radio, try Terry Gross, who knows how to listen to her guests, ask insightful questions, and resist the Ashbrook tendency to interrupt for the sake of showing how much he knows (i.e., has been fed) about the topic.

          • Fredlinskip

            I would have to disagree.
            Tom & co does a great job in general. Some days are better than others.
            I am reminded of when Chevy Chase tried to take over the Tonight Show after Carson. I don’t imagine it’s an easy job to perform live day after day.

          • JGC

            Agree about Diane Rehm and Terry Gross. But I still like Ashbrook, too. He has infectious enthusiasm on a wide range of topics that can draw people in.

          • Fredlinskip

            And what are your more informed media sources if I may be so bold?

      • lobstahbisque

        So are you.

        • Renee Engine-Bangger

          Ha ha Bubba. I am prettier than Jack Beatty so deal with it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t know, Jack’s pretty cute. You do have a nice eye though.

          • JGC

            Somehow, I don’t think you are labstahbisque’s type…

    • creaker

      Agreed – disincentives are key. If people learn that all they will get going to the ER is a long wait, a big bill and a referral to go somewhere else for nonemergency treatment, they won’t use it.

    • jimino

      You mean you want doctors and hospitals to act like the market-based business they claim to be? That’s preposterous!

    • Bluejay2fly

      We have an ER in the prison where I work and the policy is life threatening conditions only. Everyday we get inmates with colds, athletes foot, etc demanding emergency sick call. We make them wait 3 or 4 hours and they get furious. We also have one TV (usually on some boring talk show) in the holding area and they are not allowed to talk to each other, at all. When they complain I just advise them that we strive to recreate the real experience!

  • Coastghost

    Today’s Forum should be a wake-up call for us all: does the Affordable Care Tax Act provide coverage, or does it not, for progressives’ addiction to ad hominem argumentation? It’s crawling out of every progressive mouth on this board today! Horrors! –Please tell us that help is forthcoming!!

    • Ray in VT

      I think that it does provide psychiatric coverage for the sort of conspiratorial delusions that inhabit so many conservative minds.

      • Coastghost

        But I thought the Democratic Party had monopolized conspiracy thinking: it HAS helped foist all the JFK assassination conspiracy theories for over fifty years, as we now know.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s pretty funny. Who says that some of you guys don’t have a sense of humor?

          • nj_v2

            It’s only when they try to be funny that it doesn’t work so well.

          • Ray in VT

            Like, for instance, someone getting their “satire” from a site that recommends the Institute for Historical Review?

          • Ray in VT

            Hmmm. I wonder if there is an IHR fan here?

        • brettearle

          Conspiracy Theory thinking is an equal opportunity pathology.

          Although some Conspiracy Theories are more equal than others.

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

        How many people have signed up in Vermont?

        • Ray in VT

          Not many. Not many people drinking the TOP lKool-Aid here.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The states already tax alcohol, guns, tobacco and thus are already in the business of taxing commodities. No news here. HLB

  • MarkO

    Promoting drugs is not good. evan if it isn’t “as dangerous as Alcohol.”

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Advertising is promoting. If the state isn’t taking out ads to: Visit the GREEN state of the Rockies… then no promoting is going on.

    Hoober Doober

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Given all the problems we have with drunks on the road, I really don’t think legalizing another mind altering drug is a good idea. People have proven time and again that either they can’t control an addiction or for those who are not addicted, just don’t recognize when they are too impaired to drive. Why will it be any different with pot?

    • northeaster17

      I have an idea. Lets start a war on drugs and fuel a large prison industry inorder to keep us all safe. What do you think?

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        I think there is a difference between legalization and enforcement. We have an 80 dB at 50 feet noise law here. I have NEVER heard of someone on a Harley with other than factory street pipes being cited, they are all illegal but the cops just don’t bother. The same holds for little boys with their fart can mufflers …. and small amounts of pot unless linked to some other crime.

        • northeaster17

          If you tried hard enough I’ll bet you could link a Big Mac to some other crime

  • MarkO

    Stay “Above the Influence”

  • carache

    More reaction to Jack’s comment about the Oregon study because it may be that the headline is much less revealing than it seems at first blush.

    First, I appreciate that the Obama administration has repeatedly promised emergency room savings as a benefit of the Affordable Care Act, but whether or not the promise bears out, it’s a promise that is not of the administration’s creation. I got my masters in public health a few years ago (before Obama was president) and this was something that was drilled into me by multiple professors — so if it’s a false assertion, it’s based on the work and assertions of public health scholars, economists and policy folks — not our current president.

    Second, without reviewing the study or the article, it’s not clear that the mere fact that Medicaid recipients used the ER more than expected is necessarily bad as a matter of public health policy or economics. On the money side, is it possible that the reimbursement that hospitals could demand from the government for providing free care to the uninsured was more than the reimbursement they’re entitled to receive when they care for medicaid recipients? I honestly don’t know the economics of this, but one worries that repeating the headline without more context may be more misinforming than informing.

    Third, is it possible that the medicaid recipients were seeking ER care for appropriate emergency care? The assumption/assertion has been that the uninsured resorted to mis-using the hospital for care that ought to be done on an outpatient, doctor office basis. Were the 40% in the study mis-using the ER in this way? Or were they more likely to seek emergency care because they had coverage?

    Finally, isn’t it the case that Medicaid recipients have trouble finding general practitioners who accept Medicaid b/c of low reimbursement rates? If so, then it should be no surprise that they’re still using the ER for primary care and it requires a change of MD culture and reimbursement rates to change things.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    de Blasio is not the new “face” of the Democratic party. Not with the Clintons crawling up his backside. He’s just another Bill & Hillary b*#t buddy.

    Hoober Doober

    • hennorama

      Waddayamean?

      …just another Bill & Hillary bESt buddy?
      …just another Bill & Hillary bALLOt buddy?
      …just another Bill & Hillary bLUESt buddy?
      …just another Bill & Hillary bIGFOOt buddy?
      …just another Bill & Hillary bOMBASt buddy?
      …just another Bill & Hillary bRILLIANt buddy?

    • jefe68

      Be gone vile troll.

    • HonestDebate1

      New York is hemorrhaging it’s population, look for it to continue.

      • Ray in VT

        I believe that it may be called colonizing. Look for people leaving blue states to want a society that looks more like where they have come from.

        • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            Some 54,000 people moving from one of the bluest states to Florida. I bet that that’s not going to do anything to Florida politics. How does it feel to live in what was once a conservative strong hold that went 49.9% and 48.4% for the supposed most liberal presidential candidate in history? Seems like a movement based on old white people might not have great long term prospects.

          • HonestDebate1

            “old white people”? Geesh.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t like the facts about the GOP and the Tea Party? That’s not my problem.

          • HonestDebate1

            So NY’s decline in population is because of a bunch of old white GOP Tea Partiers moving to Florida? Alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            New York’s population is declining? That’s news to me. Your reading comprehension skills are lacking, but considering that you struggle with the dictionary I guess that that isn’t news.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, declining.

            The dictionary again? Really? I can’t imagine the parsing, projecting and delusional thinking that leads you top believe I wasn’t right. Let it go, you are embarrassing yourself.

          • Ray in VT

            Declining must have a different definition in your dictionary. It must be tough having reality and facts against you, but just ignore them. That seems to be your approach. It must be convenient to just lie to oneself and then believe it. Just keep sticking to that lie. I’m right. You’re wrong. Sometimes is it just that simple. The dictionary says so.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            It just must suck to be as wrong as you are and be too addled to even properly recognize it.

  • Coastghost

    Commercial drones are the preface and the preamble to drone surveillance: si oui ja da and yes.

    • nj_v2

      Something reasonable from you. I’m mildly encouraged. (Assuming this isn’t one of your sarcastic humor attempts.)

      • Coastghost

        No, I am not indulging irony here: once drones are accepted for commercial application domestically, there will be NO WAY to stop the proliferation of surveillance drones.
        Do not allow ANY of them into our skies in the first place. A pox on Jeff Bezos and Amazon for proposing or endorsing the idea.

        • nj_v2

          We agree. Now i’m worried. I may have to schedule a check-up. Thumb up (note for the record).

  • Jo Bleaux

    I crack up whenever I hear about drones delivering pacakages. I can just picture people waiting with their guns to pick them off and grab the packages.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Me too, though I hadn’t thought about the ease of stealing from them. You wouldn’t even need a gun, just something to tangle up in the rotors, down goes the octocopter.

      How many people are going to be sitting in the “back room” watching the drones to make sure they get to the right address and put the package in the right place? And I think about Manhattan: does the drone go to the doorman, ask for permission to enter, then wait for the elevator to the 63rd floor? ;-)

      And how will the “pilots” know it IS the right address? Google maps placed my address two miles south until the last update. The address across the street (1 number higher) was correctly positioned. The FedEx and UPS drivers can figure that out for themselves, map or no map.

      Will the drones ring the doorbell before heading back for their next package so temperature sensitive packages aren’t left out simply because the recipient didn’t know the drone has come? Will they open the door to the enclosed porch so the package doesn’t sit out in the rain or snow?

      Frankly, I can’t see this being any more financially viable than the Pony Express, though they both make an interesting story.

      • hennorama

        BHA_in_Vermont — your last sentence invites an obvious name for such a delivery company:

        The Droney Express

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    So, Jack. Is de Blasio a Jane Jacobs Democrat?

    Not on your life.

    Hoober Doober

  • hennorama

    Newly discovered advice:

    “Marry girls when they’re ’15 or 16,’ said ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson”

    FTA:

    (HLNtv.com) — “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson is ruffling feathers again, this time for comments he made years ago about how girls should marry when they’re still teenagers.

    “They got to where they’re getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting ’til they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ‘em,” Robertson says in a video clip that resurfaced Monday. “Look, you wait ’til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They’ll pick your ducks.”

    “In the video, Robertson is recounting an anecdote at a speaking engagement. He describes the story as “river rat counseling” he was giving to a “boy” of unknown age and — referring specifically to marrying teenage girls — also advises the crowd to “check with Mom and Dad about that, of course.” Robertson is four years older than his wife, Kay, whom he married when she was 16 years old, according to A&E’s website.

    “The reality show patriarch was speaking at a Georgia Sportsmen Ministry event when he recounted this advice, according to the video’s description. The clip was originally posted in 2009 by YouTube user wakemakerducks, which is also the name of Robertson’s company. It was posted again to YouTube on Monday.

    In the newly resurfaced footage, Robertson also lists other qualities he advised the boy to look for in a future wife.

    “Make sure that she can cook a meal. You need to eat some meals that she cooks, check that out. Make sure she carries her Bible. That’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road,” he said.”

    See:
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/31/showbiz/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-comments/

    • Ray in VT

      Like with his comments on homosexuality, old, conservative religious guy says something like that. Why is it a story, aside from the fact that he’s on TV. Those comments don’t surprise me. The one’s regarding race sort of do.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — as with all sensational “news,” it’s all about the $$$. This stuff moves the ears and eyeballs, which soon converts into do-re-mi.

        • Ray in VT

          My boss mentioned their family photos from before they were famous:

          http://www.aetv.com/duck-dynasty/pictures/old-robertson-family-photos

          Those don’t look too much like the good ole real ‘Mericans they appear to be on the show. Not much in the way of camo or beards there.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — I’m not sure decades-old photos are probative, as one would expect significant appearance changes over long time periods.

            No doubt there is some explanation for the long beards and such, but as I don’t really care about these people, I won’t waste any time trying to discover it.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, who knows, but my brother is a redneck, and he’s pretty much always looked like one. I do wonder if there appearances are something of an affection, but, like you, I don’t really care. Reality TV isn’t really reality anyways.

    • HonestDebate1

      Did you have a point?

  • MarkO

    Promoting drugs is not good. evan if it isn’t “as dangerous as Alcohol.”
    Marijuana is still addictive and still dangerous no matter what spin
    drug propaganda puts on it. Personal experiences and second hand
    evidence proves otherwise.

    • Coastghost

      No, marijuana is NOT addictive: it is habituating, and clinicians can tell you all about the physiological distinction.
      Marijuana is virtually non-toxic, whereas alcohol is ONLY toxic.
      Consult Dr. Mitch Earleywine’s title Understanding Marijuana (2002, OUP).

      • MarkO

        Whether it is Physically addictive or “Hapituativly” It is still addictive, either way it is hard to stop. There are many people who can personally testify of this. What ever clinical definition can’t change that. It may not be as dangerous for the body. It still alters the mind.

        • northeaster17

          Threre fore we should spend billions and lock millions in jail in order to end the threat of the evil weed. I think that arguement is over.

          • MarkO

            Decriminalization will keep the majority of users out of jail without condoning it for general use.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Whistle blowers do not release confidential information (business or government) wholesale to the press to “start a conversation”. They bring forth ILLEGAL activity that they have determined can not be stopped “in house”.

    The NSA was acting LEGALLY under GWB’s Patriot Act. If Snowden thought there was something illegal going on, that the phone records being obtained extended beyond the law, he should have taken his concerns up the chain or to his Senators or Congress(wo)man.

    He has proven he is not smart enough to decide what should and should not be published. Instead of one or two grievous instances, he decided that tons of confidential records should be published to the world. Chelsea (Bradley) Manning was no different.

    Jail for life, or stripped and staked out in the desert for the buzzards, give him those choices.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      I don’t care what laws Congress has passed or the courts have validated: the NSA’s surveillance is unconstitutional, and Snowden complied with the letter of the highest law of the land in revealing this crime to the American people.

      • Ray in VT

        That sounds a bit like Rand Paul’s statement that something isn’t constitutional just because the Supreme Court says that it is (or whatever it was), but that is rather how it works.

        • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

          I can’t seem to find the part in the constitution where it says the Supreme Court gets to interpret it to mean the opposite of what it says. Maybe that’s in your version, but it isn’t in mine.

          • Ray in VT

            I can’t seem to find the part that says that individuals get to decide what is constitutional and what is not. Maybe that’s in your version, but it isn’t in mine.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            It’s in the 10th amendment in mine: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” You should check to see if that’s in your copy.

          • Ray in VT

            My copy reads that the Constitution has been brought into being in part to provide for the common defense, that the government has the power to repel invasions (which one could argue that that is what, in a sense, counter terrorism activities are doing), and that the Congress has the power to enact laws to do that. There is a process to make changes to laws and court decisions with which we do not agree. Your position sounds like nullification or the sovereign citizens. We don’t, as individuals, get to choose what laws we think apply to us.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            As long as you’re honest that our government isn’t really bound by what the constitution says, I agree with you that what you describe is the way things are. That doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to something better.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that not having a supreme arbiter, some sort of Supreme Court perhaps, of what is or is not constitutional is aspiring to something better. It has seemed to work rather well, if not imperfectly, for quite some time.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Why? There’s no supreme arbiter between Costa Rica and Panama or between the US and Canada, and they seem to get along just fine without one. You can’t concentrate power without simultaneously creating a focal point for corruption.

          • Ray in VT

            Those are also separate nations, which the United States is not.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Irrelevant. To your opinion from your previous message, I want to know why this arrangement is worse than having a supreme arbiter.

          • Salvor Hardin

            All courts but one (who used very colorful language in his attempt to make up new laws) has consistently ruled that the phone records belong to the phone companies, not the individuals who are parties to the calls. This is the only thing that makes sense – you are only one half of a call anyway. Do you have a Constitutional right to see the phone number of those that have called you? Wouldn’t giving individuals ownership of this phone metadata also violate the Constitutional rights of others?

            The phone companies own the data and the courts have consistently held this. You as a person do not get to decide what is Constitutional. One you don’t really care what the law says; you just want what you want and you don’t think something like the law should get in the way.

            This is a political / legal matter. I assume Obama can unilaterally make changes to how the NSA collects and accesses the phone metadata. And Congress can pass a law changing how the phone companies call data records can be used. If you don’t agree then get Congress to change the law. But yours and others personal proclamations that this is unconstitutional are just meaningless.

          • Ray in VT

            How is it irrelevant? Laws between nations are settled differently that laws within nations. How is giving anyone the ability to deem something unconstitutional not a worse arrangement than having a supreme arbiter? We need some final say, and we need uniformity in the law. If everyone gets to decide, then why even have a law or a nation at all?

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Why indeed: we already have too many goddamn laws, far beyond uncontroversial ones like laws against robbery and murder. We need fewer laws and less central authority: progress depends on flexibility and heterogeneity.

          • Ray in VT

            Heterogeneity hasn’t always worked out so well in this country. For instance, how did civil rights work out for minorities when that was left more to the states? We do have differences between states. We always have, and we likely always will.

          • jefe68

            This chap sounds like a Tenth Amendment movement advocate. Which seem to me to be view the Constitution in a very narrow scope. In some ways they are akin to secessionists.

          • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

            the constitution means what the supreme court says it means, always has been that way.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            “Always” meaning “since Marbury vs. Madison”? You may want to look that one up.

          • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

            I mean ALWAYS

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        YOU get to decide what is and is not constitutional? I was not aware we had a member of the Supreme Court named Kyle Rose.

    • Charles

      I don’t see it that way, and I bet Snowden didn’t either.
      He and I are about the same age, and we grew up on an internet that was based around the idea that of freedom of information can (and should) act as a check on the status quo.
      Whether or not the NSA programs are legal is a separate issue from the moral issue at play here. These government programs don’t pass the smell test.
      Knowing the power structure of our government, if Snowden had approached the ‘chain of command’, he undoubtedly would have been quashed. He knew this, and I think he’s a hero for exposing things in the way he did.
      He’ll undoubtedly get a harsh punishment if/when he gets to come home, however. He’s embarrassed a lot of old-school power-broker types.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Freedom of information does not mean ALL information anytime someone wants to make it available. There must be checks on release of confidential information. The information should be used by knowledgeable people to do the check on the status quo you profess is needed.

        I agree that there is probably more info kept secret than need be, but wholesale release by someone who is not qualified (or particularly cares) to validate the potential fallout of each and every item is not acceptable.

        There are plenty of Senators and Congress members who question the reach of NSA and the PAtriot Act. He could have gone to one of them if his reps are not of that ilk.

        • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

          If there is any justice, in a hundred years your great grandchildren will be learning about Edward Snowden just as today’s children learn about Rosa Parks and Samuel Adams. He is a hero for risking his freedom (and potentially his life) to bring the truth about the government’s crimes into the light. He scored an important victory in the millennia-old war between the political class and the rest of us.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Crimes are events that break the law.
            Snowden committed a crime against the country.

            I doubt Snowden will make the history books, so I guess there is no justice.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            I honestly have better things to do than quibble with you over the meaning of the word “crime”, so I’ll terminate my involvement in this thread with the observation that you will be forced to defend an awful lot of atrocities throughout history committed either by governments or with the support of governments if you are seriously taking the viewpoint that laws determine right and wrong. Good luck with that.

        • northeaster17

          If Snowden follwed your advice we would have never known him. And those that did would never see him again

  • Coastghost

    What else can I say? I like Ray’s civility.

  • J__o__h__n

    Kind of ironic that the Korean was eaten by dogs.

  • OMA_OPINES

    In my humble opinion, shared by others, a HUGE factor contributing to the ill will, violence, heartache and unrelenting struggle in this world is unchanneled TESTOSTERONE in young folk who see themselves hopeless, un-noticed, without a voice. Many places where people of good will, resources and interest in the common good can shine a light. God give us grace.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Snowden comes to mind.

    • Maureen Roy

      I thought that was the purpose of SPORTS…

    • hennorama

      OMA_OPINES — worldwide, the three factors that are most often correlated to violent criminal behavior (and criminal behavior in general) are:

      Poverty/Unemployment
      Gender (Males are much more likely to commit violent acts)
      Age (the highest incidence occurs between ages 10 and 30)

      There are an enormous number of studies showing these correlations. Naturally, there are other correlates as well, such as population density, to name the most obvious.

  • MrNutso

    At some point, Israel and the Palestinians will reach a real agreement, and the Netanyahu will not sign it unless the Palestinians agree that the sky is green.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I agree with the second half, not so sure about the first.

    • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

      I don’t think that Israel took a single day off from building in the West Bank, not one. They have no problem negotiating as long as it doesn’t interfere with their building. We should have ended relationship with those people long ago.

    • GTV

      Netanyahu & Co. are very effective in erecting roadblocks to the so-called peace process while, at the same time, declaring that it is always the other side that doesn’t want peace. Thus, the continual building of illegal settlements (in spite of clearly stated opposition by the Obama administration, among many other leaders). Witness, too, the latest demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” And so it goes.

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

    From the realm of Journalist celebrating diversity:

    Melissa Harris-Perry Apologizes For Joke About Mitt Romney’s Black Grandson
    http://newsone.com/2820785/melissa-harris-perry-panel-makes-mitt-romneys-black-grandson-a-punchline-video/

    • Ray in VT

      The media should really leave the kids out of things.

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

        There are many such things we can agree on.

        • Ray in VT

          Absolutely.

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

            There is still some hope for us.

          • Ray in VT

            I tend to find that there is often quite a bit of common ground between people, especially if one is looking to find it. Sometimes there might not be that much, but there’s usually some there somewhere.

      • HonestDebate1

        I agree. It would have been nice if the Bush twins got the same deference as Obama’s daughters. And don’t get me started on Sarah Palin’s kids. I’m sure you agree.

        • Ray in VT

          Antics described here, including attempting to buy booze while underage with someone else’s ID, is a bit different that making fun of kids who aren’t even teenagers yet:

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200953/Bush-twins-Jenna-Barbara-Secret-Service-nightmare-claims-US-book-dishes-dirt-First-Families.html

          • HonestDebate1

            O please, you said kids. How do you know Sasha and Malia aren’t buying beer? It’s because they are hands off as far as the press goes, as it should be. Are you cool with Letterman saying young Piper was knocked up at a baseball game? Have you ever had a kind word for Bristol?

            Why can’t you leave ideology out it for once. These kids don’t deserve it and that means Conservative kids too.

          • Ray in VT

            If they are breaking the law, then that should be news, kind of like when one of Palin’s kids got nailed for vandalizing a neighboring house.

            Nope. Letterman’s “joke” was way out of bounds. As for Bristol, if you’re going to run a “family values” candidate out there, and her daughter gets knocked up, then I think that that is a legitimate issue. She’s also an adult now, so if she is going to put herself out there, then she’s fair game. When I’m talking about kids, I’m mostly referring to minors. Just being a first kid, even as a adult, shouldn’t protect one as far as I’m concerned.

          • HonestDebate1

            So Sarah Palin ran on family values? That was her platform? I love the way libs always assign hypocrisy to people who support virtue but fall short. So you conclude the Palin family has no family values. Brilliant.

            I suppose if she was a Democrat whose teenage daughter got an abortion all would be forgiven. I wonder how many Malia has had.

            Never mind Ray, just trash the (Republican) kids if you want to.

          • Ray in VT

            Nah, her platform was being against the sort of big government that funded the bridge to nowhere, which she bravely stood against after the funding for it was pulled.

            Where did I say that she has no family values. You’re criticizing me for saying something that I didn’t say. Typical dishonest debate tactic. Do you often wonder about the sex lives of underage girls? Maybe you’re watching too much Phil Robertson.

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe you missed my question marks. Please note the one here: so Palin’s platform was support for big government? Are you serious?

            Did you read her book? Do you know her story? She bravely outed her own party for corruption and then defeated the establishment sitting Governor. I admire her.

            Forget it Ray, you are just one nasty pin balling talking point. I’m not going to follow you to the weeds.

    • OnPointComments

      What will be the next target of the miscreants at MSNBC? The hospitalization of Barbara Bush?

      • hennorama

        OPC — not likely.

        Perhaps if Mrs. Bush is unfortunate enough to get a concussion someone will mock her, because we all know that political women who have concussions are fair game.

        Right?

        • Coastghost

          At least one female politician who expediently CLAIMED to’ve suffered a concussion can be regarded as fair game, might be the correct answer you’re groping for, hen.

          • HonestDebate1

            Concussions can be very convenient and ultimately serve a purpose.

            My theory is Hillary knocked back one too many and bumped her noggin but that’s just me. That makes more sense than faking it but I remember the Rose Law firm billing records so I don’t put anything passed her.

          • jimino

            Not everyone in high office has a problem with abuse of alcohol. Both Bush and Cheney certainly did, so maybe you’re conflating them with Clinton. Organic damage from their long-term abuse would actually explain some of their thinking on a number of matters though.

          • StilllHere

            Crack appears to be even worse.

          • jimino

            I knew about the drinking and cocaine use by W. But crack is news. Thanks.

          • HonestDebate1
          • hennorama

            Et tu, Coastghost?

            “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital in New York with a blood clot stemming from a concussion she sustained earlier this month.

            “Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said her doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam Sunday. Reines said Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants. She was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital so doctors can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours.

            “Reines said doctors will continue to assess Clinton’s condition, “including other issues associated with her concussion.”

            Source:
            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/30/secretary-clinton-in-hospital-with-blood-clot-stemming-from-concussion/

            “Hillary Clinton’s doctors say blood clot is located between her brain and skull”

            FTA:

            “Doctors treating the blood clot suffered by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, revealed on Monday that it is located in a vein between her brain and skull.

            “In a statement, clinicians said Clinton, 65, was being treated with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot. They said Clinton was making “excellent progress” and had not suffered any neurological damage.

            “Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian hospital on Sunday after doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam to a concussion she suffered in mid-December.

            “Initially, few details were released about her condition. But late on Monday, Dr Lisa Bardack of the Mt Kisco Medical Group and Dr Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University released a statement that gave the location of the clot.

            “In the course of a routine follow-up MRI on Sunday, the scan revealed that a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis had formed. This is a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear,” they said.

            “To help dissolve this clot, her medical team began treating the secretary with blood thinners. She will be released once the medication dose has been established. In all other aspects of her recovery, the secretary is making excellent progress and we are confident she will make a full recovery.”

            Source:
            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/31/hillary-clinton-doctors-clot-brain

          • Coastghost

            I don’t actually doubt the reports, hen. On the other hand, the Clintons have cultivated such an extensive and dedicated network of facilitators, I don’t have excellent reasons for taking the reports at face value. HRC may well have been treated with blood thinners, but for all you or I know she was suffering from phlebitis. (Seriously: how would any of us really know? Mendacity has long been a key component in the Clinton playbook.)
            Most certainly, I won’t be keeping my violin in tune for Hillary, although by now I suspect she would’ve made a much better President than Obama: by 2017, though, she’ll be in her seventies, and I doubt she’ll be any taller than she is now. Her hair’s not getting any prettier, either, plus we must simply wait first for the 2014 election outcomes to determine whether she’ll even run.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – thank you for your response.

            Let me see if I understand you. I’ll simply repeat some of your remarks, in the order they were made, OK?

            “At least one female politician who expediently CLAIMED to’ve suffered a concussion can be regarded as fair game…” (I assume that you were also referring to Sec. Hillary Clinton, as I was in my original post; please correct any error.)

            “I don’t actually doubt the reports [about a blood clot in Sec. Clinton's head]”

            “I don’t have excellent reasons for taking the reports at face value.”

            “…for all you or I know she was suffering from phlebitis.”

            First of all, per clevelandclinic.org,

            “Phlebitis, also called superficial venous thrombosis or superficial thrombophlebitis, is a blood clot that develops in a vein close to the surface of the skin. These types of blood clots do not usually travel to the lungs unless they move from the superficial system (just below the skin) into the deep venous system (deep vein thrombosis). However, phlebitis may cause pain and warrant treatment.”

            And per mayoclinic.org,

            “Thrombophlebitis (throm-bo-fluh-BI-tis) occurs when a blood clot causes swelling in one or more of your veins, typically in your legs. Rarely, thrombophlebitis (sometimes called phlebitis) can affect veins in your arms or neck.

            “The affected vein may be near the surface of your skin, causing superficial thrombophlebitis, or deep within a muscle, causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A clot in a deep vein increases your risk of serious health problems, including a dislodged clot (embolus) traveling to your lungs and blocking a pulmonary artery (pulmonary embolism). Thrombophlebitis can be caused by prolonged inactivity, such as sitting for a long time or lengthy bed rest.

            Sources:
            http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/phlebitis/vs_phlebitis.aspx

            http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thrombophlebitis/basics/definition/CON-20021437

            I am not a health care professional, but neither of those definitions appear to apply to Sec. Clinton.

            Regardless, let’s say that you are correct, and that Sec. Clinton was suffering from a condition wherein blood clots form in her head. And that she was aware of her condition. And that this was somehow previously unreported to the public. And that she decided to use “the Clinton playbook,” and use her condition for political purposes. And knowing that she had a condition that caused blood clots to form in the head, she “expediently CLAIMED to’ve suffered a concussion,” knowing full well that she could use the symptoms of her condition as cover for a “CLAIMED…concussion.”

            And that she would later get admitted to a hospital for one of these blood clots. And get not one, but two, doctors to release a statement that said, “In the course of a routine follow-up MRI on Sunday [30 December 2012], the scan revealed that a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis had formed. This is a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear…”

            FYI, from a 2005 review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, titled “Thrombosis of the Cerebral Veins and Sinuses,” by Jan Stam, M.D., Ph.D., one finds the following:

            “Causes and Risk Factors

            “A prothrombotic risk factor or a direct cause is identified in about 85 percent of patients with sinus thrombosis (Table 1). Often, a precipitating factor, such as a head injury or obstetrical delivery, causes sinus thrombosis in a person with a genetically increased risk.”

            AND

            “The mechanical causes of sinus thrombosis are head injury, direct injury to the sinuses or the jugular veins — for instance, from jugular catheterization — and neurosurgical procedures.”

            AND

            “Cerebral lesions and neurologic signs develop in half of patients with sinus thrombosis. … Seizures occur in about 40 percent of patients, a far higher percentage than in patients with arterial stroke. Seizures are limited and focal in 50 percent of these patients but may generalize to a life-threatening status epilepticus.” (Status epilepticus is “a state of continuous seizure activity lasting more than five minutes, [or] frequent recurrent seizures without regaining full consciousness in between them.”)

            See:
            http://dura.stanford.edu/Articles/Stam_NEJM05.pdf

            http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/basics/complications/CON-20033721

            So, if you are correct, Sec. Clinton risked seizures that could be life-threatening, in order to “expediently CLAIMED to’ve suffered a concussion.”

            Let’s just say that “I don’t have excellent reasons for taking [these ideas] at face value.”

        • brettearle

          Henn–

          I’ve got someone on the run….

          And he’s falling for it–hook, line, and sphincter….

          You’ll be proud of me….

          PSSST

          In this case, my Ego does get in the way: I simply couldn’t wait for you to discover it on your own. Even with my debut performance, you’d see what I’m doing, right away. But I couldn’t wait for you to discover it on your own. We all have our weaknesses….

          • hennorama

            Sorry, but I’m a bit pressed for time just now. More later.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — thank you for the entertainment. Well done.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It is amazing that Comcast allows MSNBC to continue ASIS. Has Tom Brokaw weighed in?

    • jimino

      What did she say that would demand an apology? I went to site and don’t see it.

      • HonestDebate1
        • jimino

          Thanks. I still don’t see anything she said that would require an apology. Maybe I’m not sufficiently sensitive. What is the “mocking” your video’s caption refers to?

  • OnPointComments

    Once again, the Obama administration has taken steps to ensure that its fallacious discrimination theory, “disparate impact” (also known as guilty until proven innocent), doesn’t make it to the Supreme Court.

    OBAMA LAWLESSNESS SPREADS TO SUPREME COURT
    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/123013-684595-obama-rigs-supreme-court-challenges-to-disparate-impact-claims.htm

    Excerpt:

    Racial Politics: Obama race-mongers first mugged mortgage bankers, then went gunning for car lenders. Now they’re trying to block the Supreme Court from taking away their main weapon: disparate impact.

    For the second time in 12 months, the administration has sabotaged a Supreme Court case challenging its disparate-impact discrimination claims, which rely on statistics rather than actual acts of racism to “prove” discrimination in housing and lending.

    Its diversity police have been using the dubious civil rights theory as a cudgel to shake down lenders for billions in race-bias settlements.

    The Pacific Legal Foundation describes disparate impact theory this way:

    In previous posts, we have explained how the Obama Administration has been exploiting disparate impact theory in unprecedented ways. There seems to be simply no possible avenue for American businesses, schools, governments, or employers to avoid being dragged into a disparate impact lawsuit. Can you screen employees for criminal histories? Nope, that would result in a disparate impact. Can employers ensure that employees handling their finances have a good credit history? Nope, disparate impact. Can
    employers reward employees that do their job well? No again, because that would result in a disparate impact. How about a school that disciplines students that disrupt class? That’s a disparate impact lawsuit too. There is literally no end to what can result in a disparate impact lawsuit. And what happens when a group challenges the Obama Administration’s disparate impact demagoguery? The Administration engages in backroom horse trading to ensure the issue never gets to the Supreme Court.

    http://blog.pacificlegal.org/2013/another-hit-against-the-obama-administrations-disparate-impact-crusade/

    • OnPointComments

      How much is it worth to the DoJ to make sure its spurious disparate impact theory doesn’t end up before the Supreme Court? The payoff from the DoJ in the prior case was around $200 million. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez (now the labor secretary) arranged a quid pro quo where the US would withdraw from a $200 million dollar False Claims Act against the City of St. Paul (a case that DoJ attorneys called a “particularly egregious example of false certifications”) if the City would withdraw the lawsuit involving the validity of disparate impact claims. The City agreed.

      The payoff in the current case is undisclosed as of yet. But it’s only government money.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Did Tom mention that the ship stuck in the summer antarctic ice was on a “global warming” mission? Nope, another inconvenient truth.

    Enjoy the warming folks.

    http://vortex.plymouth.edu/uschill.gif

    • OnPointComments

      Some among us fail to see the irony.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The head of the expedition is Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at the U of New S. Wales. The expedition’s mission statement: “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

        Mission accomplished!! Just not in the way intended.

        • brettearle

          There many accurate diagnoses of terminal cancer–even though, on occasion, there are spontaneous remissions.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The ice bound ship was extensively covered by the network news. 98% of the stories neglected to mention they were on a “global warming mission”. Is that omission responsible journalism?

            http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/02/frozen-out-98-stories-ignore-ice-bound-ship-was-global-warming-missi

          • brettearle

            No, it isn’t, necessarily–if only for the Irony.

            But it hardly disproves Global Warming.

            Before the Do-Do Bird no longer walked the Earth, ya still had the Do-Do bird.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The irony makes it significant to the story. The omission must be intentional because it is harmful to the propaganda movement.

            I do agree that the story has no bearing on the science.

            btw – the Chinese rescue ice breaker is now also stuck in the ice.

          • brettearle

            That’s pretty funny.

            I do agree that it tarnishes, somewhat, the Liberal view.

            I would not go, however, so far as to say that it is harmful.

            What’s more, it does not mean that the in every instance, by MSM, the omission was intentional.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I agree, it is unlikely that EVERY omission was intentional but when 98% do it there is something going on in the editing room.

          • HonestDebate1

            “The liberal view”? Science has no ideology.

          • brettearle

            Once again, HD’s distorted thinking–and on one level, he knows how distorted it is–
            wins the day:

            He conflates Liberal bias about Media reporting–which Ideology has nothing to do with Science–with scientific issues, such as the dangers of Fossil Fuels.

          • HonestDebate1

            And when the prognosticators turn out to be wrong, it’s a good thing.

        • StilllHere

          Will the passengers get a refund if they can’t find global warming? They seemed to have bought the media hype, I noted that many were in bathing suits.

    • nj_v2

      As predictable as a soiled diaper on a newborn.

      • StilllHere

        Yes, when I think of you, I think of soiled diapers. Thanks.

    • hennorama

      WorriedfortheCountry — thank you for providing a weather map that has nothing to do with:

      A) Climate change/”global warming”
      B) Antarctica

      In case you don’t know, Antarctica is cold, even during its summertime.

      • HonestDebate1

        For as long as we’ve been keeping records, it’s never been colder. At some point the climate deniers need to be able to show at least some of their predictions are accurate if they want to roll our standard of living back 100 years.

        I can’t speak for WftC but I think that was his/her point. I don’t think there was any attempt to conflate climate and weather, that’s what the left does. Every hurricane, drought, hot year, wet year, snowfall or any unique weather event will elicit another OP show on AGW. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Illustrating absurdity with absurdity is a effective technique. I think you missed the point.

    • OnPointComments

      The irony is thick, as expressed by this cartoonist.

  • Coastghost

    “Obama Administration Demands Nuns Comply with Contraception Mandate or Else Start Rehearsing ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’, Details at Eleven” . . . .

  • Chris Kloth

    Health in the ER

    (I’m sorry if this is a repeat, but I am a first time poster and can’t see my post)

    Regarding use of emergency rooms: keep in mind that many or most of the people who had no insurance had no primary care physician. At this point they have two time consuming challenges: finding a primary care physician who is taking new patients and one who will take Medicaid.

    I have had a primary care physician for many years who retired. It took me months to find a new doctor and I have to drive 30 minutes to get the doctor I found. All the doctors I contacted who were closer were not taking new patients.

    Please don’t blame the victim. This is not a matter of continuing bad habits. People who had no coverage or home or transportation have a very hard time doing what is required to find a primary care provider. If they are already sick the ER may be their best option.

  • HonestDebate1
    • brettearle

      11 AGs who are Right Wing partisans.

      When men and women– who participate in the “On Point” forum–request our attention with quixotic references, how gratifying is to to see the Ignorance–in all its festering glory–force us to waste our time with LCD fertilizer?

      ….while, at the same time, watch the blind propaganda take up valuable space, with this putrid political Bias.

      These reckless actions will…..Go……No……Where…..

      • HonestDebate1

        Is it your contention that Obama needn’t go through congress to alter the law of the land confirmed by the SCOTUS?

        • brettearle

          It is my contention that these measures will not stand up to scrutiny and that it is a scandalous waste of Tax Payer money.

          These AGs should compensate their respective commonwealths–if they don’t succeed in Court.

          And they should be called out publicly, if they fail–which they will do–by Public Interest groups.

          • HonestDebate1

            President Obama is ignoring the law of the land and he is not king. I would sincerely appreciate an answer to my question.

          • brettearle

            It is my contention that these measures will not stand up to scrutiny and that it is a scandalous waste of Tax Payer money.

            These AGs should compensate their respective commonwealths–if they don’t succeed in Court.

            And they should be called out publicly, if they fail–which they will do–by Public Interest groups.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll take that as a yes. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

            I did not ask you anything about the Attorneys General.

          • brettearle

            It is my contention that these measures will not stand up to scrutiny and that it is a scandalous waste of Tax Payer money.

            These AGs should compensate their respective commonwealths–if they don’t succeed in Court.

            And they should be called out publicly, if they fail–which they will do–by Public Interest groups.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

  • marygrav

    Where is the sound?

  • Russell Carleton

    OK, we need to have a week where both of the non-Jack Beatty guest panelists are named Tom. (Tom Jelton?) This way, Jack can enter with “Hello, Tom, Tom, and Tom!”

    • brettearle

      Apparently, there’s a counter, from the radio listening audience, who has been assigned to tabulate how many times the guests say hello back to Beatty.

      According to my source, I am told that the percentage is something like 1/10th of 1 per cent of the time.

      At this point, If I were Beatty, I would forgo the Protocol.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — there’s something to be said for courtesy, regardless of, and perhaps in spite of, any lack of it being returned in kind.

        Thank you for your attention.

        • brettearle

          I agree.

          But it is amusing.

          And he is S-O-O-O-O precious, is he not?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — there is no accounting for taste, and as Benjamin Franklin said,

            “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.”

            Source:
            http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/fool.html#B2jquGmTojCckLj0.99

          • brettearle

            Hate to admit this–but what the Hell….

            I’m among friends and enemies:

            I, as well as pretty much the rest of the human race–especially in urban US culture–fit Franklin’s observation.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — indeed, there is a great tendency toward reflexive complaint, condemnation, and criticism, and a significant lack of real and respectful discourse.

            Complaining is easy. Solutions — not so much.

            Updating ol’ Ben:

            Bitching is Boring.

            Thanks for your honest and valuable input.

          • brettearle

            And while we’re at it, we may as well get to the heart of the Diagnosis:

            –24/7 Media cycle exaggerates
            Pathology so that everyone’s a
            potential Adam Lanza

            –The Church Scandal makes everyone
            a Potential Pervert

            –9/11 makes everyone a Potential
            Terrorist–especially if their skin’s not
            pearly white [now that Mackie's back in
            town]

            –The ungodly Economy makes
            everyone panic

            Is it any wonder that carping has replaced Baseball as the National Pastime?

          • hennorama

            Don’t forget the anonymity factor, which allows one to make comments without the fear of a fist/face interaction.

          • brettearle

            Your comment underscores the Horror!

          • hennorama

            Ease up there, Colonel Kurtz.

          • brettearle

            Are you referring to Conrad’s novel?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — let me answer by saying I once saw an hilarious film spoof titled “Porklips Now” at the Chicago Film Festival.

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            This is BrettEarle on 1/9….

            I don’t want to re-appear until I have resolvable information or otherwise offer an update.

            While it may not matter so much to you, Jefe68, and Ray in Vt, et al, it matters to me.

            But that’s not why I’m writing to you.

            While I think that I needed to tone down my own rhetoric–vis a vis a few days ago–I happened to have looked at the thread today….

            And I was–at least upon first Blush (upon first Bush?)–put off by the direct intervention of the Moderator.

            Especially so often.

            This comes, of course, at an ironic time–being as how I was going Underground (like Terry Waite) to resolve some extreme issues, with regard to comments that were especially controversial.

            I do not like being part of the Thought Police but when things reach LCD, one either changes it or bails out.

            Indeed, right now–as we speak–there is something else, that is so outrageous on the Web Site, that it is simply unbelievable, it hasn’t been detected.

            All this having been said, while Big Brother is everywhere in Electronic Life, I do not appreciate being reminded of it.

            And I also do not appreciate the Forum being directed and edited, in a way, where we are asked to modify our comments–if they are not salacious.

            That is not acceptable to me. For a number of reasons.

            If this sort of interventionist policy continues, it might drive me away.

            And I wouldn’t be surprised if it drives others away.

            By the way, I still have at least 2 ways, I believe, for you to reach me–without any public awareness, thereof.

            This attempt at an outside connection–where you would reach me, without compromise to our privacy–now becomes a bit more relevant….if I am, indeed, driven away…..

            Thanks….

          • hennorama

            brettearle – your distress and concerns are palpable. I understand them, and share them, albeit to a varying extent.

            The moderator’s presence has been much more apparent of late. The are numerous possible reasons, but here’s an exchange between TFRX and Mr. Andersen, posted 2 days ago, that is On Point:

            TFRX: Nick, is the existence of a moderator a new thing for 2014?

            nkandersen: Not necessarily a new thing — we’ve always been here, but now we’re starting to take part in the conversation. I’m new here starting in October, however.

            The tally of Mr. Andersen’s 28 posts to date, by month and average/day:

            January: 12 (thus far), 1.33 per day
            December: 8, 0.26/day
            November: 7, 0.23/day
            October: 1, average unable to be calculated as Mr. Andersen’s was “new here starting in October”

            Whether this increased presence and “[taking] part in the conversation” rises to a level sufficient to be unacceptable is of course an individual matter. You should voice your concerns, especially if you believe they are widely shared.

            For me: give me a list of the “7 Words You Can Never Use In On Point Forums,” keep out the spammers, and I’m good. Practically speaking, the rest can be dealt with through other available means, such as [Collapse thread], and not feeding the real trolls.

            At times, in-your-face confrontations have their place, but in general, as I have stated repeatedly, my aim is to add to the overall knowledge of the group, and if I disagree with someone, to do so without being disagreeable in response.

            This aim is not always achieved, (at times I fail rather spectacularly, if I may be so bold as to self-analyze) but that is the general aim nonetheless.

            That others may have different aims is perfectly fine, of course, but there are limits, too.

            I realize now that I am simply pointing out the well-established, so I’ll change topics:

            I’m open to your suggestions, as previously indicated.

            Hang in there, my friend.

            For a bit of perspective, see:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/05/24/week-tornado-terrorism-killing#comment-908465044

            As advice goes it’s imperfect, but it is sincere.

          • brettearle

            Thanks much for your response.

            Read it a couple of times to readily absorb it.

            I’ll be back in touch–Here–in a few days, or as early as tomorrow night.

            I will try to look at recent links of yours, including the one above.

            It’s always appreciated, when you cut me slack about not looking at all links.

            I don’t want you to write things for no reason. I know how much energy you send out there for careful Edification.

            [Do NOT stop doing this for the entire Forum.]

            Getting a second look at Herr Synapse–which I did do–was an absolute Riot….

            What Gulag was he hatched from, anyway?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — that was a shocking shock of hair wasn’t it?

            Do your thing, take care of the real world, then check in when you’re able.

            If you need a smile or a chuckle, check this out:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/dad-daycare-questionnaire-11-month-old-daughter_n_4560620.html

            Enjoy!

          • brettearle

            Or are you referring to Howard Furz?

          • brettearle

            By the way, did you know that Furz turned State’s Evidence?

          • HonestDebate1

            What do you think of anonymous down votes consistently doled out because of who wrote them without regard to the issue at hand?

            I think it’s pretty pathetic but I must admit I get a kick out of imagining the mindset of anyone so petty as to get satisfaction from it.

          • brettearle

            Well, well, well, well, well, well

            Strange bedfellows agree on something–like two extreme Civil Libertarians, from either party.

            I totally agree with what you said, above.

            No *HD* for this entry.

            [PS....I know who's doing it, against `our side', that is....]

          • HonestDebate1

            You seem surprised, we agree on more than you might think. I don’t do the down votes, I’d rather reply. I deeply dislike thinking in terms of our side and their side, but that’s just me. I do understand the concept though.

          • brettearle

            Your Deflection drips with morbid Irony–which is a euphemistic variation for, in this case, a failed attempt at Reverse Psychology.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not sure what you think I deflected but I can assure you my reply was completely sincere.

            -Honest Drivel

          • brettearle

            Ok, so you get two less demerits for self-mockery…..

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s with the omission of “Honest Drivel”? I never have cared much what people say about me, and they do, but I do appreciate the honest label no matter what it’s followed by. You made the proclamation and now seem to regret it.

            It reminds me of the time the henpecker in a zealous cutsie moment decided to refer to me in anagrams of honest debate. The first time she wrote “He debate snot” I chuckled. She kept using it until I pointed out I was debating her, she was calling herself snot. She has not used it since.

            But you see Brettearle, to me this isn’t really about our side or their side; it’s not about friends or enemies; it’s not about ideology at all and it’s certainly not about me. It’s about honest debate.

            I thought the point I replied to was a good one. In my personal world my mantra is “nothing’s easy” I approach everything in that context. It’s liberating because once it is truly understood you realize it also means nothing is hard. I have one exception: complaining. I even put it into a song I wrote for Archie Bell entitled “Lighten Up”.

            Nothing’s easy, why complain you can curse the sky, it won’t stop the rain…

            So I really did think the comment had merit. I hate complaining and try never to complain about anything. I am far too blessed and life is too short. I will however criticize policy but I will only do so if I can make a coherent case for my argument without getting personal. I don’t know why it always has to get personal.

          • brettearle

            Have you really ever given any true and real thought as to why you want to stress to me, and to others, how you see me as an Honest Broker?

            Do you not understand how revealing that Truly is?

            And by the way…..Hennorama’s a Guy.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – are you enjoying your merry discourse?

            As my moniker was mentioned, please allow me a few comments/questions:

            Should a comment that contains a personal remark, and then ends with “I don’t know why it always has to get personal,” be classified as clueless, ironic, cluelessly ironic, ironically clueless, or something else entirely?

            I’d correct the record to demonstrate how inaccurate Mr. Smith’s remarks are, but it’s not worth the time and effort to do so. Please allow it to be sufficient-ish to say that I have never once addressed Mr. Smith exactly as he described.

            (If you’re really curious, you can go here: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/12/week-in-the-news-238#comment-961898020 )

            Enjoy the merriment!

          • brettearle

            I was around at the time and I was reminded of the Anagram, when I went to the Link.

            Issue is, Henn, is that He actually BELIEVES his revisionist history–KNOWING FULL WELL that he has changed the History.

            If you catch my drift.

            Of course, we can’t change thinking, now can we?

            Keep up your comments like “are you enjoying your merry discourse?”

            They are disarmingly charming and charmingly disarming.

            I tried to get through, via YouTube, the Francis Ford parody–but I couldn’t get engaged. I’ll give it another shot.

            [I was quite amused that "Bud" was in the movie. You were so good with "Breaker", the other day, do you happen to know Nicholson's first flick?

            Hint: Also low budget.

            No fair lookin' it up....]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — there is a fine line between honest belief and self-delusions.

            As to your question — Easy Rider comes to mind.

            As to Porklips Now and Bud — you may not want to spend more time on the flick, as my appreciation for it was probably ‘erbally en’anced.

          • brettearle

            Interesting how Sativa alters many things.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you know what else is interesting?

            We initially got this thread rolling with an exchange about courtesy.

            Talk about Altered States (which I did during the aforementioned Chicago Film Festival, when a member of one of the panel discussions said he was working on a movie “that’s going to make Altered States look like a home movie.” The film he was referring to was Scanners.)

            Thanks for your sparking (and sparkLing) remark.

          • HonestDebate1

            Seriously, are you proud of that?

          • hennorama

            BTW — coincidence or …?

            That particular WITN forum was the same one in which I posted my 8-part dissection of a particularly execrable claim made repeatedly by Mr. Smith.

            Weird wild stuff, that.

          • HonestDebate1

            Brettearle, I will leave it to you to decide if Hennorama is lying to you. She wrote that she never once addressed Mr. Smith exactly as he described.

            As an aside I must point out that my name is Gregg Smith. You know that and Hennorama knows that. IMHO both of you are bringing it to light in a nasty effort to get under my craw. There is no other reason, so there’s that. It is not polite. BTW, I don’t care, I only point it out to illustrate the gratuitous attempt to do something, anything to avoid honest debate.

            So maybe what she meant by the word “exactly” was the addition of the number 1. So technically she is correct but the disingenuous misdirection she gave you with the link is certainly troubling. Why would she do you that way? I was not referring to the wild goose chase link she gave you.

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/11/snowden-his-own-words#comment-959335952

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/09/public-forgiveness#comment-958660577

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/09/public-forgiveness#comment-958924263

            And here is when I called her on it:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/12/week-in-the-news-238#comment-961944578

            So I didn’t make it up. I am very capable of being mistaken but I would never do that on purpose. In my searches I came across many many examples of my being called all kinds of stuff. Why is that necessary?

            But this is all petty as hell. I just wanted to prove to you in no uncertain terms that Hennorama is very disingenuous.

            I would rather debate more weighty issues such as the roles of the Legislative and Executive branches (Judiciary too for that matter) regarding the law of the land. You don’t seem willing and that is sad.

            I must say I am loosing faith in you. A non reply here may seal the deal. I truly and sincerely hope you reply with honest substantial debate.

          • brettearle

            If you’re asking me to choose sides, I already have.

            Pettiness, for me, as I told Henn, is seemingly quite important.

            It is where the Devil-in-the-Details Truth lies.

            You are much much more slick and much much less slick than you think.

            Your problem is that you violate the Ancient Greek Socratic tenet more than many of us:

            To Thine Own Self Be True

            I will admit that I was duped by you, for a while.

            But after that contretemps we had over ACA, a couple of months back, where you threw a smokescreen over my reference, I finally realized that you were being Disingenuous in a way that I hadn’t realized….and, in a way that I suspect you strongly realize but, nevertheless, continue to pretend to yourself that you don’t.

            The Truth was in your reply; not that you didn’t check my reference out.

            Aside.from the fact that I’ve never seen you admit once that you have ever made a mistake; concede that you might be wrong; or otherwise retracted a statement, where you explained that you reacted too quickly, or without forethought…..aside from that, you were always, but always, living with this pedestal, that you put me on……

            As if my so-called Honest Brokerage would redeem the horrible Left, in your eyes.

            I am always willing to give anyone the benefit of the Doubt–until proven otherwise.

            If you think I haven’t called out my political Brethren on this forum, you would be Wrong.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not asking you to choose sides, I am asking you to be honest. I have already said I don’t care about sides.

            I have no problem admitting I’m wrong when I am but I don’t do so to be agreeable. I admit I’m wrong when I am shown to be wrong. I actually just admitted I was wrong about Melissa Harris-Perry to JGC before your comment. I do not want to be wrong for the sake of ideology. I am grateful to be shown to be wrong.

            Ask Hennorama:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/11/06/internet-trolls#comment-701926634

            I am very disappointed in your reply Brettearle. I doubt I will continue to take you as seriously or spend the time to engage you seriously from now on. You were never on a pedestal, I simply treated your views with respect as I try to do with everybody’s views that are honestly posited. You may not believe it but it truly saddens me. I felt the same way when Hennorama jumped the shark and I have now given up on Ray as well.

            I proved Hennorama lied to you, I have never lied to you.

            Is honest debate really that hard? Is it too much to ask for? Never mind, your answer no longer matters to me.

          • HonestDebate1

            Now that’s interesting. My comment is now awaiting moderation after being up for a day. You already replied so my objective was met and it doesn’t matter. I can only conclude my comment was flagged by someone who did not appreciate being shown for what they were, disingenuous.

            It’s a pathetic display but it doesn’t surprise me.

          • HonestDebate1

            Brettearle, I will leave it to you to decide if Hennorama is lying to you. She wrote that she never once addressed Mr. Smith exactly as he described.

            As an aside I must point out that my name is Gregg Smith. You know that and Hennorama knows that. IMHO both of you are bringing it to light in a nasty effort to get under my craw. There is no other reason, so there’s that. It is not polite. BTW, I don’t care, I only point it out to illustrate the gratuitous attempt to do something, anything to avoid honest debate.

            Maybe what she meant by the word “exactly” was the addition of the number 1. So technically she is correct but the disingenuous misdirection she gave you with the link is certainly troubling. Why would she do you that way? I was not referring to the wild goose chase link she gave you.

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            And here is when I called her on it:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

            So I didn’t make it up. I am very capable of being mistaken but I would never do that on purpose. In my searches I came across many many examples of my being called all kinds of stuff. Why is that necessary?

            But this is all petty as hell. I just wanted to prove to you in no uncertain terms that Hennorama is very disingenuous.

            I would rather debate more weighty issues such as the roles of the Legislative and Executive branches (Judiciary too for that matter) regarding the law of the land. You don’t seem willing and that is sad.

            I must say I am loosing faith in you but I am still clinging to it. A non reply here may seal the deal. I truly and sincerely hope you reply with honest substantial debate.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – apologies in advance for using you as a conduit. Please bear with me.

            An accusation of lying will not be allowed to pass unremarked upon, especially an accusation from a person with a moniker that includes the word “honest.” Normally, I don’t dignify this person’s words with a response, but this is a bit different.

            Mr. Smith wrote all of the following to you, in order:

            “It reminds me of the time the henpecker [AKA “hennorama”] in a zealous cutsie [sic] moment decided to refer to me in anagrams of honest debate. The first time she wrote “He debate snot” I chuckled. She kept using it until I pointed out I was debating her, she was calling herself snot. She has not used it since.”

            ==========
            “Brettearle, I will leave it to you to decide if Hennorama is lying to you. She wrote that she never once addressed Mr. Smith exactly as he described.” And, later in the same comment, “Maybe what she meant by the word “exactly” was the addition of the number 1. So technically she is correct but the disingenuous misdirection she gave you with the link is certainly troubling. Why would she do you that way? I was not referring to the wild goose chase link she gave you.”

            [PS]: the above is from a comment that is currently “awaiting moderation,” a circumstance that Mr. Smith, again inaccurately, ascribes to me.
            ==========
            “I proved Hennorama lied to you, I have never lied to you.”

            The remark above prompted this post.

            What is most hilarious is that Mr. Smith offers not a single instance wherein he demonstrates that I wrote “He debate snot.” Instead, Mr. Smith writes that “technically she [hennorama] is correct” after I had stated that “I have never once addressed Mr. Smith exactly as he described.”

            That is some awful proof of an accusation of lying, is it not?

            I’d bore you with the details, but let me offer the following as a defense, which I invite and challenge anyone to refute:

            A search of my DISQUS Dashboard, using the search term “snot” yielded not a single instance of my having typed “He debate snot.” There are instead multiple instances of:

            HeDebatesNot
            He 1 Debate Snot
            1 Debate Snot, He
            1DebateSnotHe
            1 Tea Snot Be’d He

            A search of my DISQUS Dashboard, using the search term “debate” yielded not a single instance of my having typed “He debate snot.”

            Not one.

            Again, my apologies for using you as a conduit. Thank you for you forebearance.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s very brave… and silly. I can’t believe you are so proud of your name-calling. As I said, you called yourself snot (with or without the 1), admit it and move on. Can you possibly be more parsingly ridiculous?

            Why have you never used the phrase since? Why did you send Brettearle on a wild goose chase? If you are going to parse to that degree then it should be very easy to acknowledge you can be technically correct and still be lying, no?

            I know honest debate can be frustrating to the disingenuous but really Hennorama grow a pair and don’t hide behind such foolishness.

            You claimed I ascribed the flagging to you. That is lie. I ascribed it to “someone who did not appreciate being shown for what they were, disingenuous”. But if the shoe fits….

            Parsing is fun!

          • brettearle

            Henn, I just noticed all of these…..here and some below.

            On Monday at about Six.

            Not sure how much I can do on all of this but I will try to do something.

            I know that you are going to say, don’t worry.

            But, we’ll see.

            I couldn’t make out the connection between WITN and an 8 part dissection of a Claim.

            Please advise…..

            [PSSSST Henn--

            People have tabbed me with the G. word, before. Even two in my chosen profession.

            A G can spot another G.

            It's not the Anagrams from which I draw my conclusions. That's just a sidebar, although there is a connection.. It's a kind of general Meinung.... Did you make your money in Money?]

          • hennorama

            brettearle – thanks for your reply, and [insert prescient preemptive phrase here]

            WITN = Week In The News.

            Coincidentally, the forum to which I had linked in my “merry discourse” post is the very same WITN forum (July 12, 2013 Week In The News: Egypt, Airliner Crash, Boston Bombing Suspect In Court) in which I had posted the 8-part dissection of Mr. Smith’s execrable claim.

            You may have missed the series, as it was posted late of a Sunday evening. Here’s the link to that show:
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/07/12/week-in-the-news-238

            The series is near the top. BTW, the same forum included your “Herr Synapse” post. That was a fun exchange, with a memorable image of Mr. Wall Of Sound.

            As to you air-leaked comment, I’m probably more ⅁ than G.

            As to your question – I learned a good deal from Money magazine, and there are few areas in which I haven’t been lucky. And smart. I tend to be a contrarian. For example, when Americans started buying SUVs and heavy pickup trucks in droves, I was buying oil stocks and oil futures.

            Right now, I’m mostly into dirt, sticks, and stones. And water.

            Thanks again, and keine Sorgen.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think her name is Beverly.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you view those with different perspectives as enemies?

          • brettearle

            Honest Drivel strikes again.

            His lack of Imagination has eliminated Poetic License from his world view.

            *HD*

          • HonestDebate1

            It was a simple question. Personally, I don’t consider anyone here as an enemy. I can’t say I like everyone but there are only 2 or 3 that fall into that category…. maybe 4, the jury is still out. I can also say I do like some of the staunchest liberals here. I’m funny that way.

            -Honest Drivel

          • brettearle

            If you weren’t so much of a bad Thespian–who pretends to act Holier than Thou, but fails at it, miserably–I might very well mistake you for the Messiah.

          • HonestDebate1

            But it takes integrity to do it in the arena of honest debate.

          • brettearle

            Which is why your kind of Debate belongs in the River Styx–where Dishonesty Prevails

          • HonestDebate1

            Please explain with examples.

          • brettearle

            There virtually isn’t anything you say that isn’t, in one way, or another, full of fertilizer.

            Your exaggeration of the implications of Benghazi is just one of hundreds of ridiculous beliefs and observations.

            Benghazi is ONLY one of many, many germs.

            I will continue–like my brethren–to go after the stench.

            But I am not going to deliver a Master Thesis on HD’s Vomit, by poring over the Waste.

            I will simply do it, on an ongoing basis–like so many others do.

            But from now on, my examples will carry the initials “HD” at the end of the comment–which will heretofore refer to as “Honest Drivel”.

            So that you, yourself, can keep score.

          • HonestDebate1

            An uncited exaggeration?

            BTW, I’m cool with “honest drivel” but aren’t you contradicting yourself? You just wrote my drivel was dishonest. I’m so confused.

            I am actually saddened by your responses of late. I’m just looking for honest debate not hate. Don’t let it blind you. You can be very charming and hate does not look good on you. Maybe you should ignore me.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — please allow an alternate suggestion, which keeps both the beginning letters and the same number of syllables of the original moniker:

            Hokey Deceit

            or even:

            Hoaxer’s Deceit
            Hooey, Deceit
            Hopeless Deceit
            Hoopla, Deceit
            Horrid Deceit
            Hothead’s Deceit
            Howler, Deceit
            Howler’s Deceit

            Stopping now. Got a bit carried away after being accused of lying.

          • brettearle

            There are some trial balloons in the Ether.and Afoot…..

            It’s therefore time for you and I–to quote King James–to “take our Talents” to a more universal Theatre.

            Although, as a wordsmith, myself, I am quite a fan of how you work with words.

            Don’t stop….[I don't mean you're expected to produce something every moment, of course]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — thank you for your kind words. I look forward to the details of that to which you have alluded.

            However, if you are referring to these “universal Theatres,” that’s kinda far to go for a movie, no?

            http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/cinemas.php

          • brettearle

            These Anagrams…..

            Aside from what I sense as a kind of Genius in you, are these anagram exercises a sort of savant avocation to the main course?

            By the way, the citywalk link–which I looked at–does that happen to be where you’re from?

            Me thinks you’re in a warm climate….
            [You're surely not stuck in Ice]

            As far as details about something in the Ether….

            I have none. My gut tells me, for us to go in a different direction….kind of like we’re employers who wish to fire an employee.

            [Of course, I do not wish to rain on your parade, in any case. It's just a gut feeling, I have]

            We’re going in a different direction.

            He’ll understand….

          • hennorama

            brettearle – thank you for the kindness implicit in your words.

            I enjoy anagrams, and the hidden truths they can reveal. (For example, refreshing euphemism = Nip Him, Emerge Fresh, Us.) My enjoyment may be due to a natural quirk wherein I can “see” (and even speak) mirror images of words and sentences without any special effort. This is not evidence of being a genius or a savant, but it is rare. However, as Dizzy Dean said, “The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing,” so to speak.

            I am presently resident in an area with a very mild climate, but I am “from” (as in “was born in”) the NE quadrant of the continental U.S. (i.e. east of longitude 98°35′, and north of latitude 39°50′), and I know about cold and snow and ice from firsthand experience. My residency is variable, as I travel a good deal. (Apologies for the circumspection, but this is an open forum.)

            As to your ethereal commentary – first of all, any rain would be welcome here, whether it be on a parade or elsewhere. Secondly, my stance is manifest in my actions. This post may be relevant:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/28/week-scotus-obama-snowden#comment-952025888

            Thanks again for your kindness.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well, I hope that doesn’t mean you are quitting. It’s happened before with commenters who refuse to debate the issue because they are stuck. They then start calling names and making comment about me. At that point I just stay the coarse a let it run off of my back with very pertinent questions delivered with civility like the following: Is it your position that a President needn’t go to congress to change the law of the land? That certainly seems to be the position you are taking by calling the AG’s partisan (even the Democrats) but it can’t be defended so we end up here. Ask Ultrax, ask Brett, ask Ray, ask Henny who can’t even find the courage to debate at all. That’s fine but you’d think if it was so easy to discount my arguments then I would be put in my place. If I was so ridiculous I would be easy to ignore. But no they can’t do that either… so they run.

            Don’t surrender, debate.

  • marygrav

    Jack should be informed as he later is that General Practitioners are in short supply especially in rural states. Obamacare gives everybody a shot at legal health care in lieu of the local drug dealer for solace.

    Quite a few of the “street people” are veterans with health problems and the local drug dealer has been better to them the the Veteran Administration.

    W.E.B. Dubois warned about using statistics in sociology because human beings become numbers. 1.3 million have lost benefits which actually translates into about 5 million when children and seniors are factored in. But they have no faces to the T-Party–GOP number crunchers such as Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor.

    Al Qaeda has cells so that unlike the Civil Rights Movement in the US, killing the leader won’t kill the Movement. Chechnia has been a thorn in the side of Russia because of its greed and desired to be Westernized. Putin was stupid to put the Winter Olympic in that area as a direct insult to the Chectians and he should have know better.

    Most of the unrest in the world is due to US hubris and the Christian determination to be the world’s religion beginning with the Christian Zionist wanting to celebrate Christ’s birthday in the Middle East in 2000, not all of US have to pay the price.

    Remember who got US into Iraq. I’m sure G.W. Bush remembers too well. Getting rid of Saddam and Gadaffi to please Israel was a big mistake. Now Obama cannot afford to get rid of Bassir if he wishes to lose control of the situation in the Middle East.

    Why do Westerners assume that people of color are so stupid not to take advantage of a violent situation. Ben Ghazi was too much of an opportunity to miss. The T-Party–GOP–McCain–Graham Noise Machine need to concentrate on the US’s Class Warfare and leave Others alone.

  • HonestDebate1
  • Joan

    If I heard correctly, your reporter referred to the Little Sisters of the Poor who filed the suit as being from a “nunnery.” What? This is a 19th century pejorative. The proper term is “community” or “order.” Must have been a slip of the tongue.

    On the issue, apart from the specifics of this case, religious liberty around health care is important to Christian Scientists and Seventh Day Adventists, among others. The right of individual conscience is so very basic, so fundamental, to what is American that I cannot imagine anyone challenging it. (Had ancestors who were jailed in Boston for refusing to tithe, because they were Anabaptists, so it gets a mite personal.)

    • olderworker

      So you’re saying that, if an employer is a 7th Day Adventist, they shouldn’t pay for their employees to get blood transfusions if needed? The problem is that child-bearing aged females sometimes need contraceptive coverage, and it doesn’t make sense for employers to refuse to pay for it. (IMHO)

      • Joan

        Ultimately, yes. This is a very complicated issue, and I am neither a lawyer nor an ethicist, but freedom of conscience is so fundamental to who we are as Americans — conscientious objection, etc. — that there has to be some way to preserve it. No one should be forced by the government to violate their deepest beliefs.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama’s foreign policy is a debacle. It was epitomized with his approach in Syria which seems to be speak loudly with no stick. No one fears him. The rebuttal from his defenders always points to the fact that there are no good solutions in Syria but that is a result of his apathetic stance over the last few years and it’s not an excuse. The world moves on with or without our influence. Empty threats are dangerous. It would have been much better if he had not drawn a red line at all but he did. He tried to save face with more red lines. Now Syria, emboldened by our trust in Putin their ally, has missed the dead (red) line without a worry in the world. There will be no consequences. In the mean time how many have died? This isn’t going to end well.

    • olderworker

      Fear mongering is not the best way to conduct foreign policy.

      • hennorama

        olderworker — you’ve missed the point.

        PREEMPTIVE/INVASIVE WAR is the best way to conduct foreign policy, always. Negotiation and arm twisting and sanctions and international cooperation are never successful, and never save any lives.

        I mean, it’s sooooo obvious!

        • HonestDebate1

          That’s really dumb… with all due respect.

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me but I agree with you. I just think when empty threats are responded to with the middle finger it makes a very dangerous world.

  • HonestDebate1

    I feel a little guilty because I read about this days ago. The story is so old and has been so belittled that I didn’t give it the due respect. That makes me a dupe. It means Obama’s delay, prolong and repeat the lie strategy is working on me. “Fast and Furious” is a big deal and no, it was not a program started by Bush. There are so many scandals, lies and coverups in this administration that they overwhelm our collective psyche and individually seem less important. But it’s outrageous, it’s corrupt, it’s awful.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/01/02/yet-another-fast-furious-gun-turns-up-at-a-crime-scene-in-mexico/

    • brettearle

      Well, I mean, Gregg Smith’s muckraker skills are so well-developed, he really ought to be living in a Tea-Pot Dome.

      • Guest

        Something like this…

        • brettearle

          …..Or that

          • jefe68
          • brettearle

            If you’ve chosen *HD* as Daffy Duck, in that amusing short you just presented me, then you deserve an Oscar for Casting Director….

          • HonestDebate1

            I have posted that very video at least twice in the past and have always made clear I am a Bugs Bunny guy.

          • brettearle

            HD is to Bugs Bunny

            as

            Charlie Tuna is to prime Albacore

          • HonestDebate1

            Fine but is it not clear who is the Conservative and who is the liberal in the cartoon? It seems plain to me. Whatever. I really hope you reply to the comment I just left for you and that we can get back to debating things that matter honestly. Fingers crossed.

          • jefe68

            Well, I hear it’s wabbit season….

          • Steve__T

            Duck season.

          • brettearle

            Jefe68–

            Thanks for this!

      • Guest

        Such as this…

        • brettearle

          Hey, jef….

          You continue to glom onto HD’s ongoing Hysteria and the Right Wingers may very well compare you to Javert in Les Miserables.

      • jefe68

        Or tea-pot-house…

        • jefe68

          or this…

        • brettearle

          Love it!

    • StilllHere

      Thanks, interesting link. I suspect you will be attacked personally by the usual suspects.

      • HonestDebate1

        I thrive on it.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    commercial drones. the reason why this is being pushed and encouraged is for ONE reason–so that the commercial drones can act as cover for police/NSA.CIA/FBI and military drones actively spying on American people and enforcing illegal and suspect activities–even in your home. If commercial drones are flying all over the place you wont notice so easily the deadly ones capable of killing you and following you and watching you continuously.

    If there were no commercial drones in the skies ALL drones would be sen and noticed and feared and the public simply would not tolerate it–worrying about all said above. Commercial drones are the opiate. DOnt pay attention to the man behind the curtain. The key to all magic is misdirection.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      i for one will destroy any drone that comes near me–self-defense. so stay the bleep away from me

      • StilllHere

        Hen is no drone but your confusion is understandable.

        • hennorama

          StilllHere — thanks for the mention, but [FrankensteinDragon]‘s “drone” comment was a self-reply, posted prior to my reply to the OP.

          It’s a DISQUS thing, dontcha know.

    • hennorama

      Yes! (Obviously!) These ‘police/NSA.CIA/FBI and military drones’ are going to replace the black helicopters, which were so inconvenient, as they could only be used during nighttime.

      Of course, the new hidden-in-plain-sight surveillance UVAs will soon be replaced by nano-level surveillance devices, which won’t really need any cover, and will be issued to everyone at birth.

      (Cue the Twilight Zone theme)

  • HonestDebate1

    I learn a lot on this blog. I’ve learned that secretly walking untrackable assault weapons across the boarder, much to the chagrin of the Mexican government, that results and continues to result in death is no biggee. I’ve learned that criticizing a President’s feckless foreign policy is the same thing as an outright demand for preemptive war. I’ve learned the President makes laws or ignores laws independent of the Legislature. I’ve learned that our Constitution was NOT premised on the notion we are all born with the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I’ve learned Obamacare has nothing to do with the economy or jobs. I’ve learned it’s okay for a President to repeat a promise umpteen times and then renege on it without consequence. I’ve learned there is no need to honestly debate the issues, it’s better to attack with ad hominem jabs. I’ve learned weather is not climate except when there is a hurricane, drought or blizzard. I’ve learned a President does not need to meet with the HHS head hancho to implement his signature legislation. I’ve learned the NYT is always right and the CIA, Libyan President, video proof, Senate Committees and people on the scene are always wrong. I’ve learned that red lines don’t mean a thing. There is so much but most of all I’ve learned that I am the racist apologist.

    Thank you.

  • HonestDebate1

    Kudos to Melissa Harris-Perry for what seemed to me to be a sincere apology to the Romneys.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-tKZ0JtnX0

    • JGC

      Agreed. You only need to listen for a moment to her apology to understand how closely this cuts.

      • HonestDebate1

        I am no fan of MSNBC for many reasons. Nor am I a fan of Melissa Harris-Perry but I really don’t think they were being intentionally being malicious. I think they were just yukking it up, it happens.

        It’s funny JGC, as much as my ideological self would like to score points here it would not be fair. To be honest, I was wrong about my pre-conceived notions regarding her. Lesson learned… but I still don’t like her.

    • OnPointComments

      I think Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology was sincere, and Mitt Romney certainly showed his class in his acceptance of her apology.

      Somebody at MSNBC decided that showing the picture of the Romney family and putting it up for ridicule would be a good segment. I assume that multiple people at MSNBC knew about the decision to air the picture, yet no one was able to call it off. When the Romney picture aired during the segment, no one on the panel said that it was inappropriate to make a baby the subject of political ridicule, and they all joined in.

      From Independent Journal Review:

      “…Harris-Perry’s apology is just the latest on MSNBC, where several of her comrades have made apologizes as well:
      • Ed Schultz apologizes for calling Laura Ingraham a defamatory name.
      • Martin Bashir apologizes for saying someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth.
      • Michael Eric Dyson apologizes for calling conservatives “sexual rednecks” and “religious bigots.”
      • Chris Matthews apologizes for MSNBC’s comparison of Mitt Romney campaign slogan to a phrase used by the Ku Klux Klan.
      • Chris Matthews apologizes for saying he was glad Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast just in time for the election.
      • Touré apologizes for charging Romney with the “****erization” of Obama.

      “Ironic, isn’t it, that our friends on the left rail against the ‘hatred’ and ‘bigotry’ of Fox News?”

      Apologies aside, the Romney segment and the other statements show the mindset of MSNBC.

    • StilllHere

      I think she was worried about her financial future. She showed no regret at the time and was in fact dancing to the bumper music.

      • HonestDebate1

        All of that is true but she was making a joke about something she would typically feel was not a joking matter absent the ideology. I want to believe she had an epiphany and I do. We’ll see.

  • OnPointComments

    The liberal argument “if it saves one life” is usually abandoned if the subject is guns saving lives.

    TWO NIGHTS IN NEW JERSEY
    http://bearingarms.com/two-nights-in-new-jersey/

    Saturday night in Newark, New Jersey:

    An off-duty Newark police officer shot and injured a man who carjacked him as the officer was putting air in his tires at a gas station on Route 21 early this morning, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

    Sunday night in Milburn, New Jersey:

    An evening of Christmas shopping turned into a violent nightmare Sunday night when a man returning with his wife to their parked Range Rover at an upscale New Jersey mall was fatally shot in the head and their vehicle carjacked from a parking deck at the Mall at Short Hills.

    The two stories started out similarly. Two men near their vehicles were approached by thugs with the desire to carjack them.

    In the Newark incident, the off-duty cop had a firearm, and was able to draw his weapon and shoot the suspect to defend his life, putting the suspect in the hospital without sustaining injuries of his own.

    In the incident in Milburn, a “normal” second-class citizen who could not have easily received a concealed weapons permit under New Jersey’s draconian permitting process, was approached by two men who with no regard for the law. In a feeble effort to defend his life and that of his wife, he found that words were no match for a thug’s bullet, and he died in a mall parking lot (another “gun free zone”).

    One of these men had the legal permission to carry a firearm for his self defense because of his job. New Jersey denied the other man that same permission. Do all men not have the right to self defense? In New Jersey, the obvious answer is a resounding “no,” and because of that denial of a human right, another widow weeps.

    • hennorama

      OPC – as I haven’t read this piece, and trust that you have, two quick questions:

      1. Is there any evidence that “New Jersey denied the other man that same permission”? IOW, is there evidence showing that the man applied for a concealed carry permit, and was denied said permit by the state of NJ?

      2. Is there any evidence that, had this man applied for and been granted a concealed carry permit, and had been armed, that he would have been able to prevent his death?

      Thanks in advance for your responses.

      • OnPointComments

        Everything I’ve read about NJ concealed carry laws states that it’s difficult to get a permit unless it’s job related (for example, a security guard).

        I think we can both agree that had the man had a concealed carry permit, possessed a gun and knew how to use it, he would not have ended up worse off than he did without a gun.

        If it is illegal for most people to carry a gun, the criminals know that most people they choose to attack and kill will be unable to defend themselves. Even supporters of gun control instinctively know this. I read a story within the past year where a group went around neighborhoods asking people, especially people who had been vocal proponents of gun control, to allow a sign to be placed in their yard stating “This house is a gun free zone.” No one would allow the sign. It isn’t surprising, is it? Which house do you think the burglar would choose: the house with the sign, or the house next door without one? If responsible citizens are allowed to get permits with a minimum of red tape, it protects everyone. Criminals in New Jersey know that it is likely their victim will be unarmed.

        Opinion: Gun control will not stop the insane or criminals
        “Gun control will not stop the insane or the criminals who rob, steal, rape and plunder. It does, however, prevent law-abiding citizens from making the choice to protect themselves from harm.”
        http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2013/03/opinion_gun_control_will_not_s.html

        From a recent study by Mark Gius of Quinnipiac University:
        “Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states.”

        Concealed Carry: If You’re Interested in Preventing Hate Crimes, Let’s Stop them Before They Happen
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-barron/concealed-carry-if-youre_b_213912.html

        “In Detroit, where citizens must obtain a Concealed Pistol Licence (CPL), the Police Chief believes that the presence of legal guns is an effective deterrent. “Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction.” Craig says. “I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”
        http://guardianlv.com/2014/01/good-americans-with-guns-reduce-crime-says-detroit-police-chief/

        • hennorama

          OPC – thank you for your response.

          Curiosity got the better of me, which led me to discover that after the first sentence, your OP was simply the article in its entirety. The article consists of a few facts mixed with the opinions of a gun-rights blogger, and contains no evidence specific to my questions, and absolutely no evidence that “New Jersey denied the other man that same permission [“to carry a firearm for his self defense”], as the author claims.

          It is also an example of using a firearms-related death to further a political agenda, something that many conservatives have criticized.

          As to the “recent study by Mark Gius of Quinnipiac University,” allow me to quote Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who wrote the following, in his dissent in Heller:

          “What about the fact that foreign nations with strict gun laws have higher crime rates? Which is the cause and which the effect? The proposition that strict gun laws cause crime is harder to accept than the proposition that strict gun laws in part grow out of the fact that a nation already has a higher crime rate. And we are then left with the same question as before: What would have happened to crime without the gun laws—a question that respondent and his amici do not convincingly answer.”

          See:
          http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZD1.html (section IV (A)(3) 8th paragraph)

          Thank you for expressing your opinions on this matter, and for quoting more opinions from others.

          • OnPointComments

            Is there any evidence that, had this man applied for and been granted a concealed carry permit, and had been armed, that he would have suffered the same fate?

            New Jersey Title 13 Chapter 54 Section 2.4 Application for a permit to carry a handgun

            “In the case of a private citizen shall specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun. Where possible the applicant shall corroborate the existence of any specific threats or previous attacks by reference to reports of such incidents to the appropriate law enforcement”

            According to http://www.nj.com and numerous other sources: “Since 2007, New Jersey has issued 1,595 new and renewed handgun carry permits, according to State Police spokesman Julian Castellanos. Those figures do not include permits for armored car employees and retired police officers.” http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/nj_senator_pushes_law_allowing.html

            It is certainly evident that New Jersey’s strict gun control laws, which many describe as making NJ a “no issue” state, were unsuccessful in protecting Dustin Friedland, and did nothing to deter his attackers. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks NJ as having the second strictest gun laws in the country.

            From the March 2013 PoliceOne “Gun Policy & Law Enforcement survey,” which drew more than 15,000 completed responses from verified law enforcement professionals:

            Excerpt:
            These men and women [the more than 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals who completed the survey] — most of whom actually work the street — have a front row seat to see gun violence in America. They put their lives at risk when they do their jobs, actually coming face-to-face with violent encounters involving firearms.

            • A full 86 percent feel that casualties would have been reduced or avoided in recent tragedies like Newtown and Aurora if a legally-armed citizen was present
            • “On a scale of one to five — one being low and five being high — how important do you think legally-armed citizens are to reducing crime rates overall?” Three quarters of you (75 percent) answered either four or five, with more than 50 percent answering five.
            • 91.3% support concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable

            You wouldn’t substitute your beliefs about gun control for the judgment, experience and expertise of all the law enforcement professionals in the survey, would you?

          • hennorama

            OPC – thank you for your response, and the interesting information contained in it.

            To be clear, hunting, target shooting and self-defense are all legitimate uses of firearms, and I don’t dispute this in any way. And I certainly am not trying to “substitute [my] beliefs about gun control for the judgment, experience and expertise of all the law enforcement professionals in the survey…”

            My questions were regarding the specifics of the claim made in the piece in your original post, about a specific firearms-related death, and the man who was killed. As your OP did not use quotation marks, it was unclear that you were simply quoting the entire opinion piece from this blogger. Despite the statistics about NJ concealed carry permits that you quote, there remains absolutely no evidence that “New Jersey denied the other man that same permission [“to carry a firearm for his self defense”], as the author claims.

            (I’m not challenging you to produce any evidence, BTW, just pointing out that there has been none offered specific to “the other man,” which was my main line of inquiry.)

            There is, as Supreme Court Justice Breyer pointed out, a sort of “chicken or the egg question” aspect to firearms laws and crimes involving firearms, and that question remains “not convincingly answer[ed].”

            As to NJ specifically, I think some significant aspect of the law there is presently at issue in the state Supreme Court, and a decision may be handed down soon,. Please correct me if I’m wrong, as I don’t really follow this stuff closely.

            Thanks again for your response, and the information.

  • LostInSight

    Who else noticed the observation about giving money to bankers? If it had been given to the people we all would have had 1000 dollars a month over the period of the recovery. The same principle could have been applied to the housing crisis – what if they had given the money to the home owners instead of the bankers? Home owners could have kept their homes and the banks would have survived.

    These are ideas that would have benefited everyone including the bankers, but it never even came up in the debate. The reflex when these ideas come up is to warn of moral hazard – what happens when people don’t have to work for their money? The problem is that the bankers didn’t work for their money, so the moral hazard applies to them as much as anyone.

    That the money was not used to help people survive but was available to make rich people richer is another in the long list of ways that the economy is rigged to benefit those who already have and is a perfect example of why wealth inequality continues to get worse.

    I hope On Point producers read this, because I was very disappointed at the response of the guests to the caller. While extended unemployment benefits is a response to the immediate problem, it is in no way an adequate response (not On Point) to the point made by the caller. It cut to the bone of the crisis in America today, and the guest treated it like a superficial wound. I hope that On Point takes up this topic – and who the people are who are fighting this deepest of American pathologies.

  • pete18

    The top priority of a progressive : http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/03/mayor-caligula-your-horse-is-on-line-one.html

    Lord, help New York City.

    • HonestDebate1

      If the streets were piled in poo, or kids were being bitten, or there were traffic issues, or even if the new mayor had no reason at all then it would make sense on some level but he says it’s inhumane to the horses. That’s plum crazy. Horses are like people in that they need a purpose (job). Horses find comfort in dominance.

    • StilllHere

      He apparently took a ton of money from hotels and they wanted the carriage rides gone.

      • JGC

        I thought it was the animal rights groups making the demand. I am sure DeBlasio got money from the hotels and tourism groups, but why would they want the carriage rides gone? That doesn’t make sense to me, unless you remember that scene from Seinfeld when Kramer was driving the horse cart around Central Park…

        • hennorama

          JGC — proving yet again that there’s a Seinfeld episode for almost any situation.

  • ErlichRD

    On the bombing(s) in the Russian Federation: My grandparents fled the Russian Empire, with my father’s father one step ahead of the thugs of the Czar’s police, but I’ll still join with those repeating the obvious. “My enemy’s enemy” isn’t necessarily my friend, but is, by definition, a co-belligerant and always a potential ally. If the greatest medfium-term threat of political and social, and from that economic, upheaval in the world is fundamentalist mass movements, and, of those, the most immediate threat is Jihadists willing and eager to commit terrorism, then the Russians are definitely co-belligerants and potentially very important allies. The Chinese as well.

    Eric Hoffer’s 1952 book on THE TRUE BELIEVER — mass movements and fanaticism — is still highly relevant.

  • neilwilson

    Tom:

    Mike in Green Bay Wisconsin called at about 11:25 on the
    podcast and talked about the $85 billion in monthly quantitative easing. If we spent all of that money on people we would be able to help millions of people, etc.

    “It has been pumped in from the top.”

    You switched immediately to long term unemployment benefits.

    You missed the chance to point out that the government is
    NOT spending $85 billion a month. The Federal Reserve is buying $85 billion of assets at market value. The only cost is whether or not they can sell those bonds for the amount they paid.

    The Federal Reserve has no ability to help the long term
    unemployed directly, only Congress can do that and everyone is screaming that the deficit is too big.

    Shouldn’t you have pointed out the FUNDIMENTAL difference
    actions taken by the Federal Reserve and actions taken by Congress?

    I understand you are doing a show live but maybe you should
    study the subject and have a show about what actions the Fed are taking and what is and isn’t possible for the Fed.

    • StilllHere

      Your first point makes no sense, so I didn’t bother reading any further.

      • neilwilson

        Mike in Green Bay said the first paragraph.
        Tom said the second paragraph.
        My comments started at the third paragraph.

  • OnPointComments

    Maybe the tone, and the MSNBC apologies, are a part of the explanation of the ratings. The prime time cable news ratings for 2013 ended up just as they did in 2012…

    FOX NEWS REMAINS RATINGS CHAMP AS 2013 COMES TO CLOSE
    http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/fox-news-remains-ratings-dynamo-as-2013-comes-to-close-1200964903/

    “Fox News Channel maintained its grip on the cable-news network ratings prize in 2013, drawing more viewers than the combined averages of CNN, MSNBC and HLN.

    “According to Nielsen data through Dec. 8…
    Fox News Channel averaged 1.774 million viewers in primetime…followed by
    MSNBC with 645,000 viewers
    CNN with 578,000
    HLN with 403,000

    “According to Nielsen, [The 9 p.m. program, anchored by Megyn Kelly] “Kelly File” lured an average of 2,495,000 viewers in that time period, compared with an average of 454,000 for CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” 914,000 for MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” and 259,000 for HLN’s “Dr. Drew…”
    http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/in-cable-news-wars-megyn-kelly-trumping-9pm-competitors-1200913702/

    • hennorama

      OPC — given its viewership, perhaps Fox News will finally consider itself as part of the mainstream media, as both Bill O’Reilly and Chris Wallace have previously acknowledged:

      Bill O’Reilly, on his show dated 07/25/2011:

      “I guess Fox News is part of the mainstream media now.:

      See:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkjoiCjRTpw

      “TV Guide Magazine: Fox News has been a dominant number one in cable news for a long time now. How does it get away with calling other networks the mainstream media? Isn’t Fox kind of part of the mainstream now?

      “Wallace: Well, in terms of viewership, absolutely. In terms of outlook, not so much. I could point to a lot of cases where I think Fox is out there alone in presenting both sides of the story, and I think sometimes that there is only one side of the story being presented in the mainstream media.”

      See:
      http://www.tvguide.com/news/biz-chris-wallace-1074370.aspx

      • HonestDebate1

        When was it not mainstream media?

  • JONBOSTON

    Just listened to Mitt Romney being interviewed on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. When asked to comment on MSNBC’s mocking of his new black grandson, Romney displayed forgiveness, understanding and goodwill rather than use it as an opportunity to attack the left and the morons on MSNBC. It’s a stark contrast to our clown prince of idiots who never misses an opportunity to divide and demonize anyone or any group that opposes his policies and programs. Sad state of affairs that more than half the voting public bought in to one of the most vile and despicable campaigns ever waged against such a decent tolerant person. Will anyone ever forget the effort to blame Romney for the cancer death of a steelworker’s wife that was alleged by Stephanie Cutler and another Obama campaign spokesperson? I have nothing but scorn for our socialist bloggers on this board who routinely referred to Romney as an “oligarch” or “plutocrat”. It’s too bad they let their ideology and intolerance for other views get in the way of listening to Romney and having an open mind. He may not have been the perfect candidate but this country would be far better off with him as president than with the serial liar and incompetent we’re stuck with for another three years.

    • OnPointComments

      One consistency among liberals is their intellectual dishonesty in criticizing conservative candidates.

      I’ve heard a number of political commentators speculate that Hillary Clinton’s most formidable opponent in the Democrat primaries could be John Kerry. Does anyone think for a moment that if John Kerry is the Democrat party nominee that liberals will denounce him as an oligarch and plutocrat, and criticize him for his wealth, reported by some to be greater than Romney’s wealth?

      For that matter, if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, will liberals question the wealth that the Clintons have amassed over the past decade? Will they question the wealth that their daughter inherited and her $10.5 million dollar condo, as they criticized Mitt Romney’s son?

      The answer to both questions is no.

      • JONBOSTON

        It’s not just liberals who are so overwhelmed by their intolerance and their ideology. The mainstream media , and especially the once respected NYT, is just as guilty. Will there be a scandal if the next Republican president sicced the IRS on Moveon.org , Salon.com , MSNBC or George Soros? Would NPR run an expose on the next president should he or she tap into Angela Merkel’s cell phone? Will NPR or the NYT go after the president should he falsely claim that an an ambassador and three other US personnel died in the Mid East during a video-sparked spontaneous riot? Or if he then jails the filmmaker for a year on a trumped-up parole violation? Would they even ask where he was and what he did during the night of the attack?
        What if the next president decided to enforce some laws but not others? Would the NYT editorial page rail against this president for acting unconstitutionally and arguably doing more damage to the Constitution than did Richard Nixon? Would NPR’s Ari Shapiro hyper ventilate in his reporting like he did against George Bush and his anti-terrorism campaign when he was NPR’s Justice reporter? If our next president says there is a red line, ignores infractions of it, and then says he never said it, will the press go after her as it went after Bush in 2003 when the promised stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction did not turn up in Iraq? Will CNN’s Candy Crowley moderate another presidential debate and interrupt our next president’s re-election debate to incorrectly point out that his challenger is wrong about the facts? If in 2017 our president urges his supporters to “punish our enemies” , what will the media say? Will NBC object if our next president plays 150 rounds of golf in his first 5 years in office? If in 2017 , we begin another 5 years of 7-8% unemployment, will the media call it a “jobless recovery” –as they have not since 2009, but routinely did when Bush ran for reelection with an unemployment rate of about 5%?

        Is there any reason why the national press corps is so completely discredited by so many people?

        • HonestDebate1

          I’m exhausted and you barely scratched the surface.

        • jefe68

          Utter BS.

          • JONBOSTON

            very thoughtful intellectually stimulating commentary. Typical ..

          • jefe68

            You call what you posted intellectual?
            What you posted here is a diatribe.
            My response is my opinion of the level of your discourse.

          • JONBOSTON

            very thoughtful intellectually powerful commentary. typical

          • HonestDebate1

            You know what you should do Jefe? Refute a single point and put him in his place. Good luck.

          • jefe68

            It’s a diatribe filled with right wing memes about the “liberal press”.

            President Obama has not done anything akin to doing what Nixon did, and neither has any other president Republican or Democrat. If you don’t agree the facts of the Watergate coverup. The reason is they all have learned how to be smarter.

            That said Obama has used the power of the White House to great affect in silencing descent. It’s obvious that his administration is aware of all the mistake Nixon made. So was GH Bush’s. People forget, Cheney was in the White House during Watergate. He had inside view of the mess the Nixon administration created.
            What amazes me is how you folks on the right seem to forget how the powers and the abuses you are all complaining about were done by Bush’s administration as well. That the power of the presidency was expanded under his tenure and not once did I hear a peep put people of your ilk.

            What you are seeing here is the result of the Patriot Act particularly Section 215 of the Act which his administration views as giving its intelligence agencies broad discretion to obtain “any tangible thing” it deems relevant to an investigation.
            Then there is the FISA Amendments Act, which allows the Obama administration, and any other one after that to collect as much digital data as they want.

            The problem here is the vagueness of the laws in this regard and that’s on Congress to reform.

            What I see in most of the right wing comments here is a lot of twisting of facts and partisan hand wringing. I’m not a huge fan of Obama and as his second term has started to unfold I’m less and less impressed with him. The funny thing is some of what you folks are complaining about in terms of how his administration abuses the powers of the office are valid.
            The problem is they are buried in so much partisan BS.

          • jefe68

            And while you right wingers are sitting around going on about Obama, these are some of the bills introduced by Republicans last year:

            a bill to allow the states to nullify any federal law (didn’t we settle that in 1865?);

            a bill to require every high school student to read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged(mandatory libertarian indoctrination — oh, the irony…);

            a bill to prohibit lap dancing and jello wrestling (which contained fascinating definitions of the terms “nudity” and “sexual device”);

            a bill establishing a state religion (not Islam, that’s for sure); and

            a bill authorizing restaurants, hotels, hair salons and other businesses to deny service to gay customers.

            I suspect this year will be more of the same.

          • HonestDebate1

            The legislative process? Wow, that’s so last decade. Obama doesn’t need no stinkin’ Legislature.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama makes Nixon look like Shirley Temple.

            Section 215 requests have gone up 1000%. The law states it is only for ongoing investigation but Obama has blown that right off.

            No one died as a result of Watergate. 4 died as a result of incompetence in Benghazi.

          • Ray in VT

            At least it’s going through judicial oversight, unlike Bush’s illegal actions. How many Americans died in Iraq because of Bush’s incompetence? Heads rolled, though, because the people who dropped the balls got medals and promotions. Good ole fashioned buck stops here true conservatives.

          • jefe68

            It’s clear that not matter what one posts (even if it’s highly critical of the Obama administration) the answer will be Benghazi, and then Benghazi once more.

            We are dealing with very small minds, or so it would seem.

          • HonestDebate1

            Benghazi.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, the tragedy that keeps righties foaming. Amazing the conspiracy theories that that one has bred.

          • HonestDebate1

            Your defense of the incompetence, lies and overall debacle is astonishing.

          • Ray in VT

            As is your ability to make mountains out of molehills. 4 to 4486. What were the lies, based upon the standard that you apply to Republicans? Bush’s gift is still giving. I doubt that Benghazi will have any sort of similar effect 10 years out.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — has Fox News found any new smoky, fiery video to run ad nauseam?

          • HonestDebate1

            Bush again? Geesh. I guess if you can’t defend Obama’s disastrous foreign policy then you are left with nothing else.

            Implicit in your comment is the notion it would have been better not to go to Iraq but you don’t know that. Hussein killed gazillions, no biggee right? The consequences of inaction can be dire. How many people have died in Syria because of empty threats and an emboldened enemy? Fallujah is now back under the control of Al Qaida because of our cowardness. How many will die?

          • Ray in VT

            I forgot. Republicans get to lie cheat and steal all day long, and they get a free pass. Gotta keep up that double standard and gloss over whatever terrible things your guy did, because there’s an evil lib in the Oval Office to run down, even if his actions aren’t getting thousands of Americans killed. Why do we need to talk about the guy who got off free for burning the house down when we can stick it to the guy who lit a trash can on fire? No need to talk about the past, especially when it hurts our partisan affiliations.

            I liked sanctions and containment far better than kicking over the can in Iraq and touching off years of sectarian strife. You want to fix Iraq’s mess? Blackwater might be hiring. Feel free to sign up with them and take up arms. The American public certainly doesn’t want more years of involvement in Iraq at the cost of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. Funny how there was plenty of room on the national credit card for that boondogle.

          • HonestDebate1

            You say as you ignore Obama and give him a pass. Bush is not President.

          • Ray in VT

            How am I giving him a pass? By saying that the faux scandals surrounding the tragedy of Benghazi is far less than the real scandals of the selling of the Iraq war and its outcomes? 4 dead to 4486 dead. Only a 1000 times difference, but no biggie, right, because Bush gave up golf. You know, for the troops.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s Bizarre. There were 7500 military deaths during Clinton’s term without a war. Every one is awful. It’s the price of freedom. And now in Iraq Obama is spitting on their graves by handing it back to Al Qaida.

            There is nothing faux about the Benghazi debacle.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, lets add up all of the other military deaths under Bush. We should get up to 10,000 easily, but I was talking about the failure in Benghazi versus the failures in Iraq, but go ahead and bring up Clinton, except that we aren’t supposed to talk about the past, except when you want to lay the blame on a Democrat.

            Didn’t you like to point out that Bush orchestrated the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq? So isn’t his cutting and running causing this? Just easier to blame Obama for what Bush hath wrought.

            Most of what you say about Benghazi is faux, but it’s just the sort of right wing idiocy that you seem to relish.

          • HonestDebate1

            I was showing you how bizarre your position is. Where did I lay blame on a Democrat? You made it up.

            Bush did negotiate the SOFA with the Iraqi’s but Obama took credit. The SOFA left a footprint that Obama is responsible for obliterating. Obama blasted McCain claiming he wanted to keep the war going for 100 years. It was very dishonest.

            Al Qaida is not decimated, they are emboldened by a feckless foreign policy. They are a threat to America and the world is much more dangerous now than when Obama took office. This is what’s happening today, now. In the present. And all you got is Bush bashing.

          • Ray in VT

            My position is not bizarre. I’m comparing two mistakes to show how Bush’s lies killed thousands, but that gets swept under the rug. Must be nice. 4486 dead. No big deal. 4 dead? Let’s impeach the guy. The GOP couldn’t beat Clinton so they wanted to impeach him. Maybe they’ll try the same witch hunt again this time.

            Al Qaeda isn’t the one doing this in Iraq. It must be nice to just conflate the various splinter and affiliated groups with the main group so as to be able to attack the President. The TOP built that. It’s dishonest, but they’ve got nothing else to go on. Who was it that gave Al Qaeda the best recruiting tool available with talk of a “crusade” and invading Muslim countries? That must have been Obama back in 2003ish. I mean, if Obama can get blamed for Katrina, then I guess that that other stuff can get blamed on him too.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — here’s an interesting bit of information for you:

            In calendar years 1993 through 2000, there was 1 (yes, one) U.S. Active Duty Military Death with its Cause listed as Hostile Action.

            Source:
            http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32492.pdf (Table 5, on page 8 of the report/page 11 of the .pdf)

          • Ray in VT

            I looked at this: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/dcas/pages/report_by_year_manner.xhtml. Just a warning, it did give me some sort of security warning, so heads up. I braved it, but you may not want to. There were somewhere between about 900 and 1300 military non combat deaths per year under Bush. I don’t really think that those numbers are relevant to the discussion regarding Iraq, unless one is trying to smear Clinton, unless, of course, one also wants to hang the blame for invading Iraq on Clinton, which some seem to want to.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — you can get the same info from the chart’s source, the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), here (with no security issues):

            http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/Death_Rates.pdf

            One of the most troubling columns in these charts, to me, is the “Self Inflicted” column. What a waste.

          • Ray in VT

            Agreed, and thanks for the link, although it doesn’t go up through 2010 as the other chart does. It is such a terrible thing that so many people take their own lives. It is truly an awful place to be in where it seems that ending one’s own life is the best, or the only, option. It sounds as though ATC is doing a piece on the topic today.

          • HonestDebate1

            How many under Obama now that he has surrenders to make it all for naught?

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that super Bush and the neo cons could have held it all together and turned Iraq into some sort of model democracy. I bet that they have all of the answers for ending centuries old sectarian hatreds. It was real rosy in Iraq from 2003-2008, right?

          • HonestDebate1

            Actually I said nothing of the sort, not even close.

          • Ray in VT

            Then please enlighten us as to what someone other than Obama would have done, given the long standing sectarian divisions in that country and the utter lack of an appetite for our continued occupation of Iraq by both Iraqis and the American public at large.

            Certainly some true conservative could have saved the day, just like how one could have magically rushed forces to Benghazi faster somehow.

          • HonestDebate1

            Just keep your eye on the goal and don’t drop the ball would be my advise.

            Regarding Benghazi, if we must have an ambassador there at all (we didn’t) and he’s begging for more security then give it to him. And if all hell breaks loose then do a little better than, “meh, we don’t have time, it’s probably be over quickly (it wasn’t) let’s not even try”.

            You know, just the bare minimum. The pitiful pittance.

          • Ray in VT

            Like the war on terror? Keep the eye on the people that attacked us and don’t shift the major resources into invading another country?

            The security failures are well documented, and that is where I think that the real scandal is. As usual, your hate on everything that the Obama and his administration does schtick is just tired. Assets were set in motion. The real world just isn’t a movie or a video game.

          • jefe68

            Yeah I guess the mass bombing of Laos and Cambodia don’t count.

          • HonestDebate1

            I does matter what you say and I do not post propaganda. I post my opinions (1st paragraph) and undeniable, unrefuted (by you) facts.

          • StilllHere

            You would do well to ignore him. He offers nothing.

        • StilllHere

          Good stuff. Great questions.

    • JGC

      You are mocking and demonizing groups that approve of Obama’s policies. Try to keep an open mind.

      As for being a decent and tolerant person, ask Romney’s Cranbrook prep school chums about the time he tackled a gay schoolmate to the ground and hacked off his hair with scissors.

      • hennorama

        JGC — depending on circumstances, cutting another person’s hair against their will can be considered to be a hate crime:

        “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

        • HonestDebate1

          I went to a Christian school in the 5th grade during the early 70′s in Miami. One day our teacher was talking disapprovingly about hippies with their long hair. The day before my grandfather was also pointing from the car at hippies and said they looked like little Jesus’ with their long hair so I repeated the line. My teacher reamed me a new one. She said YOU WILL NOT refer to our Lord and savior in such a fashion. But I was just talking about hair, all she knew about the unnamed hippies was their hair. There was no attempt to talk about their hearts. That changed me.

          No point really.

          • JGC

            Did your teacher apply the Board of Education to your Seat of Learning? That is what my 5th grade history teacher used to do to us. He even drilled out holes in his paddle to cut down the wind resistance on his swing.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not that day. I was swatted only once for skipping homeroom in the 9th grade. It was a public school and our principle also had holes in the paddle. I was an angel after that.

        • JONBOSTON

          Give me a break. Are you serious? The Romney story dates back probably 49 years ago when he was a teenager living at a boarding school in which such hijinks were obviously far from rare. And from people I know well that are true blue Dems that have worked for Romney when he was our governor, they have nothing but kind words to say about the man–he is as decent and understanding as anyone you’ll ever meet. They were as outraged as I was by the false and disgusting campaign waged by Obama’s campaign organization against a truly humane individual. Is there any wonder why decent people would think twice before subjecting themselves and their family to a campaign?

          • hennorama

            JONBOSTON — thank you for your response.

            Please note that I neither mentioned nor referred to Mr. Romney. I simply pointed out a current facet of hate crime laws. My apologies, as I obviously did not communicate clearly enough that you would easily understand this, which would have allowed yourself to be given “a break.”

            As to Mr. Romney as a human being, my impression of him concurs with the assessment you ascribe to others, that “he is … decent … understanding … truly humane.” His politics, on the other hand, do not impress me.

            This was the very first thing I wrote about Mr. Romney, two years ago and one day ago, just after the Iowa Republican caucus:

            “Willard Mitt Romney, who won’t use his actual first name for obvious reasons, is an unexciting if competent candidate. Very good as a corporate CEO perhaps, but not viable as the leader of the world’s only superpower. Does anyone REALLY know what he believes?

            “Good luck, Republicans – you’re gonna need it!”

            See:
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/01/04/after-iowa#comment-400514887

            Since then, my criticism of Mr. Romney has been limited to his prose, proposals, policies, and politics.

            Thanks again for you response. Seriously.

          • JGC

            Maybe you meant to reply to me instead of Hennorama. Or maybe not. Anyway, I agree with you that decent people will definitely think twice before subjecting themselves to the misinformation and skulduggery of the political campaign. And decent, ambitious people like Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will forge ahead, in spite of everything, if they have support from their families. And I acknowledge that Romney’s acceptance of the Harris-Perry apology this weekend was decent and notable.

            Still, that hair-cutting Romney story is an old one, although not a well-known one, and it does speak to his character. All the participants in this particular example of Romney hijinks were stunned and (after-the-fact) regretful at the “vicious”ness of the planned attack (Romney’s schoolfriends’ word, not mine). This was not a garden-variety prep school prank. The victim was haunted by it until the (premature) end of his life. All the other participants remember it vividly, decades later, including the victim’s name. One even had the chance to apologize in person to Mr. Lauber years later at a chance crossing-of-the-paths in an airport lounge. But during the presidential campaign, Romney said while he had no recollection of this incident, he did acknowledge “pranks” that he regretted and did apologize for, in a general way. That is the “no apology” apology. And that shows a weakness of character at a more meaningful moment in the spectrum of time, rather than as a silly high school prank from 50 years ago.

          • pete18

            Good lord, what straw grasping.

      • pete18

        Really? You are judging someone about their decency and level of tolerance as an adult by something that happened in High School? Is there anyone here or anywhere else who would come out looking good using that measure?

        • JGC

          Seamus, we’ll never forget you.

          • pete18

            ?????

          • JGC

            Seamus was the Romney family’s Irish Setter, who unfortunately (for both Seamus and the Romneys) was strapped in a crate on the roof of the station wagon before a family vacation. I am positive Ann tried to talk sense into Mitt about his misguided plan, but he approached the problem like a tunnel-visioned engineer would (a problem to be solved: how to get the family dog transported when there is no room left in the car) instead of what liberal dog-lovers would think of this plan (how would I feel if I was strapped to the roof of a car going 60 mph down the highway?)

            Seamus had his revenge. And as usual, Mitt should have listened to Ann.

          • pete18

            I knew the story, just didn’t know the dog’s name was Seamus. A regular Attila the Hun that Mitt Romney.

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay, that was funny… a cheap shot but funny.

            Do you remember Obama’s joke? What’s the difference between a soccer mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious.

            I don’t think Mitt ever ate a pit bull.

          • JGC

            True, true that! But I am willing to cut cross-cultural sympathy to a very young Obama growing up in Indonesia.

            We took a visiting couple to a fine restaurant in Old-Town Montreal. The woman shrieked (and I do mean an embarassing- head-turning-all-around-us shriek) when the waiter translated what “cheval” meant on the menu. I understand her disgust, and I do peer extra-carefully at the ground beef I get at the grocery store, because it is often right next to the packages of ground horse.

            But I am pretty sure dog has not been served at the Obama White House dinner table. But if it has, watch out Bo and Bo-2…

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Bill Black: Leaving Felons in Charge of our Largest Financial Institutions is Now United States Policy

    But otherwise lets trust the establishment…

    http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/2013/04/bill-black-leaving-felons-in-charge-of.html

  • JGC

    From The Canadian Press, in the Globe and Mail yesterday:

    “Ottawa- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz vowed months ago to renounce his Canadian citizenship. It’s now 2014, and the Calgary-born Republican lawmaker is still a dual citizen.

    ‘I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship,’ the Texas senator, who’s eying a run for president in 2016, said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News…

    That’s confounding Canadian immigration lawyers. Renouncing Canadian citizenship, they say, is a simple, quick and straightforward process. ‘Unless there’s a security issue that hasn’t been disclosed, unless there’s a mental health issue that hasn’t been disclosed, there’s no reason for anything other that a lickety-split process to occur,’ Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Richard Kurland said Friday.

    The Cruz affair prompted media wags to refer to the anti-immigration lawmaker as a ‘Canadian anchor baby.’ “

    • hennorama

      JGC — perhaps it’s the second complicating circumstance described that’s most at issue.

      Of course, it may just be that Senator Rafael Edward Cruz wants to be able to “blame Canada” when he fails to secure the Presidency.

      • JGC

        Speaking about “blame Canada”, I took a look tonight at the whole milk labelling in the dairy case at our neighborhood grocer. For all three dairies on offer, they were all labelled “Homogenized Milk”. That other Disqus-comment-delete-worthy designation (hom0 milk) must only be used in English Canada?

        • hennorama

          JGC — thanks for the feedback. As to your question — I first noticed the label during a visit to Toronto, along with the bag o’milk packages.

          Oh, Canada!

    • HonestDebate1

      Don’t y’all want him?

      • JGC

        I am sure he would be warmly welcomed back to Alberta, if he desired to try Canadian politics!

        I just read this explanation about the delay in getting his renunciation of Canadian citizenship:

        “There is one tricky part of the form – Cruz has to provide documentation proving that he’s a citizen of another country other than Canada. According to law professor Steven Lubet, “Only one of Ted’s parents was a citizen when he was born (his father is a Cuban émigré who did not take U.S. citizenship until 2005), and he therefore falls under a special section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies to “Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent.” Under that provision, Cruz only qualifies for American citizenship if his mother was “physically present” in the United States for 10 years prior to his birth, five of which had to be after she reached the age of 14.” That may be the undisclosed problem holding him up. He’d need leases, school records and other documents to prove his mother’s whereabouts for a decade.”

        I have no idea what the time line is for his mother’s residency in the U.S. and Canada, but I guess Cruz needs to show proof of citizenship somewhere else in the world to Canada, so that Canada does not accept the renunciation and unwittingly make him a “stateless” person. In my own case, one of the first things I did after having my own Canadian anchor babies, was to register them as “U.S. Birth Born Abroad” at the U.S. Consulate here in Quebec, and get them their U.S. social security numbers and passports. I didn’t want there to someday be any questions about their right to live and work in the U.S., or to maybe even be your future presidents!

        • HonestDebate1

          That’s interesting but I am not convinced he is going to run. We’ll see.

          I think Obama got a whole lot of mileage by not releasing his birth certificate. That and the relentless effort by the press to paint the opposition as birthers, while only a few crazies actually thought it was an issue, worked to his advantage. He milked it for all it was worth. I suspect Cruz is doing the same. That’s my theory anyway.

          I think it was a good move on your part to make sure your children are Americans… no offense to Canada. Let me know if… when they run for President.

          We are forecast to get down to 0 degrees here in NC tomorrow night, how’s the weather up there?

          • JGC

            Bizarre. Tomorrow it is warming up to 43F with rain, then plunging back down to the single digits. Not fun.

          • HonestDebate1

            Same here, it was in the low 40′s and rainy today. Yesterday morning when we were feeding horses it was 18. It was actually quite nice though. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the wind was not blowing.

          • TFRX

            “Birther apologist” goes on your business card, right next to “white racist colorblind”.

  • JGC

    CGI Group (the main IT concern behind the ACA website construction) shares are down almost 5% for the week. Here is what David Milstead in the Globe and Mail business column “Stars and Dogs” had to say:

    “It’s hard to figure out why CGI Group shares declined when the company is about to take over the computer-filing system for Canada’s securities industry. After all, it may lead to more opportunities for (Canadian) federal work, like processing all the residency applications for Americans fleeing to Canada because they hate the Obamacare website.”

    Milstead also had this to say about Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. (which has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it was funny):

    “Shares of the Hawaii-based land developer have surged 30 per cent since Christmas Eve, but the company won’t comment. Are they running rings around their competitors? Are these shares juiced? If you buy now, do you risk getting crushed? If that happens, will you look back on your investment dolefully?”

  • StilllHere

    What explains the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people?

    • brettearle

      Are you familiar with Samantha Power?

      You likely are.

      She would find your question to be almost unconscionable–based on the `Research of Scholar’ that she has completed.

      What’s more, to try to approach equating the genocidal Holocaust of WWII to the issues of the Fertile Crescent is politically bigoted to an unbelievable degree.

      No one–certainly not me–is suggesting that the Israelis are angels. They are NOT.

      But your comment is right on the edge of ugly bigotry–by suggesting that Israel’s behavior and actions are close to genocide–a state of mass death that almost annihilated the Jewish people.

      It’s time to wash your mind out with soap, sir….

      • StilllHere

        I don’t agree and many Israeli citizens would as well.

  • hennorama

    Liz Cheney dropped out of the Wyoming Senate race today, citing unspecified “serious health issues” in her family. Hope they will all be OK.

    On a side note, The Force reportedly just got a bit stronger.

    • pete18

      But the country got a little weaker.

      • hennorama

        pete18 — TYFYR.

        That depends on what you mean by “weaker.”

        Now that Ms. Cheney is out, it’s likely Sen. Enzi will win easily. Sen. Enzi gets high ratings from many conservative groups. A July 2013 article on nationalreview.com indicated that,

        “Currently, Enzi has a 67 percent rating on the Heritage Action scorecard. “He is right there with the average Senate Republican,” says Heritage Action communications director Dan Holler. (Heritage Action does not endorse candidates.) On the FreedomWorks scorecard, Enzi has a 75 percent score; on the Club for Growth’s 2012 scorecard, Enzi’s rating is 71 percent (his lifetime rating is 86 percent).”

        See:
        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/353725/enzi-conservative-katrina-trinko

        • pete18

          Depends on what you mean by the “Force.”

          • hennorama

            Surely you have heard of Star Wars, pete18.

  • HonestDebate1

    We all know that before the election President Obama was highly invested in the narrative that he decimated Al Qaeda. So much so he felt compelled to blame some silly video for the horrible Benghazi failures. We (most of us) knew from the beginning it was Ansar al-Sharia an al Qaeda affiliate. The Libyan President told us so. Now the State department is splitting hairs by saying it wasn’t “core” Al Qaida. What difference, at this point, does it make?

    “The U.S. is seeking Al Qaeda terrorist linked to Benghazi attack”

    Someone please inform the New York Times:

    http://freebeacon.com/u-s-seeking-al-qaeda-terrorist-linked-to-benghazi-attack/

    Again, we already knew this. What I didn’t realize is President Obama has repeated the decimated meme at least 32 times SINCE Benghazi. That is absolutely shameless. It’s beyond the pale.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-touts-al-qaeda-s-demise-32-times-benghazi-attack-0

    And now Al Qaeda is patrolling the streets of Fallujah without a worry in the world just as Syria is making a mockery of the red lines with no worries.

    http://iswiraq.blogspot.com/2014/01/iraq-update-42-al-qaeda-in-iraq-patrols.html

    Obama inherited an Iraq on the path to Democracy which is nothing short of miraculous. We paid dearly for it and if this continues it will have been all for nothing. Obama has made a much more dangerous world.

    • Ray in VT

      Shameless? Like the constant fear mongering, scandal mongering and conspiracy theorizing that many resort to in every pathetic attempt to slur or slander the President? It’s pretty funny how you ignore the intelligence regarding Benghazi that doesn’t fit your narrative and label a president whom you do not like as a liar while, at the same time, going to any lengths to apologize for the incompetence, half truths and lies of Mr. Obama’s predecessor.

      It seems to me that your narrow view regarding statements about Al Qaeda suffer from the same sort of oversimplification and lack of perspective that led you to agree with the statement that the NAACP was like the Klan with a tan.

      Please tell me how Obama was supposed keep the peace in Iraq without hundreds of billions more dollars and thousands of lives. The Iraqi government is fraught with problems, and no outside power can fix them. Perhaps you’ve found a better way to do nation-building that contradicts our national experience.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s not about me.

        • Ray in VT

          Great response. Thanks for the answers to how the true conservatives would have fixed all this. When one sinks to rank hypocrisy and lies, then it does, to some extent, become about one. Just more of your dishonest debate.

          • HonestDebate1

            And it remains not about me. If you want to refute anything I wrote then I’ll be happy to consider responding.

          • Ray in VT

            Ok. It’s not about you, just your whacked out views, such as what I mentioned regarding equating the rise of Al Qaeda affiliated groups with the core Al Qaeda organization, which it seems to me is pretty clear what the President has talked about being decimated, or the view that things were looking pretty rosy in Iraq until Obama took over. We kept a lid on violence there in part through boots on the ground, which neither side wanted there any more, and forking over stacks of cash to the tribes in Anbar.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

            Time to venture out into the cold. I’ve procrastinated all I can and I’m sure not going to argue about me with you.

          • Ray in VT

            So you feel no need to defend your comments. I will take that as an acknowledgement that your positions are not defensible. Now, if only I can get you to accept what the dictionary says…

          • HonestDebate1

            I absolutely feel no need to defend my words to you because you refuse to debate honestly. Why on earth should I chase down your tangents and distractions. Look at this thread. It is “core” Al Qaeda patrolling the streets of Fallujah. It is a “core” Al Qaeda” terrorist being sought for the role in Benghazi. I gave links and you act as if I didn’t. Or your claim I said things were rosy in Iraq before Obama is a complete andy total delusion. I said no such thing. I implied no such thing. I didn’t even hint at an implication yet you proclaim it so. What is the point of arguing with nonsense like that.

            And the dictionary thing is so bizarre I can’t put it into words. It is you that refuses to accept what the ALL say. All of them cite an intent to deceive and you won’t accept it. And you have never explained the difference between being wrong and a lie no matter how many time you claim you have. And that’s the point Ray, not dictionaries. Obama purposely deceived America and you defend it.

            So no thanks.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, I guess that there’s no need to get into the weeds, where facts or conditions contrary to your positions might be. Just make ridiculous claims, false “quotes”, out of context statements and the like, call it honest debate, although it is far from that, and move on. It far easier for you to do it that way than to have some actual honest debate.

            You say that Iraq was well on it’s way to democracy when Obama took over, say conclude that he has whizzed it away and “given the finger” to our allies there, but you don’t seem to want to address the issue that that supposed calm came after years of horrible violence that we helped to unleash, and it was only American troops, stacks of cash and the people in Anbar hating the foreign militants more than they hated us or the Iraqi Shia, who are in charge of the government and who have not been getting along with the Sunni all along, that created that period of brief calm. If you want to waste more American lives and money in Iraq, then please follow my advice and join Blackwater. Those mercenaries will work for anyone who will pay them.

            Ha! Keep on living that delusion. Valid dictionary definitions, both as a noun and a verb, exist, so your statement is a lie, and you are attempting to deceive me. It must be a terrible thing to not be able to either read or understand the dictionary. There must be at least a community college near you that can help you with that, or at least some remedial tutors.

            Please show me where Obama purposely deceived America, using the definition that you apply to Bush. Bush lied. People died. But Republicans get to not lie. How convenient for them.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are entitled to your opinion and evidently your own facts as well.

      • pete18

        Most of the Obama slurs are well earned, given for things he actually did.

        • Ray in VT

          Feh.

          • pete18

            Fah.

        • StilllHere

          You’re upsetting the sheep.

      • pete18

        Read #3 for a good summation of the self inflicted foreign policy moves: http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/01/05/2013-the-worlds-biggest-losers/

        • Ray in VT

          A lot of criticism. Pretty light on solutions. For instance, yeah, militant groups are causing some havoc in parts of the Islamic world. We work in places to support people, but we piss a lot of people off when we put boots on the ground or drone people, so what’s a guy to do? I don’t hear much in the way of solutions from the right. We tried spending hundreds of billions and thousands of lives to try to spread our foreign policy under the previous administration. Last I checked Americans aren’t into that too much these days.

    • Salvor Hardin

      “So much so he felt compelled to blame some silly video for the horrible Benghazi failures.”

      So this supposedly “silly” video again had nothing to do with it at all. Even though interviews with those that participated in the attacks say that was their motivation. Over 50 people have died in Islamic protests over the video. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and others have been sentenced in absentia to death in Egypt over this silly video.

      The thing is the video deniers are siding with the Islamic apologists who state that only Al Qaeda and their allies are responsible for Islamicly inspired violence. Saying that the video was the motivation for the attack that day in no way lessens whatever responsibility that the Obama administration had for security. In fact it makes things worse for them because they would need to increase security when events happen that have known impact to increase Islamic violence.

      “The Libyan President told us so”

      The Libyan President is hardly an objective source of information. He has every interest in downplaying the Islamic Jihadists and extremists that are in control of many of the Libyan militias. So of course he said immediately afterward that he knew it was a planned Al Qaeda attack. I still have not seen the evidence produced from the video deniers that show that attack was planned for that date and time well ahead of the video.

      “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

      I am certainly glad to hear that you agree with Hilary Clinton on this point :)

      “Obama inherited an Iraq on the path to Democracy which is nothing short
      of miraculous. We paid dearly for it and the region benefitted greatly
      from the Anbar awakening. If this continues it will have been all for
      nothing.”

      This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Any intelligence I have ever heard is that there were always extreme problems in Iraq that were NEVER resolved by us being there. We were able to keep the extremists in check by paying off the tribal leaders and a continued large military presence. So you must be in favor of a never ending war, because believe me it will certainly never end in our lifetimes and that is the only way to at least keep a lid on it.

      I was against George W. Bush’s war in Iraq because it removed the war
      assisted both the Islamic Jihadists and helped the Iranians remove their
      old enemy. It was a disaster that has directly resulted in a large de-Christianization of the middle east as they have to flee to other
      regions to escape persecution.

      And of course you now want the same thing in Syria. You want us to do work for Islamic Jihadists in removing Assad. This is why Christians see that they have to fight on Assad’s side in Syria because he is pretty much all that stands in the way of their destruction.

      I agree with Ray in that this is simply driven by conservative hatred for Obama. If a Republican were President your positions on issues would magically reverse course and most people like yourself would suddenly have different views on everything that is happening today. Because there is really very little that we can do with what is happening in Islamic majority countries. There is no support for constant warfare and the new wave conservatives in particular have felt and feel no obligation to pay for the wars we have already engaged in.

      The New Age Republicans who now control the party don’t really know what they are for or have any answers, all they really know is they are for the opposite of whatever Obama is for or says.

      • HonestDebate1

        The video had nothing to do with the attack in Benghazi.

        The Libyan President was on our side. He denounced terrorism and radical Islam. He was just the kind of person we could work with and we ticked him off. BTW, he turned out to be right too, so there’s that.

        I don’t agree with Hillary on that point. I was making a completely different point.

        Regarding the rest, please don’t tell me what I think. Tell me what I got wrong.

        • Salvor Hardin

          Again, you have not provided any evidence for the video having nothing to do with the attack. I have seen actual evidence on the other side. I have seen nothing from the other side or the from the Libyan President to the contrary.

          As for your comment reflecting Hilary’s same point I just believed it was a rather ironic comment on your part.

          And I believe I went into a rather good bit of detail on what you got wrong which you just simply replied in the negative.

          • HonestDebate1

            Please present evidence it was the video. I’m open. I have not seen it.

            Here is the Libyan President:

            http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/26/14105135-libyan-president-to-nbc-anti-islam-film-had-nothing-to-do-with-us-consulate-attack?lite

            Here’s Petraeus:

            http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/16/politics/benghazi-hearings/

            Here’s a leading Democrat:

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/12/29/benghazi-attack-al-qaeda-republicans/4240117/

            There was no protest:

            http://bigstory.ap.org/article/libyan-witnesses-recount-organized-benghazi-attack

            I was trying to be ironic or more accurately I was mocking her. She was saying it didn’t make a inference if it was a protest over a video or a terrorist attack. That wasn’t my point at all.

            You did not dispute that Iraq was on the path to Democracy. they actually held elections. I never said they had arrived or that it would be easy to maintain. You did not dispute that we paid dearly of it. I didn’t make the claims you did dispute.

          • Salvor Hardin

            All of the links you provided were all assessments and what others thought, not actual evidence that the videos had nothing to do at all with the attack.

            The Libyan President’s response was that the video was available for months before 9/11 so it would have happened at the time it was initially known if that were the reason. But the video wasn’t uploaded in Arabic to YouTube until early September. The protests in Egypt and around the Islamic world didn’t start until 9/11 as well and continued for several days afterward. So this is when the video reaction happened throughout the Muslim world so his reasoning there just doesn’t make sense. 9/11 was when they decided to react to the video.

            I’m sure you discount the New York Times article and research but since they talked to people actually involved with the attack this seems again to be some actual evidence and not just guesses which is all I’ve seen from the other side. They state in the NYT article that it had nothing to do with protesters as that these were attacks by heavily armed militias. But that their primary reason for an attack at that time was because of the video.

            Again, stating that it had “something” to do with the video doesn’t really buy anyone anything so I’m not sure why they other side says that they know for an absolute certainty that the video had absolutely “nothing” to do with the attack because they have not provided the evidence yet that would provide that certainty.

          • Salvor Hardin

            I finally got through your last link to the AP story and it also provides additional evidence that the attackers were directly motivated by the video:

            http://bigstory.ap.org/article/libyan-witnesses-recount-organized-benghazi-attack

            There was no sign of a spontaneous protest against an American-made movie denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. But a lawyer passing by the scene said he saw the militants gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the film. Within an hour or so, the assault began, guns blazing as the militants blasted into the compound.

            One of the consulate’s private Libyan guards said masked militants grabbed him and beat him, one of them calling him “an infidel protecting infidels who insulted the prophet.”

            While it does state that the protests did not escalate into spontaneously into violence, it does show that the motivation for the attackers was indeed the video. This also agrees with the account in the New York Times which stated these were heavily armed attackers but that they used the video as their justification for the attack. And the administration backed off their first incorrect story (or lie if you like) put out by Rice shortly after they were confronted by the facts.

            Unfortunately the Republican Party continues to put out an incorrect account of the video a year and a half later. While I’m sure this is what they believe; this is also a lie. But unfortunately it looks like we will be experiencing this lie for years to come as partisans look to take continue to try to turn Benghazi to an advantage for them.

          • HonestDebate1

            There was no protest. I suppose you can make the case it wasn’t a lie because at the time they believed they were right when they said, with certainty, it was the video. I find that to be incredible. But now we know what happened. It was a pre-planned terrorist attack.

          • Salvor Hardin

            If by pre-planned you mean planned at least earlier in the day then yes it was pre-planned. If by terrorist you mean any of the thousands of native Libyan Jihadist militants then yes it was executed by terrorists. And the Obama administration agrees on these points.

            And again all of the actual evidence says that the video was the motivation for the attack and for the timing of the attack – your own link provided additional evidence. Other reporters corroborated that evidence.

  • pete18
  • pete18

    My Jedi tongue was in it’s cheek.

    • hennorama

      pete18 — as suspected.

      I also suspect you didn’t actually mean that enhancing the likelihood of reelecting a Republican, who in the same article was described as having “… been a consistent, principled, reliable conservative member who has done nothing to deserve a challenge from the right” would mean that “the country got a little weaker.”

      Thanks for your response.

      • pete18

        No, I meant that I think Liz Cheney would have been a great senator. She would have been Hans Solo with a blaster under the table for all the Democratic goons in the Space Bar that is the senate.

        • hennorama

          pete18 – thank you for your clarification.

          As to Ms. Cheney’s merits as a politician, I hope the “serious health issues” in her family are resolved with positive outcomes.

  • pete18

    Based on their track record on Obamacare, who should we be listening to as we go forward?

    The Republicans:

    1) The cost of insurance will go up: “There is
    nothing in the House or Senate bills that will enable Americans to have the kind of cost control that the President is promising. No matter how you look at this, health care costs both for individuals and for the country as a whole are going to increase.” — Senior Fellow for Health Policy Studies at Heritage, Robert Moffit in 2009

    2) People will lose their jobs or be cut back to part-time because of Obamacare:”Additional taxes on employers and new government mandates that dictate
    acceptable insurance will place new and crushing burdens on employers. These are burdens that will ultimately fall squarely on the backs of workers in the form of reduced wages, fewer hours or lost employment. CBO agrees that ‘[e]mployees largely bear the cost of… play-or-pay fees
    in the form of lower wages.’ According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association, an employer mandate of this magnitude will disproportionately impact small businesses, triggering up to 1.6 million lost jobs. Two-thirds of those jobs would be shed by small businesses.”
    — House Majority Leader John Boehner in 2009

    3) More Americans will lose their health insurance because of Obamacare than will be covered by the law:
    “This new regulation appears to ignore the impact it will have in the real world. It’ll drive up costs and reduce the number of people who will have insurance.” — Republican Senator Mike Enzi, 2010

    4) “If you like your doctor, you keep your doctor” was a lie:
    “Remember when the president said, ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor’? Not true. In Texas alone a record number of doctors are leaving the Medicare system because of the cuts in reimbursements forced on them by Obamacare.” — Former governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2010

    5)”If you like your plan, you can keep it” was a lie:
    “The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well.” — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in 2010

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2013/11/26/republicans-got-it-right-about-obamacare-5-predictions-that-turned-out-to-be-true-n1753228/page/full

    President Obama:

    Promise #1: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”[2]

    Promise #2: “[T]hat means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.”[6]

    Promise #3: “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.”[9]

    Promise #4: “[F]or the 85 and 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.”[12]

    Promise #5: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”[15]

    Promise #6: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our
    deficits—either now or in the future.”[18]

    Promise #7: “[W]hatever ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and starting to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government, those
    elements are in this bill.”[21]

    Promise #8: “I will protect Medicare.”[24]

    Promise #9: “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American.”[27]

    Promise #10: “So this law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.”[29]

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/12/10-broken-obamacare-promises

    • HonestDebate1

      Bingo.

  • HonestDebate1

    Ah, the ol’ gratuitous nasty.

ONPOINT
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Sep 1, 2014
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