Wednesday Open Thread

“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.”

–Jane Heard (sometimes attributed to Alexander Hamilton)

59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      Only, most actual Libertarians at least believe that there should be some sort of community patrolling with guns.

      • ellbee says:

        Can you show me what evidence you’re using to come up with a statement like that?

        • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

          I’m being a little tongue in cheek here–I may think most Libertarians are more than a little nutty, but I love them. Don’t agree with them on anything but civil liberties, but I have a soft spot for idealists. I went to the LNC in 2008 and spoke personally with their presidential hopefuls. The only one I didn’t like was Bob Barr. I’ve spend a lot of time with the locals, too.

          But yes, at the LNC, there were multiple conversations about whether or not there should be any publicly funded law enforcement, and most came down on the side of no police, only armed community patrols. I’d be surprised if their opinions have changed much.

  1. allyncooper says:

    Yesterday I read an article about how people are fed up with both the Democrats and Republicans and would gladly vote for a credible third party presidential candiddate (if there was one).

    Obama characterized the budget default negotiations as a “three ring circus”, and I get the feeling the public increasingly sees our “leaders” as nothing more than clowns, buffoons and self absorbed narcissists, the latest side show being the resignation of David Wu in yet another congressional sex scandal.

    Do others here feel the apparent disgust and  antipathy to all politicians, Dems and Repubs alike, and how do you think this will manifest itself in the coming elections?.  

    • DavidThi808 says:

      There’s individuals I respect (Polis & Perlmutter for example). But the Democratic party as a whole hasn’t done squat over the last 18 months to address any of our large problems.

      I do respect a lot of our legislators at the state level – both Democratic and Republican (more Democratic of course). They’re not perfect and most have run away from addressing the biggest problem in the state (TABOR). But they have worked to find compromise solutions.

      The right third party candidate is someone I would consider. But it’s going to take more than electing some new people – the system in Washington is presently designed to force gridlock. That system needs to be changed.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Work has gotten so busy that I sometimes do a quick hit in the morning, and then I’m not back on till late in the evening. So I see all the posts of the day at once.

    And for many diaries the majority of the comments are either one of Libertad’s 4 standard comments followed by 40 back and forth responses. Or it’s you-know-who who engages in loooooong comment wars where he always gets the last word and his response to any comment is an even longer comment using even more big words. (And long sentences using many big words proves any point.)

    So when I read in the evening, as soon as I see a post by either, I skip the entire thread. Makes for fast reading.

    • Aristotle says:

      Folks, there’s a very good way to avoid the back and forth, and that’s not to participate.

      Think someone has to have the last word? Let them have it. Unless that person happens to be YOU. You think the other guy’s comments are irritating? I find all the reactions to be many times worse.

      Don’t go around trumpeting your lack of participation, either. That’s a passive aggressive way of still participating, and in that regard, it’s even worse. A pissing match with the other guy is honest, if nothing else.

      If you just GOTTA get something off your chest, do what I do. Write your reply, say everything you want to say – and then CANCEL the comment. You’d be surprised to find that it’s as satisfying as posting it a lot of times.

      Or, ignore me and have fun at the flame wars. It’s all the same to me.

      Love, Ari

    • Libertad says:

      1. Daily Rassy poll: Obama -19 approval.

      2. Obama failed leadership: name one of the hundreds of programs he started, cost of diverted private capital and failed outcomes based on factual KPIs

      3. Welcome to Denver, where we graduate 43.5% of our high schoolers!

      4. Obamaemployment: name the jurisdiction, the unemployment rate and tie-in failed Democrat policies that drive the unemployment …. 17% functional unemployment

      Did I get them right?

  3. ellbee says:

    The other shoe might be dropping.

    At a lengthy hearing on ATF’s controversial gunwalking operation today, a key ATF manager told Congress he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010. The communications were between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, and White House National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. Newell said the two are longtime friends. The content of what Newell shared with O’Reilly is unclear and wasn’t fully explored at the hearing.

    It’s the first time anyone has publicly stated that a White House official had any familiarity with ATF’s operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to gain intelligence. It’s unknown as to whether O’Reilly shared information with anybody else at the White House.

    Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O’Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: “you didn’t get this from me.”

    “What does that mean,” one member of Congress asked Newell, ” ‘you didn’t get this from me?’ ”

    “Obviously he was a friend of mine,” Newell replied, “and I shouldn’t have been sending that to him.”

    • Libertad says:

      Sounds like we’ll be having to cough up for a fucking expensive special prosecutor; then again the Administration could comply with the prosecutors requests and keep it a low cost affair …. after all Obama is all about transparency, right?

  4. Middle of the Road says:

    at Peter King’s hearings on Somali Islamic radicalization efforts taking place in…Minnesota.

    I feel certain that Rep Keith Ellison was denied his request to testify because he has nothing to add to the conversation about his home state and what has been taking place there in the largest Somalian community in the United States.

    I feel certain that denying him the right to testify had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he is a practicing Muslim.  

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I mean, they’re OBVIOUSLY helping law enforcement and international investigations by denying Rep. Ellison the opportunity to testify. He might say something sensible, and that just wouldn’t do at all. We’re busy hunting wabbits! None of your firsthand knowledge and local experience wanted!

      • Middle of the Road says:

        That would be both a cute and clever comment if the reality weren’t quite so serious.

        Because the reality is that a small, radical Muslim faction within the Somali community in St. Paul has been recruiting young Somalis for training for al-Shabaab.

        That happens to be a fact.

        Bringing King into anything of this nature just muddies the real issue, unfortunately because not only is he lacking credibility but his motives are less than altruistic. I think, after rereading Elbee’s comments to you, that was the point Elbee was trying to make with you since you seemed somewhat uninformed about the situation.

        The House Homeland Security Committee and its chair, Peter King of New York, heard testimony Wednesday from four witnesses – two from Minnesota – on the issue of al-Shabaab recruitment in the United States. Al-Shabaab is a terrorist organization operating extensively in Somalia. It recruited more than 20 Somali men from Minneapolis to train with them between 2007 and 2009, and one of those men, Shirwa Ahmed, became a suicide bomber who died in Somalia in late 2008.

        60 Minutes had an excellent segment on this as well in May 2010.

        Watch CBS News Videos Online

        • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

          …symptomatic of a societal delusion that we can cure evil by simply watching it closely enough.

          Some human beings are always going to be evil. At a certain point, we have to accept that we’ve reached a level of imposition on the majority, a majority consisting of good and neutral people, that is simply unacceptable in a just society. Even if we might get the rate of evil-doing down by another fraction of a percent by violating everyone’s privacy and civil rights just a little bit more.

          If Peter King wants to hold hearings that make America safer, he should be investigating which counter-terrorism measures have and have not had a significant effect on American safety. The ones that have not should be evaluated for their affordability and compatibility with civil liberties. Those that are ineffectual, costly, and antithetical to a free society should be eliminated.

          He should not, under any circumstances, get in the way of legitimate homeland security operations by holding a dog and pony show where he trots out law-abiding American citizens for harassment, and refuses to accept the testimony of people with legitimate knowledge on his topic of choice.

          If the FBI and CIA consider this recruitment a problem–and it appears they do–they’ll investigate it. It appears they are doing just that. Nothing that Peter King is doing will in any way help them, unless you consider improving al-Shabaab’s recruitment strategy “help,” in that the more people they recruit the more opportunities counter-terrorism operations have to catch them in the act.

          • Middle of the Road says:

            Then perhaps we could have a real conversation about this in our country and find positive ways to counteract the allure of joining organizations like al-Shabbab.  

            • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

              The FBI is doing this already. I recently read a fantastic article on their alterations to arrest methods in the case of arresting imams. They have extensively studied how imams affect their communities and the disruptive impact of an imam’s arrest on his congregation. Using this research, they developed new arrest protocols that include everything from the small details, like removing shoes before entering a masjid, to major strategic updates, including the decision to reach out to community leaders immediately before and following such an arrest and explain their reasoning.

              Two recent arrests of imams in Florida went off without a hitch and, more importantly, did not sow discord in the imams’ communities, because other leaders immediately stepped up to the plate and explained that the FBI had been respectful and forthcoming in connection with their investigation and arrests. Community members accepted that reasonable cause was established and that the imams were targeted for breaking the law, not for their faith or position in their communities.

              I have rarely found myself in the position of complimenting the FBI’s commitment to cultural integration, but in this area they are far ahead of elected leaders. Congress should really just butt out at this point. They’re being left in the dust by the people who have a genuine incentive to do this right and do it without disrupting Muslim communities. Nobody in the FBI is putting out a constituent newsletter about what they’ve “done about the Muslim problem.”

          • Ralphie says:

            Because it makes about as much sense as if he did.

            Help me out here.  Cut to the chase.  I’m stupid.  What the fuck are you trying to say?

      • Ralphie says:

        Are you saying that MOTR controls what Elbee posts?

        Please try to be more clear with your stupid accusations questions.

        • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

          Have a Kong toy. I filled it with peanut butter for ya. It’s chewier than I am.

          • Ralphie says:

            I asked you a question.

            You declined to answer it.

            That says a lot about you.

            • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

              You’re really not the first jerk to ever try to make me feel badly about myself for not indulging him. As always, love ya anyway. But I guarantee you I won’t miss a wink of sleep over what you think a few lines of text on a blog say about me. Your “thing” is being an asshole. My “thing” is not always taking the bait. Mmkay?

  5. VanDammer says:

    how fucked are we by allowing debt ceiling argument to get to this level?  What happens when Moodys and S&P downgrade US credit?  

    $100 Billion: The Cost to Taxpayers of a U.S. Debt Downgrade

    So reports are finally putting $-figures on the lunacy.  According to a JP Morgan Chase expert, even if the U.S. does not default, a downgrade alone “will offset any beneficial impact from any deficit reduction that will have to happen for the debt ceiling to be increased.” (emphasis mine)

    This isn’t even the complete cost of a downgrade because it doesn’t factor in investor losses, poor T-bill sales, foreign markets dry up, … and more.

    AAA downgrade makes debt more expensive.  For fuxsake, our country is no better than some trailerpark hillbilly with a Rent-A-Center flat screen.  Miss one payment and your payments then double.  Ain’t nobody reading the fine print on the US debt statements?

    It will take years for US to restore it’s 100-yr old AAA rating.  In the meantime we’ll pay increasingly more $$s just to service the interest on the debt.

    And where the fuck are those $$s gonna come from?  Seriously doubt it’s only gonna happen from GOPs slice & dice of gov’t services.  

    GOP & TeaBaggers are too idiotic & myopic to realize revenues MUST be raised.  Only revenues will pay down the debt.

    Anyone read Albert Brooks’ 2030 yet?  Same Albert Brooks from “Broadcast News” and “Defending Your Life.”  In 2030, he posits an interesting future for America.  One thing he deals with is just what happens when US grovels to China for debt relief & monetary aid but China doesn’t play anymore.  Who else can buy US debt?

    These political partisan putzes have already cost us — cost us dearly.  

  6. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Driving a Prius.

    “Proudly going nowhere!” sticker right above a “Don’t Tread On Me” sticker.

    To the left, Jimmy Buffet for President.

    That’s GOT to be one of you guys.  

    • ajb says:

      I was up from 1-3am cleaning skunk off my dog. But I did learn that peroxide and baking soda really works. Well, mostly. I’m going to give it another shot tonight.

      Good thing my wife is out of town.

      • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

        I had to haul my riding instructor’s dog off a baby skunk recently–if she went over to grab him he would have REALLY gone for it, protecting her, but as it was he was just cornering it and barking and I got him away before it sprayed. Little bugger had its tail STRAIGHT up in the air.

        They’re so dang cute though! I wish they were legal as pets here 🙁

      • gertie97 says:

        Try Massengill Spring Fresh Douche. I kid you not. A dog groomer recommended the stuff and it really does work.

        But with your wife out of town, it might have been a little tough for you to hit the grocery or drug store at 1 a.m. to buy four or five boxes of the stuff.

        • RedGreen says:

          After trying all the other folk remedies, including tomato juice, peroxide/baking soda, and buckets of all manner of dog shampoo, someone recommended Summer’s Eve the next time my dog got skunked, and it worked like a charm.  

          • ajb says:

            Peroxide and baking soda worked pretty well.It was originally proposed/invented by a chemist named Paul Krebaum. And it’s almost free.

            I also read about the douche, but it sounded like another folk remedy.

            BTW, I did have to go out at 1am. Couldn’t find any peroxide in the house.

  7. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Driving a Prius.

    “Proudly going nowhere!” sticker right above a “Don’t Tread On Me” sticker.

    To the left, Jimmy Buffet for President.

    That’s GOT to be one of you guys.  

  8. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    See my new signature. Oddly enough, a Texan woman I recently met encouraged me to look up Sheila Jackson Lee and said I’d love her. I put it off, and I’m sorry I did. This woman has the guts Alan Grayson had, and the political skills he didn’t.

    She’s going on the very, very short list of non-Coloradoan politicians who get campaign donations from me.

    • cologeek says:

      about the incident in 2005 during a visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory?  Rep. Lee asked if the Mars Pathfinder had taken a picture of the flag that Neil Armstrong had planted there in 1969.  This while she was on the House Science Commitee’s Space subcommitee.  Gut’s and political skills don’t always make up for ignorance.

      • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

        Badass today.

        I was more ignorant six years ago than I am today and I assume I’ll be less ignorant in six years (I hope!) than I am today. Seems to me there is altogether too much attention paid to occasional verbal slips by politicians (yes, Palin too) rather than to the important things. I do believe that having the courage to  stand up against a rising tide of hatred, especially while representing a state that is on the front lines of the recent swing toward xenophobia, makes up for a stupid comment six years ago.

  9. BlueCat says:

    A Christian rocker is suing Rachel Maddow for defaming him by quoting him directly   Wonder whether he got the idea for suing over accurate quotes from from Newt or from Sarah… Anyway, here’s the quote from his radio show:

    “Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America. They themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible, the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than the American Christians do. Because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination. If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that

    He thinks some court is going to get him 50 million.  

      • BlueCat says:

        Maddow even included the fact that the guy specifically claimed he was not advocating for violence against Muslims but he didn’t like the tone Maddow took with that info. So basically he’s suing Maddow for quoting him completely accurately (her research and fact checking are always impeccable, as opposed to Rhodes) but sounding a little sarcastic. As opposed to, say, Rush, who sounds not just sarcastic but vicious and usually while repeating blatant falsehoods.  Yeah, this ought to go real far. You’re probably right.  Attempt to goose flagging ratings with a crusade against the liberal lesbian gal?    

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