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February 24, 2011 04:46 PM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“A word to the wise is infuriating.”

–Hunter S. Thompson


34 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

      1. but I’ve seen her on MSNBC a couple of times as a stand in for Chris Cillizza at The Fix.  

        I think Graham and Bradlee would approve.  They lived and breathed the news!  

  1. Yes, sad but true, but Rep Bachmann wants Glenn Beck and his magic chalkboard to “fix the deficit”:

    Bachmann is well known as one of the loopier members of Congress, even when she’s being more serious than I can only presume she was when she made the Beck suggestion regarding the budget deficit: “We need to simply tell people the facts, like Glenn Beck, with that chalkboard, that man can explain anything. I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this.”

    Ye Gods, while I believe people get what they deserve when they elect Teabaggers, but even I feel sorry for her constituents….

  2. Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators

    The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

    The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as “information operations” at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell. When the unit resisted the order, arguing that it violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of propaganda against American citizens, it was subjected to a campaign of retaliation.

    “My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”

    Instead of his fourth star, LtGen Caldwell needs a “slick sleeve” and nice cell at the Disciplinary Barrracks. And LTC Michael Holmes deserves a merit promotion to One-star for sticking to the regulations and his ethical standards!

    1. and I thought the Clooney/Bridges/McGregor movie was all just for fun.  Psy-ops works best on the gullible, the easily led, and the ignorant … all traits shared by a majority of our elected officials.

        1. PSYOPS in Vietnam was in it’s infancy, and was mainly based on what the Soviets and Chinese had already done. During GW1, it was a one of the most important weapons we used to get the line troops of the Iraqi Army to surrender in masses.

          Now, it’s a mixture of the old methods plus all the modern tools of post-production and advertising. So even the simple-minded such as Congresspeople are helpless before this evil…

          1. Obviously you’re more informed about the technical aspects of how it’s done. But the objective is the same, to manipulate and control.

            So even the simple-minded such as Congresspeople are helpless before this evil…

            Money usually works with this group.

    1. When we were kids in the 60s we thought we’d have permanent bases on the moon and Mars by now. And how about those hover craft instead of cars?  And robot maids?

          1. Launches and landings both.

            They might not fly today, by the way.  Problem with a computer down range.

            I worked a Russian cosmonaut by Ham radio one night when he was just fooling around in down time on the ISS.  Most prized card I have of the 1000 plus radio contacts I have made.

            And I still go out and watch the space station pass over, especially when the shuttle is docked to it.  It’s spectacular.  I’ll post some pass times this week if there are any favorable passes.

            I’m a space geek, I guess.  A good friend of mine who lives in Florida is a space geek too.  Last time he came here for a visit, he couldn’t wait to show me a picture of him standing with Neil Armstrong.  The people who fly are all heroes to me.  I wish it was the same with the rest of the nation.

            By the way, back in the fall, a Catholic school here had a scheduled Ham radio contact with the Space Station.  I was there shooting video.

            YouTube is here:


            Last time I was in Tampa visiting the grandkids, there happened to be a twilight Shuttle launch.  Even though the Cape is all the way across the state, you could see it just fine (although you couldn’t hear it):

              1. Especially if you look at a map of Florida and see where Tampa is located in relation to the Cape.

                I got to watch the solid rocket boosters separate, and watch the shuttle head for orbit on its own engines.

                Sorry for gushing, I am and always will be a space geek.

  3. “Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes, Urged Employee to Lie, Records Show” — New York Times

    It was an incendiary allegation – and a mystery of great intrigue in the media world: After the publishing powerhouse Judith Regan was fired by HarperCollins in 2006, she claimed that a senior executive at its parent company, News Corporation, had encouraged her to lie two years earlier to federal investigators who were vetting Bernard B. Kerik for the job of homeland security secretary.

    Ms. Regan had once been involved in an affair with Mr. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner whose mentor and supporter, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, was in the nascent stages of a presidential campaign. The News Corporation executive, whom she did not name, wanted to protect Mr. Giuliani and conceal the affair, she said.

    Now, court documents filed in a lawsuit make clear whom Ms. Regan was accusing of urging her to lie: Roger E. Ailes, the powerful chairman of Fox News and a longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani. What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discussed her relationship with Mr. Kerik.

    1. …in news reports:

      Appellate Court Rules Media Can Legally Lie.

      By Mike Gaddy. Published Feb. 28, 2003

      On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

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