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June 04, 2010 03:39 PM UTC

Open Line Friday!

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The saw got stuck. The saw that they’re cutting through the riser down there on the rig, Obama’s Bay of Rigs, the saw is stuck. What do you do about this? Well, if you’re Eric Holder and Obama, you probably announce an investigation into the saw manufacturer with the intent of fining them and maybe putting them in jail. That’s the Obama School of Problem Solving.”

–Rush Limbaugh, Wednesday


54 thoughts on “Open Line Friday!

  1. ….you just hire expensive lawyers and go into rehab for thirty days, despite having said that drug users should be executed.

    That’s the Limbaugh School of Integrity.

  2. Illinois Senate candidate apologizes for misstatements on military service

    Republican hopeful Mark Kirk admits to inaccuracies, but declines to characterize them as intentional embellishments.

    “Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk of Illinois apologized Thursday for making inaccurate statements about his 21-year record as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer and acknowledged more discrepancies between his service and the political rhetoric describing his actions.

    “Appearing before the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, Kirk would not directly answer questions about whether the misstatements amounted to an effort to embellish his military history as he takes on Democrat Alexi Giannoulias for the seat formerly held by President Obama.

    “Kirk, a five-term congressman, acknowledged that his campaign’s promotion of him coming under fire while aboard an intelligence reconnaissance plane in Iraq may not be correct because there is no record of his aircraft being fired upon.”

    “C-SPAN video shows Kirk on the House floor indicating that he was fired upon.

    “The last time I was in Iraq, I was in uniform flying at 20,000 feet, and the Iraqi air defense network was shooting at us,” Kirk said in the undated video, which was posted online by the Giannoulias campaign.”

    OK, now it’s getting out of hand. Blumenthal was a dumbass for saying he served in Iraq, but it pales in comparison to this BX Commando claiming he’s the real-life source of “Flight of the Intruder.”

    1. It’s one of the original powers granted to the Federal Gov’t, and predates the Bill of Rights.

      What kind of anti-American anarchist are you?

      1. Oh wait, isn’t that want AZ has been asking for for years …. someone to count the Illegal Aliens as they came across the boarder.

      1. In my entire working life (and that’s been a long while), I’ve never spent six months looking for a job.  I just passed the six-month mark in that process – laid off from two jobs last year, the second one at the end of November.  It’s truly bad out there – few jobs, huge numbers of people applying for every job.  I have to say, too, that the number of positions available to apply for has not improved in those six months, might actually be a little worse.  I’ve done some Census work, and wish I had started doing that earlier in the year (I had no idea it would be such a struggle finding something more permanent).  

        1. When I faced a similar situation, I was lucky enough to be 63 1/2.  I had some severance pay and was able to draw my pension.  Then, I took social Security 22 months early.  Meanwhile, I qualified for a paralegal at CCD.  Now, at 65, I’m getting by on SS and my penswion, and able to pick up a little extra as a paralegal. l Originally, I thought I’d work untiul at least 67 or maybe as late as 72.  But after 36 years as a stoker on the Titanic, I discovered it was time to go.  I guess if I had to run into a crap economy, I was lucky to do so at a stage of life where I could basically take a slightly early retirement.  

          1. I was hoping to work to age 70, then I got laid off in 2005.  Now down here taking care of the old folks, after Dad died and we lost his SS income, I filed my claim in February.  Cut off my future, such as it were, for the present need. Turned 64 last month.

            I know of at least three other peers that have opted for the early SS after losing jobs and not being able to find work after lengthy periods of time.  

            It would be interesting to know if the SS system is being impacted by this phenomena.  

            1. the reduction of benefits offsets the extended time they will be paid, making it a cost-neutral item for SS.  That was the finding of the budget office when Congress authorized the early retirements.   In practice, we’ll see.  A major increase in life expectancy would screw that up — as it would, indeed, for the whole system.  We’ll see in time if the anti-smoking movement clobbers SS.  

                1. I know you were kidding.  But on the serious side, I advocate taking sensible measures to ensure the solvency of Social Security in the event that life expectancies improve.  For both SS and Medicare, the most “cost-effective” thing we can do is to die immediately after paying into the system and before drawing benefits.  

                  personally, I favor raising age for full retirement to at least 67, raising the earnings limit at least $10,000 above regularly scheduled increases (over a five year period) and support for universal 401ks with a government match, as Clinton proposed.

                  1. It’s 66 for me, born 1946.  Of course, those ages are just a concept of “full benefits”, it’s all a sliding scale from age 62 on, month by month.  

                    It’s been said by many that merely by eliminating the earnings cap, currently about $100K, will keep SS solvent forever.  Or, until we start living forever, I guess.  

                    1. the greenspan commission originally proposed upping it gradually to 68.  Congress settled for 67.  I should have said I’d continue a gradual raise to 68, with periodic monitoring as life expectancies change.

                       Of course, if we ask people to work longer, we need to begin cracking down on some of the age discrimination in the work force, which I believe you were a victim of.



    Emerging from the half-hour session, Brewer said Obama had assured her that the majority of the 1,200 National Guard troops he is sending to the U.S.-Mexico border would be going to her state.

    Brewer said she and Obama, at odds over how to control illegal immigration, also agreed to try to work together on solutions. She said White House staff would visit Arizona in a couple of weeks to continue the “very cordial discussion” she had with the president.

    “I believe the people of Arizona, the people of America, want our border secured,” Brewer said.

    1. The only secure borders in the world are those which are militarized.  The Iron Curtain was a secure border….it was mined and manned by soldiers with shoot to kill orders…which they did.  The 38th parallel between north and south korea is secure and has been coming up on 57 years…..totally mined with anti-personnel bombs.

      One way to secure our 2000 mile border with Mexico is to convince Mexico to erect an “Iron Curtain”..mine their side of the border and man it with federales with orders to shot anyone who tries to escape Mexico.  

      Or,  the US could do the same thing on our side of the border.  

      Nope, I have no answers.

      Chances of that happening?  Let’s run a poll.

      Absent police action on the border, how the hell is it going to be secured?   A fence?   It ran into property right questions and logistically problems…plus…the fence in San Diego just forced the illegal crossings to Arizona.  

      Beside a land border, we also have the whole gulf coast…open to illegal landings….perhaps the oil spill will knock out any illegal landings because the oil will in effect close all the gulf coast beaches…. so there is a plus.

      So how do we secure the border?  Don’t tell me electronic surveillance…because when someone is caught illegal, then what?  “Catch and release?”  That is what we are doing now.  Or, shoot illegals?

      Let us talk real life.

      1. Put employers of illegals in jail.  They know damned good and well, for the most part, who is providing fraudulent documents.  See: Swift & Co.

        Put repeat border crossers in jail.  The word will spread. I know this will cost money, but like the present policies don’t?

        “Catch and release” is absurd on every principle except pretending you are doing something…..and letting enough illegals in to stoke the fires of The Cheap Labor Republicans.  

        1. Why is it that white collar crime typically only results in fines? With fines, it’s really just a math problem of risk/reward. As soon as we starting throwing offenders in jail, the equation isn’t so simple. I don’t think it would take very many, either, before word got out. Maybe make it a 3-strikes sort of policy.

          Jail time would also spur comprehensive immigration reform – people could no longer pretend that those guys remodeling their basement were documented workers. And once the Chamber of Commerce came around, so would the Republican Party.  

        2. ..right now in our failed War on Drugs, various peace officers can confiscate large sums of cash, without anything more than reasonable suspicion.

          Why not do it for businesses using illegal labor? I’m sure the Repubs heads would explode pondering the dichotomy of this.

            1. You, like most righties have no clue what the various “isms” are.  Obviously.

              Every government has to have methods to punish those who break laws.  Fines, jail time, asset forfeiture, all are used.

              No repercussion to law breaking, everyone breaks the laws.  

              I guess that’s over your (pin) head.  

            2. Government confiscation of criminal assets sure as hell isn’t communism.  Not even close.  And yeah, if the employers had more on the line than just cash when hiring illegals, it would be a new ballgame.

          1. Traffic goes both ways on that border. Mexico is a haven for criminals, who run from US law enforcement.  Securing the border means that the only crossings are legitimate, and the US controls who comes in and goes out.

            So, the one solution I read had to do with jailing people crossing the border illegally, which is basically the Arizona law.  My question is how much would it cost to confine hundreds of thousands of people and for how long?  What kind of armed force would be necessary to successfully arrest those hundreds of thousands?  Would they all get civil trials?  Miranda rights?  If not, why not? Would you put pink jail tents in the desert?  How long would they be confined?

            I think we need to secure the borders.  I just don’t know how it can be done without militarization, which would prevent people from crossing in the first place, because they could be shot and killed, or blown up by mines.

  4. from HuffPo

    By contrast, hiring by private employers, the backbone of the economy, slowed sharply. They added just 41,000 jobs, down from 218,000 in April and the fewest since January.

    And so the Senate

    Late on Thursday evening, Democrats were arguing on the House floor over the size of a jobs bill that was two days overdue for a vote when word started to filter through the chamber that the Senate had adjourned and was leaving for the Memorial Day break. With no Senate, there could be no bill.

    And how’s that financial reform coming that will insure we don’t go into another recession. According to Moodys

    The financial reform bill championed by the Obama administration and Senate Democrats as permanently ending the idea that large, interconnected financial institutions are too big to fail does no such thing, analysts at Moody’s Investors Service cautioned today in a new report.

    Some, like Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund who now teaches at the MIT Sloan School of Management and contributes to the Huffington Post, have said that the mere complexity, size and international reach of financial behemoths like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase makes it impossible for the government to safely resolve these firms.

    But not to worry, our 100 Senators and their staff all have safe, secure jobs – so everything is good.

    1. Very nice.  That’s what happens when you borrow money to hire government workers, create policies that will resort in more and higher taxes to employers, and create a climate in which making money is viewed as a bad thing.

      ‘I’m the only thing between you and the pitchforks”.

      I’m predicting we’re back over 10% by November.

      1. But you might be right. If we’re back at 10% unemployment in November we Dems deserve to get our asses kicked in the election. (Note: At the federal level – at the state level Dems & Repubs have both done a really good job.)

    1. Captive customers if you want data services, yup, there’s the Apple model.  No choice. Notoriously bad CS.

      Sprint and Verizon have nice 3G/4?G packages, provided you need them vs. the prices they charge.  Verizon’s CS is notoriously “FU” and is the priciest voice service, generally.

      That leaves T-Mobile of the Big Four.  I’ve been with them for about 8 years.  Yes, there have been some moments of extreme anger – finding out that two minute data connection in Mexico cost me $80 – but overall, as good as it seems to get. Unlimited EDGE (barely) 3G is good enough for me, a whopping $10/mo over the $50 for unlimited voice that I have.

      T-Mobile has also broken out the phone subsidy pricing from BYOP, about time. No phone subsidy, cheaper service.  And you can buy the phones on time, too. What I would say is that TM has its thumb on the pulse of the marketplace and has responded accordingly.

      BTW, my brother has been with MetroPCS for several years and LOVES them.  It’s prepaid service, unlimited EVERYTHING for $65.  Selected areas only.  

      1. the internet is a wonderful place – I can unlock my 1st Gen iPhone in under 10 minutes with each update, and I pay T-Mobile’s perfectly reasonable prices.

        And my calls don’t get dropped randomly – Deutsche Telekom Uber Alles!

        1. Only TM uses both 1700 and 2100 mhz bands for high speed data, and the iPhone is locked into 1700, IIRC.  You might be getting yours via EDGE, sort of 2.8G, 150kb/sec max, typically.

  5. …I find the Politicians who (repeatedly) lie about their military record annoying and sometimes amusing. THIS just pisses me off!

    Back from Iraq, Frisco soldier finds home sold by HOA

    “A soldier returned home from combat to find his Frisco home, which was owned free and clear, sold off by his homeowners’ association.

    “While there is a law to protect service members from financial disaster while they’re off fighting a war, it is frequently broken.

    On dangerous missions in Iraq, Capt. Michael Clauer of Frisco was responsible for the lives of 130 soldiers. He had a lot on his mind.

    “You can’t worry about what’s going on at home,” he said. “It’s enough stress there the way it is.”

    His wife, Mae Clauer, was under stress, too. She was alone and taking care of her family in a $300,000 home her parents had given her as a gift.

    “When Michael went to Iraq, I went into a very bad depression,” she said.

    “The mail piled up unopened and Mrs. Clauer missed $800 in payments to her HOA. Then she missed the letters saying the association planned to foreclose.

    “I ignored a lot of our bills,” she said.

    “Even after the HOA foreclosed and sold the home at auction, Mrs. Clauer didn’t open the letters that said she had six months to get the home back, and that time lapsed, too.

    “By the time Capt. Clauer returned from the war, someone else owned their home after paying just $3,500.”

    The The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)is almost always ignored in this country – a freakin’ FEDERAL law.

    “You’re a Hero to your Country, sir. But you didn’t pay your HOA dues, so FUCK YOU.”

    1. I knew that HOAs could behave poorly from time to time, but this is quite possibly the lowest thing I’ve ever seen one do.

      That story is a travesty.

      1. If, under the SCRA, the lawyer who presented to the judge and failed to mention the military nature of the household is found to have not followed the law, the family should be able to get their home back as a falsely sold property to which the HOA never had rights.

        And the SCRA violation is the only thing that can help the homeowner; in Texas, HOA’s have the power to do this despicable act.

    2. that I don’t like HOA’s, would never own a home that has an HOA attached.  This reinforces that tenfold.  This is TOTAL BULLSHIT!  Whoever runs this HOA needs to be introduced to some tar, feathers, and a rail.

    3. But come on, people.  How was the HOA to know that he was in the service?  From what the story said, the HOA sent letter after letter to the home, and they never heard from the homeowner.  One response to one letter, and then either this disaster could have been averted, or the HOA would have broken federal law and they should rightly be reviled.

      Off the specific topic: I’m a Board member for my HOA, and we are having money problems because of homeowners in default.  We haven’t foreclosed on anyone and won’t, but if we don’t collect the dues, then we can’t continue picking up trash, operating the swimming pool, irrigating the common areas, maintaining the tennis courts, etc.  Should the nondefaulting homeowners have to suffer these consequences because of owners who default on their payments?

      1. The HOA lawyer swore an oath before a judge that no-one in the household was in the service.  That is a no-no.

        And IMHO if you’ve got collection problems, you do things the same way everyone else does and go through collection proceedings, etc.  An HOA should not have a presumptive lien on a house – especially one that’s in the clear – just in case someone skips their dues.  And assuming it did come down to selling the house, they shouldn’t be able to sell a $300,000 home for $3,500.

        There is so much wrong with this case…

        Finally, the HOA is a service just like anything else.  If it can’t afford to maintain some things – like a pool, tennis courts, etc. – then it should tell the homeowners it’s time to cut back or adjust the rates.  At a time when parks are closed, street lights are out, and (in some notable locations) health inspections are stopped, cutting back on the tennis court or the pool might be necessary.

    1. as I am with Buck in that second link of yours H-man.  Buck looks like he belongs there and Jane just looks totally in over her head.  Nevermind I and probably most here disagree with him – his answer is clear.  

      She dosen’t know what to think about fucking anything until she checks with someone who knows.

      1. He’s clear and consistent. I also usually disagree with him, but I know where he stands. And he’s both thoughtful and intellectual curious – two more things I value highly in elected reps.

      2. How candidates look to party leaders on paper, versus how they actually end up looking and sounding in practice.

        On paper, Jane Norton looked like a stronger candidate to the Republican establishment. Above all, she was known to them. Buck, however much the stronger candidate in practice (and arguably on paper) was shunned by the powers that be.

  6. Erin Toll’s high-profile career has seemingly come to a strange, sad end.  Now she’s simply joining the industry she regulated until recently.  I wonder if she is still pursuing the legal actions against DORA that she commenced?

    Suspended real estate regulator Erin Toll has resigned from her position as director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate.

    Toll’s resignation became effective Monday, according to a statement issued today by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which oversees the Division of Real Estate.

    According to the statement, Toll will enter the private sector as a real estate broker. Earlier this week, a profile temporarily posted on a real estate marketing website indicated that she would work for Denver real estate firm Perry & Co.

    . . . .

    Toll has been on paid administrative leave since March, shortly after she announced that state Sen. Ted Harvey and the mortgage brokerage he works for were under investigation for allegedly breaking advertising rules.

    The announcement came the day Harvey and another senator grilled Toll in a Senate committee about proposed changes to real estate regulations.

    Toll’s superiors repeatedly said Harvey was never under investigation, and records obtained by The Denver Post show the investigation into his employer was not opened until the day after Toll made the announcement.

    . . .

    1. Toll filed a personnel board appeal. Time passed. Toll resigned. DORA Executive Director announced the resignation and wrote a nice release praising Toll. Next, appeal will be dismissed and a check will be written. Case settled; problem solved.

      1. According to today’s Post, the parties reached a “settlement,” and (I presume) all actions were dropped.  Who knows what the settlement involved; I doubt the state is authorized to pay Toll any money for her dropping her claims.  (From which budget would the money come?)  But I may be wrong about that.  Perhaps the State simply agreed to expunge from Toll’s personnel file the recent adverse actions and allegations against her.  A spectacularly fast downfall, in my view.  

        1. The money could have come out of a personal services line (payment of an amount of salary in lieu of her returning to work), or risk management could have paid to settle the whistleblower claim, or a combination of both.  It’s interesting that she caved in (and pretty quickly), and it’s interesting that she is now a licensee.  That could be fun to watch!

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