Wednesday Open Thread

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

–Saul Bellow

45 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Hillary Antionette News:

    Top Secret Emails confirmed on Hillary's private server, now what?

    “The Committees have the authority to obtain an immunity order, to acquire the information they need, while also protecting your right against self-incrimination,” the two senators wrote in a letter to Mr. Pagliano’s lawyer.

    The senators would need to coordinate with the Justice Department in order to secure an immunity deal.

    Their offer raises the stakes for Mr. Pagliano and could create more peril for Mrs. Clinton, who has insisted she complied with all laws when operating the server.

    Security experts have disputed Mrs. Clinton’s claim that she followed the law, saying that she handled hundreds of classified messages on the server.

    Mrs. Clinton has maintained that none of the messages were secret at the time she sent or received them, and were only upgraded now that they are being released to the public. The New York Times reported Tuesday, however, that a new review by the inspector general for the intelligence community has concluded two messages did contain information that was top secret at the time.

    • Davie says:

      Gee, AC.  Maybe you can convince the GOP Kangaroo Committees to draft a Constitutional Amendment erasing the prohibition of Ex Post Facto laws.

      That way, instead of being limited to just smear campaigns and character assassination against your political enemies, you can actually pass laws criminalizing any behavior you want retroactively against your chosen targets!

      Sure beats working hard to find the truth or facing the harsh reality that you got nothing, right?

      Meanwhile be sure to catch Zap's note below.  Looks like at least a few in GOP-world are finally realizing the jig is nearly up.  They think Dick Cheney is ready for a straight-jacket and a rubber-walled room.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:


        The law prohibiting sending classified information to a non-classified environment is not new.  A document is classified based on the information and source of information it contains, not because it does or does not have a stamp on it.

        Nothing ex post facto involved here.

        Just criminal activity by a Clinton that jeopardized national security.

        • BlueCat says:

          Nothing ex post facto? Obviously you don't pay attention. There is nobody claiming that much of what is being labeled classified now was not labeled classified at the time it was sent to her account. Also that different agencies have different views of what is, was or should be labeled classified. There is very little black and white agreement among the agencies and departments. Something it probably wouldn't hurt to fix.

          The trouble with righties, and phony righties like you (we all saw your test results), is that the facts are not enough for you though there are plenty of them on which to base criticism of HRC's handling of her e-mail server, account and response to legitimate questions concerning them. You have to go and make stuff up and circulate your juvenile cartoons full of lies which completely destroy your credibility.

          I think HRC's handling of the whole matter from beginning to the present has been awful and I don't have to make anything up to make my case. The people who disagree with me and support her in these matters don't have to either. That's because we're not pathetic righties who've got nothing. 

          When Zap and I disagree about something or someone it's never because either of us is just making stuff up. Apparently you and your rightie friends just don't have a clue how to mount a legitimate attack on or defense of anyone or anything. So you have to build straw men, pretend others have said things they never said, make stuff up and lie, lie, lie.

        • Davie says:

          Yes, oh ignorant one, but classifying it in 2015 does not make emailing it in 2012 against the law.

          I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you understand that, but whoever pays you to post misinformation on this site required you to act stupid.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      He can lead by example and move back to Calgary. BTW, did everyone see how Mike Huckabee's flock pushed Rafael Theodoro out of the way at Kim Davis' release-from-jail homecoming ceremony in KY yesterday? 

  2. James Dodd says:

    Well, good morning folks. Perhaps it is not such a good morning after all. You see, the Colorado Division of Insurance has just finished its review and approval process for the health insurance rate increases for 2016.  The Division approved an overall rate increase for my plan of 20.1%.  This means that my wife and I face an annual increase in our premiums of more than $3,000.  And, that is only if we are subject to the average increase.  The Division approved a maximum increase of 29.1% for certain policy holder categories.

    I will be eligible for Medicare in 14 months. I can't wait.  Now, I have to decide whether to take my chances and go naked in 2016 and pay the penalty or see  what else I can do without – like food.

    • davebarnes says:

      Switch to a Bronze HD HSA plan. A lot less money. You should have $50K in your HSA when you turn 65 anyway.

      • James Dodd says:

        Yeah, right. I'll just dig into my mattress and pull that money right out.

        We are now going to face the consequences of the neo-liberal Obamacare – rising premiums and limited networks. What we should have done is pass Medicare for all.

        • BlueCat says:

          Here here. With the deductibles of the "affordable" plans I'm not planning to go to a doctor again until medicare about a month after you.

        • Voyageur says:

          Hear! Hear!  I've been on medicare for 5 years and now have a Kaiser Senior Advantage plan at zero, yes, zero, cost (there are, of course, co-pays but no monthly for the plan itself.)  Obamacare is saving me almost $400 a month because that's what I used to pay for the Kaiser package for myself and my wife before the new Obamacare deal.

             Personally, I say lower the age for Medicare to birth!  Pay for it with a national value added tax.  Like Canada, keep medical care in private and voluntary sector, but put insurance in the public sector.  With a value added tax, every time you buy a Big Mac you will pay 50 cents toward the quadruple bypass you eventually will need because you ate so many Big Macs.  wink

  3. gertie97 says:

    Today's quote that opens this thread sounds like Trump's campaign strategy.


  4. Zappatero says:

    Of course, how an email was classified or declassified after the fact, and how Hillary was following procedures followed by many in the Bush administration is much more important to our librarian than whether the rest of his party, including the former VP is trying to get us into another war:

    Chris Wallace reminded a willful history revising Dick Cheney that during the Bush/Cheney administration Iran went from 0 to 5,000 centrifuges. Wallace suggested that Cheney left a mess for the Obama administration.

    Republican Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Secretary of State General Colin Powell, was introduced. (Colin Powell endorsed the Iran Nuclear agreement this weekend.) Chris Hayes asked Wilkerson about Cheney's apocalyptic warning about the Iran deal. Lawrence Wilkerson did not mince words.

    "I have been searching for a single word that would describe Dick Cheney," Wilkerson said. "And I am afraid the only one that I can think of is 'insanity'. It's a deliberate, it's a methodical, it's a lucid, often lucid insanity. But it is insanity nonetheless. He can't recognize reality. He can't recognize the truth. The good thing Chris, for this country is that Independents, Republicans, and Democrats wish he would just go away now. He has almost no influence. You saw the influence he has virtually by numbers. Those at the AEI today that listened to his speech, that's about it."

    Dick Cheney's speech at AEI was interrupted by a Code Pink protester.

    Lawrence Wilkerson pointed out that Dick Cheney was once a brilliant strategist. He said Cheney changed after nine eleven. "All of a sudden he's turned into this person who cannot recognize reality," Wilkerson said. "I can't explain it. Maybe its physiological. Maybe it's biological. Maybe 9/11 did something to him. … He is simply devoid of reason and he doesn't recognize reality anymore."

    I would change, too, if my job was Chair of the Counter Terrorism Task Force that so completely failed on 9/11 and that led the nation and world into a series of costly and deadly catastrophes……….that I somehow profited on throughout.

    • BlueCat says:

      Interesting how staunchly you defend HRC whose policies, as far as anyone can tell, are so almost identical to those of Bennet. Just sayin'.

      Fact is, regardless of how you parse the e-mails or to what degree they were or were not, should or should not have been classified, unlike Colin Powell and others defenders point to as having done the same thing, she not only used her own personal server but chose to use the same account for both official and personal e-mail. Really poor judgement for someone whose official e-mails are those of SOS, the world's premiere super power diplomat dealing with sensitive diplomatic matters, classfiied or not.

      If she hadn't exercised even poorer judgement in the handling of the GOP attacks taking advantage of that poor choice she would not now finally, and only after months of resisting with alternating failed strategies of lawyerly parsing, making light, non-apology apologies about causing confusion, claiming no apology is necessary because everything she did was allowed, be resorting to an actual "I'm sorry" apology so obviously extracted in a process akin to pulling teeth. 

      Whether her defenders think she's done anything that requires and apology or not, clearly her team has come to the conclusion that, no matter how strenuously they've resisted to date and no matter how much HRC hates to do so, an apology now is indeed necessary. That's not a good position to be in because a late, reluctant apology after so much resistance simply highlights the fact that it would have been smarter and looked better to offer it long ago and it's only coming now because she feels she has no choice.

      So add poor political judgement to poor professional judgement and it's beginning to look like team HRC learned nothing from losing to Obama. The only lesson they seem to have taken away has been to be even more ruthless in clearing the field in the years since. The style is exactly the same. The entitled arrogance is exactly the same. It's even starting to look possible that the result might be exactly the same.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Oh, please, from your lips to Dog's ear …

        The last thing this country needs is a Democratic Richard Nixon …

        (… OK, maybe second, … or third, … or eighteenth, to the last — given the slate of opponent numbskulls. But, still way down close to the bottom nevertheless …)

        • FrankUnderwood says:

          Cheer up, authentic and genuine "Old Uncle Joe" is going to rescue us from having HRC as our nominee. I can see the bumper stickers now……

          Biden '16 — Septugenarian for the Future!

          • BlueCat says:

            Hey, he's more fit and youthful looking than either HRC or Bernie. In any case, if HRC is inevitable, will Jeb! be the last R standing?

            If so I'm sure his tax vision will go over just as well as Romney's dismissal of the 47% takers, which he didn't mention includes most of his non-tax paying buddies. It will make a great Dem campaign ad companion to video of him dismissing the need for spending so much on (sneer) women's health issues, a stable of advisers straight from big brother's administration and the answer to middle class stagnation as working longer and harder:

            Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush outlined a tax plan on Wednesday that broadly resembles the tax platform presented in 2000 by his brother George W. Bush. The main difference: Jeb would give even bigger tax breaks to the the ultra-wealthy. 

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Great shout out to my boss last night on Colbert.  We've come a long way in three years, from "Don't break out the Cheetos and Goldfish" to being in the opening monologue in one of the most highly-anticipated late-night show debuts in recent history.   

    For a little (non)comic relief, here's O'Reilly and Dennis Miller trying to be funny and hip about the ganja on FauxNews.  In reality, there's nothing funny (or conservative) about Prohibition or the failed, trillion-dollar war on drugs.  I'm confident O'Reilly's audience missed that part. Today we have more men of color in prison, on parole or probation that we had slaves in 1862.  Our private prison industry, fueled in large part by the existence of the War on Drugs, is a plague on our economy and to minorities in particular.    It's The New Jim Crow. 

    But-not-for Colorado voters ending Prohibition of marijuana in Colorado in 2012, (and standing up to the ignorance at the very top of the DEA) we wouldn't be having these social justice conversations today. 

    A special thank you to Congerssman Polis for his leadership on Capitol Hill on this issue.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Deep in beet-red Morgan County, the younguns are all for the liberal marijuana laws, gay marriage, and lowering the legal drinking age . They dearly love them some guns, and parrot Fox or parent's latest talking points too often (their mean teacher insists on fact checking and analyzing bias in sources – bummer), but on social issues, you'd have a hard time telling them apart from any urban teens.

      And my worst fears as a teacher have not come true; there are not more students coming to school high, as far as I can tell or smell. They like that getting caught with a gram or two won't ruin their lives anymore, and they understand the arguments for medical uses of cannabis. The girls know they don't have to drop out if they get pregnant, and that people speaking Spanish does not threaten their way of life. This new generation will change things in ways we can't even see yet.

  6. FrankUnderwood says:

    Well it's not Provincetown, it's not Fire Island and it's not the Russian River, but……

    gay couples wishing to tie the knot are apparently schlepping to Rowan (KY) County to get married! You can guess why…..

    I'll bet Kim Davis never saw this one coming her way!

    • Duke Cox says:

      I am very familiar with Morehead, Kentucky and its denizens…I spent much of my childhood and teen years in that area, just down the turnpike a ways nearer to Winchester ("where the bluegrass kisses the mountains"). Kim Davis could just as easily be one of my cousins….I have many in those parts.

      But I also know that the fundamentalist righteousness of that backwater area does not completely pervade the state. I have former co-workers and friends in Kentucky who are as appalled as I at the foolish hatred displayed on television and across the media.

      I would encourage any gay couple, who can meet whatever residency requirements there may be, to visit Morehead to get married. The scenery is nice ( particularly in the fall), but the "gundamentalist" culture there is very strong…particularly outside of the metro areas where racial and cultural segregation is less common. I would not be surprised to see a backlash though…so be careful if you do…

  7. BlueCat says:

    Saw cute photo on FB but can't get it posted here. It's a checker telling a customer that she can't check out his condoms because she's Catholic but he can go to aisle 9 only that checker is Muslim so she can't check out ham. 

    The gag could go on endlessly… a 7th Day Adventist checker who can't check out meat, an observant Jew who can't check out your shrimp, a Mormon checker who needs to send you to another aisle to check out your coffee, etc. Under many proposals being floated all of these situations would be OK as long as someone else was available and willing to perform the task in question. Your shopping list and the individual religious preferences of the checkers could force you to visit several different check out lines to buy what 's being legally sold and you have the legal right to buy.

    How about just sticking with this… if your religion prevents you from doing the job, find a job that fits your personal religious needs. Plenty of people are a poor fit for plenty of jobs for all kinds of reasons. A county government clerk has to dispense marriage licenses to anyone who qualifies under the law.  A super market checker has to be willing to check out the stores products. Can't do it? Find another job. Your co-religionists should be a great resource.

  8. FrankUnderwood says:

    The Post has a blurb in it about Bill Owens, Ryan Call, Frank McNulty and a few other movers and shakers of the GOP establishment endorsing Jeb! earlier this week. While I'm not exactly surprised by the news, I am surprised nobody has commented.

  9. mamajama55 says:

    Nooooo. Not National Geographic!

    Rupert Murdoch is going to buy National Geographic. Goodbye to the window on other cultures, purveyor of science fact, advocate for disappearing species.

    They also create some excellent multicultural curricula. I hope that they will continue to do so…

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