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  • Today's comic is The secret legal program for drones by Ruben Bolling:
    Comic - The secret legal program for drones
  • Happy 84th anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
  • Too bad he didn't go into hiding a lot sooner:
    Pope Benedict will see out his life in prayer, "hidden from the world", he said on Thursday in his first personal comment on his plans since he stunned Roman Catholics by announcing his retirement.

    His remarks, in a voice that was hoarse at times, followed Monday's resignation notice which spoke of "a life dedicated to prayer"; the Vatican has said the 85-year-old German will live within its walls. His seclusion may allay concern that the first living former pope in centuries might trouble Church unity.

  • Wanna see a cool map?
  • Don't you just love the smell of equality in the morning?
    With a 10-seat majority in the Senate, Democrats say they have enough votes to move Illinois toward legalizing gay marriage with a floor vote Thursday.

    For Republicans, the issue is far more complicated.

    GOP leaders in Illinois and nationwide vowed after a drubbing at the polls last fall to be more inclusive and diverse. Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady reiterated that message last week, saying if the party has any hope of winning the 2014 governor's race or gaining seats in the General Assembly, it must do more to appeal to young people, minorities and women - demographics that helped Democrats to huge wins in November.

  • For the Star Wars nerds.
  • Good luck with that one, pal:
    Sometimes people don't appreciate flattery.

    They are so engrossed in their own grossly skewed view of the world that their sense of humor flies into the night like a married lover late home for dinner.

    How else can one explain the quite bizarre intentions of Georgia state Rep. Earnest Smith?
    He clearly sees a vast importance in being Earnest.

    He clearly believes that his constituents are so drawn to his Earnestness that anything that deviates it from absolute Earnestness deserves the full metal force of the law.

    Which is why he wants to make lewd, coarse, filthy Photoshopping illegal and punishable with a fine of $1,000.

  • How are your cats spending the holiday?
  • Condolences:
    Ronald Dworkin, a legal philosopher and public intellectual of bracingly liberal views who insisted that morality is the touchstone of constitutional interpretation, died Thursday in London. He was 81. [...]

    Professor Dworkin’s central argument started with the premise that the crucial phrases in the Constitution — “the freedom of speech,” “due process of law,” “equal protection of the laws” — were, as he put it, “drafted in exceedingly abstract moral language.”

    “These clauses,” he continued, “must be understood in the way their language most naturally suggests: they refer to abstract moral principles and incorporate these by reference, as limits on the government’s power.”

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin brings us a collection of stories about the post-election efforts of pollsters to recalibrate the machinery, including their likely voter models, plus some speculation on the crack-up of the Republican Party. Guns are, still in the headlines, as are Wayne LaPierre's latest ravings. We read from Ari Berman's coverage of the appointment of Ben Ginsburg to President Obama's voting rights commission, and dissection of the ridiculous claim that there were no gun accidents in the time of the Founders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What’s Happened In The Trayvon Martin case (7+ / 0-)

    It’s been nearly a year since George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old on his way back to his father’s townhouse. In the weeks following the shooting, the story captured the nation’s attention, culminating with Zimmerman being charged with second-degree murder last April.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:02:35 PM PST

    •  He spent $125k on living expenses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      apparantly much of that on donuts and cheeseburgers.

      (That's not counting his security expenses, which apparently he is not paying. He's in collections for the paid muscle.)

      ad astra per alia porci

      by harrije on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:15:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know who else... (6+ / 0-)

    spent his final days hidden in a bunker?

  •  I'd like to know (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, JeffW, Randomfactor, LucyandByron

    for whom and for what Ratzinger (I doubt he keeps his Pope name after retirement) will be praying. Probably not healing for those young people who were abused by priests he helped protect.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:04:50 PM PST

    •  I want to know what the real story is. I'm a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanorich, PsychoSavannah

      skeptical person and I just don't believe Ratzinger is all that pious or that he's resigning because he lacks the energy to lead the church.
      I'm assuming that either he was blackmailed into it (resign or we'll release this info!) or that something might show up in the media soon after he goes off into his "seclusion" and they think it will be less of a story if he's already gone.
      Any thoughts?

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:34:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This man's ambition (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        was so huge and so obvious, he wouldn't have quit unless there was something coming down the pike which he was directly involved in....

        also, he was a crappy pope who nobody liked, and he had more power when he was doing the Dick Cheney thing.

      •  Scandal, of course. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Pope's as much a liar as anybody else.

        He's no better then you or me, and probably worse.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:45:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Could be health issue (5+ / 0-)

        Dementia or Alzheimer's, so is being eased out graciously. Could be to bring in someone who'll be as virulently anti-gay and anti-woman, but who'll clean up the financial practices department which will make the Italian bankers happy. Certainly not going to get another John XXIII, not the way this Pope and his predecessor loaded the College of Cardinals with conservatives.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:51:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah -- I have no hope of a decent man being put (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in that job.
          The cardinals & bishops are just like the Republicans -- no matter what horrendous stuff they've been involved in, no matter how they've been discredited to the vast majority of people, they cling to their power, unfortunately successfully.

          While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

          by Tamar on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:02:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I call "Drug Kingpin" /snark (0+ / 0-)

          {puts on tinfoil hat} If the Vatican Bank has been fronting for Mexican drug cartels even more than the TBTF's because no-one else will do business with them, then their shareholders will choose their own man.  Drug Lords Spiritual, here we come.  
          And the coming scandal?  All the missing children from the last half of the 20th century were trafficked by Father Marcial Maciel and then-Cardinal Ratzinger put it under a rug big enough to wrap Texas.   Maybe some righteous person dimed them out at last. {removes tinfoil hat}

          "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

          by LucyandByron on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:19:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hey AP It's called the internet (5+ / 0-)

    did it dawn on these bozos that people watch events like this over the innertoobes?!?!??!

    State Of The Union 2013 Ratings: 33.3 Million Tune In, Lowest-Rated Since 2000

    NEW YORK — The 33.5 million people who saw President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union made it the smallest audience for the annual speech since Bill Clinton's last address in 2000.

    The Nielsen ratings company said Wednesday it was down from the 37.8 million people who saw Obama's State of the Union last year. The 52.4 million people who watched his first address in 2009 were his largest audience.

    Sixteen networks aired the speech Tuesday night. The 6.5 million people who saw it on NBC just barely gave the network bragging rights over CBS, which had 6.4 million viewers. Nielsen says ABC had 5.5 million viewers for the speech. It says 3.7 million people saw Obama on Fox News Channel, 3.6 million on CNN and 3 million on MSNBC.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:07:19 PM PST

  •  Unexpected stressors at work today. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23, Randomfactor, Gentle Giant

    Thank god for Republican plushies in panda suits.

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:17:35 PM PST

  •  Hagel nomination will be filibustered (4+ / 0-)

    Reid has set the vote for 4:15pm. They do not have 60 votes.

    According to CNN's Dana Bash, GOP is saying they will confirm him after the Senate gets back from recess in 10 days. Dems say they want the cloture vote on record so they can point out who is blocking the nomination.

    •  If what Bash is saying is true, it seems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant, PsychoSavannah

      like a really dumb move by the Senate GOP.

      Maybe they feel if they drag it out for 10 more days, something else will come up and/or he will withdraw.

      But if they confirm him in two weeks, then it just looks like caving. Plus, they will have hand  Dems a talking point about the filibuster.

    •  If only we had stopped the filibuster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, RainyDay

      instead of the lame-ass shit that took place, causing the GOP to still have the filibuster.

      Filibuster = protection of Kabuki.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:31:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos tweeted this, (8+ / 0-)

    but I wanted to comment.

    Tesla takes down NYT article for being bullshit.  And it's spectacular to me because it uses the car's own data logs against him.

    When will folks learn (who want to blame the tech), that we tech folks know better and create logs of events?  ;)

    I say, tip of the hat to you Tesla.  Stay fuckin' awesome.

    "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

    by Silvia Nightshade on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:20:08 PM PST

    •  My current car turns 8 tomorrow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silvia Nightshade, JeffW

      I'm so tempted to drive to the Tesla dealer in Seattle and go electric.

      What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:24:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd love to. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, PsychoSavannah, JeffW

        Need to save up the money first, and make sure we have enough charging stations in my neck of the woods.

        "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

        by Silvia Nightshade on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:30:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Saw the sedan on the roads recently (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We were following one in town -- sweet looking ride, and I'm a non-driver. If I ever won the lottery, I'd be tempted to get one for a second car (wheelchair accessible van so we can take mom-in-law places easier would be priority #1).

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:54:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent! (0+ / 0-)

    The pope can do that from his jail cell!

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:21:12 PM PST

  •  Intel & Samsung rivals racing to invade privacy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx
    "Straight out of 1984, Samsung has unveiled a new series of televisions with integrated cameras and microphones, complete with facial and voice recognition software.

    Best of all, there appears to be no physical indication of the mic and camera's status, so consumers have no way of knowing when they're being monitored, or by whom... and if you don't find the idea of a TV that watches you creepy enough, apparently Samsung's Terms of Service include a clause allowing third-party apps to make use of the monitoring system, and use the data gathered for their own purposes. Nothing Orwellian about that..."

    Samsung ( ARM chip )


    Intel (H.265 codec)

    Subscribers will get live and catch-up TV as well as on-demand content - all delivered direct from Intel over their broadband connections.

    The plan uses a camera on the box to look outward, to identify the faces staring at the goggle box... telescreen-stylie. Intel will use that to present personalised options and targeted advertising,

    Intel will be embracing the H.265 codec, recently developed and just approved by the ITU, which should provide better video over less bandwidth, but will make getting support across devices a challenge.
  •  I remain completely unshocked by the pope (0+ / 0-)


    I couldn't care less.

    Pope off to prison? - that would get my attention.

    For a little bit.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:24:09 PM PST

  •  I'll say it again: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pope Benedict will see out his life in prayer, "hidden from the world"

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:24:09 PM PST

  •  "Happy" anniversary (0+ / 0-)

    of a massacre involving guns?  I guess it is ok depending who gets slaughtered.

    Sometimes the leanings of this site boggle the mind.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:27:33 PM PST

    •  Bad people whacking bad people. (0+ / 0-)

      In this country, Prohibition is still held in great esteem, as are the gangsters of the time.

      Never mind that the crimes of prohibition era were directly caused by alcohol prohibition.

      Actiually, people despised alcohol prohibition because of all that violence and it got repealed.

      Thankfully, though, we still have marijuana prohibition creating a massive violent situation in Mexico.

      Same dynamics as alcohol prohibition but now we have a lot of politicians who are happy to blow the tens of billions of dollars on this hopeless situation, exacerbating it and not resolving it.

      The St. Valentine's Day Massacre was an artifact of PROHIBITION.

      PROHIBITION caused criminal gangs to rise and it funded them. Police enforcement of prohibition increases the profits for trafficker (those who move the good from point of creation to point of sale.).

      So St valentine's Day Massacre is remembered as a testament to how great prohibition was and still is, given that our leaders refuse to do anything about it othetr then continually fund it.

      So HOORAY for brilliant federal policies and the bad guys they create. It's all good.


      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:38:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Google images already has some Earnest Smith (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    photoshops. Possibly NSFW.

  •  Next week, Rep Earnest will propose shutting down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Scioto

    this whole dang internet thingy. Because it just causes trouble fer right thinkin Americans. People can just go back to using pencils and paper like God intended.Thats why He gave us opposable thumbs.

  •  The Pope could teach McCain a thing or two. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scioto, PsychoSavannah, alrdouglas

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:31:21 PM PST

  •  Suicide Ass Bombers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G Contractor, JeffW

    Now we have to worry about jihadists blowing up asses -- as opposed to Republicans, who simply blow things out their asses.

    Residents of a village near Gao, the largest city in the north, detained two youths they said were wearing explosive-rigged belts on the same road where the suicide bombing on Friday wounded a soldier at a checkpoint.

    "We arrested two young men early this morning. They had explosive belts and they were riding on two donkeys," Oumar Maiga, the son of the local village chief, told AFP.

    He said the pair, an Arab and a Tuareg, was detained some 20 kilometres north of Gao, where troops were fortifying checkpoints with sandbags and heavy machine guns and patrolling the city in heavy rotation in camouflage pick-ups.

  •  Electoral college (0+ / 0-)

    There seems to a lot of really complicated suggestions to change or end the electoral college.  Really, the only thing that makes it unfair is that no matter how insignificant a state is, it always gets at least three voltes.  Currently the insignificant states that have excessive power to choose a president are Alaska, Delaware, Montant, N Dakota, S Dakota,  Vermont and Wyoming.  All but two of those are very red, so any republican presidential candidate can expect a 12 vote edge.  It is not wonder that liberals want to change the system.

    On the other hand, the only election in recent memory that was decided by this lopsided situation was Bush II, and it was really decided by the SCOTUS.

    Furthermore if we include state with 4 electoral votes we have Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, which makes it pretty even in states that are over represented.  In any case, I think it would be much more productive to get rid fo the Senate votes in the electoral college, or to increase the college so that every representative gets 4 votes, than to enter the quagmire of getting rid of it altogether.

    It would be hard to do because half the states depend on the senate votes to make their voice significant.  It is not a red or blue issue, really.  It is a state issue, and we still a union of states.

  •  Hey anti-immigrant basher... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:53:40 PM PST

  •  Well, the whole Constitution is a limiting (0+ / 0-)

    document in that the main body outlines the duties and oblgations of the agents of government. If they just stuck to carrying out their orders, the prohibitions in the amendments would be superfluous.
    For example, the Constitution doesn't call for restricting speech, or any of the other human functions, so there's no real benefit in the enumerated prohibitions in the Amendments, especially the first ten. Indeed, the enumeration and the conventional reference to "rights" has led to the argument that the unmentioned human rights have no significance and imputed privacy does not have much weight. Moreover, because the amendments are qualified by the word "reasonable," it has been possible to argue on behalf of all kinds of restrictions on natural persons for the "reasonable" purpose of "protecting" the nation, even though the Constitution doesn't address "protection" at all.

    To provide for the common defense is not the same as "protecting." Protection is aimed at a potential or actual victim, while defense is focused on actual aggressors. When victims are the center of attention then it becomes possible to act on the basis of fears, even invented ones.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:01:16 PM PST

  •  IIRC, I onced asked Greg Dworkin if he's related (0+ / 0-)

    to Ronald, and he replied in the negative.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:01:45 PM PST

  •  Saint Valentine is the patron saint (0+ / 0-)

    ..of lovers epileptics.

    Apparently, both "saints" named "Valentine" were dismembered.

    Don't forget the gifts, guys.

  •  Love the map (0+ / 0-)

    I live in Good Herbs.

    "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man.'" J. R. Robertson.

    by NearlyNormal on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:17:15 PM PST

  •  Surprised at LaPierre? (0+ / 0-)

    Look at the "training book" that they use when they teach their franchised gun safety courses for "carry" permits. It is all white people being attacked by people with brown skin.

    If anything he says surprises a sane citizen, they've been in a coma for the last decade.

  •  The pope and the average worker (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, he's never had a job in his life. But two weeks notice? Have to give at least that much if you work in Micky D's or Starbucks.

    It's hard to not suspect that something really big--a scandal (probably financial) is about to come down.

    Or is he just determined to use his influence to determine his successor, rather than let it happen when he can't sway the vote! (That implies that he doesn't believe that he'll be an influential spirit after death.)

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